Allen-Bradley Controllers Available with Enhanced Communications Functionality

A programming/human machine interface (HMI) port added to Allen-Bradley MicroLogix 1200 controllers from Rockwell Automation allows users to connect to a local computer and upload, download or monitor programs, or interface to a local display terminal, while still maintaining network connectivity. The new programming/HMI port increases application flexibility and helps reduce system cost by enabling users to directly connect a local HMI, allowing the other port to be used for networking, modem connection, programming and other devices.

"Low-cost, compact programmable controllers were often considered stand-alone units with little concern for communications. The MicroLogix 1200R controllers provide a number of communication options on one port, and the ability to inexpensively interface to a local HMI or be available for programming, without disturbing system configuration," said Mike Foley, business development manager, Rockwell Automation. "The additional port improves programming efficiency and decreases troubleshooting time by providing local connectivity for an operator interface or programming terminal while the primary port remains connected to a network, modem or ASCII device."

The programming/HMI port supports the DF1 full-duplex open protocol on RS-232 and requires no configuration. This port is "respond only," which allows it to be fully functional when connected to a computer running Rockwell Software RSLogix 500 programming software or when connected point-to-point with a Allen-Bradley PanelView operator interface terminal for local HMI.

There are six new controllers that support the programming/HMI port, that mirror the current 24- and 40-point MicroLogix 1200 controllers. All these controllers use the same RSLogix 500 software, and the new port uses the same eight-pin mini-DIN connector as the primary port. Plus, current users can continue to leverage their existing software and cables.

MicroLogix 1200 controllers with two communications ports will be available in July 2004.

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