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Aug 06 2014

Takeaways from Schneider's MachineStruxure Launch Event

Posted by Jon Herrity in Automation

Last week, Schneider Electric hosted their MachineStruxure launch event in Raleigh for the release of the Modicon M221, M241, and M251 controllers, along with the latest upgrades for SoMachine version 4.1.


This is a very exciting time for Schneider Electric as they are releasing more new products than any other global automation company. The new Modicon controllers include Ethernet ports built-in for EtherNet/IP or Modbus TCP/IP communication, and they all include expandable options for additional I/O, communication, and safety modules. This provides a scalable solution for a wide range of applications. The controllers utilize leading-class dual-core CPUs with instruction speeds as fast as 22ns / instruction. In addition, the Schneider team has developed an S-Curve acceleration/deceleration feature for their pulse train output (PTO) function. This enables smooth positioning for the careful delivery of products, and it is a unique feature only offered by Schneider Electric. The S-Curve PTO function is built in to the base units for the M221, M241 and M251.

The M221, M241 and M251 include QR codes printed directly on the hardware, which you can use to scan with your phone to pull up detailed specification information, manuals, troubleshooting information and connection diagrams. This material is all located on separate mini-sites.

Within the SoMachine v4.1 software, there is now a springboard launch portal called ‘SoMachine Central’. This can be used to launch the SoMachine Basic or SoMachine full version software. SoMachine Basic is available for free and is used to program the M221 controller, which is similar to Schneider's TWIDO controller, an entry-level compact PLC. The software suite comes complete with simulation tools and a wide range of wizard setup utilities to make the programming even easier.

There is a mobile app, which can also run on a PC, called 'MachineStruxure Configurator'.  This helps to quickly configure a system based on your application (I/O count, type, etc.), which you can then export (or e-mail) as a Python script file (*.py) to be imported into SoMachine. This file automatically creates the hardware configuration parameters in the software.

Moreover, SoMachine v4.1 now incorporates the CoDeSys WebVisu tool, which can be used to create an extra 'virtual HMI'.  This can be displayed from a web browser on your PC, phone or tablet as an extra option, essentially operating as a separate HMI. You can use this with the M241, M251 along with the M258 and LMC058 controllers.

For more information on the availability of these products, please contact your Standard Electric account manager.