Refrigerant supplier A-Gas reports that price and supply issues with R404A appear to have stabilised but R410A may face further price rises.
Writing on the company’s website, commercial director Enzo D’Alessio reports that the recent huge price hikes for high GWP refrigerants appear to have ended. The demand for virgin high GWP refrigerants is also said to have decreased, with refrigerant reclamation playing a key role in this.
“I am pleased to report that a steady stream of R404A continues to make its way back to A-Gas as installers and end-users are making the switch to lower GWP gases,” he reports, but claims the market behaviour has changed, with users now keeping hold of recovered refrigerant that they would have otherwise returned. He warns, however: “There are strict guidelines governing this and the reclaimed gas can only be used on the same premises and only once it has gone through a basic cleaning process.”
A-Gas has invested heavily in its reclamation and recovery facilities at its facilities in Portbury. Refrigerant is reclaimed to meet the AHRI 700 standard and re-supplied to the market outside of the quota system. “This source of supply is reassuring for users who are yet to make the switch to a low GWP refrigerant,” D’Alessio added.
While there is good news for R404A, Enzo D’Alessio suggests there may be further prices rises ahead for R410A due to significant cuts in the F-gas quota. “The good news is that as far as the mildly-flammable A2L replacements like R32 are concerned, they are being seen as a viable alternative for new equipment, although use in retrofitting has been slower as A2Ls are far from being drop-ins and a different approach is needed by the contractor.”
Technique Learning Solutions has located its head office in Chesterfield since it was first conceived. Technique is one of the UK’s top-quality training providers in electrical, air conditioning, refrigeration, and plc training with the aim of delivering courses designed to teach you how to become industry experts in a short period of time with little to no experience required.
Their mission is to provide all candidates with the very best usable knowledge at a fair price. Technique prides themselves on their extensive range of up to date training equipment, enabling the candidate to work ‘individually’ in ‘true to life’ situations. The Technique Learning experience is unique, enjoyable, rewarding and will support your professional development. Most of our courses are internationally accredited by City & Guilds, EAL, Logic or one of the other awarding bodies.
Ryan Booth, Sales & Marketing Coordinator for the organisation, had this to say about the town:-
“Chesterfield is a fantastic town to conduct business in and its potential will only continue to grow. In the nature of our work, we get a lot of people traveling to us from far and wide to attend our courses. Due to Chesterfield’s central location, its proximity to the M1 and it’s rail links with London the centre is ideally located. The town centre provides an excellent place for visitors to stay with a number of hotels, shops, bars and restaurants’.
He also had the following to say about Technique Learning Solutions:-
“The thing that stands out about Technique for me is the uniqueness of the services they offer. A common misconception is that these types of qualifications can only be acquired from a college but in reality, Technique are offering industry recognised training at a very competitive price. Additionally, the quality of the teaching is something that continues to impress me and the feedback about the tutors is extremely positive.”
Leading UK refrigerant distributor Climalife has urged air conditioning customers to move rapidly to R32 to avoid major price increases and supply problems with R410A.
In a special customer presentation in North London last week, Climalife joined with refrigerant manufacturer Honeywell in warning air conditioning users of the need to adopt the lower GWP refrigerant as a matter of urgency.
All the headlines last year were occupied by the rising prices and decreasing availability of R404A in the refrigeration industry, and there are concerns that users of the air conditioning refrigerant R410A will suffer the same fate this year.
Under the European F-gas phase down, R404A with its huge GWP of 3922 was always going to come under pressure. Despite warnings from refrigerant suppliers and industry bodies of the need to make an early switch to alternatives, the industry had been slow to react in advance of this year’s 37% CO2e cut in HFC refrigerant supply.
“If the transition away from R404A had been quicker we would have avoided the problems we had last year,” commented Climalife MD Allan Harper. And his colleague, technical director Peter Dinnage, warned: “If we don’t move away from R410A we will have the same problem again.”
Despite the focus on R404A, prices of R410A also rose significantly last year. Then, early this year, F-gas certification body Refcom raised the first concerns about apparent shortages of R410A, with some wholesalers needing to restrict sales.
Honeywell account manager, Barbora Kopecka warned that R410A was next on the target list. “If we don’t do anything we will have a problem. Something really significant needs to be done,” she said.
With its GWP of 2088, R410A was always going to be the next refrigerant to come under pressure. However, unlike R404A, there is no interim alternative to R410A in larger air conditioning systems and VRF. Smaller split systems are being introduced using R32 but current standards preclude use of this “mildly flammable” refrigerant in larger systems.
Barbora Kopecka blamed a lack of urgency from the air conditioning equipment manufacturers. Despite pioneering work by Daikin, other manufacturers have certainly been slower to introduce R32 units in Europe. However, demand from contractors has also been muted, some viewing the use of a flammable refrigerant with suspicion and trepidation.
The lack of urgency is exacerbated by the F-gas regulations which allows R410A to continue be used in split systems up until 2025 – irrespective of market availability. Of more immediate concern is the European F-gas phase down timetable demanding a further 30% cut in refrigerant supply in 2021.
Allan Harper urged customers: “You have to ask equipment manufacturers to place new products on the market which support A2Ls or 2021 will be very difficult.”
The protective measure Automatic Disconnection of Supply (ADS) is used in most electrical installations to provide protection against electric shock. This article provides an overview of how ADS is achieved in a typical domestic premises.
The general requirements for ADS consist of provisions for basic and fault protection, which are considered as follows (Regulation 411.1 of BS 7671 refers):
Basic protection is required to prevent contact with live parts and is generally verified by inspection. In domestic premises, contact with live parts may occur as a result of damage to cable insulation or enclosures or barriers are missing. For example, the possibility of contact with live parts may exist where a suitable barrier (as shown in Fig 1) has not been fitted in the spare ways in a consumer unit or unused entry holes in the enclosure are not suitably closed. For these reasons, all electrical equipment should comply with at least one of the provisions for basic protection described in Section 416 (Regulation 411.2 refers).
For a domestic installation, the basic requirements for protection against the ingress of solid objects are that:
- barriers or enclosures should provide a degree of protection against solid objects of at least IP2X or IPXXB (Regulation 416.2.1).
- the horizontal top surface of a barrier or enclosure which is readily accessible must provide a degree of protection against solid objects of at least IP4X or IPXXD (Regulation 416.2.2).
To satisfy compliance an understanding of IP codes is required.
IP2X means that the enclosure is protected against access to hazardous parts with a British Standard test finger having a diameter of 12 mm and 80 mm long, and will not permit the insertion of any object 12.5 mm or more in diameter.
IP4X means that at no point on the surface must the insertion of a wire or object greater than 1 mm thick be possible.
In areas that present an increased risk of electric shock, such as rooms containing a bath or shower, the particular requirements of BS 7671 (Section 701), must also be satisfied.
For the protective measure ADS, fault protection should be provided in accordance with Regulation Group 411.3. The requirements for protective earthing, protective equipotential bonding and automatic disconnection in case of fault should be satisfied. For domestic premises, earth fault loop impedance testing is the most common method used to verify circuit disconnection.
For protection against electric shock, the magnitude of the fault current needs to be sufficient to cause the protective device to automatically disconnect the circuit within the relevant maximum time specified in BS 7671. In order to verify compliance with BS 7671, knowledge of the earth fault loop impedance is required for each circuit that relies on ADS as the protective measure against electric shock (Regulation 612.9 refers).
Where it is safe to do so, earth fault loop impedance tests should be carried out at the following points within an installation:
- The origin
- The furthest point of every distribution circuit
- The furthest point of every final circuit
A test is carried out at the origin of the installation to determine the external earth fault loop impedance Z,e which, forms part of the earth fault loop impedance of every circuit connected to the installation (Fig 2 refers).
The purpose of the test is to confirm that the intended means of earthing is present and its measured impedance value is appropriate for the type of supply. Prior to carrying out the test, the installation should be isolated from the supply and the earthing conductor should be disconnected from the main earthing terminal or otherwise separated from all parallel earth paths such as bonding and circuit protective conductors.
Before the installation is re-energised, the earthing conductor must be reconnected
Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) publish typical maximum impedance values for each supply type, for example, 0.8 Ω for TN-S and 0.35 Ω for TN-C-S supplies. In circumstances where the measured value of Ze, is significantly higher than the typical maximum value, the person ordering the work should be advised to inform the relevant DNO.
For each distribution and final circuit the test should be carried out at the furthest point. Tables 41.2, 41.3 and 41.4 of BS 7671 give maximum permitted values of Zs for different types and ratings of overcurrent protective devices in common use and different maximum permitted disconnection times. Table 41.5 gives maximum permitted values of Zs for RCDs installed to provide earth fault protection.
Verification of test results
However, before comparing measured values of Zs with the maximum permitted values given in BS 7671, the test values should be adjusted to compensate for conductor temperature (that is the difference between the temperature of conductors during testing and fault conditions). Where the measured value does not exceed 0.8 times the relevant tabulated value given in BS 7671, the requirements for disconnection are satisfied (Appendix 14 of BS 7671 refers).
Alternatively, a calculated value of Zs may be obtained for a circuit by adding the (R1 + R2) test result obtained during continuity testing to the external earth fault loop impedance test result.
Where an RCD is installed in a circuit to provide fault protection, it must be tested to verify satisfactory operation. The circuit should also incorporate an overcurrent device (Regulation 411.4.4 refers).
The NICEIC and ELECSA publication; Inspection, Testing and Certification (7TH Edition) provides practical guidance on inspection and testing.
Electrical contractors looking to stay ahead of the competition can now pre-order their copy of the upcoming 18th Edition from NICEIC and ELECSA.
The 18th Edition will be available on July 2. Contractors who pre-order their copy will ensure they get the book when it first comes out – and also make a saving in the process.
The new standard is expected to retail at £95 when it launches. Contractors who pre-order their book early will receive a 10% discount – ensuring they get the book for £85.50 – with even more great savings available if bought as a wider package.
“Once it launches contractors will have a six month period to get up to speed with the changes,” commented NICEIC and ELECSA’s Technical Development Manager Darren Staniforth.
“From January 1 2019, it will then be a requirement that all electrical installations designed after this date comply with BS 7671:2018, 18th Edition (2018).
“Everyone involved in the electotechnical industry will need to be able to demonstrate a level of understanding and awareness of the changes.
“Therefore, many contractors will be keen to get a copy of the blue book as soon as it becomes available. By pre-ordering a copy now, they can ensure they get a copy as soon it comes out and have the maximum amount of time to make any necessary changes to the way they work.
“They can also make some great savings in the process.”
In addition to the book itself, there are also various bundle packages available including the 18th Edition book + NICEIC and ELECSA Site Guide for £95.
Providing efficient, effective and environmentally-friendly temperature control, Bosch Commercial and Industrial has launched its comprehensive range of residential air conditioning (RAC) solutions.
The Bosch Climate RAC air conditioning units, suitable for new installations in domestic and small commercial properties, come paired with a comprehensive after-sales service. This comprises of five years parts and labour warranty, a contact centre open 364 days a year, and Bosch trained engineers providing national coverage and quick onsite response time.
The new range can also be used in conjunction with larger commercial air conditioning systems, such as the Bosch Climate 5000 VRF, to support temperature-critical areas.
Included in the series are the Bosch Climate 5000 RAC standard Split and the 8000 RAC premium Split air conditioning unit, which are both available in outputs of 2.6kW, 3.5kW, 5.3kW and 7kW. The systems feature five operating modes, which can be adjusted to application and comfort requirements in order to offer greatly improved performance and efficiency.
Using 3D DC inverter technology, the Bosch Climate RAC air conditioning units offer 40% lower energy usage, compared to conventional systems. A compressor and fan speed electronic drive allow units to produce hot and cold air to meet the requirements of the property, while the brushless 3D DC inverter interior and exterior fan motors are both quieter and more energy efficient than traditional units.
The systems utilise R410A refrigerant, which is highly efficient, non-flammable, and can withstand high operating pressures. An in-built purifying filter also eliminates up to 95% of dust particles, smoke, and pollen, in order to provide cleaner air flow and maintain air quality.
In addition to these features, the premium range of air conditioning systems offer a swing function for better distribution of air, an intuitive display, and a fault diagnostics function. What’s more, these systems have low energy consumption in stand-by mode and can offer energy savings of up to 60% on normal operation during ECO mode.
Installation is simple for qualified refrigeration engineers, with a mounting template for the interior unit. Crucially, the units are extremely simple to operate too, with various integrated functions and the option to use remote controls.
Shaun Mansbridge, Business Development Director at Bosch Commercial and Industrial, comments: “We are really excited to launch a new range of Split air conditioning systems. Improving efficiency and reducing energy costs, while ensuring a comfortable environment for occupants is a key challenge for any building, and these new units offer an effortless solution. With the ability to supply both cool air and heat, the Bosch Climate RAC range is suitable for a whole host of applications. The innovative systems are also compact, quiet, and stylish, helping them to fit seamlessly into any building.”
Consider the features and typical applications for industrial controllers to understand what type of controller fits each application. Do you need a programmable logic controller (PLC), programmable automation controller (PAC), or industrial PC (IPC)? See comparison tables for PLCs, PACs, and IPCs.
Automation controller applications are widespread-as are the overlapping capabilities of programmable logic controllers (PLCs), programmable automation controllers (PACs), and industrial PCs (IPCs). Most of these controllers will work in discrete, process, and hybrid control applications to varying degrees, but what criteria should be used to choose the right controller for an application?
To help understand what controller fits each application best, there are merging features of automation controllers to identify. Examining typical applications can highlight similarities and differences among these controllers.
Understanding the Types of Control Systems
With the many controller choices, a basic understanding of the different types of controllers is important. Even within each controller system type, such as the PLC, there can be several families of controllers from low-end to high-end, with a wide range of functionality among families. The following are among controller types:
The PLC—the original relay replacer—is what started it all nearly 50 years ago. It’s suitable for controlling a wide variety of applications. Although available in many fixed input/output (I/O) formats with minimal expansion, (often called brick PLCs) the most common form factor is a rugged, modular, rack-based design that allows flexible configuration of the I/O based on the system requirements. The central processing unit (CPU) of a PLC is typically a purpose-designed controller with limited serial and Ethernet communications capabilities. The PLC commonly uses ladder logic programming, although other options are often available, and is a very competitively priced machine control option.
The PAC is the next-generation PLC. While these controllers are similar in form factor and design to the PLC, the PAC’s newer technologies, borrowed from innovations in consumer PCs and mobile device design innovations, have advanced their capabilities. PACs typically have expanded communications and data-logging capabilities compared to PLCs.
PACs also have a variety of programming options, typically centered around the International Electrical Commission (IEC) 61131-3programming standard, which extends control capability into high-end applications. But even with high-end programming available, the PAC’s roots are still in ladder logic.
The IPC is a PC built to operate reliably in an industrial environment. But with newer and smaller component designs and more compact operating systems, the IPC no longer looks like a desktop PC or even a panel-mount PC, two of the most common form factors.
The IPC is now being designed for DIN-rail or rack mounting, which expands the application space. Because an IPC is a PC at heart, its theoretical maximum processing power and communications and data storage capabilities are unmatched by PLCs or PACs.
Some early versions of the IPC received some strong criticism because they were not as rugged as they should have been and because their operating systems were very unstable, but today’s versions have improved.
Controller Feature Comparison
Many considerations go into selecting a control solution, and it begins with the application. It’s important to fully understand application needs as well as the desired results from the control system to adequately specify the required features.
Controller features can be wide-ranging, spanning from the very basic (like the total I/O required) to the more detailed specifications (like data handling capabilities). Consider the features listed in Table 1 when selecting a controller for each application.
Table 1: Typical features found in industrial controllers: PLC, PAC, IPCs
Keep in mind that these rankings are subjective, and results may vary.
Serial communications are well-established in industrial applications and have been, and will be, around for a while. Serial communications have the ability to effectively communicate with many standard devices via RS-232 and RS-485 digital data links, but Ethernet communication has taken a bite out of serial communications and will continue to do so in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and other web-based applications. In addition to being a good fit in the IIoT, Ethernet can communicate to standard devices with a typical 10/100 Mbps connection.
Standard protocol communications include the ability to talk to typical industrial devices using popular protocols such as Modbus remote terminal unit (RTU), Modbus transmission control protocol (TCP), EtherNet/IP, Profinet, etc. Custom protocol communications allow controllers to talk to nonstandard industrial devices using custom-written protocols that execute in the controller.
A suitable amount of memory needs to be available for the controller program and I/O and for storing application data files, tag names, descriptions, etc. Adequate CPU capabilities ensure the controller has the computing power necessary to accommodate the application at hand including fast scan times, logic, data and communication handling, and other functions.
Simple programming provides a straightforward environment for control of basic machines and systems, typically using one language such as ladder diagram. Enhanced programming provides a more flexible, but more complex, user interface with a variety of programming options including a ladder diagram, structured text, functional diagram, and instruction list.
Built-in data logging provides the ability to log data points from the system I/O directly into the PLC memory (see Fig. 2). Access to data for IIoT requires more advanced functionality for data manipulation, storage, and delivery such as database access, remote access, and email push notifications. Enhanced security for the data and application can be built-in with usernames and passwords, but it is often implemented in the next layer up from the controller, typically at the human-machine interface (HMI) level. The final feature listed, but sometimes the most important one, is the price based on the average system cost.
Industrial Controllers’ Applications
Based on the application requirements, certain control systems will function better than others, but this determination will often vary from individual to individual and for each job (see Table 2).
Table 2: Industrial controllers’ capabilities in typical applications
Again, all of these rankings are subjective, and individual results may vary for each application.
PLCs Replaced Relays
The best fit and most common use for a PLC is most likely in machine control applications. The PLC was originally designed for machines, and this certainly is its leading application today. Many machine control applications are a good fit for brick PLCs due to this design’s low cost, small form factor, and ease of use. The PLC’s low-cost hardware and programming software, along with simple programming methods, make it a common choice for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) machine builders.
It is important to note that PLC and PAC capabilities are converging. The gap in functionality is narrowing, which widens the range of suitable applications for each controller type. Many of the PAC capabilities discussed below can therefore be realized in a high-end PLC as well.
PACs’ Widened Control Applications
Specify any control application, and it is likely that the PAC would be a suitable controller. With simple data logging, the PAC allows access to the data within the controller to optimize the factory.
With large I/O counts, expanded memory, and enhanced data collection capabilities-the PAC is a fit for a very wide range of applications (see Figure 3). The capabilities setting the PAC apart from the PLC and placing it on an IPC level are coordinated motion and integrated vision capabilities.
The PAC often can handle multi-axis motion control and dual axes or higher levels of coordinated motion. Some can perform circular interpolation if needed and control eight or more axes of motion. The high-speed communication in the PAC also allows it to communicate well with today’s smart vision sensors to pass real-time data back and forth. This also enables the implementation of vision-guided motion functions within a PAC.
IPCs for Process Control Applications
IPCs are well-suited for process control applications with extensive proportional-integral-derivative (PID) and other algorithmic control requirements. These more complex projects often have very high analog I/O counts and usually need higher level math and advanced control PID functionality.
With expanded data collection capabilities and extensive communication options available, distributed data collection and control applications are a good fit for IPCs. In many plants, smaller skids systems are often distributed throughout the facility and have their own PLC-based control, with these PLCs communicating to a central IPC.
Hybrid Control Applications
While there is much overlap with PACs, IPCs are well-suited for batch and continuous process control and for automated machines working together to form a process where raw material enters, and a finished product exits. For these applications, one controller system connects with multiple expansion bases in multiple enclosures throughout the process. Multiple coordinated processors also may be used.
There are many considerations that go into choosing the best controller, and the selection process begins with the application. Many applications can be controlled by a PLC, a PAC, or an IPC—but one type of controller usually fits best. Taking the time to select the right type of controller for the application will result in the simplest, smallest, and least expensive control system.
Consumer units (CU) are replaced for various reasons. This includes replacement where the existing unit does not meet the requirements of BS 7671, for example, where there is no RCD protection. Or there may be no spare capacity in the existing consumer unit to connect additional circuits. Or, it may be that replacing the unit has been a recommendation following a periodic inspection or it could be that the existing consumer unit is in a poor condition.
This article will discuss some basic considerations when replacing a domestic consumer unit.
Considerations and potential pitfalls
From the outset, discussions with the client are needed to ensure that they are fully aware of what’s involved. Replacing a consumer unit can be a big job and if it is not planned competently it can leave the contractor with numerous problems.
Accurate information and checks at an early stage can prevent many problems from arising and they will also help with the design and installation of the new unit. As a minimum, the following should be considered:
- Isolation of supply – is there a switch disconnector on the supply side of the CU? If not, have arrangements been made with the Distribution Network Operator (DNO)?
- Have the different types of CU configuration been discussed with the client? They could be dual RCD, high integrity or RCBO set-up.
- Has discrimination between any sub-mains been considered?
- Has the existing installation been assessed to ensure the CU replacement can be carried out?
Many installers don’t fully appreciate how many regulations are associated with replacing a consumer unit. A common mistake is to carry out the work and believe that it is acceptable to note the existing defects on the Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC). Remember defects can only be recorded in the Comments on existing installation section if they do not result in a C1, C2 or FI classification code.
As well as complying with BS 7671, installers are reminded of the need to comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. This includes:
- Regulation 12 Means for cutting off the supply and for isolation
- Regulation 13 Precautions for work on equipment made dead
- Regulation 14 Work on or near live conductors.
Requirements of BS 7671
Replacing a consumer unit is classed as making an alteration and falls into the category of new work. This must be designed, erected and verified in accordance with BS 7671 as required by Regulation 110.1.2 (vi) and the safety of the existing installation must not be impaired as stated in Regulation 610.4.
Regulation 132.16 states the requirements of additions and alterations –this means existing equipment, including the distributor’s equipment – must be adequate for the alteration. The earthing and bonding must also be adequate for the installation.
The design will also need to consider Regulation 415.1 for additional protection by 30mA RCD and consideration of how to protect against unwanted tripping of the RCD(s) will be needed to comply with the requirements of Section 314, Division of Installation.
Account must also be taken of the manufacturer’s instructions as required by Regulations 134.1.1 and 510.3.
On completion, identification notices in accordance with Section 514 will need to be fitted and an EIC must be issued in accordance with the requirements of Sections 631 and 632, as stated in Regulation 631.1. Finally, the work must be notified (for England and Wales).
Industry best practice
After looking at all the requirements I’ve referred to, it shows just how easy it is to get something wrong. I will now set out what is considered to be industry best practice.
The customer should be encouraged to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) carried out before replacing the consumer unit. This will help the contractor to establish that the requirements of Regulation 132.16 have been met to allow the new consumer unit installation to take place. Suitability of the existing earthing and bonding arrangements will be confirmed, as well as the suitability of the DNO’s equipment and meter tails, including polarity of the incoming supply.
Any faults or defects will be highlighted at this stage – allowing for remedial work to be planned and carried out as part of the consumer unit replacement or prior to its replacement. More importantly, the contractor will not be stuck at the end of the day with faults to clear that were not built into the original contract.
The EICR test results will also be available to help with the design and selection of protective devices for the new consumer unit. Remember, care is needed with the selection of protective devices to ensure that maximum disconnection times are met and that the maximum fault current breaking capacity of the device is not exceeded. It’s too late if you install the devices without prior testing and then find out that they are not adequately rated.
For single-phase supplies up to 100A, a prospective fault current value of 16kA is often quoted by DNOs. This is the value at the point where the service cable is joined to the DNO network. Unless the installation is close to the distribution transformer, this value is likely to be significantly less than 16kA due to the length of the service cable.
Domestic consumer units are typically supplied with Type B circuit- breakers to BS EN 60898 and RCBOs to BS EN 61009 standards – usually with a 6kA rating.
Regulation 434.1 requires that the prospective fault current must be determined at every relevant point of the installation. You should be aware that a relevant point is every point in the installation where switchgear is installed.
Refcom’s refrigerant-tracking software is now accessible via a mobile app, ensuring F-gas compliance on the go.
The F-gas software, originally launched earlier this year, offers tracking of individual refrigerant bottles, automated logbook record keeping, detailed data analysis; service records and certificates storage, with the recent addition of waste transfer note generation.
“We developed the software in partnership with Joblogic to help reduce the administrative burden of regulatory compliance, improving efficiency for contractors and allowing them more time to focus on growing their business,” said head of Refcom Graeme Fox. “The introduction of the mobile app helps to simplify the process even further, allowing reporting to happen on the go.”
The Refcom mobile module provides engineers the ability to make additions, removals and create waste transfer sheets for refrigerant gases when operating in the field, ensuring the correct gas and weights are used at all times. A check-in/out system tracks the whereabouts of cylinders and the system warns when cylinder rental periods are coming to an end to avoid unnecessary rental charges.
Refcom, which is managed by the Building Engineering Services Association, is the UK’s largest F gas register.
Micro800 Micro Programmable Logic Controller is designed for smart micro applications, which require up to 304 I/O points, 280 KB of memory and 20,000 program instructions. Unit comes with 250 KB memory, USB programming port, a non-isolated serial port and an Ethernet ports. The Micro800 is embedded with Workbench software version 11 used for programming the design. This PLC provides designers with up to three plug-ins and eight expansion I/O modules.
Allen-Bradley Micro870 PLC, new flagship of Micro800 family, can be used in place of multiple micro PLCs
Machine designers can use a new micro programmable logic controller (PLC) to help optimize the control architecture in large standalone machines or systems. The new Allen-Bradley Micro870 PLC can support smart micro applications that require up to 304 I/O points, 280 KB of memory and 20,000 program instructions.
“Designers today use several PLC sizes for their automation projects” said Yeow Keng Teh, product manager, micro controllers, Rockwell Automation. “This approach requires inventory management of the different PLC sizes and maintenance of different programs. Now designers can use the Micro870 PLC to scale their controller to their application needs. This helps simplify inventory management, especially for those designing multiple machine types.”
The Micro870 PLC uses a flexible design concept that provides designers up to three plug-ins and eight expansion I/O modules. This capability allows them to easily customize or expand the controller to meet each machine type’s unique requirements.
The controller’s 280 KB memory capacity supports modular programming and the use of user-defined function blocks to help reduce design time. Additionally, machine builders can use this memory capacity to maintain a single program for all machine models that use the Micro870 PLC.
The controller communicates via EtherNet/IP and includes multiple embedded communications options, including a USB programming port, a non-isolated serial port and an Ethernet port. It can also support up to two axes of motion.
The new Connected Components Workbench software version 11 provides a single design environment for programming the Micro870 PLC. The software can also be used to configure Allen-Bradley PanelView 800 graphic terminals, PowerFlex AC drives, Kinetix component servo drives, electronic overload relays, light curtains and configurable safety relays. This feature can save engineers time and costs compared with using another programming tool for each device in a system.
A new conversion tool in version 11 makes it easier for MicroLogix customers to upgrade to the Micro800 controller family. In addition, version 11 allows Encompass members of the PartnerNetwork program to help ease configuration of complementary third-party products via graphical configuration profiles. These profiles support the Micro800 plug-ins as well as expansion I/O to help make the configuration process faster and more accurate.