b maXX PLC – The flexible platform for controlling and networking complex applications
The drive and automation specialist Baumüller will be presenting its new b maXX PLC control platform at the Hannover Messe Digital Edition from April 12 thru 16, 2021. The b maXX PLC combines the properties of industrial PCs and PLC control units, thereby covering the area between these existing solutions optimally.
b maXX PLC is available in two versions: The b maXX PLC mc controls motion-control applications and, used in combination with the extensive Baumüller technology libraries, it enables fast implementation of high-performance automation tasks. With the b maXX PLC IoT Industry 4.0 version, data can be collected directly at the machine, preprocessed, and output to other terminal devices or the cloud. They make extensive and complex data analyses possible, in order to enable Industry 4.0 applications, such as predictive maintenance. At the same time, new business models such as “pay per x” can be implemented. Both versions are available with the same type of construction and have an IEC-61131-3 environment for achieving sophisticated control tasks in “hard” real-time.
Compact control unit with high power reserves
The system has a convincingly handy size of 110 x 90 x 35 mm and is therefore significantly more compact than the previous control solution. The b maXX PLC mc is based on an Intel x86 CPU system, can be used universally for virtually any automation task and can be mounted flexibly. The new Baumüller b maXX PLC mc impresses users, as it only requires minimal space in the control cabinet and is suitable for top-hat rail assembly. The b maXX PLC mc is also characterized by very good performance with highly synchronous real-time tasks. This allows complex applications with the highest performance requirements to be achieved.
In addition to the actual control tasks, the combination of PLC and PC allows the possibilities of the Windows operating system to be used. By using multi-core processors from the Intel Atom series and partitioning into a real-time operating system and a Windows operating system, both of which operate independently of each other, applications can be implemented that previously required at least two systems. Machine visualization is a typical example. This saves space in the control cabinet and reduces complexity and costs in the after-sales area – for example, with spare parts inventories.
b maXX PLC mc also offers great user-friendliness with its tool-free, externally replaceable battery for the real-time clock, for example. Likewise, a very fast non-volatile RAM memory – NVRAM – also enables safe data storage, even in case of power failure.
The b maXX PLC IoT extends Baumüller's b maXX PLC mc control unit to include extensive IoT functionalities. It's the ideal solution for networking and controlling machines and machine modules right down to individual automation components. With the b maXX PLC IoT, data can be collected directly at the machine, preprocessed, and output to other terminal devices or the cloud. They make extensive and complex data analyses possible, in order to enable Industry 4.0 applications, such as predictive maintenance. At the same time, new business models such as “pay per x” can be implemented.
The Node-RED software is also implemented on the b maXX PLC IoT. This allows users to set individual parameters to analyze data or even create their own dashboards. The available MQTT module allows data to be sent to different clouds, regardless of the respective cloud provider. It also includes an OPC-UA module, which ensures interoperability at machine level.
Data from different manufacturers’ devices can be processed. Data from Baumüller products, e.g. a b maXX converter, can be output parallel to the field bus through the internal protocol and thus through the service interface. Due to the enhanced functions, the connectivity of Baumüller devices, such as b maXX PLC IoT, with other automation components can be established via OPC UA.