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The new FX3U series is the third generation of Mitsubishi Electric's successful compact PLC family. Developed for the international market, the new controllers feature a special second "adapter bus" system, which complements the existing system bus used for expansion, special function and network modules. Up to ten additional modules can be connected to this new adapter bus. The FX3U controllers also impress with their speed (0.065µs per logical instruction), a significantly larger instruction set with a total of 209 instructions and improved functions and modules, particularly for positioning tasks. Other improvements include enhanced communications capabilities with Ethernet, USB and RS-422 mini DIN connectors. The enhanced networking support has also increased the I/O capacity of the new flagship model, which can now be expanded to a maximum of 384 I/O’s, including networked connections.
Programmable logic controllers or PLC’s have been around forever (in technological terms). Their proven reliability in harsh environments together with their ability to handle multiple inputs and outputs has made them the cornerstone in the majority of modern day industrial control systems. PLC systems can be combined with most other technologies to provide a sophisticated control and monitoring solution. It is reassuring to know that the PLC is one less thing you’ll have to worry about. The most common architecture we prefer is a PLC to do the real-time control and monitoring with a HMI terminal as the operator interface. PLC’s are at the heart of all good automation.