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Powerful Industrial Controller Opens Links Between Automation Equipment And Information Systems

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Claimed to be the first such product available in the industrial marketplace, the Open Network Controller is designed to integrate all types of industrial automation networks into ERP/MES and SCADA systems and to enable web monitoring of control information and at the same time act as the manufacturing facility's primary process controller. Combining the firm's FINS Gateway middleware and a real-time QNX OS, the new controller can serve as a communications gateway to information systems for an entire plant floor. It enables connections between various devices in DeviceNet, serial or Ethernet industrial automation networks to be made without programming, regardless of the communications network being used. In addition, Open Network Controller's web server function provides for interactive monitoring, setting and maintenance of plant activities via a web browser. And, of course, the unit can be used as an industrial controller by installing the firm's SYSMAC board PLCs into its half-slot ISA bus, or by using a third-party Soft-Logic Controller, or by writing C or C++ apps to run on the QNX platform. The Open Network Controller has an open ISA slot for communication cards, is available with or without DeviceNet and spare ISA slot. Network support is also planned for ControlNet and Profibus. The base unit costs $2,300.

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