The internet of things (IoT) and digitalization of industry has placed a considerable increase on the requirements of automation. The automation industry will ultimately have to adapt accordingly to deal with this fast-changing environment. Classic system structures are developing into cyber-physical systems. Future-oriented automation solutions therefore have to be flexible, open, and networked. PLCnext Technology offers a platform that opens up completely new levels of freedom.
Ultimately, there is a conflict of objectives in the selection process for a specific controller: is it vital to use a functional state-of-the-art solution at a reasonable price? Or is the focus on developing the long-term availability of the device and lasting compatibility between the individual components? In many cases, the choice of controller also results in a significant lock-in effect. Consequently, the user is closely bound to the provider’s product. Due to the dependency on certain technologies that is created in this way, and the high costs of switching, it is difficult to change to another controller and/or manufacturer. With this in mind, a high level of flexibility is extremely important, as it leaves room for maneuver in the future.
PLCnext – an open control platform
In order to respond flexibly to the dynamically changing challenges of automation, Phoenix Contact has developed the basis for a new, open control platform in the form of PLCnext Technology. It enables users to implement requirements and tasks that they have not even contemplated at this point. New functions and technologies, as well as open source software, can be easily integrated without reaching the usual limits associated with proprietary systems. In order to ideally equip users for the digital future.
Phoenix Contact also offers the PLCnext Engineer modular software tool to complement the control platform. This software tool, which can be extended with additional add-in functions, performs all the tasks of automation engineering. Furthermore, systemic cloud integration with PLCnext Technology enables users to access the necessary data from any location in the world.
The PLCnext store
PLCnext offers a platform that opens up a completely new level of freedom. This new solution converts a traditional PLC into an open control platform that can be programmed in IEC 61131, high-level language or model-based code, like C++, Simulink or Metlab. In addition, the PLCnext Store that Phoenix Contact has now launched on the market is a software store where users can load apps onto the control platform during the code creation process.
PROFICLOUD, which is a professional cloud solution, rounds out the automation ecosystem. Thanks to the openness of the complete solution, Phoenix Contact offers numerous options for linking the traditional automation world with the IT world and generating new business models based on software and data.
Should you want more information on this product, please contact Rudi Erasmus – firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 83 233 1644