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Low-cost brick PLC

Harkening back to its roots as “PLCDirect,” AutomationDirect has released the Click PLC, the first in a new generation of micro brick PLC components. 
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Pricing starts at $69 and the unit has stackable I/O modules and free programming software. It features eight inputs and six outputs, available in four combinations of built-in I/O types. For expansion, eleven option modules, starting at $33, are available for flexible system configuration, up to 142 I/O. All Click CPUs support 8K steps of Flash EEPROM program memory and 8K words of data memory. Two 24 VDC power supply options, with either .5A or 1.3A outputs, can be used to power the PLC.

The Click PLC system’s space-saving design requires no mounting base; up to eight modules can be attached to the CPU module via an integrated expansion port on the sides of the modules and secured by locking tabs on the top and bottom of all modules. The units also feature two built-in RS-232 RJ12 communications ports. One port supports Modbus RTU protocol only and can be used as the programming port. This port can also connect the CPU to a Modbus RTU network as a slave device. The second port is a general purpose port with user configurable communications parameters and supports either Modbus RTU or ASCII protocols. Both communications ports supply 5 VDC, allowing connection of the C-more Micro HMI panel without an additional power supply. LED indicators located at each port indicate when the port is transmitting or receiving. The programming software is downloadable for free at www.automationdirect.com. The 21 practical instructions, a combination of Relay ladder logic and Function blocks, are supported by a programming environment said to have easy navigation and a familiar look and feel. In addition, an online help file provides information to help users get acquainted with the software quickly.

As part of the Click line of products, pre-wired I/O cables are also available. Available in pre-wired and ready-to-wire configurations, the cables help eliminate the labor-intensive process of wiring PLC I/O to terminal blocks. Prices for the cables start at $16.50.

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