New PACs Offers Unique Dual Controller Architecture

Nov. 5, 2009
The Industrial Automation Group of Advantech is proud to introduce their new PAC product line, the APAX-5000 series.

This new generation of PACs integrates control, information processing, and networking in a single control system with a unique dual controller architecture that makes it superior to other PAC's in the market. Advantech's APAX-5000 series fulfill versatility, flexibility, and scalability needs to fully satisfy industrial automation industry applications. The APAX-5000 series consist of controllers, I/O modules, backplanes, and power modules, all with excellent functionality and user-friendly I/O design.

A Unique Architecture - Dual Controllers Separate HMI and SoftLogic Tasks
Critical applications need reliable and non-stop systems; it is not acceptable that the I/O processing is terminated for any reason. To reduce these operational risks, Advantech's APAX-5000 features a unique architecture, two standalone CPU modules working together responsible for different tasks. One provides high computing power for HMI/SCADA, recipe, database and communication tasks (APAX-5570XPE or APAX-5571XPE) while the other is dedicated for SoftLogic I/O tasks (APAX-5520KW).

This means if the HMI/SCADA controller crashes, the I/O processing won't be affected and will work as normal. Engineers can simply check the HMI/SCADA controller and maintain it without having to worry about the I/O processing tasks. Separating HMI/SCADA and I/O processing tasks can prevent unexpected stoppage, decreases operational risks, and ensures higher reliability for critical control tasks.

Backup System Enhances System Reliability
Aside from the dual controller architecture, the APAX-5000 controllers also support backup functions. The same I/O processing program can be stored on two controllers, one will execute the I/O processing and if that controller fails, the second controller will automatically take responsibility for I/O processing within 1.5 seconds. Users don't need to write programs for this mechanism and the backup system enables reliability for critical applications.

Flexible Topology for I/O Expansion
The APAX-5000 I/O modules are well equipped to be either local I/O or remote I/O through their Ethernet bus backplane. The APAX-5000 offers one and two slot backplanes, (APAX-5001 and APAX-5002). Each APAX-5002 backplane offers one expansion port. Using a standard Ethernet cable to connect the expansion port on the two backplanes, a remote expansion with local-bus speed is built with a distance up to 100 m.

In addition, any standard Ethernet switch can be used between the two backplanes. The implementation of Ethernet switches not only enhances the flexibility of I/O expansion, it also increases the expansion distance. For example, if there are three Ethernet switches between two I/O stations, the expansion distance can be at least 400 m. (When fiber optic ports are available on the Ethernet switch, the distance can be much longer.)

Therefore, users can build line, tree or star topologies for I/O expansion - all with fast local-bus speed. Users can depend on what architectures they need and make up their own local and remote I/O through the flexible APAX-5000 I/O modules.

Changeable CPU Modules
The APAX series offers complete scalability functions that the system can easily upgrade by changing controller with difference processor (higher performance). This means users don't need to re-write any program if they want to upgrade the system. Changing CPU modules with different processors with the same I/O modules can meet different requirements of control tasks, such as APAX-5570, APAX-5571 and APAX-5520. Users can save the investment for I/O because they can leverage the same I/O modules.

User-friendly I/O Design
The APAX-5000 I/O modules are designed to be hot swapped when the system is powered-on and running. Engineers can easily change modules without shutting down the whole system. This saves system management and troubleshooting costs.

All the APAX-5000 I/O modules adopt clamp type terminal blocks which have higher resistance to shock vibration without wire damage or measurable contact interruption and save wiring maintenance costs.

The APAX-5000 series is excellent choice for any batch process production environment such as: food & beverage, pharmacy, machinery control (compressors, chillers and control applications), and critical environment management systems such as pressurization and vacuum applications. For more information or to purchase, please contact Advantech directly or your regional Advantech authorized dealer.

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