The devices with the designation "SmartPLC" are the ifm AS-i master family of the third generation. The devices described here are also called SmartPLC SafeLine and are primarily designed as a powerful fail-safe automation system up to SIL3, PL e. Compared with the SmartPLC DataLine, the SmartPLC SafeLine provides an additional fail-safe PLC and fail-safe local inputs and outputs. Fail-safe data exchange via Ethernet between several SafeLine devices and a fail-safe I/O extension via EtherCAT complete the functions of the fail-safe PLC. Like the SmartPLC DataLine, the SmartPLC SafeLine provides an additional Ethernet interface and is ideally suited for applications in the context of Industry 4.0. Furthermore, the user is provided with the communication protocols EtherNet/IP scanner, EtherCAT master and OPC-UA server. The SmartPLC SafeLine is completely programmed via the CODESYS V3.5 software. Moreover, the SmartPLC SafeLine provides sophisticated diagnostics at an unbeatable price/performance ratio.
The use as gateway between up to two AS-Interface networks and the most common fieldbuses is also possible in parallel to the PLC functionality. The SafeLine range includes the device/slave interfaces PROFINET, PROFIBUS, EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT. With the SmartPLC SafeLine, all advantages of the AS-Interface wiring system can also be used with the previously mentioned fieldbuses. To the programmer of the higher-level PLC, the SmartPLC SafeLine is a normal, decentralised input/output module.
Thanks to the colour display, the status of all AS-i slaves can be checked locally at a glance. Sensor/actuator data can also be visualised via the integrated web server. The quick set-up menu and intuitive handling facilitate configuration, set-up and diagnostics. In addition, the web interface allows full remote access.