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 DataLine and are primarily designed as a powerful automation system. Compared with the SmartPLC AS-Interface gateways, the SmartPLC DataLine has an additional Ethernet interface so that it 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 DataLine is programmed via the CODESYS V3.5 software.
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 DataLine range includes the device/slave interfaces PROFINET, EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT. With the SmartPLC DataLine, 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 DataLine is a 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.