05/12/19 Include mobile internet connection into your project with the new Axon LTE controllers. Axon M265 and M565 are now in stock.
Fixed network connection may not be always enough
In modern industrial automation programmable logic controllers are usually utilized not only for control of various technologies, but also to read operating data or quantities and forward this data for further analysis in supervision centres.
However, what happens if the network fails and the connection between the supervision and the controller is interrupted? Any issues encountered during the connection downtime may not be detected in time, creating a risk of substantial financial losses due to production stoppages or component damage. To prevent such an outcome, a backup connection is desirable.
Furthermore, a fixed connection is not always possible, especially if your project includes remote management and/or monitoring of technology located in a remote or inaccessible location without any fixed internet access point, or if it is not possible to use the already existing connectivity for some reason.
Axon LTE is the solution
Both of the aforementioned problems can be now easily solved with the new Unipi Axon M265 and M565 controllers. These models offer compact size, high I/O density and wide connectivity, but their major advantage is an LTE interface. Aside from control, regulation and monitoring tasks, the LTE interface allows the controllers to simultaneously act as communication gateways for sending operating data, notifications or SMS messages through the LTE wireless network.
Unipi Axon M265
The M265 comes with the universal architecture offering a high number of digital inputs and relay outputs. This combination is suitable for reading data from various digital devices or sensors and its further use for switching two-state devices with a higher current draw (lightbulbs, water heaters, larger external relays etc.). Four digital outputs can be used to control two-state devices such as locks or lights and also feature the Power-Width Modulation function (PWM) for analog control. A pair of RS485 serial interfaces then allow you to connect other devices such as Unipi Extension modules, HMI panels, energy meters etc.)
|Unipi Axon M265 LTE|
- LTE module (antenna in the package)
Unipi Axon M565
Aside from a set of digital I/Os and relay outputs, the M565 LTE features 5 analog inputs (AI) and 5 analog outputs (AO). AI are suitable for reading data from voltage, current or resistance sensors (resistance thermometers, tensometers, pressure meters etc.), while AO are useful for incremental regulation of three-way valves, frequency inverters and other similar devices through direct voltage or current. Four digital outputs can be used to control two-state devices such as locks or lights and also feature the Power-Width Modulation function (PWM) for analog control. A pair of RS485 serial interfaces then allow you to connect other devices such as Unipi Extension modules, HMI panels, elektroměry apod).
|Unipi Axon M565 LTE|
- LTE module (antenna in the package)
All Axon controllers, including the M265 and the M565, are powered by Allwinner H5 quad-core 1.2GHz CPU, which, along with 1GB RAM, give them plenty of computing power for even the most demanding tasks. Standard features common to all Axons feature 8GB eMMC onboard memory, 1Gbit Ethernet, a pair of USB 2.0 ports and a durable aluminium chassis (IP20). Controllers are designed for easy installation onto a standard DIN rail. The LTE models also include an external antenna in their package.
M265 and M565 are delivered with the Mervis software as a pre-installed solution. Mervis is an officially supported SW platform for programming of Unipi PLCs. The Mervis IDE development interface then includes an option to configure LTE interface directly through PLC features settings - this functionality is available since 2.2.0 release.
The following parameters can be set
- enable/disable the LTE interface
- SIM card PIN code (required only if the SIM is PIN-protected)
- phone number paired to the SIM (not mandatory)
APN, eg. name of the LTE access point
LTE controllers can be also configured for sending SMS messages. For this purpose, the SendSmsTrig function block is available in Mervis IDE. A step-by-step tutorial for its setup can be found on Unipi Knowledge Base.
Setup guides and detailed info about using and configuring the LTE interface are available on Unipi Knowledge Base:
- Step-by-step guide for LTE interface configuration in Mervis IDE
- Mervis IDE tutorial for setting up SMS messaging through the LTE network
- Guide for LTE configuration outside of Mervis IDE
Practical use of Axon LTE controllers
Did M265 and M565 PLCs spark your interest? Would you like to know more about their possible uses? Check out the corresponding case study available on this link.