ABB combines robot controller and PLC to support enhanced automation possibilities

Top Quote The newly integrated PLC and robot controller offers cost saving, ease of use and powerful performance for robotic production cells. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) August 27, 2010 - ABB has introduced an integrated PLC and robot controller for robot cell applications, offering powerful performance in a single unit. Combining ABB's flexible AC500 PLC with its IRC5 robot controller, the newly integrated unit eliminates the cost and space of a separate PLC cabinet and greatly reduces the time associated with the set up and operation of robotic production cells.

    With up to three local I/O boards plus bus communications for remote I/Os, the integrated controller provides users with a single point of control for a range of production cell functions, including peripheral production equipment such as grippers, feeders and ancillary machines. All of the main communications standards, including DeviceNet, PROFIBUS DP, CANopen and Modbus TCP are supported, as well as wireless communications, making the integrated controller suitable for virtually any factory site.

    The well proven AC500 PLC is easily expandable to meet changing requirements.

    To help simplify programming and operation, a software framework is included which removes the need to set-up a communication infrastructure between the robot controller and PLC. The framework includes user friendly interactive displays on the robot controller HMI - the FlexPendant. This all means the integrator can start on a higher level and concentrate on the specifics of the installation.

    Since its launch in 2006 the AC500 PLC has proven popular with OEMs and plant operators looking for a system that can be easily expanded to meet changing requirements. A key benefit of the PLC is its flexibility. Using the Control Builder software, programmers are empowered by a complete, unified development environment including all six IEC61131-3 programming languages and tools for configuration, debugging and visualization.

    Available from summer 2010, the IRC5 controller with the integrated AC500 PLC offers a one-stop solution for truly expandable and scalable programming based on a user-friendly, high performance and low-cost automation platform.

    About ABB
    ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 175,000 people.

    About ABB Robotics
    ABB Robotics ( is a leading supplier of industrial robots - also providing robot software, peripheral equipment, modular manufacturing cells and service for tasks such as welding, handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletizing and machine tending. Key markets include automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. A strong customer focus helps manufacturers improve productivity, product quality and worker safety. ABB has installed more than 175,000 robots worldwide.

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