“THE 505 Series PLC is not dead. It is very much alive. In fact, it is growing bigger and better than before.”
This was the main thrust of a message delivered to process and control engineers by Robert Peck, senior vice president of Control Technology Inc, when he spoke at the CTI 505 Seminar series, held in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane last month.
Reinforcing this sentiment was Pascal Papaziani, general manager of NAPA International, CTI’s international distributor outside North America and Mexico. Papaziani’s presence at the demonstration seminars further underscored CTI’s commitment to developing the 505 Series PLCs.
CTI used the occasion to officially launch in Australia its 2500 Series CPUs [for details see “Official Australian Launch” - page 31].
Siemens, the original developer of the 505, has committed itself to developing the S7 as its strategic PLC product for the future. Consequently, it plans to stop producing the 505 in February next year.
“The 505 is a highly reliable system that meets user needs for advanced process control,” said Peck. “CTI has responded to users’ concerns about their substantial investments in process development, training, software and hardware on the 505. We’ve picked up where Siemens leaves off, ensuring that the product will be supported and available for years to come.”
This has necessitated CTI developing a new generation of solutions beyond its conventional niche I/O products. The raft includes mainstream analogue and digital I/O modules, racks, power supplies and RBCs.
“Finally, we also needed a CPU,” said Peck.
This year marks the culmination of CTI’s development effort, with the company expected to launch the remaining products required to provide a complete 505 solution. Items include 4-slot racks, RS-485 RBCs, a counter-encoder module and a series of four CPUs. These feature at least twice the execution speed compared to existing CPUs, 25-60 percent more user memory, built-in Ethernet and USB, and built-in SD flash card for storage of programs and documentation.
Peck outlined plans to develop future generations of products based on the 505.
“We intend to extend 505 technology to systems geared more towards unit and machine control, applications where the 505 is not cost-effective today,” said Peck. “These systems will still be compatible with 505 programs and programming tools.”
The seminars were organised by Niatek , the Australian supplier of CTI 505 PLC products and communications hardware and FasTrak PLC software, and the distributor of Control Technologies products.
* An in-depth interview with Robert Peck will feature in a forthcoming issue of PACE.