SoftLogix is a control system solution developed by Rockwell Automation, part of their Allen-Bradley line. Unlike traditional hardware-based programmable logic controllers (PLCs), SoftLogix is a software-based control system that runs on a standard PC platform. This system embodies the concept of a “soft PLC” and is designed to provide the functionality of a PLC through software running on a computer. Here’s an overview of SoftLogix control systems:
Key Features of SoftLogix:
- Software-Based: The core of SoftLogix is its software nature, which allows it to operate on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware, including industrial PCs.
- Flexibility and Scalability: Being software-based, SoftLogix offers flexibility and scalability in system design. It can be easily adapted and scaled according to the changing requirements of a control system.
- Integration with Rockwell Automation Products: SoftLogix seamlessly integrates with other Rockwell Automation software and hardware products, including RSLogix 5000 programming software and FactoryTalk View for HMI solutions.
- Multi-Tasking: The system supports multi-tasking and can run multiple control programs simultaneously, each with its own set of tasks.
- Network Connectivity: SoftLogix supports various communication protocols, including EtherNet/IP, ControlNet, and DeviceNet, allowing for integration with a wide range of networked devices.
- Process Control: SoftLogix is suitable for process control applications where flexibility and data processing capabilities of a PC can be leveraged.
- Testing and Simulation: It can be used for developing, testing, and simulating PLC programs before they are deployed on physical PLC hardware.
- Small to Medium Systems: Ideal for small to medium automation systems where the scale and complexity do not justify a full-scale hardware PLC.
- Specialized Applications: Used in specialized applications where the integration of control with complex computing tasks is necessary.
- Hardware Requirements: Runs on specified PC hardware configurations. It’s crucial to ensure the PC meets the necessary specifications for reliable operation.
- Software Environment: Requires a compatible operating system and may need specific configurations for optimal performance.
- Licensing: SoftLogix is a licensed product, and users must adhere to Rockwell Automation’s licensing terms and conditions.
- Support and Updates: As with any software-based system, keeping the software updated and having support plans is important for addressing any potential issues.
SoftLogix represents a modern approach to industrial control, combining the power and flexibility of PC-based systems with the robustness and reliability of traditional PLCs. Its software-based nature allows for versatile applications in various industrial environments, particularly where the integration of control and complex data processing is beneficial. However, the choice between SoftLogix and traditional hardware PLCs depends on specific project requirements, including performance, cost, and environmental factors.