ABB said its new ruggedized PLC system provides an easy-to-implement solution for controlling equipment operating in harsh conditions and extreme climates.

The AC500-XC PLC is protected against a wide variety of threats including high and low temperatures, high humidity, low air pressure, salt mist and hazardous gases, and vibration and shock—thus typically reducing facility building costs by eliminating the need for sophisticated protective enclosures with special seals, HVAC, shock absorbers, EMC protection, etc. The AC500-XC PLC is a ruggedized variant of ABB’s well-known modular AC500 PLC. Almost all of the modules in the extensive AC500 range are available in XC (eXtreme Conditions) variants, providing users with a modular control platform offering wide flexibility and scalability. AC500-XC PLCs also run exactly the same program code as the AC500, allowing users to migrate to more robust solutions easily, and simplifying development for large systems that require control systems for both standard and extreme conditions. Extended temperature operation allows the PLCs to operate in conditions from -30° to 70°C, with reliable system start-ups in temperatures as low as -40°C. Circuit boards are conformally coated to protect against high humidity levels. The PLC has extended immunity against salt mist and atmospheres with corrosive gases, and is capable of operating at altitudes up to 4,000 m. It also offers extended EMC protection against voltage surges and fast transients, as well as electrostatic discharge.