If you are looking for an excellent low cost controller, you should know about the Automation Direct PLC line and other products. They are not sold through distributors and are inexpensive, as well as easy to use.
First, a bit of their history…
In March of 1999, PLC Direct changed its name to Automation Direct and launched their ecommerce website. Known for being the first industrial automation entity to use direct marketing, their catalog has now grown to include over 2,000 pages of merchandise. Because of their experience with utilizing direct-marketing strategies, Automation Direct PLCs provide advanced process control technology at an unusually low cost.
Included in the high-technology equipment provided by automationdirect.com are their extremely economical Programmable Logic Controllers, or PLCs. The variety of accessible PLCs combined with the reduced cost, the same day shipping and a 30-day money back guarantee make Automation Direct an option worth considering.
Automation Direct PLC include the DirectLOGIC (DL)line that can range from micro-sized, fixed input-output units to modular systems that have thousands of I/Os.
DL05Micro Brick: The DL05 PLC, designed to fit more applications than any other PLC family in its class, is the smallest of the selection. This PLC comes standard and can expand to accommodate the changing needs of machine and process control applications.
DL05 Features: 8 built-in inputs, 6 built-in outputs, expandable to 30 total I/O, eight different combinations of power units with relay, AC and DC I/O, 6 KB data and program memory, support for MODBUS RTU master slave, DeviceNET slave, Ethernet networking, and Profibus slave, two communication ports, removable block connectors, 129 instructions, Automation Direct PLCs compatible with the ZIPLink wiring connection system with 16 point discrete version.
DL06 Micro/Modular: The DL06 comes standard and is the first micro PLC that combines fixed input-output of 20 inputs and 16 outputs.
Features: In addition to the I/O, features of the DL06 incorporate 14.8 K of memory, 229 instructions, 2 communication ports includes RS 485,422,232 capabilities, supports networking for ASCII in/out, a device NET slave, MODBUS RTU master and slave and an Ethernet module, built-in real time calendar and clock, elective LCD display for operation interface or troubleshooting maintenance, and 4 option slots accept high-speed counting, analog I/O, discrete, pulse output, and communications module.
DL105 Brick PLC: The DL105, a micro PLC with fixed I/O comes with 10 inputs, 8 outputs, and 8 configurations available in relay, AC, and DC I/O plus, AC/DC power supplies.
Features: Addition features include a two K programmable memory, 384 word data memory, 110/220 VAC or twenty-four VDC power versions, fixed twenty-four VDC auxiliary power supply for field versions, DeviceNET slave I/O blocks, one RS-232C communications port, and 91 instruction programming including timed interrupt, immediate I/O, event or time-based drum sequencer etc.
DL205 Modular PLC: The DL 205 is the lowest priced, most versatile solution and is designed for applications requiring flexible modular control systems.
Features: Comprised features are four standard sizes that include fixed power supplies, local expansion I/O bases in all sizes, a Choice from six CPUs with 2.4 K memory to 30.4 K memory with 24 to a possible 16,384 I/O total, AC/DC discrete inputs/outputs, up to 32 points, 10 amp relay out, 12 and 16-bit analog I/Os, temperature outputs, and up to 16 PID loops with auto-tone, serial and Ethernet data communications, counter input/pulse output, and remote in/out master/slave, serial-based and Ethernet.
DL305 Legacy PLC: The DL305, with its small design, has been offered by a number of manufacturers throughout the last 24 years. Customers can choose from three standard CPUs or a specialty CPU.
Features: The DL305 series has a plethora of features including five, eight, and 10 slot bases, 8 and 10 bit analog I/O, 110/220 VAC power supplies, twenty-four VDC power supplies, and outputs using AC, DC, or relay. The specialty modules consist of BASIC/ASCII module, high-speed counter, and communications interface.
DL405 Specialty PLC: The DL405 family of PLCs offers the largest selection of I/O modules and configurations. Customers can build control systems with distributed and local In/Out of up to 3500 points.
Features: The features in this Automation Direct PLC series consist of three CPUs ranging from 6.5K memory to 30.8K memory with 1152 I/O to 3584 I/O and fixed power supply, AC/DC I/O, to 64 points and 10 amp relay outputs, three basic sizes, 12 and 16 bit analog I/O, RTO and Thermocouple inputs, serial and Ethernet module data communications, high-speed counter input with pulse output,3 kinds of inputs and outputs including module-based, rack-based and the terminator field input/output Serial, Ethernet, and Slice remote I/O modules.
CLICK Micro Brick PLCs
The CLICK series of PLCs are actually stand-alone CPUs that can compete on ease of use, price, and size. This particular family of PLCs offers a compact, expandable design with hardware meant for micro projects, including programmable relays, and all the features expected of a practical PLC.
Basic CPU Modules: The four basic CPU modules in the Automation Direct PLC CLICK series come standard with eight discrete inputs, six discrete outputs, and two RS-232 communication ports.
Standard CPU Modules: The three standard CPU modules in the CLICK series come customary with eight discrete inputs, six discrete outputs, two built-in RS232 communication ports, a built-in RS485 communication port, and real-time clock, calendar and battery backup features.
PLC Analog CPU Modules: The three PLC analog modules come with four discrete inputs, four discrete outputs (DC I/O, DC input/relay output), two analog I/O channels, two built-in RS232 communication ports, a built-in RS485 communication port, and the real-time clock/calendar/battery backup features.
Built-in I/O Points: With up to 14 I/O points, CLICK CPUs are ready out of the box for your PLC control system without any additional I/O modules.
I/O Modules: Up to 8 I/O modules can connect to a CLICK CPU to increase the system I/O count to meet the needs of your particular application.
CLICK CPUs: All the CPUs in CLICK series have identical performance, use the same instruction set, and can make use of the additional I/O modules listed above.
Implications of Using Automation Direct PLC Products
Automation Direct I feel still has a reputation for providing bargain PLCs and related hardware. Due to that reputation, the consequences are not being selected for significant projects that require very high reliability. However, their offerings are very good (especially so if you consider the cost!) and worth a look if your project is not high profile and so sensitive to name brand recognition.
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