April 24, 2020

REGUL Controllers for Local Automation

In 2015 GP Systems GmbH presented innovative developments in industrial automation field – programmable logic controllers REGUL, series R600 and R500. In 2016 the company extended its product line with two more controllers: R400 and R200.

REGUL R400: Operational Control and Visualization

REGUL R400 controller is a combination of the human-machine interface and a CPU module with a power supply module. This controller is used to create local and distributed automation systems with a requirement for a local HMI.

In the first version of the REGUL R400 controller is used an Intel Atom processor with 1.46 GHz speed, 2 GB RAM, 4 GB SSD. It is possible to connect other devices over the additional interfaces: RS-485, 2 USB-host ports, 2 Ethernet ports, 2 Regul bus ports for connection of I/O modules.

An external monitor or a KVM-extender could be connected to the DVI port of the controller, to provide a remote desktop. And this screen will display the same image as the controller itself.

Image 1. Front panel of Regul R400

The R400 controller has metallic housing and is mounted on a front panel of the device rack or in a door of the automation cabinet. The front panel is protected from dust and water in compliance with the IP66 standard. The operating temperature range is from -20 to +60 °C.

The controller holds a capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels and a size of 7″, as well as a foil keyboard.

REGUL R400 can operate in one system with input/output modules of any series of REGUL controllers.

Regul R400 HMI/PLC with Regul R200 and R500 I/O racks

Image 2. Example of a system with R400 and I/O modules from R500 and R200

The development environment for the REGUL RX00 controllers, Epsilon LD, has built-in functionality for the implementation of the human-machine interface, and it can be configured directly from the software.

Epsilon LD - Main window

Image 3. Example of the screen in Epsilon LD

Functional Capabilities of Regul R400

For controlling a technological process, the REGUL R400 controller is similar to central processor unit (CPU) modules of other series (R500 and R600), except support for redundant operation.

In addition to the process control application in REGUL R400 could be implemented all the functionality of the human-machine interface, required for a local automation system:

  • Creation of mimic diagram of the technological process
  • Display of current values for the parameters
  • Implementation of alarms
  • Control of equipment with manual commands from the operator
  • Viewing trends and event logs
  • Diagnostics of the equipment in the system
  • Implementation of access permissions

PLC for Small and Mid-Size Control Systems

Regul R200 PLC Rack - GP Systems

Image 4. Regul R200 in a rack

In all industries, a large share of the equipment requires local automation. There is also a significant number of sites with a low number of I/O signals that should be integrated into a common control system. And in these cases, dimensions, and price of the automation equipment for such sites come to the front. The Regul R200 series was designed specifically for these applications.

The distinguishing factors of the REGUL R200 PLC from the R600 and R500 series are:

  • Support of only one internal bus
  • A low number of channels in input/output modules
  • Compact dimensions of the modules (only 12.9 x 101 x 109 mm)
  • Installation on a 35-mm DIN-rail
  • Wide operating temperature range (-40 … +60 °C)
  • Convenient terminal block, allowing a replacement of module with disconnection of cables

Module Types in R200 Series

The idea behind the REGUL RX00 controller family is the use of the same software for configuration and programming – Epsilon LD, and, whenever possible, to have the same approaches to the hardware platform.

REGUL R200 controller, as well as R500, has a modular design, consisting of one or several lines, each including modules of different types, installed onto a DIN-rail.

Module – is a main element of the controller and, depending on its type, it performs a specific function. The REGUL R200 series has the following types of modules:

  • Central processor unit modules
  • Power supply modules
  • Interface modules
  • Analog and digital input/output modules
  • Frequency measurement and counter modules

Power supply modules provide conversion of the power from 24 V DC to the operating voltage of the internal bus, 5 V DC, filtering, and electromagnetic compatibility. Individual power supply modules are used in case of a large number of modules in one rack.

The internal bus is extended with the interface modules. The connection can be made in the form of “star” or “ring.” There are two RJ45 slots for it: IN and OUT. Each interface module is supplied in pairs with a power supply module.

Since R200 PLC, as are R600/R500 series, operates on a high-speed Regul bus, it can be used as a remote terminal unit (RTU) connected to the controllers from higher series.

Each CPU module has built-in protocols for communication with third-party equipment: Modbus RTU/TCP, IEC 60870-5-101/104. To connect devices in different racks or to get more ports for connection, there are also communication processor modules, providing required interfaces.

Input/output modules create an interface between the CPU module through the mutual conversion of physical and logical signals. Digital input/output modules provide up to eight channels for connection. Analog input/output modules have two or four channels.

Counter modules provide a measurement of frequency on one channel, up to 100 kHz, and have software-configurable digital input/output channels.

Regul R500 PLC with R200 I/O racks

Image 5. Use of R500 together with R200

Design of the R200 Controller Modules

Central processor unit (CPU) modules were developed to be both fast and highly functional. Each CPU module provides:

  • Logical processing of data and issue of control signals, according to the application program from the user
  • Exchange of data with interface and input/output modules
  • Exchange of information with third-party equipment, via built-in interfaces
  • Verification of system configuration and functionality of the modules

The main engineering feature of these modules is the use of SOM-modules designed completely by our engineers and using ARM-based processors. This allowed us to reduce the price of the modules, compared to the CPU modules of higher REGUL series.

Regul R200 PLC - components

Image 6. R200 module

In the electronic block is performed conversion of the external signals into data, transmitted to the CPU, and vice versa. Also, the electronic block provides galvanic isolation of the external channels from the internal busses of the controllers. The indication panel of each electronic block provides information on the presence of signals in the input/output channels, and diagnostic information. The design of the modules allows hot-swap replacement of the electronic blocks – without stopping the running application.

In the case of the power supply module, powering voltage is converted to the operating voltage of the internal bus, 5 V, inside the electronic block.

Chassis block is part of the internal data bus and provides a connection of the input/output module or communication processor to the internal data bus of the controller.

Chassis is designed for the mechanical connection of the controller modules among themselves and with DIN-rail. It provides switching for the internal data bus and is part of the internal and external power busses of the controller.

Chassis also has a terminal field to which are connected all the external signals.

Each chassis can be coded with two keys to avoiding the mistaken installation of the electronic block into the chassis, designed for a connection of the electronic block of a different type. Each key consists of two components, one of which is inserted into the electronic block, another – into the chassis.

Keys are supplied together with the modules and are pre-configured according to the type of the module. In case a chassis should be used for a different type of module, the keys could be reconfigured.

Modules, installed into a rack, could be sealed. For this purpose, each electronic block has a special hole, with a diameter of 2 mm.

Regul R200 PLC - I/O module assembly

Image 7. Coding electronic blocks

Regul R200 PLC - Sealing hole

Image 8. Sealing element in the module

CPU Modules in R200 Series

Central processor unit (CPU) modules were developed to be both fast and highly functional. Each CPU module provides:

  • Logical processing of data and issue of control signals, according to the application program from the user
  • Exchange of data with interface and input/output modules
  • Exchange of information with third-party equipment, via built-in interfaces
  • Verification of system configuration and functionality of the modules

The main engineering feature of these modules is the use of SOM-modules designed completely by our engineers and using ARM-based processors. This allowed us to reduce the price of the modules, compared to the CPU modules of higher REGUL series.

Part Number Description
CU 00 021
Central Processor Unit (CPU) module,
ARM Cortex-Axx, 512 MB RAM, 1 GB Flash, RS-232, RS-485, 1 x Ethernet RJ-45
CU 00 031
Central Processor Unit (CPU) module
ARM Cortex-Axx, 512 MB RAM, 1 GB Flash, RS-232, RS-485, 1 x Regul bus, 1 x Ethernet RJ-45
CU 00 041
Central Processor Unit (CPU) module
ARM Cortex-Axx, 512 MB RAM, 1 GB Flash, RS-232, RS-485, 2 x Regul bus, 2 x Ethernet RJ-45, GPS / Glonass
CU 00 061
Central Processor Unit (CPU) module
ARM Cortex-Axx, 512 MB RAM, 1 GB Flash, RS-232, RS-485, 2 x Regul bus, 1 x Ethernet RJ-45, 1 x Ethernet SFP, GPS / Glonass

The main principle of the REGUL controllers remained intact – programming from one common development environment – Epsilon LD. Thanks to this, the algorithms, developed earlier or developed for other controllers, could be implemented in the R200 series.

All CPU modules of the R200 series have the same processor and differ by the number of communication ports. Depending on the task, the engineer can select one of the modules presented in the table.

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