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WCU logic Module: An economical solution to simple, decentralised control and regulation functions
- Published: Tuesday, 01 August 2017 13:22
New, robust design logic module with built-in analogue and digital I/Os for automation in harsh environments from Weidmuller.
For automation in harsh, industrial environments, users in machinery and plant engineering or wind power installations often use expensive products with sufficiently high temperature stability and vibration resistance. However, there is a demand for economical solutions for applications with simple control and regulation tasks where few inputs and outputs are required. With the new WCU range, Weidmüller is offering highly integrated, programmable logic modules which allow simple, decentralised automation in applications with tough requirements in terms of the environment and limited space available. All WCU logic modules withstand vibrations of up to 5 g and shocks of up to 10 g. The operating temperature range is between − 40 °C and + 70 °C.
Both WCU 501 and WCU 650 logic modules have multiple integrated analogue and digital I/Os, various power outputs and a PWM output. The fully encapsulated logic modules reliably monitor, control and regulate processes - even under extreme environmental conditions. The graphics programming allows flexible switching of the analogue and digital inputs, as well as the power outputs. All WCU logic modules have a large number of predefined function blocks – the basic library covers basic arithmetic operations through to timers. This makes them intelligent automation tools. The WCU 650 module communicates with other bus users or higher-level controllers via a CAN bus interface (CAN 2.0 A/B). For programming, the WCU logic models are simply connected to a standard PC (desktop or laptop) via a USB cable. The graphical software is completely intuitive to use. Program simulation can even be carried out with the logic module connected. The real advantage is that the WCU software is available for WCU logic module users to download free from the Weidmüller website.
The new WCU logic modules offer a range of customer benefits. They can be used in networks with voltage fluctuations or in harsh environmental conditions, such as in the hub of wind power plants. There is even space for WCU modules in the smallest of control cabinets. They can also operate actuators requiring power (up to 1.5 A) directly.
Whether in apparatus and panel building, for autonomous automation tasks, as a monitoring system or for signal processing for superordinate controllers, the WCU logic modules are small, intelligent, flexible, extremely robust and can be deployed especially cost-effectively. Thanks to the encapsulated PCB, the electronics are extremely insensitive to humidity, temperature fluctuations, vibrations and shocks.
The new WCU range performs simple control tasks such as lighting, heating and ventilation or motor control. Added to this are signal processing and handling, plus error monitoring. WCU logic modules are used in wind power installations, in photovoltaics or in machinery and plant engineering.
In a "system to detect breaks in screw connections", for example, the WCU 501 performs the following tasks: it monitors the connected sensors (sensor intact / not intact) to detect breaks in nuts and, in the event of a system failure, issues an alarm signal to the higher-level plant controller.
The role of the WCU 501 logic module in wind power installations includes lighting and supply systems for WPI towers, i.e. monitoring the uninterruptible power supply (UPS), triggering alarms in the event of a power failure / battery mode or informing service technicians about the failure of the external power supply by means of flashing LEDs along the whole lighting train. As well as the "tower installation" system, which is the domain of the WCU 501, the WCU 650 logic module reveals its full benefits in the "anti-icing system" for the rotor blades. It records measured values such as temperature, current and voltage and calculates and evaluates measurement signals. If previously defined limit values are exceeded, the heating film is also switched on in order to melt any ice on the rotor blade.
The benefits of the new WCU range are a greater operational voltage range (7 V DC to 32 V DC) a wider operating temperature range (- 40 °C to + 70 °C), multiple power outputs (1.5 A each) and PWM output (1 A).