The Good Design Award from the Japan Institute for Design Promotion, a public interest foundation, has been awarded to IDEC Corporation’s MicroSmart FC6A PLC. Submissions for this award come from more than 4,000 entries submitted by over a 1,000 companies each year in a wide range of fields. These entries are screened by distinguished design experts selected from various industries.
The main deciding factor for the award selection is based on whether or not product can enrich society and people's lives through its design. Recipients of a Good Design Award are granted use of the G Mark symbol, an emblem of good design for over half a century worldwide.
The FC6A MicroSmart PLC received this award because it combines the power of a PAC (Programmable Automation Controller) in a low-cost controller with a small form factor, making it a suitable fit for demanding applications. Before the FC6A was introduced, designers often had to choose between expensive PACs and micro PLCs lacking in features. The FC6A solves this dilemma by offering many of the features formerly found in PACs in a micro PLC.
An optional HMI module can be added to the CPU to provide operator interface via its display and control buttons. The HMI module can also accommodate an optional plug-in analogue cartridge, and it has an integral Ethernet port. Using the operator interface functionality, any PLC parameter can be updated.
Industries particularly well suited to the FC6A MicroSmart PLC include oil and gas, chemical, solar, marine, packaging, food and beverage, material handling, utility vehicles, and OEM machinery and process skids. Within these industries, a wide variety of applications are a good fit for the FC6A MicroSmart PLC—especially those requiring control of standalone machines, process skids, vehicles and small-scale systems.
The FC6A MicroSmart PLC is programmed with IDEC’s WindLDR PC-based software, which includes no cost updates for the life of the product, and which can be used to program IDEC’s entire line of controllers in a simple and intuitive manner.
IoT capability is provided by custom web pages which can be configured for remote monitoring and control. Web pages are created using simple drag and drop functionality with no HTML programming required, a major advantage over competing products. These web pages are stored in the MicroSmart PLC, which functions as a web server when its built-in Ethernet port or the HMI Ethernet port is connected to the Internet. These web pages can be accessed via any web browser running on any Internet-connected device such as a remote PC, a tablet or a smartphone.