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Powerful solution for small automation applications

Another new addition to Mitsubishi Electric’s latest compact controller series

Mitsubishi Electric has just added another new member to its MELSEC FX3 series of compact controllers. Designed specially for the needs smaller mechanical and plant engineering automation applications, the FX3G is fast, reliable and economical and allows flexible configuration with expansion, special function and network modules. Like all the controllers of Mitsubishi’s current third generation series, the latest compact PLC features advanced new technologies, including a second adapter bus, and is also fully compatible with the existing MELSEC FX series.

The new FX3G is a fully-fledged member of the Mitsubishi Electric MELSEC FX series, which is the world’s most successful line of compact controllers with over nine million units sold. With their advanced technology and excellent value for money the robust standard controllers of the former generation already have ample power for many applications, particularly for standard machines and plant engineering tasks. The most important new features in the current generation include larger program memory, faster instruction execution, additional programming instructions and improved functions and expansion options, particularly for safety, communication and positioning tasks. In addition to this the con-trollers support seamless integration of other automation components like HMI control terminals and frequency inverters for the configuration of customized solutions.

Standardised technology and operation
The new controller is based on the same space-saving technology concept as the more powerful MELSEC FX3U and FX3UC models, from the same series, which are designed for more complex and demanding automation tasks. Here too, all the necessary components – including power supply unit, processor, memory and I/Os – are integrated directly in the ready-to-use controller units. Its high processing speed of just 0.21 microseconds per logical instruction cycle and large memory for up to 32,000 program steps enables it to handle quite demanding automation tasks.

In addition to the standard system bus for up to eight expansion, special function and network modules, the new controller also has a second bus system. Up to 4 additional modules – two interface modules (RS-232 or RS-485) and two analog adapters, including a new temperature data acquisition module for Pt1000 and Ni1000 elements – can be connected to this “adapter bus”, making this compact PLC extremely flexible. The new adapter bus modules were developed specifically for the MELSEC FX3 family, with modern chips that make them very compact. They can be inte-grated without additional programming and can be addressed directly with special data registers. In addition to reducing the number of program steps needed this also saves time and money. Additional expansion slots are available on the front of the unit, where up to two expansion boards can be inserted to add serial communications interfaces (RS-232, RS-422 or RS-485) and analog functions.

The new controller is programmed with the GX Developer or GX IEC Developer programming software package. This mature development environment for all Mitsubishi Electric’s compact and modular controllers supports the international IEC 61131-3 standard and program development with the function block, ladder dia-gram, instruction list, structured text and sequential function chart languages. The programming instruction set includes both basic instructions and over 120 dedicated application instructions, making both programming and system configuration fast and simple. The other features of the entire MELSEC FX3 family are also standardised, including installation dimensions, connections, standard functions and operation, significantly simplifying and streamlining handling on all levels.

Flexible expansion for up to 256 I/Os
The base MELSEC FX3G units are available in versions with 14, 24, 40 and 60 I/Os, power supply is 100-240V AC for international deployment. 24V DC versions will follow later. All output types are available in digital relay and transistor versions, and all base units can be expanded to up to a total of 128 I/Os with additional mod-ules, and up to 256 I/Os via the open CC-Link fieldbus network. Basic safety functions like emergency off circuits, light grid sensors and safety door monitoring systems can be integrated directly in the standard controller system without any additional programming using safety switchgear that Mitsubishi Electric has developed specifically for the CC-Link network.

A display module that plugs into the front panel of the base unit provides quick information. Important controller data can be dis-played and edited with the help of four function keys. A two-level keyword protection system with separate sets of access permissions for users and developers ensures that only authorised personnel have access to the controller program. Users are allowed to use all functions necessary for normal operation, but the intellectual property developed by the mechanical engineering company is safely protected.

Extensive communications and positioning capabilities
This small compact PLC is a very capable communicator, support-ing connection to a wide range of standard networks like Profibus DP, CC-Link, Ethernet, and CANopen, plus data communications via up to three serial interfaces. A USB port and an RS-422 port come integrated in the front panel. Other connections can be implemented with interface modules that are either installed inside the chassis (RS-232, RS-422, RS-485) or connected via the adapter bus (RS-232, RS-485).

The controller is also no slouch at positioning tasks. All base units come with six high-speed counters supporting frequencies of up to 60kHz. There are also pulse outputs for frequencies of up to 100kHz – two on the smaller models (up to 24 I/Os) and three on the larger models (from 40 I/Os) – for controlling up to three independent stepping or servo motors. These integrated features and ready-to-use programming functions for precise positioning make it possible to build applications for simple traversing and adjustment axes very inexpensively, without additional equipment.

Everything you need for economical solutions
Another great strength of the latest generation of controllers is the fact that their modules, functions and instructions are all designed to interoperate efficiently with the other automation products in Mitsubishi Electric’s range. This ensures that the controllers are exceptionally user-friendly and integrate efficiently with the company’s other compact and modular controllers, frequency inverter drives, servo drives and HMI control units. For example, you can connect up to eight frequency inverters via a serial RS-485 interface, without an expensive fieldbus system. In addition to the reduced wiring overheads users also no longer need to write their own PLC programs for the inverters, because the inverter protocol is already integrated in the controller. Three parameters are all it takes to set up a frequency inverter, and you just need four instructions to start and stop it and read and write parameters. A detailed inverter status enables fast troubleshooting and debugging, preventive maintenance and power consumption monitoring.
Part of a complete family of controllers
The new MELSEC FX3G controller adds an economical solution for standard mechanical and plant engineering applications to Mitsubishi Electric’s most powerful line of compact PLCs. It makes the versatile MELSEC FX3 family the ideal platform for building customised lower and mid-range automation solutions. All the compact controllers in Mitsubishi Electric’s latest technology generation are fully compatible with the existing FX series, ensuring long-term protection of existing investments in controller technology. When more power is needed systems can be seamlessly extended with the larger modular PLC systems in the MELSEC System Q and iQ Automation Platform series.

Compact and versatile: Designed for smaller mechanical and plant engineering automation applications, the new MELSEC FX3G is a fully-fledged member of Mitsubishi Electric’s powerful line of FX3 compact controllers.
Key specifications of the FX3G series:

Number of I/Os: 14 – 256 (128 local / 128 remote)
Program memory: 16,000 steps (standard mode) /     32,000 steps (extended mode)
Cycle time/log. instruction: 0.21µs (standard mode) / 0.42 µs  (extended mode)
Digital outputs: Relay, transistor
Analog signal processing: Up to 64 I/Os (system bus), up to 8 I/Os (adapter bus)
Resolution: 12 and 16 bits
Positioning: 6 high-speed counters (4x60kHz, 2x10kHz) integrated
 2 or 3 pulse outputs (100kHz) integrated
Network support: Ethernet, Profibus DP, CC-Link, CANopen
Ports: RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, USB
Power supply:  100-240V AC, 24V DC



Press Office:

Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.
Factory Automation European Business Group
Karin Müller
Gothaer Str. 8
40880 Ratingen, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)2102 486-6130
Fax: +49 (0)2102 486 3548 

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