Industrial Shields Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)
DLSCorp started as a software consulting firm in 2006, specializing in real-time systems; in 2018 we became an independent, authorized dealer for Arduino and Raspberry Pi compatible ArduCam cameras. Now, we are also an independent, authorized dealer for Industrial Shields Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) products, and are pleased to offer their full line of Arduino-, ESP32-, and Raspberry Pi-based components. Under the banner of “Industrial Democratization”, the Spanish company Boot and Work Corp S.L. developed these products based on Open Source Hardware, and which use freely available Open Source Software.
Identify and prioritize your requirements
First, when a topic is discussed (for example, several Industrial Shield products use the Raspberry Pi 4B controller) links to relevant internal pages or external websites may be provided. Also, tags may placed at the end of the paragraph. Click on the link to jump to the page or website, or click on the tag to get more information, and links to appropriate Industrial Shields products in the shop.
Now, there are a large number of factors that may be considered in your PLC purchase. Some may not be important to you for this purchase, but may be important at a later date. Cost, host system, I/O count, communication links, and development environment are examples of these factors. When two or more requirements conflict with each other (e.g. cost and I/O count), you need to prioritize your requirements to help you make the best possible selection. This Feature Guide has a lot of useful information about the PLCs we sell.
So, let’s take a look at these factors, starting with the most common. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Generally speaking, the cost of a PLC is tied to the capabilities and quantities provided. More I/Os, higher price. More communications channels, higher price. More memory… Don’t forget the recurring cost of a SIM card if you need GPRS. The Industrial Shields PLCs are fairly well balanced – fewer I/Os need less processing power. The 10 I/O’s PLCs has a Nano or ESP32 controller, which should be adequate for that number of I/Os. On the other hand, if you have 60 I/Os, you’ll probably want the power of the M-Duino Mega or the Raspberry Pi 4B.
This includes size and weight, but also includes other material properties, such as metal or plastic. Generally speaking, all of the PLC modules have the same form factor and material, but the length and weight vary based on the number of interface boards. The smaller Panel PCs have a plastic commercial shell, while the larger Panel PCs are made with a metal industrial shell.
The Arduino and ESP32 boards have their own operating system (libraries, interrupt handlers, etc.) which are linked and loaded by the Arduino IDE (although there are a number of Linux-based RTOSs available for some controllers). There is a wide variety of operating systems available for the Raspberry Pi (even Windows 10!), but the most popular is the Debian-based Raspberry Pi OS (formerly known as Raspbian). Both are available for download from their respective sites. Open-source software for both Arduino and Raspberry Pi products are available on the Industrial Shields GitHub website.
Inputs & Outputs
Referred to as I/Os, inputs and outputs include Relays, Analog, Digital, PWMs, and Interrupts. For the M-Duino and Raspberry PLC series, the I/O Nomenclature table (click to zoom in, if necessary) shows the correlation between the name and the positions of the Analog and Relay circuits in the various zones.
Analog shields provide analog, digital, and interrupt I/Os, while Relay shields also provide relay outputs, at the expense of a few analog and digital I/Os. In addition to the communications (controller) shield, there may be up to three I/O shields, and the zone refers to the position of a shield in the product. So, (using the Arduino nomenclature) Zone A is the communications shield, the first I/O shield is Zone B, etc. Zone D shields have slightly fewer options than the shields used for Zone B and Zone C. This means the Zone D shields are not interchangeable with the Zone B or Zone C shields. Click on the tags below to get an explanation of the inputs and outputs available on the shields.
The number in the series name represents the nominal number of I/Os in the device. For example, the 53ARR+ series option would have 53 Relay, Analog, Digital, and Interrupt I/Os, and the I/O shields would be placed in the order (Communications, Analog, Relay, Relay). Note that a few are given shorthand names for the more accurate form (given adjacent in parentheses). As Zone B shields and Zone C shields are interchangeable, you can see that three permutations are duplicates (and the duplicates are not available):
38AR+ ≡ 38RA+
53ARR+ ≡ 53RAR+
54ARA+ ≡ 54RAA+
The other PLC series are considerably simpler – 10 I/Os (all Relay or all Digital), 20 I/Os (all Relay or all Analog). or the Spartan series (16 DA, 16 RDA, 19R+ I/O, or 21+ I/O options). Again, take a look at each of the tags below to get a better understanding that each option provides.
Communications – Wired & Wireless
The wired communications options include the Controller Area Network (CAN) bus, Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI), Ethernet, Inter-integrated Circuit (I2C), Meter-Bus (M-Bus), Modbus (Modbus), Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), RS-232, and RS-485 (either half duplex or half-full duplex).
Features include Global Positioning System (GPS), Real Time Clock (RTC), and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).
In addition to the user-supplied hardwired sensors (position sensors, etc.), OpenMote B-compatible IoT boards and sensor boards are available that provides relative humidity, temperature, pressure, and brightness wirelessly.
The human interface to the PLCs can be a laptop, desktop, tablet, mobile phone, or a Panel PC (often called a Touch Screen). The Panel PC is a specially designed 7″ or 10″ touch screen with a Raspberry Pi or an Asus Tinker Board controller in a commercial (plastic) or industrial (aluminum) enclosure.
Accessories include products such as DIN-compatible components, such as rails or power supplies, or items such as opto-isolators which can be used on a variety of digital I/O lines.
DLSCorp can also provide custom patch panels and software development services (United States only). Please contact us if you have any questions.
Industrial Shields PLCs refers to the Industrial Shields brand of Programmable Logic Controllers manufactured and sold by Boot and Work Corp S.L. of Spain.
Arduino is a registered trademark of Arduino AG.
ESP32 is a registered trademark of Espressif Systems (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
The Raspberry Pi Word Mark (“Raspberry Pi”) is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
A Few Precautions
- Design, installation, and maintenance must be performed by qualified personnel familiarized with the construction, operation, and hazards involved with the control system.
- Do not connect or disconnect any wires while the Industrial Shields PLCs control system is powered on.
- Do not connect or disconnect any wires when a flammable or combustible atmosphere is present. Connecting or disconnecting equipment when a flammable or combustible atmosphere is present may cause a fire or explosion or both that could result in death, serious personal injury, or property damage.
- The Industrial Shields PLCs are Open Type controllers – that is, they have no ingress protection. They must be installed in a housing, cabinet, or electric control room. Entry to that housing, cabinet, or electric control room must be limited to authorized personnel.
- To prevent serious personal injury or damage, the Industrial Shields PLCs must be placed inside that housing, cabinet, or electrical control room at a minimum distance of 12 inches from other components.
- The Industrial Shields PLCs are not dust-proof, water-resistant, or water-proof; they must be placed inside that housing, cabinet, or electrical control room to provide that protection.
- Failure to follow these installation requirements could result in death, serious personal injury or property damage. Always follow these requirements when installing Industrial Shields PLCs.
- For installation or maintenance of the Industrial Shields PLCs, follow the instructions marked in the Installation and Maintenance section of the User Guide.
- Maintenance must be performed with the control system out of operation and disconnected from all sources of power.
- Industrial Shields PLCs must be powered between 12 Vdc and 24 Vdc. The equipment can suffer irreversible damage if a higher voltage is supplied to the equipment.
- Wires should not be connected to unused pins. Ignoring this directive may damage the controller.