With i³ Control, Yaskawa is creating a completely new automation platform. The special feature of this ecosystem, which is now being presented as a concept for the first time, is that it forms a technically coordinated overall solution for industry-specific control systems – from the engineering software to the controller hardware to the integrated chip technology. And prospectively also beyond.
As a first anticipation of the continuously growing i³ Control portfolio, the specially developed software environment – i³ Engineer - and the first machine controller of this new platform – the iC9210-PN – are now experiencing their world premiere. Market launch is planned from the end of 2022.
i³ Engineer software environment
The i³ Engineer engineering software opens up the entire platform, which is characterized by openness, flexibility and scalability based on a Linux-based operating system. Programming languages according to IEC61131-3 and PLCopen function blocks are supported as well as the script languages C#, C++, Python or Matlab Simulink. This opens up completely new possibilities for the development of individual applications, even in worldwide teams.
At the same time, the software is precisely tailored to the respective scope of performance of the Yaskawa components. This means that the software always guides the user simply and reliably to the optimum solution for maximum performance, without the user having to know the relevant products in detail.
New PLC generation iC9210-PN
The first hardware product under the umbrella of the new platform is the iC9210-PN controller. It has a Profinet and an RS485 interface for smart and cost-effective connection of Yaskawa's servo and frequency converters. HMIs can be connected via an OPC UA server. In addition, the PLC uses the modules of the proven System SLIO as I/O platform. This means that this controller is fully usable right from the start.
Processor profichip Triton
The heart of the new controllers is the profichip Triton from Yaskawa. With its three individually switchable cores, the VxWorks-based processor, which was specially designed for industrial applications, is ideally suited for the fast processing of demanding motion sequences.
The profichip Triton combines its powerful multi-core processor with industrial Gigabit-capable Ethernet communication and a fast, reliable backplane bus system. It thus offers a future-proof, flexibly scalable solution for customized systems with a low total cost of ownership.
Complete system for control and automation
i³ Control is designed as a concept for the future and is now being gradually expanded into a comprehensive overall system for control and automation. In the next step, Yaskawa will expand the system to include the motion control functions already available in its own MPiec machine control system. After that, safety functions and later robotics are to be integrated.
The aim is to create a universal platform that allows machine builders to access all functions – from PLC, motion control and safety to robot programming and control – in the same environment.