ABB is extending the capability of one of the most popular PLCs in the world - the AC500 - with a very high performance version.

The brand new AC500 PM595 features a multi-processor system with the performance to handle the most demanding machinery and motion automation control and communication tasks.

The new AC500 PM595 Machinery Controller is optimised for robust, high performance industrial control, and is built around a 1.3GHz processor with four 32-bit RISC processors plus an embedded double-precision floating-point processor, 16MB of user program memory and a large array of communications interfaces. The very high level of computational capability allows the new controller to handle extremely complex control tasks, involving complexities such as precision coordinated motion with very large quantities of axes, and mathematics-intensive computation such as real-time trigonometric calculations for robotics or other advanced kinematic applications.

The controller also has a built-in interface to allow ABB’s advanced safety PLC to be connected for high-risk applications.

“Machinery and motion control applications are becoming much more complex as machinery becomes more capable, smarter and safer, and as demands for more sophisticated human interfaces and communications grows,” says ABB’s product marketing manager, Wangelis Porikis. “The sheer computational capability of the AC500 PM595, with its rich feature set and versatile communications capability, provides enormous flexibility for automation builders. It provides a controller that can handle virtually any application, but also one that is highly software-configurable - giving OEMs a single control platform for a very broad range of applications.”

Versatile connectivity is central to the new machinery controller’s design. This allows it to be used with both legacy systems and todays favoured networks - as well as providing a soft architecture that can handle future demands. Four independent Ethernet interfaces and an integrated network switch are built in. Two of these interfaces are programmable, supporting different Ethernet based protocols such as EtherCAT and PROFINET - allowing the PLC to be connected to control two different types of network simultaneously. TCP/IP, UDP, CAN/CANopen and two RS232/485 serial interfaces complete the on-board connectivity. Further networking and fieldbus interfaces may be added via the PLC’s dual expansion ports. This variety of communication possibilities gives users the means to evolve control networks easily, to add new machinery or equipment into control system networks for example, even if located on another process line or location.

The AC500 PM595 PLC is compatible with the range of AC500 expansion modules - providing unlimited flexibility for industrial control and monitoring applications. Users can also build systems with integrated functional safety, connecting ABB’s safety PLC directly onto a second expansion port. This provides great flexibility for implementing safety-critical applications.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.