National Instruments Launches Family of Powerful Industrial Controllers

National Instruments, the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, announced today a family of three new industrial controllers that address the complex requirements of advanced Internet of Things (IoT) applications. These industrial controllers feature 5th generation Intel Core processors, rugged packaging, built-in I/O and extensive connectivity options, so that machine builders and system designers can eliminate the need for separate subsystems within complex machines and consolidate functionality into a single controller. They can simplify system complexity, decrease system cost and reduce overall footprint by integrating different types of I/O, including vision and motion, control and processing into a single, high-performance controller, such as the newly released IC-3173.

“Industrial systems and machines have become more complex, often incorporating several independent subsystems for specialised tasks such as image processing, multiaxis motion control and operator interfaces. With products such as the IC-3173 industrial controller, system designers can improve performance and simplify system complexity by moving to a centralised approach where one controller is used for many or all of these tasks.” said Jamie Smith, director of embedded systems at NI.

To meet the evolving demands of today’s industrial IoT applications, designers need products that bring together computation, connectivity and control. The IC-3173 industrial controller addresses these requirements with key features, including:

  • Powerful Processing: Dual-core Intel i7 processors combined with user-programmable Xilinx Kintex-7 160T FPGAs for advanced signal and image processing, customisable digital I/O and high-speed closed-loop control
  • Extensive Connectivity: Five Gigabit Ethernet ports with four that include power over Ethernet (PoE) support and two full-bandwidth controlled USB 3.0 ports for connecting to and processing images from multiple USB3 Vision and GigE Vision cameras simultaneously
  • Seamless Integration: Support for EtherCAT Master, Ethernet/IP, RS232/RS485, Modbus serial and Modbus/TCP to communicate with other devices such as PLCs and operator interfaces
  • Software: Full LabVIEW system design software support for customising control algorithms, performing image processing and executing advanced analytics.
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