The PLCnext Automation Platform is the Swiss army knife of the automation world. Do you only need a PLC to do machine control programmed in ladder? Check! Do you need to pass data to a cloud or enterprise software? Check! Want to utilize routines you built in Python? Check! An application developed for a Raspberry Pi that you would like to reuse to save development time? Check! Use a custom driver implemented in Node-Red? Check! Visualization built right into the PLC? Check! Want to use CODESYS? Do data logging? Write to AWS from a third-party PLC? Fleet deployment from the cloud? Machine learning for smart automation? Check, check, check, check, and check!

Ranging from the cost-effective but powerful AXC F 2152 dual-core processor to the Octo Core BPC 9102S, we offer a variety of options to deploy your automation ideas in a next-generation ecosystem that can grow and change as your process does.

Key features

  • An open-platform PLC that is Linux-based
    • Program in languages other than ladder (Python, Node-Red, C++, etc.)
    • Leverage pre-developed apps such as CODESYS, Ignition, Docker, mGuard software, MySQL, and more
    • Linux is a very secure OS and enables the use of network security certifications
    • Store large amounts of data and retrieve via SQL-style functions
  • PLCnext Engineer software is free, with only a few optional add-ons that require payment
  • PLCnext Engineer is IEC 61131-based software with plain English variable names, different programming styles (ladder, structured text, function block diagram, SFC), customizable instructions, and standardized functions
  • Many pre-built connections to various clouds for data storage, as well as our built-in connector to Phoenix Contact Proficloud
  • The PLCnext Store offers many add-on instruction sets and apps built by Phoenix Contact and other third-party companies (ex: PLCnext Edge Gateway provides data collection and cloud storage via point and click/low code)
3D View

PLCnext controller product visualization

View our photorealistic PLCnext controllers with full interactive 360°-control. For a more immersive experience, including viewing the product in your space, use the Enhanced 3D View link below.

Products

Open automation in traditional PLC format with local or remote I/O

The AXC F platform features a dual-core Intel Atom processor and three Ethernet ports

These controllers are DIN rail-mountable and can connect to thousands of local or remote I/O points via fieldbus control platforms such as PROFINET, Modbus TCP, or CAN.

Open automation with remote I/O for redundancy, safety, or special functions

Open automation with remote I/O for redundancy, safety, or special functions

The primary use for these controllers is the implementation of redundancy and safety functionality, but they can also be used for standard automation where extra computational power is required.

IPC-based PLCnext open automation with remote I/O – Playing with power!

EPC top; BPC bottom

IPC-based PLCnext open automation with remote I/O – Playing with power!

These controllers have fast processors, multiple cores, extensive memory, and interfaces such as USB to conduct challenging applications. The EPC focuses on edge control and IIoT applications, while the BPC is for safety and intensive applications.

PLCnext Engineer software

PLCnext Engineer is the free software for programming in “standard programming style,” i.e., ladder, structured text, and function block. The software can also create visualizations for display on web panels, PC monitors, or smart devices.

The following link will open to a product page. In the middle of the page is a series of tabs. Click the “Downloads” tab and scroll down to the latest software if you need or want to download the latest version. That is the only software you will need to download. You do not need to download the Activation Wizard on that page.

PLCnext Engineer add-ons

Although PLCnext Engineer is available for free, some add-on functions require an additional charge. Examples include safety programming, processor simulation, using C code to write safety functions, version control, and more. These add-ons can be downloaded by the link below and do have a trial period for testing. To order the non-demo version, reach out to your Phoenix Contact sales representative.

Learning PLCnext – Self study

This is a training manual that provides a tour of the PLCnext Engineer environment and the PLCnext Store. The manual was developed for the PLCnext starter kits, but it can be used to learn the software even if you don’t have a kit.

Phoenix Contact has partnered with SolisPLC to develop two online trainings:

There is also a free online training class developed outside of Phoenix Contact by automation influencer Rajvir Singh. This class presents a nice survey of the software features and even gets into some more complex topics, such as the use of Node-Red.

Last but not least, Phoenix Contact has developed a self-guided online training that is more in-depth. This class requires setting up a Phoenix Contact account, but it is free.

Online community and tools

There is also a large online community where you can access additional training, info-sharing, and code snippets. Explore and experiment!

White papers and case studies

To the right, a person holds a tablet that displays a control panel app. In the background are several robotic arms working in a factory.

Saving time and cost while increasing safety and quality through the use of the digital twin

This paper explains how the interaction between RF::Suite Software and PLCnext Engineer can open a wide range of possible uses for the digital twin.