What’s New in PLC: Micro870 Benefits

| Austin Desmond

Micro870 Benefits

Flexible Communications and Greater I/O Capabilities

A question that Automation Specialists hear a lot is “What’s new with PLCs today?” Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are industrial computers adapted for use in manufacturing, process, assembly lines, and/or robotics. PLCs are typically used when the application requires reliability and ruggedness. This post will answer the "what’s new" question with a look into PLCs, the new Micro870 controller, and how we can help you with machine functionality by improving:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Scalability
  3. Customization
  4. Ease of Programming
  5. Integration

Micro870 Benefits: Flexibility

Bulletin 2080 Micro870™ Programmable Logic Controllers from Rockwell Automation® are the newest addition to the Micro800 family of programmable controllers. Flexibility is key here, using plug-in modules to customize your system for your application requirements. We call it mix and match. The Micro870 has a much larger memory capacity to go along with its new expanded IO (I/O) in the effort to target large standalone machine applications that were once in the wheelhouse of the MicroLogix 1400. With the option to communicate over USB, EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, Modbus, ASCII, and Serial, the Micro870 is expanding the realm of the Micro800 line and improving its performance.


Micro870 Benefits: Scalability

If your facility needs to add more machines or equipment to a certain line, your controller can grow along with it. The Micro870 allows you to expand with fewer hassles. Controllers are available with up to 8 expansion IO modules and 3 plug-in modules, allowing for 304 local I/O points. With the release of version 11 of Connected Components Workbench (CCW), MicroLogix users are migrating to the Micro800 family with less struggles and hang-ups.

Micro870 Benefits: Customization

  • Mirco870 Allen-Bradley280 KB memory size
  • Support for up to 20,000 program steps
  • 24-point controller
  • Includes 100 kHz high-speed counter (HSC) inputs on 24V DC models
  • Supports up to three Micro800® plug-in modules
  • Provides embedded motion capabilities by supporting as many as two axes with PTO
  • Communicates via EtherNet/IP™
  • Provides embedded communications via USB programming port, non-isolated serial port (for RS-232 and RS-485 communications) and Ethernet port

Micro870 Benefits: Ease of Programming

Programming the Micro870 controller is simple with the Connected Components Workbench™ software, which provides controller programming, device configuration and data sharing with the Human Machine Interface (HMI) editor. The software also supports ladder diagram, function block diagram and structured text, and allows copy and paste of ladder codes and instruction sets from RSLogix 500® and Studio 5000 Logix Designer® software.

Need help getting started with Micro800 controllers and Connected Components Workbench™ programming and configuration software? Watch these videos on YouTube for information about plug-in modules and ladder programming. These videos also explore the capabilities of our Micro800 controllers.

Integration: Micro870 and PanelView 800

Integration of the Micro870 with the PanelView 800 family of HMI’s becomes a very simple task thanks to the presence of the embedded ethernet ports, the single programming environment, as well as direct tag referencing. CCW gives you the ability to program in ladder logic, structured text, and function block diagram, as well as the ability to copy and paste ladder and instruction sets from RSLogix 500 and Studio 5000 into your CCW project.


When someone asks me “What’s new with PLCs today?” my answer is: “They’re more flexible than ever, they’re scalable for your growing needs, they’re totally customizable, and they’re easy to program and integrate.”