Applying an ABB PLC to a Small Process

Configure a small ABB AC500 PLC system
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There are many manufacturers of Programmable Logic Controllers that are used in the Automation industry. One of the leading PLC manufacturers in the world is ABB.

In the previous article, An Introduction to ABB AC500 PLCs, we introduced you to the various PLC models that make up the AC500 product line, the wide range of I/O cards, interfaces, and modules available, and the powerful Automation Builder software.

We will now configure a small ABB AC500 PLC system to demonstrate how the components we introduced in the introductory video are connected.

Configuring an ABB AC500 PLC system

We will define a small system that will include a CPU and interfaces for Profibus DP and Ethernet.

The CPU will be located in a cabinet in the main automation equipment room.

We will require 24 volt DC I/O with one Digital Input card, one Digital Output card, and one Analog Input card located remotely from the CPU in an I/O panel located in the process area.

Additionally, we will include one CP600 operator control panel that will also be mounted in the process area. This HMI will provide the operator access to the process through a touch-screen interface.

We consult the latest ABB PLC Automation catalog to learn more about the hardware offered in the AC500 product line and the specifications for each device.

Configuring A Small ABB AC500 PLC system

1) PM583 ETH CPU

First, select a CPU that will be able to handle the communication interfaces and the small number of I/O points in the system.

Choose the PM583 ETH CPU, which comes with one megabyte of memory, one Ethernet port, and two serial ports.

2) TB 511 terminal base

Choose a TB 511 terminal base to support the CPU’s Ethernet port and to provide one additional communication card slot for a Profibus DP communication card.

ABB PM583 ETH CPU + TB 511 Terminal Base

3) CM592-DP Profibus-DP

Select a CM592-DP Profibus DP Master communication card to fit next to the CPU in the terminal base.

This Profibus interface has a standard 9-pin Profibus connector and supports baud rates from a 9.6 Kilo Bits per second to a 12 Mega Bits per second communication rate.

ABB CM592_DP Profibus DP Master Communication Card

4) CI541 DP + TU509 terminal unit base

To support the three I/O cards in a remote configuration, we first need a Profibus interface card in the I/O panel to communicate with the CM592 DP card on the CPU terminal base.

Select a CI541 DP Profibus card and a TU509 terminal unit base.

5) I/O Cards + TU518 I/O bases

We will need three TU518 I/O bases, one for a single DI524 32-point 24 volt DC Digital Input card, one for a DO526 eight-point 24 volt DC Digital Output card, and one for an AI523 sixteen-point Analog Input card.

ABB CI541 DP + TU509 + TU518 + DI524 + DO526 + AI523

6) CP6615 operator control panel

To finish the hardware setup, select a CP6615 operator control panel with an Ethernet port.

This panel has a 15-inch touch screen and high-definition resolution. We will connect this HMI to the Ethernet port on the PM583 PLC.

CP6615 Operator Control Panel

ABB Automation Builder software

Open the Automation Builder software to add the CPU to a new project,

ABB Automation Builder Software

Name the project SmallSystem.

Double-click on the AC500 template icon.

ABB AC500 Template

1) PM583 ETH CPU

When the new project window appears, select PM583 ETH from the selection list, and then press Add PLC.


Right-click on the PLC and select Edit Object.

Edit Object

2) TB 511 terminal base

Next, select the PM583 ETH Hardware tab in the configuration window, and select the TB 511 terminal base from the drop-down list.

Select Change PM/TB Type and acknowledge the warning message.

PM583 ETH Hardware Tab

3) CM592-DP Profibus-DP

Now create the Profibus segment by right-clicking on Slot 1 under Extension Bus and select Add object.

Profibus Segment

When the Replace Object window opens, select the CM592 DP Profibus Master card and then select Replace object.

The Profibus card now appears in the device tree.

ABB CM592 DP Profibus Master Card

4) CI541 DP + TU509 terminal unit base

Right-click on Profibus Master and select Add Object.

Profibus Master Object

In the Add Object window, select the CI541 DP card, and then select Add object.

ABB CI541 DP card

The device tree updates and shows the CI541 module.

5) I/O Cards + TU518 I/O bases

Right-click on the CI541 DP device and select Add object.

CI541 DP Device Objects

Select the analog input card AI523 from the device list, and select Add object.

Choose just Input card _ output Card

Repeat this process to add the DI524 digital input card and the DO526 digital output card.

Now you can see all of the hardware components listed in the device tree.

Choose just Input card _ output Card

6) CP6615 operator control panel

Now we need to add the HMI panel to the hardware configuration. Right-click on the project name, SmallSystem, and select Add object.

In the Add Object window, select Panel CP600 in the left pane to filter the device list and then select CP600 Control Panel from the list.

HMI Panel CP600

Double-click on Panel CP600 in the device tree. When the information window appears, we see the connection from the CP600 to the CPU is selected by default.

The hardware is now ready and the PLC and Operator Panel can be programmed to meet the requirements of the project.

Panel CP600 Connection

The PLC is programmed with the Automation Builder software, and the Control Panel is programmed with a software application called Panel Builder 600.

ABB Panel Builder 600


This video has provided a basic understanding of the features and capabilities of the ABB AC500 family of PLCs and hardware. Once you understand the requirements for your process, choosing the right AC500 PLC, communication interfaces, and I/O modules should be no problem.

If you have any questions regarding ABB PLCs or Automation Builder software, add them in the comment bellow and our automation engineers with 20+ years of experience will surprise you with a detailed in-depth answer to your question.

Check back with us soon for more automation control topics.

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