Schneider Electric (, a global specialist in energy management, introduces MachineStruxure™ the NEXT generation, a comprehensive suite of compact logic-based controllers designed to reduce cost, optimize design time and enable faster time to market. The new offer includes three compact logic-based controllers (Modicon™ M221, Modicon M241 and Modicon M251), I/O system (Modicon TM3), motion controller (Modicon LMC078), and servo drive (Lexium 28).

“MachineStruxure the NEXT generation is truly the next evolution of machine building platforms. We have designed the solution specifically to deliver an intuitive machine automation experience for machine builders that will help them reduce costs and development time, and get to market faster than ever before,” says Matt O’Kane, vice president, Offer Management & Digital Customer Experience, Schneider Electric. “We believe this is the most complete solution on the market, offering machine builders the features and functionality to deliver high-performance machines that can improve their bottom line.”

Logic controllers

The three logic controllers are completely new: the Modicon M221 is targeted at hardwired applications, the Modicon M241 is designed for CANopen communication, and the Modicon M251 is optimized for distributed and modular architectures. These compact controllers set new standards for functionality and performance with their straightforward engineering, extensive embedded communication capabilities, and scalability. With their new modular I/O system, side-by-side mountable communication modules, and embedded safety in the I/O system, the MachineStruxure offer enables machine builders to create customized solutions efficiently with minimal installation time. 

Each controller features standard interfaces such as Ethernet, a USB port for programming and a serial interface. Additionally, embedded web servers give these controllers extensive built-in connectivity without requiring optional add-ons, even in standard configurations. Both the Modicon M221 and Modicon M241 are equipped with I/O terminals and a pulse/direction interface as well.

All three models provide easy and convenient data handling viaQR codes displayed directly on products, enabling quick access to product documentation and support via a Smartphone or tablet. The controllers can be accessed via Bluetooth enabled devices and can be remotely accessed via the SCADA Touch application, Webvisu or a Weportal, simplifying maintenance activities.

I/O system

Modicon TM3, a specially developed I/O system for the new range, enables flexible and customizable expansion of the I/O terminals in all controller models. Up to 14 terminals can be added via a new I/O expansion bus, which is 10 times faster than traditional solutions. New safety system modules can also be connected via the I/O expansion bus using “safety embedded” relays.

Motion controller

The new Modicon LMC078 motion controller is suitable for a wide range of processing machines, as well as simpler packaging machinery. It combines motion control functionality for up to eight servo axes on a single controller platform with a powerful PLC that can process 1000 bit PLC instructions in 5 µs. It can also program up to 254 electronic cam switches, with a cam switch cycle time of 250 µs.

The Modicon LMC078 can control complete machines without optional add-ons, expanding the PLC portfolio of the MachineStruxure multi-controller platform by adding full-motion control functionality for machines with fewer axes.

Servo drive

The MachineStruxure offer is further enhanced through the addition of the Lexium 28 servo drive. The Lexium 28 bridges the gap between two existing models, the Lexium 23 Plus and the Lexium 32. With a design based on the “options” concept of the Lexium 23 Plus, the Lexium 28 offers additional functions such as DC bus coupling, embedded safety functionalities, and an easy-to-use auto-tuning function. The Lexium 28 is largely compatible with the Lexium 23 Plus in terms of integration, and can supplement it in applications that require additional features.

The Lexium 28 offers a performance range of 0.05 to 4.5 KW and comes equipped with CANopen and CANmotion. It also includes a PTI/PTO interface for easy connection to controllers without a field bus network, making it compatible with the Modicon LMC058 motion controller and the Modicon M221, Modicon M241, and Modicon M251 logic controllers.