New GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms VersaMax® Micro Plus Controller Firmware Expands Online Programming and Modbus TCP Ethernet Capabilities

Enhanced productivity features make updating programs simpler, and add high accuracy modes and a new Modbus TCP Client/Server functionality


Charlottesville, VA, November 16, 2009    GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, today announced the release of its latest VersaMax® Micro Plus controller firmware revision 4.0. The new release expands the controller’s applicability to an even wider range of applications by integrating some exciting new features.
“With this release GE Fanuc has enabled the VersaMax Micro Plus to improve productivity, substantially expand communications connectivity, add high precision temperature sensing and increase the amount of devices that con be controlled with a low end controller,” said Bill Black, Controllers Product Manager for GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms.  “The VersaMax Micro is a surprisingly powerful PLC for its size and price, and the new features add more functionality, keeping it at the forefront of its class of controllers.”
The new OnLine Programming feature enables the user to edit and download logic to the PLC without stopping it. Not requiring a PLC to come off line for changes saves significant downtime and potential expense for lost productivity and scrap.   The OnLine programming streamlines debugging during machine commissioning and is ideal for applications that are continuous process.
The VersaMax Micro Plus has been enhanced to support Ethernet Modbus TCP Client and Server protocol. This powerful communication addition enables the Micro to handle a wide range of applications that historically required a more sophisticated control platform. A simple function block enables the Modbus TCP communications commands to be easily integrated into the users logic.   Up to eight Modbus TCP channels are supported with one channel configured for Modbus TCP Client and the remaining are used for Modbus TCP servers. 
“The Modbus TCP connectivity enables the Micro Plus controllers to address many complex applications that require the integration of variable frequency drives, motor control centers, SCADA and other Ethernet devices. In addition, security settings have also been added to minimize hacking into the controller,” continued Black.
The new VersaMax Micro 4.0 firmware release also supports High Accuracy Thermocouple/Millivolt and RTD input Modules.    The Thermocouple and RTD expansion units can now support the High Accuracy mode with 16-bit resolution. This provides higher precision in temperature monitoring and strain gauge applications.
Additionally, there are four new 64-point expansion modules that are compatible with the new Micro Plus controller, so the Micro Plus can support up to 320 I/O points.   The high-density expansion modules enable the Micro Plus to be very cost effective for low-end applications.
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About GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a joint venture between General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) and FANUC LTD of Japan, is an experienced high-performance technology company and a global provider of hardware, software, services, and expertise in automation and embedded computing. We offer a unique foundation of agile, advanced and ultra-reliable technology that provides customers a sustainable advantage in the industries they serve, including energy, water, consumer packaged goods, government & defense, and telecommunications. GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms is a worldwide company headquartered in Charlottesville, VA and is part of GE Enterprise Solutions. For more information, visit
About GE Enterprise Solutions
GE Enterprise Solutions elevates customers' productivity and profitability with integrated solutions using sensors and non-destructive testing; security and life safety technologies; power system protection and control; and plant automation and embedded computing systems. Enterprise Solutions' high-tech, high-growth businesses include Sensing & Inspection Technologies, Security, Digital Energy, and GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms. The business has 17,000 problem-solving employees in more than 60 countries around the world.
Media Contact:
Elli Holman, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms