ControlLogix PLC Processors

ControlLogix 5580 Processor Line Reviewed

There has been a lot of hype about the most recent Rockwell/Allen-Bradley ControlLogix 5580 Processor launch. Today what I wanted to do is take a deeper dive into this new line of controllers to see what is under the hood.

The ControlLogix 5580 Processor line comes in two different varieties. They are the Standard ControlLogix 5580 Processor line, and the GuardLogix 5580 Safety Processor line of controllers.

If you’ve heard the hype and have been wondering what these little power-houses have to offer, be sure to read the article in its entirety right here on PLCGurus.NET!

ControlLogix 5580 Processor Capacity

The ControlLogix 5580 Standard Controller line has five different processor to choose from depending on your memory and Ethernet/IP connected node requirements. The table below illustrates what these catalog numbers are and the memory and Ethernet/IP sizes.

ControlLogix 5580 Processor Line Reviewed

This is approximately a 45% increase in capacity over it’s predecessor, the 5570 line of controllers as can be seen in the table below. I was surprised to find that Amazon is in the business of selling Allen-Bradley processors these days. I found an Allen Bradley 1756-L71 Ser B ControlLogix 5571 Processor listed for under $3500 bucks! This is significantly cheaper than the list price I charted below…not too shabby!

ControlLogix 5580 Processor Line Reviewed

That said, I’ve yet to see one of the 1756-L8xE’s show up on Amazon…but I’m sure it won’t be long! The improved memory capacity and onboard Gigabit Ethernet Port of the ControlLogix 5580 processor line will ensure this controller is capable of delivering faster system performance, productivity and security to meet the growing demands of smart manufacturing today.

GuardLogix 5580 Processor Capacity

This is the safety-controller variety of the standard ControlLogix 5580 processor line. This processor lines combines both standard and safety control capabilities in a single controller platform. It will allow OEM’s to achieve a SIL2/PLd or SIL3/PLe safety when accompanied by it’s safety-partner module the 1756-L8SP.

The table below illustrates the memory and Ethernet performance of this line of controllers.

ControlLogix 5580 Processor Line Reviewed

Again, a fairly significant capacity boost over its predecessor the GuardLogix 5570 controller line.

Summary Of The ControlLogix 5580 Processor Features

Enhanced Performance and Troubleshooting

  • Provides up to 45% more capacity.
  • 1 gigabit (Gb) embedded Ethernet port enables high-speed I/O and motion control.
  • Optimized to enable maximum system performance.
  • Enhanced diagnostics and troubleshooting.

Scalable Safety Solution

  • Achieve SIL2/PLd or SIL3/PLe performance.
  • Optimized for faster safety reaction time.
  • Support for new Compact 5000™ safety I/O.
  • Networked Safety Functions with Drives and Motion.

Added Security and Capabilities

  • Energy storage module removes the need for a battery.
  • Controller-based change detection and logging enable added security.
  • Digitally-signed controller firmware adds another layer of security.
  • Provides role-based access control to routines and Add-On Instructions.
  • Conformal Coating options to help protect in harsh environments.

Where These Processors Are Ideally Suited

The ControlLogix 5580 Processor line is ideally suited for those applications that require extremely high performance and throughput. This will include applications that leverage many connected remote I/O devices over Ethernet/IP,  and motion control up to 256 axes.

Check out the Rockwell YouTube video below that provides some real-time metrics of the ControlLogix 5580 Processor line of controllers over the 5570 line.

How Much Does A ControlLogix 5580 Processor Cost?

This is where it gets interesting. The ControlLogix 5580 boasts both impressive performance boosts and also lower total cost of ownership over it’s predecessor the 5570 line. The reason for this is the ControlLogix 5580 processor line comes with an embedded Ethernet/IP port, thus saving the cost to purchase an additional Ethernet module.

Let’s do a side-by-side and compare the list prices, in US dollars, of these two processor lines. Note, these are the list prices I’ve found online and you are likely paying less than this by some percentage based on your local distributor agreement. That said, the difference should be consistent.

ControlLogix 5580 Processor Line Reviewed

Clearly, in all cases the ControlLogix 5580 Processor line has a lower total cost of ownership over its older brother the 5570 provided you are using the embedded gigabit Ethernet/IP port.

What About Supported Software?

All ControlLogix 5580 Processors use the same Studio 5000 integrated development environment. With one caveat…in order to program the ControlLogix 5580 Processor line you will need to have a minimum version 28 for the 1756-L83E and -L85E, with the more common 1756-L81E, -L82E, and L84E requiring version 29.

The table below uses the Rockwell Compatibility & Downloads center to compare.

ControlLogix 5580 Processor Line Reviewed

Therefore, transitioning to the 5580 controller platform may create some versioning problems at your facility. Depending on whether or not you are standardizing on a specific version.


Based on price alone the ControlLogix 5580 Processor line will win out over the older 5570 line. With the embedded Ethernet/IP port and the added performance boost you will get from these 1756-L8xE processors, it’s almost a “no-brainer” to jump to this processor line.

The downside is the supported software versions. With any new Rockwell products, you will likely have to migrate to the latest and greatest software version to get support for their latest hardware. The move to a higher software version means that you will have to install the updated software on all the PC’s that will service this equipment.

Depending on your specific facility and established software standards, this could be a sticking point, especially if you are a smaller company without a Tech Connect contract to get the latest software updates.

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