ABB releases latest version of its Freelance control system

Freelance Version 2013 provides more power, speed and functionality with new AC900F controller
Singapore, March 25, 2013 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, announced today the release of its Freelance Version 2013 distributed control system (DCS), which is ideal for small to medium sized plants. Freelance is part of ABB’s Essential Automation suite of control systems and products for process industries.

Forming the core of Freelance Version 2013 is the AC 900F — a new controller with features and capabilities to meet the process industries’ ever-increasing demands for flexibility, reliability and performance.

Freelance Version 2013 (L) and the new AC 900F controller (R)

Timely technology updates and patches are critical in ensuring process availability.

The AC 900F includes a secure digital (SD) card that allows users to easily load and backup a configuration, without needing an additional computer.

The AC 900F also provides more connectivity options, with four built-in Ethernet ports and two serial ports that support both Modbus and IEC 60870-5-104 telecontrol protocols on Ethernet. With transmission speeds of 100MB/sec, the AC 900F provides improved system speed and overall power. It also supports Profibus master modules to allow line redundancy and high availability, with no single point of failure.

A single AC 900F controller supports up to 1,500 I/O, and up to 10 direct I/O modules. This makes AC 900F suitable for expanding existing systems, without incurring a large footprint.

Freelance Version 2013 also features an enhanced engineering tool that allows optimized engineering workflow. This software helps operators configure the system quickly and easily. For example, variables and tag lists can be sorted, edited and exported to a Microsoft® Excel spreadsheet, and imported again after editing. This software is compatible with all previous versions of Freelance hardware.

“ABB is focused on improving efficiency and productivity with automation and control solutions. We have enhanced Freelance Version 2013 with the power, speed and functionalities our customers need to improve performance, with the full benefit of a robust, scalable and easy-to-use control solution,” said Alfred Lee, global marketing manager for Essential Automation.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.