Nexto Xpress - Getting Started

Welcome to Nexto Xpress’ first steps guide, your front gate to the Industry 4.0. In this guide, it will be demonstrated how to connect Nexto Xpress to the MasterTool IEC XE software, developing a simple application.




MasterTool IEC XE v3.23







Tutorial Sections



   2.1. Electrical installation

   2.2. MasterTool IEC XE

         2.2.1. Creation of a Project

         2.2.2. Developing the application

         2.2.3. Configure analog inputs and outputs

         2.2.4. Renaming referenced variables

         2.2.5. Loading the application


   3.1. Simulation Mode

         3.1.1. Manually write values to variables

         3.1.2. I/O Simulator




In the architecture used on this tutorial, the Ethernet port of XP325 was connected to the computer`s Ethernet port using the NX9202 cable.


This guide will demonstrate the development of a simple application in the MasterTool IEC XE software, where a digital input will trigger a digital output and the value of an analog input will be transferred to an analog output. Since there isn`t any switch/sensor connected to the PLC`s inputs (digital and analog), we will use a very interesting resource of the software, the Simulation mode.

It’s important to have the Xpress’ user manual in hand, since it will guide you on the technical features, mechanical installation, initial programming, settings and future maintenance.

Note: The developed application is available to download in the end of this tutorial.

2.1. Electrical installation

First, you need to power on your Xpress. To do this, simply connect the +V, 0V and Ground (if your power source has it) of the Xpress to a 24 Vdc power supply. When powering on the Xpress, all the LEDs will turn on, indicating that the equipment is initializing.

Note: If you have more questions about the Xpress` electrical installation, check the installation guide that comes with the product or access it by clicking here.

2.2. MasterTool IEC XE

The MasterTool IEC XE software is the programming IDE of the Nexto series. To perform the development of projects in Xpress it is necessary to install this software by clicking here.

To facilitate the development of the projects, it is important to have MaterTool’s user manual in hand and the IEC 61131 programming manual, which contains information on programming languages, libraries and function blocks.

The video below shows the steps have seen in this tutorial to develop a project to the Xpress.

2.2.1. Creation of a Project

With MasterTool installed correctly, double-click on the icon that will show up on your Desktop.

The software will open. On start page, click on New Project to start the creation of a project.

The New Project window will open. In the Templates field, select MasterTool Standard Project (1), name the project in the Name field (2), and select the path which the project will be saved to through the three-point icon button in the Location field (3). Finally, click on OK (4) to continue creating the project.

As it has been selected to create a project with the standard template, Mastertool IEC XE Standard Project window will open. Choose the Xpress model you’re using and click Next.

In the next step you will be asked to choose the project profile and the default language for the programs. The PLCs of Nexto Xpress series only work with the Machine Profile project profile, so there isn’t need to change it. The programming language defined in this tutorial was Ladder. After choosing the default programming language, click on Next.

In this step you will be asked to choose the programming language for POUs UserPrg and StartPrg. As in the previous step the Ladder default language was defined, in this step both POUs will be with this language defined, so just click on Next.

Finally, click on Finish to finish creating the project.

2.2.2. Developing the application

With the project created in MasterTool, the logic will be developed to trigger a digital output through a digital input and transfer the value from an analog input to an analog output.

Referencing the Xpress’ inputs and outputs is slightly different from other Nexto family PLCs. Unlike the NX line where we attribute a variable to the point we want to use, in Xpress it isn’t necessary to declare, since they are declared by default.

To reference a digital input, you must use: IXX, where XX is the input’s number itself;

To reference a digital output, you must use: QXX, where XX is the output’s number itself;

To reference an analog input, you must use: AIX, where X is the input’s number itself;

To reference an analog output, you must use: AOX, where X is the output’s number itself.

Before starting the development of the application, it is important to highlight the function of the POUs present in the project. The StartPrg POU runs only on the first MainTask cycle, so any logic inserted in it will run only once. The POU UserPrg is run on each MainTask cycle, running the logic continuously. To facilitate and assist the organization of a project, it is recommended to create several POUs with different parts of the project and insert them in UserPrg so that they are executed at each MainTask cycle.

It is possible to view and insert POUs into the project tree. The project tree is on the left side of the software screen and contains several components that can be used in the development of a project. For this tutorial, we will create a POU called Operating containing the logic explained in the first paragraph, inserting it in UserPrg that is the programming POU.

In the project tree, right-click on UserPOUs, go to Add Object and click on POU.

The Add POU window will open. Insert the POU’s name (1), choose the POU’s type (2) and the programming language that will be used in it (3). Finally, click on Add (4).