Just as Old MacDonald had a farm filled with different animals, the marketplace is stocked with many choices for the I/O and terminal blocks that serve as the connectivity core of every modern machine.
“Ethernet is the modern approach to I/O,” claims Jim Lamberson, senior design engineer from Sensoray (sensoray.com). “It is electrically isolated, so pesky communication ground loops can be eliminated. A single, standardized cable connects the control computer to the I/O system, reducing cable clutter and cost. An Ethernet I/O system can be located far from the host computer and distributed so its I/O interfaces reside at optimal locations close to the field wiring. Since field wiring connects directly to the remote I/O system, there is no need for external termination boards. Perhaps most importantly, Ethernet offers protection from obsolescence. Ethernet is available for virtually every hardware platform and will be available for the foreseeable future.”
Jason Haldeman, product marketing specialist at Phoenix Contact (phoenixcon.com), agrees. “Ethernet provides cabling flexibility that traditional I/O networks lacked, such as supporting ring, star or tree structures using copper, fiber and wireless media,” says Haldeman. “No traditional network can support this many variations without costly conversion devices. Ethernet also was designed to support multiple protocols, allowing a single network to handle all the machine builders’ communication needs from the monitoring system down to the sensor level.”
Helge Hornis, Ph. D, manager, intelligent systems, at Pepperl+Fuchs (am.pepperlfuchs.com) believes engineers are increasingly scrutinizing the mechanical design of the I/O just as much as they analyze the overall manufacturing simplicity, in an effort to reduce I/O installation costs. “An important aspect of machine I/O relates to functional safety,” he explains. “Safety networks provide machine builders with ever-increasing design flexibility, reducing the cost of safety systems while increasing diagnostic capabilities.”
I/O terminals add more functionality to reduce the need for extra interfacing devices or “black boxes” in systems, says Graham Harris, president, Beckhoff Automation (beckhoff.com). “Intelligent I/O requires fewer connections for better reliability, smaller cabinets and often less software,” he says.
|ETHERNET I/O MODULES
A firmware enhancement to Adam-6000 Ethernet I/O modules adds peer-to-peer (P2P) and graphic condition logic (GCL) functionality. Peer-topeer functionality can actively update input channel status to specific output channels. Data will transfer automatically, with no extra controller or programming. Graphic condition logic is a Windows-based software utility that adds control logic between input and output without extensive programming.
Advantech, Industrial Automation Group
|LOW INSTALLATION COST
Line of IEC terminal blocks meets applicable UL, CSA and IEC standards and are rated for Code 1, factory wiring only, and Code 2, both factory and field wiring. Screw clamp terminal blocks are available from 20 A to 35 A, in both spring and screw clamp. Specialty blocks include ground, multi-level, sensor, multi-conductor, fuse holder and disconnect.
Bus couplers provide flexible IP20 and IP65/67 EtherNet/IP I/O connectivity, while integrated I/O lowers installed costs. The Inline bus coupler connects a complete range of up to 61 IP20 modules. For distributed machine mount IP65/67 applications, the Field-Line EtherNet/IP bus coupler connects up to 16 modules.
EtherCat Terminals for eXtreme Fast Control (XFC) have a high data throughput and distributed clock synchronization with a jitter less than 1 μsec. The terminals offer time stamping to latch the exact system time at which edge changes occur. Output of digital values can occur at precise, predefined times. Oversampling enables actual value acquisition of set value output with higher time resolution than the communication cycle time.
Snap Tex mounting and wiring accessories include a variety of terminal extender cables, breakout boards, wiring harnesses, DIN-rail kits, jumper straps, rack adapters and other components for mounting and wiring automation, control and I/O systems. Collectively, the line reduces the time, expense and complexity associated with field instrumentation wiring and control cabinet assembly.
|FF JUNCTION BRICKS
JRBS junction bricks for Foundation fieldbus connect multiple devices to the main fieldbus trunk. They are available with 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 ports and feature removable terminals for installation and wiring modifications in tight spaces. These terminals are located on both sides of the brick to enable access for wiring from either direction, and they securely screw into place eliminating the risk of becoming disconnected in high vibration environments.
Simatic ET 200pro small, distributed I/O system offers IP65/67 protection. The modular design allows drives and motor starters to be diagnosed or replaced without interrupting communication. Built-in communication interfaces allow connections to Profibus or Profinet.
Siemens Energy & Automation
|NOT YOUR FAULT
DirectLogic options include fault-protected output modules designed for DL205 PLCs. F2-16TDxP 16-channel current output modules, available in sinking and sourcing configurations, feature 16 input points that are automatically assigned as fault status indicators for the corresponding outputs. Equipped with electronic circuit protection, the modules detect missing external 24 Vdc, open load, over-temperature and over-current load.
|IDC TERMINAL BLOCKS
XBQ IDC terminal blocks allow wire to be connected without prior stripping. The RoHS-compliant series is suited for high-volume connections for low-voltage control and signal circuitry where easy assembly is required, such as machine tools, material handling machinery and automated equipment.
|JUNCTION BLOCK MODULES
VBA-4E4A AS-Interface junction box modules are 28.65 mm high and deliver four in/four out support of up to 62 nodes per network. All I/O is powered directly by the AS-Interface module, eliminating the need for additional sources of power.
|SAFETY I/O TERMINALS
DST1-XD0808SL-1 safety I/O terminals support six safety inputs and eight safety outputs and can store simple logic. This allows local outputs to be directly controlled by local inputs with a maximum response time of 18.7 msec. The I/O terminals safely move a machine to a safe state regardless of network structure, number of I/O modules or overall program complexity.
Omron Scientific Technologies
Cube67 I/O fieldbus technology provides power supply and communication capabilities between the individual components of the system in a direct, straightforward manner. Rated IP20/67, the I/O system’s fully enclosed power and communication module can be installed in the immediate vicinity of the assembly or the manufacturing process without requiring tangles of power cords, wiring and conduit.
DIN-rail mounted terminal blocks ranging from the 280 Series to 285 Series Power Cage Clamp carry a 100 kA short-circuit current rating (SCCR) when used with appropriate fuses. The SCCR originates from changes enacted by the National Electric Code and is represented as UL508A.
|PXI I/O MODULES
Four R Series I/O modules for the PXI platform are equipped with Xilinx Virtex-5 field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The PXI-7841R, PXI-7842R, PXI- 7851R and PXI-7852R modules have eight analog inputs, eight analog outputs and 96 digital I/O lines, as well as analog input rates that are more than 3.5 times faster than previously released R series devices. These modules provide engineers with commercial off-the-shelf hardware that can be graphically programmed with the LabView FPGA module to perform custom onboard processing for inline data analysis and deterministic I/O control for applications that require specialized timing and triggering.
Family of terminal blocks includes screw terminals, spring terminals, IDC terminals, distribution blocks, fuse blocks, switch blocks, 2 and 3 deck blocks, mini blocks and power blocks. There is also Absolute Rail Design software that allows users to design and layout a complete terminal block assembly, without detailed instructions.
|EXPANSION I/O MODULES
Two expansion modules for the MicroSmart and MicroSmart Pentra PLCs offer fast conversion times and 16-bit resolution. An eight-channel 0-10 Vdc/4-20 mA input module, as well as a two-channel ±10 Vdc/4-20 mA output module are offered. These analog modules snap onto the right side of the MicroSmart CPU modules without extra cables or complex wiring.
Allen-Bradley 1492 terminal blocks include screw type, spring-clamp and insulation displacement connectivity. There are multi-level blocks that include two-level and three-level options, offering users the ability to connect larger wires or mount directly to the ground. Multi-connection, single-level feed-through and ground blocks enable users to increase installation density with dual-connection points on one or two sides.
EASY TO INSTALL
e-Flex industrial grade Ethernet cordsets have a continuous flex rating of 10 million cycles at a bend radius of 20X cable diameter while maintaining Category 5E compliance. They are bayonet-locking, double-ended cordsets, male RJ45 to male RJ45, with teal or red (EtherSafe) TPE jacket, 4-pair, 24 AWG, CAT-5e stranded and unshielded, IP 67 rated cable.
|DISTRIBUTED I/O NETWORK
Net Concentrator Systems (NCS) Process Control and Distributed I/O Network is available with Modbus RTU (RS485) communication capabilities using twisted-pair wire, Ethernet, wireless (RF), fiber and telephone modem links to send monitoring and control signals over long distances and hazardous environments. Data rates are to 100 Mbps.
IEC TERMINAL BLOCKS
SERIAL DEVICE SERVER