I/O Solutions Cross the Board

OEMs Rely on a Wide Variety of Mounting and Connectivity Routes

By Control Design Staff

Industrial manufacturing is a world that continues to demand more flexibility and more customized solutions, with less of a one-size-fits-all approach. So it shouldn't be a surprise that machine builders are all over the board with what kinds of I/O solutions they need.

Control Design surveyed machine builders recently about their I/O systems and terminal blocks, and found that they were often pretty evenly divided on a number of points. For example, about one-third of respondents (32%) say their I/O is mostly centralized, with some remote/distributed; while another third (30%) are using remote/distributed I/O, with some centralized. A quarter of them are using mostly or entirely centralized/rack-mounted I/O systems, with just under 13% using mostly or entirely remote/distributed I/O. Of those using remote I/O, they are predominately (almost 73%) mounted in cabinets, with 25% machine-mount varieties.

SEE ALSO: Mix and Match I/O? Maybe

Machine builders responding to our survey are also using a wide range of I/O connectivity options. Asked which types of connectivity they mostly use, more than half (almost 58%) responded with 4–20 mA, and also more than half (54%) indicated hardwiring is high on their list. Close to 45% ranked some kind of Ethernet connection high as well. Other usage includes process fieldbus (30%), device-level digital networks (30%), serial (26%) and wireless (12%).

Choosing controller technology is a less diplomatic affair, however. Almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents say their machine controller technology is PLC. That's followed by embedded control at a distant 14% and PCs at 7%. Close to two-thirds are specifying and purchasing their I/O bundled together with the controller.

Molex's Brad HarshIO Profinet I/O modules

Certifiable Modules
Brad HarshIO Profinet I/O modules are PNO-certified to meet Profinet specifications for conformance class B. Fast Start-Up (FSU) technology connects industrial controllers to I/O devices, and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) support extends module diagnostics of network functions such as port status messages. Media Redundancy Protocol (MRP) increases data reliability.
(800) 225-7724

Opto 22's G4EB2 I/O processor

Keep Old I/O
G4EB2 I/O processor integrates an existing, legacy Pamux G4 digital I/O system with modern Snap PAC controllers and PAC Project software over Ethernet without changing existing I/O or field wiring. G4EB2 directly replaces a 32-channel digital I/O processor in a legacy Pamux system.
Opto 22
(800) 321-opto

Omron Automation and Safety's GX-Series EtherCAT block I/O

Cat Quick
GX-Series EtherCAT block I/O is combined with the NJ-Series machine automation controller with digital, analog and pulse I/O modules and microsecond On/Off times with EtherCAT's cycle times. The block I/O has been certified fully compatible by the EtherCAT Technology Group.
Omron Automation and Safety
(866) 88-omron

Pepperl+Fuchs' G11 AS-Interface I/O modules

More ASI I/O
G11 AS-Interface I/O modules include two analog outputs each — one for 0–20 mA operation for flat cable connectivity and one for 0–20 mA operation with an M12 round connector. A third module has four analog outputs of either 0–20 mA or 0–10 V for flat cable connectivity powered by AS-Interface or an auxiliary power source. The output type of each module can be selected by DIP switch.
(330) 486-0001

Wago's 2002 Series Topjob S terminal blocks

Jump 3 Times
2002 Series Topjob S terminal blocks carry three jumper slots for control cabinet flexibility. DIN-rail disconnect/test with mechanical interlock, mini-automotive blade-style fuse and fuse disconnect with pivoting holder accommodate one output and two input potential commoning. The third jumper permits test and measurement via plugs/taps without distributing machine wiring.
(800) din-rail

Phoenix Contact's Axioline real-time I/O system Quick Response
Axioline real-time I/O system has a response time of less than 1 µs per I/O module. It uses push-in technology for quick, tool-less connection; operates in a range of -25 to 60 °C; and has extended protection against EMC with adjustable input filter times.
Phoenix Contact
(800) 322-3225
Advantech Industrial Automation's EtherNet/IP-based remote I/O modules Remote I/O
EtherNet/IP-based remote I/O modules include Adam-6150EI with 15 channels of isolated digital I/O; Adam-6151EI with 16-channel isolated digital input; Adam-6156EI with 16-channel isolated digital output; and Adam-6160EI with six-channel relay output. They are designed with 2,500 Vdc isolation protections and are resistant to field interference.
Advantech Industrial Automation
(800) 205-7940
AutomationDirect's Zipport heavy-duty, multi-wire connectors Plenty of Zip
Zipport heavy-duty, multi-wire connectors in 3A, 6B, 10B, 16B and 24B frame sizes and polyester powder-coated aluminum alloy housings have a standard profile, and PG threaded cable passages; PG thread to NPT adapters are optional.
(770) 889-2858
  Will You cRIO?
cRIO-908x reconfigurable I/O (RIO) has Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGAs and optional Windows Embedded Standard 7 (WES7) OS configuration. The systems have two Gigabit Ethernet ports, an MXI Express port, four USB ports, RS-232 and RS-485 serial ports, as well as a CPU eXpansion Module (CXM).
National Instruments
(800) 258-7022
Omega Engineering's DIN-rail-mountable AVK feed-through, screw-connection-style terminal blocks Feed It Through
DIN-rail-mountable AVK feed-through, screw-connection-style terminal blocks with vibration-resistant wire clamps have a plastic housing made from polyamide 6.6 thermoplastic resin with a UL 94 V2 rating for 105 °C. Available accessories include end plates, end brackets, cross connectors for bridging, and marking tags.
Omega Engineering
(203) 359-1660
Rockwell Automation's Bulletin 931 analog signal conditioners Save on I/O
Bulletin 931 analog signal conditioners convert a range of device signals to a standard 4–20 mA signal. Systems that transmit thermocouple signals over significant distances can take advantage of the signal conditioners to help reduce additional I/O and cabling costs with less chance of signal deterioration.
Rockwell Automation
(414) 382-2000
Siemens Industry's Simatic ET 200iSP I/O system IS I/O
Simatic ET 200iSP I/O system has three modules to accommodate safety standards IEC 61508 to SIL 3 or ISO 13849-1 to PLe e. Sensors and actuators connect directly to a bus system and the I/O system can be mounted in a non-explosion-proof cabinet.
Siemens Industry
(800) 241-4463
Weidmüller's WMF 2.5 terminal series for DCS marshalling applications Support Your Local Marshal
WMF 2.5 terminal series for DCS marshalling applications features feed-through, fusing and quick disconnects in a single profile. The terminals have an integrated shield or ground (PE) connection, and three separate jumpering channels for parallel and series jumpering.
(800) 849-9343
Murreleltronik's Backward-compatible Cube67+ Connect the Cube
Backward-compatible Cube67+ connects up to 32 I/O modules with a reach to 60 m, and has protocol support for EtherCAT. Bus nodes include an integrated Ethernet switch, built-in T-coupler for power, and IP selection window. Modules include analog I/O, digital I/O, RTD, thermocouple, and high-speed counter.
(770) 497-9292
Dataforth's MAQ20 for industrial data acquisition and control DAQ and More
MAQ20 for industrial data acquisition and control is a family of programmable, multi-channel signal conditioning I/O modules and communication modules. They mount on standard gull-wing DIN rail. Each I/O module has a 1,500 Vrms isolation barrier between the field-side and system-side wiring.
(520) 741-1404
Acromag's DIN-rail-mount TT230 signal conditioning I/O modules Isolate and Convert
DIN-rail-mount TT230 signal conditioning I/O modules are 12.5 mm wide and have a USB connection PC configuration. Models isolate and convert thermocouple, RTD, voltage or current input signals to a 4–20 mA output. They are loop-powered and support both source or sink output wiring connections.
(248) 295-0865
Mitsubishi Electric Automation's ST Series modular distributed I/O system Scalable
ST Series modular distributed I/O system operates as a slave device station for CC-Link or Profibus device-level networks. It includes a head unit, power supply and on DIN rail to form a remote system, or node, and has a scalable architecture that accepts mix-and-match I/O configurations and I/O concentrations from two to 16 I/O points.
Mitsubishi Electric Automation
(847) 478-2100
Turck's Stainless steel junction boxes Tough Connector
Stainless steel junction boxes have FM approval for Class 1, Div. 2, Groups A, B, C and D hazardous locations. Rated IP67, there are six- and eight-port models for use with M12, 7/8 in. or minifast connectors. Stainless steel junction boxes are designed to house existing circuit boards and receptacle housings.
(800) 544-7769
Beckhoff Automation's EtherCAT I/O devices Some Need It Hot
EtherCAT I/O devices with Fast Hot Connect reduces the connection time for these changeovers to 1 s, increasing productivity as a result of changing topologies via direct plug-and-play coupling or decoupling during operation. WinCAT automation suite supports Fast Hot Connect on the master side.
Beckhoff Automation
(952) 890-0000
Belden's LioN-M I/O EtherNet/IP modules Direct I/O
LioN-M I/O EtherNet/IP modules have 16 digital I/O channels with universal input/output functionality for direct connections between sensors/actuators and control systems. The universal modules (16DIO universal) provide 16 digital inputs and 16 digital outputs in any desired combination without individual parameterization.
Belden/Lumberg Automation
(717) 217-2299
  Connect Thermocouples
Spiro-TC three-channel remote thermocouple modules can be powered by USB, 6–50 Vdc or Power over Ethernet (PoE). Support for K, J, N, S, T, E and R thermocouples is available to 0.25 °C resolution with ±2.0 °C accuracy with no calibration required. 14-bit measurement includes built-in cold junction compensation and open thermocouple detection.
(512) 264-8390
Moore Industries' microNCS

Master Distributor
microNCS provides Modbus RTU (RS-485) master capabilities, cost-effective distributed data acquisition and, with expansion I/O, control capabilities. One or both of the microNCS’s Modbus RTU ports can be configured to poll other RTU slaves with all of the network polling functions of a typical Modbus master. An industry-standard OPC interface delivers plug-and-play integration with popular PC-based HMI and SCADA software packages.
Moore Industries
(818) 894-7111

Distributed modular I/O with IP67 protection and industry-standard connectors Distributed and Modular
Distributed modular I/O with IP67 protection and industry-standard connectors uses standard three-conductor cables. Up to four slave devices can be connected to each master block, which communicates via industrial Ethernet to the controller. With point-to-point IO-Link, the system is fieldbus-independent and vendor-neutral.
(800) 543-8390
WinSystems' PXM-UIO96-2 96-line digital I/O module Connect at the Sumit
PXM-UIO96-2 96-line digital I/O module offers PCI Express expansion on a PC/104-sized module enabled by stackable high-speed Sumit connector. It uses a Lattice Semiconductor FPGA with a superset of the company’s universal I/O controller cores. Each I/O line is programmable for input, output, or output with read-back operation.
(817) 274-7553
ASI's CBC terminal blocks Bridge Builder
CBC terminal blocks are designed to address control and power distribution applications where circuit bridging of two to 50 positions is required for consecutive, alternate and numerous terminal blocks in one assembly. Each terminal block can accept one or two bridges/jumpers.
(877) 650-5160
Vipa USA's Compact SLIO I/O system for systems 100V, 200V, 300S and 500S SLIO Not Slow
Compact SLIO I/O system for systems 100V, 200V, 300S and 500S have a staircase-shaped wiring layer, clear readability of channel states, protection against reverse polarity, backplane bus at 48 MBps, and 20 µs response time. The decentralized I/O system is a space-saving, thin design with a simple two-component setup.
Vipa USA
(678) 880-6910
B&R Industrial Automation's X67 I/O modules Decentralize the I/O
With IP67 protection, X67 I/O modules can be installed on the machine, and can span 100 m between modules. Users can set parameters for the digital inputs and outputs and connect to all standard fieldbuses.
B&R Industrial Automation
(770) 772-0400
c3controls' WTB2-FB130L IEC fuse holder terminal blocks Fuse the Circuit
WTB2-FB130L IEC fuse holder terminal blocks have a current rating to 30 A, and accept ¼ x 1¼ in. fuses. They have a built-in LED circuit to indicate when the fuse blows and funneled wiring entry with finger-safe IP20 terminals. Marking system allows for fast and easy circuit identification.
(724) 775-7926