A Good Investment?

Is machine-mount I/O worth it? In your experience, are the higher material costs up front outweighed by the installation, configuration and eventual maintenance savings? Stand up, be counted, and let us know. Want more? Read our April 2008 article Out of the Cabinet, on the Job.
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  • <p>We changed our manufacturing philosophy about 4 years go, changing from discrete hand wired relay logic to full PLC control with distributed IP67 I/O. Here are the improvements that were made by using connectorized, distributed IO.</p> <p>The physical control box decreased in size by 80% due to the removal of relays/terminal blocks and the multitude of cord grip holes punched in the box to accommodate each individual IO. Removal of all the drilled holes also decreased build time and improved IP rating.</p> <p>Labor for building the control box decreased by 80%. They can now build the control box in 1 day as apposed to 1 week.</p> <p>Assembly defects were dramatically cut, nearly eliminated because the hand wiring of each circuit became obsolete. This led to improved turn around times in manufacturing. Since the IO blocks led to distributed control the machine can now be modularized. Each section can be tested individually and are not as reliant on the main control box. Only power and communication are required instead of 25 IO and power.</p> <p>Cable costs were dramatically decreased due to switching from Multi-conductor IO to communication/power cable.</p> <p>Improved vision of the machine since some IO were obstructed from view or hard to physically observe. Since the IO blocks had LED's you could use them to determine the state of the IO. There is also an improvement in safety since an operator can view the status of LED's remotely away from the moving parts.</p> <p>Bills of material became more manageable. Instead of needing 3-6 parts for each IO (cable,connectors,cord grip,label etc..) it is now handled by purchasing one cordset.</p> <p>Overall increase in sustained IP rating. Since all cordsets are fully overmolded the IP rating from the sensor to IO block to the PLC remains at IP67. When wiring by hand you loose this rating due to the fact that hand wired solutions do not maintain that level of protection.</p> <p>Decrease in weight. There is approximately 200lbs in weight removed due to the lighter control cables and decreased size of the control panel. On the older system the assemblers had to use a fork lift to install the control box. Now you can hold the control box in your hands.</p> <p>Inventory became more manageable because the logic was now in the PLC/IO and not in the relay logic. This meant you can build a generic control box for every machine instead of custom building each one. The remote IO provides upgrades and already "prewired" solutions. The amount of IO was selected to make all machines generic so options selected by the customer were easily installed on the machine.</p> <p>Field upgrades became easier. Since the IO blocks offer additional IO an upgrade was more plug and play then having to drill new holes in boxes, add additional relays/terminal blocks and hand wire.</p>


  • <p>I'm looking for a way to view a video source on a panelview plus 1000 that is hooked up to a control logix processor. If anyone knows a way to do this please let me know.</p>


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