This new switch terminal connects Ethernet devices to the new EtherCAT fieldbus. It provides transparent and collision-free communication. It can be installed at any point in the EtherCAT node, and can accommodate Ethernet-linked devices such as printers or terminal for production data acquisition. The connected master works like a Layer 2 switch, using IP address information to sort Ethernet frames to their respective devices. It can process 1,000 distributed I/O in 30 ms or 100 axes in 100 ms with fiber optic or twisted pair cable. It needs no proprietary fieldbus cards, and uses ordinary CAT 5e cables.
Cost, product development rigor, the patient-as-a-user movement, and consumer electronics that include wireless connectivity are just a few hot topics swirling around medical devices. Each brings challenges that create innovation opportunities. If we briefly look at each one, we can see that one common need will be innovation in simplicity.
The supply chain will change significantly over the next 10 years as industry 4.0 technology enhances supply chain performance, according to the 2015 MHI Annual Industry Report, “Supply Chain Innovation — Making the impossible possible.”
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