These interface ports mount to the outside of a control cabinet to provide easy access to data and programs without opening the cabinet door. The ports maintain system UL Type 4 and Type 12 ratings, according to maker Hoffman. Twenty-four configurations are available to interface with major data and industrial communications protocols. The interface ports can reduce the exposure of programming technicians to potential arc flash by keeping energized equipment behind closed doors. The ports come with padlock loops and quarter-turn latches.
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For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.