Balluff of Florence, Kan., has released a new generation of modular I/O designed to replace standard slice I/O and distributed I/O solutions in a cost-effective way. Offering IP67 protection and industry standard connectors, the devices can be used to collect a wide range of control data. Using standard three-conductor cables, up to four slave devices can be connected to each master block, which communicates over an industrial Ethernet network to the controller.
The background: In lieu of a backplane, each I/O device is connected to an industry-standard M12 port, creating an IP67 connection. Slave devices can be distributed across the machine, since they can be installed within a 20-meter radius of the master device. Utilizing a widely accepted and open point-to-point technology, I/O-Link, a distributed modular I/O system is Fieldbus independent for easy configuration.
Balluff's distributed modular I/O deployed in a factory setting.
What: The advantages of distributed modular I/O systems include a simplified controls quotation process that utilizes Fieldbus-neutral I/O devices. The systems are also designed to help reduce cost per point by simplifying the cabinet cost and the assembly labor. The devices have maximized spare I/O potential by leaving a flexible I/O-Link port free for any type of device, discrete or analog.
Detailed diagnostic data can be collected from the devices in standard format. The devices are also designed with the flexibility to drive recipe changes directly from the PLC to the devices without the need for a manual for pushbuttons.
Industrial Ethernet master blocks are available with Ethernet/IP or Profinet protocols. Ethernet/IP masters support daisy-chain connections with a built-in switch, and they support the device-level ring (DLR) topology for ease in troubleshooting. Profinet blocks support fast-startup (FSU) as well as the link layer discovery protocol (LLDP) for easy setup out of the box. Both master devices are designed for easy-to-use, lockable pushbutton displays for quick setup. They also provide Webpages for configuration or diagnostics purposes.
Price/availability: The Balluff modular I/O for Ethernet devices are available now. The discrete I/O solutions start at $150. More information is available here.