Automation breakthrough: Opto 22 adds wireless capabilities to programmable controllers

Opto 22 says it has made the use of wireless for programmable automation controllers and I/O is as easy as it is for PCs and laptop computers.


Opto 22 has added wireless local area networking (WLAN) capabilities to its full line of SNAP PAC System programmable automation controllers (PACs) and I/O systems.
The company says it has made the use of wireless for programmable automation controllers and I/O is as easy as it is for PCs and laptop computers, allowing users to avoid the hodgepodge of proprietary and incompatible technologies typically found in the industrial automation industry today.
"Similar to the way you use your laptop, our SNAP PAC controllers and I/O allow you to choose wired and wireless networking based on your environment and other factors," explains Nick Riley, design engineer at Opto 22. "Engineers now have an effective, lower-cost way to provide 'proof-of-concept' for their projects—before investing in costly permanent wiring or building a wireless infrastructure throughout their factory or facility. It also gives them flexible options for segmenting their networks."
Opto 22's new wireless technology in the SNAP PAC devices is based on the industry-standard IEEE-802.11 specification with support for a, b, and g networks operating in the license-free 5 GHz (802.11a) and 2.4 GHz (802.11b/g) frequency bands. This allows the controllers and I/O brains to be used in the most common wireless infrastructures deployed in the world today. Wireless access points, wireless routers, and wireless repeaters from nearly any vendor can co-exist with SNAP PAC wireless technology.
Security is provided via the latest and most secure transmission algorithms-including WPA (TKIP) and WPA2 (802.11i/AES)-to help build the robust and secure wireless communications system typically required for any wireless implementation today.

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