Five vendors in an automation distributor: Inventory, design assistance

Five automation vendors showed a sampling of industrial automation at DigiKey’s booth at Automate 2024 by A3, including a native CODESYS controller, sensors, power supplies, collaborative robot and Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE) connectors.

By Mark T. Hoske June 12, 2024
Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering

 

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about five automation vendors’ offerings available through DigiKey as shown at the Automate 2024 show, by A3.
  • Review products including Weidmuller native CODESYS controller, Omron sensors, Siemens power supplies, Schneider Electric collaborative robot and Phoenix Contact Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE) connectors.

Automate 2024: Automation distributor insights

  • Learn about five automation vendors’ offerings available through DigiKey as shown at the Automate 2024 show, by A3.
  • Review products shown, including Weidmuller native CODESYS controller, Omron sensors, Siemens power supplies, Schneider Electric collaborative robot and Phoenix Contact Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE) connectors.

DigiKey’s automation and control business provides products, experts and resources by industry, product category, manufacturer and search. Eric Wendt, director industrial automation, DigiKey, said the company expanded into automation and controls in 2016. Now automation and control industry products represent about 10% of company sales. All products ship from a 3-million-square-foot warehouse in Minnesota, Wendt said at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Why use DigiKey? Ease of use, Wendt said, providing more industrial automation in one location than any one automation provider.

Five automation vendors were featured in the booth: Weidmuller, Omron, Siemens, Schneider Electric and Phoenix Contact. Highlights from each follow along with links to two related video interviews.

Weidmuller native CODESYS controller, Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE)

At the DigiKey booth, Weidmuller showed products including a Native CODESYS Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE) Connectors.

The u-control WL2000 family modular design is based on the remote I/O system u-remote and allows for needs-based expansion to include other components from the u-mation family and uses (along with other controllers) CODESYS software for programming. A Weidmuller u-control starter kit (photo) is available.

Figure 1: Weidmuller’s starter kit for the u-control controller offers native CODESYS programming, as shown at the DigiKey booth at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago.

Figure 1: Weidmuller’s starter kit for the u-control controller offers native CODESYS programming, as shown at the DigiKey booth at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering

The SPE field attachable plug, SPE-Plug according to IEC 63171-2, can be applied without tools and has IP20 protection. Different SPE connections are available (photo), offering miniature industrial networking connections in standards-based form factors providing ease of use.

Figure 2: Weidmuller mounted Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE) connector options for comparison at the DigiKey booth at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago.

Figure 2: Weidmuller mounted Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE) connector options for comparison at the DigiKey booth at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering

Omron: Sensors, IO-Link communications

Omron sensors shown at the DigiKey booth included presence, proximity, measurement, position, color, fiber-optic, clear-material and time-of-flight among others in a wide variety of form factors, ranges, sizes, costs and technologies, designed for various environments and applications (photo). Color sensors, for instance, typically have a very short range and, like many other sensors, appropriate fixturing and positioning is important. With IO-Link networking capabilities, industrial sensor communications costs have decreased.

Figure 3: Omron offers a wide variety of sensor technology options for measurements across many applications as shown at the DigiKey booth at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago.

Figure 3: Omron offers a wide variety of sensor technology options for measurements across many applications as shown at the DigiKey booth at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering

Siemens: Power supplies, I/O block communications

Industrial automation requires controllers, communications, human-machine interfaces (HMIs), drives and reliable power supplies, and Siemens showed a variety of options at the DigiKey booth (photo).

Figure 4: Siemens display at the DigiKey booth at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago, included controllers, drives, human-machine interface, I/O modules and power supplies for on-machine and in-cabinet automation use. Bottom middle are Siemens Sitop power supplies.

Figure 4: Siemens display at the DigiKey booth at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago, included controllers, drives, human-machine interface, I/O modules and power supplies for on-machine and in-cabinet automation use. Bottom middle are Siemens Sitop power supplies. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering

Input/output devices: Siemens Simatic ET200 clean has 11 connection ports, is made of composite plastic for lower cost, is lightweight and chemical resistant, with communications including EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP and Profinet.

Siemens power supplies (photo) offer reliable offerings to improve industrial automation reliability, with circuit breaker functionality, uninterruptible power supply options for up to two hours of power if line power is lost. Sitop PSU4200 options include 3-20 Amps and IO-Link communications.

Figure 5: Siemens Simatic ET200 clean I/O module has 11 connection ports, is made of composite plastic for lower cost, is lightweight and chemical resistant, with communications including EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP and Profinet, as shown at the DigiKey booth at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago.

Figure 5: Siemens Simatic ET200 clean I/O module has 11 connection ports, is made of composite plastic for lower cost, is lightweight and chemical resistant, with communications including EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP and Profinet, as shown at the DigiKey booth at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering

Schneider Electric: Collaborative robot

The Schneider Electric Lexium Cobot, shown at the DigiKey booth (photo), is available in 3kg, 5kg, 7kg and 12kg payload options, with an 18kg version on the way later in 2024. SCARA, delta, cartesian robots also are available. One software is used for the cobots, and anyone’s controller can be used. Three levels of interface are offered, including a pendant.

Figure 6: The Schneider Electric Lexium Cobot, shown at the DigiKey booth (photo), is available in 3, 5, 7 and 12kg payload options, with an 18kg version on the way later in 2024, as shown at the DigiKey booth at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago.

Figure 6: The Schneider Electric Lexium Cobot, shown at the DigiKey booth (photo), is available in 3, 5, 7 and 12kg payload options, with an 18kg version on the way later in 2024, as shown at the DigiKey booth at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering

Phoenix Contact: Industrial networks, connectors, SPE

Among Phoenix Contact products at the DigiKey booth were tool-less Push-X technology terminal blocks, Connexis connectors, M23 quick-turn IP67-rated connectors, shielded M12 push-pull connectors and Single-Pair Ethernet Connectors (photo) with IP20 and IP67 ratings.

Figure 7: A comparison of the size of Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE, plug is between figure and thumb) with other connectors was part of the Phoenix Contact connector display at the DigiKey booth at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago.

Figure 7: A comparison of the size of Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE, plug is between figure and thumb) with other connectors was part of the Phoenix Contact connector display at the DigiKey booth at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering

Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief, Control Engineering, WTWH Media, mhoske@wtwhmedia.com, using information collected at the DigiKey booth and online.

KEYWORDS: Automate 2024, industrial control, sensors, power, networking, integration

CONSIDER THIS

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ONLINE

See DigiKey video interview from Automate 2024 with Eric Halvorson

See Weidmuller video interview from Automate 2024 with Ken Crawford and John Spence


Author Bio: Mark Hoske has been Control Engineering editor/content manager since 1994 and in a leadership role since 1999, covering all major areas: control systems, networking and information systems, control equipment and energy, and system integration, everything that comprises or facilitates the control loop. He has been writing about technology since 1987, writing professionally since 1982, and has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from UW-Madison.