I/O modules: Find the right mix, says AutomationDirect

AutomationDirect says I/O buyers are challenged to find the right mix of discrete, analog, and high speed I/O modules and remain within budget.

By Mark T. Hoske February 3, 2010

Read – I/O Modules: Product research and advice from Control Engineering subscribers

AutomationDirect Terminator I/O is an industrial I/O system with remote I/O, distributed I/O and digital I/O module capabilities.

Terminator I/O from AutomationDirect

AutomationDirect callsTerminator I/O "the most practical distributed I/O system you can buy."Terminator I/O is an industrial I/O system with remote I/O, distributedI/O and digital I/O module capabilities. It combines I/O points andfield terminations into a modular package to save panel space andmoney. The system allows distributed I/O nodes close to field devicesfor faster and more efficient wiring and troubleshooting. TerminatorI/O was custom-designed for AutomationDirect by Koyo (the same peoplewho designed the original GE Series One PLC), a trusted name in controltechnology since 1983, AutomationDirect says.

One of the most significant issues facing those making I/O buying decisions is finding the right mixture of discrete, analog and high speed I/O for specific application needs, while remaining within budget, according to Jeff Payne, PLC, I/O and PC Control product manager, AutomationDirect.

Payne told Control Engineering , "Today Programmable Controller manufacturers are striving to provide the required variations of I/O density, type, and combinations to best solve the requirements of the users. Greater I/O density means more I/O in less space, and thanks to today’s technology you can commonly find I/O modules with higher densities of 32 and 64 points, even in the required smaller footprint controllers. Because it cost less for manufacturers to place a greater number of I/O points on a single circuit board, the saving can be passed along to the users."

Users also can meet application needs by using combination modules, Payne continued. "Linear DIN-rail space is premium real estate for anyone building a panel (electrical enclosure). One goal for almost everyone is designing the electrical control system with the fewest number of modules, thus taking up the least amount of space in the panel (enclosure). You can commonly find I/O modules that give you a mixture of digital inputs and digital or relay outputs."

Finally, combination modules are also common for analog and high speed I/O applications, Payne says, "offering the customer options for the most effective solution to their applications I/O needs while optimizing the space occupied by the control system."

– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering , www.controleng.com.

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.