Keeping a low profile and being dense is OK, if you’re an I/O module

Schneider Electric says I/O modules need to take up little space in the cabinet and offer a wide variety of voltage and current values to fit application needs. Distributed I/O on a machine can reduce wiring costs.
February 3, 2010
Product research, advice from Control Engineering subscribers on I/O modules .
Schneider Electric Modicon M340 PAC has discrete high-density I/O modules for up to 64 channels per module; analog I/O has up to 8 channels per module.

Schneider Electric Modicon M340 PAC has discrete high-density I/O modules for up to 64 channels per module; analog I/O has up to 8 channels per module.

Keeping a low profile and being dense might not be something you’d want to hear in most polite conversations, but in reference to I/O modules, those are good attributes to have.
"Customers want I/O that is low profile and high density so that it requires a minimum of cabinet space," says Stephen Arnold, Schneider Electric automation product manager. "They need a

Schneider Electric says I/O modules need to take up little space in the cabinet and offer a wide variety of voltage and current values to fit application needs. Distributed I/O on a machine can reduce wiring costs.
Reliability concerns remain, so design attributes are important. Arnold says customers "want to know that when they install a solution that it will maintain optimum performance for many years without causing expensive, unplanned downtime."

Schneider Electric Modicon M340 PAC

Modicon M340 PAC from Schneider Electric provides a powerful CPU with 4 MB of internal RAM that is expandable to 128 MB, according to the company. Discrete high-density I/O modules provide up to 64 channels per module. Analog I/O provides up to 8 channels per module. In addition, numerous counter modules, communication modules and motion can be managed by the M340. Multiple backplanes can be managed by one CPU using backplane expanders. I/O also can be distributed over Ethernet, CANopen and AS-i networks. It is available in a footprint as small as 9.54 in. (242.4 mm) by 3.94 in. (100 mm) and a depth of 6.30 in. (160 mm) from the mounting surface. These attributes help reduce cabinet size. www.schneider-electric.com

Read more about Modicon M340 hardware, software, and connectivity .

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