Protocol compatibility, multiple I/O types: Wago
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I/O module-related issues include compatibility, ability of a node to accommodate multiple I/O types, and I/O module size, says Charlie Norz, product manager, Wago-I/O-System.
Fieldbus independence is a pressing issue for customers integrating existing systems or buying I/O "bit by bit," Norz explains. Customers "need I/O that will easily integrate with, and support, protocols that are already in use or meet customer specs." Some I/O modules and systems accommodate more than 16 prominent protocols, he says.
Ability for different I/O types to reside in one node (such as high-voltage and low-voltage types along side intrinsically safe modules) increasingly has become a "time- and cost-effective workaround for process application engineers." Working with one system and set of components to handle multiple functions is easier.
Machinery downsizing also has been problematic, Norz says, particularly as machines have become more sophisticated and every millimeter of panel must be maximized. Putting more I/O points in less space is the answer; some I/O modules accommodate up to 16 points within a 12 mm-footprint, conserving space and significantly lowering per channel costs through accessories, such as flat-ribbon cables and pre-assembled assemblies, Norz explains.
– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering , www.controleng.com.