IP67 I/O module
Power management company Eaton has added an IP67 I/O module to its Smart-Wire-DT wiring system. This extends the usefulness of the system outside the control panel by allowing it to connect directly to sensors and actuators.
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AS A RESULT, SYSTEM BUILDERS now have additional options that give them more freedom of choice and improved diagnostic capabilities in an IP67 system architecture. The devices provide users with simpler systems from design to assembly – the construction of systems and the modification of existing machines can be carried out with less cabling effort and with reduced use of materials. Conventional methods of connecting sensors and actuators to machine control systems involve multiple challenges. With centralized control, all but the simplest systems involve a large amount of material and effort, especially if the machine covers a large area. With decentralized control using remote I/O modules, however, the granularity of the modules often does not match the number and type of peripheral devices present at each location, resulting in expenditure on unnecessary hardware. In both cases, expansions and modifications are difficult.
With the addition of the IP67 I/O modules, Eaton addresses these problems. With Smart-Wire-DT, up to 99 devices can be connected directly to the control system over a cable up to 600 m long. The module means that these devices can include sensors from Eaton’s portfolio. I/O modules can be connected to different fieldbuses via Smart-Wire-DT gateways. Configuration for the CAN, Profibus-DP, and Profinet fieldbuses is implemented via fieldbus description files.
As the IP67 I/O module has a standard M12 socket, it can also be used to connect sensors and actuators with M12 plugs to the Smart-Wire-DT system. For sensors that have their own power supply, a power consumption measurement can be used to confirm that the sensor is properly connected, which simplifies and speeds system testing. The status of the module and its diagnostic messages can also be displayed from any connection point on the system.
The system gives users flexibility in the design of their control systems. They can use a range of PLCs via a gateway (Profibus-DP, CANopen, Modbus-TCP, EthernetIP, Profinet, Powerlink, or Ethercat) or they can choose an Eaton controller with an integrated Smart-Wire-DT interface.
If a mixture of digital and analog sensors and actuators is used, the I/O modules allow an optimized architecture to be achieved, as every sensor or actuator is connected individually. With distributed applications, such as conveyor belts, it is possible to connect all of the sensors to the same cable, up to a maximum length of 600 m. The direct connection of the sensors to the IP67 I/O module reduces the amount of cabling needed. It also allows machine builders to route cables and to install individual sensors and actuators. Digital and analog inputs and outputs can be mixed as required.
When additional sensors or actuators need to be added to an existing Smart-Wire-DT installation, extra I/O modules can be fitted. This means that machine builders supplying new equipment no longer need to make special and potentially costly provisions for future expansion. The product range includes options for connecting one, two, or four sensors or actuators. The connectors can be fixed to any suitable surface using screws. Alternatively, clips are available to mount them on a standard profile rail.
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