2008 New Product Compendium: Networks and Communications Protocols
The following products were introduced in 2008, and participated in the Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Awards competition.
Descriptions were provided by vendor companies. For more information, visit the Website listed. To learn which products won the competition, and which received honorable mentions, visit www.controleng.com/awards . To jump to a specific category of products, click on the following links.
Net-Access Overhead Cable Routing System
It is a modular, 2 piece injection molded design that installs quick and easily to the top of the Net-Access cabinet, eliminating need for other supporting infrastructure. It provides a high capacity data cable pathway directly over the cabinet.
The CRB6BL product provides a secure mounting method with minimum uses of tools and loose fasteners by providing a integral screw mounting bosses that speeds implementation and lowers installation cost. Integral 6-in. high sidewalls that contains and hides cables from view eliminating the need to lash bundles to the pathway, while reducing cable grooming and installation time and enhancing data center aesthetics. Integral 3" bend radius control to ensure consistent bend radius protection for cables entering the cabinet, which protects high performance cables from physical damage improving network reliability.
Net-Access Server Cabinet and Cooling Door
The Net-Access Cooling Door from Panduit is placed directly at the heat source providing the most effective and economical method of removing heat from the data center.
The Net-Accesss Cooling Door (CS1 & CRDHX) directly transfers up to 60 - 90% of the input heat load to reduce CRAC units and the associated construction. Lowers energy costs up to 14% and capital expenditure savings for increased network reliability. By placing the cooling door directly at the heat source, data center hot spots generated by increased server densities are removed (up to 60%). When compared to forced-air cooling options, the Net-Access Cooling Door contains fewer moving parts, enables increased server density and consumes less energy providing the most effective and economical method of removing heat from the data center. The Cooling Door has been co-designed and engineered by leveraging IBM’s 30+ years liquid cooling expertise.
Vortex A/C, Model #7770
Vortec - ITW Air Management
With essentially no maintenance, the Vortex A/C #7770 provides total enclosure protection from heat and contaminants, with thermostatically controlled, two-stage refrigeration to conserve energy.
The new 5000 BTUH Vortex A/C model 7770 features dual vortex tube cooling units, each with its own reliable mechanical thermostat to provide two-stage levels of refrigeration. To conserve energy, the first stage offers 2500 BTUH cooling capacity and, if needed, a second stage activates to double the supply of refrigerated air to the enclosure. At a fraction of the size and cost of a refrigerant-based air conditioner, the UL listed, Vortex A/C provides reliable, below-ambient cooling in environments up to 175 °F (79 °C), keeping panels safely within a range of 80° to 90 °F (27° to 32 °C). The “no-downtime,” maintenance-free units incorporate vortex tube technology to convert filtered compressed air into a low pressure, refrigerated air stream distributed throughout the enclosure. Refrigerated air entering the cabinet provides a light positive purge to seal out contaminants, while hot air is expelled through a relief valve. Even when the Vortex A/C cycles off, a “purge-air port” can be opened to create a slight positive pressure in the cabinet to keep out dust and dirt. As with other cooling capacity models, the 5000 BTUH unit is suitable for NEMA Type 4 and 4X rated electrical cabinets, and can be mounted on the top or side of the enclosure.
Technological advancement: No electricity or wiring; two-stage operation; only device to offer continuous enclosure purge Market impact: Compact, reliable solution for growing market demand for thermal protection of enclosures Service to the industry: Cost-saving alternative to refrigerant-based air conditioners
B&R X20 Stand-alone hub
B&R Industrial Automation Corp.
B&R now also offers a Stand-alone Ethernet hub system which is part of their successful X20 slice I/O series. The modular design of the active hub allows it to be used as a 4x or 6x hub.
B&R X20 Stand-alone hub B&R now also offers a Stand-alone Ethernet hub system, which is part of the successful X20 slice I/O series, company says. The modular design of the active hub allows it to be used as a 4x or 6x hub. Even the smallest version is a beneficial solution as a 2x hub for extending Ethernet sections up to 200m. Besides standard Ethernet, the modular hub system can also be expanded with an X20 Bus controller module with an integrated 2x hub for Ethernet Powerlink. This allows remote I/O to be connected directly to the hub. Star, tree or line– Powerlink supports all standard topologies. The real-time capability is optimally adapted to meet the requirements of machine design. Whether a standard Ethernet stand-alone hub or a real-time hub system is required – the modular X20 hub system meets all requirements. Highlights:
• Fast Ethernet hub;
• Modular design;
• 2x, 4x, 6x Fast Ethernet hub; and
• Easily expandable.
Compact Link Selector
B&R Industrial Automation Corp.
Compact Link Selector connects Ethernet Powerlink controlled nodes, adding cable redundancy and reliability in unlimited tree structures.
Compact Link Selector from B&R Industrial Automation Corp. connects Ethernet Powerlink controlled nodes, adding redundancy and reliability. Process control and manufacturing automation often require cable redundancy and long cable runs, but closing a ring can cause cable feedback. Ethernet Powerlink protocol and double cabling can be made into unlimited tree structures. Devices using a link selector function permit data transfer via the highest quality network lines. The 62.5 mm wide Compact Link Selector module is operated as stand-alone unit, enabling as many Powerlink devices as needed on one network with cable redundancy. The link selector function is integrated in the X20 bus controller BC8884 for connecting an X20 System. Expanding the device with two active X20HB2885 hub modules eliminates the need to wire external hubs.
EK1501 and EK1521
Fiber-optic EtherCAT Coupler and junction terminal is for EtherCAT I/O networks.
To provide optimum wiring flexibility for Industrial Ethernet applications, Beckhoff Automation released EtherCAT modules for fiber-optic cabling– the EK1501 EtherCAT Coupler and EK1521 junction terminal. With these fiber-optic EtherCAT modules, extremely long distance networking up to 2 km (1.24 miles) is now possible (100BASE-FX). The EtherCAT I/O Terminal system from Beckhoff supports all common wiring topology methodologies: line, ring, tree and star. This flexibility is further enhanced with the ability to select different cable types. Using the EK1501 EtherCAT Coupler and the EK1521 junction terminal, more flexible EtherCAT topologies are now possible through the use of glass fiber technology. Using standard Ethernet cabling (100BASE-TX), the maximum distance between two EtherCAT I/O stations is 100 m (328 feet). The EK1501 fiber-optic coupler connects EtherCAT to any number of EtherCAT I/O Terminals. The wiring connection is made via SC duplex sockets. An additional fiber- optic module can be optionally connected via a second port; an additional switch is not required. The EK1501 EtherCAT Terminal with fiber-optic interface enables conversion of the EtherCAT protocol to multimode glass fiber technology within a terminal line. The combination of line and branches or stubs is particularly useful for flexible system wiring.
Aaxeon Technologies Inc.
18-port (16-port 10/100TX + 2-port GigE Combo) SNMP Managed Gigabit Industrial Ethernet Switch
With such advanced Management functions as QoS, IGMP Snooping, VLAN, Port Trunking, GVRP and SNMP, the Lanolinx LNX-1802GN is a very versatile Industrial Ethernet Switch, says Aaxeon Technologies. The LNX-1802GN also feature a 7.2Gbps Back-plane, Redundant Ring Function (Recovery & 50ms), and is easy to configure. There is also an available Extended Operating Temperature model for harsher environments. Having all these features in a sub $1,000 SNMP Managed Gigabit Industrial Ethernet Switch makes this product a perfect candidate for Control Engineering 's 2008 Engineers’ Choice Awards, the company says.
EDS-G308 Full Gigabit Unmangaed Ethernet Switch
Moxa Americas Inc.
The EDS-G308 series is equipped with 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports and up to 2 fiber optic ports, making it ideal for applications that demand high bandwidth.
The EDS-828 from Moxa Americas is a high-performance Layer 3 switch designed for network routing, and the improved hardware technology built into the EDS-828 replaces the software logic used by traditional routers, offering better performance, and making the switch ideal for large-scale local area networks (LANs). In addition to Layer 3 features, the EDS-828 also supports Layer 2 management features, including QoS, IGMP snooping/GMRP, VLAN, LACP, SNMPv1/v2c/v3, RMON, IEEE 802.1X, HTTPS, and SSH. To meet the demands of any industrial application, the EDS-828 uses a modular design that allows users to install up to 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 24 fast Ethernet ports, providing a high degree of flexibility for network expansion.
Features and benefits include:
• Layer 3 routing interconnects multiple LAN segments;
• Static routing and RIP V1/V2 supported;
• 4 Gigabit plus 24 fast Ethernet ports for copper and fiber;
• Gigabit Turbo Ring and RSTP/STP (IEEE 802.1w/D) for Ethernet redundancy;
• QoS, IGMP snooping/GMRP, VLAN, LACP, SNMPv1/v2c/v3, RMON supported; and
• IEEE 802.1X, HTTPS, and SSH to enhance network security.
Rockwell Automation Stratix 8000 Modular Managed Switches, with Cisco technology inside
Rockwell Automation and Cisco jointly collaborated on first-of-its-kind industrial managed switches to address the widespread network convergence activities in manufacturing and IT organizations today.
There is an undeniable trend in today’s manufacturing enterprise: The convergence of technologies between traditional information technology systems and manufacturing operations provides users with substantial opportunities to reduce risks and costs, provide secure access to information, and improve agility and overall business performance. To help manufacturers effectively manage real-time control and information flow throughout the manufacturing and IT enterprise, Rockwell Automation and Cisco collaborated on the Stratix 8000 managed switch. This first-of-its-kind, industrial switch helps integrate the Ethernet infrastructure with the manufacturing process. It uses the current Cisco Catalyst switch architecture and feature set, along with established configuration tools, helping to provide secure integration with the enterprise network and making IT professionals feel at home. The Stratix 8000 also allows for easy setup and comprehensive diagnostics from within the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture.
The switch can be configured using Allen-Bradley RSLogix 5000 programming software, automatically generates Logix tags for integrated diagnostics and includes FactoryTalk View faceplates for status monitoring and alarming. Easy to integrate and maintain, it has default configurations optimized for industrial automation, while the removable Compact Flash card allows for one-step device replacement. These features are the preferred way for controls and automation professionals to integrate networked devices.
750-871 Ethernet TCP/IP 2-Port Programmable Fieldbus Controller
Integrated Ethernet switch functionality enables 750-871 Ethernet TCP/IP 2-Port Programmable Fieldbus Controller to optimize networking capabilities while streamlining associated costs.
The dual-port 750-871 maximizes Ethernet network connectivity while minimizing required components. The controller can link the Wago-I/O-System to the Ethernet fieldbus; dual RJ-45 Fieldbus ports daisychain up to 20 devices — each segment may be 100m long — within one series. The 750-871 is compatible with several protocols for integration into existing systems. For instance, the 750-871 can utilize Modbus/TCP and EtherNet/IP for data acquisition or control, and one of several protocols (HTTP, BootP, DHCP, DNS, SNTP, FTP, SNMP and SMTP) for system management and diagnostics. Programmable per IEC 61131-3, the 750-871 features an integrated DIP switch for IP address assignment.
• 10/100 Mbits/s data transmission rates;
• 512 KB program memory;
• 256 KB data memory;
• 24 KB retentive memory;
• Battery-backed, real-time clock and 32-bit multi-tasking CPU;
• HTML pages may be placed on internal server for use in Web-based applications Ethernet’s flexibility is unmatched by other industrial control networks; however, this typically requires additional components. Ethernet switches, cabling and connectors can compound project install costs, mitigating Ethernet’s appeal.
Modular I/O system from Balluff provides low-cost, quick and easy network expansion of an existing Profibus or Profinet network saving components, cabling, installation, and system integration.
Balluff’s new IO-Link system is said to provide a low-cost, quick and easy way to expand an existing Profibus or Profinet network. The result is an overall cost savings for components, cabling, installation, and system integration effort. To expand a network, a user attaches a Balluff IO-Link master block. The master block allows up to four intelligent sensors to transmit process data to the controller without new node addresses. Using the product provides flexibility and easier system modification for Profibus or Profinet networks, according to the company, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can provide customers a higher level of functionality using the same number of I/O points at a lower cost.
HART-enabled plug-in migration solution for legacy control systems
Invensys Process Systems, Foxboro
A uniquely cost-effective DCS migration solution that minimizes downtime thus eliminating operational risks while adding the value of HART for better asset management.
Foxboro’s unique migration plug-in I/O modules are manufactured to be a one for one form fit replacement for clients’ legacy I/O modules. The Model #P0923BQ and #P0923BS cards plug into existing cabinets, racks & termination assemblies without any I/O mapping issues. No rewiring, no extra footprint & the clients’ obsolete technology completely addressed in one cost-effective upgrade. This unique modular approach eliminates risk, is reversible, & minimizes process impact to hours, says Invensys Process Systems (IPS). Add new workstations and controllers, and clients have a 100% new I/A Series system.
Automatic database conversation tools & in-house experts ensure clients’ existing intellectual data is migrated satisfactorily & efficiently. Foxboro offers proven solutions for many legacy systems, most recently for Taylor Mod 300 users. More than a just functional replacement, our solution brings the added value of HART to our clients’ plants. This allows clients to take advantage of today’s technology and utilize smart instruments and devices for predictive maintenance, advanced diagnostics, and better asset management– something the original systems weren’t able to do. Once the client has migrated, the system – including the remaining legacy infrastructure– is under full IPS warranty.
IP67 Ethernet I/O Module
Controls simple input and output devices via industrial Ethernet networks
Molex says this is simply the most advanced and useful harsh environment I/O block on the market. In addition to the ability to communicate via three industrial Ethernet protocols and boasting an integrated switch to make cabling easier, this block has quick disconnect M12 technology on every port and a bright LED scrolling display to show errors, station names or an IP address to a local operator. The last octet of the address can even be changed with a screwdriver on the factory floor! Commissioning and maintaining Ethernet control networks in harsh environments is now light years easier thanks to this new Brad I/O Module.
Snap I/O for Allen-Bradley Systems
Snap I/O for Rockwell Automation/Allen-Bradley systems provides advanced I/O options and functionality—including distributed control capabilities—when building, modifying, or expanding Allen-Bradley automation architectures.
Opto 22 has greatly assisted engineers and others who build or work with Rockwell Automation/Allen-Bradley automation systems by introducing Snap I/O for Allen-Bradley systems, which give users significant new options for meeting their automation and control requirements. Unique in the industry, Snap I/O for Allen-Bradley systems offers advanced distributed control functions for PLC-based systems. Performed locally at the I/O level and without additional programming, these advanced functions include PID loop control, high-speed counting and latching, quadrature counting, pulsing, thermocouple linearization, analog scaling, time-proportional output, and others. This distributed I/O architecture frees the main Logix controller from these time-critical, processor-intensive tasks, resulting in improved control system performance and more advanced control capabilities for applications in process control, data acquisition, and machine control.
Snap I/O for Allen-Bradley systems communicates using the industry-standard EtherNet/IP protocol—the same protocol used by Allen-Bradley’s own Ethernet-based PLCs, such as ControlLogix and CompactLogix controllers. Supplementing or expanding Logix systems with Snap I/O requires simple configuration using free software.
MES Interface Applicance
The MES Interface Appliance is a reliable and secure communication interface which connects manufacturing and IT assets directly allowing bi-directional information sharing.
The MES Interface Appliance is an industrial-hardened module that can reside in the Q Series, iQ Platform or GT15 Series HMI product that leverages open standards (like Java, SOA and other technologies) to communicating directly with database and application servers. It is the first product in the market to allow customers to unify the method in which information is shared between IT and manufacturing. The MES Interface Appliance is filled with features that improve reliability and performance. Customers no longer need to worry about data being lost. When the connection between the module and the server is interrupted data is automatically stored and will be forwarded when the connection is reestablished. The MES Interface Appliance sends encrypted information directly to the servers to ensure data integrity. The wizard based configuration software navigates the user though setup. All data scaling and other math function are performed directly in the appliance rather than consuming program space in the controller or IT system. Data goes into the module and information comes out in the appropriate context for the receiving application or database.
An intelligent network interface card that can communicate on up to 25 disparate industrial networks simultaneously over a PCIe backplane.
Versacard PCIe is the first intelligent multi-protocol implementation in the industry. The Versacard PCIe is also the only card to support new PCIe technology for most of those networks, enabling new computer system adoption. The Versacard has a common API to all protocols which saves development time. And, the Versacard PCIe advanced diagnostics and data server software enable commissioning savings.
SeaLink Software Configurable USB Serial Adapters
Sealevel Systems Inc.
SeaLINK software configurable USB serial adapters offer 1, 2, 4, and 8 serial ports that are individually software configurable for RS-232, RS-422, or RS-485.
No more opening up the enclosure while digging through manuals and toolboxes. The serial ports on the new SeaLink USB serial adapters are software configurable for RS-232, RS-422, and RS-485 (two-wire and four-wire modes supported). There are no jumpers or dipswitches to set, eliminating the need to open the enclosure. Simply install the SeaCOM driver and connect the SeaLink adapter to a USB port on the computer. All configuration settings are intuitively handled via the driver interface, saving considerable field setup time. Additionally, the configuration settings are maintained locally in the SeaLink adapter enabling the host computer to be repaired or upgraded without having to reconfigure the serial ports.
This also allows the SeaLink adapters to be configured at one computer and deployed to other computers. Install the driver and plug the SeaLink adapter in and the electrical interface settings are maintained. In addition to Sealevel, two other vendors offer software configurable USB serial adapters. One vendor’s model maintains the settings on the computer, which requires the serial ports to be reconfigured if the host computer changes or if the device is moved to another computer. The other vendor’s model maintains the settings locally, but the device must be manually polled to retrieve the electrical interface settings. Sealevel’s software configurable USB serial adapters are easier to configure and use– the settings are stored locally in the device and the SeaCOM driver automatically retrieves the settings each time a port is opened. The new SeaLink software configurable USB serial adapters are a significant industry improvement, the company says.
Signal Conditioning or diagnostics
EtherStax Analog Input Modules
Units accept 32 differential dc current or voltage inputs and interface the signals to monitoring or control devices with Ethernet Modbus TCP/IP or UDP/IP communication.
New EtherStax modules from Acromag provide a high-density Ethernet interface for analog sensor signals that is both economical and extremely rugged. Monitoring 32 inputs through a single space-saving and stackable module offers a lower cost per channel and reduced installation expenses. EtherStax units are ideal for distributed I/O and SCADA in hostile environments. Fast, high-resolution 16-bit A/D converters capture input data at over 1000 channels/second.
Dual DB25 ports offer a simple interface to panels of industry-standard 8B signal conditioning modules. Individually isolated 8B modules support more than 100 input types in a significantly smaller and less expensive format than competing modules. For highly dependable operation, EtherStax modules provide redundant power and network connections, shock and vibration immunity, high-voltage 4-way isolation, plus a -40 to 70 °C operating range. Units support STP, RSTP, and proprietary redundancy schemes. The dual DC power inputs have internal diode coupling for a "bump-less" transfer to a backup power source. Additionally, failsafe fault relays provide local alarming, notification, or shutdown if network communication or power fail. Other features include an integration function with totalizing 32-bit non-volatile counter registers. Units also perform automatic calibration and self-test routines. Setup is easy using any web browser to select configuration options.
eNetMeter DN is a passive device that continuously monitors a DeviceNet network. It sends detailed information over Ethernet to a PLC or PC monitoring system. eNetMeter DN samples several thousand parameters related to CAN frames, at up to 100 million times per second.
Features - Continuously monitors a DeviceNet network in a passive state - Provides feedback to an EtherNet/IP master or one of three methods to a personal computer (PC) residing on Ethernet: NetAlytix software DLL interface OPC server - High-speed sampling of network parameters (at up to 100 millions of times per second) providing extremely accurate values - Information captured includes: Overall network status and measurements Individual node status and measurements Detailed measurements of power (V+, V-), signal (CANH, CANL) and shield parameters Common mode voltage for entire network and each node Minimum / maximum and average values - Warning and Fault flags indicate when a value has exceeded a set tolerance (levels are customizable) - NetAlytix software enables fast device setup or USB port allows configuration without a PC - Compact design with DIN rail or panel mount option for quick and easy installation - Patent Pending (US).
4 signal conditioner channels, 1-in. footprint, 1,000 V rms input-to-output, channel-to-channel signal isolation. Convert, boost, split analog signals. Rugged industrial metal housings protect against RFI/EMI.
With instrumentation, panel space equals money. The requirement for very narrow instruments is met with the new miniMoore family of multi-channel analog signal conditioners from Moore Industries. The miniMoore delivers up to four low-cost input/output (I/O) channels in a 1 in. (25.4 mm) footprint, which equates to 0.25 in. (6.35 mm) per channel. Providing 1,000 V rms input-to-output and channel-to-channel signal isolation, the products can isolate, convert, boost and split analog signals inside rugged industrial metal housings, providing superior protection against unpredictable and harmful effects of radio frequency (RFI) and electromagnetic (EMI) interference common in most industrial environments. RFI/EMI sources include walkie-talkies, motors, transformers, and fluorescent lights. The signal conditioners come in compact 2-channel and 4-channel models; 2-wire (loop) and universal ac/dc 4-wire (line/mains) powered versions accommodate every available industrial power supply. On the 2-channel versions, a conveniently located DIP switch is used to select analog input types of 4-20 mA, 0-5 V, 1-5 V or 0-10 V. A low-cost 4-channel model accepts 4-20 mA inputs. Both 2- and 4-channel models provide isolated 4-20 mA outputs ready for interface with an indicator, recorder, DCS, PLC or PC-based SCADA system.
Ion Wireless Security Application
Provides industrial facilities with a layered security architecture to secure wireless networks, and proactive security scans to detect and deter system attacks that could lead to system downtime and the introduction of erroneous information.
The Ion Wireless Security application enables security policies at each layer for a truly secure wireless network: user authentication with secure role-based access, continuous proactive network monitoring for network vulnerabilities and rogue devices, and wireless network intrusion detection. To validate the security of the Ion Wireless Security application and the entire ION System, a comprehensive security audit was conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Extreme Measurement Communications Center (EMC2). The audit was an exhaustive examination of Apprion security policies and procedures, Apprion's Ion System product specifications and network architectures and how they measured-up against the critical security requirements of real-world industrial facilities. The Ion Wireless Security Application provides significant value to manufactures, and enables a truly open, technology agnostic approach to industrial wireless. This is critical for industrial wireless installations that employ multiple technologies, as all installations eventually will.
ConnectPort X4 NEMA
The ConnectPort X4 NEMA is an industrial–grade gateway that provides ZigBee to cellular (GSM) connectivity and is integrated into a NEMA 4X/IP66 enclosure for harsh weather conditions
Digi International continues to develop product extensions that solve targeted application needs to meet the growing demand for Drop-In Networking with its ConnectPort X4 NEMA, an industrial-grade gateway that is specifically designed to operate in harsh outdoor or industrial environments. The product works in conjunction with XBee adapters that provide off-the-shelf wireless enablement of existing electronic devices. The ConnectPort X4 NEMA provides ZigBee to cellular (GSM) connectivity and is integrated into a NEMA 4X/IP66 enclosure for protection against dust, water and ice. These new products add rugged industrial-grade alternatives to Digi’s Drop-in Networking product line - a combination of hardware components and software tools for network-enabling commercial grade devices where wired infrastructure does not exist or does not satisfy customer needs. The ConnectPort X4 NEMA is Class 1, Division 2 certified, ensuring safe operation in the presence of flammable liquids, vapors and gases. It is designed for applications like tank or pipeline monitoring, precision irrigation control and automated metering infrastructure (AMI). In addition to Ethernet, serial and USB interfaces, the gateway offers four analog input ports for wired sensor connectivity and an open-frame power supply built into the enclosure base.
Moxa Technologies Inc.
Secure industrial cellular modem: for RS-232 or RS-232/422/485 GSM/GPRS/EDEG IP; transmit data and short messages (SMS) over GSM/GPRS/EDEG for remote serial device communication.
OnCell G3100 industrial RS-232 or RS-232/422/485 GSM/GPRS/EDEG IP modems from Moxa Technologies Inc. are designed to transmit data and short messages (SMS) over GSM/GPRS/EDEG cellular networks. The Real COM operation mode automatically generates a virtual COM port to match serial ports supported by the OnCell G3100, allowing communication with remote serial devices. The unit’s CPU comes pre-installed with the TCP/IP protocol suite to transmit data between the serial device and cellular TCP/IP network and back.
Provides reliable data transmissions for sensors and actuators through wireless communications. 31 gateways, each linked to 6 Profibus-DP modules support up to 186 Bluetooth modules in a system.
It offers interference-proof data communications and wireless networking across short distances. It’s suitable for use in applications that are difficult to reach with bus cables due to distance or the physical conditions onsite, and for moving applications where cables wear out over time due to flex stress. Operating in a license-free 2.4GHz ISM band, a single SAI Bluetooth gateway can communicate wirelessly with up to six slave stations, and acts as a Profibus-DP station at the same time it is a slave in the Profibus system. It can create up to 31 piconets, each comprising a gateway and six Bluetooth slaves, translating into as many as 186 Bluetooth modules. SAI Bluetooth module is equipped with 12 integrated digital inputs. A combi-module offers 16DI/8DO with configurable channels, 8 that can be configured as inputs or outputs as required. The 8 outputs can be supplied with power in three groups, and can be deactivated independent of one another. No software update is required when new SAIs are added to the Bluetooth gateway. The cycle time for each SAI is under 15 ms. All stations are designed as field devices with an integrated antenna and IP67 rating. Signal connection is made with standard M12 plug-in connectors. Time and cost savings can be realized due to decreased wiring needs. Machine downtimes can be minimized due to quicker and easier maintenance.
Wireless, IEEE 802.11
MatchPort b/g Pro
Secure WiFi for any electronic device: Embedded module, an application-ready device server, provides 802.11 b/g wireless connectivity for devices with a microcontroller serial interface.
MatchPort b/g Pro from Lantronix is an embedded module that provides 802.11 b/g wireless connectivity for virtually any device with a serial interface on its microcontroller. This application-ready device server enables OEMs to build integrated networking and Web services into their products that enable users to access, monitor and manage their equipment over a wireless network or over the Internet with the highest levels of security. MatchPort b/g Pro is part of the Lantronix MatchPort family of pin/form-factor compatible modules enabling OEMs to build wired or wireless networking into their products using the same board design.
Three-in-one wireless device supports more IEEE 802.11 standards and higher security levels than previous models, including 5.8 and 2.4 GHz bands, with WPA2 (128-bit encryption).
The Moxa Technologies AWK-3121 device is a convenient and reliable solution for industrial wireless applications, expected to be available at the end of this month. It will support more IEEE 802.11 standards and higher security levels than previous models, including wireless communication in the 5.8 and 2.4 GHz bands. WPA2 (128-bit encryption) will also be available for enhanced authentication and safety. This three-in-one device supports wireless communication as an access point, bridge, or AP client. Installation is easy for both DIN-rail mounting and wall mounting. The AWK-3121 will be rated to operate from 0 °C to 60 °C for standard models and from -40 °C to 75 °C for extended temperature models. It also will be equipped with two digital inputs and one relay output for on-site monitoring and warning.
Intrinsically Safe Power over Ethernet
The MTL Inc. PoEx combination of power and signal in a single cable provides connectivity to full “Ethernet anywhere” regardless of area classification.
MTL’s PoEx (Power over Ethernet Explosion Proof) and associated FastSwitch technology remove one of the few remaining hurdles to the adoption of Ethernet based field devices that can be installed in any environment while still being fully compliant with the IEEE 802.3 and 802.11a/b/g/h standards. The PoEx solution is available for a full range of products to cover any media including copper, fibre and “air” to truly provide an “Ethernet anywhere” solution. With the ability to install wireless access points virtually anywhere in your facility connection to any 802.11 wireless devices is no longer constrained by area classification or incomplete plant coverage. The potential now exists to remove the bandwidth limitation of serial communications, as it is now possible to bring Ethernet directly to the field devices, or as a minimum to a gateway mounted in close proximity to the serial communications source. PoEx enables direct connection via a single cable to IP cameras for security, tracking tags for personnel and key assets entering or leaving a facility or any other device requiring up to 500 mA current in the field.
Wireless 802.11g I/O adapter is a high-speed, standards-based 802.11g wireless I/O that supports an integrated wireless architecture and familiar programming with the EtherNet/IP protocol.
ProSoft Technology will introduce its ILX34-AENWG wireless Point I/O adapter this November at Rockwell Automation's annual Automation Fair. ProSoft says the adapter is a high-speed, standards-based 802.11g wireless I/O, which fully supports its Integrated Wireless Architecture. It also provides a familiar programming experience to users by utilizing the EtherNet/IP protocol and allowing configuration with RSLogix 5000. The device employs 802.11i WPA2 with AES Encryption for security. Common applications are said to include packaging, material handling, oil and gas, and other remote or moving distributed I/O applications.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.