EC: Zlinx Xtreme
Network Integration - wireless - B&B Electronics, Zlinx Xtreme. Eliminating up to 40 miles of wiring for industrial wireless sensor networks (WSNs) in harsh environments, the Zlinx Xtreme IP67 outdoor-rated wireless radio modems and I/O modules offer easy field configuration options to set up reliable and secure P2P and P2MP wireless communications to monitor serial or sensor data. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
The Zlinx Xtreme IP67 outdoor-rated I/O modules and radio modems provide reliable wireless monitoring and control of sensor or serial data in harsh and remote environments. Field configuration options facilitate wireless connections to monitor temperature, pressure, level, flow or other analog or digital I/O. Wirelessly emulating wired technology, the units mount directly to panels, poles, or machines to eliminate cabinets or enclosures and up to 40 miles of wiring. Based on license-free, proprietary RF, the wireless sensor transceiver technology connects dataloggers, controls or supervisory-control- and-data-acquisition (SCADA) equipment with up to 99% of sensors on the market. The I/O modules provide two analog inputs, two analog outputs, two digital inputs, and two relay outputs and feature selectable I/O, both digital (PNP/NPN) and analog (0 to 5 or 10 V, 0 to 20 mA, or 4 to 20 mA). Point-to-point/peer-to-peer (P2P) or Modbus configurations are available. In P2P, an auto-configure feature lets users quickly map two units without a PC.
The serial radio modems offer 256-bit AES encrypted radios with low-latency (8 ms) response rates, and can act as Modbus gateways when used with Xtreme I/O modules for P2P or point-to-multipoint/peer-to-multi-peer (P2MP) connectivity. Plug-and-play design lets users quickly configure two identical I/O modules with the push of a button. No additional converters or factory adjustments are needed. Other features include a fail-safe output state that resets I/O to a user-defined state in the event of communication failure, and, in Modbus modes, exception reporting can send trouble alerts through any connected devices.
Devices are tested to EN61000-6-2 and operate from 40 °C to 74 °C. Radio modems: 2.4 GHz short range - $399; 900 MHz long range - $549; I/O modules: 2.4 GHz short range - $549; 900 MHz long range - $699.
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In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
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