Modular I/O system for network expansion
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. This was an October 2008 Control Engineering North American print edition Product Exclusive.
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.
Balluff's IO-Link system uses a sub-node structure that lets users decrease the number of Profibus nodes in a network.
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.
A master block can be installed in a new or existing node, or in a retrofit project. Then, using standard low-cost M12 cordsets, users attach up to four intelligent IO-Link sensors in parallel to the block. Users can mix IO-Link intelligent sensors and standard sensors, or use up to 76 standard sensors per node. Whatever the configuration, the IO-Link block prevents the need to address IO-Link sensors, and simplifies programming.
By using this sub-node structure, the system lets the user decrease the number of Profibus nodes in the network, as well as decrease the amount of related cabling and other hardware.
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.