Winners: Networks/Communication Hardware & Software
Winners of the 2007 Engineers' Choice Awards - Networks; I/O; communications hardware & software
I/O products & cabling:
Based on Bluetooth wireless technology, connectBlue's Bluetooth I/O module provides very high reliability and robustness in any industrial environment. The Bluetooth I/O module and associated developer's kit, offers 12 single-bit I/O points, without signal conditioning. The I/O signals can be controlled by either a serial protocol or by remote I/O signals and are available with a wide range of hardware options like internal / external antenna, long / short range, UART / RS-232 interface and with connector options and more. The module is Bluetooth qualified (Bluetooth version 2.0), and the radio type is approved for Europe, U.S., and Canada. It is also compliant with EMC, safety and medical standards.
Network software & diagnostics:
KEPServer EX is the latest generation of Kepware's OPC server technology. It is designed to help setup communications to control systems quickly via a wide range of available plug-in device drivers and components. There are more than 100 drivers, supporting hundreds of model types available. The KEPServerEX also provides a common and self-evident user interface across all drivers, providing consistent access from an OPC client application, every time the product is used, no matter what driver is used. Many devices can be added, using multiple drivers within the KEPServerEX interface without learning new communication protocols or understanding new applications.
Switches, routers & gateways:
N-Tron 7000 Series, Gigabit capable industrial Ethernet switches are designed for connecting Ethernet-enabled industrial and/or security equipment. They are fully managed and come standard with IGMP snooping, VLAN, QoS, trunking, mirroring, RSTP, DHCP, SNMP and Web browser management, and N-View OPC monitoring. The 7000 Series is well suited for use as a fiber optic ring manager, providing expanded ring size capacity, detailed fault diagnostics, and a ring healing time of approximately 30 ms. Models in the 7000 series line offer up to twelve 10/100BaseTX RJ-45 ports and feature extended environmental specifications with operating temperatures of -20 to 70
I/O products & cabling: DeviceNet I/O - Balluff
This family of machine mount DeviceNet I/O modules come with output current ratings from 1.6 to 2.0 Amps, while allowing the customer to customize the reaction of each point to a fault or idle condition on the network.
Network software & diagnostics:
iSNMP is a communications driver enabling HMI/SCADA solutions to monitor and manage automation networks - routers, switches and other network infrastructure and control devices via industry standard SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol).
Switches, routers & gateways: EKI-2735 Ethernet switch - Advantech
This five-port, gigabit unmanaged industrial Ethernet switch offers a +12 ~48 V dc redundant power input design, and is secured with a double protection mechanism, Power Polarity Reverse Protect and an Overload Current Reset-able Fuse. The EKI-2725 also comes with compact metal housing that rates IP30 to help against from dusty industrial environments.
OneWireless is a multi-functional industrial wireless mesh network supporting wireless sensors and applications, such as mobile productivity tools, that is simple to manage and efficient to operate.
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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.