I/O and terminal bocks appear healthy

This month’s roundup on I/O and terminal blocks demonstrates that the industry seems to be recuperating, product development money is flowing, and companies are getting competitive again.

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By the CONTROL Staff

WE PRESENTLY see a wide range of I/O and interfaces for everything from Ethernet and wireless to Profibus, ArcNet, and Modbus. On the terminal block and connector side, innovations and enhancements prevail.

Other than a new emphasis on wireless and Ethernet connections, we don’t see any hard trends in I/O, connectors or terminal blocks. Instead, now that companies are recovering from their economic doldrums, we’re seeing a healthy mix of products of all types coming down the new product chute.

POE SPLITTER
PSD14PSD14 Series 14-W, DC-DC, power-over-Ethernet splitter provides 12.5 W from standard IEEE 802.3af power sourcing equipment (PSE). The splitter is a power supply that can be mounted next to an Ethernet device, and is compliant with IEEE 802.3af standards. Typical applications include IP telephones, wireless network access points, Bluetooth access points, security cameras, and IP print servers. More info at controlglobal.com. Phihong; 510/445-0100; www.phihong.com

WIRELESS WAN ROUTER
WAN IA wireless WAN cellular router provides secure cellular GSM or CDMA connections for reliable primary and backup network connectivity to industrial automation devices such as SCADA devices, PLCs, and RTUs. It has industrial hardware/software components including a terminal block for power, DIN rail mounting, Class 1, Division 2 certification and Modbus protocol support. More info at controlglobal.com. Digi International; 877/912-3444; www.digi.com

WIRELESS I/O
ET-DS-1NETio  family of I/O and wireless communications products carries data from serial and IP devices along with analog and discrete signals. It supports direct protocol addressability of connected I/O from a library of industrial protocols, including Modbus Rtu, Modbus TCP, DNP3 or EtherNet/IP. Wireless expansion modules can be as far as 1,000 feet away. Microwave Data Systems; 585/241-5539; www.microwavedata.com

SERIAL-TO-ETHERNET DEVICE SERVERS
Models ET-DS-1 and ET-SDS-1 industrial, serial-to-Ethernet device servers offer real-time secure performance including an auto-detecting 10/100 RJ45 Ethernet port and a universal EIA-RS232/422/485 serial port for serial data tunneling across an IP network. Both have back to back (paired mode) operation, port buffering, and IPv6 support. More info at controlglobal.com. Sixnet; 518/877-5173; www.sixnetio.com

ETHERNET-COMPATIBLE M12 CONNECTORS
Unnamed M12 Ethernet plug connectors are available as overmolded cordsets, field-wireable, and panel-feed-through connectors. This Ethernet connection system is IP67 rated for harsh environments and meets CAT5 requirements of 100 Mbit/s.  Phoenix Contact; 800/322-3225; www.phoenixcon.com

AS-INTERFACE CONVERTER
VAZ-2T1-FK AS-interface, flat-to-round-cable converter can be used in narrow and low-profile cable channels and other space-critical locations. In most applications, installation takes less than a minute. The converter is suitable for use where AS-interface and 24 VDC external power need to be on one M12 connector, while drives are with motor starters. Pepperl+Fuchs; 330/486-0001; www.am.pepperl-fuchs.com

ARCNET  INTERFACE
USB22 series of network interface modules provide connectivity between desktop or laptop computers and peripherals. It includes a high-speed microcontroller that transfers data between Arcnet and USB. It has up to 128 Kbytes of Arcnet receiver buffering to handle reception of broadcast messages or monitoring networks with high traffic levels. More info at controlglobal.com. Contemporary Controls; 630/963-7070 x124; www.ccontrols.com

PC/104 MODULE HAS EIGHT SERIAL PORTS
Emerald-MM-8P PC/104 serial port module has eight multi-protocol serial ports on one PC/104 module with software configurability. The board works in PC/104-expandable embedded computer systems running Linux, Windows, QnX, VxWorks, and DOS. Each of the serial ports can be individually selected for RS-232, RS-422, or RS-485 (both local echo and no echo) under software control. More info at controlglobal.com. Diamond Systems; 650/810-2508; www.diamondsystems.com

PROFIBUS INTERFACE GOES THROUGH DOOR
GracePort  D3-Series interface gives users a convenient way to temporarily connect to a Profibus network without opening the control panel door. It supports 12-MB data transfer speed, and includes integral end-of-network termination resistors and switch. This let users install a Profibus network tap anywhere along the Profibus cable run. More info at controlglobal.com. Grace Engineered Products; 800/280-9517; www.grace-eng.com

NETWORK CONCENTRATOR GOES MODBUS
Enhancements to the Net Concentrator System process control and distributed I/O network include Modbus RTU (RS-485) communications. With Modbus, the concentrator is able to use twisted-pair wiring, Ethernet, wireless, fiber-optic, and telephone/modem data links to send monitoring and control signals over rugged, long-distance, normally impassable, and hazardous environments. More info at controlglobal.com. Moore Industries-Int’l.; 818/894-7111; www.miinet.com

LOW-PROFILE JUNCTION BOXES
Unnamed, low-profile, M12 eurofast junction boxes provide quick-disconnect wiring. Available in 4 or 8-port with single or dual output, they offer multiple home-run connector and integral cable options. Home-run connectors can be mounted on the top or side of the housing. Integral cables with a 12-pin, 1 1/8-16 UN minifast connectors also are available for single-output junction boxes. Turck; 800/544-7769; www.turck.com

DIGITAL I/O MODULE
Adam-4150 digital I/O module has seven input channels and eight output channels with over-current/short-circuit protection. It has 1 kV surge protection on power inputs, 3 kV EFT, 8 kV ESD protection, power input range of approximately 10 to 48 VDC, an LED display to monitor the status of the address settings, a digital filter function, digital output support pulse function, and Modbus RTU protocol. Advantech; 513/742-8895 x333; www.advantech.com

ELECTRO-PNEUMATIC TRANSDUCER
Type i2P-100 electro-pneumatic transducer converts mA input signals to a switch-selectable proportional pneumatic output signal. The transducer has ATEX certification for intrinsic safety (Zone EEx ia IIC T3/T4/T5), flameproof (Zone EEx d IIC T5/T6), and Type N (Zone EEx nC IIC T5/T6). It allows users to select and mark protection methods at installation. More info at controlglobal.com. Fisher Controls; 641/754-3288; www.EmersonProcess.com

DC/DC CONVERTER
831 Series DC/DC converter uses a ceramic base and hybrid technology to eliminate any external heat sink requirements, which reduces the overall installed cost of the device. All the device requires is two external capacitors. It’s packaged in a small, space-saving, hybrid SIP configuration (1x0.5x0.225 in.) that minimizes PC board footprint. More info at controlglobal.com. BI Technologies; 714/447-2518; www.bitechnologies.com

ACCELEROMETER INPUT MODULE
SCM5B48 isolated and field-configurable accelerometer input module provides excitation to piezoelectric sensors with built-in microelectronic amplifiers. The module provides a constant current excitation to the sensor, then isolates, filters, and amplifies the sensor output, yielding a high-level analog voltage output. The excitation current, signal gain, and filter high-pass and low-pass cutoff frequencies are field-configurable through a set of slide switches. More info at controlglobal.com. Dataforth; 800/444-7644; www.dataforth.com

IEC TERMINAL BLOCKS
Unnamed IEC terminal blocks meet the specifications and requirements of applicable UL, CSA, and IEC standards and are rated for Code 1, factory wiring only, and Code 2, both factory and field wiring. A screw clamp is available from 20A to 232A, and a spring clamp from 20A to 50A. Miniature panel mount is also available from 20A to 35A, in both spring and screw clamp. More info at controlglobal.com. C3controls; 724/775-7926 x22; www.c3controls.com

TERMINAL BLOCK EQUIVALENTS
Unnamed terminal blocks are identical equivalents to the Allen-Bradley 1492J series, Phoenix Contact UKN series, and Weidmuller WDU series. The color of the housings is the same, so there are no visual differences. The metal clamping bodies are made of a nickel-plated copper alloy, screws are plated to prevent corrosion, and all materials are ROHS compliant. More info at controlglobal.com. Automation Systems Interconnect; 877/650-5160; www.asi-ez.com

PLUGGABLE WIRING FOR TERMINAL I/O
KS series bus terminals enable complete wiring to be removed as a plug connector from the face of the I/O housing without needing tools. The connector can be removed from the bus terminal assembly by pressing an unlocking tab. Users insert the new I/O component and re-plug the connector in with the wiring. This reduces installation time and the risk of wiring errors. More info at controlglobal.com. Beckhoff Automation; 952-890-0000; www.beckhoffautomation.com

THERMOCOUPLE INPUT MODULE
Snap-AITM-8 thermocouple input module accepts up to eight channels of temperature or millivolt input from a variety of standard thermocouples, or from any -75 to +75 millivolt device input. It can also be configured to accept millivolt readings in the -75 to +75 range directly from Wheatstone bridges, strain gauges, and other instruments and devices. More info at controlglobal.com. Opto 22; 800/321-opto; www.opto22.com

PUSH-IN TERMINAL BLOCKS
P Series terminal blocks with push-in connections are safe, easy to use, and can reduce wiring time by as much as 60%. Models PDU 2.5/4, PDU 6/10 and PDU 16 have wiring ranges of 20–10 AWG, 14–8 AWG, and 14–4 AWG, respectively. More info at controlglobal.com. Weidmuller; 804/794-2877;  www.weidmuller.com

DOUBLE-LEVEL TERMINAL BLOCKS
UT 4 double-level terminal blocks can connect conductor cross-section ranges of 0.14mm2 to 4 mm2 (26-10 AWG). The four-conductor connection saves space compared to the company’s standard, feed-through terminal blocks.  Bridging from the upper level to the lower level is available, and ZB6 or ZBFT6 marking material can be used as terminal block markers on both levels. Phoenix Contact; 800/322-3225; www.phoenixcon.com

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