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According to Ben Orchard, application engineer at Opto 22, “The general trend over the last five years has been for terminal blocks to be thinner, skinnier and take up less space. With this decrease in size has come an increase in functionality. Terminal block makers are offering wire harnesses, terminal extenders and other accessories, and at the same time, they are making the terminal blocks smarter. But perhaps the most significant change has been the convergence of the terminal block and the controller. The two have come together in ways that are providing tremendous functionality with lower costs.”
Howard Minnick at ASI talks about what’s next for terminal blocks. “A couple of recent developments will certainly help to improve the cost utilization of terminal blocks in the future,” he says. “First, a generation of terminal blocks now accepts a low-cost, plug-in jumper that can reduce costs as much as 50% and take a whopping 80% out of the time to install a terminal block jumper. The other accessory that is destined to improve the functionality and reduce time, errors and costs with terminal blocks is the custom-printed terminal blocks marker. With the use of high-speed thermal printers, the customer can print up to 100 labels in nine seconds. Now by customizing the marking labels for terminal blocks, the customer can insure both wiring efficiency and reliability. Terminal block accessories are the sizzle that sells the steak, and in the case of these two items, they can save the customer time and money.”
DISTRIBUTED I/O SYSTEM
Siemens Energy & Automation
SIMATIC ET 200pro I/O is a distributed I/O system with an IP65/67 degree of protection. The modular design of the I/O allows drives and motor starters to be diagnosed or replaced without interrupting communication. Built-in communications interfaces allow connections to PROFIBUS or PROFINET.
SPRING-TYPE TERMINAL BLOCKS
Power Cage Clamp models 285-150 (2/0) and 285-135 (2 AWG) round out a line of spring-type terminal blocks that terminate conductors from 2 AWG to 4/0. The two-conductor, feed-through block provides connections for all conductor types up to 200 A/600 V. A side-entry design makes the terminal blocks suitable for connecting large conductors in space-restricted areas, such as switchgear cabinets.
Acces I/O Products
Model USB-IDIO-16 output module features 16 individually optically isolated inputs and 16 fully protected solid state FET outputs capable of switching up to 2A each. The module is fully compatible with both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 ports and offers hot-plug functionality for quick-disconnect whenever you need additional I/O on the user’s USB port. The circuit isolation makes the board suited for use in control and instrumentation applications where high-voltage protection is required. Individual channel-to-channel isolation allows every channel to be physically and electrically separated from the others.
PROTECT THE NETWORK
R2 FieldConnex segment protectors allow segments to be disconnected while leaving trunk communications uninterrupted and prevent over-termination that can cause start-up and commissioning problems. They are also designed to eliminate errors that can occur while connecting test leads for system diagnostics work. Segment protectors provide IP20 protection with DIN-rail mounting in 4-, 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-spur configurations.
Series C optionally redundant process I/O family uses a vertical design to reduce energy, installation and maintenance costs. The series communicates over Honeywell’s Fault Tolerant Ethernet network. By combining the maximum I/O in the minimum footprint, the family cuts cost throughout the entire build cycle. The angled module form factor also facilitates uniform heat dissipation.
HIGH-POWER TERMINAL BLOCKS
Terminal Block Power Connector provides a high-current capability of up to 52 A in a board-mounting terminal block. Available in two or three positions, the modular construction offers a 10.16-mm pitch to allow both factory and field wiring. Individual blocks can be dovetailed to achieve a higher number of positions without losing the centerline spacing. The blocks, available with black and green UL-94-V-O-rated housings, have side-wire entry and a screw-clamp termination.
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