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Modular I/O system saves space and avoids wiring errors

21 April, 2009

The German automation companies Lenze and Vipa have collaborated to develop a compact I/O system which allows the electronic modules to be replaced without disturbing the backplane or the wiring, and without needing tools. Both versions made their debut at the Hannover Fair: Lenze’s is called I/O-System 1000; Vipa’s is known as SLIO.

Up to eight 2.5mm2 sensor or actuator cables can be connected to each 12.5mm-wide module via as stepped terminal system using spring connectors that are operated by a screwdriver. The developers gone to great lengths to make identification as easy and reliable as possible. Each channel has a unique LED indicator which is said to make it easy to read information inside control cabinets, even if the lighting is poor. The circuit diagram and connections are clearly marked on each module, which also carries a removable description label.

Up to 64 I/O modules can be plugged into one DIN-rail-mounting rack. The system includes power supply modules which can provide up to 10A for sensors and actuators. The ability to replace faulty modules without changing the wiring is said to minimise the risk of wiring errors.

Bus couplers are available for CANopen and Profibus, and the I/O system also supports Ethernet-based protocols such as EtherCAT and Profinet.

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