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Industrial automation technology takes to the road

26 October, 2012

Austria`s B&R Automation has adapted its X20 modular control and I/O system originally developed for industrial automation applications, for use in vehicles such as fire trucks and excavators. It says that its new MA120 and MA170 modules will allow vehicle manufacturers to tailor their control and I/O systems to their needs, as well as being able to implement B&R`s integrated safety technology.

Users can specify not only the CPU and the number of I/O channels, but can also choose between CANbus or Ethernet Powerlink communications. Programming is handled by B&R’s Automation Studio software development environment, minimising the risk of interface problems between the hardware and software components.

The new modules have been developed for use in harsh conditions. IP65 housings and coated circuit boards allow themto withstand temperatures from –40 to +85°C. They can be supplied with up to IP67 or IP69k protection to eliminate short-circuits caused by condensation. The modules are also shock- and vibration-resistant.

Up to 44 I/O channels are available per module, and I/O counts can be expanded by adding more modules. The MA120 is an IP20-protected I/O node with 16 I/O channels that can be used for remote I/O. A range of interface modules – for handling remote maintenance, for example – allow devices to be adapted flexibly to the application. If needed, the devices can be swapped later.

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