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1Gbit I/O modules boost productivity and flexibility

26 June, 2018

Rockwell Automation has announced a new generation of I/O modules that support real-time, intelligent process control. It says that the Allen-Bradley Flex 5000 I/O platform will lead to smarter, more productive and more flexible industrial control systems.

The platform’s high-speed connectivity and wide bandwidth deliver more data back to the controller, helping to future-proof control systems. It uses a 1Gbit architecture with communications that support Device Level Ring (DLR), linear and star topologies. A future release will support the Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP), allowing redundant network topologies to be configured.

The platform’s simplified wiring and design will reduce engineering time. Installation is made easier by a flexible architecture that allows vertical or horizontal mounting, and supports both copper and fibre optic media. The modules are designed to operate in temperatures from –40 to +70ºC.

The modules can be inserted or removed under power, allowing existing I/O to be replaced. An online change capability allows new I/O to be configured while the system continues to run. Alarms, events and diagnostics can be configured at the channel level.

“We are building on the success of our popular Flex I/O platform, and long-time users will find that flexibility and reliability continue to be its hallmark,” says Rockwell product manager, Rosh Chathoth Sreedharan. “With Logix 5000 series technology, the Flex 5000 I/O platform allows you to choose your I/O to meet your specific application needs. And it gives you intelligent control to quickly respond to your process in a connected enterprise.”

The new I/O modules provide 1Gbit EtherNet/IP connections using either copper or fibre media

A range of safety modules are planned for the I/O platform, allowing users to meet their safety needs with modules that are TÜV-certified for use in applications up to SIL 3 and PLe, Cat 4.

The new I/O uses a defence-in-depth security strategy with firmware encryption, birth certificates and secure boot functions.

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