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First software configurable industrial I/O ofr building and industrial automation

Analog Devices, (ADI) has released the industry’s first Software Configurable Input/Output (I/O) product line for building control and process automation.

This new line allows manufacturers and industrial operators to achieve greater control system flexibility while reducing their own product complexities.

Traditional control systems require manual configuration, with a complex array of channel modules, analogue and digital signal converters, and individually wired inputs/outputs to communicate with the machines, instruments, and sensors on the operating floor. ADI’s AD74412R and AD74413R will enable flexible control systems to be designed with reconfigurable module channels quickly, easily, and remotely without requiring extensive re-wiring - drastically increasing the speed of implementation, flexibility, and the ability to make changes without significant cost and downtime.

As Industry 4.0 emerges, manufacturers are looking for more flexible systems that can quickly and easily adapt to changing requirements, all driven by shifts in consumer behaviours and demand. As a result, they can no longer rely on fixed, large-scaled systems designed for mass-market products and predictable demand. Instead, flexible systems that can be reconfigured quickly are required.

According to ADI, its software configurable I/O will provide manufacturers with the capability to more efficiently implement new projects and achieve more flexible automated control, resulting in reduced design and installation costs, as well as reduced commissioning delays.

In using software configurable I/O, manufacturers can develop a platform that replaces multiple aging fixed function I/O modules or be applied across multiple customer applications where the I/O dynamic changes with each installation. For systems traditionally reliant on control cabinets with multiple I/O modules and specified wiring for each channel type, the need for hardware diminishes as end users can now install a single module type programmable from the control room, helping to decrease logistic, manufacturing and support costs.

Software configurable I/O also acts as a bridge to Ethernet-based control networks, as it can further be applied to brownfield installations requiring updates to 10BASE-T1L industrial Ethernet systems. It enables development of standardised, configurable field I/O units capable of translating between installed HART-enabled 4-20mA sensors and actuators and 10BASE-T1L or 100M Fibre backhaul.

Neil Tyler

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