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Old April 23rd, 2014, 01:43 PM   #1
cbuysse
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Remote I/O Choices

I'm looking for some recommendations for remote I/O choices. I would like to create a standard remote I/O panel design for our product that would allow us to connect the panel to either a CompactLogix system over EthernetI/P or a Siemens system over Profinet. I'm not married to any particular manufacturer for the I/O and I don't mind having to change the part number for the communciation adpater between applications.

I primarily use less than 16 digital inputs, 16 digital outputs, and 4 analog inputs on any given remote I/O rack. On rare occasions we will have an analog output or two. It's for water treatment processes, so response time is not overly critical - ms response times are more than sufficient.

My local vendor just sent me a cut sheet for Turck's BL20 line with the multi-protocol Ethernet interface. That looks very promising. Does anyone have any experience with this line?

I've also looked at Wago, Siemens, and Phoenix. They each have their +'s and -'s from my desk, but I'd love to hear some feedback from someone who's actually put them into service. I'd also love to hear other recommendations.

Thanks.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 03:19 PM   #2
Lemming
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We have used the Beckhoff Bus terminals for several projects.. Looks like, and is pretty much Wago (they used to be the same company I believe..) under the hood.. but cheaper where we live. haven't had any issues..
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 03:47 PM   #3
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We use Wago. They used to be way cheaper than everyone else on price. Now a lot of the others have come down in price and everyone is pretty competitive. Wago/Beckhoff still have the smallest footprint and you can get 16 points in 1/2". The programmable bus couplers can be used as a stand alone PLC & HMI (with the built in web server) or you can get the non-programmable ones if you just want to get IO to another PLC. We never use the AB/Siemens rack I/O unless a specific application requires it. Wago is way easier and cheaper.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 03:51 PM   #4
David Korenke
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I have been using Phoenix with no trouble once programed. The units can be expanded as needed or just use a basic 4 outputs 8 inputs. I use in machines as a point. We put 4 in areas and then network and back to main PLC or HMI.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 03:59 PM   #5
RussB
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I would second the Turck BL20 or their BL67, if you don't need a panel for other devices at the remote site.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 04:12 PM   #6
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If you are already using Rockwell, why not use the Flex I/O? You can get a comm head for Profibus when you need to use it with Siemens, or if it is the new S7-1200/1500, then use Ethernet for both Rockwell and Siemens, that way your remote I/O is the same hardware either way..

http://ab.rockwellautomation.com/IO/1794-FLEX-IO
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 05:57 PM   #7
cbuysse
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jraef - the only problem with any of Rockwell's solutions is that none of them have Profinet. At least as far as I've been able to determine all they have available is Profibus. I'd have to switch back and forth between an Ethernet based solution and a bus solution. That changes other parts of the panel design that I'm trying to avoid.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 06:45 PM   #8
jraef
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbuysse View Post
jraef - the only problem with any of Rockwell's solutions is that none of them have Profinet. At least as far as I've been able to determine all they have available is Profibus. I'd have to switch back and forth between an Ethernet based solution and a bus solution. That changes other parts of the panel design that I'm trying to avoid.
If you are using the newer S71200 or S71500 systems from Siemens, they are now compatible with Ethernet IP (or so I am told) because Ethernet IP is what they are using now on their new G120C drives. So even Siemens appears to be moving away from their Profinet stance, although I would bet you will never get them to admit it openly.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 07:42 PM   #9
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wago
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 09:30 PM   #10
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Beckhoff has the widest range of I/O types. They have many couplers, including EIP and Profinet, of which I've used both with Logix, Siemens S7, and GE rx3i . Their prices are significantly lower. The only trouble I've had is that the configuration of settings on the cards (for complex cards like analog) are stored in the card, not the Plc. In the event that there is a failure, like a blown output card or something, the end user needs to replace the card and use the Beckhoff KS2000 software to download the .xml file you send with your product. This isn't that difficult, but sometimes an end user might make it that way. There are two EIP and Profinet couplers, a low-cost version and a version with a two-port switch. So Beckhoff is my favorite remote I/O platform.

Other good ones:
AB Point-IO (no Profinet, but configures in Logix)
B&R X20 (config stored in coupler instead of cards, and they have an .eds generator so the I/O appears well organized in Logix)
MurrElektronik Cube20 (interesting configuration options)
Wago (higher quoted prices, but supported through vendors instead of manufacturer)
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Old April 24th, 2014, 05:32 AM   #11
mk42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jraef View Post
If you are using the newer S71200 or S71500 systems from Siemens, they are now compatible with Ethernet IP (or so I am told) because Ethernet IP is what they are using now on their new G120C drives. So even Siemens appears to be moving away from their Profinet stance, although I would bet you will never get them to admit it openly.
jraef,

This isn't really true. Although many of the Siemens devices (like the HMI panels, ET200S IO, RFID readers, and drives) support Ethernet/IP, they always support Profinet first. The g120C you mention also has Profinet support. In addition, the ET200SP IO line (replacing the ET200S) currently has no Ethernet/IP option. None of the Siemens PLC's support EIP, even as an addon. The newer 1200 and 1500 include blocks to support Modbus and Modbus TCP, but not EIP.

To my knowledge, Siemens is not a member of the ODVA, and all of the products with EIP support were created as a partnership with another vendor, such as SST.
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Old April 24th, 2014, 06:06 AM   #12
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+1 what mk42 said.

If I had to choose a Remote IO vendor in order to be able to support as many bus standards as possible, I would consider Beckhoff.

In addition to Ethercat, they support Profibus, CANopen, DeviceNet, Profinet, Ethernet/IP and Sercos III:
http://beckhoff.de/english/ethercat/...d=163336884944
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Old April 24th, 2014, 09:29 AM   #13
cbuysse
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Thanks to everyone. I'm digging more into the Turck offering and it looks like I'm going to have to do some investigation of Beckhoff.
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Old April 24th, 2014, 10:31 AM   #14
nonuke
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You can also take a look at the new remote I/O from Weidmuller.

http://www.weidmueller.com/101357/Pr..._index_v2.aspx

-Unrivaled connection density: 32 connections per module
-Smallest design on the market (module width of 11.5 mm)
-Great efficiency with just one feed-in for 64 modules
-Two separate 10 A supply paths for simple maintenance and planning saves on power-feed modules
-Hot-swapping capability: replacement of electronics in operation accelerates service work
-High-speed station bus with 256 DI / DO in 20 Ás makes maximum electronic performance possible
-Real-time mapping of processes
-LEDs positioned directly on the channel and module for clear assignment and diagnosis
-Remote options for simulation and diagnostics
-Integrated web server for standard browsers
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Old April 24th, 2014, 12:02 PM   #15
FactoryTalktotheHand
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Personally, I'm not a fan of Wago/Beckhoff. After working with them for a few years, I've found them not to be very reliable and have caused me numerous headaches trying to troubleshoot them. What tends to happen is the bus connectors on each slice tend to corrode over time. It doesn't take much for this corrosion to interrupt communications and fault out the entire rack, randomly taking your system down.

The comm adapters also supposedly give you a flash code to tell you which module is bad, but I don't think I've ever had that code actually be accurate in telling me which module actually was bad. It'll usually be two or three slices off. So it'll flash six times and card 3 is actually the problem.

At my last job where I ran into this a lot we actually implemented a PO for maintenance to go around the plant to pull out and re-seat every single beckhoff/wago card in the facility every few months. Otherwise, between the corrosion, heat, and vibration, we'd be plagued with mysterious machine shutdowns with no obvious cause.

I'd only use them if you can't find any other solution. But if you can avoid them, do so. They're a maintenance nightmare.
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