Direct fieldbus connectivity for sensors
ifm electronic has announced it has extended the AL4xxx range of digital input modules, which allow sensors to be connected direct to fieldbus networks, to include versions for use with Modbus TCP networks.
The company says the new additions complement the existing modules in the range, which are designed for use with PROFINET and EtherNet/IP networks. In many applications, these modules greatly simplify network infrastructure, thereby reducing design, installation and commissioning costs.
All digital input modules in the newly extended range have an integrated counter feature which makes it easy to implement accurate and dependable high speed counting functionality that is completely unaffected by network delays and PLC cycle time.
There are now twelve modules in the AL4xxx range. Users can choose from Modbus TCP, PROFINET or Ethernet/IP types with stainless connectors for food industry applications, or nickel-plated brass connectors for general industrial use. They can also choose between StandardLine models with a single A-coded M12 power connector rated at 4 A or PerformanceLine models with two L-coded M12 connectors each rated at 16 A. PerformanceLine models can be daisy-chained to other modules in the same product family.
ifm’s AL4xxx modules provide 16 inputs configured as two banks of eight. Standard M12 connections are used between the modules and the sensors, and these can be conveniently provided by pre-terminated connecting cables which are available separately from ifm in lengths from 1 m to 10 m.
Robust housings with ingress protection ratings up to IP67 for StandardLine modules and IP67K for PerformanceLine types mean that AL4xxx modules can be used without further protection even in demanding environments, including those where washdown cleaning is performed. The housings and port configurations are uniform with those of ifm electronic IO-Link input/output modules, which results in a neat appearance for finished systems as well as helping to simplify installation.