Analog Devices (ADI) has recently announced the release of the industry’s first Software Configurable Input/Output (I/O) product line for building control and process automation, allowing manufacturers and industrial operators to achieve greater control system flexibility while reducing their own product complexities.
Traditional control systems require costly and labor-intensive manual configuration, with a complex array of channel modules, analog and digital signal converters, and individually wired inputs/outputs to communicate with the machines, instruments, and sensors on the operating floor.
ADI’s new AD74412R and AD74413R enable flexible control systems to be designed with reconfigurable module channels quickly, easily, and remotely without requiring extensive re-wiring. This drastically increases speed of implementation, flexibility, and the ability to make changes without significant cost and downtime.
As Industry 4.0 emerges, manufacturers need flexible systems that can quickly and easily adapt to changing requirements, all driven by shifts in consumer behaviors 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 with minimal downtime and capital investment are required.
With ADI’s software configurable I/O, manufacturers can 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 standardized, configurable field I/O units capable of translating between installed HART-enabled 4-20mA sensors and actuators and 10BASE-T1L or 100M Fibre backhaul.