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New I/O modules for the CC-Link fieldbus

01 July 2010

Sensor specialist Balluff has developed a new range I/O modules for the CC-Link fieldbus network, meeting increasing demands for CC-Link in Europe and the US, as well as continued demand in Asia where CC-Link is the dominant open fieldbus standard. Across the world, over seven million CC-Link nodes have been installed worldwide to date, and this figure is growing by around one million new units per year, with Europe representing the fastest growing market.
Balluff’s CC-Link I/O modules are designed for heavy-duty industrial environments and enable fast and reliable installation of distributed automation networks without complex wiring and switchgear cabinets. Sensors and actuators such as valve manifolds and other devices are connected directly to the module with pre-assembled standard cables and communicate with a programmable logic controller (PLC) via the deterministic fieldbus network.

The I/O modules are certified by the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA), and provide a robust design that combines simple, reliable M12 connector technology with vibration-proof electronics, including the CC-Link interface, all fully potted and enclosed in a sturdy die-cast zinc housing. The modules are very compact, measuring just 224mm long, 68mm wide and 30.9mm high, and have an IP67 ingress protection rating (dust-tight and protected against temporary submersion in water). This allows them to be used in the most challenging of industrial environments, including areas where they will be exposed to dust, water, oil and mechanical stresses. Typical applications include machine tools, machining centres and manufacturing equipment in the automobile industry. The slim design with rounded corners saves space and also provides a good view of the generously-dimensioned labels for the connection terminals on the side.

The CC-Link modules have large coloured LED indicators for local diagnostics and an integrated display with two keys for easy configuration of the station address and the data transfer rate. Setting up the modules for operation just takes few key-presses. On start-up the display shows the unit’s hardware and software version numbers. In operation it shows the current operating parameters. A key icon clearly indicates when data entry mode is active and the configured values are locked by the controller. This prevents operator errors and protects the connected systems and machinery against unauthorised access and abuse.

Other indicators for the general module functions and next to every input and output (I/Os) provide information on current status and enable fast troubleshooting. Two additional LEDs in the display panel of the module are freely programmable via the I/O registers of a PLC and can be used to support users for a wide range of tasks, including installation, error warnings and preventive maintenance and service.

The new range encompasses four potted CC-Link modules, each with different I/O combinations (16 inputs; 8 outputs; 16 user-programmable inputs and outputs; 8 inuts/8 outputs).

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