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A modular system architecture for mobile automation

01 November 2012

With its new MA120 and MA170 modular control and I/O systems, B&R brings mobile automation to commercial equipment such as excavators and fire fighting vehicles.

The modular approach enables equipment manufacturers to tailor control and I/O systems to their individual requirements. And because the MA120 and MA170 devices are fully integrated into the B&R product range, they can receive all of the benefits of integrated safety solutions such as B&R's Integrated Safety Technology. 

Customers can put together modules as their requirements demand. This doesn't just mean the number of I/O channels or the CPU to be used; engineers can also choose between the CAN bus and Ethernet POWERLINK communication protocols. All of the programming is handled in the advanced Automation Studio software development environment. 

MA120 and MA170 devices have been specially developed for use in harsh conditions. An IP65 housing and coated circuit board ensure they are capable of operation over the temperature range from -40°C to +85°C. IP67 and IP69k protection are also available, and the modules are shock and vibration resistant. 

Each MA170 device allows 44 I/O channels to be set up as needed – if more channels are required, it's just a question of adding more modules. The MA120 unit is a pure I/O node with IP20 protection and 16 I/O channels that can be used as remote I/O points.

A wide range of interface modules – for handling remote maintenance, for example – allow devices to be flexibly adapted to the situation at hand. These devices can also be swapped out at a later time.

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