A distributed modular input-output (I/O) can replace standard slice I/O and distributed I/O in industrial Ethernet applications. Using standard three-conductor cables, up to four slave devices can be connected to each master block, which communicates over the industrial Ethernet network to the controller. Each I/O device is connected to an industry-standard M12 port, creating a connection that offers IP67 protection. Slave devices can be installed within a 20-m radius from the master device, enabling them to be distributed across the machine. The system is field bus independent and vendor neutral. Modular slave devices that can be used include discrete inputs and outputs, analog input and output channels, and specialty sensors for measurement, position, or color detection. Master blocks are available with EtherNet/IP or PROFINET protocols. Blocks with the former support daisy-chain connections with a built-in switch as well as the device level ring (DLR) topology. Blocks with the latter support fast start-up (FSU) and the link layer discovery protocol (LLDP). Lockable push-button displays enable quick setup.
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