I/O Platform provides network connectivity.

Press Release Summary:



FLEX Armor(TM) Zero Cabinet I/O platform is a hardened, fully modular and machine-mountable I/O system that includes analog modules, diagnostic capabilities, and PROFIBUS-DP connectivity. Designed for current and voltage readings, it is available in either 4-channel input or 2-channel output modules. Modules provide single-ended, non-isolated analog capability with 12-bit resolution. Using discrete diagnostic module, users can get point-level data for each of 4 inputs.



Original Press Release:



Analog Modules, Diagnostic Capabilities and Added Network Connectivity Enhance Allen-Bradley FLEX Armor(TM) Line of Hardened I/O



MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio, June 24, 2002 - Introduced in 2001, Allen-Bradley FLEX Armor(TM) is a Zero Cabinet I/O platform that helps OEMs and end users reduce wiring, installation time and enclosure costs. To bring these benefits to a wider range of applications, complete automation leader Rockwell Automation has added analog modules, diagnostic capabilities and PROFIBUS-DP connectivity to this line of industrially hardened I/O.

Designed for current and voltage readings, the FLEX Armor analog I/O is available in either a four-channel input or two-channel output module. These modules provide single-ended, non-isolated analog capability with 12-bit resolution, which when combined with the previously released 4 and 8 point discrete modules, gives the users a powerful integration of discrete and analog points on one network node. Also, the modules significantly extend the first modular I/O line in the Rockwell Automation catalog built to the IP65/67 form factor, allowing end users to machine mount the Zero Cabinet I/O without an enclosure in harsh shop-floor applications where dust, grease, water, and other particulate materials would easily damage standard equipment.

"With the analog cards, users can mount I/O directly on the machine in their process control systems," said Tom Trombley, product manager for Rockwell Automation. "This is particularly important for applications that are migrating to distributed I/O - like food and beverage, and painting - but still need the protection traditionally provided by hardened enclosures."

In addition, the FLEX Armor line now includes diagnostic capabilities. Using the new discrete diagnostic module, users can get point-level data for each of the four inputs. The module will detect shorts or opens on any of the connectors, and provide fault information to an operator interface via DeviceNet(TM). This feature automatically pinpoints status changes, helping companies maximize uptime and increase maintainability.

Along with the analog and diagnostic modules, FLEX Armor I/O is available on two open networks: PROFIBUS DP and DeviceNet. Originally offered on DeviceNet, Rockwell Automation added PROFIBUS DP connectivity to give users a networking option, especially in Europe where PROFIBUS is a popular device-level network.

"Regardless of the network, FLEX Armor can support up to 32 analog inputs or 16 analog outputs single node," Trombley said. "Competitive modules consume one node for every four I/O, resulting in the premature need for additional networks."

FLEX Armor is a hardened, fully modular and machine-mountable I/O system that offers the savings of a distributed I/O platform, without the added costs of an enclosure. FLEX Armor is rated NEMA 4X (indoor/outdoor), 6P and IP65/67 and has 12 mm Quick Disconnects which reduce wiring errors and installation time.

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