Schneider Automation's (North Andover, MA) Transparent Factory control strategy, based on Internet technologies over Ethernet, permits production data from packaging machinery to be analyzed, formatted and delivered to databases, Web sites or e-mail.
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Orion® PC-based motion controllers from Ormec (Rochester, NY) now offer Ethernet connections to Allen-Bradley PLCs that support Ethernet. The controllers can also be used for communications with PCs running popular human-machine interface software packages.
Upgraded SafeNet Plus software from Safeline (Tampa, FL) permits up to 50 metal detectors to be linked to one PC. The enhanced software reports on time-and-date-stamped rejection incidents, real-time status of each detector on the network, historical data on testing and shift reports.
New Orion® ServoWire(TM) servo drives and PC-based digital motion controllers from Ormec (Rochester, NY) communicate at speeds to 200 megabits/sec using the IEEE-1394 network protocol, originally Apple Computer's FireWire(TM) network protocol.
A white paper on trends in control system I/O is available from Rockwell Automation/Allen-Bradley (Milwaukee, WI). Provides a basic understanding of what I/O is and a brief summary of the evolution of control system I/O.
Fluid power manufacturer Numatics (Highland, MI) has released the NetBoss NCM Series intelligent network control module. With I/O processor, LCD display and operator interface, NetBoss can operate as an independent control unit or can be incorporated into Numatics' Mark 4 and Mark 2002 valve manifolds.