In the realm of industrial automation, IO systems play a crucial role in ensuring seamless connectivity, reliability, and safety.
Supriya Suhale, IO product specialist and category manager for connectivity at Beckhoff, provides an in-depth exploration of IO systems, shedding light on their nature and the common challenges encountered during implementation.
“An IO system, also known as an Input-Output system, is a fundamental component of industrial automation. It encompasses the combination of hardware and software that facilitates data and signal exchange between devices, sensors, and control systems in automated environments,” explains Suhale.
Having been a part of Beckhoff for five years, Suhale actively contributes to introducing innovative products, promoting their unique features, and providing valuable customer support.
“In my role, I am deeply involved in driving sales and ensuring seamless integration of Beckhoff’s products into automation processes. My passion for this field stems from witnessing the incredible potential of these products and actively participating in groundbreaking projects and advancements throughout my tenure,” expresses Suhale.
Implementing IO systems in industrial automation applications presents its own set of challenges. Suhale emphasises the difficulties encountered when integrating IO systems with diverse devices and systems.
“The wide array of products and technologies available in the market necessitates careful planning and consideration to ensure scalability and address growing application complexities. Engineers must select IO systems that offer low latency, high-speed data acquisition, and real-time capabilities.”
“Maintaining backward compatibility and seamless integration during upgrades is crucial to avoid disruptions or compromises in ongoing operations.”
IO systems operating in harsh industrial environments encounter unique challenges that engineers must address to ensure reliability and safety. The first step, as Suhale outlines, is conducting a comprehensive risk assessment to understand the specific demands of the application and environment.
“Engineers should choose suitable products and protective equipment capable of withstanding the challenges posed by harsh conditions. Implementing sound engineering practices, adhering to standard operating procedures, and meeting industry-specific regulatory requirements are essential.”
As a leader in the field, Beckhoff continuously innovates its IO systems to meet the evolving needs of industrial automation.
“With over 25 years of IO production experience, Beckhoff offers a wide range of signals and form factors, including IP20, IP67, and IP69K ratings. Our latest additions include safe IP67 boxes, multifunctional interfaces supporting different signal types, and higher current compact motion terminals with integrated safety,” highlights Suhale.
What distinguishes Beckhoff’s IO technology from other solutions on the market is its interoperability, with Suhale emphasising the extensive range of support services available.
“Beckhoff offers a wide range of signals and protocols that enable integrators to enhance their current systems without requiring extensive changes to the infrastructure. With Beckhoff’s plugin terminals, signal distribution becomes more efficient, particularly for serial machine builders. Our plugin EtherCAT technology is seamlessly integrated at the individual terminal level, just like our IO solutions in various form factors.”
Suhale adds, “Most recently, we have extended this to our power supplies to achieve continuous monitoring and increase machine availability.
“Interoperability is our greatest strength, making it easy for integrators to enhance their current systems without major changes to the existing infrastructure.”
If you are considering integrating an IO system into your industrial automation setup, reach out to Beckhoff today. Contact Beckhoff Automation Australia here for further assistance.