Automating Manufacturing Processes with Ethernet-Enabled I/O Modules, Linux - page 4
What's A PLC?
Naughton said that Woodhead Connectivity will be expanding their line of I/O modules in the future. A large portion of their current business is supplying ruggedized cables, connectors and ethernet switches. Some of their products are even submersible, which makes for a pretty tough machine.
The industrial automation crowd has been talking about ethernet connectivity for a long time. Put the control computer in an enviromentally safe area and leave the I/O equipment out near the machine, connected by ethernet. For various reasons the industry has been a little slow to embrace the the new model, possibly due to installed base versus revenue issues.
Woodhead's products coupled with Linux, ethernet and Open Source control applications might be just what you are looking for the next time you need to automate one of your factory processes.
Rob Reilly is a senior technology consultant, whose work includes Linux, business integration, innovation training and automotive design. He frequently writes and speaks about these and other subjects. He has 16 years experience in the high technology, manufacturing and the utilities industries. He is always 'on-the-lookout' for stories and projects that focus on Linux, business and the cutting edge. Send him a note or visit his web site.
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