Next generation valve islands offer Ethernet connectivity
Ethernet connectivity supports the end users, increasing need for easier set-up, improved diagnostics and troubleshooting.
One of the key benefits of industrial Ethernet communications is the ability to integrate a Web server into an Ethernet enabled device, which can then make nodes readily access-ible to any standard web browser for configuration, testing and even retrieval of technical documentation. When performing diagnostics and troubleshooting faults, these dedicated web pages present operators with the ideal tool to improve troubleshooting, reduce downtime and minimise maintenance periods.
The leading pneumatics suppliers were quick to embrace the advantages of Ethernet communications with valve islands offering connectivity to a range of Ethernet protocols. ASCO Numatics, for example, offers Ethernet on its G3 valve islands enabling a broad range of valve solutions to be connected to industrial Ethernet networks. The latest generation of electronic platform valve islands further embrace the advantages of Ethernet connectivity. By combining increased intelligence and integrated web servers, these devices place valuable information data right at the fingertips of operators. The G3 fieldbus next-generation electronic platform valve island from ASCO Numatics combines the functionality of a scalable modular I/O system with a modular pneumatic valve manifold.
When installed, the G3 series becomes a slave on an Ethernet network with the ability to control up to 1200 outputs / 1200 inputs from a single node. The G3 manifold platform is completely modular and scalable, featuring plug-in valves, sub-bases and I/O modules. G3 electronics interface with the highly modular Numatics generation 2000 Series, ISO 5599/2 and ISO 15407-2 Series valve lines. Ethernet protocols supported include EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, MODBUS TCP/IP. POWERLINK will be added shortly.
The G3 valve island offers increased intelligence in the form of new diagnostic functions and enhanced plug-and-play capabilities for individual modules. A graphic display supports plain-language messaging of diagnostic information at both the module and communication node level. The messages give the user direct information and this makes it easier to detect shorted and open load, shorted sensor/cable, low and missing power, and missing modules. It also allows self-test activation and provides a log of any network/distribution errors.
The G3 platform's on-board integrated web server produces a dedicated web page to deliver all this diagnostic information via a browser plus additional functions. Also, by configuring your HMI to go directly to the web page, it is much quicker and easier to diagnose faults. The web page provides a pictorial view of the device and connected I/O. Error indicators enable operators to quickly identify where faults reside and the best course of action. Additional functionality includes embedded doc-umentation with links to specific sections of the product manual, easy set-up with programming examples for particular PLCs, and a log of all diagnostics.
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