Belden Inc. offers a wide range of connectivity products within its Lumberg Automation product program for the EMEA region. These include offerings for connecting sensors and actuators to local I/O stations or control systems. Previously the domain of fieldbus systems, this area is seeing an increasing use of Industrial Ethernet or special Ethernet-based standards. Andrej Lorkovic, director of product management for Belden's Lumberg Automation brand, says: "This trend is particularly strong in the area of mechanical engineering."
To ensure efficient networking in this sector, the product range is currently being extended to include active I/O modules that support PROFINET and EtherNet/IP protocols. Lorkovic, who has been responsible for product management since early 2012, says: "This covers the two most important network standards used in automation." The first I/O modules of this type were at the beginning of this year as additions to the LioN-M series. A ruggedised version featuring a completely encapsulated metal housing and industrial protection class IP67 has been launched recently. Modules for EtherCat and Safety I/O are also under consideration.
Adding Ethernet-enabled components to the Lumberg Automation product range is fully in line with Belden's strategic focus on offering complete data communications that include cables, connectors, switches, firewalls, wireless LAN systems and standardised network management software. In Lorkovic's words: "We take care of the actuator/sensor level through our Lumberg Automation brand. We also offer solutions for the control and management level and the internetworking of systems and machines through our Hirschmann product range."
Although Ethernet is not dominating the actuator/sensor level yet, Belden's product management expert is convinced that Industrial Ethernet is the network protocol of the future. He says: "Some high-performance sensors for imaging systems or safety applications are already equipped with Industrial Ethernet interfaces, and this trend will further accelerate the proliferation of Ethernet." Andrej Lorkovic goes on to add: "Our new I/O modules even have internal switches that help reduce the complexity of system wiring by doing away with the need for external switches. And, of course, Belden already has a wide range of connectivity solutions for sensors that continue to be connected via fieldbus systems."
For further information about Lumberg Automation products from Belden, go to their website at www.belden.com/.