As co-inventor and founder member of AS-i, IFM Electronic says it has led the field in the development of many components for AS-i networks. Probably the most important component is the AS-i master, where all commands are routed and the link to the next level in the control hierarchy established. It is essential then that the master is able to communicate with all the slaves in the system, so when profiles are updated the master must be at the forefront. And so it is with IFM Electronic's new master generation, which includes controller e, now updated to conform to the M4 master profile published by the AS-i consortium.
As M4 masters the devices support the automatic exchange of data with all slaves to the AS-i specification 3.0. Therefore A/B slaves with four inputs and outputs or analogue A/B slaves can now also be used. Backwards-compatibility is guaranteed so older slaves can still be used.
In the world of automation, IFM Electronic's controller e has made a name for itself as a versatile family of AS-i masters with integrated fieldbus interface combined with powerful PLC characteristics. Like before, the new controller e versions have a single or dual AS-i master functions, and support common Profibus DP V1, CANopen, DeviceNet, Ethernet/IP and Modbus TCP. PLC programming to IEC 61131-3 utilises all familiar programming styles, and set-up and diagnostics are facilitated with the display and functionality of the IFM AS-i gateways.
These display and diagnostic features are also found on the M4 master update of IFM's slimline SmartLink, which is a single or dual master that acts as a gateway directly to Profibus DP.
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