ASCO Numatics is launching a new version of its G3 valve island with Ethernet Powerlink communications. This addition to the G3 range will benefit machine builders, system integrators and those modifying machinery and wanting a sophisticated, versatile, user-friendly way of connecting pneumatic valves to a real-time Ethernet network.
G3 components enable users to configure manifolds, valves and I/O terminals to suit their needs: different size valves can be used, with flow rates from 275 to 3820 litres/min; centralised or decentralised system architectures can be created; valves and I/O can be located adjacent to each other or separated by up to 30m; multiple manifolds can be linked to a single block of I/O; and IP65 sealing (or IP67 if suitable electrical connectors are used) enables the I/O and/or valves to be mounted directly on the machine without a cabinet.
Integral backlit display
For commissioning, checking status or diagnosing faults, each I/O module features an integral backlit display that conveys messages in plain English, as well as other data such as IP addresses. Furthermore, the display and pushbuttons can be used to configure the I/O module without any need for a PC or handheld programmer to be connected.
To minimise downtime in the event of a problem with an I/O module, the ARM (Auto Recovery Module) stores the configuration settings from the I/O module; importantly, during normal operation the ARM remains disconnected from the other modules so that it is immune from severe voltage spikes or similar events that might damage the I/O modules. When a replacement I/O module is plugged in, the user is offered the choice of configuring the module afresh or copying the settings from the ARM.
In applications where there might be a need to replace a valve without shutting off the air supply to the manifold, ASCO Numatics offers an accessory that sits between the valve and the manifold; this device can shut off the air supply to the individual valve without interrupting the supply to the other valves. Once again, this can make a significant difference to how quickly a machine can be brought back online after an unplanned stoppage.
Another very useful feature is the webserver that is built into each I/O module; the enables engineers to monitor the status of the I/O remotely using only a web browser. This also means that engineers can often diagnose faults without having to visit the machine in person.
The latest G3, with Ethernet Powerlink connectivity, is equipped with two Ethernet ports so that it can be used in ring topologies. Up to 512 I/O can be connected using just one node. A maximum of 32 valve solenoids can be used per manifold, with up to 16 manifolds per communication node.
Configurator and CAD files
To make life as easy as possible for system designers, ASCO Numatics has created an online configurator that enables modules to be selected and combined on screen, then a CAD file of the complete unit can be downloaded in a choice of 85 different 2D and 3D file formats. For engineers using B&R's Automation Studio software platform, XDD files are available so that the ASCO Numatics products can be configured from within Automation Studio.
For more information about the G3 valve manifolds with Ethernet Powerlink communications, go to www.numatics.com/G3. See also this announcement from ASCO Numatics about a new White Paper, Five Critical Factors for Selecting Fieldbus Valve Manifolds.