Hilscher (www.hilscher.com) has introduced a new range of network interfaces modules that allow users to easily and quickly change or add fieldbus as well as Industrial Ethernet protocols in automation devices.
The netJACK module supports thirteen different protocols and fieldbuses, such as PROFIBUS and DeviceNet, including Industrial Ethernet protocols like Ethernet/IP, PROFINET and EtherCAT, in both master and slave variants. Users can configure an automation product to use a specific protocol by simply inserting the appropriate netJACK module.
“We see increasing demand from vendors, OEMs and end users for versatile networking,” said Christof Hunger, Product Manager at Hilscher.
“No one wants to build special designs for every protocol. They want to be able to add the different protocols easily and quickly to a product to meet any need, and change protocols fast-in the field if necessary.”
The netJACK module employs a simple connection interface to the host to effectively reduce parts cost by eliminating the need for certain components such as mounting rails. The netJACK can also reduce the stocking and integration costs of OEMs and vendors as it needs only one product to meet the vast array of protocol choices. The company will offer three interface options — the PCI Express versions for the OEM and device vendor markets, the Dual Port Memory (DPM) models for embedded systems and the upcoming Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) variants.
The IP-40 rated module is based on the company’s netX chips family. Aside from supporting popular industrial networking protocols, netX also has sufficient processing power to offer value-added functions like control.
“It is this added-value factor combined with fewer parts that puts netJACK ahead of the competition. We expect softPLC applications to be available by year end,” declared Hunger.
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