Wednesday 9 June 2010

Connecting to industrial networks

New Interfaces for PROFIBUS, FOUNDATION Fieldbus and DeviceNet Allow Engineers to Add High-speed Measurements, Custom Control and Web Connectivity to Existing PLC and DCS-based Systems

National Instruments has announced new interfaces for PROFIBUS, FOUNDATION Fieldbus and DeviceNet that make it possible for engineers to connect LabVIEW, programmable automation controllers (PACs) and embedded systems to their existing industrial networks. The new interfaces provide industrial control engineers the ability to add high-speed measurements and analysis, advanced control, Web connectivity and data logging to existing systems to improve the performance and quality of their machines. The new NI CompactRIO PROFIBUS C Series modules connect CompactRIO and NI Single-Board RIO to PROFIBUS DP networks as masters or slaves, which add high-performance measurements and custom control to systems that have standardised on PROFIBUS. In addition, NI announced a new one-port FOUNDATION Fieldbus H1 interface for USB and a pair of DeviceNet master boards for PXI and PCI.

Currently, PROFIBUS features more than 30 million installed nodes worldwide and is one of the leading industrial networks for connecting programmable logic controllers (PLCs), I/O, sensors and drives in industrial and automation systems. The new C Series modules make it possible to connect CompactRIO PACs and NI Single-Board RIO embedded systems to a PROFIBUS industrial network and add high-performance measurements, advanced analysis and custom field-programmable gate array (FPGA) logic to existing systems. Engineers can now easily upgrade and retrofit existing machines and systems by using the new PROFIBUS modules to quickly add high-performance, flexible NI hardware and LabVIEW graphical software to accomplish high-speed and custom tasks that traditional PLCs are not designed to solve.

FOUNDATION Fieldbus is a simple, two-way digital communication protocol commonly used in process automation. The new NI USB-8486 is a one-port FOUNDATION Fieldbus H1 interface that provides data logging, configuration and control in HMI and distributed control system applications. The new interface connects FOUNDATION Fieldbus devices to standard desktop, industrial and notebook PCs. The USB-8486 is ideal for portable data logging and in-the-field configuration and maintenance of devices and networks.

DeviceNet is an industrial protocol that is based on the controller area network (CAN) physical layer and is managed by the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association. The new NI PCI-8532 and NI PXI-8532 scanner (master) interfaces are specifically designed for applications that involve managing and controlling other DeviceNet devices on the network using LabVIEW graphical programming.

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