Extensive communication options are a standard requirement of nearly every automation solution developed today. While Ethernet is experiencing perhaps the strongest growth in this sector, CAN bus systems continue to gain significant ground.
Flexible communication and networking options are a fundamental aspect of all B&R products, with most CPUs equipped with an integrated 10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet interface.
Communication must be adapted to meet the precise requirements of an application, which is is why we offer an extensive range of interface modules. These components can be used with all x86-based CPUs from the System 2003 and 2005 series as well as all Power Panel 400 systems. Each of these modules is based on B&R's aPCI standard. For industrial PCs, B&R offers a wide selection of PCI plug-in cards.
aPCI modules (advanced PCI) are based on the standard PCI bus, but their physical properties and boot behavior have been optimized for use in automation systems.
The demands placed on communication in the field are considerably higher than those of an office environment. The ability to exchange data deterministically and in real time is absolutely crucial. Keeping jitter in the microsecond range and providing extremely high resistance to disturbances are also factors that must always be considered.
As a standardized Fast Ethernet protocol, POWERLINK has proven its tough real-time characteristics in thousands of applications. With the openness and continuous advancement of this technology guaranteed by the Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group, or EPSG, the POWERLINK system represents the second generation of fieldbuses and makes it possible to apply the full power of IT technologies to the field of industrial automation for the first time. POWERLINK is equally suited for drives, I/O, visualization and data exchange between PLC systems.
CAN bus has also enjoyed much success of late, particularly in machine manufacturing, and continues to gain in popularity. High resistance to disturbances, high-speed data transfer, ease of use and deterministic real-time behavior are some of the reasons for this success. CAN is the ideal fieldbus for applications with a manageable number of remote I/O nodes and few axes. Nevertheless, CAN bus reaches its limits when it comes to larger and more complex machines. It is in these applications where the higher performance of POWERLINK is required.
Decentralization is a dominating trend in the automation industry. This is mainly due to cost considerations as there are clear advantages of a decentralized structure for many different types of applications. These demands led to the idea of handling the conventional backplane for I/O modules used with a PLC system or bus controller in a single cable. The result is an extremely high-speed I/O connection made via X2X Link.
Interfaces such as RS232, RS422 and RS485 continue to play an important role in the world of automation. Robust, simple yet extremely efficient, these interfaces still find usage in a wide range of areas, with the classic RS232 interface fully capable of meeting the demands of system programming and maintenance.