Every time I travel, customers tell me, “we just wire everything into a box.” Every equipment designer goes through a phase of their design process where they need to decide how their I/O gets from their sensors and their valves to their controller. Some people use I/O cards on their PLC, or networks with IP20 solutions inside remote I/O cabinets.
Remote I/O cabinets are costing you money in three ways:
Initial Equipment Costs: You have to purchase a remote NEMA Box, bulkhead pass through connectors or gaskets, the remote I/O network connection as well as the required input and output cards for the application.
Installation Time: The box needs to be mechanically mounted in it’s big bulky space and installed with all of the wires and connectors run to it. An electrician then needs to come in and wire everything to the I/O ports. If you are using PNP or NPN sensors, there are 3 terminations per sensor that the electrician needs to connect.
Setup Time: If for some reason the machine needs to be torn down and shipped someplace else (which many machines do), many hours can be spent disconnecting the I/O only to be reassembled in the final destination.
These costs in time and money can be reduced by looking at industrial network I/O mounted right on the machine. IP67 I/O gives quick industrial connection for the network communication and power cables. Most of the sensor and actuator cables can stay with the block because the I/O block is mounted right on the machine next to where the I/O is needed.
So the next time you are working on designing cost out of your machine, look at the labor and money you are putting into your remote I/O boxes and consider machine mount I/O.