Distributed Modular I/O in the Food Processing and Beverage Industry

Balluff is pleased to introduce industry's first machine mount, IP69K protection rated, ECOLAB certified distributed I/O modules powered by EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, and IO-Link. End users and machine builders of automation in the food, meat, dairy and beverage industries that need to follow stringent food safety requirements can now utilize the full benefits of distributed modular I/O architecture for all the required I/O and sensor connectivity.

The IP69K portfolio includes network I/O, IO-Link masters and IO-Link I/O hubs. These distributed I/O modules can be mounted right on the machine closer to sensors and actuators to reduce troublesome cable routing. The entire portfolio of IP69K modules utilizes standard M12 connections to sensors eliminating the need for cable terminations in the cabinet. All the modules are equipped with onboard diagnostics for ease of integration and maintenance.

ECOLAB certified stainless steel V4A (1.4571) housing with elevated two-hole mounting makes these modules easy for cleaning with high-pressure fluids or steam wash or corrosive chemicals.

With IO-Link onboard, there are endless possibilities for connecting a multitude of smart devices, analog devices or discrete I/O sensors and valves. Balluff's IO-Link I/O hubs, with expansion capability, can scale-up to 240 I/O points on the single network node eliminating network clutter and cost involved with traditional network I/O solutions. IO-Link enables machine builders to bring the status and configuration of sensors on-board the controller with the same M12 washdown-rated sensor cable that is used for standard 3-wire sensors. Balluff's new washdown I/O portfolio simplifies design, installation and maintenance of traditionally difficult I/O applications.

Distributed modular architecture is commonly used in automotive and general automation applications. "With the availability of the IP69K modules, our customers in the food and beverage industry could simplify their controls architectures, reduce expensive cabinet space by utilizing machine mount devices and reduce their time to market," says Shishir Rege, Marketing Manager for Networking and Safety at Balluff Inc. With complete configurability for standard I/O as well as IO-Link smart devices into the controller simplifies the design of the system, reduces potential for human errors and makes troubleshooting a lot easier- reducing downtime in production and build time at machine builder.