Control solution with standards-based distributed I/O

12 September 2012

GE Intelligent Platforms has introduced the PACSystems RSTi, a new, standards-based granular machine I/O integrated with the company’s PACSystems controllers on PROFINET.

The RSTi is based on global standards and is said to deliver the PROFINET promise of a consistent and standard high-performance communication link between field I/O and controller. The integration of the unit into the control system also simplifies development and commissioning, resulting in increased productivity.

“The RSTi, like all of our new control solutions, is based on open standards, leveraging our expertise in automation and ruggedised computing to meet the needs of the Industrial Internet,” said Bill Black, controllers product manager for GE Intelligent Platforms. “In designing our distributed network architecture GE set a goal of making distributed I/O configuration and operation as simple as traditional rack-based systems. With the introduction of RSTi this capability is extended to an entire new range of applications that benefit from the combination of a wide range of high-density, small form-factor I/O types.”

The RSTi promises simplified installation by placing the granular I/O closer to the field devices using standard Ethernet cabling. The distributed nature of the unit provides the flexibility to expand and reconfigure field devices without impacting control-to-device wiring unlike centralized control systems that require new wiring to be installed back to the central control cabinet, lowering the total cost of ownership by reducing the high cost of field wiring.

OEMs can build machines in sections with local I/O drops which can be assembled at the customer site, connected to the controller by a high performance network, one standard Ethernet cable versus hundreds of wires.The compact size allows the modules to be closer to the control devices, helping to reduce wiring and hardware costs.

“Equipment builders are continuously looking for ways to improve the performance of their equipment while augmenting usability and reducing size and complexity,” continued Black. “These requirements extend to the control system. With PACSystems GE provides high performance control solutions with best-in-class integration of distributed, networked, I/O suited for demanding applications.”

The RSTi extends the capabilities of the PROFINET-enabled solution with the addition of a comprehensive line of granular slice I/O that allows users to simplify panel design and reduce the overall size of the control panel while benefiting from the performance, maintainability and upgradeability of the PACSystems platform. There are more than 80 different module types to choose from for discrete, process, motion and specialty applications. In addition, communications protocols such as PROFINET, PROFIBUS DP, DeviceNET, MODBUS/TCP, MODBUS serial, Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, CANopen and CC-Link are available.

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