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Module adds field bus to any product

01 November, 1999

Module adds field bus to any product

A British company has developed a module that will allow OEMs to add field bus capabilities to almost any product. The Field Marshall module, produced by Huddersfield-based Tellima Technology, can be programmed after installation to act as an interface for different field bus protocols, including Profibus, DeviceNet, CAN and Modbus.

This approach provides manufacturers with the flexibility to offer a choice of bus protocols, depending on demand, argues Tellima`s marketing director, Paul Wilson. "Everyone wants to put field bus on their equipment," he says, "but it`s difficult to choose which bus to go with."

The module can run several field buses concurrently and act as a gateway between them. Because the protocols are stored in Flash memory, they can be upgraded at any stage. "You can update installations in the field as the bus specifications change," Wilson suggests.

He argues that the module will cut OEM product development times and reduce parts inventories. Customising the module for an application is done using point-and-click Windows software.

As well as acting as a field bus interface, the Field Marshall has sufficient spare processing capacity to run user application programs up to 10,000 lines long.

Tellima developed the 101mm by 49mm module with the help of a Government Smart award. The company is considering supporting other bus protocols including Profibus PA and Interbus.

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