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Tiny PLC board will ‘unleash’ the power of the IIoT

20 November, 2018

The electronics developer Maxim Integrated has produced a reference PLC design that packs 17 configurable IOs into a space half the size of a credit card. It says that the Go-IO board will “unleash” the full power of the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and allow designers to bring greater intelligence into Industry 4.0 factory equipment, while meeting the stringent size and power demands of PLCs.

The board will also push intelligence closer to the edge, enabling active monitoring and communication of the health of equipment, as well as improving throughput and productivity. The reference design is one tenth of the size of its predecessor, Maxim’s Pocket IO, and uses half the power.

The board – which occupies less than 1 cubic inch ­– includes 12 integrated ICs, 17 IOs supporting multiple digital IO configurations, a four-channel IO-Link master to provide a universal IO interface for analogue and digital sensors, self-diagnostics, and a robust 25Mbps RS-485 communications channel that provides a multi-drop locally or to the cloud.

Maxim says that the Go-IO will enhance productivity by providing automated factory equipment with real-time health and status information. It will also shift control and intelligence from centralised command centres to individual items of automated equipment, allowing on-the-fly changes to product specifications.

Maxim’s Go-IO board can shift control and intelligence from centralised command centres to individual items of automated equipment

“As factories and manufacturing plants gather data from an increasing number of automated machines, the PLCs must be smaller to fit on a sub-assembly line or a complex machine,” says Jeff DeAngelis, managing director of Maxim’s industrial and healthcare business. “Go-IO furthers industrial convergence with a next-generation industrial IO solution that increases productivity and provides machine-level health and status information for making critical, real-time decisions.”

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