Profinet has established itself as the communications standard for factory automation. Vehicle manufacturers and suppliers have been demonstrating the practical suitability of industrial Ethernet-based data exchange for a number of years now. This communication technology is now ready for use in the process industry: Turck is making S2 system redundancy fit for IP67 and IP69K.
Developers of plants for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry bear a great deal of joint responsibility for ensuring the greatest possible availability of their customers’ production infrastructure. They must always bear in mind that interruptions to the production process are extremely costly. If the plant operator’s ability to supply goods is compromised, it risks a loss of custom and damage to its image. A further challenge faced by the designers of processing plants is the handling of hazardous substances in liquid or gaseous form: safety takes top priority. This is especially important in areas subject to explosion protection.
In order to increase reliability, plant manufacturers design controllers and IO modules in the field with redundancy. Should a device or a connection fail, a backup system takes over the function in question. System redundancy must be guaranteed both physically and within the programming logic. The extent to which it is to be implemented depends on the requirements for the availability of the plant.
With category S2, should the main controller fail, the system will automatically switch to the twin. The IO system and the IO module in the field maintain the logical dual connection to two controllers. These can even be in two separate physical locations. S2 system redundancy is a useful solution for many applications and is therefore popular in plant construction.
Redundant infrastructures are nothing new. However, they were previously lacking an IO link master that could be used directly within the plant without the need for any additional protective measures. Turck has now closed this gap: the newly developed TBEN-L5-8IOL IO link master module supports S2 system redundancy and, thanks to its fully encapsulated electronics, it also meets the stringent requirements for IP67 und IP69K protection. Thanks to the combination of industrial Ethernet and IO link with such a high degree of protection, digitisation right through to the final yard has, for the first time, become a reality, and all without the need for a control cabinet – a true innovation.
As an additional innovative feature, the multi-protocol function of the Turck IO modules makes it possible to simultaneously communicate with TCP/IP with subordinated priority using the same cable as Profinet. This is used, for example, to provide read-only access to device data. This creates the ideal environment for condition monitoring, asset management and predictive maintenance.
The high degree of protection provided for the TBEN field devices makes it much easier to design plants for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Network architectures can be designed in a decentralised or modular manner. This reduces the amount of space required in the control cabinet.
The TBEN-L5-8IOL IO link master module is just the beginning. It marks the start of a Turck initiative to introduce S2 system redundancy into other product groups. This year, the leading automation specialist is also supplementing its range of multi-protocol devices with an S2 extension. Next in line are block modules from the TBEN family of products. IO systems for the control cabinet for the FEN20, BL20 and excom families of products are also in the pipeline. Bachofen is keeping a close eye on this to ensure that plant manufacturers do not miss out on any innovations.