The use of Ethernet in EX zones within the process industry was previously impossible due to safety issues. But now Turck has made a breakthrough with its GEN-3G Ethernet gateway. The smart interface means that the excom remote I/O system for industrial Ethernet networks can now also be used in EX zones.
Within the process industry, and for processes carried out in EX zones in particular, special safety requirements are in place, which previously presented an obstacle to the use of Ethernet. These included redundancies to ensure the greatest possible availability or configuration while in operation. An additional hurdle was presented by the long cable lengths required by the systems, which are limited to 100 metres for industrial Ethernet. With its GEN-3G Ethernet gateway for excom, Turck is now offering a unique solution to the issue of communication in the EX zone. Thanks to Turck’s long-standing and proven multi-protocol capabilities, the gateway sets the Ethernet protocol used within the network to PROFINET, Ethernet IP or Modbus TCP without any intervention from the user
The smart interface enabling simultaneous access to the data transfers process information and metadata from the field to the superordinate IT systems. Smart condition monitoring logics in those systems convert the metadata into user information, which can be used to further optimise the process or to perform predictive maintenance. All metadata run parallel along the same network cable (e.g. PROFINET for operation and Modbus TCP at a lower priority for the metadata), whereby the superordinate system only has read access. This rules out any manipulation of the processes or the control system.
The excom system from Turck allows for safe and simple integration into all essential process control systems. It supports the full range of functions via Ethernet, as well as via a fieldbus connection. Profinet S2 redundancy and ring networks are also supported. For Ethernet protocols that do not have any native redundancy specifications, excom offers system redundancy and gateway redundancy, or a combination of both, thanks to its own specifications.
Excom is the only highly available I/O system with an Ethernet interface in the world that consistently takes a cross-module approach to the system. Optimised system components are not just available for use in safe areas, but also in zone 2 (with Ethernet and Profibus-DP) and zone 1 (with Profibus-DP). Yet, users are still able to operate all zones and system components via a DTM, EDS or GSDML with the same structure and logic. It is not necessary for operating personnel to perform time-consuming launches on different systems.
With up to 960 signals on five module racks with 24 sockets, excom offers unrivalled channel density in a standard control cabinet. This provides an advantage in terms of space, which is extremely welcome for retrofit projects. Offering three module sizes for 8, 16 or 24 slide-in modules, excom offers a great deal of flexibility for space-saving installations in individual housings or large control cabinets. Thanks to the combination of I/O level and EX separation within a single housing, it is possible to implement central installations within the ICE area and decentralised I/O solutions within the EX zone with minimal space requirements.
Excom from Turck provides a safe route into the 4.0 future: on the one hand, its modular design allows it to keep pace with the short innovation cycles seen in the IT world. On the other hand, the system benefits from the stability and reliability offered by operational technology. The technical support offered by Bachofen during the planning and implementation of communication networks is also future-oriented. This ensures that your investments stand the test of time.