Beckhoff ultra-compact Industrial PCs
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New RFID communication modules


New RFID communication modules

Following the successful introduction of the Simatic RF com­munication modules, Siemens is launching two additional devices on the market, the Simatic RF186CI and RF188CI.
In addition to the option to connect two or four Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) readers, both modules have an additional port for digital I/Os (Input/Output). The basis for this is an integrated IO-­Link Mas­ter. For the new modules, access to configuration, commissioning and diagnostics tools is again supported via the proven TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal, but now also via web­based management. Simatic RF185C, RF186C/CI and RF188C/CI support OPC UA as their interface to the IoT (Internet of Things) world, and communicate via the OPC UA Auto ID Companion specification V1.0 data model. This enables a standard­ized connection to cloud applications such as MindSphere ­ the open, cloud­-based IoT operating system.

The new Simatic RF186CI and RF­ 188CI communication modules use the integrated IO-­Link master as a basis to offer both the option to con­nect two or four RFID readers and an additional port for digital I/Os. Via the IO-­Link master it is possible to con­nect various IO-­Link hubs or standard sensors or actuators without additional configuration. This makes it easy to integrate light barriers, proximity switches or track switches in the production plant. Further­more, an I/O expansion module with up to eight inputs and outputs can be integrated, which supports the mixed connection and operation of actuators and sensors.

For maximum flexibility in terms of design, the communication modules support star, line, and ring topologies by means of two M12 plugs each for Ethernet and power supply and an integrated switch. The new L­-coded M12 plugs provide a high transmission current of up to 16 amperes in line topologies, thus reducing cabling effort.

The Cloud connection of HF RFID systems such as Simatic RF200 and RF300 offers users new opportunities for using the data obtained from the RFID transponders. Operational resources such as containers or pallets can be digitally registered and tracked. Analysis of the data transmit­ted to the Cloud supplies vital informa­tion about KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) such as plant availability or utilization of assets, thus making a valuable contribution to process optimization. Thanks to their high IP67 degree of protection and compact design, the communica­tion modules, which are developed and manufactured in Germany, are suited for use in harsh industrial envi­ronments and for installation where space is limited.­-modules


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