Connection between feeders and operator interface is via a network. KCMs can also connect directly to the plant’s automation network.
The diagram to the right illustrates the simplified connectivity provided by SmartConnex.
Each feeder’s KCM communicates via serial bus with the supplied operator interface and off-the-shelf I/O. The serial bus provides a single connection between operator interface, all feeder controls and I/O. It is a widely accepted and robust industrial bus that assures reliable communication over simple twisted pair wire up to 3280 ft (1 Km) in length.
Processors may choose to daisy chain feeders, which uses the least cable, or employ a star configuration which provides the most fault-tolerant system. Connection to PLC/host computer via standard protocol is easily accomplished through the operator interface, which acts as a data concentrator, or directly from each KCM to the PLC.
Various SmartLink interface boards are available to allow a plant computer system or PLC to communicate directly with the KCM via various protocols. All connectivity electronics mount inside the KCM, allowing all control functions. No external converters are used. The modules provide an extremely powerful and flexible interface that can be configured for basic start/stop and data monitoring operations as well as complex applications requiring changes and multiple feedback values (additional info).