Flex 5000 I/O – AF2017

Welcome to part nine of the nine part series covering my choices for the top new PLC and HMI products shown at Rockwell’s Automation Fair 2017.

Note: While this series covers the products in which I am most interested, you’ll find all the new products listed in Rockwell’s guide HERE.

The New Flex 5000 I/O:

Due out in mid to late 2018, Rockwell describes the Flex 5000 Distributed I/O line as the next generation of its very popular Flex I/O line.

Offering 1 Gigabit Ethernet network and backplane performance, Ethernet adapters will be available to support two copper or two fiber (SFP) ports in Star, Ring, or PRP topologies.

Standard I/O modules will be available with up to 32 Digital I/O points per module, and up to 8 analog I/O points per module.

And like the previous Flex I/O line, the new Flex 5000 I/O modules will support Removal and Insertion Under Power (RIUP.)

In addition to standard I/O, safety I/O rated for SIL3, PLe, and Cat. 4, will also be available for use in a Flex 5000 system.

This safety I/O will come with up to 16 Digital I/O, and 4 Analog I/O modules, which can be mixed with standard I/O.

Where possible, the Safety I/O modules will also have common wiring with their non-safety counterparts, so you will be able to replace an IB16 with an IB16S without having to disturb the wiring.

The Flex 5000 line is also compatible with extreme environments rated as class G1, G2, G3, and hazardous areas in the Class 1, Div. 2, Zone 2 Groups A, B, C, D, E, F areas. The are also said to be rated to operate from -40 to 70°C

To find out more check out Rockwell’s below video:

So what do you think?

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited about this new line.

While I do like using the existing Flex I/O, the TB connectors aren’t as good as other products, and the bus is slow and clunky.

So what do you think? Will you consider the above product when it comes out in 2018?

Please feel free to share your thoughts with us by clicking on the “post a comment or question” link below.

Until next time, Peace ✌️ 

Shawn M Tierney
Technology Enthusiast & Content Creator

Have a question? Join my community of automation professionals and take part in the discussion! You'll also find my PLC, HMI, and SCADA courses at TheAutomationSchool.com.

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