While preparing a story on another product's life cycle status, we became aware of the fact that Rockwell had updated the status of their 1797 Flex Ex line to “end of life.”[flexex-artadrr-ebay]The Flex Ex line of distributed I/O is based on the popular Flex I/O product line, but it's also hazardous area rated in North America for Class I Zones 1 and 2, Groups IIC, IIB, and IIA.
While Rockwell has updated the Flex Ex product line with a discontinued date of 12/31/2016, no word on a replacement Allen-Bradley line of intrinsically safe I/O could be found on their website.
So what do you think? Is Rockwell likely to release a new line of intrinsically safe I/O, and if so when would they announce it?
Or is the market for installing I/O in hazardous locations not large enough to warrant a replacement product?
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