Moxa is helping meet Industry 4.0's demand for heightened visibility by launching the new NPort IAW5000A-6I/O, an enterprise-scale, out-of-the-box solution that conveniently integrates a RS-232/422/485 serial device server, a Wi-Fi client/bridge, and multiple digital I/O's into a single compact device. Deploying the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O empowers plant managers to wirelessly connect machinery to an IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n network for the collection, remote monitoring, and analysing of real-time visual insights on machine performance to ensure optimal manufacturing performance.

"Today's manufacturers are under pressure to increase the productivity of every machine on the plant floor," said Paul Wacker, Product Marketing Manager for Device Connectivity. "Our new NPort provides a drop-in solution connecting existing equipment via Wi-Fi to gain valuable new insights about what is going on in each machine in real-time and how it is impacting productivity."

Versatile advantages

The NPort IAW5000A-6I/O delivers a significant advantage through its versatility. Any RS-232/422/485 serial or Ethernet device in the field can be linked to a wireless device. In addition, its multiple digital I/O's make the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O ideal for industrial data acquisition where dividends are paid in heightened efficiency, reduced production downtime, and lower overall costs. Also, because it supports baudrates between 50 and 921.6 kbps, the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O ensures reliable connectivity to the widest range of devices.

"Using the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O, however, CNC machines can be actively monitored to acquire data via Ethernet and/or wireless communications"

Flexible application opportunities

To underscore the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O's versatility, Wacker gave the example of legacy serial CNC machines. These older, capital-extensive machines are rarely connected to a plant's network, leaving plant managers in the dark as to production status. Using the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O, however, CNC machines can be actively monitored to acquire data via Ethernet and/or wireless communications. Wacker also provided the example of installing the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O as a value-added service in a large parking lot. Detectors built into the back of individual parking spaces could be wirelessly read by the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O to let the head office know which parking spaces are taken and which are open. Available spaces can be displayed on a screen at parking lot entrances to assist drivers and improve customer satisfaction.

Improve equipment effectiveness

Overall Equipment Effectiveness or "OEE" is a key operational metric that helps plant managers monitor the performance of particular machines or production lines. Despite the numerous gains realised through Industry 4.0 technology, OEE remains stagnant at 60 percent or less for the majority of global manufacturers. The NPort IAW5000A-6I/O can help boost underperforming OEE by providing real-time visibility into machine status, allowing a plant manager to accurately adjust the production schedule for improved optimisation and decreased overhead costs.

Integrated critical functions

Gone are the days of spending the time to configure three different devices, going back and forth between different vendors for technical support, and buying different spare parts to maintain the different devices. With the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O, all three critical functions -- RS-232/422/485 serial device server, Wi-Fi client/bridge and digital I/O -- are integrated so that installation, troubleshooting and maintenance costs are dramatically reduced when compared to using two or three separate devices.

"Moxa's integrated 3-in-1 solution also decreases design time, both for installation and maintenance"

Additionally, the space-saving 3-in-1 design makes the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O ideal for refurbishment of older machinery, which typically have space limitations, especially when a variety of machines have already been installed. Moxa's integrated 3-in-1 solution also decreases design time, both for installation and maintenance, when compared to implementing after-market solutions from multiple suppliers.

Protected from power surges

A major threat thwarted by the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O is damage from power surges. Devices installed in industrial environments experience a high risk of surge due to electromagnetic pulses produced from motors switching on and off. The NPort IAW5000A-6I/O Series offers 4 kV surge protection for serial lines to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes and to damp out electrical noise.

Key features

  • Link any RS-232/422/485 serial or Ethernet device to an Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n network
  • Serial device server with Virtual COM-port or TCP/UDP access
  • Integrated digital I/O: 4 in and 2 out
  • Redundant dual DC power inputs and support for relay output
  • 4 kV serial surge protection
  • Secure data access with WPA2 encryption with RADIUS authentication
  • microSD card slot for configuration backup
  • Wireless Client/Bridge function for flexible integration
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