A few weeks ago, we wrote about ClearCore Arduino compatible industrial I/O and motion controller that can be programmed with the Arduino IDE or a C/C++ SDK.
Teknic has now announced ClearLink with basically the same hardware, but instead of being programmable in C++, the controller is managed over the EtherNet/IP protocol.
- MCU – Microchip SAME53 Arm Cortex-M4F microcontroller clocked at up to 120 MHz, with 512 KB flash, 192 KB of SRAM
- Storage – MicroSD card slot
- 1x 10/100M Fast Ethernet RJ45 port compatible with EtherNet/IP
- Support for Xbee modules for wireless communication (WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, DigiMesh, 802.15.4, etc.)
- 2x RJ45 serial ports for SPI or UART devices (5V output)
- 13x 3-pin terminal blocks with software configurable I/O, power, and ground
- Digital outputs can drive resistive or inductive loads up to 9 watts such as contactors, pneumatic or liquid valves, guard locks, brakes, LED lamps, etc… without the need for relays
- 2x H-bridge outputs for DC motors, speaker, etc…
- Up to 4 axes of stepper and/or servo motors (M-x connectors).
- All I/O points are also available on a header connector
- Programming – USB 2.0 device port
- Misc – LEDs for I/O state and exception status for each terminal
- Power Supply
- 20-28V DC via 3-pin terminal block
- Protected against overloads (voltage, current and thermal), ESD, inductive flyback, reversed power polarity, and most wiring errors.
- Dimensions – 12.7 x 8.9 x 2.54 cm (polycarbonate and aluminum case)
- Weight – 181 grams
The connection diagram is very similar to the one for ClearCore, except that ClearLink would typically be connected to an EtherNet/IP compatible PLC such as CompactLogix, MicroLogix, or ControlLogix, itself connected to a touch screen.
While we have already written about EtherNet/IP enabled hardware like Emtrion emSBC-Argon SBC or Hilscher cifX M.2 and half-size mini PCIe cards, it may still be good to shortly explain what EtherNet/IP (Industrial Protocol) as explained by ODVA, the organization that manages the protocol:
EtherNet/IP is a best-in-class Ethernet communication network that provides users with the tools to deploy standard Ethernet technology (IEEE 802.3 combined with the TCP/IP Suite) in industrial automation applications while enabling Internet and enterprise connectivity…data anytime, anywhere.
EtherNet/IP offers various network topology options including star or linear with standard Ethernet infrastructure devices, or device level ring (DLR) with specially enabled EtherNet/IP devices. QuickConnect functionality allows devices to be exchanged rapidly (e.g., a tool changer on a robot arm) while the network is running. Compliance with IEEE Ethernet standards provides users with a choice of network interface speeds — e.g., 10, 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps — and a flexible network architecture compatible with commercially available.
.Like all CIP Networks, EtherNet/IP utilizes the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) for its upper layers. CIP Networks follow the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, which defines a framework for implementing network protocols in seven layers: physical, data link, network, transport, session, presentation and application.
Teknic sells ClearLink EtherNet/IP controller for $249 with a free, licensed, RSLogix/Studio5000-compatible EDS file with logical names and Add-On-Profiles which allows for easy mapping of I/O assemblies. More details can be found on the product page.