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SMC has developed the unique wireless fieldbus system as a proven solution in response to the demands of the modern shop floor, calling for great mobility and freedom of movement amidst the increased use of robots and other equipment where wired solutions become a nightmare. The new EXW1 series incorporates more innovations in response to customer feedback received for EX600-W. It takes the decentralised wireless fieldbus system concept further, offering network speed up to 1 Mbps (250 kbps in case of EX600-W) while allowing connection of up to 880 inputs/880 outputs to one base without having to use communication cables. The size of the combined base and remote unit of the EXW1 Series has been reduced by 86 % in volume and 83 % in weight, compared to the modular type EX600-W. The EXW1 is a system of I/O signals that can be used in combination with the EX600-W, thus offering greater flexibility so that valve manifolds and IO-Link master units can be added to meet various application needs.
Like the EX600-W, the EXW1 too assures robust and secure communication, but with an extended range of up to 100 m, which facilitates connecting it with a wide variety of input/output devices spread over the factory floor. Just like its predecessor, the EXW1 also transmits via radio wave propagation in the 2.4 GHz ISM high frequency band – a non-commercial band reserved for industrial, scientific and medical purposes. It uses the frequency hopping (FH) and frequency channel selection (FCS) functions, which prevent interference from other wireless devices, in addition to data encryption that rules out unauthorized access from the outside. With the provision to add an external antenna (IP67), the wireless base/remote can even be installed in a metal-shielded enclosure or a control panel/box in a dusty or harsh environment, without affecting the communication range or performance. Being compact and lightweight, the EXW1 is eminently suitable for mounting on jigs or the movable parts of robots. With better communication speed, response times and data transmission capacity, the EXW1 is highly adaptable across industries and equipment, addressing the growing needs of equipment designers and production and maintenance engineers. The EXW1 can be widely used in any industry that has the flexibility to communicate with various networks and the IO-Link compatible version adds even greater communication capabilities.
The SMC wireless fieldbus system addresses problems associated with cables in moving parts in machinery, such as rotary or indexing tables or in robot arms for tool changes. These include the high risk of damage/disconnection of cables in moving parts, complications arising from too much wiring, lack of space, and paucity of specialised staff for troubleshooting. The resultant loss of communication due to broken/disconnected cables not only causes loss of productivity, but also costs time and resources to get the replacement cables installed and all connections restored. The decentralised wireless system keeps productivity going any disruption, saves money through less wiring, connectors and other auxiliary equipment such as expensive rotary joints. Even if multiple wireless bases are in use in the same communication area as is the case in factory automation, each wireless base is able to effectively communicate with the remotes they are paired with.
Summing up, the EXW1 offers the following main features:
• Compact and lightweight
• Increased communication range
• External antenna
• Faster communication response, and
• Can be used in combination with existing EX600-W models.