Remote I/O modules are used to monitor and control process signals such as volts, mA and temperature, or switches and digital signals. These remote input/ output modules use Ethernet or RS485 for communication with a computer or PLC, several meters away or anywhere in the world.
Remote I/O includes distributed I/O which is designed to monitor around a dozen similar signals in one location, and modular I/O which can accommodate over 100 different channels in one system. Both designs are available with Ethernet or serial communications using Modbus TCP/IP, Modbus RTU or Profibus protocols.
Programmable Automation Controllers (PACs) are based on modular I/O with the addition of on-board microprocessors, memory and storage. This means they can run real-time data acquisition and control programs independently of a remote computer, and in many cases they can take the place of a PLC. Ethernet communications, VGA and USB ports are provided as expected with any modern PC