Acromag Industrial PC Receives UL Approval for Hazardous Locations
May 4, 2011 - Acromag I/O Server Industrial PC now has Underwriters Laboratory (UL) certification for Class I Division 2 Group A, B, C, D hazardous locations with volatile substances. This UL approval permits use of the I/O Server fanless embedded computer and its plug-in I/O modules in environments with flammable liquids, gases, or vapors. UL’s Class I Div 2 certification is often required for electronics deployed in chemical, oil, gas, mining, and other manufacturing facilities. With the higher safety rating, the I/O Server can be installed closer to sensors and actuators to reduce installation costs for monitoring and control of automated machinery. Additionally, the I/O Server has no internal cables and conduction cooling removes heat without open vents or fans for more reliable operation from -40 to 75°C.
“The I/O Server's tightly integrated approach to embedded computing and I/O signal processing is ideal for controlling manufacturing machinery in hazardous locations,” states Joseph Primeau, sales and marketing director – embedded products. The I/O Server is a compact, industrial-grade computer with an Intel Atom or AMD Geode CPU and an integrated carrier card that holds up to four plug-in I/O modules to perform measurement and control functions. More than 20 I/O modules are available to provide high-density A/D, D/A, discrete level control, counter/timer, and serial communication functions. CAN bus, Mil-Std-1553, and configurable FPGA modules offer advanced control capabilities for specialized applications. High-density screw-down connectors on the front panel provide clean, secure cable access for up to 192 channels of field I/O signals.
Two models offer a choice of an embedded Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz or AMD Geode LX800 500MHz CPU that runs on Windows Embedded Standard or Linux and has up to 1GB of DDR2 RAM. Standard interfaces include VGA graphics, two Ethernet ports, two serial ports, four USB ports, a CompactFlash slot, and audio input/output jacks. An internal 2.5” PATA hard disk or solid-state drive is accommodated as a user-installed option.
I/O Server units have a rugged, extruded aluminum enclosure that is ideal for use in hostile industrial environments common in manufacturing, defense, transportation, and research applications. The hardened design has no internal cabling and is resistant to shock (5g) and vibration (50g) for higher durability. Sophisticated thermal management techniques eliminate the need for vents or mechanics that could permit contaminants to enter or moving parts to fail. As a result, an I/O Server with four I/O modules operates reliably across wide temperature ranges between -40 to 75°C (-40 to 167°F). In addition to the UL/cUL Class 1 Division 2 certification, the I/O Server is CE marked and FCC compliance meets FCC Part 15, Subpart B for Class A digital devices. The power supply requirement is 9-32V DC ±10% at 60 watts maximum. Power usage depends on the I/O modules used, but is typically about 30 watts.
To simplify software development, Acromag offers several programmer support tools. A Windows development package provides API development software and Win32 DLL drivers, plus examples for C, Visual Basic, .Net, and LabVIEW environments. The Linux software includes a library of I/O function routines to speed code development. Both packages include demonstration programs with C source code to test and exercise the I/O module operation.
Acromag has designed and manufactured measurement and control products for more than 50 years. They are an international corporation with a world headquarters near Detroit, Michigan and a global network of sales representatives and distributors. Acromag offers a complete line of embedded I/O products including bus boards, mezzanine modules, wiring accessories, and software. Industries served include military, aerospace, manufacturing, transportation, utilities, and scientific research laboratories.
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