What's in a NIM?

New range of Network Interface Modules for Maxiflex

Omniflex, formerly Conlog Industrial Division, has just released a new addition to the Maxiflex range of products, designed to provide unlimited expandability for Conet local area networks. Each Network Interface Module (NIM) simply plugs into the Maxiflex base like any other I/O module and provides a hub-style T-off for an additional network segment. It also allows a network to be extended indefinitely. Each Maxiflex CPU can accommodate up to 15 NIMs in a hub-style format so that Conet networks can radiate from the hub to different locations in a plant. Up to now, devices on the Conet LAN had to be positioned close to the network cable, but the NIM now allows any topology to be implemented. NIM's are currently available for CONET networks, and as MODBUS master or slave interfaces. Other NIM's in the works include a dual HART interface and other more specialised interfaces to other manufacturer's intellignet equipment. (Consult the factory for any specific requirement you may have.) A major benefit is that distances are no longer limited to 10km as each NIM extends that network by a further 10 km. For applications such as long conveyor belt systems and pipelines, , the Maxiflex NIM's provide the ideal data acquisition solution, as each node (where the NIM is located) can also provide analogue and digital I/O. Setting up a network to use NIMs is very easy, according to Ian Loudon, Omniflex Product Manager and they can be introduced to any existing Conet network, of which there are thousands in daily use around the world. By overcoming the dual challenge of industrial networks - connecting equipment in large geographically spread out sites using existing cabling, Conet has re-affirmed its status as the de-facto "4x4" industrial network.

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