Industry 4.0 smart factories require design attention to realize smarter, faster, and lower power solutions. This transformation shift in the economic activity concerned with processing raw materials and manufacturing goods in factories is achieved by digitizing value, products, services, and business models. Industry 4.0 relies on technology, including the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT enables the connection of cyber-physical systems through wireless connectivity and smart sensors.
Maxim Integrated provides a portfolio of advanced factory automation solutions that create pathways toward achieving Industry 4.0. At the heart of this revolution is Maxim’s IO-Link®, which enables flexible manufacturing to improve factory throughput and operational efficiency. Maxim’s IO-Link® new communications technology allows traditional sensors to become intelligent sensors. IO-Link® is a 3-wire industrial communications standard designed for linking sensors and actuators into control networks. IO-Link® enables flexible manufacturing to improve factory throughput and operational efficiency. In IO-Link® applications, the transceiver acts as the physical layer interface to a microcontroller running the data-link layer protocol while supporting 24V digital inputs and outputs. Maxim transceivers support all IO-Link® specifications.
In spring 2019, Maxim Integrated Chief Executive Officer Tunc Doluca released his first book titled Maximum Impact: Maxim's Quiet Rise as Silicon Valley's Most Prolific Analog Chip Maker. This book chronicles Maxim's founders, along with the company's growth over the past 37 years. The Maxim story parallels the passion, inspiration, and innovation woven into the fabric of Silicon Valley.
This fabric provides the "it" factor for a company to set itself apart in the industry and gain the necessary momentum to succeed. The most successful companies set themselves apart from the pack with their fearless approach to challenging the status quo, their ability to execute their strategy, and their drive to return shareholder value.
The Go-IO development platform introduced at electronica at Munich in November 2018 is an example of delivering on this promise of delivering industrial solutions. This platform demonstrated Maxim's latest digital IO, power, and IO-Link technology by implementing an industrial IoT solution to control and monitor Maxim's soccer ball factory on the show floor using real-time health and status information delivered by these technologies. However, an EE Times editor from Japan asked during Maxim’s pre-electronica 2018 press tour: "How does this ultra-small Go-IO module support analog IO?" At the time, the reality was that a Maxim team had developed a new analog IO IC we decided to secretly road-test on Go-IO modules. The modules were used to control the soccer ball factory for four days while processing over 1,000 soccer balls for 10 hours each day. The result is a software-configurable analog IO solution that proved it was up to the challenge. It delivered to the cloud thousands of cycles of vibration, temperature, and IC diagnostic data during the show.
At electronic, that same EE Times editor was shown the Go-IO module in operation controlling the soccer ball factory and delivering diagnostic data about the health and status of the factory to the cloud. During the demonstration, he noticed the previously empty 9mm x 9.5mm gold footprint was now populated with a new IC that was masked so no one could see the part marking. This part was the new software-configurable analog IO solution that was being road-tested in a soccer ball factory on the Maxim Integrated booth floor. Over those four days at electronica, Maxim gained performance insights by battle-testing the new software-configurable analog IO solution.
Maxim also announced a software-configurable universal analog IO solution called MAX22000. This platform solution can operate as an independent 4x 24-bit universal analog input and a 1x 18-bit universal analog output or, when combined with Maxim’s configurable digital IO companion solution MAX14914A, it provides a true universal IO port that can operate over a common single 2-wire interface or support 4-wire RTD temperature / TC operation. This product supports the bipolar operation and requires < 200mW of current for the complete single-channel universal analog IO + digital IO solution. This complete, compact, single-channel universal IO design requires < 0.5 cubic inch of space and provides low-power operation to enable customers to pack eight software-configurable universal IO channels in a 3in x 5in x 0.25in size space (< 4 cubic inches).
Achieving this new level of true 2-wire configurability provides process automation installers a common universal IO port that eliminates all wire marshaling burdens and the need to match the sensor to the correct IO port or module, as existing solutions require. Because the MAX22000 can determine whether an analog sensor is a current or voltage mode sensor, this eliminates the need for a technician to physically re-wire ports. As a result, this reduces installation costs and provides an easy way to accommodate expansion needs over a facility’s lifetime by simply using these new universal ports on an industrial controller to adapt to any analog input, analog output, digital input, or digital output sensor on command.
Maxim’s universal analog IO solution is an example of how Maxim Integrated helps designers solve their industrial application challenges.
The How Being Bold Brings Smart Automation Solutions blog was written by Jeff DeAngelis and updated by Mouser Electronics.
Jeff DeAngelis joined Maxim Integrated in 2004. In his current role, he is responsible for providing team leadership, strategic vision and the creation of process-oriented solutions to mitigate day-to-day tactical and operational issues. He coordinates five core business lines that produce ICs which sell into the industrial and healthcare markets. Before Maxim Integrated, Jeff was director of Marketing at Pericom Semiconductor. Prior to that, he was General Manager at Phillips Semiconductor. Earlier in his career, he was a senior project manager and senior design engineer at Lockheed Missiles and Space. Jeff received a BSEE from University of Hartford.
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