Process Automation systems based on Remote I/O (RIO) technology are installed since years in many paint shops and factories of the automotive industry together with PROFINET as plant-wide communication technology. In the production facility of a famous US manufacturer of e-cars, a RIO-solution has been installed recently to control the paint supply onto the paint mixing shop. This installation is certified as Class1, Division 1 according to NEC 500.
As PROFINET is used in this plant for data communication, decision was taken to use the Remote I/O System IS1+ from R. Stahl, because it combines perfectly explosion protection requirements and PROFINET communication features and advantages.
R. Stahl is very much experienced in the automation of paint shops and therefore knows very well about the specific requirements of this task:
- The plant should be operated by as little as possible operation and maintenance personnel. This favors the use of I/O Systems which provide features such as remote monitoring and predictive maintenance.
- Operators must receive and send extensive process information in ex-protected areas using preferably ethernet-based communication technology due to higher bandwidth and easy connectivity to other systems.
- Later expansion of the plant must be possible any time and at reasonable costs! For this task, the IS1+ is RIO is very much suited because of its intrinsic safe system structure, which allows “hot swap” and “hot work” functions for all system components - and to forego the use of less flexible “d” ore “p” solutions.
- All parts must be solvent resistant: all components and housings of. R. Stahl meet this requirement
In the past, the contracted paint shop construction company usually preferred the conventional ISpac isolator technology of R. Stahl to meet the requirements of explosive areas. However, in case of this US-based installation and consequently the obligation to meet US Ex-regulations - the use of the advanced Remote I/O IS1+ was first choice: Installation is much simpler and more cost effective to engineer and to install. Installation cost savings up to 25% are possible in this way following both the American Division 1 as well as ATEX or IECEx regulations. And due to the intrinsic safe system structure, no “d” nor “p” housings are required, which saves space and costs.
The construction company has been convinced before of this I/O product line by an IS1+ Remote I/O test system with PROFINET communication technology to demonstrate features such as simple system structure, installation cost savings, easy handling and powerful integration of PROFINET. These test results convinced the plant constructor and allowed to meet all customer requirements without any restrictions!
Remote I/O solutions together with PROFINET as communication technology have been evolved to a kind of “Standard solution” for use in paint shops and production facilities of the automotive industry. This became evident again by the recent installation in the paint shop of an American manufacturer of e-cars. This installation has been certified under NEC 500 for use in potentially explosive areas according to Class I, Division 1. Although this corresponds more or less with the classification according to ATEX and/or IECEx in Zone 1, the powerful “RIO-PROFINET System” received the additional US-specific approval problem-free and did meet also all other requirements successfully.