Fast Track IO Revolutionizes Industrial IoT Monitoring and Control

May 26, 2023, by Alex Puttonen

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In today's fast-paced industrial landscape, accurate real-time situational awareness is paramount for delivering reliability and efficiency, but how do you monitor physical equipment at a high enough frequency to be meaningful for high-speed manufacturing equipment or launch a corrective action in time to prevent significant material waste?

To help you achieve this the Flowfinity M1 controller is equipped with Fast Track IO capability that streamlines discrete measurements and control logic processes.

When you have discrete sensors directly attached to your Flowfinity M1 controller, Fast Track IO allows you to measure sensor activity with sub-millisecond accuracy and react to sensor inputs via discrete outputs with a near-instantaneous response time. This enables precise tracking, timing, and coordination of movement-related processes.

Fast Track IO is at least 50 times faster than the typical scan time of a modern PLC, making it a game-changer in industrial settings, such as monitoring manufacturing machinery and the supervision of associated PLC operations, and can be retrofitted to your existing equipment.

To illustrate the practical application of Fast Track IO, consider an industrial machine with a reciprocating moving part that needs to be tracked, such as a saw. By installing two magnetic or inductive sensors—one at the beginning position and another at the ending position of the motion cycle—these sensors can be connected to the Flowfinity M1 controller's discrete inputs.

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Through the configuration of a flip-flop, the signals from these sensors can be combined into a single representation of the motion in the desired direction. By leveraging the precise counts and time measurements derived from this computed signal, machine operation analysis and utilization tracking can be computed while preventative maintenance work orders can be efficiently generated using Flowfinity Actions.

This provides the high-frequency accuracy you need and automates responses when operation outside of optimal thresholds is detected, saving time, money, and materials.

Eight key features of Fast Track IO include:

1. Sub-Millisecond Accuracy: Ultra high frequency measurements ensure that all physical discrete inputs are counted and timed with a level of precision that allows for meticulous tracking and analysis of sensor activity.

2. Configurable Flip-Flop Capability: By merging multiple physical signals into a single process signal, the Flowfinity M1 controller can count and time these signals with sub-millisecond accuracy for efficient data integration and process monitoring. All M1 functionality is configurable without code.

3. Analog-to-Discrete Bridge Logic: With its built-in 24-bit ADC, the Flowfinity M1 can convert analog measurements to discrete inputs. The analog signal acquisition operates on a fixed 10ms cycle time for all available analog input channels, ensuring consistent and reliable measurements.

4. Configurable Variable Inputs: The Flowfinity M1 controller offers the capability to feed process state from its own logic or from business processes managed by the Flowfinity Actions server. This flexibility allows for tailored control and integration within various industrial workflows.

5. Calculated Ports: Allow you to apply logic to enable the evaluation of discrete inputs, flip-flops, and variables so that logical expressions can be calculated. The resulting discrete values can be counted and timed with sub-millisecond accuracy, offering enhanced control and analysis possibilities.

6. Discrete Outputs: Like calculated ports, discrete outputs enable logical expression evaluation with the additional ability to output the results to physical outputs for control of external devices. The response time of discrete outputs using Fast Track IO is also sub-millisecond, ensuring swift and accurate control actions.

7. Built-in System Parameters: The Flowfinity M1 controller incorporates built-in system parameters that can serve as logic inputs for flip-flops, calculated ports, and discrete outputs. For instance, the external power status parameter allows for quick reactions to power loss, leveraging the internal UPS to maintain operation.

8. PWM Output Mode: The DT terminals of the M1 can be configured in PWM output mode with a configurable base frequency of between 5Hz and 100KHz. PWM mode operates either in variable duty cycle mode or in pulse output mode where the DT terminal will output a specified number of pulses of the base frequency for high precision and high-speed control actions.

The Flowfinity M1 controller's Fast Track IO capability revolutionizes discrete measurements and control logic processes in industrial environments. With its remarkable accuracy, rapid response time, and easy configuration, it empowers you to achieve new levels of operational efficiency, accuracy, and control.

Whether it's tracking machinery or supervising PLC operations, the Flowfinity M1 controller with Fast Track IO is a valuable asset for businesses seeking to augment their industrial process management and situational awareness, configured without code.

Our IoT experts are ready to help you innovate and configure custom applications that meet your unique use case requirements, to learn more about Industrial IoT solutions from Flowfinity contact us for a complimentary consultation.

*Notethat the Flowfinity M1 is not designed to be used in safety or high risk applications.

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