This white paper is part of a series describing the capabilities of the CompactRIO platform. Read additional papers in this series to learn how you can use CompactRIO to simplify the design of advanced control systems.
Connect to Any Sensor or Any Bus
Digital systems interface with the physical world through sensors, and in the hyper-connected world of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), these connections are growing rapidly. With the CompactRIO platform, you can take advantage of decades of NI leadership and innovation in acquiring high quality signals from any sensor or bus with C Series I/O modules that feature measurement-specific signal conditioning and options for bank and channel-to-channel isolation.
Figure 1. Take advantage of decades of NI leadership and innovation in acquiring high quality signals.
With more than 150 NI and third-party C Series modules for measurement, control, and communication to choose from, you can connect CompactRIO to any sensor, signal, or bus. In addition to built-in signal conditioning, these hot-swappable modules feature numerous options for sensor connectivity including screw-terminal, BNC, and D-sub connections. Furthermore, C Series modules are designed to operate in the harshest of environments – with extended operating temperature ranges of -40 °C to 70 °C (-40 °F to 158 °F), 50 g shock rating, and a variety of international safety, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and environmental certifications and ratings using these modules to connect your sensors to CompactRIO is sure to meet your needs. See table 1 for a full list of I/O capabilities available for the CompactRIO platform.
Learn more about the C Series I/O module offering for CompactRIO.
Table 1. Choose from more than 150 NI and third-party I/O modules for measurement, control, and communication.
In addition to measurement specific I/O modules options, C Series modules enables you connect your CompactRIO to variety of devices, equipment, and infrastructure through numerous supported protocols such as PROFINET, OPC UA, EtherCAT, and more.
Learn more about the industrial communciation protocols supported by CompactRIO.
Supplement Your Control or Measurement System with NI Remote I/O
NI Remote I/O is a low-cost, modular I/O system for simple machine control and measurements. Remote I/O can be used to round out a system with low-cost I/O for simple tasks while the controller handles advanced tasks such as image processing, motion control, and high-speed or specialty measurements.
Remote I/O is a low-cost, modular system used for simple tasks while a controller handles advanced tasks such as image processing, motion control, and high-speed or specialty measurements. You may have also heard this form factor called block or slice I/O.
Remote I/O is generally installed in a cabinet. Depending on your I/O needs and how distributed your system is, your remote I/O system will likely be installed either in the same cabinet as your controller or in a separate cabinet located near your I/O point. In both cases, the remote I/O system is controlled from an NI real-time controller connected via EtherCAT (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Common system configurations for remote I/O are (A) installed in a central control cabinet next to your controller and (B) installed in a cabinet near the I/O.
How Does Remote I/O Compare to Other I/O from NI?
Often, advanced control or measurement systems have two categories of I/O – (1) high-speed, high-precision, high-accuracy, or specialty measurements, and (2) basic, slow I/O. The first category can be addressed with C Series I/O modules. The second category can be addressed with C Series or remote I/O modules. Each of these I/O options has its strengths (Table 1).
Learn more about Remote I/O
Browse remote I/O modules
Need something specific? Take advantage of the CompactRIO Module Development Kit (MDK). The CompactRIO MDK provides resources to help you develop custom modules that meet your specific requirements. The kit includes CompactRIO module development software, the CompactRIO MDK user manual, and access to NI technical support.
Learn more about the CompactRIO MDK.
Figure 3. Use the CompactRIO Module Development Kit to develop custom modules to meet your specific requirements.
Improve the integration and performance of your next application with CompactRIO: The Ultimate Multipurpose Controller. Learn more about the CompactRIO platform, or read additional papers in this series.