Industry has various demands on modern automation systems, but they always include that the necessary operation is delivered at an optimal price performance ratio. AS-Interface, or ASi for short, provides exactly that. The idea was not to develop a universal fieldbus for all levels of automation, but to design an economically reasonable system for the field level, used to easily, reliably, and economically connect binary sensors and actuators, and attach them to the higher control level.
Today, AS-Interface is an integral part of modern industry. Many sensors and actuators can be connected and supplied with power by using the famous AS-Interface two-conductor flat cable. Cable trees, common on traditional wired systems, are omitted. Therefore, the easy wiring process, doable even without training due to the reliable mechanical Click-and-Go technology, and the omission of unnecessary installation material result in a massive cost reduction. AS-Interface is proven to be a useful add-on for common fieldbus solutions, both from a technological and economical point of view. AS-Interface, an intelligent wiring system rather than a genuine fieldbus, is not meant as a replacement for complex networking solutions.
The freely selectable network topology facilitates the installation of an AS-Interface network as much as it simplifies its configuration. Error susceptibility of other systems often leads to delays during installation. Therefore, one of the highest priorities while designing the AS-Interface system was to reduce sources for potential errors. Reverse polarity protection by using the asymmetric flat cable is just one such measure taken.
A wide variety of products for almost any automation task
AS-Interface offers its users not only a wide range of products but also a large variety of manufacturers. Choice is an integral ingredient of AS-Interface. Every year, numerous novel and innovative products are becoming part of the market offering.
Easy and safe – Piercing-technology
The easy installation of AS-Interface is possible through the special installation technology, also known as piercing-technology or, less frequently, as Click and Go Technology. The technology is based on the use of the typically yellow flat cable, a mechanically reverse polarity protected two-conductor cable. During installation, the piercing needles of the device penetrate the conductors of the cable, establishing a secure electrical connection. Nothing is easier! And yet, this technology offers many advantages:
- Direct and easy connection of sensors/actuators or modules
- Reverse polarity protection
- Data and power on one cable
- Easiest connection technology
- Safe connection
- Cutting and stripping of leads is unnecessary
- Can be mounted at any position
- Removal and reconnection possible without problems due to the "self-* healing ability" of some cable types.
AS-Interface for any topology
The AS-Interface protocol assures that the system can be easily expanded. The AS-Interface network can be configured just like any conventional electrical installation. Each device can be freely addressed and can be connected to the bus cable at an arbitrary point. This enables a modular set-up. Furthermore, due to the robust operation principle there are no structural limits. Any network topology can be used, even star or tree topologies.
The transmission of data on AS-Interface is exceptionally reliable. Each received AS-Interface message undergoes a parity check. Additional data independent integrity checks are also performed. As a result, single and multiple errors are detected with an extremely high probability. Hence, the usage of AS-Interface is also possible in heavily noise polluted environments such as on welding equipment and in installations using frequency inverters.
All AS-Interface products are standardized according to EN 62026-2 and IEC 62026-2.
Certified: economical and reliable
Certification of the AS-Interface products guarantees the highest level of system reliability. The products are fully compatible and exchangeable among each other. As a user, you can always refer to the AS-Interface "Shadow logo" and the related certification number to ensure the product is tested and certified.
Overview of the essentials
AS-Interface system data:
- Polling principle
- No structural limits
- Data and power on a single two-conductor cable
- Noise resistant
- Medium: unshielded cable 2 x 1.5 mm²
- Signals, data, and power up to 8 A
- Typical, 4 inputs + 4 outputs per device, other combinations from 1 up to 16 in- and outputs are possible
- For enclosures and rough industrial usage safety protection classification IP 67
- Piercing technology
- Segment length 100 m, segments can be combined to networks of up to 300 m through the use of repeaters. Termination may extend the length of a segment, several solutions for termination resistances are on the market.
- Highly effective communication error detection/prevention
- Easy start-up
- Electronic address configuration through the bus connection
- Full backward compatibility
- Economical wiring concept for the lower field level in harsh industrial environments.
- Can be connected to all common field bus systems through gateways, links, or network couplers
- Free selection of the network topology
- Easy and inexpensive installation, low connection costs
- Virtually error-free installation through the use of the asymmetric flat AS-Interface cable
- More room in the enclosure through the omission of traditional cable trees
- Easy to configure
- Easy diagnostics