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Low-power wireless specialist IDC has launched a range of wireless-enabled stacking beacons that are said to provide improved, cable-less machine monitoring and enhanced safeguarding.

The beacons are said to be simple to install and operate and integrate IDC’s ZB100 system-on-chip, allowing central machine monitoring of all machine types, existing and new, including those that for reasons of cabling complexity were previously considered impossible to network.

IDC’s wireless stacking beacons are manufactured by DG Controls.

Each Deegee lamp stack has an intermediate section provided, and this is fitted with the ZB100 OEM module.

This simple fitment means that any standard Deegee lamp stack can be ‘wireless-enabled’ using the IDC module.

The ZB100 OEM module offers links for two operating modes.

The first enables the state of the beacon lamps to be monitored over the wireless network to wireless Gateway, which is connected to a central PC using standard Ethernet or USB connection.

This mode is intended for machinery control systems using existing signal towers installed by conventional cabling.

Simply by installing a wireless module to each beacon stack, the beacons can report the state of each lamp over the wireless network to immediately notify plant supervisors of problems.

In addition to machine status, IDC’s PC software can also provide real-time analysis of the plant for management and maintenance departments.

The second operational mode enables the lamp stack to be controlled over the wireless network, eliminating the requirement for hard wiring from the machine controller – usually a dedicated proprietary control unit or PLC.

In the case of dedicated controllers, IDC provides wireless interfaces from its gateway using industry-standard Modbus/Zigbee protocol converters for serial drivers; or OPC/Zigbee for Ethernet connectivity.

In addition, IDC also offers interaction with its other Zigbee products, such as push buttons and wireless PLCs, for complete system-wide interaction.

The ZB100 wireless OEM module used in the Deegee beacons is designed to enable machine builders and OEMs to integrate wireless networking into their systems and machines with minimal cost, risk, and development time.

The module is a complete system-on-chip, comprising a high-performance microprocessor, with digital, analogue and serial connectivity.

The wireless network upon which the ZB100 operates is the 2.4GHz, licence-free IEEE 802.15.4 international standard, which provides secure, redundant two-way communications up to 100m between nodes, with network extension using routing over multiple nodes for longer distances.

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