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Thread: In depth difference between Point IO and Flex IO

  1. #1
    Member Devious's Avatar
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    Smile In depth difference between Point IO and Flex IO

    Would like to know major difference between Flex IO's and Point IO's

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    Administrator Shawn Tierney's Avatar
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    Good morning @Devious,

    A good place to start is the selection guides:

    Flex I/O: https://literature.rockwellautomatio...g002_-en-p.pdf

    Point I/O: https://literature.rockwellautomatio...g001_-en-p.pdf

    Today, the biggest difference is the number of I/O points per module, and number of modules per Ethernet Adapter.

    Flex I/O (and the newer Flex 5000) has a design where the I/O module sits on a base that resembles standard terminal blocks.

    Flex I/O also has a maximum of 8 modules per adapter.

    Point I/O is much thinner than Flex I/O, and Point modules typically have less I/O and I/O terminals per module.

    That said, Point I/O adapters support up to 63 modules, but like the newer 5069 Compact I/O require "Power Modules" every so many modules as the Point I/O backplane can't carry enough current to power all 63 modules.

    A good way to compare 1794, 5094, 1734, and 5069 I/O is to use the distributed I/O wizard in IAB:

    https://theautomationblog.com/what-i...cture-builder/

    Hope this helps!

    Shawn Tierney,
    Instructor at The Automation School
    Looking for affordable automation training? If you are, check out my courses at TheAutomationSchool.com!

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    Member joseph_e2's Avatar
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    Another difference I've found between Flex and Point I/O is how analog modules work in a Logix 5000 application. The Logix platform doesn't support the SCP instruction (without using an AOI), but instead allows that scaling to be done directly in the module properties. Except that Flex I/O doesn't have that option. In the module properties of Flex I/O, you can select the ranges (+/-10V, 4-20mA, etc.) but not the scaling. The Point I/O analog modules have the scaling options available.

    This isn't a huge deal, but does make using the Flex I/O a little more cumbersome in a ControlLogix or CompactLogix system.

    I second the use of IAB to configure the systems. It helps you be sure you have all of the various accessory pieces and the correct terminal bases.

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    Shawn Tierney (05-07-2019)

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    Senior Member jamesonline's Avatar
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    I quite enjoyed the Flex/IO in the previous generation of wiring field devices because an input 3-wire sensor cable could be fully terminated in the same spot with the +24 and common directly under the input channel. These days its far too much work finding the wire strippers when compared to the armorblock with built in M12 connectors for sensors and lights.
    I really wished the Point/IO outputs had a way to provide isolated power without having to get the FPD as most of our applications have 1) constant power, 2) e-stop power, 3) light curtain power all in one rack and it's just too costly to add it in for just one or two outputs.

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    Shawn Tierney (05-07-2019)

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    Administrator Shawn Tierney's Avatar
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    @joseph_e2 Thanks for joining the conversation, and great point about the Analog Scaling!

    @jamesonline I'm a huge fan of the 1794-TB3! Like, 52 terminals! Do you think the Flex 5000 is a good substitute? I don't have any here but it may also address @joseph_e2 poijnt about scaling, but I wonder if the price is good?
    Looking for affordable automation training? If you are, check out my courses at TheAutomationSchool.com!

  8. #6
    Member ILBOB's Avatar
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    I am a fan of both of them. Cost wise they tend to be a wash for the most part. I have found you cannot really make any general statement about which solution will cost less without pricing up the whole system. Both reduce shop time dramatically and the possibility of wiring errors between I/O modules and traditional terminals. However, given how small the spaces are, the field wiring can get kind of crowded and field electricians can sometimes be a little ham handed.

    Flex gives you the option of not having to add terminals for common and voltage but the cost of adding them with CTM and VTM modules to Point I/O systems is not that horrible.

    I wish AB would come out with a ground terminal base for the Point I/O line so there was someplace to connect shield wires to. A few of the modules have places to connect shields to but most don't.

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    Shawn Tierney (05-08-2019)

  10. #7
    Administrator Shawn Tierney's Avatar
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    @ILBOB,

    Great points! Have you tried the Flex 5000 yet?

    Sincerely,

    Shawn Tierney,
    Instructor at TheAutomationSchool.com
    Looking for affordable automation training? If you are, check out my courses at TheAutomationSchool.com!

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