Pepperl+Fuchs”s ETHERNET Remote I/O is a new Ethernet communication gateway and backplane designed for established LB/FB remote I/O system. The gateway and backplane enable the remote I/O system to speak a new communication protocol, building a virtual bridge between traditional field instruments and Modbus TCP-based Ethernet with data transfer rates up to 100 Mb/s. The illustration below shows the structure of a plant in a hazardous area that can be operated locally or from a central control point. The field signals can have an intrinsically safe connection for Div 1/Zone 0 applications. Up to 80 analog or 184 discrete signals can be controlled through a single gateway. The high-transfer frequencies require LWL connections for long distances, while the copper lines are suitable for shorter distances up to 100 m. The modules support NAMUR type inputs, switching signals and solenoid valve outputs, temperature inputs, and supply of 2 or 4-wire transmitters, proportional valves and positioners. Maintenance is possible without a hot work permit because replacing modules does not affect bus traffic.