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Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Listen and Learn…About AS-Interface

Posted by Helge Hornis on Mon, Feb 04, 2013

Tune into Pepperl+Fuchs’ TechTalk Podcasts on Actuator Sensor Interface

AS-Interface is the world’s most popular low-level I/O and safety network. According to AS-International there are currently over 24 million field devices in operation, making its popularity and success undisputed.  The reason for this can probably be best summarized by two words: simplicity and flexibility. 

TechTalk Podcasts on AS-InterfaceNo other technology can be installed as fast as AS-Interface, offer the same flexibility when it comes to laying out the network, and no other solution is supported by a comparable range of PLC manufacturers or gateways to upper level networks like EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, and DeviceNet, to name only a few.

In terms of market penetration, European machine builders use about 60% of all AS-Interface products installed worldwide, followed by Asia with 25%, and North America with 15%.  Why does North America lag behind both Asia and Europe?

European machine builders are internationally very successful and ship many of their systems with AS-Interface to countries outside of Europe, including Canada, Mexico, and the US.  Obviously, the technology works for them, even on systems that are shipped to their North American customers.  Over the last 10 years, the number of AS-Interface users in North America has increased significantly but the question remains: Why do machine builders in the US still use that much less AS-Interface?

The not invented here argument, while convenient, has in my opinion been significantly overused.  So has AS-Interface is a European technology.  Having been involved in AS-Interface for 16 years I know first-hand that engineers quickly see the strength of the technology and immediately understand how they can reduce engineering-, installation-, and maintenance-related costs -- as long as they know about AS-Interface in the first place!

Lack of education, training, and generally an awareness of AS-Interface are, I claim, the main reasons why so many machine builders have never tried it.  TechTalk, a fast-paced fun way to learn about AS-Interface, is our newest teaching tool, and introduces those who are interested to the technology and then enables them to stay on top of current topics.

Listeners who prefer subscribing to TechTalk on an Apple device can do that through iTunes (just search for Pepperl+Fuchs) or simply go to our RSS feed to get TechTalk into any other podcast-enabled device (i.e., BlackBerry,  Windows phone, Android, or PC.)  As of today, we have published four episodes, and starting February 4, 2013, we will add new episodes every week. 

Being a new podcast, the first order of the day is to cover the basics: topics like gateways, power supplies, and network layout. As TechTalk matures, we will spend more time on more specialized topics and cover Safety at Work, the safety technology based on AS-Interface, in great detail. 

The goal of TechTalk is to be current, fun, interactive, and relevant.  TechTalk covers AS-Interface and not just the products offered by Pepperl+Fuchs.  If you have any questions concerning any AS-Interface product from any manufacturer, please e-mail them to TechTalk@us.pepperl-fuchs.com.  We will gladly address them through email or possibly produce a TechTalk episode at a later date.

Pepperl+Fuchs’ TechTalk helps listeners gain an insight into modern automation technologies by focusing on AS-Interface and its associated safety technology, Safety at Work.

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Topics: Terminology, AS-Interface, Ask an Expert

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