Our line of GracePort panel interface connectors launched over two decades ago and has consistently evolved in its customization capabilities alongside new technology that has emerged. One of our latest GracePort configurations features a component with USB-C charging functionality that allows service technicians and PLC programmers to safely charge their laptops and other handheld devices from outside the door with a USB-C cable.
USB-C connections are quickly becoming an industry-standard connector for transmitting both data and power on a single cable. In the case of our GracePort configuration, we wanted to create a more efficient way of providing power for laptops and other devices. With the advent of the new USB-C standard, laptops and other electronic devices are now able to be quickly charged using a USB-C charging port powered that supplies 5VDC on the front of the device and 24VDC power is supplied to the back of the device.
Under OSHA directives and NFPA 70E guidelines, there must be 50 Volts or above for shock hazards to exist in a typical work environment, and voltages operating at below 50 Volts do not require guarding against accidental contact which is required by OSHA under 29 CFR 1910.303(g)(2)(i). Thus, having a 24VDC-powered USB-C charging option can completely eliminate shock hazard risk and give users a unique ability to transition from their current GFCI protected accessory outlets to a much safer and compact option with minimal wiring complexities. For more details on the USB-C component option for GracePort, click here.
In addition to the USB-C option, we also now feature an SD Card component. The P46 GracePort is a great addition to any programmers who routinely access PLCs that use SD Card components. Extending the SD Card connection to the outside of the cabinet provides a safer and more efficient means of access and programming.
Here's how SD Memory Cards are typically used with Programming Controllers:
- Program files, data files, and parameter files can be saved to the Memory Card and then the files can be automatically transferred from the Memory Card to RAM in the CPU Unit when the power is turned ON. This allows for highly reliable use of ROM-based operation.
- By turning ON a bit in the Auxiliary Area while the ladder program is being executed, the entire program can be replaced. In this way, computer programs exceeding the total amount of memory available in the CPU Unit can be stored on the Memory Card. Then, programming required for different production lots or production model control can be loaded to the CPU Unit as necessary.
- Using the File Write command, data files can be transferred between the CPU Unit and a Memory Card while the Programmable Controllers are operating. By using this function, up-to-date production information and quality control data can be stored temporarily in the DM or EM Area and saved to the Memory Card as a single file with unique file names. The files can also be read to the DM or EM Area to restore the same information.
Also, the Memory Card can be removed even when power is being supplied to the CPU Unit, so data can be exchanged with personal computers or spreadsheet software while the Programmable Controllers are operating. Click here to learn more about the P46 GracePort.
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