Drives and Controls Magazine
Rail-mounting Web I/O modules offer many options
Published:  18 June, 2013

Audon Electronics has announced a range of DIN-rail-mounting digital and analogue I/O modules with built-in Web servers. The ControlByWeb modules can be monitored and controlled via the Web or any other IP network, using a browser running on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

The modules can be assembled to perform a variety of remote control and monitoring, data acquisition, and industrial automation applications. Setup is simple, quick and cost-effective, with no special software to download, no drivers to install, no batteries to change and no monthly licensing fees.

“The modules are extremely easy to configure and to use over the Web,” says Audon managing director, Gary Calland, “yet each is highly functional, and there’s a great range to choose from. They allow us to address security, monitoring and control, lighting control, scientific monitoring, meteorology, industrial process control, agriculture and many other applications very simply and cost-effectively.”

For example, one module is an Ethernet relay with four independent 28V, 1A SPDT relays, each of which can be activated, deactivated or pulsed remotely through its Web server. The WebRelay-Quad module can also be integrated into other computer control schemes using HTTP, XML, SNMP or Modbus/TCP protocols.

The relay module can be used in a peer-to-peer mode, with other ControlByWeb products, such as the Webin5 five-input module which has five opto-isolated digital input channels. One of these can activate a WebRelay-Quad output at any distance, as long as both devices are connected to the Web. The status of each input can also be monitored using Modbus/TCP or XML formatted text. Each input channel can be driven by a switch, sensor or output from a PLC, automation controller or computer. The five-input module can also act as a pulse counter, and can generate an email message when user-defined alarm conditions are met.

The ControlByWeb family includes a wide range of analogue and digital I/Os. For example, the WebRelay-10 has ten Form C SPDT relays, each capable of switching 30A. The WebRelay-10 Plus adds an event scheduler with an annual calendar, customisable email alerts, logging of relay changes and other events and requests, and further configurable features.

Smaller applications are served by the WebRelay dual- and four-channel digital I/O modules, which have two or four 5A relays, and two or four optically-isolated inputs. Both include calendar, logging and alarm email functions. Analogue inputs are provided by the Webanalog input module which can handle eight single-ended, four differential or a combination of 0-5V inputs.

Modules offering instrumentation and other specialised functions are also available. The Ethernet multifunction I/O module, for example, provides two programmable digital I/O channels and four high-resolution analogue inputs, a one-wire temperature/humidity sensor bus input and other scheduling, calendar, logging and alarm capabilities.

The Webtemp module accepts up to four digital temperature inputs and has two 5A relay outputs and a real-time clock. There is also a more powerful temperature module with eight temperature inputs, three relay outputs, datalogging and a thermostat function.

Remote boot and other remote power control applications are handled by WebSwitch Plus which has two controlled mains outlets. It also offers temperature monitoring, digital inputs, event scheduling, logging and email alerts.