Software Configurable I/O Systems for Flexible Manufacturing

Systems design engineers and industrial OEMs need to stay ahead of the curve to realize the transformative power of Industry 4.0. There’s growing consumer demand for customized products and so flexibility—and being able to pivot manufacturing facilities—is becoming increasingly important. Historically, that reconfiguration meant rebuilding the production line, as well as replacing and swapping the various fixed function modules, which is time-consuming and expensive.

One way manufacturers are empowered to enhance their flexibility is with software configurable I/O (SWIO). SWIO provides unprecedented levels of flexibility for any industrial I/O function to be accessed on any pin, allowing channels to be configured at any time. Thus, customization can happen right at the time of installation—resulting in faster time to market, fewer design resource requirements, and universal products that can be implemented broadly across projects and customers. Analog Devices pioneered the SWIO concept and has worked with our industry partners to provide a highly flexible and valuable technology to mee the cost of ownership demands seen in today’s industrial market. Other advantages of our products and solutions in this space include:

  • Deep domain expertise and system-level approach to understand the transition to the flexible, connected factory of the future: at the domain, system, and embedded levels.
  • Extensive, proven experience in process control industrial I/O.
  • Joint problem solving as a technology partner and a collaborative, win-win attitude driven to help our customers solve unique challenges and realize aspirations.
  • Enhanced flexibility realized by ADI’s SWIO solutions enables control networks to be rapidly adapted to the future needs of the industry.

Benefits of Software Configurable I/O

Icons for the Benefits of SWIO featuring an ethernet connection, conveyer belt, stopwatch and a dollar sign

Bridge the Transition to 10BASE-T1L

As industrial ethernet-to-the edge rolls out, the market needs a solution to allow for the existing sensors and actuators to be re-used with new control and communication products. Software configurable I/O-enabled field junction boxes can provide the ideal demarcation point between 10SPE and legacy 4 mA to 20 mA/0 V to 5 V standards.

Reduced Logistics Overhead

Customers can focus on a few flexible designs, getting economy of scale and streamlining the production flows with minimal set-up and teardown costs, no WIP losses, and no production planning issues.

Reduced Design Time

Software configurable I/O enables platform design, which facilitates any combination of inputs and outputs, compared to fixed function systems that require complete redesign if one pin function changes during the planning stage.

Reduced CapEx

Installation of configurable I/O is much less time consuming and error prone than fixed I/O, and so reduces CapEx. Combined with design/development savings, by using SWIO, it’s possible to reduce CapEx by 20% for only a small increase in hardware costs.

Manage the “X” Factor

Learn how the “X” factor doesn’t have to keep you up at night thanks to ADI’s software configurable I/O platforms, the AD74412R or AD74413R.

Read the blog on EngineerZone®

Block Diagram for the AD74412R and AD74413R

Build Once, Adapt Often

ADI’s SWIO products provide you with unprecedented flexibility on the factory floor while reducing product complexity.

Read the brochure

Cover image for the SWIO Brochure

Featured Products

Another ADI First

Analog Devices announces the industry’s first software-configurable I/O for building control and industrial automation.

Read the press release

Screen capture of the SWIO press release

Retrofitting Brownfield Sites

Watch Jonathan Law, ADI’s Director of Process Control and Factory Automation, discuss the evolution of the control network from 4 mA to 20mA to 10BASE-T1L and shows how novel approaches are required for retrofitting brownfield sites.

Watch the video

Still frame from the The Evolution of the Control Network video depicting SWIO inputs and outputs