Difference Between Remote I/O and Distributed I/Os.

As an instrumentation and control engineer or as an automation engineer or as a control system engineer, all deal with different types of Input and Outputs. Some may have worked with Remote I/O and some may with Distributed I/Os and some have with both.

In this article, we will learn the difference between remote I/O and distributed I/O.

Many people think that both remote and distributed I/Os are the same term but they are not. So, let’s see how they are differing from each other.

Remote I/O

- Remote I/O means that I/O modules are installed at a remote location physically at distance away from the main controller called PLC.

- As you all aware of the term PROFIBUS-DP in Siemens automation, the last term DP means decentralized peripherals also known as remote I/O.

- I already have covered that how PROFIBUS cable is laid down for a long-distance to communicate with the I/Os which are decentralized to reduce the complexity of wiring.

- Have look at below figure and see how remote I/Os are installed in the field.

- As you can see for the remote I/O, you only need to put I/Os at a remote location and need not distribute from a remote location to anywhere.

- Remote I/O does not contain any computing function.

Distributed I/O

- The term distributed I/O means you want to distribute I/Os after installing them at a remote location.

- From the below figure you can easily distinguish the difference between remote and distributed I/0s.

- As you can see after remote installation you can add more module and then you can pull wire to connect the field devices.

- Allen Bradley’s FLEX I/O is one of the examples of the distributed I/0.

- Distributed I/O contains a computing task to perform complex solution.

In simple when you heard a term remote you can consider as an only one controller, the PLC to control the field devices, whereas a distributed means it contains multiple controllers in the control room as well in the field.

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