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The new IMX series from Turck Banner - a world of features in a compact housing

26 June 2015

A study of the development of interface technology reveals that customers increasingly have three key requirements: safety, especially with regard to Ex separation and functional safety (SIL), the space requirement on the DIN rail, and performance, particularly in relation to speed and accuracy of the devices. 

Although existing interface devices can meet these requirements to a certain extent, the possibility of their further development is normally limited due to the original circuit design and construction.
With more than four decades of development in signal handling, encompassing point-to-point and point-to-bus systems, Turck is well versed in offering the best and most economical solution from a few I/O to complete plant requirement, as demonstrated in recent times with the development of the Excom bus system with its unique hot-swapping capability. Whilst supplying sophisticated bus systems Turck equally recognises the importance of point-to-point systems.
For many years, Turck has offered a wide range of interface devices which have been continually adapted to include the latest developments and to meet customer demands.
However, it is only with a completely new electronic platform that a manufacturer can offer longevity in design based on state-of-the-art technology that can provide customers with investment security for the next decade. Turck has therefore invested a great deal of time and money in the development of a completely new generation of interface technology, the result is the IMX series.

Functional safety and Ex separation

In developing the series, Turck has heeded the demands of their customers and fully addressed the key requirements. The issue of functional safety has grown in importance in recent years and as plant operators have gained a greater understanding of safety in their applications, so Turck have consequently strived to meet the resulting challenges. The development of the IMX series was carried out in complete compliance with the requirements of IEC 61508. Recognised independent bodies have certified this process.
The comprehensive manuals and commissioning guides support customers in the operation of the devices in functional safety circuits, offering complete information sharing.

Global approval portfolio

Ex approvals can also present a challenge, particularly when the same device is required for use in different countries. Unfortunately, Ex approval is not as uniformly harmonised worldwide as it is in Europe, where the ATEX directive is applicable in all countries. Different continents have different standards. The challenge for all device manufacturers is to cover the different requirements of all relevant Ex approvals combined, preferably in one device.
This is what Turck has successfully managed to do with the IMX series. The devices have been comprehensively approved for Europe, North America, South America, China and Asia and are provided with UL, FM, ATEX, Nepsi, Kosha, Imetro and IEC-Ex certification. The global approval portfolio of the IMX series enables the customer to operate the devices reliably at different locations worldwide.

Minimum space requirement

In the past Turck’s MK series required almost three centimetres in width in order to process one temperature signal, the current IM series requires 18 millimetres for the same task. The new IMX series now only requires 6.25 millimetres per temperature signal. Thanks to the narrow 12.5 millimetre housing width, and up to four terminal banks per side, these devices achieve a channel density that is unrivalled on the market.
With the new IMX series the space requirement on the DIN rail for the isolating switching amplifiers with a relay output (2-channel 4-wire resistance temperature sensors) has been reduced to half of that required by the IM series. Four separate removable terminal banks facilitate ease of connection as only actively used terminals need to be unplugged.

Maximum accuracy

Turck has managed to increase both the accuracy and speed of the new series in spite of the narrow mounting width. This is highlighted particularly by the IMX12-AI EX analogue signal isolator. The new electronic design makes it considerably less sensitive to external factors such as temperature or voltage fluctuations. The effect of the interface device on the overall performance of a complete measuring circuit is thus considerably reduced.
However, the linearity error of the devices is not the only factor to consider with regard to accuracy. Many other error factors, which often only appear in the small print of the manufacturers’ data sheets, should not be ignored. Data sheets cannot be used as the sole basis of device comparisons. Ambient influences such as temperature, power supply fluctuations or changes in the connected load can have a considerable effect on the performance of devices.
Turck recognises these errors and field conditions, and includes effects such as repeatability and hysteresis in the total error calculation. Thus the total performance is calculated from this together with the temperature coefficient. Quoted figures therefore reflect performance in the field and not abstract laboratory conditions. It has been verified that the analogue signal isolators and temperature measuring amplifiers of the IMX series have the best overall performance in terms of accuracy of all 12.5 mm interface devices.
The IMX12-DI isolating switching amplifier offers maximum processing speed. Input frequencies up to 15,000 Hz, which were previously only possible with special frequency transducers, can be processed allowing precise measurement without the negative effect of signal conversion.
Process industry, skids and stand-alone units

The process industry, particularly the chemical, pharmaceutical and oil and gas sectors, are traditionally the principal target markets for interface devices.
A new special feature of the IMX series will also enable Turck to provide solutions that were previously not possible in some applications.
The devices of the IMX12 series can be used in a 10 to 30 VDC range. This therefore opens up the possibility of use in new applications that are supplied from batteries, solar collectors or small wind turbines. This possible use in smaller mobile and autonomous installations makes the IMX devices particularly interesting for manufacturers of small to medium-sized plants.
Thanks to the international approvals available, manufacturers of centrifuges, decanters or biomass power stations can use the new interface devices in plants for worldwide export.

As a leading manufacturer of hazardous area sensors and process control equipment, Turck continues to provide support for a wide range of customers. Whether the requirement is for a single barrier or a complete bus system, Turck listens to the demands of industry and to meets those demands with ground-breaking, innovative products.

For further information contact George Perkins, Marketing Executive,
Turck Banner Ltd
Blenheim House
Hurricane Way
SS11 8YT
Telephone: 01268 578888  email:

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