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Turck Enters New Territory

In a move to underscore its entry into two new product arenas, automation components supplier Turck Inc. ( hosted 14 trade press editors at its U.S. headquarters in the Minneapolis suburb of Plymouth, Minn., on May 30.

One of the products—a new RFID system for the industrial space—is likely to find applications in one of Turck’s traditional U.S. markets, namely the automotive industry. The other new entry—a Diagnostic Power Conditioner system for Foundation Fieldbus—will add fuel for Turck’s effort to push further into the process automation space.

Process presence

In his opening remarks, Turck Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Dean McCaskill noted that process automation currently amounts to only about 5 percent of the company’s business in the United States. But given that Turck started focusing on this market only five years ago, “we feel pretty good about that,” he said. The company has a goal of doubling its process automation business every couple of years going forward.

In its press release on the new Diagnostic Power Conditioner, or DPC, Turck referred to the product as “revolutionary.” And Turck managers seem to believe that they’ve found a hole in the Foundation Fieldbus marketplace that needs to be filled. The DPC features an integrated diagnostics module to provide end-users with vital statistics that can ease the task of diagnosing any problems associated with the Foundation Fieldbus physical layer.

This is a needed capability that the market is only beginning to address, Turck says. DPC differentiators include an architecture that allows use of a high-speed Ethernet (HSE) connection to provide the Foundation Fieldbus H1 segment diagnostic information, as well as the system’s high output current, at 800 milliAmps.

Modular RFID

Turck’s other new product—called the BLident—is billed as “the first modular RFID system with built-in I/O.” The system was developed over an 18-month period with early work and debugging done during two major projects at a Ford plant in Belgium and at a Volkswagen plant in Poland, said Mark DiSera, product marketing manager for Turck’s Network and Interface Division.

Built on the ISO 15693 13.56 MHz high frequency, or HF, standard for radio frequency identification, or RFID, the BLident can handle up to eight channels of RFID on a single gateway—four times as much as competitive systems—plus additional discrete or analog I/O to comprise a single node on the network, said DiSera. Other BLident differentiators include a ferroelectric RAM (FRAM) memory option for RFID tags, which provide significantly more write cycles than more traditional EEPROM tag memory, said DiSera.


Wes Iversen

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