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Making An Interface PCB I – Introduction

This series describes how to have a PCB made for factory equipment from start to finish using a real board. I am not going to concentrate on the details of the PCB layout software (there are plenty of tutorials available for that), but instead cover details such as getting the right output out of the PCB layout software.

I am going to design a PCB that could be useful in a machine, using components I like. You should be able to learn from this example to design your own low cost board. The PCB will be designed to interface a Panasonic FP0 or FP Sigma PLC to a SMC pneumatic manifold. I am naming the board FP-SMC-1.
The board interfaces 16 PLC outputs to a SMC 26-pin header manifold. SMC uses this design on various manifolds that can have up to 12 stations, and each station can use 1 (for single acting) or 2 (for double acting) outputs. In my board, I use up to 8 stations; all of them can be single or double acting.

The board interfaces 16 PLC inputs to terminal blocks, so you can have two limit sensors (extended, retracted) for each pneumatic cylinder.

The board has a four power terminals, two +24V and two GND. Providing extra 24V and Ground connections allows the board to power another board.

The board mounts on a Phoenix UMK DIN-rail holder. I have successfully used the UMK series before. Phoenix also provides 3-D models, which is useful.

I will be using Eagle PCB to create the schematic and layout the PCB. I will be using Sierra Proto Express as the board house. I plan on investigating the creation of a 3-D board model.

Tony

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