Functions, Factors, and Best Practices To Consider Before Your Remote I/O ‘Fitting’

Functions, Factors, and Best Practices To Consider Before Choosing Your Remote I/O

Before placing and implementing a remote I/O system in your automated plant, it’s important to determine how this little-but-powerful part of the system will best accommodate your industrial application. This will allow effective and efficient sets of different control and automation actions to help the entirety of the system achieve its advantages and superior functions. 

With ODOT automation, you have a variety of remote I/O module options to design any of the following functions: data collection, sensory, process, and/or other types of industrial control application.

As the needs of the business change over time, the Remote I/O system can be modified and expanded to accommodate these changes.

Before deciding which Remote I/O to take for your plant, identify the pros and cons you’re trying to accentuate or overcome in your business. Remote I/O modules are a popular choice in the Australian control and automation market. You can deploy remote I/O in the main control cabinet to improve safety, less wiring, and standardisation in industrial networks.

  • Remote I/O modules can be beneficial in terms of long-term future expansion and can be cost-effective in the long run.
  • Wireless remote I/O is beneficial for data collection, automatic control, and AI analysis purposes. (Depending on the application.)
  • Modbus Remote I/O is widely supported and can be used with a variety of automation platforms, providing fast and reliable communication between I/O modules and the central controller, making them ideal for automatic control applications.
  • EtherNet/IP Remote I/O is easy to integrate with other automation systems with high-speed communication and real-time control.
  • Profinet Remote I/O can lead to smarter operations and better management while reducing downtime and improving efficiency. 

Ultimately, the best Remote I/O system for automatic control purposes will depend on a variety of factors, including the specific requirements of the application, the level of integration with other automation systems, and the budget for the project.


Remote I/O systems are an essential aspect of automation in the industrial sector as it provides distributed control and monitoring capabilities in industrial automation applications. The remote I/O modules are typically installed in the field and are connected to the central controller via a communication network.

From an engineering perspective, there are numerous advantages to using Remote I/O systems. One significant advantage is the ability to reduce the amount of wiring required in the field. This is achieved by placing the remote I/O modules close to the sensors and actuators, thereby reducing the length of the wiring required to connect them to the central controller. This results in cost savings in terms of reduced material and installation costs, as well as reduced maintenance costs from the reduced wiring. In addition, it removes the risk of electrical interference and eliminates the need for long cable runs, which can be a safety hazard.

Another advantage of Remote I/O systems is the ease of expansion. Adding new remote I/O modules to the system is relatively simple and can be done without affecting the existing system, making it easy to expand as the requirements change or as new processes are added.

Wireless remote I/O is also gaining popularity, especially in applications where wired connections are not feasible. 

Best Practices

When implementing a Remote I/O system in an automated plant, there are several technical best practices that should be followed to ensure optimal performance and reliability of the system. These best practices include:

1. Proper System Design: The Remote I/O system should be designed to meet the specific requirements of the plant. This includes selecting the appropriate I/O modules, communication protocols, and network topology.

2. Redundancy: Redundancy should be built into the system to ensure that if one module or network fails, the system can continue to operate without disruption. This can be achieved through the use of redundant power supplies, communication networks, and I/O modules.

3. Proper Installation: The Remote I/O modules should be installed in the field in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. This includes proper grounding, shielding, and cable routing.

4. Network Configuration: The communication network should be properly configured to ensure optimal performance and reliability. This includes selecting the appropriate network topology, assigning IP addresses, and configuring network switches and routers.

5. Testing and Commissioning: The Remote I/O system should be thoroughly tested and commissioned before being put into service. This includes verifying proper communication between the I/O modules and the central controller, testing the system under normal and abnormal conditions, and verifying the accuracy of the I/O signals.

6. Maintenance: Regular maintenance should be performed on the Remote I/O system to ensure optimal performance and reliability. This includes cleaning and inspecting the I/O modules, checking for loose connections, and monitoring the system for any abnormal conditions.

7. Security: The Remote I/O system should be secured to prevent unauthorised access and to protect against cyber threats. This includes implementing firewalls, authentication protocols, and encryption technologies.

By following these technical best practices, the Remote I/O system can provide optimal performance and reliability, ensuring that the plant operates efficiently and effectively.

Together with our remote I/O module partner, ODOT automation, we provide benefits such as:

1. Access to Expertise: Our extensive experience in designing and implementing remote I/O systems can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on our knowledge and experience.

2. Cost Savings: We can help to identify the most cost-effective solutions for your preferred application and help to reduce the overall cost of the project.

3. Reduced Risk: We have a deep understanding of the technology and can help to ensure that the system is properly designed and implemented, reducing the risk of downtime or system failure.

4. Scalability: We will design a system that can grow and adapt as the needs of the business change, ensuring that the system remains relevant and effective over time.

In today’s economy and scarcity conditions where businesses are looking for ways to optimise their operations and reduce costs, having a remote I/O system for your plant will be the best way to ensure long-term profitability and operation.

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Before deciding which remote I/O you wish to proceed with, make sure to consider the following factors:

1. Expertise: The partner should have experience in designing and implementing remote I/O systems that are tailored to the specific needs of the business.

2. Compatibility: The partner should be compatible with the automation platforms and systems that are already in place at the business. This will ensure that the remote I/O system can be easily integrated with existing systems, reducing the risk of compatibility issues.

3. Reliability: The partner should have a track record of reliability and performance. They should be able to provide references from other businesses that have used their services and can attest to their reliability and quality of work.

4. Cost: The cost of the services provided by the partner should be considered. The partner should be able to provide a cost-effective solution that fits within the budget of the business.

5. Support: The partner should provide ongoing support for the remote I/O system, including maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. They should have a dedicated support team that can provide assistance in the event of any issues or problems with the system.

6. Security: The partner should have a strong focus on security and should be able to provide solutions that are secure and protected against cyber threats.

7. Communication: The partner should have good communication skills and should be able to provide regular updates and progress reports throughout the design and implementation process.

Ti2 Pty Ltd is the official distributor for ODOT in Australia, offering automation products with expertise from world-class suppliers. We provide robust competitive industrial automation solutions helping manufacturing companies among other emerging industries. 

To learn more about what we do and how we can help your interoperability requirements, please click projects, products & services.

Ti2 is currently very focused on working with its global partners to secure stock and avoid long delay times in delivering products to their customers. Together with our trusted partners, we are here to provide solutions.

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