The great freedom - Installation technology

As unassuming as they might appear, the Active and Passive Distributors from Bihl+Wiedemann: upon closer inspection one immediately sees the virtually unlimited possibilities they offer when integrating any desired sensors and actuators into ASi networks. And the new freedoms for AS-Interface users will become even greater in the future: because thanks to the unabatedly increasing demand there are more and more variants of these compact multi-talents.


The great flexibility in designing machines and systems, the easy installation and enormous selection of modules have always been among the decisive advantages of AS-Interface. At the beginning of last year the ASi Masters from Bihl+Wiedemann again set the bar even higher in these three areas: since then even switches, detectors, sensors or actuators without interfaces to ASi can be easily incorporated into the AS-Interface network – without expensive special adapters and additional cables that would have to be assembled.


For AS-Interface users this represents a whole new range of freedom when selecting their modules. Because whether a device is ASi capable or not will hardly play a role in the future. The actuators and sensors can then be chosen exclusively according to application-specific criteria – for example by form factor, electromechanics and range of functions. No more compromises need to be made in this regard. The path to truly custom-tailored solutions is open. It is all made possible by the innovative Active Distributors from Bihl+Wiedemann with integrated ASi chip, which thanks to their compact form factor optimized for the cable duct are ideal for individual cable routing scenarios. It used to be for example that some slaves couldn’t be positioned exactly where they were needed, since most modules have an M12 or M8 connection on the top side and were accordingly taller. The new Active Distributors do not face this limitation, not even in switchboxes or control panels. And if the sensor favored by a user has an unusual pin configuration, this is no longer a problem either: the compact multi-talents are shipped in exactly the configuration the customer requires – complete with preassembled cables.

Perfect contacting with four gold-plated – turned, not punched – pins per cable ensures that the pins will always penetrate vertically into the profile cable.

The same also applies by the way to the new Passive Distributors from Bihl+Wiedemann, which additionally feature two further advantages: for one they offer integrated line protection as an option – either in the form of 4 A replaceable fuses or 1 A self-resetting fuses. They also help to save on hardware: it used to be that installation required two Passive Distributors for ASi and AUX, making up to four ASi end caps necessary. The descendants in the current generation are suitable as both the start and end point of the profile cable, making additional end caps superfluous. How much AS-Interface users have longed for the virtually limitless freedom they get from the innovative Active and Passive Distributors can be seen from the demand, which has continued to rise right from the almost explosive start as the products were introduced. “In my presentations I am getting almost 100% positive feedback,” said Director of Sales Christian Lang in an interview with ASi MASTER NEWS. “Of course such at first glance unassuming products seldom merit a cover page in the trade press, but they make the lives of users so much easier.”

By connecting the upper and lower section by mounting mechanism the upper section can be freely rotated without risking damage of the profile cable.

For Bihl+Wiedemann the enormous success of the new Distributor generation is reason enough to continually expand the already considerable variety of different versions. Following is a brief glance at the newest family members:

  • Active Distributor ASi for controlling valves: 4I/2O module with 6 x M8 socket, suitable for connecting valves (2 x 5/2 directional valve or 1 x 5/3 directional valve + 4 sensors)

  • Active Distributor ASi for Lenze Smart Motor: 4I/3O module with 2 x M12 socket for connecting to the Smart Motor and 2 x M12 socket for connecting up to 3 additional sensors

  • Active Distributors ASi for Schmersal and Pilz interlocks: 1 two-channel safe input, 1 digital output, connection via M12 socket, 8-pin, pin configuration suitable for Schmersal and Pilz interlocks

  • Passive Distributor AUX: 2 x AUX profile cable to 1 x M12 power plug, T-coded, for connecting consumers with T-coded M12 power connection, up to 20 A

The concept optimized for manufacturing the Distributors also meets the need for an even greater variety. Until now the circuit board was mounted in a pre-assembled plastic cover. Since recently an innovative injection molding process (Low Pressure Molding) has been used whereby the board is placed in a form and then insert molded. This promises even greater flexibility for the future both in the height of the housing and in the arrangement and number of outgoing cables.