Distributed process I/O: maximum availability and flexibility

Distributed process I/O for the SIMATIC PCS neo and SIMATIC PCS 7 process control systems

Distributed process I/O for SIMATIC PCS neo and SIMATIC PCS 7: the right solution for every requirement

Today, the acquisition and output of process signals via sensors and actuators can take place in a variety of ways: centrally or locally, via 4...20mA / HART, PROFIBUS or PROFINET. SIMATIC PCS 7 and SIMATIC PCS neo offer a correspondingly wide range of options for safely processing the large number of different I/O process signals: Either with the modular SIMATIC ET 200 I/O or the compact SIMATIC CFU.

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System structure

The future-proof I/O solution for every requirement in the process industry

The SIMATIC PCS 7 and PCS neo process control systems use the various benefits of distributed process I/O from Siemens. These enable maximum availability for 24/7 operation 365 days a year through redundant configurations or use in explosive gas/dust atmospheres.

As individual as your requirements

Flexible, decentralized solutions have become the state of the art in automation for the process industry. Whether compact or modular, installed in the control cabinet or directly in harsh industrial environments, for the connection of 4..20MA / HART signals or PROFIBUS PA - the SIMATIC hardware for the process industry offers the right solution for rugged and future-proof connection of sensors and actuators for every application.

Promote digitalization and protect investments!

Process control technology from Siemens paves the way for plant-wide digitalization. By supporting Ethernet-based PROFINET standard, our innovative hardware not only bridges the digital communication gap into the field level – but also from today into the future. The distributed SIMATIC I/O systems offer high planning reliability for up to 30 years or more. Standards are the prerequisite for compatibility and promote broad acceptance in various areas of the process industry.

  • Fully compatible successor products enable easy replacement
  • Fast and simple functional expansion is permanently guaranteed
  • Seamless reuse of existing modules and cabling

Process I/O made to measure

SIMATIC PCS 7 and SIMATIC PCS neo offer a correspondingly wide range of options for reliably processing the large number of different process signals: Either with the modular SIMATIC ET 200 I/O or the compact SIMATIC CFU.


The SIMATIC ET 200SP HA covers the highest requirements for availability and ruggedness and is designed for all applications, such as functional safety or explosion protection. With up to 32 channels on a width of 22.5mm, it is also a real space-saving wonder. If distributed process I/O are required for installation directly in hazardous areas, the SIMATIC ET 200iSP is used. The SIMATIC CFU sets new standards for simple device integration and consistent decentralization.

Powerful solutions that can be adapted to any automation task

The SIMATIC ET 200 product family has always been a guarantee for powerful, rugged and future-proof solutions that can be individually adapted to any automation requirement. The I/O system is ready for use inside and outside the control cabinet and can be configured as required: Modules for digital and analog inputs/outputs, optionally with HART, safety technology, frequency inverters and other technology modules ensure that you can equip your I/O system with the appropriate signal and function modules.


The right solution for every requirement

The powerful, compact I/O system with Safety Integrated


The compact modular SIMATIC ET 200SP HA I/O creates space in the control cabinet and makes it possible to align the expansion in the control cabinet exactly with actual requirements. And the tool-free connection technology with push-in terminals and vertical wiring reduces engineering, assembly and cabling costs. Thanks to its extended temperature range from -40°C to +70°C and conformal coating, the I/O system is ideally suited for use in the field.


Thanks to the newly available Ex-I/Os, SIMATIC ET 200SP HA offers the ideal solution for the special requirements of the Ex field. The new Ex-I/O modules can be installed at levels up to ATEX Zone 2, and provide intrinsically safe Ex-ia circuits for field devices up to Zone 0. Fail-safe digital I/O modules and a fail-safe analog input module are available for applications in the area of functional safety.

Learn more about cabinet designs with SIMATIC ET 200SP HA

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The cost-effective solution for the Ex field


Proven in field the failsafe SIMATIC ET 200iSP distributed I/O system now talks PROFINET and allows the transfer of I/O signals up to 3000 meters via fiber optic. The migration from PROFIBUS to PROFINET is simple and fast, only interface modules must be exchanged in the field.

Typically used in production facilities of the process industry the fully compatible, compact and cost-effective solution offers seamless integration into SIMATIC PCS neo, SIMATIC PCS 7, TIA Portal, and Step 7. The system, for which comprehensive standards and approvals are available, is suited for direct installation in areas subject to gas or dust explosion hazards. Redundancy solutions ensure highest availability and easy maintenance in run. 

The smart field distributor

Benefit from greater flexibility and easier handling coupled with maximum availability: The compact field distributor is installed at the process level and is connected via PROFINET directly to the process control system to form the foundation for digitalization in the field.


The SIMATIC CFU combines a digital fieldbus with conventional I/Os and is suitable for use directly in the field, as far as Ex Zone 2. This significantly reduces the footprint of the entire I/O system: Conventional control cabinets are a thing of the past and significant savings can be made with regard to cables and terminals, as well as in the planning and documentation work. The device reduces the potential for errors during operation, simplifies plant expansions or modernization, and reduces the amount of work required for the hardware FAT.

SIMATIC CFU PA Edition: Plug-and-produce simplicity

The PA edition of the SIMATIC CFU combines the ruggedness and simplified handling of the PROFIBUS PA communication standard with all the advantages of the PROFINET standard based on Industrial Ethernet. This compact hardware innovation automatically initializes connected field devices and integrates them into the process control system. What used to take 30 minutes is now done in less than one minute. That’s plug-and-produce!

SIMATIC CFU DIQ Edition: Easy and flexible use of discrete I/Os

With sixteen freely configurable, digital I/O channels and optional extension functions, the SIMATIC CFU DIQ Edition offers you even more flexibility and easier handling coupled with maximum availability. The additional operating modes “Counter” and “Frequency measurement” can be activated for selected digital inputs. In addition, the safety function “Actuator disconnection” can be set for the digital outputs. This function enables you to bring your actuators to a safe position as required to avoid possible hazardous situations.

Fast and robust fieldbus communication

Distributed I/O devices such as remote I/O stations with their I/O modules, transmitters, drives, valves or operator terminals communicate with the automation systems at field level through a powerful real-time bus system. The universal PROFIBUS covers all of the requirements of the process industry and has already proven itself as a rugged and reliable communication medium at the field level.


Field instrumentation is connected using PROFIBUS PA, which enables power to be supplied via the fieldbus in addition to communication. This standard can be seamlessly integrated into the SIMATIC PCS 7 and PCS neo process control systems as a link via PROFINET or alternatively via PROFIBUS DP.


Talk to your Siemens contact if you have any questions about integrating Foundation Fieldbus in PCS 7.

To create a smooth network transition between PROFIBUS DP and PROFIBUS PA, the SIMATIC product range offers two versions: the DP/PA coupler and the PA link. The DP/PA coupler is especially suitable for low quantity structures (data volumes) and low timing requirements. The DP/PA link is ideal for a large number of stations and high cycle time requirements.


Compact Field Unit PA (CFU PA) offers the ideal solution for network transitions between PROFINET and PROFIBUS PA.


With conventional fieldbus installations, changes during runtime are only possible to a very limited extent. This is because short-circuits or contact bounces when connecting or replacing devices can lead to the failure of the fieldbus segment. Fieldbus installations with active field distributors from SIMATIC permit the addition and removal of field devices and of active field distributors during operation without any disruption.



From the control cabinet to the field level

The demands of process industries on automation technology are anything but 

homogenous. Especially with I/O systems, it is essential to cover the entire range,  

from standard applications to those with high fail-safety and explosion protection 

requirements. To this end, a powerful distributed I/O system has now been expanded 

with new modules. All blocks are designed for maximum availability and for a variety of 

Industry 4.0 scenarios.

Safety Integrated enables functional safety in the process industry, providing reliable, flexible protection for people, machines, and plant
Safety Integrated

Protecting people, plants and the environment

The complex processes in the process industry are associated with high demands on functional safety. With Safety Integrated you use an innovative safety technology characterized by its flexibility and reliability.

Overview of process control systems

Discover the comprehensive system for all process control technology requirements

A flexible, powerful hardware basis for present and future requirements

Industrial process control technology from Siemens bundles a broad portfolio of innovative technologies, systems, and components to create a unique product.


Discover our powerful SIMATIC PCS neo and SIMATIC PCS 7 process control systems, our future-proof automation systems, flexible and robust I/O devices, and our solutions for industrial communication.

Service and support

Service and support throughout the entire lifecycle of your plant

We make it easy for you to launch into the world of process control technology with SIMATIC PCS neo and PCS 7. Our service and support experts will also be there to help you at any time. For further information, you can also draw on a wealth of downloads which we’ve made available.
Catalog downloads for SIMATIC PCS 7 and SIMATIC PCS neo

Catalogs for process automation

Learn in detail about the components of our hardware platform for SIMATIC PCS 7 and SIMATIC PCS neo. The catalogs are available for download in a range of languages.

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The direct route to perfectly tailored process I/O

If you need further information or would like advice, you’ll find the right contact in our contact database. Or order the right I/O components for your process control system directly from the Siemens Industry Mall.
Order hardware for SIMATIC PCS 7 in the Siemens Industry Mall

Process I/O for SIMATIC PCS 7

Products for SIMATIC PCS 7 at a glance

Order hardware for SIMATIC PCS neo in the Siemens Industry Mall

Process I/O for SIMATIC PCS neo

The right hardware components for SIMATIC PCS neo