On the 20th anniversary of Automation magazine, Tony Hoyle, managing director at WAGO UK reflects on his company’s automation products offering and what the future holds

What have been the most significant developments for WAGO over the past 20 years? The name WAGO is most widely associated with connection technology. Yet in 1995 we launched the first modular approach to open fieldbus protocols with our Series 750 I/O solution. Since then we have been making a name for ourselves with flexible automation products. Despite this we will always remain true

to the innovations that built this company. After all, we have influenced the field of connection technology in a way no other company can match. We introduced screwless spring pressure connection technology in 1951. Then we reinvented connection technology with CAGE CLAMP Spring Pressure Connection Technology. Now, we connect pretty much everything from 0.08mm² through 185mm² (353 amps) with designs that are thermally stable and compact, safe and universally applicable. Our connections are this way because

our customers demand them. Here lies the key to our strategy for strengthening our flexible automation technology – it is what customers are demanding from us. Take the railway industry as an example. Outdoor temperatures between -20 and +40°C, severe shocks and increased electrical voltages are just

some of the demands placed on the technology and electronics aboard the heavy-duty railway machinery. In this environment, WAGO’s Spring Pressure Connection Technology and I/O controllers have proven themselves more than capable. They are tested for resistance to impacts and shock and carry certifications that demonstrate resistance to extreme weather, interference and vibrations, extending our range from -20 to +60°C. Our new 750 XTR Series I/O system features an extreme temperature range from -40°C to +70°C. This system also offers isolation up to 5kV and vibration resistance up to 25G of acceleration, as well as tropical coated PCB’s, suitable for the new PV and Wind turbine markets. But having proven technology is not enough these days. We need to comply with standards for climatic conditions, EMC protection and proof of safety. As such we have our own certified testing laboratory, to ensure that we reliably verify compliance with all standards.

What can we expect in 20 years’ time? First of all we need to look after our installed base. There is nothing more frustrating than buying into technology only to find it obsolete and unsupported after just a few years. So our product philosophy is to ensure that new

Tony Hoyle, managing director at WAGO UK says that the company designs systems that are thermally stable and compact, safe and universally applicable

components are always backward compatible with previous versions. WAGO is currently developing DIMA

(Distributed Intelligence for Modular Automation), answering the call from NAMUR, a modular control technology for the process industry. There are a lot of developments to consider in the next 20 years. Automatic positioning systems play an

important role in many production and logistics sectors in conveying systems or for storage and retrieval vehicles. Here, demanding control tasks and the ability to quickly perform them are paramount. This is where a powerful hardware platform like our PFC100 comes in, which packs the comprehensive computing power and functionality of WAGO’s PFC controller family into an even smaller footprint that can save considerable control panel space. The controller runs a real-time capable

Linux operating system, which provides the fast and accurate computing power needed by automatic positioning systems, programmed by e!COCKPIT. Thanks to compatibility with the System 750, a suitable I/O module is available for almost every type of signal. Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at WAGO. From our CAGE CLAMP spring pressure connection technology to our extensive range of interconnect, interface and automation solutions, our customers count on the performance and reliability of our products to ensure the safe, efficient operation of their systems.

WAGO UK T: 01788 568 008


A new programmable DIN-rail mounted controller (PLC) from WAGO has a smaller footprint than its predecessors while providing enhanced functionality for seamless process automation. Available in three variants, the smallest of which measures just 50mm wide, the PFC100 offers a compact control solution for a wide range of industrial applications. The controller is designed exclusively for e!COCKPIT, WAGO’s new intuitive engineering software suite, greatly simplifying the installation process and enabling systems to be brought online faster. The controller is based on a Linux real-time operating system, and the Cortex A8 600MHz processor makes it suitable even for highly complex algorithms and applications. The PFC100 combines the comprehensive computing power and functionality of WAGO’s PFC family of controllers while also saving considerable control panel space. Bringing complex functions into a single device addresses the customer need for multiple advanced control functions and features combined within one device, with a high level of security. The PFC100 can be linked seamlessly into the e!COCKPIT software platform, which enables users to carry out hardware configurations, software programming, simulations and visualisations of complex controller tasks, and provides a platform for advanced CODESYS 3.5-based engineering. The simplicity of the software interface means that processes can be planned effectively and configured with minimal training required.


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