Parker Hannifin Releases Machine I/O with New PCH Network Portal

December 23, 2020 by Sara McCaslin

Parker’s new PCH Network Portal with I/O and IO-Link master capabilities is designed for various industrial applications due to its multiple industrial Ethernet protocols.

The PCH Network Portal is Parker’s innovative new approach to Ethernet communication modules. It offers decentralized I/O and IO-Link master ports intending to achieve better configurability and more optimized machine architecture. 

The PCH Network Portal serves as an Ethernet node with IO-Link master capability that fully supports multiple Industrial Ethernet communication protocols. Image courtesy of Parker.


Parker Hannifin Pneumatics recently announced the introduction of their PCH Network Portal, which they claim is a game-changing technology for Ethernet communication in industrial automation.


Parker PCH Network Portal’s Key Features

According to Parker Pneumatics, the PCH Network Portal is “classified as a Cyber Physical System for its ability to communicate across machinery” while offering “maximum function integration, simplicity of use and significant architecture cost reductions.”

It supports multiple industrial Ethernet protocols, including EtherCAT, Ethernet/IP, PROFINET, and Modbus TC. The PCH Network Portal also includes just configurable I/O and true PNP / NPN circuitry switching along with IO-Link master capability on each port. 

The PCH Network Portal has secure Bluetooth diagnostics, supports prognostic maintenance work, and offers a rolling log of up to 40 events, warnings, and errors, along with troubleshooting suggestions. Remote diagnostics and maintenance are supported via an embedded webpage and/or a web server, and it additionally provides tools to support the visualization of process data. 

The PCH Network Portal offers multiple zoning options that are easy to set up, can connect to the five sizes of H Series ISO valves, and is Safe Power capable. In addition, this network portal is designed to be easy to install, configure, and integrate with existing systems. It is IP65 ingress protected, making it suitable for use in harsh industrial environments.


Benefits of Using the PCH Network Portal

According to Parker, the PCH Network Portal can increase the available I/O on a machine using the IO-Link master capabilities. The portal’s flexibility means users do not need expensive Ethernet masters, cabling, or safety blocks. It also supports lower cost integration with inductive couplers, radio-frequency identification (RFID) read head integration, and distribution blocks. 

The Parker PCH Network Portal supports scaling as application needs grow. Again, it was designed for easy setup and integration. The network portal is beneficial for flexible manufacturing applications where machine changes are widespread. It also works well for situations where PLCs may not be accessible, and obstacles on the factory floor can make setup, troubleshooting, and configuration a problem.


The PCH Network Portal is designed to control pneumatic valves across the flow spectrum. Image courtesy of Parker.


Industries and Applications for the Parker PCH Network Portal 

While the portal works well for general industrial use where pneumatic control is key, it is particularly adapted for applications in packaging and in-plant automotive manufacturing. The PCH Network Portal is ideal for assembly lines, vehicle body assembly, automated industrial equipment, end of arm tooling (EOTA), and material handling. 


Purchasing a PCH Network Portal

Parker recommends the PCH Network Portal be paired with their H Series ISO Universal Manifold. The portal is available for order; when ordering, they recommend you also select the following:


  • Endplate kit
  • Valve manifold segments, which include the manifold (sizes include HB, HA, H1, or H2) and an air supply module
  • Valve stations and accessories, including valve sizes HB, HA, H1 or H2, and a blanking plate


Parker’s new PCH Network Portal is designed to be promising for those working in industrial automation who depend on pneumatic control to keep the factory floor running smoothly. Parker hopes this network portal will reduce the complexity of the architecture needed to support multiple machines, provides versatility, and is easy to configure and troubleshoot.