To keep this simple, think of the DeviceNet bus system as an expressway going around a city. The expressway is the Trunk Line. The Trunk Line is a MIN-5MFP cable that has a special DeviceNet (Thick) cable. The Exits are T connectors (a connector in the shape of a T that has 2 female connectors and one male). The Exits lead to side streets that are the Drops. The Drops are either a 5 Pin MIN to an MDC, or, it is a 5 pin MIN to 5 pin MIN DeviceNet (Thin) cable.
The idea is that the information can flow around the entire machine via the trunk line and all of the sensors (proxes, photos, etc.) and actuators (valves, cylinders, etc.) come off of the trunk line via drops. This allows only one 5 pin cable to go into the cabinet. This greatly simplifies the wiring.
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