Remote operation of machines has perhaps been a universal desire of all industrial manufacturers. This is especially true for the industrial age we’re currently living in, where plants often spread on considerable acreage, and are commonly separated by continents, if not city-lines. The complexity that originates from ensuring the necessary up-time and visibility presents a very intriguing case into the practicalities of remote machine access.
Detection of objects or fluids is one of the core tasks that are performed in any industry, upon which the productivity is dependent. Proximity sensors are employed for such tasks which detect the presence/absence of an object through electromagnetic fields, light and sound.
The age of digitalization has arrived. Industries are becoming highly reliant on the use of data for making day-to-day & long-term decisions, while robotics are gaining intelligence and are expanding from their previously-held portfolio of machines; all through the efficient & effective use of data.
eWON Flexy is a major revolutionary product that serves as a modular M2M router and data gateway, allowing system integrators & OEMs to link their remote devices in environments, which make use of multiple communication technologies. Whether its wired connectivity or wireless, eWON Flexy supports it all. However, as the industrial sector gets more diverse and automation makes its way to the ground level, it is becoming harder to keep the communication channels up & running.
eCatcher is Talk2M’s way of allowing you to manage your Talk2M account, and connect to your assets within a highly secure & agile environment. Talk2M is a much-needed internet service that has been designed to provide wireless access to remote sites for maintenance of distant equipment. Talk2M communicates within a highly secure & sophisticated VPN tunnel, ensuring sensitive user equipment is always available & safe.
Data is sensed, processed & acted-upon within an industry through a wide range of sensors & actuators, which by now have become intelligent enough to perform a number of sophisticated activities with little intervention. But despite of the great many innovations in interface technologies, an economical & reliable solution has still been missing that would conclusively address uninterrupted communication down to the lowest field level.
Leuze Electronic IO-Link.
IO-Link is a serial, digital communication protocol that would be used within automation technologies to connect sensors/actuators within an automation system. With the IO-Link, the “last mile” problem of communications with sensors & actuators would be neutralized through digitization. While previously only binary switching states and analog signals were transferred, IO-Link would even allow status information to be read by the sensor or actuator.
IO-Link has traversed from the concept of being a bus system and transformed into a point-to-point connection between the IO-Link device and the connection unit.
Leuze Electronic offers several IO-Link products in order to support seamless operation within your automation infrastructure.
Contrast sensors can be used to detect a variety of light sources, from white to laser generated red to RGB. Leuze Electronic contrast sensors provide highly accurate detection & comparison between changing contrasts and deliver the results with minimal signal jitter.
- KRT 3B Series - The series features contrast sensors that can distinguish between grayscale values enabling them to detect minimal contrast deviations. This makes them ideal for sensing presence of texts or imprints.
- KRT 18B Series - Several industrial applications require detection of contrast marks on film bags and blister packaging. The 18B contrast sensor combines ease of use via permanent signal indicators with high performance. If required, the sensor also provides analog output for heavily demanding detection applications.
Retro-reflective Photoelectric Sensors
Retroreflective sensors are based on the simple principle of obstruction between a light beam, which sparks a response from an actuator. Such photoelectric sensors are commonly used in safety-related applications. Leuze Electronic offers photoelectric sensors based on its IO-link technology to provide uninterrupted, blazing-fast communications to your system. The various sensors offered by Leuze include:
- 46B diffuse sensors
- HT 10 diffuse sensors
- 3C retro-reflective sensor
- 46C retro-reflective sensor
Optical Distance Sensors
Optical Distance Sensors make use of pulsed light beams to detect changes in distance from a target surface. These sensors either use laser or LED lights as a medium, precisely measuring the distance over a wide variety of materials. Leuze Electronic offers the following Optical Distance Sensors under its IO-Link banner:
- ODSL 8 - Housed in compact-metal enclosure, the sensor can be commissioned quickly and provides reliable readings.
- ODSL 9 - This is a highly precise optical distance sensor, and works against harsh surfaces, e.g. glossy objects.
- ODS 10 - The optical distance sensor measures the distance to a non-cooperating target, making the information available as a measurement value. The device works at a maximum range of 4000mm, while a range of 25000mm can be achieved using a reflector.
Light Curtains are an essential requirement of any facility with machinery that can pose a risk to human life. By eliminating safety risks, light curtains indirectly improve the productivity of the environment. Leuze Electronic offers the following light curtains:
- MLC 500 - These are type-4 safety light curtains and can be used to safeguard even the most sophisticated machinery on the plant floor. The devices can be used universally due to their flexible design, and are IP67/69K certified for use in harsh environments.
- MLC300 - These are type 2 safety light curtains, available in basic & standard versions, fulfilling a variety of user requirements. The curtains can be used in extensive applications and sport metal end caps, flexible fastening and AIDA-complaint pin assignment.
Banner Engineering packs a highly impressive wireless products portfolio for providing top connectivity to & from remote assets to central stations. The hardware is designed to withstand harsh conditions, therefore making it ideal for difficult-to-access locations.
The need for security isn’t that apparent until part of your network or privacy is compromised. Network data security should always be a top priority when considering connectivity within a plant or to multiple sites. Security is highly important in the 21st century industrial sector as corporate espionage for sensitive inside information is becoming increasingly common.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has taken the manufacturing world by storm. By tapping into the already existing streams of data, IoT based software & hardware technologies have defined the term “automation” in a futuristic manner. For manufacturers especially, the implications are grand. It is estimated that by 2025, IoT could unleash as much as $2.31 trillion in global economic value.
But don’t let sheer numbers get to your head. Migrating from a conventional system to a IoT based one is easier said than done. Makings sure you’re checking all the necessary boxes is vital for your company’s survival. Decisions regarding the choice of hardware & software can be daunting due to the confusing & overwhelming technology used.
Weidmüller has successfully expanded its wide portfolio of Remote I/O products with its two new IO-Link Master Modules, IP20 & IP67. The new Master Modules use the open standard IEC 61131-9 serial communication protocol for performing all types of data transfers to & from sensors & actuators. The modules have greatly increased the level of transparency right down to the sensor-actuator level, improving diagnostics & efficiency while reducing downtime.