Fieldbus modules with 4 IO-Link ports
At this year's SPS IPC DRIVES Balluff will introduce the new 4-port masters with four IO-Link ports for Profinet, Ethernet/IP and EtherCAT. These offer all the advantages of IO-Link in a compact package and feature 32 bytes of process data per port. This means a total of 128 bytes of parameters and/or acyclic diagnostics data can be sent. The modules use the IO-Link ports to process both analog and digital data in both directions (In/Out). The IO-Link mini-masters are available with IO-Link port Class A* and Class B**.
By connecting four cascadable sensor hubs up to 124 I/Os can be operated, representing a significant cost savings compared with the traditional solution using standard fieldbus modules. Other features include an integrated 2-port switch for extending the network and a Web server.
Always know what's happening
Integrated into a rugged zinc die-cast IP 67 housing,k the modules can withstand even the harshest environments. Large
and highly visible LEDs on each I/O port provide status information and enable easy error diagnostics: red LEDs for example indicate a short-circuit, undervoltage, IO-Link configuration errors etc. The diagnostics bits can also be sent to the controller.
The integrated Web server is an interesting feature for diagnostics and parameterizing. A standard Web browser not only provides access to comprehensive information about the current status of the modules such as IP address, operating and error status, but also allows all devices connected to the IO-Link ports to be conveniently parameterized remotely.
First integrated safety solution via IO-Link
Balluff is the first in the world to offer equipment manufacturers a simple-to-integrate, cost-saving safety solution based on IO-Link and Profisafe. Safety over IO-Link combines automation and safety in one system and represents efficient safety concepts from one source. Safety over IO-Link offers the proven IO-Link advantages such as simple data transport and information exchange, high flexibility and universal applicability. A logical step in the direction of economical Industry 4.0 for users and for Balluff.
With integrated safety solutions and their own safety components, Balluff is now able to meet the demands of automation and safety equally. Safety over IO-Link from Balluff is open to the sensor level: Balluff safety components as well as safety devices from other manufacturers can be connected to the Balluff-developed I/O module, the yellow safety hub, using inexpensive standard M12 cable. Even standard components such as binary sensors can be bundled via the new safety I/O module. The module is connected to an IO-Link master, with safe communication with the control level provided by Profisafe/Profinet. Safety-relevant data are transferred through the master directly to the safety controller using the so-called tunneling procedure. Safety requirements up to PLe / SIL3 can be achieved.
Parameters are configured centrally using the programming interface of the controller. The simple and transparent system structure saves time and money in cabling, reduces the space requirement in the control cabinet, and enables leaner system concepts. The high degree of standardization results in savings over the entire life cycle of the machine. With Safety over IO-Link applications can be adapted quickly and easily to changing requirements. Both equipment manufacturers and users thus benefit equally.
Automation with Safety
Safety over IO-Link from Balluff is the world's first immediately available safety solution with IO-Link
With Safety over IO-Link from Balluff machine and systems builders now have a cost-saving automation and safety solution in one system. The integrated safety concept builds on the proven standards IO-Link and PROFIsafe. Safety-relevant data are tunneled from PROFIsafe to the controller through a standard IO-Link master. M12 standard cables are used to plug safety components into the newly developed Safety Hub. Safety over IO-Link is simple to install and easy to integrate into existing systems. Users profit from economical and safe systems from one source.
The digital communication interface IO-Link has become established in many areas of the automation sector. Balluff is the first company to offer equipment manufacturers a total automation and safety concept based on PROFIsafe over IO-Link - with their own safety components such as safety light barriers, safety switches, E-Stop buttons and a new safety I/O module (Balluff Safety Hub). With these and a continually growing offering of products and services Balluff is making a lasting contribution to reducing hazards for persons and damage to production equipment.
Long before Industry 4.0 became the universal metaphor of an entire industry, Balluff customers recognized how much they could simplify, clarify and boost the performance of their systems using the versatile IO-Link interface. "I have been just waiting over the past few years for customers to ask whether they could use IO-Link to hand safe signals as well," says Andreas Glasenapp, Product Manager for Safety at Balluff. Even today control and safety are often considered strictly separate worlds. The first request for implementing the EN ISO 13849 requirements for functional safety using IO-Link came to Balluff in 2008 from a customer in the machine tool industry.
Balluff has supporting the digital communication standard IO-Link since as far back as 2005: anyone wanting to use comparatively simple means to get a broad view of the process level cannot ignore this versatile point-to-point connection. IO-Link is IEC 61131-9 certified and stands for unimpeded data exchange and high functionality. IO-Link process devices send and receive signals and data of any kind over standardized M12 connection cable. Analog as well as binary signals go through the IO-Link aster to the bus or control system.
Safety over IO-Link from Balluff uses the essential advantages of IO-Link now for safety-relevant signals as well. The new safe I/O module with 12 safe inputs and two safe outputs accepts safety components from Balluff as well as safety devices from other manufacturers. Even simple standard sensors and actuators can be connected, making a separate hub unnecessary in many cases. The Balluff Safety Hub is simply plugged into a port on an IO-Link master. And the handling of safety data is just as simple, reliable and safe. "Safety over IO-Link from Balluff uses elements of PROFIsafe and is now available. The IO-Link master isn't then just a safety-designed standard device," emphasizes Andreas Glasenapp. The IO-Link-Master is considered a so-called black channel: the transported data are tunneled through the master to the control level untouched. That the IO-Link master is directly available and is not a safety device itself represents a cost advantage.
Safety over IO-Link is die Balluff the logical development of the IO-Link philosophy: like IO-Link in general Safety over IO-Link is a simple system addition, saves time and money in the cabling, takes up little space in the control cabinet and enables leaner system concepts. Virtually any existing network topology is simple to scale using Safety over IO-Link from Balluff. The functionality of the overall system remains intact, with safety more or less an add-on. With Safety over IO-Link applications can be adapted quickly and easily to changing requirements. The final programming is done using drag-and-drop from the programming interface of the controller.
Safety over IO-Link from Balluff meets safety requirements up to PLe / SIL3 and reduces the number of required IP addresses. Consistent diagnostics and ease of device replacement also serve to keep maintenance costs low both in operation and when service is required. Both equipment manufacturers and users thus benefit equally. The high degree of standardization results in savings over the entire life cycle of the machine.
Safety over IO-Link from Balluff combines safety and automation in a high-performance total system that ensures the highest functionality, safety and reliability. "Our customers are increasingly expecting from us that we are ready for them with a broad range of components and services as well as comprehensive automation expertise over the entire life cycle of a system," summarizes Andreas Glasenapp.
The cool way to detect hot objects
Every body with a temperature above absolute zero (-273.15°C) emits electromagnetic radiation from its surface which is proportional to its intrinsic temperature. This radiation is called temperature or thermal radiation. A portion of this is infrared radiation, which is especially suitable for temperature sensing. Sensors using this principle are non-contacting and reactionless. They are therefore ideally suited for areas in foundries, forging plants, steel plants, in the ceramics industry or glassworks. Now for the first time there is an infrared temperature sensor with IO-Link interface, opening up practical possibilities for communication between the system control and temperature measurement.
With infrared temperature sensors, you can monitor high temperatures even in environments that are inaccessible or hazardous for humans. This means these sensors can also be configured remotely from the control panel. When there is a product change for example, no one needs to access the sensor directly to make settings. Which also generally requires that the system be shut off. Remote access thus saves time and vastly increases productivity since the system no longer has to be cooled down. With the BTL infrared temperature sensor the sensor specialists at Balluff (see text box) have responded to these demands with a highly practical solution. In addition to two switching outputs the pyrometer in the rugged stainless steel M30 housing with IP67 protection offers an IO-Link interface for direct data exchange with the controller or control panel. An analog 4...20 mA output is available as an option.
Remote access: Setup, logging and documenting
The main function principle of the sensor is typical for industrial pyrometers and simple to understand: a lens focuses the heat emitted by the target object on to a photodiode used as an infrared detection which is suitable for temperatures in a range of from 250 to 1250 °C. The beams are restricted by means of diaphragms so that the result is a precise measuring spot on the object. Any spurious radiation is blocked at the lens by a spectral filter. The infrared detector converts the impinging radiation into an electrical signal. This signal is processed in a digital signal processor. The output signal is then made available on an IO-Link port. This port also allows the sensor to be configured, for example from the host controller or the control panel. When a product is changed all the necessary settings can be made remotely; IO-Link also makes replacing a sensor simpler when necessary, since all the parameters can be transferred directly to the replacement unit.
Typical tasks that can be performed remotely while the system is running include setting material-specific emissivity coefficients or selecting the evaluation method. Averaging is used to stabilize the temperature value under extreme ambient conditions. The set number of the last measuring results is converted into a moving average. When the peak detection mode is set a local maximum of the output signal is held for a selectable number of successive measurements, for example to mask partial scaling on glowing steel. The switching frequency is 100 Hz; this makes temperature detection possible even for objects which move relatively fast. Resolution is 10 °C or 18 °F.
The IO-Link interface allows you to query the device status at any time. Events such as over-temperature, under-voltage etc. then provide additional information about current ambient conditions. Temperature detection thus makes an important contribution to Industry 4.0 and "Big Data", since the information provided by the sensor via IO-Link can also be logged and documents along with the temperature values of the hot objects.
Teach-In and plain text display make setup easier
Remote control and device querying over IO-Link is quite helpful during operation. But convenient, intuitive operating options directly on the sensor is also desired during initial setup. Here the new temperature sensor again stands out with its features. It is the first of its kind to be equipped with three control buttons with a large, clear plain text display. The logically structured operating menu, graphical display, pictograms and easily understood plain text instructions make on-sensor settings child's play.
The display also changes its orientation automatically when rotated just like a smartphone and can therefore be easily read and operated in any position regardless of how the sensor is installed. In setup mode all the necessary values can be rapidly entered, such as the emissivity coefficient. This is the measure of the ability of objects to radiate in the infrared band. The corresponding value can also be taught in teach-in mode with the push of a button if the object temperature is known. This is usually simpler than exactly determining the emissivity coefficient and drastically shortens the setup time.
Numerous accessories offer protection for extreme ambient conditions
A variety of practical and industrial-grade accessories protects the sensor even in extreme conditions of use. A display protector for example ensures that sparks or glowing particles do not cause damage. The lens can be protected from dirt and damage using a cover nut and air shield. The air shield also prevents smoke or vapors from compromising detection. Attaching the sensors to the equipment is simple using the M30 mounting bracket or round sensor holder. The IO-Link master made of die-cast zinc and resistant cables are also designed for harsh ambient conditions. Here the stainless steel braid protects the conductors from mechanical damage and heat. Using the tailored accessories also significantly extends the service life of the sensors under extremely harsh conditions. Downtimes and production interruptions are drastically reduced.
All in all the infrared temperature sensor with IO-Link interface opens up practical and future-oriented communication possibilities for many applications in foundries, forging or steel plants as well as the ceramics industry or in glassworks, and of course many other applications are possible.
Communication standard IO-Link as an indispensable component of intelligent "Industry 4.0" concepts
Intelligent production and networking, new technology - or just marketing hype? After initial uncertainty, equipment manufacturers are increasingly realizing that they need to make the heavily cited term "Industry 4.0" tangible with concrete contents and benefit statements. For themselves, for their products, but above all with a view towards their customers. Because they want to know how they need to adapt their production infrastructure to the challenges of the "4th Industrial Revolution." As an enabler technology the manufacturer-neutral, certified and fieldbus-neutral point-to-point connection IO-Link is also on board with integrated "Industry 4.0" concepts.
Even four years after the term "Industry 4.0" was first publicized as part of a German government high-tech future project, some representatives of the machine tool industry still are unable to articulate a clear, uniform and practical description of what "Industry 4.0" is and what beneficial effects it is supposed to have. Terms such as intelligent production, smart factory, networking and digitizing are often used. But when it comes to understanding what consequences this has for one's own company, products and processes and at what point the revolution should ideally start on-site, there is often uncertainty. But operators of machines and systems want to know what they need to know in the context of "Industry 4.0", what changes need to be made in-house and whether ordered equipment will be accordingly up-to-date.
Last year the Fraunhofer IPA counted 123 different definitions for "Industry 4.0", and more have likely been added in the meantime. Basically, "Industry 4.0" describes the intelligent networking of product development, production, logistics and customers. "Industry 4.0" itself is not a new technology, rather at its core it is about networking already existing know-how and technologies in sensible and useful ways so as to optimize and when necessary change production and business processes. This can mean individualization of production (batch size 1 even in series production) a hybridization of the products (coupling production and service) or the integration of customers and business partners into the business and value creation processes. Essential components are embedded systems as well as (partially) autonomous intelligent machines which move in or through their surroundings without human intervention, products fitted with data carriers which tell the machines which production or process steps they require.
Already in the middle of the past decade forward thinkers in the automation industry recognized that unhindered and uncomplicated data exchange with the process level brings optimizing potentials with it. A reasonably handy, cost-effective interface below the bus level did not exist at the time, and this was the birth hour of the digital interface IO-Link. IO-Link is considered the enabler technology below the bus systems and is the foundation for intelligent and smart system concepts. A survey by Quest TechnoMarketing in 2014 found that around 13% of machine and systems builders were using IO-Link, and in just a few years the figure is expected to grow to 50%. By the end of 2015 112 companies had committed to this standard, and the offering of sensors and actuators has grown accordingly.
Intelligent systems concepts demand unhindered data exchange with the process level. When in the context of "Industry 4.0" networking, digitizing and data availability are front and center, the serial I/O interface offers a number of benefits: this IEC 61131-9 certified, fieldbus-neutral point-to-point connection is simple and compatible, stands for high functionality and is easy to use. The process devices equipped with a chip send and receive signals and data of any kind over a standardized three-conductor cable. Analog as well as binary signals go through the IO-Link aster to the bus or control system. Even simple switching sensors can be integrated into overall concepts using IO-Link.
IO-Link is the first economical interface below the bus level which enables an unimpeded view of where the action is. Where intelligent sensors and actuators can send and receive more than simply a status signal, this not only affects real-time communication, but also allows smart diagnostic and parameterizing solutions and in the final analysis optimized operating concepts. Central parameterizing, diagnostic and condition based maintenance concepts are of interest to manufacturers and operators of systems alike. Since IO-Link makes do with a few standard components, this approach is frequently worthwhile simply with regard to the hardware components. Because simple plug connections replace time-consuming wiring, installation times and costs are reduced drastically, by up to 30% according to the aforementioned survey.
Intelligent system control concepts use real-time data from networked systems in every area and process of business for optimizing production or service. With the Device Manager, a project study by Balluff based on IO-Link, central monitoring, parameterizing and testing of the entire IO-Link periphery is possible from virtually any point and in parallel with the control system. Ultimately "Industry 4.0" describes a new stage in the organization and control of the entire value creation chain over the entire life cycle of products. This makes IO-Link the technological standard for simple implementation of all communication tasks below the bus level.