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Automation Technologies 3/2016

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Automation Technologies 3/2016

Easy, fast and efficient

Easy, fast and efficient IO-Link solution for signal connection INDUSTRIAL COMMUNICATION Yu Gu At the differential gear production plant of a Chinese auto parts supplier, Turck’s IO-Link hub is used to con- nect hundreds of sensors and actuators in production. Each of these junction boxes connects up to 16 sensors or actuators via IO-Link. It saves the time required for assembling multicore cables and also reduces costs. The automotive industry is a highly competitive sector. Nowadays, automotive plants in Asia, Europe and America are building excellent cars, and the differences in quality between the particular vehicle classes are marginal. This competitive pressure is also felt by the auto parts supplier sector. The positive side of this competitive pressure is the increased production efficiency that it has developed. Suppliers have to keep their production flexible and ensure that setups and modifications can be carried out quickly. To do this, they are increasingly relying on systemic production and products. Modular concepts enable larger quantities of individual components and shorter development and production times. One example of these developments is the production of axle differential gears for automobiles. When a vehicle is cornering, an axle differential gear is necessary so that the outer wheel can cover a greater distance than the inner wheel. For off-road driving, four-wheel Author: Yu Gu is Fieldbus Product Engineer at Turck in China drives have the ability to block single differentials or all of them in order to transfer the power from stuck wheels to all wheels. Four-wheel drive vehicles also have a central differential in order distribute the drive power to the front and rear axles. Many sensors in gear production Several magnetic field sensors on the production line of the differential gears detect the positions of pneumatic cylinders and clamps, while proximity switches detect components of the differentials themselves. There are also many actuators, which perform the commands of the controller. Initially, the customer wanted to connect the signals of sensors and actuators to the fieldbus gateways in the control cabinet using passive junctions and multicore cables. However, this solution didn’t meet all of the specified requirements. The costs of the cable lengths and the extensive wiring had a negative effect on the cost. Many cables for the passive junctions would have had to be prepared manually and then connected again to the I/O modules in the control cabinet. Commissioning would have been particularly prone to errors as well as being time consuming. Also as the types and models of the sensors installed are the same, the cable markings are also identical apart from one or two digits. Assignment errors were therefore bound to happen. The search and rectification of wiring errors would in turn be very time consuming and complex. The customer recognized that this solution would have been very expensive and difficult to maintain and hence obtained further advice from the specialist Turck. IO-Link solution fast and efficient Turck could offer a solution that simplified the wiring of the production workbenches and which nevertheless could be implemented AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 3/2016

cost effectively. The system also allowed the implementation of diagnostics right down to the sensor level. For the control cabinet in conjunction with IO-Link master modules, Turck offered a BL20 Profibus gateway. The company’s IO-Link compatible TBIL junction boxes are well suited for connecting the sensors and actuators in the field. These hubs use IO-Link to bring up to 16 binary signals to the IO-Link master via a standard sensor cable. As the TBIL I/O hubs offer protection to IP67, they can be mounted directly in the field as close as possible to the sensors and actuators. IO-Link uses the standard three-wire cables, which eliminates the need for any expensive and lengthy cable commissioning. Efficient and transparent network structure This network structure, consisting of I/O hubs and Profibus DP gateways with IO-Link master modules, provided an outstandingly simple and clear network structure that prevented faults at the installation stage. If any faults occurred later, however, maintenance was simple due to the use of IO-Link. The location of faults can be identified right down to the individual field device and differentiated between a wire break or a short circuit. The central configuration of the entire system from the controller ensures the central availability of all relevant information. This simplifies both maintenance and documentation. The IO-Link module on the BL20 gateway provides 4 IO-Link masters. This means that up to 64 binary signals can be connected with a single module. The flexibility of the overall solution is always ensured. Additional IO-Link master modules or other I/O modules can be connected easily to the BL20 gateway. Analog signals via IO-Link IO-Link is still unfamiliar territory for many end users. Some are initially skeptical, particularly due to the unusual setup in the controller. However, after an IO-Link installation is completed, most users are convinced of the benefits. In the application described, the end user realizes that he would also be able to connect all measuring sensors for pressure and temperature with IO-Link as long as they have an interface. Special analog input modules are thus just as unnecessary as the expensive shielded cables for analog signals. The analog sensor could be connected directly next to the I/O hub to IO-Link master module of the BL20. The sensor parameters can then be set directly from the controller. In this case, the project engineer at the differential gear production factory is impressed by the IO-Link: “We have good reason to About Turck The worldwide manufacturer of industrial automation products and systems is based in Muelheim an der Ruhr, Germany. Turck specializes in sensor, fieldbus, connection and interface technology and also human-machine interfaces (HMI) and RFID systems. With more than 4,000 employees in 28 subsidiaries and sales partners in 60 countries, Turck offers efficient solutions for factory and process automation. In 2015, the family owned company recorded nearly 500 million Euros in annual turnover, posting a 14 % increase year on year. Inspite of global economic slowdown, Turck has targeted a growth of 5 % for 2016. believe that the IO-Link communication interface will be the top choice for the new generation of intelligent devices. Devices with IO-Link communicate data digitally and can thus exchange process values as well as configuration information and diagnostic data. The information exchange is transparent on the entire section from the sensor right up to the controller.” System expertise in IO-Link The integration of the IO-Link devices on Turck IO-Link masters via the controller will be even easier in the future. The setting options of the Turck devices are integrated into the GSDML file of the Turck IO-Link master. For the end user, this means it is only necessary to read the GSDML in the controller software in order to set up a device. The devices just have to be selected on the master. The IO-Link device parameters to be set can be selected via drop-down fields instead of having to program IO-Link call function blocks manually. The time saved means that the installation can be put into production even faster, thus offering an edge in highly competitive markets such as the auto parts supplier industry. Turck offers one of the most extensive IO-Link portfolios on the market. From measuring and switching sensors, to connection technology and the TBIL I/O hub, right through to IO-Link masters for the most important fieldbuses and Ethernet protocols in IP20 and IP67. This system diversity is virtually unique on the market. Photographs: Teaser Fotolia, Turck GmbH & Co.KG 01 26 TBIL I/O hubs equals to 26x savings on multicore cables and their assembly 02 Besides hundreds of switching signals, two BL20 gateways also bring signals from RFID read/write heads and analog signals to the PLC AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 3/2016


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