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Automation Technologies 5/2014

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Automation Technologies 5/2014

Sensors and Measurement

Sensors and Measurement previous page 02 150 workpiece holders with RFID tags are in circulation in the system UID (unique identification number) of the tag and thus with the material holder. IMA was able to keep the cycle time at more than 30 parts per minute using just the UID and two weighing scales working in parallel. After the first weighing, the capsules are transported via the conveyor into the explosion protected area where they are filled at the first station – by weight. A second volumetric-based filling takes place later in the process. After the fillings have been completed, which vary according to quantity and type, the capsule filled with the powder is weighed in order to check the precise filling quantity based on the difference from the tare weight of the capsule. The entire filling quantity and the individual powder quantities are metered at the different stations are calculated and checked in this process with milligram precision. The system also identifies the workpiece holders with the capsules. If the capsules contain too much or too little powder, they are marked as bad parts in the database and are rejected. The correct capsules are finally fitted with initiators which were preassembled in another system section. A comprehensive solution In all, seven robust Ex RFID read/write heads are installed in the system. The key reason for choosing the Turck read/write heads with an M18 threaded barrel was their suitability for the dust Ex zone 22. “Zone 22 is one of the lower Atex zones. Turck has read/write heads specially made for this zone. Although other manufacturers offer explosion-protected RFID devices, some of these are flameproof devices for higher Ex zones which are thus also very expensive. In this respect, the technical and financial benefits supported the choice of the Turck system,” Andreas Gradl explains. He adds: “The size of components is also important to us. The flameproof RFID readers of other suppliers were simply too big. An M18 read/write head or something equally compact could only be found at Turck.” It was the actual customer who drew the attention of IMA Automation Amberg GmbH to Turck as a complete supplier for RFID. “Turck provided us with a test system consisting of a read/write head, tags and fieldbus gateway. In our test, the system identified the material holder perfectly. Our decision was thus already made,” Gradl describes the short search for the right RFID solution for the system. A gateway with four RFID slices is used to connect the seven RFID read/write heads via Profibus to the system controllers. The 150 tags that are embedded in the workpiece holders are also from Turck. Matching the software of the entire system, consisting of weighing and filling stations and the different profiles for the various capsules used was particularly challenging. Each filling sample of capsules is stored in a database and is mapped automatically by the system when the particular batch is produced – including the integrated quality assurance. At the end of the process, only precisely filled capsules are located on the workpiece holders: maximum quality is guaranteed. www.turck.com AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 5/2014

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