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WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 01/2020

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WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 01/2020

Customer-specific

Customer-specific solutions ensure long-term survival in the market AUTIOMATION Digitalization is changing our everyday lives, both at home and in industrial environments. With this in mind, customizable products and systems are more important than ever for many companies. This trend of offering customer-specific solutions rather than a limited catalog of products is also noticeable at Pepperl+Fuchs. So why not involve customers directly in the development of their customized solutions? Pepperl+Fuchs has taken this exact approach in partnership with the company montratec. Author: Andreas Dereux, Key Account Manager, Pepperl+Fuchs, Mannheim, Germany Digitalization is changing our everyday lives, both at home and in industrial environments. With this in mind, customizable products and systems are more important than ever for many companies. This trend of offering customer-specific solutions rather than a limited catalog of products is also noticeable at Pepperl+Fuchs. “As market conditions change, so do our customers’ requirements,” explains Andreas Dereux, Key Account Manager at Pepperl+Fuchs. Working together with the customer, in this case montratec, to use existing, high-performance technology to create something completely new – a technically perfect and efficient solution for both sides. Andreas Dereux is Key Account Manager at Pepperl+Fuchs, Mannheim, Germany “Plant operators are less concerned with standard products and are instead asking for solutions that are tailored precisely to their needs. In collaboration with montratec, we have developed one such sensor solution from scratch.” 18 WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 1/2020

In contrast to the sensor installed in the original shuttle, the new technology outputs distance values that can be used for further processing logy, or PRT, to carry out a specially developed time‐of‐flight measurement that measures distances from a few inches to hundreds of yards with millimeter precision using a direct measuring method. PRT has already proven itself in many products in the Pepperl+Fuchs portfolio, as has the R2100 2-D Lidar sensor, which was used as the basis for the new sensor solution for montratec. “The biggest technical challenge was to tailor this core technology to the conditions in the shuttle,” explains Schroeder, who goes on to specify: “The construction, hardware, and software all needed to be adapted.” Efficiently solved for both sides Making a big technological step forward Based in Niedereschach, Germany, montratec manufactures modular monorail systems for internal transport operations and assembly processes. The development of their new montrac Shuttle MSH5 was highly ambitious. “The MSH5 was not about simply enhancing the previous model, but instead about making a big technological step – if not a leap – forward,” emphasizes Michael Haug, Product Manager at montratec. The sensor technology integrated in the previous shuttle generation was based on a onedimensional, photoelectric sensor with energetic signal evaluation. This sensor emitted a simple switching signal and detected shuttles ahead using a single beam of light. This meant that the sensor could not distinguish between fixed route components, such as tunnels, shuttles ahead, and even bends in the track. This will no longer be a problem with the new generation. “There was a long list of requirements for the new sensor as the key feature of the shuttle, and I soon realized that we could not meet them with the products available on the market. We needed to find a partner with whom we could design a solution tailored to our application,” says Rolf Wiechert, Vice President of Engineering at montratec. “It wasn’t easy,” says Haug. “Only Pepperl+Fuchs met all of the requirements for this collaboration with its experience, technological expertise, and its readiness to use the products in its portfolio to create something completely new.” If you compare the sensor solution developed for montratec with the R2100 portfolio sensor, which was used as a starting point for the montratec solution, it is immediately clear that the two products now look very different. A completely new end product is now being produced on a production line set up especially for this pro ject and processed using special calibration and testing devices. The housing has been tailored to the shape of the shuttle so that it fits seamlessly into the shuttle design. This required a complete redesign of the measurement electronics. Individual sensors in a semi-circular arrangement now provide distance and intensity information from five different measuring points. “Dealing with a multi-channel sensor solution affected how measurements were evaluated, meaning that the software also needed adjusting,” says Schroeder, outlining the additional customization processes required: “For the first time, we have completely modified a twodimensional solution to resolve a customer’s problem.” His colleague Dereux, visibly proud, adds: “And that’s what makes this solution special! Working together with the customer, in this case montratec, to use existing, high-performance technology to create something completely new – a technically perfect and efficient solution for both sides.” Photos: Pepperl+Fuchs www.pepperl-fuchs.com 01 2-D-Lidar-Sensors: Standard-Sensor R2100 (left) and customized sensor for montratec (right) Design, hardware and software perfectly coordinated “The crucial starting point for this development was the decision to use measurement technology, because in contrast to the sensor installed in the original shuttle, the new technology outputs distance values that can be used for further processing,” explains Wiechert. Pepperl+Fuchs uses innovative Pulse Ranging Techno‐ WORLD OF OF INDUSTRIES 1/2020 19

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