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IO-Link in the automation industry

Compressed air meter for recording energy consumption

Leaks are a significant source of wasted energy in compressed air systems, often wasting as much as 30% of the compressor's output. Air leaks can also cause system pressures to fluctuate. The result: Air-operated equipment does not function properly, production is inefficient and the product quality suffers. The equipment also requires more frequent maintenance.

ifm's SD compressed air meter detects the current pressure, the flow rate and the total consumption of compressed air. This allows precise detection of air pressure consumption at individual points and in the overall system. Based on deviating values, leaks can be quickly detected and eliminated.

Added value with IO-Link

Implementation of compressed air monitoring systems are typically cost prohibitive. IO-Link transmits multiple process values over a single cable. In the case of SD, these are the air pressure, the current flow, the temperature and the totaliser value. This reduces the need for costly analogue cards. Since one sensor can transmit multiple process signals, this eliminates extra pipe fittings, sensors, wires and ultimately streamlines stocking inventory. The savings from detecting wasted energy and the reduction in total installation costs allow for a quick return on investment.

Vacuum sensors monitor suction grippers

PN7 series vacuum sensors detect the required vacuum for proper operation of the suction grippers. If the minimum values are not reached, the suction gripper remains in its initial position to prevent damage to the workpieces and systems. In addition, the high-pressure compressed air network (12 bar) and the low-pressure compressed air network (6 bar) are monitored.

Added value with IO-Link

If the PN7 vacuum sensor needs to be replaced, the set parameters can automatically be copied to the new sensor via IO-Link. This saves time and prevents possible errors in setting the switchpoints. The vacuum sensor can be used as an on/off switch or transmit analogue values via IO-Link, allowing one sensor to handle both digital and analogue applications and reducing inventory stocking requirements.

Collision check on the assembly platform

In a car factory, the O1D photoelectric distance sensor detects between two assembly steps if a car body is located on the assembly platform. If this is the case, the hanger will be lowered and the car body will be securely positioned. The position of the O1D is critical and often times it cannot be parameterised without stopping the assembly line if the application should change.

Added value with IO-Link

Remote parameter setting is key in this application. The O1D distance sensor is mounted in an inaccessible location and can be adjusted via software or PLC when changing over to a different production model without stopping the production line.