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  1. IO-Link
  2. Applications in the Automation Industry

Applications in the automation industry

Compressed gas meter for recording energy consumption

Leaks are a significant source of wasted energy in compressed air systems, often wasting as much as 20-30% of the compressor's output. Air leaks can also contribute to problems with system operations and can cause system pressures to fluctuate. This, in turn, can lead to air-operated equipment to function less efficiently and possibly affect production. Unnecessary cycling may occur and increase the run time. Maintaining the equipment becomes more often. ifm's SD air flow sensor allows for the detection and elimination of expensive line leakages.

Additional functions with IO-Link data

The implementation of compressed air monitoring systems is typically cost prohibitive. IO-Link transmits multiple process values over a single cable such as flow rate, temperature and totalizer values eliminating numerous and 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 so as to prevent damage to the workpieces and systems. The high-pressure compressed air network (175 psi) and the low-pressure compressed air network (87 psi) is monitored.

Additional functions with IO-Link data

If the PN7 vacuum sensor needs to be replaced, the automatic device replacement feature can copy the parameters to the new sensor via IO-Link. This saves time and prevents possible errors in setting the switch points. The vacuum sensor can also be used as an on/off switch or analogue functionality via IO-Link, allowing one sensor to handle both digital and analogue applications. IO-Link reduces cost and inventory stocking requirements.

Collision check on the assembly platform​

Optical distance sensor, series O1D, detects if the assembly platform is free of the car body. Before the car body is conveyed within the area, the hanger will be lowered and only then will the car body be securely positioned. The position of the O1D is critical and often times cannot be parameterised without stopping the assembly line if the application should change.

Additional functions with IO-Link data

Remote parameterisation is key in this application. The O1D distance sensor is mounted in an inaccessible location and cannot be adjusted without stopping the production line. As different production models are changed over, IO-Link enables the sensor's parameters to be changed remotely via the plc/processor. No need to stop the line!