“Downtime” is never a good word in any manufacturing facility. It means something has malfunctioned or broken, parts are not being made, production is reduced, and money is being lost. In some cases this downtime may be caused by a physically damaged inductive proximity sensor. If this failure mode is happening on a regular basis to the same location, it may be time to look at the advantages a prox mount can provide.
Regularly I attended free one day seminars on Profibus & Profinet put on by the PI Organization. They have two different classes that they offer in cities all over the US and Canada. There are usually about 50-100 attendees and it is a great opportunity to network with local engineers from and around the area in a wide variety of industries.
In the seminars they cover these topics in general:
The history and breadth of the PI Organization
Different ways to build I/O architectures and how to integrate them
Why networks are important and how to select a network
And they cover in detail (using vendor products and Siemens PLCs):
How to design a network
Configuration of a network using the PLC
Installation considerations, cabling & hardware
Commissioning a system
Long term maintenance and troubleshooting
Plantwide Energy Conservation
During breaks, multiple vendors of Profibus & ProfiNet related products were available to discuss applications and projects with the attendees and provide valuable resources for industrial network design.
We (Balluff) are a sponsoring member of the seminars and I was attending to discuss IO-Link, Profinet and Profibus industrial network applications with potential and current customers.
If you are unfamiliar with Profibus, ProfiNet or IO-Link I recommend you attend one of these seminars to learn about how it can help your machine design.
There are three general classes of position sensors that – taken together – form a position sensing hierarchy. This hierarchy applies to any underlying sensing technology, for example inductive, capacitive, ultrasonic, or photoelectric. Going from the most basic to the most advanced sensor operation, the hierarchy includes:
I received a call the other day from a customer who wanted to use a magnetic field sensor on a cylinder, and evidently was requiring very precise results. He asked, “what is the hysteresis of your sensors? I notice that it is listed in your catalog as a percentage and I need to know the exact value in millimeters.” My response was, “well it depends”, upon which he was not overly pleased. I then continued to explain my answer which leads me to the contents of this posting.
Paradigm shifts in automation are always occurring. The need for cost savings and higher diagnostics caused the shift from IP20 I/O to IP67 I/O. Now, we are in the midst of a shift to reduce or eliminate enclosures in industrial applications by removing control and power from the cabinet. With the reduction of IP20 I/O and enclosures, adding more I/O (discrete and analog) or specialty devices (RF identification, measurement devices, etc…) is now more difficult. In the past it was relatively easy, but expensive, to add another “slice” of I/O to an existing IP20 solution.
One of the things I am often asked about is “why use machine vision in packaging”? There are many reasons, including dealing with the perceived complexity of serviceability and cost. I will show you where the use of vision in packaging can significantly decrease a major cost factor called “planned downtime”, along with other benefits in this 3 part blog series – so stay tuned for my later posts.
In today’s competitive manufacturing environment, the name of the game is increased throughput. Unprecedented global competition means that industrial manufacturing machinery must be able to run better (faster, longer, hotter, etc.) and more reliably than ever before.
Selecting the correct inductive proximity sensor for an application can be an intimidating process. There are literally thousands of models available from various vendors so having a good starting point to narrow down the field is essential.
Every time I travel, customers tell me, “we just wire everything into a box.” Every equipment designer goes through a phase of their design process where they need to decide how their I/O gets from their sensors and their valves to their controller. Some people use I/O cards on their PLC, or networks with IP20 solutions inside remote I/O cabinets.
The general sensing principle across this myriad of applications is nearly the same. As seen in last months post, the total amount of capacitance, as we remember, the ability to store a charge within an electrostatic field, depends on mainly three factors. Those factors are the ones which determine the success of your application.