In position with IO-Link

13-06-2019

Bus-capable position indicators and actuators from SIKO are virtually indispensable in machine construction today. They help make size changeover processes more efficient and reliable, thus enabling the flexible conversion of modern production systems for ever-smaller batch sizes.

Regardless if a machine conversion is performed manually with position indicator monitoring, or in a fully automated manner with an actuator, feedback on the positioning status to the machine control system maximizes process reliability for size changeovers and optimizes setup times. This prevents incorrect settings, which in turn prevents waste and damage to tools. In short, it boosts efficiency and reduces setup times.

 

Plug & Play thanks to IO-Link

The key prerequisite for taking advantage of the improvement potential offered by intelligent size changeover is ensuring efficient and reliable communication with the machine control system. This is why the smart AP10 position indicator and the AG03/1 actuator are now also available with the innovative IO-Link interface.

This interface enables fast and cost-effective integration via a point-to-point connection using uncomplicated I/O connection technology. Thanks to the open, manufacturer-independent standard of the IO-Link interface, convenient integration options are available for machine control systems from all leading providers. IO-Link Master Islands can be used for the modular networking of several AP10 position indicators. This drastically reduces complexity and wiring overheads and shortens commissioning times. The straightforward wiring is combined with additional diagnostic features to improve serviceability and reduce downtimes in the event of errors. The IO-Link Master makes it possible to read parameter data from a field device, store it, and load the data on a new, identical device when the old one is replaced – even while the process is still running and without the need for any special expertise.


Seamless communication all the way to the Cloud

In the Industry 4.0 or Smart Factory environment, it is often not enough to exchange pure process data; rather, communication must also make it possible to select values for diagnostic purposes, like final stage temperature, motor current, and various voltage values. Furthermore, the electronic type plate offers clear identification of the unit type, as well as the serial number and the hardware and software versions, which makes it easier to schedule ad-hoc maintenance intervals. SIKO’s position indicators and actuators provide this information via the IO-Link interface, from where it can be used for tasks such as condition monitoring and predictive maintenance in centralized higher-level systems, all the way to systems utilizing cloud services. Since the IO-Link standard is open, a multitude of network components from various manufacturers is available to enable seamless communication from the field level all the way to the cloud in a straightforward and secure manner.


Manual positioning – designed for ergonomics and 100% process reliability

The AP10 position indicator ensures that product and size changeovers are performed safely and ergonomically. Setpoints, actual position values and the positioning status are exchanged with the machine control system, making manual spindle adjustment a monitored process. The AP10S version with an externally connectable magnetic sensor can even measure and display linear positions with a precision of +/- 35 µm. This makes operator guidance and process monitoring extremely easy to implement for both linear slides and threaded spindles. One significant new element of the AP10 is the inverted backlit LCD display. The backlighting ensures that the position values are easily legible, even in places that are difficult to see in or in low light conditions. In addition to the directional arrows on the LCD, the AP10 position indicator also provides clear visual user guidance via two dual-color status LEDs. These not only signal the positioning status (InPos or OutPos) but also indicate the required rotational direction for direct access to the desired point.

If the aim is to achieve even higher efficiency by positioning the machine axles in a smart and fully automated manner with ultra-compact actuators, the new IO-Link AG03/1 actuator is the right tool for the job.


All-in-one solution for confined installation spaces

Even if the axle spacing is just 37 mm, there is still ample room for two AG03/1 drives to work unobstructed in any way, which makes them ideal for use with axles that are very close to each other. The compact housing of the actuator, with a height of only 80 mm, integrates the position measuring system, all the electronic control equipment, and the IO-Link interface. Here, the absolute magnetic measuring system, with its 1,600 steps per revolution, provides position values with a high resolution – in fact, this data is provided over the entire travel path of ±6,250 revolutions. Reference movements upon drive startup are now a thing of the past. Furthermore, the magnetic measuring system has proven to be resistant to dirt accumulation, moisture, shock, and vibrations.


A powerful drive for a wide range of applications

The brushless 24V EC motor has an output of 50W, works without any wear and tear, and therefore boasts a long service life. At the same time, its 3.2 Nm of torque and its maximum speed of up to 100 rpm ensure top performance for the changeover of sizes, stops, and tools. These, and a whole series of similar positioning tasks, are used in the packaging industry, the woodworking industry, for printing and paper processing, in the food and beverage and textile industries, and in electronics manufacturing.


Easy mounting with a hollow shaft

Just like all other SIKO position indicators, the AP10 and AG03/1 also feature a hollow shaft, guaranteeing the easiest assembly possible for standard adjustable axles. The size and distance dimensions of the torque support ensure installation compatibility with the world's best-selling SIKO meter DA09S. This means that it is possible to switch from manual adjustment with a mechanical position indicator to monitored size changeover or to full automation without changing the machine frame. Due to the high protection class of IP65 and a hollow shaft made of stainless steel, the AP10 and AG03/1 are also suitable for applications in the food industry, beverage production or the pharmaceutical sector.