The inspection results can be flexibly visualized either directly on a status display like the Balluff SmartLight or output using individual switching outputs and through a process interface like PROFINET or TCP/IP.
Control via networkThe SmartCamera has another feature which makes it predestined for meeting the new challenges of Industry 4.0: it can be fully controlled over a TCP/IP or PROFINET network. The user can for example select the inspection program centrally – from a PC or PLC – and set process parameters such as the time stamp and inspection sequence number or call up diagnostics data. In addition, inspection-specific data can be sent in various formats to the SmartCamera as they are needed for example in the test program as a reference, nominal value or other tool parameters. Freely selectable test results are sent to the controller in the form of a so-called result container after each inspection cycle. Simple commands are all that are needed to start, stop and trigger an inspection. The status, e.g. inspection active, waiting for trigger signal, trigger overrun, system error, status of data bus synchronization, is provided cyclically.
Reports in XML formatStoring complete inspection reports on an FTP server in XML format together with the recorded image(s) is another interesting feature. The operator himself defines which reports and images he wants to store depending on the inspection result.
He can not only track all inspections with their results, but also receive a gapless quality confirmation. In addition, the integrated IO-Link master interface can be used to other system data from IO-Link devices and process them directly in the SmartCamera or send to the controller. For system operators the process network (PROFINET) is of key importance. When there are faults or bottlenecks, this has a direct effect on the entire production process. This can cause problems especially in large network installations with many devices and large quantities of data.
This pertains for example to process data, i.e. analog and digital values which are obtained from a technical process using sensors. In robotics applications these are for example individual positions, in other cases only a recognized object type or sometimes just an OK signal.
Format selection for imagesWith the SmartCamera the user is given a highly flexible tool. He alone can decide which data are sent to the SmartCamera in which format or to the controller after each inspection. He also determines over which networks the data should be sent.
Two bus interfacesBut the Balluff SmartCamera is well equipped for this. In contrast to devices from other manufacturers, which generally are compatible with only one bus interface, the SmartCamera is equipped with a Gigabit Ethernet and a 100 Mbit PROFINET interface. This offers a critical advantage: All it takes is a mouse click in the device settings and large report and image data are automatically passed through the fast interface to a storage server without putting the load on the PROFINET network. Of course, it is still always possible to send the data as usual over the standard PROFINET interface. ▪
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- Website „Optical identification“
- Brochure Vision Solutions – Simplify Industrial Vision Applications
- Overview SmartCamera Identification
- Vision Solutions BVS: SmartCamera
- Short Decription “Balluff Vision Solutions BVS SC SmartCamera”
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- Video „Balluff SmartCamera: Simplified Vision for Complex Applications”
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Unbeatable Goalie Machine
Can Neymar and Messi score against RoboKeeper?
Mobile entertainment deviceThe RoboKeeper is now used commercially by 4attention Sports Marketing & Event Team worldwide for entertainment purposes. The robot system is robust, insensitive to transport and vibrations, and easy to assemble. For safety reasons, a programmable logic controller (PLC) acts as a kill switch and stops the robot in its tracks as soon as a light barrier in front of the device is interrupted. This prevents a player in the goal area from being hit by the goalkeeper mannequin and possibly being injured.
Tough mechanical and industrial PC requirementsThe goalkeeper mannequin in lightweight construction must be robust enough to withstand the various shots. Sharp edges are taboo as they represent a safety risk. The solution was a PU foam body reinforced with an aluminium profile and a back. Despite its low weight of only 4.3 kg, it can withstand several thousand shots.
The motor has to move the goalkeeper mannequin precisely and must not overheat even after prolonged operation. A clutchless special motor for applications in high-tech mechanical engineering and the aerospace industry met the requirements.
Lightning-fast industrial PC requiredRoboKeeper needs an extremely fast system. In just 0.4 seconds, the ball reaches the goal at a shooting speed of 100 km/h. Up to 0.3 seconds is required to hit the ball, although RoboKeeper accelerates 17 times faster than a Formula 1 race car. All calculations must be done within one tenth of a second. During this time, the trajectory and goalkeeper position must be recorded and the motor controlled. The industrial PC requires two Gigabit interfaces for the almost immediate transfer of camera images. A quad-core architecture enables parallel image processing.
For mobile event operation, additional requirements are placed on the industrial PC: compact design, insensitive to vibrations and no moving parts such as fans or rotating mass storage devices.
In addition, no socketed elements should be used, as these could become detached. EMC resistance is also mandatory.
The solution – a modified Kontron KBox A-103The Kontron KBox A-103, which was modified by Kontron partner EMCOMO Solutions AG – a system integrator and value-added reseller for boards and systems based in Neu-Ulm – meets all these requirements. EMCOMO modified the Kontron KBox A-103 with a CF card reader with SATA connection and a third Ethernet interface to meet the special requirements of the RoboKeeper in event operation. In addition, a CAN controller (Mini-PCIe) was integrated as a fieldbus interface.
KBox A-103 at a glanceThe maintenance free embedded Box PC is equipped with the Intel AtomTM processors up to Intel® Quad CoreTM E3845 and a wide range of functions and interfaces. The KBox A-103 is ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) using the WIFI, GPRS or LTE options via the miniPCIe interface. It is based on a modular approach that ensures simple upgrades to the next processor generation (“Forever Young”) for changing performance requirements. The maintenance-free design minimizes the total cost of ownership (TCO) while ensuring utmost availability.
Various mounting options including desktop, wall-mount, booksize, VESA-mounting or DIN RAIL guarantee high flexibility. The KBox A-103 supports a 24V DC input and can be operated in an extended temperature range from -20 °C to +60 °C. ▪ ds
IO-Link master modules in the IP20 and IP67 degree of protection
IO-Link at a glanceAn IO-Link system is a standardised IO technology (IEC 61131-9) for communication with sensors and actuators. The system consists of the IO-Link Master and one or more IO-Link device, i.e. sensors or actuators. The IO-Link Master is the interface to the higher-level controller and controls communication among the connected IO-Link devices.
For every IO-Link, Weidmüller provides a master module in IP20 and IP67 degrees of protection. Parametrisation or configuration of the IP20 Master and the connected devices is performed very conveniently using the IO-Link web-based configurator. Compared with commercially available IP20 master modules, the Weidmüller master module provides increased power supply, with 500 mA per IO channel (type A) available instead of 200 mA, which is an increase of 150 %.
The IO-Link modules in the IP67 degree of protection can be directly installed locally in the field and forms the communication interface to the sensors and actuators. The IO-Link master module is 30 mm wide and also has four type A and four type B ports. It also has improved parameterisation and diagnostic properties for the connected sensors and actuators. For the first time ever, its type B ports enable the connection of actuators of up to 2 A. Furthermore, each and every port can also be configured as an input or output.
u-remote enables up to
With u-remote in IP67, users can increase the feed-in to the I/O system to 16 A. This means that a larger
number of consumers can be connected in a line, thus considerably reducing the wiring required.
16 A feed-in current
u-remote IP67 modules with their M12-L-coded plugs therefore provide more power to the system.
The u-remote IO link module in IP 20 and the connected IO-Link devices can be integrated, parametrised or configured very conveniently using the configuration tool on the web. Weidmüller software is additionally equipped with an intuitively operable user interface. Configuration is performed independently of the network. The engineering tool used and the type of fieldbus implemented also play a role. Upload of the IO-Link configuration files is performed directly by the fieldbus coupler on to the IO-Link Master and in turn, from there on to IO-Link devices. With the high-performance configuration tool, project files can be archived, distributed and modified locally.
Powerful configuration softwareThe configuration software provides an interface to the cross-manufacturer central IO-Link database and the “IODDfinder”. In such a way, users discover a convenient overview of available IO-Link devices and their description files, the IODDs. The joint data source for IODDs provides high quality and consistency beyond that.
The u-remote IO-Link configurator is available as a free download on the Weidmüller homepage. For all series machines which use a recurring IO-Link configuration, the single project engineering configuration file can be stored locally and be redistributed from there to other plants. This can be accessed and adapted later where necessary.
The u-remote web server allows on-site or remote verification, such as diagnosis by remote access or input simulation, as well as forcing the outputs on-site. For this a standard browser only is needed. Processes and procedures can also be simulated without a controller being connected. In addition to the simplified start-up in sections, this also speeds up service in the event of unplanned system downtime. ▪ ds
Hybrid connector with 324° rotating area
With conventional cabling of electric motors, servo drives or linear units and drives, the cabling effort is
very high. While in the conventional approach each individual motor is wired separately and elaborately to
the control cabinet, many users are linked via a "daisy chain" with uniform connecting cables in the
With the single-cable technology of the CONEC hybrid series, power supply and data transmission are combined and transmitted via a specially developed hybrid cable.
CONEC adds the new hybrid series B40 to the existing sizes B12, B17 and B23. In the B23 series, angled receptacles offering a rotating area of 324° are available for the first time. The already existing square socket design is supplemented by three further design variants for front or rear panel mounting. While the number of poles and the permitted rated voltages vary according to size, the 360° shielded data core is always the same and designed for Industrial Ethernet Cat 5 with stranded wire cross section AWG22.
Locking is ensured with a bayonet quick-release fastener and thus a time-consuming screw connection using a torque wrench is no longer necessary. By a quarter turn, a safe connection with IP67 protection is achieved. ▪ ds
Components for automation technology from Panasonic
Sensors – IO-Link, data transmission with added value
All IO-Link sensors from Panasonic have an integrated self-diagnosis function. This feature monitors the function parameters specific to the sensor type and automatically outputs a warning signal if deviations from the specified behavior occur. Users save time because for maintenance it is sufficient to monitor only one signal instead of a number of sensor parameters.
SF4D – seamless maintenance and parametrisation for point of operation guarding
Safety light curtain SF4D
HG-C series – extremely compact and reliable distance sensor
These measurements can be performed both statically and dynamically. The KG-C sensor is unique on the market for laser sensors thanks to a repeatability of 10 μm and a response time of 1.5 ms.
With dimensions of just W20 x H44 x D25 mm, this sensor offers high-end performance in a compact package. Five measuring ranges (100 mm ± 35 mm, 50 mm ± 15 mm and 30 mm ± 5 mm) are available depending on the model with a measurement resolution of 10 μm to 70 μm. The built-in display supports setup and operation.
DP-100 series – highly accurate miniature manometer with M8 connector type
FX-500 series – the safest solution in the field of fibre optic sensors
FP0H compact controller – ultra-compact PLC with two Ethernet interfaces
FP0H compact controller
MINAS A6 servo drives – minimum space requirement and costs paired with maximum safety
Panasonic Industry is addressing such design criteria with the MINAS A6 servo drive. The servo drive includes a total of 17 safety functions and nine safe inputs and outputs. This makes Panasonic the only provider to offer practically all safety functions.
MINAS A6 servo drives
Saving time and resources with Panasonic's new Servo Drive Product Finder
Thanks to comprehensive filters it is easy to make a selection – users can filter according to output, rotational speed, encoder type, torque, and other criteria. A few mouse clicks help to narrow down the selection of suitable servo drives and then select one or more products according to more specific details. At the end, users can create a PDF file containing the technical data of the motor and all part numbers of the selected servo drive solution.
As one of the world's largest manufacturers of servo drives, Panasonic attaches particular importance not only to offering high-quality products, but also to ensuring that the associated service meets the high-quality requirements. ▪ ds
Smart optimization rather than investment
Full-service solution for everything cloud-relatedZimmer Group offers a full-service solution in the area of the cloud – the “cloudZ”. It is based on a standard IO-Link component combined with an OPC UA server that runs as a utility program on a PLC. Vertical communication from components to the cloud and from the cloud to components is possible thanks to multiple leading cloud providers. This makes it possible to read out product IDs and serial numbers clearly and conveniently, visualize status and process parameters from a central control point in real time and even optimize components in the individual application. Irrespective of the brand of robot being used, “controlZ” allows the robot application (including the End-of-Arm Tools) to be created and put into operation using neutral programming tools such as Drag&Bot.
Simplified component installation in robot controllerBy providing “visualZ”, Zimmer Group is offering its own specialized, convenient and user-friendly HMI user interface for mechatronic components and cells in order to simplify the process of installing components in the robot control system or in complex systems. “supportZ” builds upon deeper implementation of the software and global networking of components, enabling service modules to be made available to each customer. This provides the customers with speedy and stress-free implementation and commissioning in virtually all major PLC systems worldwide and gives customers access to support for their projects in the form of guidance and resources. ▪
Author: Marcel Pfeiffer,
Head of Design & Brand at Zimmer GmbH
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Extended Ultrasonic Sensor Portfolio
However, ultrasonic sensors are not only superior in many respects to optical sensors. Unlike inductive sensors, which only detect metals, ultrasonic sensors can detect any medium.
This also applies to plastic, which makes them also one step ahead of capacitive sensors. Capacitive sensors are also several times more susceptible to dirt than ultrasonic sensors.
Ultrasonic sensors from Turck - robust, compact, self-cleaningTurck's ultrasonic sensors have all these features – and more. Their highly robust housing with a continuous threaded barrel entirely made of metal is particularly short and stands out on account of a metal connector which is manufactured as one piece with the threaded sleeve. This eliminates any potential weak points that could cause damage in harsh environments and at low temperatures. The thread runs over the entire length of the sensor so that the mounting position can be varied as required within the mounting bracket. The connector can also not break off since it is made entirely of metal. Turck ultrasonic sensors also have a smooth sonic transducer front, which reliably prevents contamination and the formation of particle deposits. The mechanical movement of the membrane even shakes off deposits and is thus virtually self-cleaning.
The Turck ultrasonic sensors can also be used effectively in restricted mounting spaces
Easy Teach FunctionIn order for the user to set the sensors simply and intuitively without a PC, all ultrasonic sensors of the RU series can be set with a simple teach-in function. The start of switch and measuring ranges can thus be set easily without the use of any external software. The teach operation is carried out via the teach adapter or via sensor variants with integrated pushbuttons.
The new sensors in M8 and M12 designsThe RU10U-M8 ultrasonic sensors are available in four variants: as a diffuse mode or opposed mode sensors each in PNP or NPN versions. The sensors have a range of 100 mm and a short blind zone of 20 mm.
The customer has the choice between sensors with a 200 or 400 mm range; in both cases the blind zones are small and are just 20 or 40 mm. ▪ Author: Markus Bregulla is
director product Management
for optical and ultrasonic sensors at Turck
Enterprise Linux versus Embedded Linux
Enterprise-LinuxOften when people think of Linux operating systems, they are considering the enterprise Linux offerings from Red Hat, Ubuntu, and others. The operating system vendor handles the design and compilation of the operating system environment. The user is limited to selecting a configuration or edition, installing additional software packages, and handling the administrative configuration of individual items. Everything is expected to be used in a purely binary environment by IT staff and general users. Distributors often include long-term support with the caveat that they only support certain common components, such as unmodified software and common usage considered typical for the platform targeted toward use cases with relatively shorter product lifecycles, such as three to five years. There are special purpose enterprise systems designed to run general purpose components. Both Project Atomic and Ubuntu Core use a small subset of the standard components from their base enterprise operating systems. These base components provide just enough of an environment for an IT administrator to deploy other special purpose software packages or containers. Often these containers are designed around providing unique services for system users. While the core environment is special purpose, the ability to extend the system using containers provides a general purpose behavior.
Hybrid of Enterprise and Embedded LinuxSomewhere on the spectrum between enterprise and embedded Linux sits roll-your-own, or customized enterprise distributions. These distributions are still a fairly common way to build a special purpose enterprise or embedded Linux system. Often they are based on a fork of a community-developed distribution. This gives users the mistaken impression that there is a community they can ask for help, when in reality the creator of this custom fork cannot rely on the initial community-created distribution it was derived from.
Embedded LinuxEmbedded Linux systems power devices people come in contact with on a daily basis but do not typically associate with Linux or Unix. From television sets to smart appliances to routers and cell phones, embedded systems support a wide range of hardware devices for many specialized purposes. There are many well-known embedded Linux systems available to developers. Buildroot is one example. Designed as a simple way for people to develop embedded systems, Buildroot uses existing technologies familiar to most Linux developers, such as kconfig and make, to produce a cross-compiled operating system. In order to keep it simple, the default environment is minimalistic and easy to understand. To build large projects, developers generally have to fork and modify the system. Many of the maintenance problems of a roll-your-own approach are then introduced, as the community is unable to help resolve issues specific to modifications. Buildroot is often used for the simple systems developed for hardware validation. However, it can also be used on more complex projects such as OpenWRT, which is popular on wireless access points.
Another embedded Linux system is known as both OpenEmbedded and the Yocto Project, as they share a common software core. In reality, OpenEmbedded represents the general open source community, whereas the Yocto Project represents related content, such as training materials and marketing content. Both communities work together, with all of the software components being developed within the OpenEmbedded project. The OpenEmbedded project and Yocto Project use a build system that is designed such that only the extensions themselves require local support. This enables an ecosystem of both community and commercial vendors who can support all of the system’s common components.
The Yocto Project, due to its versatility and design, is in use across a large number of vertical markets that include devices with specifications and use cases perhaps better described as enterprise in nature.
Wind River Linux for Embedded DevicesWind River® Linux is a Yocto Project Compatible open source baseline and is the embedded operating system of choice for IIoT software developers who want a combination of open source flexibility, commercial grade reliability, and support to help minimize the total cost of ownership. Wind River Linux delivers vital components for the productization and commercialization of any IoT device.
Within a VxWorks workload consolidation solution, a Wind River Linux VM can be established to run Linux applications, such as communications.▪ ds
Push-pull connectors ‘Made in Germany’ for future-proof industrial applications
The new connector: M12 Y-Circ M with space-saving internal push‑pull locking mechanismYamaichi Electronics offers an innovation with internal push-pull locking for M12 connectors.
However, the classic screw lock is still available. Moreover, M12 sockets can be completely integrated into the end device.
The industrial connector: Y-Con RJ45Y-Con was developed for harsh industrial applications. Hence the new push-pull version is designed for IP protection class IP67/IP68/IP69K and is 100 % backwards-compatible with the long-established Y ConCover-40.
The system still offers the well-known shock and vibration resistance, which was already implemented into the predecessor product. Additionally, also cables with M12 (Y-Circ M) or metal push-pull connectors (Y Circ P) are available.
The better all-rounder:
The metal circular push-pull connector Y-Circ P with patented half-shell design is used, for example, in
measuring and test equipment. With its robust push-pull locking mechanism fast and easy contacting and
release is possible.
Y-Circ P circular push-pull connector
Connectors ‘Made in Germany’Yamaichi Electronics has maintained a production site in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, since 2006. As a result of its very positive development, production is now being expanded. This will bring with it numerous advantages for customers: short delivery distances, minimal lead times and the option of rapidly implementing individual customer requirements. ▪ ds
Components for mechatronics
Controller module for complicated motion profiles
The CMD module offers high data transfer rates via Ethernet. It also supports communication via USB 2.0, RS-485, I2C bus and SPI. The module has the following features: linear and circular interpolation in two to four axes such as the FMAX controller, 13 homing routines, on-the-fly adjustment of speed and position, absolute and incremental position, S-curve and trapezoidal motion profiles, linear interpolation (XYZU), arc/circle interpolation (any two axes), helix/tangential interpolation (XYZ), continuous contour (XYZ: 100 Move Buffer Size), encoder feedback, coordinated motion sequences (linear and circular), up to 40 digital outputs.
The stand-alone system can be operated in PC-based as well as in stand-alone mode and offers easy-to-use, cost-effective multi-axis motion programming. A BASIC-like programming language was developed by the manufacturer (C, C ++, VB, VB.net, Linux, Labview, Matlab support with examples). The manufacturer has put together a development kit with all necessary software.
Controller Module CMD-4EX-CR
Compact worm geared motor
Compact worm geared motor
Universal servo motor motion controller for industry 4.0
It has many advanced features, including automatic parameter monitoring, autotuning, force/torque monitoring and multithreaded programming capability. The TITAN software is intuitive and easy to use, allowing a drive system to be implemented quickly. The TITAN servo technology with the new ARCUS 5.0 standard is ready for new challenges in research and industry. This makes it possible to implement cost-effective solutions for Industry 4.0, Industrial IoT and analysis devices.
New stepper motor drivers and controllers
Overview stepper motor drivers
HT3 stepper motor controller - intuitive diagnostics, low noise emissionThe HT3 stepper motor controller is user-friendly and easy to integrate into applications. It is equipped with CanOpen, Modbus, SHS blue, USB interface, Bluetooth, six digital and two analogue inputs as well as three digital outputs. It also provides a range of monitoring features such as overcurrent, under / overvoltage protection, motor connection faults, overtemperature, fieldbus errors, stall detection errors and EEPROM errors.
HT5 stepper motor controller - user-friendly and easy to integrateThe UT5 is equipped with 7 digital and 2 analog inputs, 3 digital outputs, encoder feedback, USB interface, Bluetooth, STO function, separate electronic input, overcurrent, under / overvoltage protection, motor connection error, overtemperature, fieldbus error, EEPROM error, display of all important operating parameters such as operating temperature, input voltage, input frequency, status display of the digital and analog inputs and the fieldbus.
Stepper motor controller HT7 - comprehensive diagnostic informationThe HT7 series is the most powerful stepper motor controller from SHS. The display can display important parameters such as operating temperature, input voltage, input frequency and the status of the digital and analog inputs as well as the fieldbus. Supported fieldbuses are e.g. CanOpen, EtherCAT, ProfiBus, PrifNET, ModBUS, Sercos, DeviceNET, PowerLINK, CCLink. The HT7 series is optimized for low-noise motor operation. It offers 8 digital inputs, 6 digital outputs, 2 analog inputs, storable programs and programmable logic functions. ▪ ds
Videos about automation
Watch now and learn more
These robots crawl into every nook and cranny
Where humans cannot reachThe Canadian company produces more than 100 camera and crawler systems per year, as well as components. The remotely operated vehicles (ROV) are successfully used all over the world for inspection and maintenance work. They can reach places that are inaccessible to humans due to space confinements or hazards. The systems are resistant to the harshest ambient conditions. They are often used for applications in the oil and gas, petrochemical, nuclear and mining industries. Inuktun's small inspection robots were also utilized after the 9/11 attacks in New York in 2001, and after the tsunami in Japan.
There are many more areas of application, but "we simply cannot talk about certain applications," says Priscilla Johnson who is responsible for marketing at Inuktun.
Modular system as success recipeBack in 1989, Terry Knight and Al Robinson, the founders of Inuktun, probably didn't expect they'd be this successful. At the time – both of them close to retirement – they began designing small swimming ROVs. Today, more than 50 people work at the Inuktun headquarters in Nanaimo. The company has several sales companies and partners all over the world. And the market for industrial inspection robots is growing continually. But so are the requirements. Customers are increasingly demanding solutions that cover several fields of application.
That is why Inuktun makes use of modular technology. It allows customers to specifically configure the perfect robotic solution for their needs from a large selection of proven cameras, crawler elements and controllers. When requirements change, new components can be added to the system or it can be completely reconfigured. The company also offers a wide range of rental robots – with increasing success. Priscilla Johnson explains: "In some cases customers cannot afford to buy a robot system. Existing customers, on the other hand, may have a special application for which their equipment is insufficient. With a rental system they are able to close the gap."
maxon products are regularly used in difficult conditions, for applications such as deep drilling, underwater robots or rocket launches. For its sophisticated robots, Inuktun needs precisely this kind of reliability and quality. All the more since, in future, these robots are to perform their tasks autonomously.
▪ Author: Stefan Roschi
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