Understanding your Pneumatics: Continuous Position Sensing
The application of industrial networks in making actuators and sensors more intelligent has gained prevalence across the contemporary factory environment. Besides, the integration of continuous position sensing in pneumatic systems has incorporated smart motion control within it.
Essentially, continuous sensors refer to rather sophisticated sensory devices having two-way flow of data that triggers intelligence to the pneumatic system of motion control. The sensory device also offers a constant flow of data necessary to achieve true industry 4.0 environment.
The contactless technology enhances constant detection of the linear position within its cylinder, which ultimately brings about the rapid, accurate and profound sensing of the piston magnate. The sensing of the magnate is achieved without the need for extra mechanics or separate position encoders, hence significantly reducing the implementation cost.
The data relayed by the sensor provides for monitoring, which becomes more available for rapid detection of loss or downtime when the flow of information is in both directions and the system is under the control of actuators.
For linear slides, Cylinders and grippers having C-slot dimensions, or T-slot ( which is the most modern continuous position sensor, such as Parker’s P8S CPS series ) can be fixed without requiring additional accessories. However, mounting on other types of cylinders, including tie-rod, round body and profile cylinders-those having dovetail grove- can only be possible with a simple adaptor.
Mounting your device externally on the cylinder body is effective as it eliminates the need for drilling the piston rod among other complicated integration requirements. The design also allows for a simple and quick maintenance and replacement of the sensor.
One of the main benefits and role of the continuous position sensors is perhaps to monitor quality and offer support optimization and process control. This function is particularly handy in tensioning applications like film or paper processing speed, where quality and repeatability are critical to profitable operations.
At this point, the data from position sensors is monitored for deviations and rectifying. This keeps the process fully optimized and in line with predictive maintenance strategies.
The process will also benefit numerous other applications such as materials handling, small component assembly, consumer packaging and tasks within the renewable energy industry, including solar panel positional control as they trail the sun.
Given the desired vibration, water ingress resistance, chemical and shock, it is possible to employ continuous position sensing in challenging environments effectively over a long period of time.
Two-Way Data Flow
The tracking of data through analogue or traditional discrete signals denotes a one-way communication that is sufficient to trigger the system of remotely monitoring automated processes. Nonetheless, two-way communications are mandatory to execute Industry 4.0 strategies. Consequently, this means that there must be connectivity to a network like IO-Link or Profinet. For Continuous Position Sensor execution with pneumatics, apart from monitoring, the system will also include automatic configuration during start-up and maintenance or replacement.
In most cases, the prompt reporting of issues enables system operators to examine, plan, deliberate and program the required corrective measures at a of low production throughput or when it can be stopped. The timing can be overnight or when a major planned maintenance shutdown is scheduled.
Selecting the right protocol for the connection of sensors with actuators and controllers is also quite a significant step in Industry 4.0 manufacturing. At this instant, IO-Link offers the ideal solution, permitting two-way dissemination of information and downloading of a parameter to the actuator. This enables processes to be adjusted remotely.
The IO-Link provides a variety of advantages, including automatically detecting and parameterizing the IO-Link appliance, reduced costs of spare parts, changes on the fly and diagnostics and device monitoring.
All in all, the secret to fully optimising the power of smart sensors is premised in ensuring that diagnostic information is readily available. Essentially, the IO-Link permits the exchange of cyclic data, which allows programmers to easily relay the data directly to the intended destination- either a signal light, HMI screen or maintenance request. In case the actuator or sensor requires to be calibrated, it can be undertaken remotely to avoid stoppages, shutdowns and unnecessary costs.
Evidently, continuous position sensing appliances play a profound role in automating the factory environment and enhancing its efficacy. Ensure to download our brochure to find out more ways on how you can better program your maintenance schedule and minimize downtime.