The Festo sensor/actuator level now features one of the fastest and most reliable short-range wireless communications systems available. WISA-COM, the wireless communications standard from ABB, will in future facilitate wear-free signal transmission to I/O modules. This will increase machine availability and reduce engineering and assembly costs.
Increasing machine availability and reducing engineering and assembly costs. The WISA-COM wireless system transmits, for example, signals at sensor/actuator level to valve terminals.
The system shows its strength in applications involving large numbers of sensors and actuators, concentrated in a small space and individually connected to a controller using cables and plugs. The large number of cable connections required for data transmission not only increases engineering and installation costs, but are also one of the most common causes of production downtime due to cable wear. The introduction of wireless sensor/actuator distributors means that signal cables in existing production systems, which are prone to malfunction, are now obsolete.
Communication between hundreds of devices
The WISA-COM communications technology at machine level in factory automation is the only wireless technology that meets the strict requirements of industrial environments. WISA from ABB stands for Wireless Interface for Sensors and Actuators. The technology is extremely reliable and offers short response times. It facilitates communication between hundreds of devices in a system and offers reliable transmission even in areas where transmission is impaired due to obstacles or interference.
Wireless technology is particularly useful in special machine construction, where cables move and tools are frequently changed, as well as, for example, in robotic grippers, welding systems and assembly systems in the automotive industry. Other industries are also benefiting from the new technology. In food production and packing machines, wireless data transmission clearly has the edge over wired solutions when it comes to stringent hygiene requirements or aggressive environments. It also reduces installation costs for complex and small-scale applications in the electronics industry.
The changeover to wireless communication requires just a small number of components and minimal changes to existing machine designs. The system is therefore suitable not only for new machines, but also for retrofitting in machines that are prone to frequent malfunction due to faulty I/O cables.
The input/output model with fieldbus plug, a pair of antennas with antenna cables as well as up to 13 sensor/actuator distributors are the ideal starter package for the wonderful world of wireless communication. The sensor/actuator distributors connect drives, valve terminals, position sensors or other binary sensors, contacts and switches with the machine controller. This facilitates flexible communication, which is independent of bus structures. The system also functions as a gateway with Profibus DP, CANopen and Device NET interfaces in the form of a radio base station for communication with the wireless I/O modules.
Filed Under: Actuators, Wireless, Sensors (position + other), Test + measurement • test equipment