As the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) continues to transform manufacturing operations into Smart Factories, machines must exchange information with other machines on multiple levels. When designers select an encoder, not only must they consider how it interacts with the drive but also how it communicates as part of a larger intelligent sensor network.
Enterprises are increasingly relying more on the cloud to process important machine data.
Therefore, the IIoT demands encoders that can forward that critical process, monitoring and diagnostic data to the cloud for enterprise-wide information handling without restriction.
The OPC-UA (Open Platform Communications – Unified Architecture) is becoming an important communication protocol for the Industrial IoT. Encoders that leverage this architecture are able to transmit parameters such as speed, position, acceleration, temperature and operating time along with IP information directly to the cloud while lifting the burden of information handling from the existing machine automation infrastructure. This open architecture does not limit developers to a specific operating system or programming language, and it’s free to implementers—no fees required.
Kuebler’s recently introduced EtherNet/IP encoder series integrates the OPC-UA interface, giving designers a gateway to the cloud with the freedom of open, cross-system communications throughout the plant. Besides providing interoperability for enterprise-wide industrial automation, EtherNet/IP encoders offer several other benefits:
This series of four single-turn and multi-turn optical encoders boasts 1-ms RPI (requested packet interval) times so they can transmit position data faster than many conventional encoders. They plug directly into the network and are software configurable, making installation quick and easy. They’re also highly reliable thanks to redundant signal paths that let them continue running even during a cable break or signal interruption. Users can choose different network interface speeds and flexible network architectures based on the available Ethernet installation options, such as copper, fiber, fiber ring and wireless.
Since the IIoT ultimately fulfills its promise through real-time data exchange across the plant, encoders that forward data from the physical layer to the cloud while allowing developers to freely integrate them into the larger network will lead the way to the smart factory of the future.
To learn more about our IIoT-ready encoders, visit our IIoT product page.
NORD Drivesystems, a company that manufacturers drive technology for mechanical and electronic applications, uses our Sendix 5000/5020 incremental encoders for many of their motor-driven systems. Thanks to their rugged design features, these encoders can take on the kind of demanding applications NORD motors are often used for—from conveyors to overhead hoists.
Here’s how Kuebler engineers overcame these challenges:
A Custom Solution For Limited Space. To meet the motor’s requirements, Kuebler engineers changed the location of the clamping ring, moving it from the front to the back for easier installation. They also developed a special tangential cable outlet, in which the cable—once it attaches to the encoder—comes out at an angle.
Engineers also needed to figure out how to terminate the cable where it exited the fan shroud. They decided to use a bulkhead connector, as it provided easier termination and cleaner installation of the cabling.
Thanks to these slight design modifications, engineers successfully mounted the encoder to the motor despite the limited space. The motor has since been used in a variety of demanding applications, including conveyors, packaging machines, overhead hoists and large industrial doors.
To learn more about our Sendix 5000/5020 encoders, download our latest case study.
Check out our new Sendix 5000 and 5020 incremental encoders video to learn more about avoiding downtime and costly repairs to your motor-driven systems.
Inclinometers, which measure an object’s angle of tilt, are often used on cranes and other heavy-duty equipment. This, coupled with the fact that they’re primarily used outside, means they need to operate reliably under demanding conditions.
For these reasons, robustness and safety are key—and it’s important for your inclinometer to provide both. For an example of inclinometers that meet both of these requirements, take a look at our new IN81 and IN88 series.
Ruggedized For Use Outdoors. Both the IN81 and IN88 series measure 2-dimensional inclinations at a range of ±85° and 1-dimensional inclinations from 0°to 360°. With their IP67 and IP69k ratings, they can withstand exposure to dust, water and high-pressure, high-temperature washdown during routine equipment cleaning. And, enclosed in a full-metal cast housing, the IN81 and IN88 can operate in temperatures from -40° to +85°C and endure shock and vibration levels up to 100 g and 10 g, respectively. Together, these robust features make the IN81 and IN88 suitable for use outdoors, including in mobile automation applications.
Stackable Design Improves System Reliability. What makes the IN81 and IN88 truly unique is their stackability, which comes in handy if you’re looking to add redundancy to your system. You might opt for this kind of setup if you’re working with cranes or hoists, for example. In these applications, the stacked inclinometers operate as a safety mechanism: each device sends an independent signal that corroborates what the other devices in the system are saying.
The IN81 and IN88 include other important safety features as well. For one, they meet several EMC and immunity standards for applications in measurement, control and laboratory settings, as well as industrial environments. Circuits also include reverse polarity protection.
The IN81 and IN88 are versatile inclinometers that support M12 cable connections and a variety of Analog, CANopen and Modbus interfaces.
To learn more about our inclinometers, visit our product page.
To avoid downtime and costly repairs to your motor-driven systems, make sure you pay attention to the construction of your incremental encoders. The best encoders will have design features that allow them to resist shock and vibration loads, as well as overcome any installation errors that introduce misalignment.
It’s important to select incremental encoders that are designed for rugged conditions, such as our Sendix 5000 and 5020 models. Both encoders have several robust and versatile design features that make them ideal for demanding outdoor applications.
Robust Mechanical Design. Thanks to our proprietary Safety-Lock™ design, both Sendix models overcome two common threats to encoder lifecycle: heavy vibration loads and misalignment due to installation errors. This robust mechanical design integrates interlocked bearings, strengthened outer bearings and large bearing size relative to the size of the encoder.
Additionally, the encoders’ solid die-cast housing, with its IP67 protection rating, stays sealed even when subjected to harsh environmental conditions.
Other robust mechanical features that help avoid field breakdowns include:
- Wide temperature range of -40°C to +85°C
- High shaft load capacity: 80 N (radial) and 40 N (axial)
- Maximum speed of 6000 revolutions per minute
- Magnetic field resistance
- Optional seawater-resistant version
Versatility And Variety. Sendix 5000 and 5020 encoders, available in shaft and hollow shaft versions, respectively, are compatible with all U.S. and European standards. You can also use them with a variety of mounting accessories, including cylindrical pins, flanges, assembly bells and isolation inserts, which increase the lifespan of your encoder by preventing electrical current from passing through the bearings.
Sendix 5000 and 5020 encoders support M23, M12 or MIL cable connections, as well as Push-Pull, RS422 or Open Collector interfaces.
To learn more, download the Sendix 5000 and 5020 Data Sheet.
In many applications, you’ll need to know an object’s angle of tilt. That’s where inclinometers come in. Because these sensors are typically used outdoors—in commercial vehicles, cranes, hoists and solar installations, for example—it’s important to select inclinometers that can work reliably in harsh environments.
Here are a few features to look for:
Versatile And User-Friendly. Two important specifications to consider when selecting an inclinometer is its measuring range and number of axes. The IN81 series measures 2-dimensional inclinations at a range of ±85° or 1-dimensional inclinations from 0° to 360°. In addition, these inclinometers require minimal installation space and can be easily mounted anywhere, thanks to their compact size.
Robust Construction. Inclinometers like the IN81 series are designed to take on the toughest environments. These IP67- and IP69k-rated devices can withstand exposure to dust and water. They can also be used in applications—cement trucks and other heavy-duty road vehicles, for example—where high-pressure, high-temperature washdown is regularly used to sanitize or clean equipment.
And with their rugged metal housing, these inclinometers can operate at a wide temperature range of -40° to +85°C and are designed to withstand shock and vibration levels up to 100 g and 10 g, respectively.
High Accuracy. While balancing versatility and robustness, it’s important to select an inclinometer that can make high-precision angular measurements—with most electronic inclinometers typically falling somewhere between 0.01° and 2°. Not only do devices from Kuebler have an output resolution of 0.01°, but they also feature programmable vibration suppression, as well as high sampling, high bandwidth and high calibration accuracy.
To learn more about Kuebler’s line of inclinometers, click here.
For a hollow-shaft encoder that can withstand high mechanical loads and harsh operating environments, check out our A02H. This incremental encoder is compact with an installation depth of just 49 mm and support for shafts up to 42 mm. But it’s the ruggedness of this IP 65-rated encoder that really makes it stand out. It offers a dual-bearing design that lets it tolerate high axial, radial, shock and vibration loads.
If your motor or drive operates in a harsh environment, you might want to consider using a ruggedized encoder. That’s where the A02H comes in. This hollow shaft incremental encoder features a tough and compact design, making it ideal for industrial motor applications in factories, steel mills and more.
Heavy Duty Design. To take on the toughest environments, the A02H incorporates several ruggedized mechanical design features, including more robust bearings and a high resistance to shock and vibration. These features allow the encoders to withstand 200 and 100 N loads in the radial and axial directions, respectively.
Other heavy-duty features include:
- Special shaft connection with interlocked bearings
- Balanced, stainless-steel clamping ring
- Maximum speed of 6,000 rpm
- Wide working temperature range of -40 to +80°C
- Environmental rating of IP-65
Compact And Versatile. With an installation depth of only 49 mm, the A02H comes in a variety of frame sizes, physical mountings, shaft sizes and isolation inserts that protect the encoder from shaft currents. To further extend the encoder’s service life, protective covers are also available for applications that are exposed to high levels of pollution.
The A02H offers options for M23, M12 or MIL cable connections, as well as Push-Pull, RS422 or SinCos interface. For ease of installation, it is also capable of drop-in replacement with legacy encoders.
To learn more about the A02H family of hollow shaft incremental encoders, visit the A02H product page.
A fully digital, bidirectional communication for absolute measurement systems, the BiSS interface is an open source protocol that offers high speed data rates up to 10 MHz––100 times faster than standard Fieldbus systems.
BiSS operates as part of motor feedback systems for linear and rotary axes. It’s ideal for applications requiring high acceleration, constant speed control and positioning accuracy, such as driver controllers, smart sensors and actuators.
BiSS offers a number of technical advantages, including:
- Open source flexibility. BiSS is not proprietary, making it a flexible solution for a range of existing products. Inverters equipped with an RS422 and RS485 interface, for example, are compatible with BiSS via a simple extension and firmware update. BiSS also provides plug-and-play capabilities, leading to simple commissioning of the motor and inverter.
- Cost-efficiency. Because the selection of components is not determined by a licensed interface, you can experience greater cost efficiency by choosing components that fit only the requirements of your application.
- Real-time feedback. The external device integrates two sensors that are responsible for securing the transmission and generating position data. Thanks to condition monitoring capabilities, BiSS monitors the system and provides real-time feedback of both position and speed.
- Safety. BiSS for safety-relevant applications (BiSS Safety) achieves SIL2 and SIL3 with the existing BiSS protocol and keeps all physical interfaces for both new and existing sensors.
BiSS can be easily integrated into your system with the assistance of Kuebler’s team of available experts. The BiSS Support Tool can also assist you in its implementation and includes the following components: Sendix 5873 Motor-Line (8.5873.HK3E.C323), BiSS-to-PC Adapter (USB), GUI Software for Windows PC, analysis board and adapter cables.
To learn more, visit www.kuebler.com/biss.