When it comes to elevators and safety, you can’t take any chances. Not only must elevators adhere to rigorous safety standards for passengers, installers and technicians, but they must also be able to arrive accurately at desired floors—achieving long-term reliability even after continuous use. The key technology that meets these demands is the shaft copying system, which traditionally relies on contactless magnetic or optical measuring technologies to detect elevator car position. But many of these systems have significant drawbacks, including difficult and complex installation requirements.
Let’s explore a new contactless linear measurement technology that not only advances the safety and accuracy requirements of the elevator industry, but also provides easy, safe and cost-effective installation.
The Challenges With Traditional Shaft Copying Systems
Most absolute shaft copying systems rely on magnetic or reflective light technology. Magnetic systems include sensors that mount on the elevator car and read the magnetic tape mounted in the shaft. Reflective light systems also utilize sensors and typically feature stainless-steel bands with a data-matrix code. Although both types of systems seem quick and easy to install, nothing could be further from the truth.
For one, installers often have to spend a long time adjusting the sensors to the bands, which typically have very sharp edges—making them incredibly dangerous to mount especially if the installer isn’t wearing gloves. These bands, particularly the code tapes found in reflective light systems, are also fragile. Dropping them could easily damage the encoded data, leading to potentially dangerous conditions once installed.
New Shaft Copying System Provides Absolute Contact Measurement
Kuebler’s absolute shaft copying system avoids the installation pitfalls of existing magnetic and optical technologies. Featuring transmitted light technology, our contactless linear measuring system mounts directly on the elevator car—ensuring permanent and slip-free positional measurement, as well as accurate transport to desired floors. Its benefits include:
Compact housing. The system, with dimensions of only 135 x 45 x 33 mm, is the most compact—and therefore versatile—absolute shaft copying system currently on the market. You can use it in tight installation spaces, as well as elevator retrofits, upgrades or new installations.
Easy, safe installation. Installing our shaft copying system takes only a few minutes. The system comes with a mounting set consisting of two fastening angles, rolled-up stainless-steel tape and a spring element that applies pre-tension to the tape in the shaft pit. Unlike other measurement systems, which feature fragile, sharp-edged bands and code tapes, our stainless-steel tape forgives any scratches or kinks during installation and features rounded edges for safe handling. In fact, installers don’t even have to wear gloves.
Cost-effectiveness. Because our shaft copying system mounts directly on the elevator car, it eliminates the need for additional sensors and magnetic switches. Having less components reduces overall system costs, as well as installation time and complexity.
To learn more about Kuebler’s absolute shaft copying system, watch our latest video.
Construction machinery, cranes and other types of mobile equipment require encoders with a unique set of technical requirements. Not only must encoders be able to thrive in harsh environments, but they should also feature an energy-harvesting electronic design that enables them to operate reliably—even in the event of a power failure.
An example of an encoder that fits this bill is our new Sendix M36. Let’s take a look at how its combination of electrical and mechanical features suits the demanding world of mobile equipment:
Rugged Bearing Construction Withstands Heavy-Duty Applications
Despite its compact, 36-mm size, the Sendix M36 multiturn encoder is sturdily constructed for tough environments. Its proprietary Safety-Lock™ design includes interlocked bearings, strengthened outer bearings and large bearing size relative to the size of the encoder. Thanks to these bearings and flexible mounting technology, this encoder can also tolerate large shaft loads and installation errors resulting from temperature expansion or vibration—making it a versatile choice for a wide range of heavy equipment motors.
In addition, the encoder’s high IP66, IP67 or IP69k protection levels ensure reliable outdoor operation even in the presence of dust or condensation. The Sendix M36 also resists high heat, which—when combined with high rotational speeds—makes it suitable for demanding, high-temperature environments up to 85°C.
Energy-Harvesting Tech Improves Encoder Reliability
Not only is the Sendix M36 ruggedly constructed; it is also efficient. For one, it integrates our unique Energy Harvesting Technology, which ensures the absolute position of the encoder will be stored even in the event of a power failure. The rotating magnetic field generates energy—eliminating the need for gears and batteries. In addition to enhancing the encoder’s compactness, longevity and reliability in the field, this energy-harvesting design is more cost-effective. Having less components also improves its magnetic insensitivity.
M36 encoders are available in variants that support various electrical interfaces, including programmable analog for greater versatility. Also in development for this series is a version that supports J1939, which is rapidly gaining traction in the transportation sector and enables real-time, closed-loop control functions between vehicle components in off-highway equipment.
To learn more about the Sendix M36 family of multiturn encoders, visit our product page.
Although the SAE J1939 standard is not new, it continues to grow in popularity. Used in on- and off-highway vehicles—from passenger cars to construction vehicles and agricultural machinery—SAE J1939 supports real-time, closed-loop control functions between vehicle components. In addition, it enables heavy-duty machine manufacturers to reap the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is rapidly gaining traction in the transportation sector.
Let’s take a closer look at this high-speed, IoT-friendly protocol:
A Higher-Layer Protocol Using CAN
Based on Controller Area Network (CAN), J1939 enables fast, real-time serial data communications between microprocessor systems—also called Electronic Control Units (ECUs)—in vehicles. A multi-master system, it enables decentralized network management without channel-based communication and supports up to 254 logical nodes and 30 physical ECUs per segment. Information is combined on four data pages in parameter groups (PGs), which are identified via a unique number (PGN) and support up to 8 data bytes.
If larger data quantities need to be transmitted, J1939 utilizes transport protocols:
- Broadcast Announce Message (BAM). Data is transmitted via broadcast with no control data flow between the sender and receiver.
- Connection Mode Data Transfer (CMDT), or peer to peer transfer. Data is exchanged between two ECUs, which use handshaking and message acknowledgements to guarantee successful data transfer.
As a higher-layer protocol that uses CAN as its physical layer, SAE J1939 supports message lengths up to 1,785 bytes. Other notable features include a maximum network length of 40 m and standard baud rate of 250 kbit/sec.
The Future of J1939
As the IoT continues to grow in off-highway applications, so too will J1939—whether it is the mapping of the J1939 application profile to the CAN FD data link layer to allow faster transmission rates, or the migration to TCP/IP over Ethernet so that real-time remote system management increases vehicle performance and efficiency.
Kuebler will continue to be a source of innovative products, providing solutions to our customers’ specific requirements, as well as a leader in position feedback for the mobile automation industries. Stay tuned for more developments from Kuebler featuring this technology!
To learn more, visit our webpage on mobile automation.
In our last few blog posts, we’ve been exploring various single-cable electrical interfaces for motor feedback encoders. Now, we turn to BiSS Line—an open-source iteration of the BiSS protocol that, like SCS open link, supports single-cable technology. Let’s take a closer look at some of its defining features and benefits:
What is BiSS Line? A real-time digital interface for sensors, inverters and drives, BiSS Line transmits 8B10B-encoded data using 2- or 4-wire technology at a transmission speed of 12.5 MBaud. Like SCS open link, BiSS Line utilizes the RS485 transmission standard and is certified up to SIL3.
When do you use BiSS Line? This interface is typically used in industrial or robotic applications requiring short cycle times and safe, flexible data transmission. Typical applications include motor feedback systems, as well as rotary and linear encoders with a 2- or 4-wire interface.
What are its unique design features? BiSS Line integrates a bus structure for multiple slaves and also implements forward error correction (FEC), which enhances data reliability in the presence of faulty cables and connectors, as well as over noisy communication channels. It is fully compatible with existing single-cable infrastructure, including transmission technology, cables and connectors, as well as BiSS and BiSS Safety protocols.
What are its advantages? Thanks to its single-cable design, BiSS Line reduces the number of wires in your system, leading to significant cost and energy savings and reducing the chances of connector failures. Because it transmits power and encoder signal across one cable, you also don’t have to worry about finding space for additional connectors on smaller, space-constrained motors. And finally, because BiSS Line is an open-source interface, you don’t have to worry about licensing fees.
To learn more about BiSS Line, visit our BiSS webpage.
To meet the demands of digital drive controllers in today’s smarter, more automated factories, electrical interfaces have had to evolve. RS485 and SinCos, for example, are two classical interfaces that together make up RS485 + SinCos—a hybrid protocol that provides the benefits of both incremental and absolute encoders.
But as single-cable technology continues to gain traction in the world of motion control, RS485 + SinCos has had to change to keep pace. Here’s an overview of this evolution:
What is RS485 + SinCos? To meet the requirements of digital drive controllers, RS485 + SinCos combines incremental and absolute encoders and features the advantages of both types—permitting one electrical interface for both low-end and high-end applications.
What are its technical features? A hybrid interface, RS485 + SinCos consists of an analog process channel on which sine and cosine signals are transmitted differentially with almost no delay, as well as a bidirectional parameter channel that transmits absolute position information according to the RS485 standard. RS485 + SinCos is HIPERFACE®-compatible.
What are its benefits? Because it utilizes the RS485 transmission standard, you can use RS485 + SinCos over long distances up to 100 m and in electrically noisy environments, making it useful in industrial control systems. Not only that, but the use of sin and cosine signals, available for speed control, provides high resolution at low speeds and efficient signal bandwidth at high speeds.
How has it evolved? More and more, today’s industrial and robotic systems demand electrical interfaces that can support high-performing data exchange between the rotary or linear motor feedback encoder and drive controller. That’s where BiSS Line comes in. This interface is built on the same physical platform as RS485 + SinCos but utilizes single-cable technology—making it a compelling choice for today’s servo-driven systems.
You can learn more about BiSS Line in our next blog post. In the meantime, visit our Motor Feedback Systems product page to learn more about the benefits of single-cable technology.
In our previous blog, we explored what SCS open link is and how well it fits with advancing drive systems. This fully digital, single-cable protocol provides the servo-motor market with a much-needed nonproprietary standard—creating greater flexibility when it comes to encoder selection. But the advantages don’t end there.
Let’s take a closer look at how SCS open link benefits end-users, as well as drive and machine manufacturers:
Flexible installation for end-users. SCS open link supports two- and four-wire applications, reducing the number of connectors and making installation fast and easy. For one, this design saves on material costs and the labor required to get things up and running. It also reduces installation space, which comes in handy in tight spaces. And finally, less components ultimately means less weight, which boosts the energy efficiency of your system.
A fast, reliable interface for drive manufacturers. SCS open link features fast transmission rates up to 10 MBaud and short controller cycles up to 32 KHz—opening even more application possibilities for manufacturers. Because it utilizes RS-485 as its transmission standard, you can use it reliably over distances up to 100 m and in electrically noisy applications, such as industrial control systems. It is also downward compatible, allowing seamless interoperability with legacy systems.
Future-ready technology for machine manufacturers. SCS open link helps you keep up with the demands of Industry 4.0 and the developing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). It lets you connect additional secondary sensors, for example, as well as add condition monitoring capabilities to your drive system. Its single-cable design also saves on space—a compelling advantage as the industry shifts toward developing and deploying smaller drive systems.
To learn more about SCS open link and single-cable solution, visit our SCS solutions page.
In today’s increasingly automated and smarter factories, servo-driven systems have become more prevalent than ever. Until now, the electrical interface limited the kind of encoder you could use in these applications-but all that is changing with SCS open link. This once-proprietary standard is now publicly available, ensuring the compatibility of devices from different manufacturers and providing you with greater flexibility when it comes to selecting your encoder.
Let’s take a closer look at this innovative interface:
What is SCS open link? A fully digital protocol, SCS open link transmits both energy and data through a single connection cable-enabling the high-performance exchange of bi-directional data between a rotary or linear motor feedback encoder and the drive controller.
Which technologies does it support? SCS open link is suitable for single and multiturn encoders, sensors, actuators and linear scales and supports 2- and 4-wire applications with cable lengths to 100 m. This interface, safety-certified up to SIL3, also offers fast, interference-free data transmission up to 10 MBaud and controller cycles up to 32 KHz.
What new possibilities does it open up? SCS open link integrates future-proof technology and is therefore a compelling interface for advancing drive systems. The interface makes it easy to develop and deploy Smart Motor technology, for example, which provides you with motor analytics and permanent condition monitoring. This ability to detect and correct faults at an early stage leads to improvements in plant performance.
In our next blog, we’ll delve into the many advantages of SCS open link, including how it benefits end users and drive and machine manufacturers. In the meantime, visit our SCS solutions page to learn more.
If you design and manufacture motors and drive systems, you know that factory automation and servo motors go hand in hand. Nowadays, you can expect to find servo motors running on more machine axes than ever in packaging, semiconductor manufacturing, robotics and other applications requiring precise positioning of a load. In fact, as automation continues to take over the factory floor, it’s not surprising that the servo motor market is projected to grow as much as 10 percent a year.
This trend means you’ll need a motor feedback system that can operate servo motors of various sizes, performance levels, electrical interfaces and technical requirements, such as high rotational speed and high temperatures.
Our new Sendix S36 motor feedback system meets these requirements-and more. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect:
Compact size will save you space and cost. Drive systems are increasingly becoming more compact. With its space-saving 36-mm housing, the S36 is equipped to handle all singleturn and multiturn variants, as well as all medium to high power ranges. By reducing the number of motor variants, the S36 saves you space and operating costs.
High signal quality increases motor stability. Using phased array sensor technology, S36 devices achieve a resolution up to 2,048 ppr sin/cos or 24 bits (fully digital), ensuring high signal quality even in the presence of shock and vibration.
Robust design can take on harsh factory environments. The S36 is designed to reliably operate your motors in harsh, unforgiving environments. For one, it integrates our proprietary Safety-Lock™ design, which consists of interlocked bearings, strengthened outer bearings and large bearing size relative to the size of the encoder. This feature also enables the S36 to overcome two common threats to encoder lifecycle: heavy vibration loads and misalignment due to installation errors.
Other robust mechanical features include a wide temperature range, torque-proof stator coupling and vibration-proof plug connectors. The S36 also provides the latest in gear technology, which is preferred over a battery solution. Thanks to its three gear stages, the S36 achieves high rotational speeds, accurate positioning and long service life.
Interface variety gives you more flexibility than ever. No longer will the electrical interface be the limiting factor in the kind of feedback system you select for your drive application. S36 devices support all classical interfaces, including RS485 + Sin/Cos (HIPERFACE® compatible), BiSS, BiSS Safety, BiSS-Line and HIPERFACE DSL®, as well as open-source interfaces for the Single Cable Solution (SCS).
Here’s a quick rundown of some of them:
- HIPERFACE DSL®: Transmits data to the drive and enables motor-controller communication via two wires integrated into one motor cable up to 100-m long and requiring just one motor connection.
- BiSS Interface: Hardware compatible to the Serial Synchronous Interface (SSI) standard, this interface includes a one-cable implementation.
- SCS open link: A motor feedback interface for high-performance, bi-directional data exchange supporting 2- and 4-wire applications with cable lengths to 100 m. SCS also integrates future-proof technology, making it a compelling interface for advancing drive systems: it includes a fully digital protocol, is certified up to SIL3 and is Smart Motor-suitable.
This encoder recently won an award. Check out our Press Release.
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.