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New applications for Hiperface DSL

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article image At SICK, the red colour-coding indicates a multi-turn encoder.

New motor feedback systems for new fields of application. SICK is expanding its Hiperface DSL product portfolio, allowing demanding applications to benefit from Hiperface DSL. The EES37 single-turn encoder and EEM37 multi-turn encoder are specifically designed for applications in packaging technology, material handling, woodworking, and robotics. In these instances, the encoders are distinguished by their resistance to vibrations, extreme accelerations, or impact loads.

The new EES37 and EEM37 motor feedback systems are available as single-turn and multi-turn versions with a 15- or 17-bit resolution. The mechanical multi-turn can capture up to 4,096 revolutions. Furthermore, mechanical engineers have the option of using the motor feedback systems with or without the functional safety feature.

In terms of how they work, and given their robustness against external conditions, the new EES37 and EEM37 motor feedback systems do not use an optical method when determining the angular position, but rather the capacitive measurement principle. For this reason, the new series from SICK is also resistant to dust and mechanical effects. The motor feedback system rotor rotates in a capacitive measurement chamber and is scanned in all its aspects. The EES/EEM37 series is therefore perfect for tapping into new applications. With their highly dynamic reverse motions and acceleration forces, robotic applications are a typical example.

In contrast to the commonly used resolvers, the new motor feedback system provides robot manufacturers as well as machine and systems manufacturers with all the advantages of the Hiperface DSL as a digital protocol. These include, for example, the E2Prom with 8 kB of memory capacity, which allows motors to be recognised automatically via the electronic type label – a true asset, particularly given the long and therefore expensive engineering and commissioning times.

Easy to install and precise

The new motor feedback system also benefits from the easy installation. The feedback system can be mounted to the flange and motor shaft without the need for additional alignment tools. After the installation, the rotor position can be determined precisely using a control command, meaning that reliable conclusions may be drawn as to the accuracy of the installation. Motor manufacturers can, therefore, use this procedure to check outgoing goods, for example. Furthermore, parameters (supply voltage, speed, temperature, and the rotor position) are saved in cycles by the histogram function during operation. If an error occurs, these values are also saved in the error log in addition to the error message and will help you to analyse the causes of the error.

Hiperface DSL single-cable connection technology

With the Hiperface DSL protocol, SICK has triumphed as the inventor of the single-cable interface in the machine and systems construction. The purely digital interface has therefore revolutionised installation by halving the number of cables between the drive and motor. This brings a number of advantages. Firstly, the connection between the drive and servo motor no longer requires two cables, but one hybrid cable, cutting the time needed for installation by half. Secondly, having fewer cables also requires less space and applies less weight to the scales – something which results in lower inertia in highly dynamic applications.

Another general advantage of Hiperface DSL is the performance of the new EES37 and EEM37 systems. The performance of a motor feedback system is one of the crucial factors in determining how well the drive system as a whole can be regulated. However, it is insufficient only to take a look at the resolution during validation, as this only provides one value for the measurement scale for feedback systems – and not a value for measurement accuracy. As a consequence, resolution and measurement accuracy are always of equal importance when selecting the most suitable system. Following this principle, SICK has designed the new product family in such a way that makes it perfect for applications in which robustness is just as vital as measurement accuracy. This, therefore, completes SICK’s portfolio of Hiperface DSL motor feedback systems.

Shock resistance goes hand in hand with safety technology – something which is becoming increasingly important for modern automated installations. That’s why the single-turn and multi-turn motor feedback systems are complete with functional safety. These system support functions are based on safe speeds, as well as those based on safe single-turn positions. This ranges from safe stop functions and safe speed limits right up to safe directions of movement or safely restricted positions. Functions such as these are becoming more and more important, particularly in material handling and robotics, for ensuring the safety of personnel and machines without the need for cumbersome safety distances or elaborate protective housings. The new motor feedback systems are expected to be certified according to SIL2 as specified in IEC 61508 and to reach Performance Level D as stipulated by ISO 13849 by early 2018.

A tailored range of solutions

This complete product portfolio is a simple way for SICK to create the opportunity to perfectly configure new motor feedback systems with Hiperface DSL without any expensive excess functionalities.

SICK has the right encoder for every application. And to prevent the broad range of solutions using Hiperface DSL as the shared means of communication from growing uncontrollably, SICK has developed a universally standardised mechanical interface for the motor feedback systems. Motor manufacturers, therefore, have the chance to make adjustments to the feedback system without considering the encoder option.

This feature is truly beneficial for motor manufacturers as it allows them to produce components in a significantly more standardised way. In practice, motor types can be manufactured at high volumes, disassociated from any specific order, because the specifications of the motor feedback system can be optimised to customer requirements afterwards. This, therefore, makes it possible to link large-scale series production to the customer-specific application later down the line, since the motor manufacturer does not need to make any changes to the end plate on the ventilation side or to the shaft as the same mechanical encoder interface is used. Gone are the days of having to check which exact feedback system will be used with a standard motor by the customer at a later point down the line. As a result, the universal mechanical interface to the encoder system considerably reduces variation also because standardised replacement motors can be stored in the warehouse, regardless of the specific motor feedback system required – a true advantage for the manufacturer and operator in equal measure. To avoid mix-ups between single or multi-turn when carrying out installations quickly and in the heat of the moment, SICK also signposts these two types using clear and unmistakable colour coding. At SICK, red stands for multi-turn and green for single-turn.


With the new EES/EEM37 motor feedback systems, SICK has expanded its portfolio for new applications. The new sensor design with its capacitive measurement method makes the new product family resistant to dirt and vibrations.

By Christian Lohner, Product Manager for Motor Feedback Systems, SICK Stegmann GmbH, Donaueschingen, (Germany)

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