Intelligent bus cables for safe automation from Treotham

At the 2018 SPS IPC Drives, igus presented a novel and
globally unique concept for intelligent monitoring of bus cables in e-chain
systems. Thanks to early alerts, even during the slightest changes in
transmission characteristics, the CF.D system detects imminent plant shutdowns in
good time, helping avoid the high costs of unplanned production losses.

The mechanical loads in energy chains eventually
change the transmission characteristics of bus cables. In addition to linear
travels, this also applies to three-dimensional movements, for example, in the
case of dress packs on robots, resulting in disruptions in data transmission or
even unforeseen plant failures. 

The globally unique concept available from
Treotham detects the impairment of the chainflex bus cable used, in advance.
The intelligent system consists of an evaluation unit and a response module,
which are integrated at the beginning and end of the moving bus cable. The
evaluation unit is usually placed in the switch cabinet on the fixed end side,
and the response module in the distribution box on the moving end side. Between
the two, special data packs are transmitted for measurement purposes and the
cable quality is permanently evaluated by means of the increasing number of
lost or damaged packs.

If a predefined value is exceeded, the customer is
alerted via a yellow LED and the switching of a contact. This alert threshold
can also be queried via the connected network and the current situation can be
displayed in a web browser. Exceeding a second alert threshold is signalled via
a red LED and indicates a failure of the bus transmission, so that the error
can be quickly located by taking a look at the switch cabinet.

Smart
plastics range continues to grow

For the first time, the innovative system enables the
monitoring of a cable in dynamic operation, without additional measuring wires
or sacrificial cables. CF.D integrates itself into the isense environment for
predictive maintenance.

igus has been developing a family of products since
2016, where various sensors and monitoring modules add intelligence to motion
plastics products such as energy chains, cables, linear guides and slewing ring
bearings. They measure among other things, the wear during the operation and
alert the user early enough to plan repair or replacement. By networking using
the igus communication module (icom), the online status and alert display, for
example via a PC, tablet or smartphone, is just as possible as a direct
integration into the customer’s infrastructure. These smart plastics are
already predicting the service life of numerous customer applications, such as
in the automotive industry.

The next step of development is the increasing
integration of the planned components, such as the integration of the receiver
in a connector housing.

For more information, please visit the Treotham
Automation website www.treotham.com.au
or call 1300 65 75 64.

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