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IO-Link Eases Differential Gear Production

At the differential gear production plant of a Chinese auto parts supplier, Turck is showing how its IO-Link solution for signal connection is easy, fast and efficient

A Chinese manufacturer of differential gears uses Turck's TBIL IO-Link hub to connect hundreds of sensors and actuators in production. Each of these junction boxes connects up to 16 sensors or actuators via IO-Link. The solution saves minimizes the time required for assembling multicore cables while also reducing costs. The solution is completed with Turck's BL20 Profibus gateways with IO-Link master modules. Besides switching signals, they also bring RFID data and analog signals to the PLC.
  • Economy program: 26 TBIL I/O hubs means 26x savings on multicore cables and their assembly

  • Besides hundreds of switching signals, two BL20 also bring RFID signals and analog signals to the PLC

Many sensors in gear production

Several magnetic field sensors on a production line of differential gears detect the positions of pneumatic cylinders and clamps, while proximity switches detect components of the differentials themselves. There are also many actuators such as air valves, solenoid valves and other devices, which perform the commands of the controller.

Multicore cables and passive junctions failed

Initially, the customer wanted to connect the signals of sensors and actuators to the fieldbus gateways in the control cabinet using passive junctions and multicore cables. But the costs of the cable lengths and the extensive wiring effort involved had a negative effect on the overall cost. Many cables for the passive junctions would have had to be prepared manually and then connected again to the I/O modules in the control cabinet. Commissioning would have been particularly prone to errors as well as being time consuming. The solution would also have been very expensive and difficult to maintain.

IO-Link solution fast and efficient

Turck could offer a space saving solution based on a BL20 Profibus gateway for the control cabinet in conjunction with IO-Link master modules. Turck's IO-Link compatible TBIL junction boxes are ideal for connecting the sensors and actuators in the field. These I/O hubs use IO-Link to bring up to 16 binary signals to the IO-Link master via a standard sensor cable. As the TBIL I/O hubs offer protection to IP67, they can be mounted directly in the field as close as possible to the sensors and actuators. IO-Link is a digital protocol that allows the use of standard three-wire cables, which eliminates the need for any expensive shielding and lengthy cable commissioning.

If any faults occurred later, however, maintenance was simple thanks to the use of IO-Link. The location of faults can be identified right down to the individual field device and differentiated between a wire break or a short circuit. The central configuration of the entire system from the controller ensures the central availability of all relevant information. This simplifies both maintenance and documentation.

Analog signals via IO-Link

The customer realized that he would also be able to connect all measuring sensors for pressure and temperature with IO-Link as long as they have an interface. Special analog input modules are thus just as unnecessary as the expensive shielded cables for analog signals.

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