Inductive Couplers Ensure Precise Material Feed

Turck's NIC inductive coupler sets transfer data and power between mobile workpiece carriers and static work stations without contact

Workpiece carriers are used in the automobile industry to transport workpieces between the individual production steps. The carriers are loaded and unloaded with the support of robots. The identification of the individual workpieces, as well as the reliable detection of their loading spaces are indispensable to ensure the rapid and smooth feeding of workpieces to downstream processes. The machine control system must know which part is to be processed in the next step. Mobile workpiece carriers in constant movement present users here with additional challenges.

Your Benefits

  • Wear-free power supply of sensors on workpiece carriers
  • Time-optimized material feed through fast connection setup 
  • Identification via IO-Link

  • Robots load the carriers

  • Inductive sensors detect the workpieces

  • The wear-free IO-Link couplers on station and workpiece carrier transfer data and power without contact

Challenges of wear susceptibility and maintenance effort

Sensors on the workpiece carriers detect whether and which loading spaces are taken, so that the robot can work effectively with the workpieces. However, the growing number of sensors in the system increases the number of electrical connections and thus also the risk of unexpected downtimes due to faulty connectors or material wear. Connectors that are subject to wear also require short maintenance intervals and thus more effort and increased costs. Conventional cabling solutions are therefore out of the question due to the demanding requirements placed on productivity and reliability. 

Wear-free data transfer from mobile to static plant sections

Turck's inductive coupler sets of the NIC series not only provide this application with a wear-free alternative to conventional connection technology but also offer a smart solution for process data handling. The IO-Link couplers mounted on the machining station and the workpiece carriers allow the bidirectional and contactless transfer of power and data for the sensors via an air gap of up to 7 mm. They are fully wear-free and thus maintenance-free. As no mechanical contact is required with inductive coupling, the risk of user errors is also reduced. This reliably prevents unexpected downtimes due to faulty connectors and bent or damaged pins and increases plant availability.

Identification via IO-Link

A plain text field, the “Application Specific Tag”, is reserved in the IO-Link standard for each IO-Link device. This enables the workpiece carriers to be identified. The controller can thus detect the individual workpiece carriers at each station and ensure a correct material feed. 

Plug and play

The inductive coupler sets of the NIC series keep installation effort down to a minimum, and parameterization becomes unnecessary. The large transmission gap, even with a lateral offset, enables a rapid connection setup and minimizes user errors that can occur when using connectors.

to top