The Solution to Maintenance-Free Wireless Connectivity Solution? BIC Inductive Couplers!

Posted by Hirokazu Tsunoda on Nov 23, 2020 5:55:20 PM

In a production plant, there are countless cables stretching in every direction. If even one of these cables is damaged, the whole production line may be stopped. As a result, on the rotation table, or the place where cables are repeatedly attached and detached such as cell production line and robot tool change, regular maintenance or frequent replacement of components as preventative maintenance is required.

Inductive couplers from Balluff are a connected system which transmits control signal/ data and power with few millimeters air gaps. These systems can make a significant contribution to improving equipment where equipment operation places a heavy load or where frequent disconnection causes connector degradation.


What is an inductive coupler?

An inductive coupler consists of two types of devices: a "base" on the control side and a "remote" on the device side. The system has the operating principle of electromagnetic induction, and the technology has proven its utility and reliability in wireless charging, and RFID. Balluff's inductive coupler can support an output of up to 1.7A, but as the distance between base and remote increases, the amount of transmitted power may decrease.


Maintenance-free wiring for the rotation table

Sensors are mounted on the rotation table to hold and check the seating of the work piece. A slip ring is traditionally used to transmit these signals and provide power. However, due to its mechanism, slip rings are subject to deterioration and require regular maintenance or replacement.


Replacing it with an inductive coupler allows for wear-free signal transmission and power delivery because there is no mechanical contact. Installation is simplified as the remote and base only need to be installed facing each other after rotation. 

This means permanently increased equipment availability with no maintenance required!


Check the seating of the workstation

The inductive coupler is the ideal system for acquiring seating confirmation signals when a work piece is transferred to the workstation in cell production. Simply place the pedestal or pallet in place. You have a system that allows you to get an instant seating confirmation signal. It subsequently eliminates connector degradation due to the connection and it improves the tact time. In addition, the requirement for placing cooperative robots instead of humans in cell production are also increasing in demand. This system can contribute to a fully automated cell production system.

Non-contact robot tool exchange

For multi-product productions, the production line requires flexibility. Because robots also transport a wide variety of products and workpieces, they also require to be operated with a variety of tools. Many robot tool changers systems use a ball coupling system. However, at a customer's site, there was frequent sudden downtime due to wear of ball coupling. Such downtimes are detrimental to the production plan. Therefore, the customer needed to replace it regularly.

The customer then replaced the system to an IO-Link inductive coupler and IO-Link I/O hub. Yhus the customer eliminated the mishap due to wear. This saved their time for replacing and parts cost. Finally the production line keeps expect manufacturing yield.

Replacing the system to IO-Link inductive coupler and IO-Link I/O hub, the customer can eliminate the trouble due to wear and save the time for replacing and parts cost. Additionally, the integrated ID function in I/O hub, the system can identify the type of robot tool. It eliminates the trouble of using the wrong robot tool.




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Topics: wireless, coupler, rotation, robot, cell, maintenancefree

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