IT, New Media & Software

Tuesday, 30 June 2020 18:47

SICK Sensors Unveils ProfiNet SIG200 IO-LinkSensor Integration Gateway for Industrial Automation

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The SIG200 ProfiNet Sensor Integration Gateway starter kit.

Sensor specialist company, SICK, recently announced its new SIG200 ProfiNet Sensor Integration Gateway.

The product is the first of a new line of gateways, created to work as both IO-Link Masters and small, distributed control systems, simultaneously. The SIG200 is designed to facilitate the configuration of localised sensor applications, while also providing high-speed, cloud-based capabilities, for the sensors to share status, parameter and diagnostics data.

SICK: Sensor Intelligence

SICK was founded in 1946, to combine precise optics and intelligent electronics with light, and specialises in the development of sensors aimed towards factory automation, logistics and process automation. SICK, in turn, provides the answer to a wide range of issues in these areas.

Over the past eight decades, the company has grown exponentially, and now counts over 50 subsidiaries and equity investments, together with numerous agencies around the world.

The SIG200 ProfiNet Sensor Integration Gateway

As the focus of the SICK SIG200 is to simplify sensor application tasks, the gateway utilises binary switching signals, or measured values, from IO-Link sensors and actuators, without the need for additional control components.

Concurrently, diagnostics, process parameters and status information from IO-Link devices can be accessed both at the machine and company level, using MES, ERP, and cloud-based software.

The SICK SIG200 has four master ports allowing IO-Link sensors and actuators connections, but its data integration capabilities extend to standard binary sensors with SICK’s SIG100 sensor hub. Using the hub, engineers will be able to bundle together, with up to 12 standard I/Os in a single IO-Link data packet, while communicating to machine controllers and cloud-based systems via the SIG200.

The SICK SIG200 uses SICK’s SOPAS engineering tool software as a user interface, accessible with a PC via standard M8 USB, Ethernet or web browser. In order to allow engineers to monitor the sensors connected to the device, the SICK SIG200 comes with a software user-interface: SICK’s SOPAS Engineering Tool.

To simplify the configuration process, the SIG200 has an embedded IODD interpreter, allowing the user to configure the SIG200 and connected IO-Link devices, by uploading the IODD files.

The SIG200 can then work with any third-party products, as parameterisation of connected devices, and device replacement, are possible when the sharing the IODD file.

“SIG200 offers all Industry 4.0 the benefits of setting up a system, by using an IO-Link Master, PLC and sensors,” said David Hannaby, SICK’s UK product manager for presence detection. Hannaby further explained that this opens a second route, where engineers can by-pass the PLC and create their own data gathering system, linking straight to the cloud.

The SOPAS logic editor’s ‘drag and drop’ function enables visualisation of the entire connected sensor, actuator signals and measured values, without the need for software knowledge.

“It saves a huge amount of programming time, effort and cost,” Hannaby said, reporting that “process control functions can be configured and set to operate autonomously, without the need for the PLC, additionally reducing the communication load in the Fieldbus.”

The SIG200 will be available with the ProfiNet Ethernet Fieldbus protocol, and additional Fieldbus versions of the gateway will follow in the future. The company is also offering an IO-Link Master Starter Kit, containing everything needed to set up an application using the SIG200.

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