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SA Instrumentation & Control Buyers' Guide

Technews Industry Guide - IIoT 2018

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Electronic position indicator with industrial Ethernet interface
May 2018, Sensors & Transducers

Instrotech has announced the availability of the new Siko AP20 position indicator, ideally equipped to detect the position of spindle adjustments in machines. It displays positional data to the operator as well as passing it on to the machine control system. Simple system integration in combination with modern interfaces is all that is required.

The compact system is particularly suitable for packing, woodworking and printing machines. Wherever manual adjustment is carried out on production machines, bus-compatible Siko position indicators are able to optimise the production process in such a way that costly refitting times during product changeovers are kept to a minimum. Once installed, these position indicators provide excellent process reliability. During product and size changeovers, incorrect machine settings and the associated risk of damage to tools or batches with defects can be eliminated consistently with the AP20.

Wide range of control system integration options

In addition to the SikoNET5 and CAN interfaces already on offer, Siko is now extending its AP series position indicators to include the most common industrial Ethernet fieldbus interfaces, namely Profinet, Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT and Powerlink, thus meeting requirements for easy integration into almost any current control system from a wide range of manufacturers without any other accessories. Compared to a converter solution, the variety of components is reduced, as is the space required in the machine. This significant gain in flexibility ensures loss-free communication between the machine control system and position indicator at all times, in particular for systems that run a complex production process for which a large number of sensors or long cable lengths are required.

Industrie 4.0 and smart factory ready

The AP20 must achieve a certain level of connectivity to satisfy the requirements of Industrie 4.0. For the smart factory of the future, pure exchange of operational process data is no longer adequate. Comprehensive diagnostic options extend evaluation of the device status in this connection and convert position indicators, such as the AP20, into intelligent automation systems. The latest network technologies take care of this and additional integration aids, function modules, libraries and add-on instructions make installation and commissioning easier and provide maximum efficiency in application and job set-up.

Extreme convenience and intuitive usability for operators

The AP20 has numerous advantages from the perspective of the operator.

The option of displaying the target and actual position directly on the adjusting spindle significantly increases convenience and usability. The inverted backlit display plays a part in this as it makes the information display easy to read, even under the most unfavourable lighting conditions. Two-coloured status LEDs also aid intuitive user guidance. In addition to the positioner status (InPos or OutPos), the LEDs indicate the direction of rotation required to reach the intended target position. Product and size changeovers can therefore be carried out quickly and without much effort.

Installation compatibility and modular concept

All Siko position indicators feature a hollow shaft, which facilitates the easiest assembly possible. The basic configuration of the AP20 comes with a hollow shaft with a diameter of 20 mm, but diameters up to 25,4 mm are also possible without changing the compact dimensions of the product.

The AP20 is also characterised by its excellent installation compatibility with other system solutions in the AP series. Thanks to the clearance of the torque support, DA04 and DA09S mechanical Siko position indicators can also be integrated with AP systems to create a solution with a modular format. The modular principle makes it easier to complete product and size changeovers that require manual monitoring and means that the AP20 is an attractive automation solution for production machines which have to be refitted relatively frequently, because of small batch sizes, for example. Changes affecting the design of the machine frame or the entire system are not necessary when fitting the AP20. The entire system and machine design can be retained.

The hollow shaft of the AP20 is made of stainless steel. In conjunction with the protection rating of IP65, the position indicator is therefore also suitable for applications in the food and pharmaceutical sectors.

For more information contact Instrotech, +27 (0)10 595 1831,,

Supplied By: Instrotech
Tel: +27 11 462 1920
Fax: +27 11 462 1958
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