Fieldbus & Industrial Networking

Omni fieldbus concept for integrating encoders

December 2014 Fieldbus & Industrial Networking

When it comes to integrating sensors into industrial fieldbuses, every industry has its own individual requirements. This is why there are more than two dozen industrial communication systems available today across a diverse range of machines and systems, and this is something that sensor manufacturers cannot ignore. With its omni fieldbus concept for encoders and motor feedback systems, SICK Automation is well equipped for all integration options.

At present, the portfolio of single and multi-turn encoders as well as motor feedback systems supports more than a dozen interface standards that play a key role in industrial communication. The bandwidth spans from incremental interfaces through to technologies such as SSI, Hiperface, or the Hiperface DSL one-cable technology. The range is then rounded off with fieldbus systems for production automation – e.g., DeviceNet, Profibus, and CANopen – through to Ethernet-based fieldbuses such as EtherNet/IP, Profinet, and EtherCAT.

Hiperface DSL digital evolution – with the Hiperface DSL digital interface technology, SICK presents a purely digital protocol that uses a minimum of connection cables between the frequency converter and motor feedback system. This digital servo link interface enables an entirely new architecture for the servo drive with completely new options, as it is now purely digital instead of hybrid (analog/digital).

SICK’s portfolio of transmission and fieldbus interfaces satisfies the requirements of the industrial communication market and its dynamic rate of growth. The decision to focus on encoders and motor feedback systems will provide a high level of security for the future and investments, as thanks to the omni fieldbus concept the technology can be integrated in an extremely wide variety of industrial networks.

AFS60/AFM60: Three fieldbus interfaces

Profinet, EtherCAT and EtherNet/IP currently account for almost 70% of the real-time Ethernet protocols used by machine builders. SICK’s AFS60 absolute encoder (singleturn) and AFM60 absolute encoder (multiturn), for instance, offer these three fieldbus interfaces. Consequently, they are an ideal solution for manufacturers and integrators of production processes, handling systems, production machinery, printing systems, and measurement and test equipment – firstly, because they are reliable and precise and can be freely programmed, and secondly, because they give a significant boost to system performance. This results from the fact that all three versions of this type offer an unparalleled range of diagnostics options, which they use to optimise reliability and increase system throughput.

AHS36/AHM36: CANopen makes it possible

The new, compact AHS36 (singleturn) and AHM36 (multiturn) absolute encoders offer reliable, fully magnetic sensor technology and are optimised for an extremely wide range of installation situations. AHS/AHM36 encoders with CANopen interface facilitate simple network integration with various configuration options. They also have an impressive range of diagnostic functions. The two separate diagnosis memories (total/individual) offer extra convenience. Thanks to the CANopen interface, the data from the two diagnostics memories can be issued via this communication protocol directly to the controller, where it is used to optimise the maintenance intervals of a machine or system.

For more information contact Eugene Lawrence, SICK Automation SA, +27 (0)11 472 3733,,


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