SAIMC


The SAIMC Bus Breakfast

April 2002 SAIMC

A full conference room of guests enjoyed three interesting and informative talks on the morning of the last day of Electrex. Hosted by Richard Teagle of Festo, the speakers delivered presentations on their experiences had while working with different industrial data bus systems. The delicious three-course breakfast was enjoyed in stages, during intervals between the presentations, with a question and answer session after the last talk.

Richard Teagle hosted the event, standing in for Graeme Bell, who had pneumonia
Richard Teagle hosted the event, standing in for Graeme Bell, who had pneumonia

First up was Paulo de Sousa of Ram-Tec Systems, who discussed an application using ASI BUS network connected to a DiviceNet network. An advantage of ASI BUS is that no terminating resistors are required, this making it easier to make quick changes to the sub network. Paulo concluded that no bus system is necessarily better than another and that each application needs to make use of the bus system/s that best suits the different requirements.

Paulo de Sousa
Paulo de Sousa

The second speaker was Altus Mostert from SAR Electronics. His application involved an InterBus network on a BMW automotive assembly plant. BMW had made a corporate decision to use InterBus on all its plants, worldwide, as after much deliberation concluded that it was by far the best option for their specific needs. The requirements were low data overhead and the resultant high effective data transfer rate on a network with many devices. The nature of InterBus made possible the virtually instantaneous indication of fault location, and the problem (essentially always a damaged cable/connector) is very quickly rectified. This is particularly crucial in BMW's case, where downtime on a production line brings with it huge financial implications.

Altus Mostert
Altus Mostert

Finally, Ricky Heiser from AST MSI spoke about his experience with Profibus. One of the deciding factors in this project was the need to have the system completely installed and running within three months. An advantage of Profibus is that the continuous loop structure of the system means that the network cable would have to break in two different places in the loop before any devices would no longer be able to communicate. Ricky pointed out that regardless of the bus systems used, it is important that the system is set up so that all device configuration and diagnostic screens work in a uniform manner. This plays an important part in the installation being easy to configure, operate, maintain and extend.

Ricky Heiser
Ricky Heiser

John Gibbs, Associate Editor

john@technews.co.za





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