Pepperl+Fuchs IO-Link photoelectric sensors have many lesser-known features. In addition to operational parameters, sensor information, and other commonly used and viewed items, many of our IO-Link photoelectric sensors include features that are helpful in multiple applications. These features include locator indication, device control, trend charts, and data collection interval.
1. Locator Indication
Locator indication serves as a means for locating a specific sensor in the system or application should the need arise. This is accomplished by flashing a defined LED pattern on the selected sensor so that the operating personnel can distinguish it on the plant floor. The locator indication can be enabled or disabled by navigating to the “Service” tab within the PACTware program. The options “disabled” or “enabled” can be selected from a drop-down menu, and the current state of the sensor’s LEDs is indicated by the image to the right of the drop-down.
2. Device Control
The device control feature allows the device to be set into different operational states often for the purpose of diagnosis. The device control on these sensors can be found in the same “Service” tab within the PACTware program as the locator indication. The options “normal operation” and “emitter inhibited” can be selected from a drop-down menu. When “emitter inhibited” is selected, the emitter will be turned off and no information supplied based on the emitter’s operation will be available.
3. Trend Charts
Trend charts are located under the “Observation” tab within PACTware. This tool allows four areas to be tracked over an ongoing time frame at chosen intervals. These four areas are “Distance,” “Signal Quality,” “Switching Signal 1,” and “Switching Signal 2.” The distance or measurement value, is the current distance measured to an object. The signal quality indicator is the quality of the evaluated sensor signal where the quality drops with a weak signal or interference. Switching signal 1 is the current status of the first switching signal and is the same for switching signal 2 and its signal.
4. Data Collection Interval
Interval refers to the amount of time in between data collection from the sensor. There are pre-selected time intervals that can be chosen from the drop-down menu that range from 100 milliseconds to 1 hour, depending on the customer’s preference. From within the PACTware software, the data collection can also be paused/resumed and saved. These charts (as seen below) can be used for tracking output signal trends and regularities, and verifying activity timing in the application.