Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Tim Cicerchi

Recent Posts

Did You Know That Most Sensors Are IO-Link Sensors?

Posted by Tim Cicerchi on Fri, Oct 21, 2016

Many of the sensors you use have IO-Link capability built in. But you might not know it, because they can still be used like standard sensors. For instance, all Pepperl+Fuchs IO-Link sensors boot up first in digital IO mode; they will only switch to IO-Link mode when an IO-Link master actively communicates with them. 

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Topics: Applications, Software

AS-Interface Safety Networks and Safelink

Posted by Tim Cicerchi on Tue, Dec 29, 2015

Have you ever used a safety network and ran out of room?   There are only a certain number of allowed addresses on each safety network, and once you reach this number you have to start a new safety network.  When it comes to AS-Interface, Safety at Work, the limit is 31 safety devices per network and 62 safety devices per gateway/safety monitor.  This may seem like a lot, but the addresses go quickly.

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Topics: AS-Interface

Industrial UHF RFID Easily Integrates into Studio 5000 Logix Designer

Posted by Tim Cicerchi on Fri, Oct 23, 2015

Industrial RFID systems are not that difficult to use. If you use a UHF RFID system, however, the complexity is increased.  The reason is because of the overall large amount of possible data sets that can be retrieved and sent to the user.  Below is a video on how to integrate our UHF RFID systems into an Allen-Bradley PLC using Studio 5000®.

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Topics: RFID, Software

What is POWER24 for AS-Interface?

Posted by Tim Cicerchi on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

Even though POWER24 has been around for years, nobody really talks about it.  It is a rarely used and little-known part of the latest specification that allows AS-Interface to run at 24 VDC.  It has taken a while for the right number of components to be designed to the POWER24 specification for it really to be considered useful for most modern-day material handling and assembly applications.

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Topics: AS-Interface

Boosting Productivity with the Help of Laser Barcode Scanners

Posted by Tim Cicerchi on Thu, Jun 25, 2015

Laser barcode scanners have been used in material handling applications for decades.  It is an integral part of routing boxes down a conveyor line.  The production of products such as liquid soaps, lotions, and shampoo will use barcode readers also.  They are used in two places.  First, to read the pallets of raw material bottles at the beginning of the production line, then secondly, at the end of the line after barcodes are applied to the bottles.  The barcode readers have to read at very high read rates of over 200 bottles per minute.

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Topics: Applications, RFID, Laser Sensors

AS-Interface Safety Monitor Setup Options to Combat Nuisance Shutdowns

Posted by Tim Cicerchi on Wed, Mar 25, 2015

Safety at Work has been a part of AS-Interface for over 10 years now.  It is a very reliable means of networking industrial safety products.  Very demanding applications need extra configuration in the software to prevent nuisance shutdowns.  These shutdowns can be caused by high vibration on the machine opening up mechanical contacts or high noise sources disrupting network communications.  Here are some software settings to reduce or eliminate these nuisance shutdowns.

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Topics: Troubleshooting, AS-Interface, Software

Industrial RFID: UHF Parameters Revealed

Posted by Tim Cicerchi on Wed, Jan 21, 2015

A UHF RFID system is a bit more more complicated to configure and set up than an inductive short-range RFID system.  The Pepperl+Fuchs IUH-F190-V1-FR2-02 read head is a UHF head that makes many of the tough decisions for you.  You don’t need to know about anti-collision algorithms, sessions, inventory queries, or select flags.  We use simple concepts and a reduced parameter list to make it easy for anyone to set up an RFID system.

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Topics: Troubleshooting, RFID, Software

High-Capacity RFID Tags

Posted by Tim Cicerchi on Thu, Nov 06, 2014

Industrial RFID systems are composed of a read head, controller, and transponder.  The transponders, or tags, are used to carry information from one process to another.  The RFID tags could require a fixed pallet number that is programmed once, a fixed unique identifier that can’t be written such as a license plate, or a large database of information that describes everything about a specific part or manufacturing process.  This post focuses on high-capacity tag databases.

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Topics: RFID

Protect your Industrial Cables and Cable Connectors!

Posted by Tim Cicerchi on Tue, Apr 15, 2014

Pepperl+Fuchs' standard 22 AWG cordsets are rated for 4 A. But most main enclosures have a power supply that is much larger than the rating of individual industrial cables and devices.

So, what if there's a situation where an output overloads, pulling 10 A or 20 A through a 4 A rated cable? The wires will start to heat up, the voltage will drop, and the cable connectors may get damaged. The worst case scenario could be a fire.

To protect the end devices, fuses or breakers are used to open the circuit in the event of cable or device failure. To do it right, you really have to fuse every sensor or fuse groups of sensors so the current limit to the cables is below the 4 A limit.

Overload or short-circuit protection must also be considered with industrial bus systems. AS-Interface is an industrial bus that provides power and communication to modules on the network. This network is designed to be completely field mountable so the use of fuses or breakers for every bus drop may not be convenient. If a power supply that is rated 4 A or less is used to power the entire bus, then no problems exist. The drop cables can’t be overloaded because the power supply can’t provide that much current.

Alternatively, what if you use an 8 A AS-Interface power supply and a 12 A auxiliary power supply? We have an auxiliary power cable with larger 13 AWG conductors that are rated for 12 A. It is possible for the drop cables off the AS-Interface trunk to be overloaded. What to do? You can’t put fuses in all the drop lines; there's nowhere to put them. And the fuse itself may interfere with AS-Interface communication. You could just mount everything to the trunk line so no drop cables are used at all, but that isn’t convenient or practical.

A simple solution comes with our series of PTC-protected drop connectors.
The idea is to limit the current that is delivered to the drop in order to protect the cable. With these cable connectors, the current is limited to 1.6 A, which is far below the 4 A cable limit. Once the short is removed or the end device is repaired, the drop cable will function normally and your network will come back up and run. LED indication on these protective devices will tell you where the short is so the problem can be easily resolved.

These drops are IP69K, washdown rated for use in the harshest conditions, and feature a 1 m pigtail with a straight M12 connector. They are available in an AS-Interface version and an AS-Interface/auxiliary version. Depending on quantity, we can provide additional versions with different connector styles and drop cable lengths.

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Topics: Cables/ Cordsets, AS-Interface

Industrial Sensors: Differences between No-load Supply Current and Load Current

Posted by Tim Cicerchi on Wed, Apr 02, 2014

The current consumption of an industrial sensor is a very important consideration. Knowing the current consumption of all your devices on a machine allows you to size wire properly and pick the right power supply for the application.

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Topics: Applications, Troubleshooting, AS-Interface, Power Supplies

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