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Hilmot and Pepperl+Fuchs Partner in Innovative Roller Conveyor Solution Using AS-Interface

Posted by Danius Silgalis on Thu, Dec 08, 2016

As an industry leader, Hilmot is constantly working to improve its innovative technologies in material handling applications. Hilmot turned to Pepperl+Fuchs, a pioneer in industrial sensors and factory automation systems. Leveraging the advantages of AS-Interface, Pepperl+Fuchs developed a motor control module compatible with Hilmot's motorized drive roller (MDR) applications—the H-20 line of MDR systems.

Hilmot motorized drive roller conveyors

Video: “What Makes Hilmot Great” 



Motorized drive rollers (MDR) are the next generation of powered roller conveyor systems. Traditional conveyor systems use large, inefficient motors that run continuously and power up long stretches of conveyor. MDRs turn on only as needed, transporting products through smaller zones. “Our systems give our customers the functionality and efficiency they need and reduce maintenance time,” says Jeff Berken, vice president of sales and marketing at Hilmot. “The simplicity, interchangeability, and serviceability of our product line and AS-Interface are key benefits our customers value.”

Actuator-sensor interface (AS-Interface) is an open industrial networking solution that reduces wiring complexity and increases control functionality—a perfect solution for such roller conveyer systems. Pepperl+Fuchs' AS-Interface motor control module has allowed Hilmot to provide customers with advanced functionality and safety. It is equipped with two sensor inputs, two motor control outputs, and two motor power connections, allowing perfect control granularity for all MDR applications. The module provides up to 5A starting current for each motor. Automation engineers now have the ability to easily program:

  • Eight speed settings for the motorized drive rollers in each zone.
  • Customize eight acceleration/deceleration profiles for soft starting / soft stopping motorized drive rollers.
  • Easily change the direction of the motorized drive rollers for each zone.

Additionally, if machine safety is a priority, CAT4, SIL 3 safety levels are easily achieved with AS-Interface

Video: “Hilmot H-20 modules” 



Designed for scalability and future growth, Hilmot’s H-20 line of MDR systems brings a new dimension to programming and visibility of conveyor systems. AS-Interface open architecture allows additional devices and safety products to be added to the system seamlessly.  Programmers gain access to valuable device status and MDR diagnostics and have complete visibility and control of the system from a centralized location.

Hilmot MDR Systems: Going Above and Beyond with Pepperl+Fuchs AS-Interface

Hilmot distinguishes itself by offering the components that make up conveyor systems and the expertise to install, operate, and maintain them. Hilmot’s experienced engineering team works hand-in-hand with customers to design the system. Installation technicians are available to help customers on site, supporting them through the entire process of building, operating, and maintaining a conveyor system. “Our focus at Hilmot is redefining the conveyor by redefining the customer experience,” says Jeff Berken.

Hilmot’s production team powers up each drive card and MDR to ensure proper operation prior to on-site delivery. On site, the installation team is available to assist with AS-Interface cabling. Ultimately, this streamlines the process and reduces the time needed to get the system up and running.

Hilmot H-20 Module
Hilmot’s H-20 product line offers varying levels of scalability.

  • H-20 Control provides full control and visibility of MDR I/O and auxiliary equipment and requires master PLC and programming.
  • H-20 Auto automatically controls product flow through the system without any need for a master PLC.
  • H-20 Flex gives customers the option of either using the built-in logic or writing a local program within the Hilmot PLC using standard ladder logic programming. 

Video: "Hilmot Service"

 AS-Interface Reduces Complexity and Adds Functionality for Hilmot and its Customers

The fully integrated AS-Interface module for DC MDRs was specifically designed to help meet the speed, cost, and energy constraints of the most demanding material handling applications. In addition to reducing the work required to wire motor starters, the module also ensures reliable motor operation through its tailor-made functions, boosting build speed and operating efficiency of MDR designs for both Hilmot and its customers.

With a mounting depth of just 27 mm, the motor control module is mounted directly into conveyor frames, which hides the wiring completely. Mounting inside the frame is easy and can be done without tools. The module is enclosed by a durable, shock-resistant, IP67-rated plastic housing with a one-piece design that puts an end to cumbersome and time-consuming device assembly. Sensors and MDRs are connected using integrated motor and sensor cordsets that dramatically improve installation speed while reducing costs and overall complexity. The universal control platform made possible by AS-Interface allows Hilmot to reduce the number of communication protocols in its product line. 

Once the module has been attached to the conveyor frame, inserting the AS-Interface and AUX flat cables is the final step of the mounting procedure. This dramatically reduces the time needed by Hilmot’s installation team to set up systems at customers’ facilities. Using AS-Interface, entire conveyor systems, including all other control components, can be easily split into manageable segments—ready to be transported, installed, and extended independently from one another.

Redefining Conveyors through AS-Interface

MDR systems are now equipped with Pepperl+Fuchs AS-Interface, resulting in an innovative solution that marks a major advance for conveyor technology. Pepperl+Fuchs offers a broad portfolio of AS-Interface products. AS-Interface replaces conventional wiring technology in a wide range of applications, dramatically minimizing installation costs and opening up new control, diagnostic, and safety functionality.  Questions about conveyor systems?  Connect with Hilmot experts


Topics: AS-Interface

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