Independent mover transport systems are exactly the kind of adaptive and flexible machinery that’s needed on packaging production floors. But typically, such systems have been limited to transporting movers from point to point along a track. The movers couldn’t be equipped with actuating devices such as grippers or vacuum pumps because it was impossible to control or communicate with them. Wired connectivity was a no-go from a mechanical design standpoint , and traditional wireless couldn’t meet the speed, reliability or scalability requirements.
With the advent of IO-Link Wireless technology, that’s now changing. Developed specifically for factory automation applications, IO-Link Wireless is perfectly suited for industrial automation for both motion control and monitoring. It provides deterministic latency up to 5msec and offers high reliability on par with wired IO-Link.
This kind of wireless performance is enabling packaging machinery OEMs to equip transport systems with on-mover devices that can communicate with and be controlled wirelessly. It opens opportunities for transport systems that better meet packaging machine needs, helping them better handle short runs and increasing numbers of product variations. For example, by connecting grippers directly on movers via IO-Link Wireless, changeovers between runs of different sizes or types of packages can be handled automatically, with no downtime or manual setup. And, by adding sensors to the movers, machine builders can offer predictive maintenance and more insights on the production process.
A recent article in Packaging World discussed the control and monitoring challenges and shared how one OEM – Germany’s Protion – is using several IO-Link Wireless products from CoreTigo in innovative smart transport systems for packaging converters. The newest version of Protion’s Orboter transport track system features smart movers – appropriately named “Probots” by the company’s President, Ranier Buschulte. “Movers don’t have any intelligence or ability to communicate,” says Buschulte. “The Probot, by comparison, can include actuators and sensors that make it capable of sending outputs and receiving inputs.”
Read the full article here to learn more about how IO-Link Wireless is enabling smarter, more efficient transport systems for packaging production.
Gabi Daniely is CoreTigo’s Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer. With over 20 years in the hi-tech industry and wireless technologies, he brings global experience in enterprise solutions from a variety of companies ranging from large corporates such as Intel and Stanley Black & Decker, in addition to start-up companies at various stages.