SICK smart sensors suppliers of information for Industry 4.0
Networked production and control processes in complex machine environments determine the industrial future and make Industry 4.0 possible in the first place. Smart Sensors already support dynamic, realtime-optimized, and self-organized industry processes. They record real operational statuses, turn these into digital data, and share them automatically with the process controller.
Four Dimensions of Smart Sensor Technology
The added value of sensor communication depends significantly on the quality and stability of the delivered data. In order to create the best-possible basis for a future-ready automation system, SICK has equipped its Smart Sensors with four special properties. Four Dimensions of Smart Sensor Technology:
- Enhanced Sensing – Top sensor performance for stable processes
- Efficient Communication – Flexibility and transparency at the lowest field level
- Diagnostics – Highest availability levels thanks to predictive maintenance
- Smart Tasks – Tailor-made information directly from the sensor
The highest possible level of stability during object detection and recording of measured values is the basis for every Smart Sensor. Benefit from our experience spanning over 70 years in the development and application of groundbreaking sensor technology. Smart Sensors automatically detect faults during operation and actively troubleshoot problems that may arise. They actively help the fitter to find the ideal operating point as they are being installed. Many Smart Sensors even offer various operating modes including manual adjustment of detection or measurement parameters to enable them to be dynamically adapted to tasks as necessary.
With superordinate control systems, Smart Sensors communicate via IO-Link: The stable communication channel which is used across the globe for sensors and actuators at the lowest field level offers many practical advantages in day-to-day industrial operation. Smart Sensors are diligent data collectors and intelligent analysts. They share this knowledge with their environment via their integrated IO-Link interface in real time. Smart Sensors are always responsive to all types of control commands. For example, they can receive new parameter sets within seconds – for flexible production up to batch size 1. Even if a device is defective, the most recently used parameter set can be automatically transferred to the replacement sensor via IO-Link. This enables plug and play to become a reality.
The dimension Diagnostics allow operators to look into the future, in order to detect process deviations in advance and prevent unplanned system downtimes. Smart Sensors will even send a notification independently if safe operation is at risk. Thanks to predictive maintenance, flexible, needs-based maintenance schedules can be created, helping reduce service costs. If problems should arise, however, the cause can be easily determined thanks to comprehensive visualization options, avoiding unplanned system downtimes.
In these times of “big data”, it is important not to lose sight of the big picture. For that reason, Smart Tasks processes the diverse sensor signals for detection and measurement, linking them to signals from an external sensor if necessary. Only the process information that is actually necessary is generated – in line with the task configured in the system. This saves time during data evaluation in the control, accelerates machine processes, and makes high-performance, cost-intensive additional hardware unnecessary.