With the industry IO-Link sensors around since the past decade, the adaptation is usually limited to specific applications. Article by Carlo Gavazzi.
One of the reasons to the slow adaption is the user experience on the IO-Link configuration tools and software. Carlo Gavazzi recognised this gap and, two years ago, embarked on the journey to find the solution to address to this problem. After several years of intensive research and development, the SCTL55 IO-Link Smart configurator was born. This unique device created a game-changing wave to the Industry 4.0. The new Smart Configurator is a real user friendly, wireless solution that simplifies the configuration, adjustment and diagnosis of an IO-Link sensor.
The smart configurator operates on the Android platform housed on a portable and self-powered hand-held unit. With the three plug connectors on top of the unit, the user just needs to plug in the sensor. No complicated wiring required. As soon as you plug the sensor to one of the three connectors on the top of the device, the configurator will automatically research for the IODD file. The IODD file is the universal configuration format for all IO-Link sensors.
If the IODD file is not found, the SCTL55 will automatically download it, through Wi-Fi and show all sensor’s data in a few seconds. The user-friendly touch-screen interface allows user to configure an IO-Link sensor with a few clicks and scrolls. It is so easy that anyone can do it. Gone were the days where the user is required to find a PC, install the software and setup the system to just configure a sensor. The user could also expand the memory with an external SD card.
Thanks to the user-friendly GUI, it is so easy for the users to add any parameter to favourite selection on the homepage and create profiles with different levels of accessibility to the sensor’s parameters as observer, maintainer or specialist.
The smart configurator also provides monitoring and diagnostic functions. Through the 5.5-inch HD touchscreen display and dedicated apps you can access to an advanced diagnostic, check operating hours, number of detections, operating cycles, alarms and much more. You can verify your sensor status, including current temperature, quality of run and process data and easily change the operating sensor parameters, such as switch point mode, sensing distance, timing functions, output configuration (PNP/NPN/push-pull, NO/NC), to better meet the process requirements. These relevant data could provide more details of the sensor conditions for troubleshooting purposes.
Thanks to the rechargeable high capacity battery that lasts more than five hours in full operation and more than 22 hours with the screen off. With the five LEDs indicate the battery status, user will be able to detect the status of the battery and charging can be done via the provided mini USB cable.
“Thanks to these innovations, the STCL55 configurator is a real game changer in the market. You can now manage and improve your production processes and predictive maintenance and visualise your sensor parameters in a snapshot,” said by Aldo Caputo, International Product Manager.
From a user prospective, previously for a non-IO Link solution approach, configuring multiple sensors in a machine in order to achieve the optimisation is a tedious process. Today with the IO-Link solutions, the user is able to change the configuration with ease and have access to all the information related to the sensors such as number of detections, operating hours, current temperature, quality of run and alarms. In a few touches, it is possible to fine tune the parameters, such as the sensing distance and switching behaviour to better adjust to meet the specific application requirement. This is only possible with the IO-Link platform and advanced sensor diagnostics and easy troubleshooting function.
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