The degree of automation in production plants in the beverage industry is constantly increasing. For the larger breweries out there, this increases the demand for intelligent field devices. Sooner or later this leads to a confusing multitude of interfaces with different mechanical and electrical characteristics. In general, the solution to this challenge is called IO-Link and GEA’s T.VIS actuators are now available with this technology.
In addition to the 24 Volt, AS-i and DeviceNet communication types already available in the T.VIS range, the IO-Link technology will now enable GEA valves to make the step into the industrial 4.0 world. IO-Link provides customers with a standardized solution that simplifies installation and offers extended diagnostic and parameterization capabilities.
“In today’s highly competitive brewing industry, production efficiency is of paramount importance,” says Michael Golek, with GEA. “This is about automation technology, which plays an important role for large, modern breweries. Real-time diagnosis of data or direct access to sensor data, especially during valve setup and maintenance, improves control, accelerates product changes and changeovers, can anticipate problems before they escalate, calculates equipment effectiveness, identifies performance trends and optimizes maintenance schedules.”
IO-Link is the first globally standardized IO technology (IEC 61131-9) for communicating with sensors and also actuators down to the field level. The powerful point-to-point communication is based on the long-known 3-wire sensor and actuator connection without any additional requirements on the cable material.
An IO-Link system consists of an IO-Link master and one or more IO-Link devices. The IO-Link master represents the interface to the higher-level control level (PLC) and controls the entire communication with the connected IO-Link devices. This makes the system an intelligent solution at the field level.
The advantages of IO-Link at a glance:
- IO-Link makes sensors and actuators capable of communication
- Process data are exchanged digitally with high signal quality
- Components can be parameterized centrally
- Diagnostic information is transferred from the valve to the controller and can thus be visualized in the operating system.
- Standardized and considerably simplified installation
- IO-Link is fieldbus-independent and can be integrated into all fieldbuses worldwide.