Controling valves intelligently with AS-Interface
Intelligent process automation is the buzzword for keeping the process industry competitive and future-proof. One example is the compact combi switchbox with integrated pilot valve GEMU 4242 that communicates with the control system via AS-Interface.
This results in externally controlled linear drives in processing plants that propel digitalization. Reducing machine downtimes and making better use of capacities: In intelligent process automation, plant operators take a holistic approach to the control levels as well as to innovative components and fittings on the field level. In this context, the valve specialist GEMU offers high-quality valve control systems with AS-Interface which support a successful automation.
Valve actuation as system-oriented solution
The GEMU combi switchbox 4242, suited for mounting on pneumatically operated linear drives, follows the trend towards decentralized plant intelligence. The valve stem position is reliably detected electronically by a backlash-free and force-locked adaptation – including evaluation. Integrated pilot valves allow direct control of the connected process valve. Intelligent microprocessor-controlled functions facilitate commissioning and support operation. The current position of the valve is indicated using far-reaching LEDs and reported back via electronic signals. Compared to external versions for larger installation spaces, this solution offers functional as well as cost-related advantages like fast response times or reduced compressed air consumption.
System-oriented functionality requires appropriate data transfer
Plant operators prefer safe bus systems like AS-Interface. As production processes become more automized, safe, fast, and economic connection options are of particular importance. From GEMU’s point of view, one of the most important advantages of AS-Interface is the master’s ability to address and reply to up to 62 slaves (actuators/sensors) via a single port. Another crucial aspect is the easy wiring that significantly reduces errors. The following AS-Interface profiles are available: 24 V, AS-Interface or DeviceNet versions as well as a version with an IO-Link interface.
Especially because the connection system is established in different areas of process automation and thus guarantees functional safety in process automation, the combination of a component, like for instance the combi switchbox, and AS-Interface implements the customer-specific requirements on the automation concept, and therefore complies with the need for more digitalization and networking.
More information: www.gemu-group.com
So be it with thee, if forever united in yellow
The innuendo to Schiller’s Lay of the Bell is befitting for the commitment of HTWK Leipzigs’ testing laboratory (HTWK - University of Technology, Economics and Culture in Leipzig). Ever since the ASi system’s early stages in the 1990s, this lab has been at ASi’s side for development and testing.
Functional safely, including human errors when connecting ASi, are the stories told by Prof. Tilo Heimbold and his team. As enthusiastic as Friedrich Schiller was about the connection between a handcrafted bell casting and the human life, the testing lab of the HTWK Leipzig shows its passion to test connections to the AS-Interface system. As of today, about 2,500 test runs and inspections of connectable components such as power supplies, masters, slaves, system ASICs, repeaters and ground fault detectors were performed, ensuring the system’s functional safety from the user’s perspective. In addition to inspections and tests related to the development project, the examinations of all electronic ASi components attached to the bus as the basis of a certification through the AS-International Association is planned to start in 2020.
ASi-5 tested and deemed fit for usage
By now, the testing lab and the team of Prof. Tilo Heimbold are positioned as the development partner of AS-Interface. Inspection and test data, for example on measurement parameters like bus impedance, symmetry to ground potential, and EMC tests (BURST behavior) with error rate measurement, are valuable results for new developments such as the ASi-5 system and are incorporated into the its implementation. The spectrum extends up to a complete inspection of all bus-related physical and logical characteristics according to the requirements of the system specification and IEC/EN62026-2. The focus is on the system’s ASIC as main component of slaves, repeaters and the manufacture-dependent masters.
Higher data throughput with AS-Interface
In the times of digitalization, the request for more data communications is raising, and the classic ASi system needed new functions for future-proof topologies with cloud structure. In cooperation with the HTWK Leipzig’s testing lab, a point-to-multiple-points multiple-step concept had to be developed that retained AS-Interface’s commonly known advantage in a master-slave topology. In developing AS-5 by changing the data transmission procedure, the Industrial Internet of Things’ (IIoT) potentials that promise extensive diagnostics including additional field data as well as faster system cycles are taken into account. Even though currently, many sensors and actuators operate on a relatively small data width, AS-Interface’s new upgrade keeps network costs for setup and components low without losing flexibility and modularity at any point.
ASi’s upward and downward compatibility
From the user’s point of view, it is important to ensure in the test lab that if both ASi-3 and ASi-5 components are included in one topology, I/O data communications are guaranteed. The absolute continuity of ASi components – for either upwards or downwards compatibility – is always maintained at the sensor/actuator level. The absolute zero-error transparency, proven by HTWK through various test setups, is decisive for a reliable data transmission. In the lab, measurements on four identified worst-case topologies guarantee functionality of typical, critical system topologies of sensors and actuators connected to the master.
At the same time, meticulous function tests opened up the data-technological advantages of ASi-5 to the lab’s specialists. Different from ASi-3, the system management with error diagnostics now also runs parallel to I/O data communications. When adding I/O-Link as a slave, condition monitoring functions become available. Through the performance gain when adding the new chip, AS-Interface becomes an IIoT data feeder at the lowest level of automation – exactly where increasing requests for decentral intelligence in plants and machines are directed.
All in all…
… functional safety in industrial communications in existing plants can be seen as a retro process, to be permanently optimized and designed to be more efficient through digitalization. Data management and the associated industrial communications in automation is subject to constant change – either analog or digital. AS-Interface supports the users’ need in terms of real-time communications, linking to IO-Link devices, or the easy and cost-effective interconnection and wiring of sensors and actuators. HTWK’s testing lab puts everything to the test to guarantee functional safety of classic as well as cloud-based topologies with ASi-3 and/or ASi-5.
Optimistic for the future
Within the scope of digitization, the clear goal was formulated to integrate operating devices with AS-Interface even more easily. Johan Persson, CEO of Celpia: "We have made a very successful start with the Cabinet Modules product line. We make things simpler, safer and better. Users can look forward to a wide range of product developments.
The new ASiMAG, new products and more
The new german AS-Interface magazine is published. The issue contains product innovations, information about ASi-5 and new AS-Interface manufacturers.
The cancellation of the Hannover Fair due to the Corona Pandemic was not known at the time of going to press. Please ignore the information about the July date in the magazine.
With more data width, fit for new automation tasks
The new technology ASi-5 offers many new opportunities. The fundamental change is the form of data transmission and the resulting change in data width. Learn more in the current German video youtu.be/Qhu4rxZR89s.
In principle, all improvements of the system are based on these changes. Not only more complex devices can be addressed, but also the diagnosis of the system and many mores has been significantly improved.
Learn more in the current German video youtu.be/Qhu4rxZR89s.
Dongguan Hugu, new member of the AS-Interface organization.
Das Chinesisch Unternehmen Dongguan Hugu wird mit AS-Interface Kundenutzen schaffen und wird als neues Mitglied der Nutzerorganisation begrüßt.
Dongguan Hugu is a leading company in automation business with a focus on connection and data transmission.
150 certificates in the AS-Interface Academy
The new AS-Interface Academy is a complete success. This year already more than 150 users have successfully used the offer. At the end of the academy a certificate was issued to the graduates.
The academy gives comprehensive knowledge about AS-Interface and the application of simple wiring technology. By completing the Academy, users are optimally prepared for the use of the technology.
Start AS-Interface Academy now https://www.as-interface-academy.net/
Use AS-Interface wiring advantages for IO-Link
With AS-Interface, IO-Link can be connected effectively and, above all, cost-effectively. This makes this modern alternative to the analogue current interface network-compatible. The new ASi-5 technology makes this connection even more powerful. The current German YouTube video informs. youtu.be/JJbIGzlYeWs
Metso, new member of the AS-Interface organization.
The Metso Corporation generates customer benefits using AS-Interface and is welcome as a new member of the user organization.
Metso is a world-leading industrial company offering equipment and services for the sustainable processing and flow of natural resources in the mining, aggregates, recycling and process industries. With unique knowledge and innovative solutions Metso helps their customers to improve their operational efficiency, reduce risks and increase profitability. Metso employs over 15,000 people in more than 50 countries.
AS-International: ASi-5 specification now available
During the general meeting mid-December 2019 in Gelnhausen, Germany, the project managers of the ASi-5 development collaboration, Dr. Thomas Sebastiany and Bernhard Wiedemann, officially handed the ASi-5 specification over to AS-International. The specification is now available to all members.
Through the next level of innovation ASi-5, AS-Interface is ready for the future and ready to master the challenges of digitalization. ASi-5 was developed to be the ideal data shuttle for digitalization, Industry 4.0, and the IOT, while keeping the proven simplicity of the AS-Interface system: Maintaining downward compatibility within the system as well as preserving already existing advantages like the simple wiring process and a topology-free network were core objectives during the development of ASi-5. This system update offers even more power and functionality: extended diagnostics, greater data width, shorter cycle times, more users and the option to easily integrate IO-Link.
Simultaneously with the technology project, an ASi-5 addressing app was designed. This app allows easy and comfortable addressing of ASi-5 components via smart phone or tablet.
After multiple years developing ASi-5, the project is now finalized, tested, approved, and already part of the portfolio of several development partners. From now on, all AS-International Association members can use ASi-5 technology and the ASi-5 ASIC in their own development projects, and thus profit from the advanced technology. AS-Interface continues to guarantee compatibility with the ASi components of all other manufacturers.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank the ASi-5 development partners for the excellent cooperation and the mutual trust.