Drives & Controls November/December 2023

n TECHNOLOGY Factory monitoring platform works with any make of equipment SICK HAS launched a platform that collects data from any factory source – including sensors, controllers and IIoT devices from any manufacturer – and displays it in real time, generating alerts and alarms, and visualising historical trends via dashboard graphics. The vendor-agnostic Field Analytics platform will help manufacturers and logistics organisations to optimise their performance by providing application-specific condition monitoring and process insights, independent of the systems that they use. Users can aggregate data from various machines and automation systems, or augment legacy automation systems to provide additional insights. The system is scalable, allowing it to be adopted on a project-by-project basis, or at a wider organisational level. “Operators who want to gain more insights across a production floor, factory or warehouse can feel quite daunted by the prospect of collecting and comparing data from many different machines or applications,” explains Charlie Walker, Sick UK’s digital solutions consultant. “Faced with a sea of information, it can be difficult to isolate the specific factors that are affecting operating efficiency. The data could come from all sorts of sources that use different communications protocols. Information could even still be recorded manually, be stuck in silos, or bogged down in bottlenecks. “Even if operators already extract some data from their existing automation, they can find themselves locked out of PLCs or other systems,” he adds. “So, they cannot increase the amount of diagnostic data from their legacy systems, even when they replace switched devices with IO-Link sensors, or configure edge integrations using IO-Link Masters. “Field Analytics can solve these problems easily by collecting data from all of these disparate sources without costly and timeconsuming adaptation of existing systems,” Walker continues. “Operators can extract more information about the health of their machines, while interrogating their operating efficiency in new – and sometimes surprising – ways.” The platform can be used with data extracted from a variety of sources, including sensors, PLCs and smart IIoT edge devices. Operators can set up and trend KPIs, both historically and in real time. Real-time alerts allow them to react quickly to anomalies that might otherwise lead to machine failures. Printing & Packaging • Materials Handling • Simulation • Machine Tool Electronics • Offshore • Renewable Energy • Remote Operated & Unmanned Vehicles Food & Beverage • Fine Chemical • Pharmaceuticals • Semiconductor Call, email or visit us on-line T. +44 (0)161 217 7100 E. W. Providing COMPONENTS and SOLUTIONS si ONS since 1985 servo & stepper drives & motors - motion control & HMIs encoders & sensors - gearboxes - couplings - actuators - super metering pumps Sick’s Field Analytics platform can help organisations to optimise their performance PARKER HANNIFIN HAS developed a modular AC drive specifically for motor control in hydraulic applications. The AC20F drive, available in ratings from 1.5-180kW, can be used in variable-speed hydraulic pump systems, such as the company’s drivecontrolled pump (DCP). It includes a sensorless vector mode for controlling induction motors. The drive can monitor the condition of hydraulic power packs, detecting oil levels, temperatures and filter conditions. It can generate warnings or halt applications. In DCP applications, the drive supports four operating modes. In flow control (Q) mode, it sets the correct pump speed based on a specified flow rate. In pressure (P) mode, it controls pressure based on a control signal and feedback from a closedloop pressure transducer. A PQ mode combines the first two options. The drive also offers an electronic load compensated pump (eLCP) load-sensing mode, which combines the high dynamics of a throttle valve with the efficiency of a DCP. Options include I/O cards, and an encoder feedback card that allows an incremental encoder to be connected for closed-loop vector control. The Drive System Explorer (DSELite) configuration software is based on block programming and offers an intuitive interface. It allows users to configure and parameterise applications without having to navigate through complicated menus. AC drive is designed for hydraulic applications