» Articles » Innovations » Digitalisation & Sensors with Baumer

Digitalisation & Sensors with Baumer

Process Industry Forum spoke to Baumer, a leading sensor technology company that specialises in sensors, encoders, measuring instruments and components for automated image processing. Here, we discussed the benefits of dual-channel control with a combined digital and analogue interface.

Benefits of digitalisation in manufacturing applications

With over 60 years of specialist research and development, Baumer is at the forefront of sensor and control technology; delivering superior control to industrial process applications across the world. We spoke with their team of experts to better understand how a combination of digital and analogue interfaces can benefit industrial applications with a dual-channel approach.

There are several benefits to implementing digital sensors and technology within your manufacturing plant. These include:

Digitalising a manufacturing plan can save you money beyond just increasing productivity. Digital sensor technology allows you to track energy consumption in real-time. This means you can see what equipment uses the most energy and make reactive changes based on this data.
With real-time communications, you can improve your supply chain information to better manage operations; therefore cutting costs and reducing wastage.
By implementing digital technology within a manufacturing facility, you can predict maintenance rather than reacting to breakdowns. With predictive maintenance, connected devices send signals to a worker to repair a component when reliability drops. This helps reduce the need for on-call maintenance and unplanned downtime.

Easy and fast commissioning

Also known as Input-Output Link, IO-Link allows for more parameters than ever before. Baumer explains that "for example, this means an industrial application can include freely selectable switching points, adjustable measuring ranges, filter functions and so much more all within one function. This means that the sensor is reliably configured to the application".

According to Baumer, by implementing PC user interfaces and mobile devices, this allows for easy, user-friendly and place-independent configuration; ensuring easy technology adoption throughout factories and manufacturing facilities. In conjunction with this, easy and automated parameterisation during format alignments, whilst in production offers a maximum amount of flexibility and machine performance.

Dual-Channel - Digital and Analogue interface benefits all at once

By utilising SIO mode (also known as Standard In-Out mode), the IO-Link defines a conventional operating mode for switching sensors.

Baumer explains that standard IO-Link sensors do not enable analogue control. This is why they have implemented additional output modules to allow digital, analogue, or hybrid sensor operations. Thanks to Dual Channel sensors from Baumer with analogue output, the sensor is capable of convention control and digital interfaces.

This offers all IO-Link benefits in setup and commissioning by considerably simplified sensor parameterisation and allows for further process controls. Baumer goes on to explain that both channels can be utilised simultaneously, to provide maximum flexibility for a wide range of process automation applications.

Added value with digital sensor data

Data is the most important basis for process optimisation. Digital IO-Link provides access to valuable secondary data. If sensors deliver reliable process data, this can be used for efficient plant control and monitoring. With secondary data, this can provide real added value for process optimisation.

Thanks to IO-Link, sensors can communicate this additional information such as process, analysis or diagnostic data to the controller and in some instances, store data to retrieve later if required.

Enhanced process efficiency thanks to a direct combination of sensor data

IO-Link allows for mutual and bi-directional sensor communication via the controller. This way, every sensor can utilise the measured values of other sensors to solve complex issues to optimise manufacturing processes.

Baumer recommends using the CombiLyz AFI conductivity sensor to transmit temperature valves to reduce response times, as this allows for faster media detection during phase separation to save water and cleaning media.

Baumer gives another example by way of filling level detection in closed tanks. In this instance, the combination of data of the two pressure sensors enables direct indication of the filling level with the head pressure sensor transmitting the measured valve to the pressure sensor at the tank bottom.

In this instance, IO-Link sensors can set up differential pressure measuring systems in level detection. The difference determines the filling level.

Baumer goes on to explain that IO-Link sensors operate exceptionally well within the food and beverage industry. With this mutual and bi-directional sensor communication, in particular the CombiLyz AFI conductivity sensor, manufacturers can monitor filling processes to enable accuracy. Enabling digitalisation delivers consistent quality control, and removes the need for human intervention.

Baumer can assist you with a wide variety of sensors and control solutions for a number of manufacturing applications.

Company Profile

Find out how Baumer IO-Link solutions are driving OEE efficiencies

The Baumer Group is leading at international level in the development and production of sensors, shaft encoders, measuring instruments as well as components for automatic image processing.

Get the latest process industry news

Interested in receiving even more industry-leading news from Process Industry Forum delivered directly to your inbox? Then sign up to our free newsletter. Bringing you the latest news, trends, innovations and opinion from across the process industry, our exclusive newsletter gives you all the industry insights of the moment in one, easy-to-digest bulletin. Stay ahead of the competition with regular process industry news instalments from PIF.