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Sensors go Ethernet

Sensors go Ethernet

A trend towards the replacement of existing first-generation fieldbuses with real-time Ethernet, also known as Industrial Ethernet, is becoming apparent in the field of automation technology. The sensor specialists at Wenglor have recognised market demands and are making their sensor products fit for the future. The company is integrating new real-time Ethernet technology into its transit time sensors and reflex sensors with background suppression, with the launch of the first all-in-one photoelectronic sensors.

As opposed to the installation efforts required for conventional bus systems, Industrial Ethernet is quicker and easier to integrate, which is why it's used to an ever greater extent in manufacturing. Thanks to its large bandwidth and real-time communication, components connected via Ethernet allow for ultra-fast data transfer, easy read-out and analysis of process and service data, as well as location-independent configuration of the sensors. "We're getting our field devices ready for future industrial requirements, and rising to a new develop-mental level within the field of sensor technology," explains managing director Fabian Baur with regard to Wenglor's ambitions in the area of real-time Ethernet.

In particular Wenglor sees that three Ethernet-based fieldbuses - EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT and Profinet - have established themselves within the market in recent years for real-time requirements in automation technology. Wenglor is getting its products ready for all three standards, allowing them to be smoothly integrated into existing structures.

Power over Ethernet
Data transfer and power supply for Wenglor's Ethernet products are handled with a single cable - an 8-pin M12x1 Ethernet cable with IP 67 protection which is suitable for use in the field. Cabling expense and installation costs can be significantly reduced by means of the  Power over Ethernet (PoE) process, and a central, uninterruptible power system can be implemented as well, giving increased failsafe security for devices.

For Wenglor, various time-tested products will ring in the new era of sensor technology. Transit time sensors with display and reflex sensors with background suppression will be the first real-time compatible products in the field of photoelectronics. Where ID technology is concerned, the image processing Vision Sensor and a new CCD Barcode Scanner will be equipped with Ethernet technology.

Networking of various systems and components is accomplished by means of switches. They split a single Ethernet cable into several lines, making it possible to adapt the individual components to the respective topology in a fully flexible and individualised fashion. Wenglor's switches are available with and without PoE.

Simple standard sensors with digital PNP switching inputs and outputs can be easily integrated into existing Industrial Ethernet systems with the help of connection boxes. As with the switches, connection boxes are available as EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT and Profinet variants.

For the first time ever, a web server will also be used by Wenglor which is directly integrated into the Ethernet sensors, CCD barcode scanners and switches, allowing for worldwide access to websites set up especially for each respective product - without additional software. Customers can configure Wenglor products and access data quickly and easily from anywhere in the world using a clear-cut user interface in their own web browser.

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