Schildknecht AG

Schildknecht AG
Schildknecht AG has been a system provider for data transmission since 1981.

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Using radio waves as slip ring replacement

Feb 18, 2022 9:36:00 AM / by Schildknecht AG posted in PROFIBUS, Profibus network, slip ring systems, slip ring rotary systems, rotary electrical contacts, Slip ring, electrical slip ring, Slip ring assemblies, Slip ring collector, where is a slip ring used, collector rings, rotary joints, electric rotary joints, sliding contacts

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Wireless as a reliable and wear-free option for data communication

 

How do you transfer electrical power and data between a fixed part of a machine or device and its moving or rotating parts, for instance in cranes or wind turbines? Obviously, cables won’t do the job, so this is where the electrical slip ring comes in.

 

Where is a slip ring used?

Slip rings have been around for ages, and they are used in all industrial branches. They have many names, such as collector rings, rotary joints, electric rotary joints, sliding contacts, rotary electrical contacts etc. Apart from cranes and wind turbines they’re used in industrial plants, mechanical engineering, robots, engines, and medical technology, just to name a few applications.

 

How slip rings work

As mentioned, slip ring assemblies are used, where you need to transfer power and/or data between stationary and moving parts. In the past such slip ring transmitters have helped solve tricky challenges in designing moving applications, for instance rotary tables.

However, its functional principle requires permanent electrical contact, and as such it has limits regarding data transmission: While you don’t have to worry about short interruptions when it comes to power supply, interruption of data communication in control systems means delayed or lost data packages, leading to errors and often to downtime.

 

Faulty slip rings? Time to modernize

Another weakness of data transmission via electrical slip ring is the wear and tear of the materials rubbing against each other. This means the slip ring assemblies require regular servicing and replacing, which leads to productivity loss. It gets even worse, if a slip ring suddenly malfunctions. That often leads to production coming to a standstill, resulting in high costs, angry customers and frustrated employees. To avoid that it is crucial to act before accidents happen, and to look into how you can replace slip ring assemblies with reliable and maintenance free data communication.

For instance, plants that previously were equipped with slip ring transmitters for PROFIBUS can be modernized, leading to improved plant availability and production efficiency. For power transmission only, sliding contacts and rotary transmissions continue to be a good option. But they can be complemented nicely with radio solutions. This separation of power supply and data transmission leads to more stable solutions and reduced risk of EMC disturbance.

In most cases, combining slip ring systems for power transfer and radio solutions for data communication is even significantly cheaper than slip ring assemblies that transmit power and ethernet protocols like PROFINET simultaneously. Moreover, this retrofit approach enables step-by-step updating of existing slip ring assemblies without large investment.

 

Radio is a fast and reliable alternative to rotary transmissions

In addition to the problems coming from wear and tear, rotary electrical contacts reach their limit when a rising number of sensors are integrated into networks and IoT solutions, and when high data rates, failure safety, and real-time communication is required.

Radio transfer is the perfect replacement for data transfer by sliding contacts. Radio technology offers reliable and secure data transfer for all serial Fieldbus protocols, like PROFIBUS or CAN, and also for ethernet communication such as PROFINET. Radio is easily made operational without costly installation and commissioning, and can handle complex networks and long distances. Moreover, Fieldbus converters allow new and older components to run in the same system and to be integrated into one single infrastructure. As a result, with wireless you can build complex networks for Fieldbus communication, with numerous controls and IO modules.

Contrary to other wireless systems like optical data transceivers, inductive systems or optical fibers, radio communication is flexible and absolutely wear-free. No maintenance means maximum availability of machines and production systems.

 

Which radio solution for replacing slip rings?

There are huge differences between the radio solutions available, and therefore large variations in transmission security and reliability. With DATAEAGLE Schildknecht offers a patented technology combining fast and easy plug & play installation with the highest degree of transmission stability. This eliminates Fieldbus errors coming from disturbances in data transmission, because data packets are analyzed, pre-processed and prioritized before being transmitted. Due to short-time storage of commands and configurable filtering time, short-time radio interference can be bypassed. This makes the data connection stable and reliable, even under harsh surrounding conditions.

 

Find the ideal solution for your application

Radio data systems with stabilized transmission are reliable, durable, maintenance-free, with secure communication and robustness against transmission errors. This makes them ideally suited for industrial machines and plants. In addition, the patented DATAEAGLE product family offers maximum flexibility and easy plug & play installation. This enables you to swiftly find the ideal wireless data transfer solution for your specific use case.

 

Does your application have special requirements? We’re looking forward to finding the ideal solution together with you!

Please reach out to arrange a meeting about your project – free and noncommittal

 

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At a glance: Replacing slip rings with wireless

  • Ready immediately due to plug & play installation, even in complex networks and multi point connections
  • Stabilized radio paths with DATAEAGLE enhance security and reliability, due to pre-processed data and prioritized transmission
  • Maximum system availability, radio solutions are wear-free and maintenance-free
  • Ideal for modernization and retrofit, older or faulty rotary transmissions are quickly and easily replaced by radio modules. This allows for step-by-step modernization without steep entry costs.

 

 

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This is your quick and cost-effective entry into condition monitoring

Feb 11, 2022 8:31:04 AM / by Schildknecht AG posted in Cloud services, IIoT, IoT, IoT devices, IoT-enabled, IoT solutions

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Sensors can keep your machines and systems healthy and efficient. Being able to closely and continuously monitor the condition of production equipment in a factory will allow for targeted servicing and maintenance, fewer breakdowns and an increase in overall efficiency. The Schildknecht IoT Ready-To-Use system offers a quick and cost-effective entry into condition monitoring.

 

If you are new to the concept of condition based monitoring, it can be difficult to determine where to start. And what about the costs? And how to avoid turning it into a big and complex project with too many stakeholders?

 

There are many questions to consider before embarking on a condition monitoring project. At Schildknecht, we know how to answer them. Over the years we have built more than 500 proof of concepts together with our customers, and we have learned that you have to be pragmatic and focused to succeed.

 

Based on our experience, we have developed the Schildknecht IoT Ready-To-Use systems. They offer you a quick, easy and cost-effective entry into condition based monitoring, and we recommend a step-by-step approach to deploying them.

 

DataEagle Condition Monitoring System diagram

 

First steps for introducing condition monitoring

A good way to get started is to focus on the weak spots of your factory. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the weakest parts of my production setup?
  • Where do breakdowns occur most frequently?
  • Where do failures have financial consequences?
  • Where do breakdowns have widespread effects, e.g. because several production lines are blocked as a result?

 

Very likely you’ll be able to point out specific pumps, motors, or other equipment that constitute critical weaknesses in need of constant monitoring. This is the place to start.

 

The next step is to determine what you want to measure. The most common values are temperature, vibrations and noise level. However, the IoT Ready-To-Use system enables you to measure much more if necessary. Its CISS multi-sensor for harsh environments contains 8 sensors:

  • accelerometer
  • gyroscope
  • magnetometer
  • digital light sensor
  • pressure sensor
  • microphone
  • thermometer
  • humidity sensor

This versatility allows you to experiment and to adjust the setup along the way, until you have found the best parameters to monitor on your machines and equipment.

 

DataEagle Condition Monitoring System Product Images

 

Start with monitoring one application

To get started, it is important to focus on one application or machine. Don’t think too much about integration or turning this into a multi-functional system. Save that for later. The initial phase is all about focusing and building a strong case around one single application. This also lets you control costs and installation time.

 

From this point on you can adjust and expand your condition monitoring solution easily, as the Schildknecht wireless concept with decentralized sensors and central gateways gives you the flexibility to change your setup along the way.

 

For instance, you might have a number of older machines in your factory, with all the problems that go with them in regards to repair and spare parts. It would make good sense to monitor them closely to ensure maximum uptime and to extend their life span. A non-invasive system like IoT Ready-To-Use ensures easy retrofitting with the least possible installation efforts and disruption to production.

 

Or you can work towards the convergence of your IT and OT infrastructures. As IT and OT move closer together you might want to get a simultaneous overview of both worlds. For this, Schildknecht is partnering with PAESSLER, data from the Schildknecht system can be easily integrated into the PAESSLER PRTG Monitor.

 

Install the condition monitoring system

Getting a condition monitoring system up and running doesn’t have to be complicated and time consuming. We have designed our system explicitly with ease-of-use and flexibility in mind.

For instance, no integration is needed, and its multi-sensor has magnets for easy installation. Also, to avoid the hassle of installing extra wiring, the system’s gateway uses radio communication to send monitoring data to a cloud portal.

 

You can mount the multi-sensor directly on the engine or machine. It transmits measurement data via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to the DATAEAGLE 2730 IoT gateway, which is able to receive data from up to 8 sensors simultaneously. The gateway then pre-processes the data and transfers it via wireless 3G/4G to the cloud, where it is stored and ready to be visualized and analyzed via the DATAEAGLE Portal.

 

The DATAEAGLE Cloud Portal provides a ready-to-use dashboard to get an overview of the data coming in from the sensors. At this point you can analyze the data. Depending on the use case, you can set different transmission intervals of the sensor values to the cloud, or you can set alarms for individual sensors.

 

Request a demo

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information about how to get started with condition based monitoring. We invite you to request a demo or a test system – we are looking forward to helping you to a quick, easy and cost-effective entry into condition monitoring.

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