Automate 2023

IIoT And The Smart Factory

IIoT And The Smart Factory

Tom Knauer - Global Industry Manager – Factory Automation & Robotics, Balluff GmbH

Sensors are the eyes, ears, and skin of the factory, and are the basic devices for gathering data for IIoT applications and Smart manufacturing. In the past, sensors were individually wired to machines and controllers, requiring many cables and a lot of time to set up the system. Their data was also very limited (on/off, analog values, etc.), and gathering and using this data in IIoT applications was cumbersome. Sensor-level networks, such as CANbus, AS-Interface and IO-Link greatly simplify machine start-up. Sensors can be connected to I/O blocks using standard cabling, reducing wiring time and troubleshooting. Built-in advanced capabilities allow more and better data – for example, IO-Link sensors provide process, event and service/device data, supporting IIoT functions. In addition, these networks are easily connected to higher-level Ethernet or Fieldbus protocols, and can even be directly accessed by control systems or cloud devices using standard masters or gateways. 


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