Industrial Ethernet applications in real time

Industrial Ethernet protocols can help real time applications. Examples follow, along with application photos and links to additional industrial Ethernet information. Peek inside multiple industrial Ethernet applications with Rovema, SERCOS III, Automata, Bosch Rexroth, Ilapak, Ethernet Powerlink, Linux, B&R Automation, and...

10/02/2008


SERCOS III Ethernet protocol is used on Rovema packaging machines.

SERCOS III Ethernet protocol replaced the traditional network

Talon Manufacturing provides high-end microwave-popcorn packaging systems using EtherCAT industrial Ethernet protocol.

Talon Manufacturing provides high-end microwave-popcorn packaging systems using EtherCAT industrial Ethernet protocol.

Automation keeps Talon Manufacturing microwave-popcorn packaging machines on the move.

Here's some of the automation that keeps Talon Manufacturing microwave-popcorn packaging machines on the move.

Afcon Software and Electronics Ltd. used Modbus TCP at the Nesher Cement Plant.

Afcon Software and Electronics Ltd. used Modbus TCP for real-time communication in a project with the Nesher Cement Plant.

Ilapak Group wrapping machinery uses B&R Industrial Automation I/O system and Powerlink Ethernet protocol.

Ilapak Group makes industrial wrapping machinery with a B&R Automation I/O system and Powerlink Ethernet protocol.

Ilapak industrial wrapping machinery uses Powerlink Ethernet protocol.

Here's a wider view of

Industrial Ethernet protocols can help real time applications. Examples follow, along with application photos and links to additional industrial Ethernet information.
Rovema, SERCOS III, Automata, Bosch Rexroth
SERCOS III Ethernet protocol has replaced the traditional network for direct control of I/O connections, monitoring subsystems, and other field bus devices on Rovema packaging machines. The open, standardized SERCOS III interface gives Rovema a universal drive and automation interface compatible with drives and devices from many manufacturers.
Rovema machines are said to handle sophisticated, complex packaging applications such as forming, filling, sealing, case packing and retail packaging. Rovema says its machines have used its own “powerful and highly flexible PC-based P@ck-Control system” with a conventional
Recently, Rovema decided to replace the
- Support complex Rovema controls ; the
- Include drives and I/O connections that speak the same language ;
- Exploit high performance, low-cost hardware components to reduce connectivity costs.
- Support powerful and standard communications with I/O and drive profiles.
Rovema designed the Ethernet-based SERCOS III real time communications system into the new P@ck-Control generation. A new VPL260 tubular bag machine with continuous volumetric filling was introduced at Interpack 2008. A SERCOS III master card from Automata is installed in the PC-based computer that runs P@ck-Control. Two high speed, high-precision Bosch Rexroth linear motors drive the longitudinal sealing tools. SERCOS III I/O modules from Phoenix Contact complete the control system.
SERCOS III, an Ethernet protocol, uses cyclic data transfer in a precisely defined window from the original SERCOS interface. Hardware-based synchronization provides a solid basis for dependable implementation of sophisticated motion control functions, such as electronic drives and cams in packaging machines where up to 30 axes have to execute coordinated, high-speed motion with highly accurate path control.
In parallel with real time processing, SERCOS III can handle standard IP data traffic (such as TCP/IP), allowing the Rovema P@ck-Control to exchange messages with other devices on the network. In combination with the complex, centralized P@ck-Control automation system, Rovema’s Ethernet-based solution expands existing diagnostic and remote maintenance capabilities down to the drive and I/O level.
Popcorn bags open better with EtherCAT, Beckhoff Automation
PC-based controls and use of EtherCAT industrial Ethernet protocol help machine deliver accurately made microwave popcorn bags. Some key points follow.
- Talon Manufacturing provides high-end microwave-popcorn packaging systems;
-Previous system used PLC, operator interface, and servo system from different vendors;
-Tigher integration, better performance, and lower cost were sought;
-Panel space was tight. More control in smaller space was desired;
-PC-based TwinCAT NC PTP software from Beckhoff Automation provided control, including axis-positioning;
- InduSoft supplied software showing a high-end, easy-to-use array of pushbuttons, menu screens and display graphics; and
-EtherCAT Ethernet protocol brings ultra-high speed and deterministic control.
See more popcorn packaging machine application photos and details .
Texo Industries, EtherNet/IP, Rockwell Automation Italy-based Texo Industries streamlined print-and-cut operations on its Excalibur rotary die cutter and printing line. The company faces challenges to meet market demands for increasingly refined and modern boxes that reinforce product quality.
Under its old system, the 29-axis machine took about 35 seconds to synchronize on start-up. An operator order to adjust the parameters took two seconds to fulfill. To adjust parameters more quickly, Texo sought to simplify information exchange at the control level.

Engineering-Driven Ethernet

Read .

The machine is composed modules thatdisconnection and reconnection each time. To streamline operations, Texo installed a SLC 500 series programmable logic controller (PLC) from Rockwell Automation in the machine; all communications take place via three pairs of cables, reducing set-up times.
Texo replaced its DH-485 network with EtherNet/IP protocol to further reduce set up time and attained faster transmission of adjustments during machine operation. EtherNet/IP helped simplify information exchange with the control level, and can adjust parameters in 0.3 seconds — six times faster than previously. The machine performs the set-up process electronically; the operator only has to physically replace printing dies. Once the machine is set up, it operates at 10,500 characters per minute.
A DeviceNet network controls the absolute multi-turn encoders. One encoder model is used for the whole machine, which reduces the number of codes that must be stored. This offers financial savings and simplifies maintenance operations. During machine installation and maintenance, a central PC controls the encoder’s operating parameters.
By implementing electronic control and streamlining operations, Texo Industries technicians created a reliable, cost-effective, high-quality printing and rotary die cutting machine.

Ethernet clarity: Deterministic is specific; real-time is subjective

Here are some real-time thoughts delivered in a deterministic interval (figuratively speaking) of 106 words.
If someone says communications are deterministic, that means the arrival of data is guaranteed within a predetermined interval of time.
If someone says something is real-time, that means that communication happens quickly enough to meet the application’s needs. What’s real time in 4 hour batch process can differs from what’s real time for high-speed CNC machining. When adding ingredients, actuation to the second may be fine. In machining and other applications, a second can be split a hundred different ways, or more. Communications for either may or may not be deterministic.
- Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering

Ilapak, Ethernet Powerlink, Linux, B&R Automation
Ilapak Group is a manufacturer of industrial wrapping machinery for primary packaging using flexible wrapping materials, for food and non-food applications. It says it is number one globally in horizontal packaging machines and one of the market leaders in vertical machines. Use of advanced technologies will help Ilapak differentiate itself from competitors, says Claudio Machiavelli, software engineering supervisor at the research and development department located in Ilapak’s headquarters in Lugano, Italy. He leads Phoenix project.
New platform: “This year, we will begin the introduction of a new, powerful, versatile electronic platform on all of our premium level machines.” The “Phoenix” platform will be based on a new industrial PC with a Linux operating system and B&R Automation modular I/Os, brushless motors and drives, Machiavelli says.
“The idea is to have a common platform for all our machines to optimize and rationalize our different machine families with a single‘core,’ ” explains Machiavelli. “For instance, by simply changing the head of a horizontal machine, we can make hermetically sealed products (Delta line) or general-purpose products (Carrera line). The application software will determine the functions of the machine, but theunderlying framework will be common to every machine,” and will spread to most Ilapak machines.
Phoenix project targets were set two years ago. Key points include the following.
-Main objective was to update Ilapak machines’ control systems with digital technology using‘standard’ automation components, reducing hardware costs and number of components, cutting labor and assembly. Diagnostics capabilities decrease service time;
-Digital communications enhanced communications inside and outside the company using Ethernet and Internet protocols; and
-Ilapak chose a high-performance Linux operating system and Ethernet Powerlink protocol, which it called "open and fast." First new-generation machine was introduced in 2006.
B&R Automation helped with the new platform and existing lines using “standard Powerlink protocol, which is set by a consortium of many companies,” Machiavelli says. Product breadth and modularity allowed design and assembly of different configurations in a shorter period of time than previously.

More industrial Ethernet information

Additional information and links about industrial Ethernet follow.
CC-Link IE: First, open, industrial Gigabit Ethernet protocol

Product Research: Protocols for Industrial Ethernet

Who Puts the 'Industrial’ in Ethernet?

Ethernet isn't a protocol; something needs to run in the wire

A B&R X20 modular I/O system replaces a custom electronic remote I/O (CAN module). The new system is more compact, easier to install and has self-guided access for troubleshooting. It also allows less cabling inside the machine and modular additions of up to 240 modules. “When a limited number of I/O‘slots’ is required, we can benefit from a significant reduction in the space required. New digital technology communicates directly with the PC avoiding an servo drive interface with the I/O subsystem through wired signals," Machiavelli says.
Powerlink protocol communicates between I/O points and the controller with higher throughput data transfer compared to the previous CAN protocol, reports Machiavelli. Sharing more information among components improves diagnostic capabilities. Less complexity and fewer discrete signals reduces the probability of assembly mistakes.
“When the machine is switched-on, the PC performs all the checks and required updates, downloads the parameters to the drives and, if a module must be replaced in any equipment, the work of the service technician is limited to a simple physical replacement. This saves time for Ilapak and significantly reduces machine downtime for the customer,” says Machiavelli.
The new platform also switches from ac motors and drives to B&R series 8LSA servo motors with Acopos multi drives.
“Brushless motors (servo motors) are smaller and lighter than ac motors. They don’t need a fan for air cooling, and they generate a lower heating ratio. Servo motors reduce the electrical power consumption and have a better dynamic response time which results in better performance. Also, when coupled to a planetary gear box, servo motors give a better response time and have a better efficiency,” Machiavelli says. Final positioning accuracy is higher and the need for separate encoders is eliminated. Resolvers are embedded in the servo motor.

Read other articles in the October 2008 System Integration eNewsletter

Fast link: Read other articles below, also included in the October 2008 Control Engineering System Integration eNewsletter.


In vertical packaging machines, 4 to 14 motors may be used; with the new technologies, all requirements fit in a standard 3-slot rack, saving switching electrical cabinet space and getting to market more quickly.
Nesher Cement, Modbus TCP Ethernet, Afcon
Afcon Software and Electronics Ltd . used Modbus TCP for real-time communication in a project with the Nesher Cement Plant. Nesher Cement is Israel’s largest cement-making company with three plants in Haifa, Ramle, and Bet Shemesh. The company updated the technology used in all plants by moving from outdated wet production lines to more efficient and environmentally safer dry lines.
Nesher Ramle has two dry lines where it annually manufactures approximately 3.6 million tons of clinker and 5 million tons of cement.
The SCADA/HMI system running the plant’s processes is Afcon’s P-CIM 7.50. Afcon’s Dart software is used for remote control and monitoring on mobile phones and handheld devices.
P-CIM is responsible for the following processes:
-Production lines for stone transportation, stacking/reclaiming, crushing, mixing, elevators, kiln, calcinatory, cooling, lab tests and storage;
-Cement mills, grinders, mixers, transportation to storage, packaging and shipping; and
-Support systems, flue gas desulphurization (FGD), kiln fuel, power switching and gate control.
The system also supports a central controls room with 35 operator workstations; three servers for alarms, history and communications, which give support to another 25 workstations.
Real-time communications are supported by Modbus TCP in a system that employs approximately 85 PCs and around 40,000 point of I/O, running on fiber optics at network and I/O levels.
Using P-CIM 7.50 and Dart 3.71, Afcon designed and integrated the new control and management project into Nesher Ramle. Dart 3.71, working over MIRS Frame Relay, enables sending events, alarms and reports to operator or manager mobile phones in real time.
– Edited by  Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief
Control Engineering System Integration eNewsletter
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Related links and ONLINE extra on industrial Ethernet

More from the October 2008 Control Engineering supplement on Engineering-Drive Ethernet:

Real-time Ethernet Applications

(included in more detail above)

Don't Rip Out Your Legacy Network


Gigabit Ethernet: Is the Time Right?


Nesher Cement rolls with Modbus TCP, real-time control

(included in more detail above)





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