The new SIKO AP20 position indicator is ideally equipped to detect the position of spindle adjustments in machines. It displays the corresponding positional data to the operator and passes it on to the machine control system. Simple system integration in combination with modern interfaces is all that is required. On the one hand, this ensures the shortest possible downtimes, on the other the interfaces provide loss-free data communication between the position indicator and the machine control system.
The compact system is particularly suitable for flexible manufacturing with production machines such as packing machines, woodworking machines, printing machines and machines for further processing of printed products. Wherever manual adjustment is carried out on production machines, bus-compatible SIKO position indicators are able to optimize the production process in such a way that costly refitting times during product changeovers are kept to a minimum. Once installed, position indicators provide 100% process reliability. During product and size changeovers, incorrect machine settings and the associated risk of damage to tools or batches with defects can be eliminated consistently with the AP20.
Wide range of control system integration options
In addition to the SIKONET5 and CAN interfaces already on offer, SIKO is now extending its AP series position indicators to include the most common industrial Ethernet-Fieldbus interfaces, namely Profinet, Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT and Powerlink. In this way, the company is meeting requirements for easy integration into almost any current control system from a wide range of manufacturers without any other accessories. Compared to a converter solution, the variety of components is reduced, as is the space required in the machine. This significant gain in flexibility ensures loss-free communication between the machine control system and position indicator at all times, in particular for systems that run a complex production process and for which, as a result, a large number of sensors or long cable lengths are required. Two M12-D coded bus connections for a bus line design that protects the cable mean that star-shaped wiring to the control system is no longer essential.
Industry 4.0 and smart factory ready
The AP20 must achieve a certain level of connectivity to satisfy the requirements of Industry 4.0. For the smart factory of the future, pure exchange of operational process data is no longer adequate. Comprehensive diagnostic options extend evaluation of the device status in this connection and convert position indicators such as the AP20 into intelligent automation systems. The latest network technologies and the electronic type plate take care of this. The latter serves to identify the device type, serial number and current software version. Additional integration aids, function modules, libraries and add-on instructions make installation and commissioning easier and provide maximum efficiency in application and job set-up.
Compact format of a credit card
The performance features of the AP20 combine the functionality of a high-precision multi-turn absolute value encoder with a position indicator, but still in an extremely compact form with dimensions of 48 x 88 x 61mm. It can be installed in the machine in an area roughly the size of a credit card. In view of its dimensions, the AP20 is therefore particularly suitable for size changeovers on machines that are operated in limited space.
Extreme convenience and intuitive usability for operators
The AP20 also has numerous advantages from the perspective of the operator. The option of displaying the target and actual position directly on the adjusting spindle significantly increases convenience and usability for the machine operator. The inverted backlit display plays a part in this, as it makes the information displayed easy to read even under the most unfavorable lighting conditions. Two-colored status LEDs also aid intuitive user guidance. In addition to the positioner status (InPos or OutPos), the LEDs indicate the direction of rotation required to reach the intended target position. Product and size changeovers can therefore be carried out very quickly and without much work.
Installation compatibility and modular concept
All SIKO position indicators feature a hollow shaft, which facilitates the easiest assembly possible. The basic configuration of the AP20 comes with a hollow shaft with a diameter of 20 mm. Hollow shaft diameters up to 25.4 mm are also possible without changing the compact dimensions of the product.
But the AP20 is not only characterized by its excellent installation compatibility with other system solutions in the AP series. Thanks to the clearance of the torque support, DA04 and DA09S mechanical SIKO position indicators can also be integrated with AP systems to create a solution with a modular format. The modular principle makes it easier to complete product and size changeovers that require manual monitoring and means that the AP20 is an attractive automation solution for production machines which have to be refitted relatively frequently, because of small batch sizes, for example. Changes affecting the design of the machine frame or the entire system are not necessary when fitting the AP20. The entire system and machine design can be retained.
Also for pharmaceuticals, food and beverages
The hollow shaft of the AP20 is made of stainless steel. In conjunction with the protection rating of IP65, the position indicator is also suitable for applications in the food industry, drinks manufacturing and the pharmaceutical sector.
Author: Mr. Moritz Müller, PositionLine Product Manager