Kübler slip rings in the era of Industrial Ethernet and IIoT
The strongly increasing digital networking in modern production facilities leads to significantly increased demands on the components used. In such automated plants, slip rings supply rotating plant elements such as e.g. rotary indexing machines with electrical power and transmit control signals and data, often also in combination with liquids and gases. The important point here is a long and reliable service life, which can only be achieved with long maintenance cycles and the necessary slip ring robustness. Kübler’s new slip ring generation offers here the ideal solution. The slip rings of the SR120, SR160 and SR250 product families are Ethernet capable and transmit, besides electrical power up to 120 A and control signals, large data volumes in real-time.
High output under efficient production conditions is decisive for the economic operation of modern investment-intensive production facilities. Besides the increase of plant performance by accelerating single processes, an optimized production jobs scheduling and standstill times minimization are key factors for the economic efficiency of the production.
Faster, more efficient…
The goals in modern industry are defined with superlatives. Always reach the maximum, in shortest time, with always more efficient processes. The trend is moving towards efficient, self-organizing and resource-saving production facilities. Nevertheless, the basis for achieving this is the acquisition and transmission of operational data between plant elements along the value chain, as well as for plant control. Accordingly, the volume of data to be transmitted and the transmission speed are constantly increasing.
Often, in such highly-efficient facilities, the main process steps are carried out on rotary indexing tables in order to save space. The electrical power supply of the active elements mounted on the carousels and data communication with other peripheral plant elements take place via slip rings. An application example is given by beverage filling, which includes individual process steps such as filling, closing and labeling. Due to space constraints, these processes are carried out on rotary indexing tables. Kübler offers here suitable slip ring solutions.
Long maintenance cycles and interference-free transmission.
The efficiency increase, highest availability and strongly increasing networking of modern production facilities lead to significantly increased demands also on the slip rings used. Besides transmitting high electrical currents and signals, the slip rings must be integrable in the digital network and transmit reliably Ethernet-based data.
The demand for maximum plant availability makes long service life and very long maintenance cycles indispensable. Discussions with the operators of very large production facilities showed in addition the desire to acquire information about the operating condition of the slip ring, in order to take it into consideration within the framework of predictive maintenance.
This would allow reducing further the risk of unscheduled facility downtime.
Kübler’s new slip ring generation offers the ideal solution for applications in industrial automation. The slip rings of the SR120, SR160 and SR250 product families are Ethernet capable and transmit, be-sides electrical power and control signals, large data volumes in real-time. The development and market launch of the SR250 product range now allow transmitting currents up to 120 A without interfering with the transmission of the Ethernet data. High-quality, very reliable contact systems are the basis of the exceptionally long service life and maintenance cycles of these slip rings.
Various actuators, sensors and drives are mounted on the rotary indexing tables, depending on the application or on the process step within a complete facility. Therefore the demands placed on the slip ring also vary. Thanks to their modular construction, Kübler slip rings can be individually adapted to the requirements. Many applications require, besides the transmission of electricity, also the transmission of gaseous or liquid media.
Kübler offers a solution also for these applications with ready-to-mount assembled combinations of an electrical slip ring and a suitable media lead-through, ensuring its customers a significantly simplified and fast installation in the production plant.
Ethernet data up to 1 Gbps
As standard, the transmission of Ethernet data in Kübler slip rings is based on a contacting transmission technology. A specially developed electrical shield concept, combined with a high-quality, extremely reliable contact system, allows transmitting very reliably, in addition to electrical currents up to 120 A and electrical signals, also signals from Ethernet-based data. It allows achieving transmission rates up to 100 megabits per second. Data transmission is independent of the Ethernet protocol and can therefore be used universally for all Ethernet protocols. For transmissions beyond 100 Mbps, Kübler uses a non-contacting transmission technology, allowing achieving transmission rates up to 1 Gbps. It can also be used for almost all usual Ethernet protocols and it can be entirely integrated in the slip ring housing. The standard connectors mounted on the housing ensure easy integration of the slip ring in the network.
Condition monitoring: Slip rings with integrated sensors
The acquisition of corresponding operational data is the basic prerequisite for the control and optimization of the production processes and the efficient timing of the production orders. In modern facilities, this is achieved thanks to extensive installation of sensors in all plant elements, up to the product. Also information about the operating condition of the single components is very important. Thanks to predictive maintenance, they contribute to prevent unscheduled facility downtime due to defect or wear of single components. This aspect is gaining importance not only in the area of industrial automation, but also in other branches and applications. Against this backdrop, also the demand for slip rings with integrated sensors is increasing. This concerns on the one hand the acquisition of information relating to the operating condition of the slip ring, such as e.g. the remaining service life, but on the other hand also data relating to operating parameters such as the temperature and the angular position. Kübler achieves this with suitable sensors integrated in the slip ring. Incidentally, the sensors measuring the angular position are also manufactured by Kübler. This gives the “traditionally passive component” slip ring an increasing active role and it is to be expected that this trend will continue.
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