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Factory Automation White Papers

Automation technology

Fine Rack Positioning: Vision Technology Enhances Image Capture

By Steve Tomko and Helge Hornis

Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) are integral to a fully automated warehousing system. Users demand nearly perfect availability and exceptionally fast operation. While the speed of an ASRS is limited by the selected drives’ components, modern sensor technology helps to coordinate positioning motion, increasing the speed of the ASRS. (PDF, 223 KB)

Pressing on with Safety Networks

By Helge Hornis

Cutting, milling, and bending are processes where tremendous forces and huge pressures can result in dangerous situations. A solid functional safety concept is an absolute must. Designers must engineer solutions that are safe and offer the operational reliability and real-time diagnostics required to succeed. This paper describes the solution of safety networks. (PDF, 146 KB)

Redundancy in Technological Systems

By Helge Hornis

Functional safety systems are probably the most common automation solutions based on redundancy. But not all redundant systems are equal. Depending on a detailed safety evaluation, safety solutions of varying complexity can be used to address the particular needs of the application. (PDF, 212 KB)

Designing for Noise Immunity

By Helge Hornis

With an increase in the use of electronic equipment, electronic noise can no longer be ignored. Device manufacturers, machine builders, and users need to know how they can layout their systems to reduce noise susceptibility, and what they can do to develop reliable automation equipment. (PDF, 192 KB)

Market information

Auto Racking and Bin Picking in the Automotive Industry

By John Appleson

Auto racking and bin picking are common applications in the automotive industry to automate production sequences and reduce costs. Project engineers now have the possibility to use optical systems for their applications. Selecting the most suitable sensor is critical. VMT has the solution. (PDF, 2.58MB)

Networking I/O Increases Reliability of Metal Forming Applications

By Helge Hornis

The high shock and vibration of metal forming applications not only destroy sensors but also severely limit cabling reliability and expected service life. The solution is simple: reduce the number of cables needed to run I/O. Fortunately, this is possible using open AS-Interface technology.  (PDF, 925KB)

Minimizing Packaging Changeover Costs by Smart Component Selection

By Jeff Allison

Changeover for packaging equipment is costly and time-consuming. But a little forethought goes a long. This paper explores some straightforward methods of selecting and using sensors that help you to get your process up and running quickly. (PDF, 3.26MB)

Color-Blind No More, Contrast and Color Sensors Open Eyes in the Packaging Industry

By Jeff Allison

Contrast and color sensors have a wide range of uses in packaging and converting processes. This paper identifies ten not-so-common applications where contrast and/or color sensing could replace a more expensive vision sensor. Luminescence sensing is also discussed.  (PDF, 862KB)

Material Handling: Sensing Challenges and Solutions

By Thomas Corbett and Gary Frigyes

In today’s material handling market, OEMs are faced with a number of concerns when choosing a sensor manufacturer and specifying sensors. Learn about the features that are available with Pepperl+Fuchs photoelectric sensors and how we address the current market trends in material handling. (PDF, 744KB)

Identification systems

Machine Readable Labels Using Data Matrix Symbology

By Wolfgang Weber

An introduction to the advantages of 2-D Data Matrix symbology. (PDF, 1.10MB)

RFID in Pharmaceutical Applications: Headache or Relief?

The pharmaceutical industry has unique requirements, especially when dealing with highly regulated products. It is looking at RFID as a possible solution to those problems. What should Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer consider before jumping into RFID? (PDF, 667KB)

Current Trends in RFID

By Helge Hornis

The visibility that RFID enjoys today is not without problems. This paper addresses several misconceptions about the technology and discusses the effects that recent developments have had on the discrete manufacturing sector.  (PDF, 2.23MB)


Configuring a Safe Input on AS-Interface Safety at Work

By Helge Hornis

After the AS-Interface Safety at Work network has been built and modules have been addressed, the safety functions are configured in the AS-Interface
safety controller (aka the SafetyMonitor.) This Technology Brief discusses the available input types selectable in the safety configuration. (PDF, 262 KB)

Setting up an AS-Interface Safety Configuration

By Helge Hornis

This document includes seven basic example configurations that show how the Pepperl+Fuchs safety controller can be used to solve everyday safety applications. Ultimately, we hope to provide a useful resource for all users of the SIMON+ configuration environment. (PDF, 607 KB)

AS-Interface: Breaking the 100-meter Limit

By Tim Cicerchi

All industrial networks, including AS-Interface, PROFIBUS, DeviceNet, and Ethernet, have cable length and/or topology restrictions. These limitations could be based on baud rate, wire gauge, or the type of network transceivers used. As machines get bigger, networks are pushed to the limit, while new and better technologies try and extend the networks even farther. (PDF, 301 KB)

E-Stops with Integrated AS-Interface Safety at Work

By Helge Hornis

Today, any type of safety input connects easily to AS-Interface. This report looks at a new line of safety e-stops and discusses the advantages they offer. (PDF, 1.78MB)

The G12 Line of Interface Modules - Making AS-Interface Even Faster

By Helge Hornis

Several very significant advantages of the G12 line give Pepperl+Fuchs a distinct advantage over the competition. This paper points out why the G12 modules are easily the best AS-Interface modules available today. (PDF, 2.82MB)

AS-Interface Safety at Work - Networking Safety

By Helge Hornis

Finally, there is an alternative that addresses the problems safety experts have known about for decades, without the complexity and cost. (PDF, 1.32MB)

AS-Interface - Simple, Robust Sensor Safety Networking

By Helge Hornis

New features make AS-Interface a more attractive networking option—Specification 3.0, which adds many advanced capabilities and AS-Interface Safety at Work (SaW).  (PDF, 3.01MB)

AS-Interface: The Right Solution

By Helge Hornis

When one of the world's largest electrical connector manufacturers saw the need for a simple industrial network, they bypassed bus systems and I/O networks when Pepperl+Fuchs showed them AS-Interface. Learn more here.  (PDF, 4.76MB)

Ethernet and AS-Interface: The Ideal Partner Networks for Industrial Automation

By Helge Hornis

Using a low-level network in conjunction with an upper-level networking solution results in higher performance, reliability, and the lowest possible total cost. Combining Ethernet-based solutions with AS-Interface results in a system with unparalleled performance, simplicity, and reliability. Learn more here. (PDF, 780KB)

Industrial Networks: Overview and Selection Criteria

By Helge Hornis

Ethernet solutions are used increasingly to replace networks like PROFIBUS, DeviceNet and others. Going from one network (DeviceNet) to another (EtherNet/IP) is effortless with AS-Interface utilized at the I/O level. Learn about it here. (PDF, 715KB)

Safety Networking - Safety Stopping Motion

By Helge Hornis

AS-Interface Safety at Work is a significant consideration for reliable plant safety. Unsafe startups, common on today’s hard-wired systems are easily prohibited, controlled and diagnosed. AS-Interface benefits control professionals in creating truly safe solutions that remain safe even when components start failing. (PDF, 198KB)

Sensor products+accessories

Incremental Encoder Output Signal Overview

By David Rubinski

The output signals of incremental rotary encoders incorporate two channels to indicate rotation of the encoder shaft plus a zero marker pulse channel. This paper discusses three main types of signal output:  namely, the push-pull, RS422, and quadrature types of output. (PDF, 223 KB)

Background Suppression Sensing at the Foreground of Demand

By Jeff Allison

This paper discusses the benefits of background suppression sensing (BGS). Based on the triangulation of the reflected light, BGS simplifies sensing and senses precisely while ignoring obstructions in the background. (PDF, 402 KB)


Technical Considerations for Selecting Distance-based Photoelectric Sensors

By Jeff Allison

Photoelectric sensors that just detect the absence or presence of an object may not suffice for every application. Distance based photoelectric sensors have evolved to address challenging applications. They determine an object's presence and position. This paper discusses three methods that have emerged as front-runners in distance-based photoelectric sensing. (PDF, 402 KB)

Ultrasonic Sensing for Challenging Environments

By Jerry Morelli

Ultrasonic sensors solve tough problems. They have unique properties that satisfy unconventional and extremely challenging demands where other sensing technologies fall short. (PDF, 461KB)

Comparison of Industrial Vision Sensors to Standard Photoelectric Sensors

By Helge Hornis

Vision sensors bridge the gap between photoelectric sensors and costly machine vision systems. While photoelectric sensors merely detect the presence or absence of an object, vision sensors detect several aspects of an assembly with a single device. (PDF, 931KB)

Background Suppression with Photoelectric Sensors - Challenges and Solutions

By Jeff Allison

A special type of diffused mode sensing, background suppression, enables users to precisely control sensing range. While a fixed, controllable sensing range is one of the advantages of background suppression sensors, the technology brings a lot more to the table than that. Learn more... (PDF, 448KB)

The Fundamentals of Photoelectric Sensors

Each sensing technology has unique strengths and weaknesses. Learn about photoelectric sensors: how they work, their advantages, and some basic modes of operation. (PDF, 441KB)

EMC Rules for Installation

By Thomas Sebastiany

The importance of electromagnetic compatibility is greater then ever. The easiest way to avoid noise problems is the proper planning of the installation by taking electromagnetic conformity into consideration at an early state of the design. Learn how here. (PDF, 477KB)