A large material handling OEM/integrator was using a competitor’s product for communication of their distributed I/O on the sorter. The competitor's solutions were proprietary, making components expensive and hard to source. The integrator was looking for a solution that would fit into their existing system design with minimal redesigns required from both a mechanical and electrical perspective.
They needed a new solution that offered an open standard as well as scalability. This would eliminate the limited resource for components and provide a more cost-effective solution. They were also looking for a solution that would work within their existing programmable logic controller (PLC) control platform.
After extensive testing in their lab and the field, they went with our ICE1 IO-Link block with R100 series retroreflective sensors. The ICE1 IO-Link block provided the required I/O. IO-Links utilization of standard M12 connections and cables helped offset the cost from the previous solution, which required expensive proprietary wiring solutions. The OEM field mounted the ICE1 IO-Link block with R100 series retroreflective sensors on their conveyers. Using standard Ethernet and M12 cables, this eliminated the need for a conduit. This allowed them to make the migration to the Pepperl+Fuchs product with little to no modifications to their existing infrastructure. IO-Links usage of standard industrial Ethernet protocols also eliminated costly communication cards required before to communicate to their PLC platforms.
IO-Link is an open standard allowing the OEM to use multiple products from multiple manufacturers in the IO-Link Community. With this new solution, scalability was made simple, they were able to grow from a single conveyer to thousands of feet of conveyors.