A furniture manufacturer was in need of a time and money saving solution. This company needed something that could identify the size of sections of furniture on the paint spraying line and thus reduce over-spraying and wasting paint. Leuze’s CML720i light curtains that were IO-Link enabled were chosen to accurately measure piece dimensions. They also needed an IO-Link master block that could handle the power requirements and effectively communicate with the PLC.
The CML720i light curtains are positioned at the entrance of a paint powder coating machine which tell the automated paint guns when to spray and when to turn off, based on the size of the piece moving through. Before this solution, spray guns would turn on well before a piece arrived and remained on well after, which over time wastes a large amount of paint. They also wanted to avoid spraying the hooks connected to the conveyor system which guided the pieces through the painting machine. All of this information is communicated to a PLC running on EtherNet/IP via the Comtrol IO-Link master 8-EIP.
By using Leuze’s CML720i light curtains that are IO-Link version 1.1 devices, they are able to save parameters set for the CML720i light curtains right in the Comtrol IO-Link master by using an IO-Link feature called Data Storage. This allows the customer to easily replace a CML720i light curtain and automatically upload the previously saved settings to the newly connected curtain. This eliminates the need to configure the device from the default state.
Comtrol was able to meet the needs of this application in a number of ways. The IO-Link Master 8-EIP supports high power current support, including 1.6 amps on port #1, which is required to operate the large CML720i light curtains. The IO-Link Master also provides power overload protection. If a device is connected that is attempting to pull more power than can be provided, the IO-Link Master will shut down that port once a certain threshold is exceeded. When the power draw subsides, the port will re-activate. In addition, the powerful web-interface provides the customer will multiple benefits that most master blocks do not.
For example, the web-interface allows the user to:
- Save IODD files in a library
- Utilize data storage
- Change the parameters of a device right in the web-page
- Use device validation to allow a specific device to work on a specified port
- Configure ports to operate as an IO-Link port, Digital Input or Digital Output
- Look at PLC diagnostics
For more information, please contact Brandon Roy.