Automated Packaging Systems (www.autobag.com ) has implemented DeviceNet connectivity on its Autobag®, Accu-Count®, and Kit-Veyor® systems. DeviceNet—an open device-level network that provides connections between simple industrial devices (such as sensors and actuators) and higher-level devices (such as PLCs and computers)—replaces the traditional I/O hardwiring and signaling with a high-speed, bi-directional serial communications platform.
“Users can access diagnostic information from one central location instead of getting it from each separate machine.”
The programmable system provides a high-level data structure using onboard controllers and software. This improves overall system control and diagnostic capabilities. Users can access diagnostic information from one central location instead of getting it from each separate machine. Tim Groff of Automated Packaging Systems says that in the past, operators would have to go machine by machine to collect this information, reducing accuracy. He said the new intelligent network increases system throughput and productivity.
DeviceNet is also very flexible, allowing for seamless integration of Autobag AB-series baggers with Accu-Count 100/200 counters and the Kit-Veyor 80G automatic kitting system. This allows operators to troubleshoot from the bagger’s AutoTouch™ Control Screen. According to Groff, automatic sequencing on the Kit-Veyor system allows for more accurate control of machine start-up and shut-down times, making sure, automatically, that each machine is starting and stopping correctly, maximizing every minute the machine is running.
“This commitment to advanced technology and communications enables us to continue to meet the evolving automation needs of our customers,” Groff says.
This is the first step in advanced automation for APS. Future versions of Autobag DeviceNet will be available to enhance third-party integration capabilities. Already installed units may be eligible for a field upgrade.