Smart Positioning – Industry 4.0 Actuators Ready to Go!

Industry 4.0 is the number one keyword in industry and engineering, and the same can be said for the long-established company SIKO GmbH, located in Buchenbach in Germany’s Black Forest.  The latest SIKO Ethernet and fieldbus actuators AG25 and AG26 offer a systematic answer for positioning machine axes smartly and fully automatically with ultra-compact actuators.

As small as a 0.33 liter beverage can
Despite their high functionality and performance, SIKO’s actuators take up no more space than a 0.33 liter beverage can (AG25). Thus, the actuators are ideally suited for fully automatic format adjustment in machines and equipment that have space limitations. The AG26 is built slightly larger but also has more power, namely up to 13 Nm – despite its ultra-compact frame size.

Broad field of application
The applications of AG25 and AG26 actuators include the adjustment of formats, stops, tools and valves. These, and a whole series of similar positioning tasks, are used in the packaging industry, the woodworking industry, for printing and paper processing, the food and beverage industry, in the textile industry and in electronics manufacturing.

All-in-one solution
Despite the most compact dimensions, both actuators represent a compact, all-in-one solution for engineering. The drives have a hollow shaft with a clamping ring for easy installation. The engine, transmission, power electronics and bus communication are likewise integrated into the actuators, so that only the bus connection and a 24V DC power supply have to be supplied in the field. Thus, the entire system costs for integration in the machine will be drastically reduced over those costs for a discrete assembly.

Not to be forgotten is the integrated, high-precision multi-turn absolute encoder that detects the position of the drive shaft and the rotation of the shaft in the de-energized state of the actuator. Even large traverse ranges of up to about 2,500 revolutions pose no difficulties.

In addition to the long-standing SIKONET5, Profibus and CAN data interfaces, SIKO has also implemented the most common industrial Ethernet fieldbus interfaces into the actuators: Profinet, EthernetIP, EtherCAT and Powerlink. For this, the positioning drives are equipped with two M12 D-coded bus connections to the cable-saving construction of a bus line without the need for star-wiring for control.

Industry 4.0 – Smart Factory
For Industry 4.0, or for Smart Factories, it is often not enough to exchange pure process data; rather, communication must make it possible to select values for diagnoses, like final stage temperature, motor current, and various voltage values. Furthermore, the electronic type plate offers clear identification of the unit type, as well as the serial number and hardware and software version, in order to schedule maintenance intervals as the circumstances require.

The actuator without controls can be accessed via an additional serial service interface. This is ideally suited for commissioning and testing purposes along with SIKO’s ProTool DriveLine tool and the AIF01 interface adapter. Of course, the actuators AG25 and/or AG26 can be configured and parameters can be set directly via the master PLC.

The service terminal also makes a freely configurable digital output and four freely configurable digital inputs available.

Four LEDs indicate important port and switch status information in the field. The bus address can be set as preferred  by means of DIP switches. The actuatorcan be directly traversed to adjust the settings by using the two pushbuttons that are built-in under a cover.

The actuators are available up to protection class IP65, which is also guaranteed during the traverse operation.

Actuators at SIKO are available for free as test devices. Upon request SIKO customers can also receive support packages for the typical SPS types, free of charge. This significantly reduces costs for software engineering during the implementation phase.

For further information, please see the DriveLine product range at: