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CANopen helps on the way to the cloud

Schmersal (Germany) offers the Smart Safety solution allowing to send safety sensor data to the cloud. On the fieldbus-level, the collected sensor data can be sent to the PLC (programmable logic controller) via CANopen.

An SD gateway can transfer data of up to 31 sensors to a PLC via CANopen (Source: Schmersal)

The solution is suitable for solenoid interlocks and safety sensors with the company’s SD (serial diagnostics) interface. Via the SD interface up to 31 devices are connected in a series to the SD gateway. The gateway transmits the sensor data to the company’s Protect PSC1 safety controller via a CANopen connection. PSC1 integrates an OPC UA server, which forwards the sensor data to the cloud. This provides the user with diagnostic information about switching cycles, safety status, tolerance warnings, distance warnings, etc. Safety sensors can additionally display information on the device (e.g. sensor temperature, device serial number, error messages). The diagnostic information can be visualized on a PC screen and be accessed via mobile devices e.g. smartphones or tablets. This enables location-independent control of production processes. Data visualization in form of tables, diagrams, and graphs is possible using the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

The solution enables predictive maintenance, said the company. The users can display how often a machine starts up and the number of operating hours, which can be used to calculate predicted wear on components to enable early exchange and reduce machine downtimes. Additionally, safety light barriers can be integrated into the system. For example, if a light grid sensor contamination occurs and the signal is weakened, a warning message can be transmitted so that corrective measures can be taken before the light grid switches off safely.

Schmersal offers solutions in the field of safety for human and machine. Founded in 1945, the company is worldwide represented by seven manufacturing sites with 1 750 employees.


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