The Wireless System for Stable Industrial Communication

SMC Italia presents the EX600 Wireless system dedicated to the management of digital, analogue and pneumatic signals at SPS IPC Drives Italia in Parma. An innovative solution that focuses on the connectivity of the entire production process, ensuring flexibility and modularity through the benefits of the “Master & Slave” logic.

di Sebastiano Mainarda

There are many industrial applications where the connection between different automation devices is required: the use of remote devices connected to each other by the different industrial networks (Profinet, Ethernet-IP, Ether-CAT, Powerlink, CC Link IE, etc.) is the most effective solution. However, this type of solution – especially where it involves the installation of peripheral devices on movable crews such as robots or rotary tables, for example – can present major problems due to possible disconnections and/or breakage of the cables connecting the different units in use. The reliability of entire automation platforms can also be affected by a common interruption of a cable that is subjected, for example, to an unwanted mechanical stress. In addition, it is necessary to consider the incidence of both general wiring costs, with related connection accessories (rotary joints with sliding contacts, specific connectors for fieldbus applications), and their laying with subsequent testing and maintenance.

Stable wireless communication in any industrial context
SMC, which is capable to support customers in all phases, allows to overcome these problems with the EX600 Wireless solution: extreme flexibility and modularity using the “Master & Slave” logic platform. Each EX600 Master unit can connect up to 128 “Slave” EX600 units in Wireless mode. The connection between the EX600 Master & EX600 Slave units is Wireless and uses the frequency range reserved for industrial communication (2.4 GHz – ISM, 79-channel spectrum) using an innovative modulation system with an update time of 5 ms (FHSS: Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum).
Thanks to these characteristics, the EX600 Wireless communication is stable and reliable in any industrial context, even where there are particular sources of interference, such as welding machines. Each EX600 Master unit can manage up to a maximum of 1280 inputs and 1280 outputs with digital, analog and pneumatic combinations distributed in the various EX600 Wireless units integrated into the network. The modularity of the system also provides that each EX600 Wireless unit – be it Master or Slave – can handle the signals of interest using the Input Modules – Digital Outputs (connection: M8-M12-D Sub, Cage Clamp), Input Modules – Analog Outputs (selectable range: mA/mV …) and pneumatic sub-bases (Manifold Valves: New SY, SV, VQC). Through the “Web-Server” function it is therefore possible to monitor the level of communication between the different EX600 Wireless modules (channels, frequencies, etc.) with the possibility to extract the detailed “log-file” in Excel format. In addition, the EX600 Wireless system provides data encryption to protect the safety of the systems and equipment on which it is installed. The whole system offers an IP67 protection rating.