Intelligent sensors in automation engineering

Siemens Automation & Drives Group has launched its IQ-Sense technology, offering a new concept for the use of intelligent sensor systems in automation engineering.

Unusually, sensors and distributed I/O can communicate with one another via Profibus DP. Sensor parameters and diagnostic data are thus available plant-wide. As a component of Totally Integrated Automation, the technology becomes fail-safe from configuring to wiring thanks to simple interfaces. Although the system will be introduced with optical sensors, the communications interface is designed for all sensors used in the automation engineering field.

All settings for the IQ-Sense devices can be parameterised directly by the programmable controller or the values set on the sensor with Teach-In can be copied to other modules and sensors. The time consuming calibration of each separate sensor is unnecessary. The specified parameters can, of course, be modified via a control program, allowing optimum adaptation of the sensor settings to the current batch.

When a sensor is replaced, even if hot swapping is involved, the programmable controller automatically restores all settings. Recalibration and teaching of the sensor is unnecessary and plant downtime is kept to a minimum.

IQ-Sense technology also features automatic system diagnosis in case of faults such as wire break, short-circuit, contamination or failure of a module or sensor. Both the circuit state and the diagnostic information are transferred over a simple two-wire cable.

Additional wiring/input channels or elaborate diagnostic checks in the control program are no longer required. An integrated alignment aid and the avoidance of mutual sensor interference are among the other features.

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