SICK Sensors Unveils ProfiNet SIG200 Sensor Integration Gateway for Industrial Automation
Sensor specialist company, SICK, announced its new SIG200 ProfiNet Sensor Integration Gateway recently.
The new product is the first of a new line of gateways created to work as both IO-Link Masters and small distributed control systems at the same time.
Commenting on the release, SICK said the SIG200 is designed to facilitate the configuration of localized sensor applications while also providing high-speed cloud-based capabilities for the sensors to share status, parameter, and diagnostics data.
SICK: Sensor Intelligence
The company specializes in the development of sensors aimed towards factory automation, but also logistics and process automation.
SICK was founded in 1946, to combine precise optics and intelligent electronics with light to provide the answer to a wide range of issues. Over the past eight decades, the company has grown exponentially, and now counts over 50 subsidiaries and equity investments, together with numerous agencies around the world.
The SIG200 ProfiNet Sensor Integration Gateway starter kit. Image used courtesy of SICK.
The SIG200 ProfiNet Sensor Integration Gateway
Since the focus of the SICK SIG200 is to simplify sensor application tasks, the gateway utilizes binary switching signals or measured values from IO-Link sensors and actuators without the need for additional control components.
At the same time, diagnostics, process parameters, and status information from IO-Link devices can be accessed both at the machine and company level using MES, ERP, and cloud-based software.
The SICK SIG200 has four master ports allowing IO-Link sensors and actuators connections, but its data integration capabilities can also extend to standard binary sensors with SICK’s SIG100 sensor hub. Using the hub, engineers will be able to bundle up together up to 12 standard I/Os in a single IO-Link data packet, which can communicate to machine controllers and cloud-based systems via the SIG200.
Various sensors connected to the SIG200 ProfiNet Sensor Integration Gateway. Image used courtesy of SICK.
The SICK SIG200 uses SICK’s SOPAS engineering tool software as a user interface accessible with a PC via standard M8 USB, Ethernet or web browser.
In order to allow engineers to monitor the sensors connected to the device, the SICK SIG200 comes with a software user-interface called SICK’s SOPAS Engineering Tool.
To simplify the configuration process, SICK also provided the SIG200 with an embedded IODD interpreter that allows the user to configure both the SIG200 and connected IO-Link devices by uploading the IODD files.
This also means that the SIG200 can work with any third-party products, as parameterization of connected devices and device replacement are made possible through the sharing of the IODD file.
Simplifying Processes for Engineers
From the specifics mentioned above, it is clear the SIG200’ is built to make it quick and easy for engineers to create and run distributed sensor applications, even independently of the PLC.
“The beauty of the SIG200 is that it offers all the Industry 4.0 benefits of setting up a system using an IO-Link Master, PLC and sensors,” said David Hannaby, SICK’s UK product manager for presence detection.
Hannaby explained that this also opens a second route, where engineers can by-pass the PLC and create their own data gathering system linking straight to the cloud.
“Engineers will find it easy to configure and visualize an automation solution with the SIG200,” he added.
SICK’s UK product manager illustrated how the SOPAS logic editor has a drag and drop function that allows visualization of all the connected sensor and actuator signals and measured values without the need for special software knowledge.
Screenshot of a video from SICK. Used courtesy of SICK.
“It saves a huge amount of programming time, effort and cost,” Hannaby said. “Process control functions, for example activating a mechanical pusher to reject products from a conveyor system, can be configured and set to operate autonomously without the need for the PLC. So, the communication load in the Fieldbus is reduced at the same time.”
The SIG200 will be initially available with the ProfiNet Ethernet Fieldbus protocol, but SICK confirmed that additional Fieldbus versions of the gateway will follow in the future.
The company is also offering an IO-Link Master Starter Kit, which contains everything needed to set up an application using the SIG200.
Want to know more about the SIG200 and the related starter kit? You can check the product page on the SICK website here.