As global demand for pressed-metal panels in the automotive sector increases, suppliers are under increasing pressure to increase productivity and reduce cost. Using ever-thinner gauges of steel and aluminum, double-sheet errors are harder to detect, heightening the risk of tool damage. Contrinex Smart Sensors sense the presence of individual sheets and also detect unwanted double-sheet conditions, triggering an alarm before damage occurs. During set-up, the innovative PocketCodr sensor configurator simplifies every aspect of configuration via the code-free companion app.
Globally, the automotive sector is one of the major users of sheet-metal materials, with steadily rising demand for stronger, lighter vehicle panels of all types. Tier-1 suppliers of pressed-metal panels come under increasing pressure to increase productivity and reduce cost, resulting in a sharp focus in minimizing set-up time and eliminating avoidable interruptions to production.
When feeding metal sheets to automated press lines, precise handling is essential. Using ever-thinner gauges of steel and aluminum allows designers to keep the weight of the finished vehicle to a safe minimum, but introduces more complex challenges for plant engineers. Double-sheet errors become more difficult to detect, which in turn heightens the risk of tool damage if a heavy sheet-metal press attempts to form two or more sheets together.
Press operators require not only a simple, highly reliable method of detecting the presence of unwanted additional sheets before loading a press, but also an effective means of configuring the double-sheet-detection system without incurring excessive down-time. Process engineers need robust, configurable solutions, ideally with built-in redundancy, using off-the-shelf components at affordable cost.
Contrinex inductive Smart Sensors together with the innovative PocketCodr sensor configurator offer flexible and highly reliable solutions for manufacturers of pressed-metal parts. Compact yet robust, these metal-bodied M18 devices are located directly beside the path of metal blanks as they approach the press. Not only do they sense the presence of each sheet, allowing the press operation to be initiated automatically, they also detect an unwanted double-sheet condition, triggering an alarm before damage occurs.
Using PocketCodr, initial configuration of Smart Sensors is straightforward and requires no coding. After installing each sensor, the technician simply connects it directly to the PocketCodr device with the supplied cable, using the companion app installed on a smartphone or other mobile device to set and monitor the switching points. As a sheet passes the sensor, the measurement value is displayed together with the high/low status of the two internal switching signals (SSC1 and SSC2).
The technician assigns the output switching signal (OSS1) to trigger on a user-defined condition – in this instance, when both SSC1 and SSC2 are high. The use of a pre-defined delay before triggering the output also prevents false positives occurring in the event of a momentary change in either of the internal signals. Every aspect of configuration is driven by intuitive selection via the app, and on completion, the sensor is simply reconnected to the machine’s control system.
IO-Link connectivity provides an easy interface to the central control system. After initial calibration, each sensor’s configuration is stored automatically on the local IO-Link Master; this allows plug-and-play replacement of sensors should the need arise, without any loss of functionality and without any need for recalibration. For exceptionally harsh environments, full-Inox versions with one-piece V2A (AISI 304) stainless-steel housings are available.
- Robust inductive Smart Sensors eliminate avoidable interruptions to production
- Early detection of unwanted double-sheet conditions prevents costly tool damage occurring
- Innovative PocketCodr no-code sensor configurator simplifies configuration and minimizes costs of set-up
- Individual device configurations are stored locally, allowing plug-and-play replacement of sensors when needed
- Industry-standard IO-Link connectivity enables quick, easy integration to the machine control system for process data
- Full-Inox versions with one-piece V2A (AISI 304) stainless-steel housings are available for exceptionally harsh environments
Product Specific Advantages:
- Robust, metal-cased inductive Smart Sensors are ideal for easy integration
- Multi-channel monitoring circuitry allows users to define multiple customized output thresholds
- Sophisticated sensing electronics deliver high-precision multi-mode measurements
- Smart Sensors are individually shielded and EMC immune, eliminating interference when multiple devices operate in close proximity
- Dedicated service-data blocks hold device-specific data including product ID, location and serial number
- Industry-standard -25°C to +70°C operating range