A new diagnostic module from Applied Robotics is designed to provide communication between simple industrial devices, such as sensors and actuators, and higher-level devices such as robots, programmable controllers, and computers.
The Applied Robotics SmartComm communications module offers support for a variety of communications protocols, including Profinet, Ethernet/IP, Modbus TCP and DeviceNet, and is made to enable tool changers to be linked to a factory communications network to exchange data, as well as provide I/O capabilities, diagnostics reporting, and real time acceleration data.
According to a company press release announcing the innovation, "...the SmartComm Module provides extremely fast tooling network connection times. A connection time from the Robot Side Module to the Tool Side Module of 150ms uses a proprietary subnetwork. The patented SmartCharge feature improves connection times even further by eliminating power-up on the Tool Side. With SmartCharge enabled, connection times are 60ms or less."
Applied Robotics vice president Jim Fitzgerald is excited by the prospects of the new solution. "We feel we have something unique and quite innovative to offer customers," he said. "We looked at every aspect of the tool changer and set out to develop a system that was stronger, smaller and smarter and we feel we not only met but exceeded market demands. We are very proud of this accomplishment."