Combined with a suitable electro-pneumatic architecture, the Smart Pneumatic Monitor (SPM) recently launched by Aventics can perform diagnosis and provide feedback on the machine status, enabling leaner production processes. Among the basic functions to be monitored are the number of valve cycles, the cylinder motion of and the distance measurement.
di Sebastiano Mainarda
Industry 4.0 pushes the most innovative companies to develop products capable to make connections between different technologies easier, so to create a smarter and decentralised pneumatics. Following such a philosophy, Aventics developed the SPM, Smart Pneumatic Monitor, launched at the latest exhibitions in Europe and in Italy. The device was designed to monitor components, is capable to perform diagnosis and provide feedback on the machine status, enabling leaner production processes.
Monitoring the basic functions
Combined with a suitable electro-pneumatic architecture, the SPM manages to process information coming from the field and send them to an authorized service provider or to a proprietary company network. The system is directly connected to the AV Series valve unit and manages to monitor several basic functions: from the number of valve cycles up to the cylinder motion via sensors, up to the distance measurement. Besides, cycle time monitoring, absorber wear control, air consumption as well as plant pressure monitoring. The possibility to set alarm thresholds, which warn when some given limits are overcome, is an additional option.
Reliable information in real time
Data analysis can be widened and set according to specific needs, by means of a Node-Red open source application, while their transmission is performed according to the OPC UA interface. Besides, the SPM module can be visualized via the TCP/IP web server. The main advantage of such a system is that is does not affect the communication with the PLC/device: in fact, some changes can be made online and the modules do not take any resource from the PLC CPU. To sum up, the brand new system launched by Aventics allows users to get reliable information in real time on the on the state of wear and energy efficiency of pneumatic systems at a glance to be able to respond to potential leaks or machine downtimes early on. The Smart Pneumatics Monitor is also extremely simple to use: it does not require any special skill about the PLC language. Moreover, the GUI is intuitive and very user friendly.