The communication between the encoder and the processing unit is a decisive factor for the interference-free and reliable control of machines and plants.
This leads to the question of the suitable interface for the application. Safety-oriented interfaces and single-cable technology belong currently to the main innovation trends in the electrical drive technology. Kübler follows this trend with new encoder solutions. This sensors manufacturer early relied for its target branches drive and elevator technology on the fully digital special interface BiSS, predestined by its features for use as a bidirectional motor feedback system for linear and rotary axes. Today the company is convinced that it was totally right, as this open source protocol has in the meantime become integral part of these branches. The "BiSS-Safety" protocol expansions and the brand new single-cable technology allow realizing automation systems that meet all requirements in terms of Functional Safety and in the same time offer hitherto unknown flexibility and cost-efficiency.
Kübler is convinced that the safe transmission technology and the reduction to only one cable for connecting the motor and the drive controller will soon become a sector standard.
Drives technology as a driver for innovation
In Germany, the drives technology is in an enviable position. It has been highly profitable for two decades now and it is still growing above average, even with respect to the - also generally - very successful machinery and plant engineering. The drives technology has been for some time now the driver for innovation that has been initiating the determining optimization steps for many industries and applications.
Two disciplines are fighting together in this changing environment: on the one hand, in order to maintain the global competitiveness at the current high level, machine productivity must constantly be improved further, and the quality of the manufactured products must increase simultaneously. Another trend to be taken into account is the strengthening of environmental and safety awareness: machines must comply with strict safety standards, operate in an ever more energy-efficient way, and their added value must become globally more environmentally compatible. To meet these - partly opposite - requirements, all drive components must be optimized.
However, the real challenge lies with the drives and in the control and measuring technology.
Single-Cable Technology - An innovation offering real cost advantages
Cables and connectors are one of the main cost drivers in every automation architecture. The single-cable technology can contribute greatly to save material costs, installation work and not least space, by achieving power supply and data transmission through one single cable.
The tight mounting space inside of electrical drives requires compact sensors and optimized connection possibilities for their assembly. The single-cable technology allows transmitting energy and data through only one connection line, which leads to the mentioned significant costs saving. But not only the reduction of the costs related to the connector, the cable and the integration makes the single-cable technology so interesting. Space for routing cables is often very limited in the applications. In this case, besides the material costs, requiring only one cable is an advantage.
Kübler's single-cable technology is based on the proven RS485 hardware architecture - this architecture is a widely established standard in many frequency converters.
The interface is fully digital, open-source for the sensor and the drive system, SIL3- capable and perfectly suited for dynamic axes with very high accelerations, uniform speed control and best positioning accuracy possible.
With functions such as the electronic data sheet (EDS), saving of customer-specific application data, condition monitoring and connecting of external sensors, Kübler encoders with the single-cable technology are ready for the basic requirements of Industry 4.0.
Clearly, in view of the wide range of available interfaces, many users are facing a difficult decision. For Kübler, the future of the electrical drive technology will be greatly influenced by the interface technology. The sensors manufacturer is convinced that, besides the 'Safety' topic, the 'single-cable technology' area will be determining for future applications. The costly and time-consuming routing of two cables to connect the motor and the drive control will in any case very soon belong to the past thanks to encoders with single-cable technology.