Perle Systems Application Note
Industrial Automation Scenario and Challenge
A fortune 500 automotive company was using multiple CNC milling machines on the plant floor. Each CNC milling machine was connected to a controlling workstation via a variety of RS232, RS422, and RS485 serial interfaces. Intricate cutting instructions were sent from each workstation to the milling machine it was connected to.
To increase efficiency and decrease the incidence of human error the automotive company required a solution to reduce this to one workstation that could send the cutting control data to multiple CNC machines simultaneously. This had to be done without changing the hardware or serial software on the workstation. It was imperative that existing equipment and software be used and not upgraded or replaced.
After looking at several vendors and multiple products the company chose Perle and the IOLAN SDS4 Device Server.
The IOLAN SDS line of Secure Device Servers has 2 features that make it ideal for this scenario:
By connecting the workstation and all the CNC machines to one IOLAN Device Server, the factory utilizes the TCP Socket multi-host capability. One port on the IOLAN SDS4 provides serial tunneling from the workstation to multiple ports on the same unit, which then delivers the cutting instruction data simultaneously to the CNC milling machines. Each port on the SDS4 is individually configured for different serial protocols in order to correspond to the various RS232, RS422, and RS485 serial interfaces of the CNC machines.
"We are already experiencing the benefits of this change. Our accuracy rate has increased and we have freed up much needed plant floor space. Since it was such a smooth transition we are looking at rolling this out in several shops using the 8 and 16 port SDS models as well," said the Western Regional Director, Plant Management.