Getting Ready for Industry 4.0

  Enquire / contact me

Concept to use mobile devices as sensor control units

Sensor Technology

SmartBridge app provides clear overview of sensor data
SmartBridge app provides clear overview of sensor data
User-friendly configuration of sensor settings
User-friendly configuration of sensor settings

Industry 4.0 is placing new demands on sensor communication abilities-this is where "Sensor 4.0" comes in! Pepperl+Fuchs is playing its part in promoting this technology through its SmartBridge concept study. The study shows how modern mobile devices from the consumer sector (smartphones and tablet computers) can be used as convenient wireless control units for industrial sensors. This article describes the concept study in more detail.


Modern sensors are used to map increasingly complex functions, placing bigger demands on parameterization and diagnostic tools. At the same time, sensors are becoming smaller and smaller, meaning less space is available for operating and display units. Another factor to consider is the significant cost pressure that prevents integration of additional expensive components. In addition, control units on the sensors themselves are somewhat inconvenient or entirely unusable in many installation situations due to poor accessibility.

Consumer hardware for use in sensor diagnostics
Modern smartphones and tablet computers are widely used as a result of their versatility and ease of operation. Their status as "toys" for technology enthusiasts has long since disappeared. The devices offer powerful processors, graphics units, and wireless interfaces, making them ideal for use as convenient diagnostic and parameterization tools. However, because of the lack of common interfaces and standards, this type of solution has not been implemented.

SmartBridge closes the "Digital Divide"
SmartBridge bridges the "digital divide" between the service interfaces of modern sensors and mobile consumer end devices. The system consists of a wireless adapter-the "SmartBridge"-as well as a tablet computer or a smartphone equipped with the SmartBridge app.

Data is transferred wirelessly to the SmartBridge app on the mobile device, so that a connection is established quicky and easily, avoiding complex and costly wiring.

The wireless adapter contains a wireless module (Bluetooth or WLAN), a controller, and several different interfaces (IO-Link, RS232) for connecting sensors. The adapter is looped into the existing wiring. It accesses the sensor data without feedback and establishes a wireless connection to a mobile end device. Power is supplied to the adapter via the sensor supply cable.

The SmartBridge app is installed on a tablet PC or smartphone. After opening the app, a drop-down list appears, displaying all of the sensors in range and providing connection options. After selecting a sensor, a specific page appears for the selected sensor type, showing the sensor data and parameters.

Posted on May 6, 2014 - (673 views)
Pepperl+Fuchs GmbH
Div. Factory Automation Lillienthalstr. 200
68307 Mannheim - Germany
View full company profile

Getting Ready for Industry 4.0

Concept to use mobile devices as sensor control units

More products from this supplier
Positioning with Maximum Reliability
Real-time IIoT Solutions
Compact Ultrasonic Sensor
Data Transparency for Machines and Plants
High-Precision Profile Comparison and Area Monitoring
Ultrasonic Sensors Unaffected by Shape, Color, or Object Texture
Industry 4.0: Future Architecture Models
Code Reader for Reliable Recording
Industry 4.0 Cross-Viewed
In-Line Sensor Management
Related articles
New C6B force transducer from HBM
Identification Module
Safety Sensors ST Series
The Importance of Increasing Safety Functions
Beverage Dispensing Flowmeters
Confocal Chromatic Sensors
Omron Integrates Microscan Systems Solutions into Its Portfolio
A New Generation of Compact Process Controllers
Ultraminiature IEPE Accelerometer
Precise Pressure Transmitter
Mechatronic Products
Level Switches
Encoders for the Wind Industry
Temperature Sensors in Stock for Immediate Worldwide Despatch
Sensing Innovation in Process and Control
2 in 1 Mechanical Position Sensor
High Precision Laser Scanners for profile and gap measurement
IR-SyM Easy Case
Sensing Incredible Things: Flow Meters
Temperature Sensors in Stock for Immediate Worldwide Despatch
Smart Process Gating Method
3D Smart Sensors
Compact Rugged Pressure Transmitters
MicroScan3 Safety Laser Scanner
Torque Sensors and maXYmos TL Monitors
Safety Sensor  RSS 16
Emission Sensors to Improve Efficiency in the Heating Season
Sensors 4.0
Fork Light Barriers
Encoders For Space