The Schmersal Group is showcasing its first ‘Safety to Cloud’ solution at SPS IPC Drives. All Schmersal’s solenoid interlocks and safety sensors fitted with an SD interface and a few safety light barriers can transfer data to any cloud via the PSC1 safety controller or an SD gateway in conjunction with an Edge gateway. The SD (Serial Diagnostics) interface is used to transfer non-secure data from safety sensors and solenoid interlocks in safe series connection.
The Smart Safety Solution allows all cyclical SD interface sensor data to be transferred to the cloud. Linking these cyclic SD data within the cloud gives the user comprehensive diagnostics options, including switching cycles, safety status information, tolerance warnings, distance warnings, and much more. The Edge gateway forwards the data in OPC UA format, this is a standardised protocol for M2M communication. This diagnostic information can be visualised on screen and accessed via mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. This enables control of production processes which is independent of location. The visualisation of data via dashboards requires, for example, the standard Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform, which offers a range of useful functionality for data display in the form of tables, diagrams and graphics, etc.
Users can display how often a machine starts up and the number of operating hours, which can be used to calculate predicted wear on components to enable early exchange and reduce machine downtimes. Another major advantage is that safety light barriers can also be integrated into the system. If, for example, contamination occurs on the sensors of the light grids and the signal is weakened as a result, a warning message can be transmitted so that corrective measures can be taken early before the light grid switches off safely.