Safe and ultrasound
Efficient and versatile, yet also powerful and equipped with the latest in safety technology – that's what Telsonic was looking for in its new control solution. Based on the X20 system and the SafeLOGIC-X safety solution from B&R, the ultrasonic welding specialist has introduced the TCS5, which skillfully unites all of these characteristics in a single solution. The openness and universal connectivity of B&R's technology ensure that the new controller has no problem sharing data with other systems.
The range of industrial applications for ultrasound is virtually limitless. Whether you need a water-tight connection between a car's taillights and the body or a clean seal on a boxed beverage – Telsonic can offer a perfect solution with its powerful ultrasonic generators and custom sonotrodes. In addition to the proven longitudinal process, the Swiss company has also patented two other unique welding methods: SONIQTWIST and PowerWheel.
Until now, the core components of the ultrasonic system were controlled using embedded hardware that was developed in-house more than 15 years ago. "Back then, we weren't able to find an alternative that lived up to our cost and performance requirements," explains Telsonic's research and innovation manager, Peter Solenthaler. At the time, there was no PLC on the market that could provide the necessary cycle time of under one millisecond.
1 ms cycle time? No problem!
Things have changed quite a bit in the past decade and a half. For B&R controllers, sub-millisecond cycle times – which are needed to precisely control high-speed ultrasonic generators and the energy they transfer into the workpiece – are no problem at all. "One highlight of B&R's solution is the ability to clearly prioritize tasks," says Solenthaler.
But that's not the only reason Telsonic decided in favor of controllers from B&R's X20 system. "The past few years have seen a drastic increase in safety requirements – particularly those that apply to our Cut'n'Seal presses – as well as requirements for documentation and traceability of the welding process," says Solenthaler.
SafeLOGIC-X saves costs
These demanding requirements are solved in a remarkably economical way by combining B&R's X20 system with its software-based SafeLOGIC-X safety solution. "What makes this solution especially cost-effective is the fact that we don't have any hardware to certify, maintain and update. B&R handles all of that," says Solenthaler.
The modular design and universal interoperability of B&R's control and I/O components are of particular benefit for Telsonic, whose developments feature a common core around which each unique solution is custom-built to meet the needs of the user. "It's very quick to add on components such as X-Y axes or various clamps, infeeds and other systems," reports Solenthaler. "The universal development environment provided by Automation Studio also plays a key role here."
The X20 system's wide selection of bus controllers and standard interface modules also makes it easy for Telsonic to connect the new control system to higher-level machine control and ERP systems and exchange large volumes of data.
"When it comes to networking our systems, we happily rely on POWERLINK. B&R's dedication to open source technology gives us a uniquely open and future-ready real-time Ethernet standard that makes it easy for us to keep our overall costs low." Peter Solenthaler, Research & Innovation Manager, Telsonic AG
Uniquely open and future-ready
"When it comes to networking our systems, we happily rely on POWERLINK. B&R's dedication to open source technology gives us a uniquely open and future-ready real-time Ethernet standard that makes it easy for us to keep our overall costs low," says Solenthaler.
Flexibility and future-readiness were also factors in Telsonic's decision to use an open source Debian operating system with a VNC client for its HMI platform. The swing arm mounted operator panel communicates via Ethernet with the X20 controller running the HMI application.
The advantage of this approach is that if there is ever a problem with the screen, any PC with a VNC client installed can be connected to the controller so that work can be resumed immediately.
Economical, flexible and efficient
With the software-based SafeLOGIC-X safety controller and utilization of open source solutions, the TCS5 controller is both economical and future-ready. B&R's commitment to modular design and support for a broad array of communication standards, together with the universal Automation Studio engineering environment allow Telsonic's new controller to be adapted quickly and effortlessly to the unique requirements of each application and end customer. "Simply put, with B&R, both we and our end customer get something for our money," says Solenthaler.
POWERLINK is the first and only real-time Ethernet standard that offers all aspects of true open source software. It was developed to be easily portable to any hardware platform and operating system. One important aspect is that POWERLINK is available under a BSD license, which grants system developers full rights to the software and makes it the only Ethernet-based industrial communication standard that is genuinely vendor-independent.