Wireless power as the new companion to wireless data for process automation is the subject of a great paper presented by Jonathan Jacobs from Automation Week 2012. In his paper, Jonathan presents a brief overview of the technology and discusses the applications and value derived from wireless power/data combination systems.
PowerbyProxi has worked with over 50 different companies since 2007 to define wireless power and data solutions for their industrial applications, however, as Jonathan noted, the use of the technology is still in in its infancy. Why? Well until a few years ago, wireless power had limited ability for control of variable loads and failed to be able to transfer working levels of power in small form factors.
Today it is a different story. Innovative technologies like our Dynamic Harmonization Control (DHC) and unique coil designs matched with small form factor electronics continue to allow large, higher power transfer in smaller and smaller product footprints. Our latest example, an M12 diameter connector that supports analog control signals and 6 watts of power, is now being introduced by our partner TE Connectivity. This connector, targeted for sensor and control systems on operations like robot grippers or injection molding machines, offer new levels of productivity and reliability in harsh and mission critical environments.
Yes, there are others in the market developing wireless power and data products, but none can match the size versus performance ratio that DHC and PowerbyProxi’s many years of wireless power know-how are bringing to industrial automation. Ask TE Connectivity. As a leader in industrial connectors, they are committed to helping their customers realize the return on investment from wireless power/data systems. Jonathan is spot on when he says that wireless power will fuel the next wave of productivity and performance in industrial automation.
You’ve heard the old saying, “Can’t see the forest for the trees”. Well, TE Connectivity with more than 40000+ SKUs of contacting connectors certainly had their share of “trees” and as the leading seller of connector products globally, the forest was large.
However, in 2010, TE understood the need for defining a next connectivity platform to support the innovation of their global customer base. TE and PowerbyProxi teamed up to explore the ways that wireless power/data products could free their customers of limitations in design or system performance that might limit the productivity of their next generation of products. This vision and exploration have led to TE and PowerbyProxi forming a strategic partnership for the development of a family of non-contacting (wireless) connectors that TE call the Ariso platform.
Now, isn’t it time you saw through the trees and into the new forest of contactless connectivity. Let your mind envision the new ways that your products or systems can deliver even greater performance, freeing you of the limitations that contacting connectors inflict on you.
Join TE Connectivity, the leader in global connectivity, and PowerbyProxi, the leader in wireless power solutions, in the technology innovation revolution.
PowerbyProxi has been leading the way in educating industrial manufacturing and products companies on the value of non-contacting, wireless power connectors and slip rings for the past four years. We have developed systems for more than 30 applications, 25 of which have been for Fortune 500 companies like John Deere. Now, the leading manufacturer and sales company for connector products globally, TE Connectivity, has announced the launch of a new line of non-contacting connectors, (http://www.connectorsupplier.com/111912-Specifier-IN-TE-Launches-Game-Changing-Technology) focused on the needs of manufacturing automation, process control, industrial machinery and robotics. With this launch PowerbyProxi’s message that for reliability and the ability to introduce unique product capabilities, using loosely coupled inductive wireless power transfer offers the best solution has been further validated.
PowerbyProxi remains the leader in the development of non-contacting, wireless power solutions with a full line of capabilities from milliwatts to kilowatts, all with the ability to also have integrated data communications. Our expertise in harsh environment, flexible system architectures, one-to-one or one-to-many power transfer, and our unparalleled Proxi-Ring products for rotating applications, can help any company solve their critical electrical power reliability or design constrained applications. Isn’t it time you started looking at how non-contacting wireless power can help the performance of your plant or product? Join us in the revolution to achieve new levels of reliability and productivity!
We live in a connected world. You’ve surely heard about the theory of 3⁰s of separation. New connection platforms arise every day, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Skype or mobile phones. Our ability to reach beyond what we ever imagined 15 years ago is now accepted as a standard part of life, especially for the 30 and under crowd. I am still amazed at the people I see in airports and restaurants that are connecting on these platforms almost continuously. To be honest it wears me out.
So why has connectivity in industrial applications lagged behind? Oh, I’m not talking about communication; I am talking about power delivery. The mechanical connector has served us well over the last century, but isn’t it time we pulled the plug. Today’s highly automated manufacturing and industrial machinery offer significant capability that again was never envisioned 15 years ago, let alone 100 years ago. To walk through an automobile assembly plant today, robots are picking, placing, welding, sealing, rotating, aligning, and finishing assembly processes that were at one time tedious human processes. I’m not here to discuss or argue the positive or negative impact this has had on the cost of products or the middle class workforce; we will leave that to our politicians.
What I will say is that the continued use of traditional contacting mechanical connectors limits the continued advancement and utilization of these technologies. Has there been mechanical connector innovation and improvement over the past 100 years? Absolutely. Has there been enough? Absolutely not.
Our next generation non-contacting, or wireless power Proxi-Point based connectors allow transmission through an air gap to eliminate the chances for corrosion or mechanical failure. It eliminates the limitations that mechanical contact demands, while offering new degrees of flexibility in design of automated equipment. The system is fully automatic, so as the transmitter and receiver are brought into close proximity the power is instantly flowing powering up all of the controls, sensors and actuators. This allows for moving parts to maintain a high reliability connection or to have interchangeable parts or components to rapidly come online during a change out. The system also integrates bi-directional data transfer through the same wireless connector.
We applaud the innovation that has occurred in the field of process and equipment automation, but isn’t it time you eliminated the next barrier to even greater gains and applications. It’s time to get disconnected, to allow new levels of connectivity.
Join in the discussion below or contact us for more information.
Working at PowerbyProxi and with my colleagues on the convenience of wireless recharging of my smartphone is great, but to be honest with you, there are times as a manufacturing person I wish the battery were dead.
It is 3 a.m. and you’re finally getting that much needed REM sleep, and your phone starts to ring. Your spouse mumbles something as they roll away from you and your noisy phone. It’s the plant. Another connector failure on a bolster that is being put into the press has the line down and you need to come in to repair it. Why? These stupid connectors repetitively get damaged during bolster change, or contamination has built up while the bolster was out of the press and it won’t connect anymore.
As you drive to the plant blurry eyed in the darkness you say to yourself “there must be a better way.” Well one major automotive company went from thinking to acting. They contacted PowerbyProxi and asked, “can you help?”. The answer was absolutely!
Working with the customer, PowerbyProxi has installed one of our Proxi-Point solutions that offers non-contacting, robust, IP68 sealed transmission and receiving of power through an airgap to eliminate the chances for corrosion or damaged pins. The system is fully automatic, so as a new bolster is rolled into the press, the transmitter and receiver are brought into close proximity and the power is instantly flowing – powering up all of the controls, sensor and actuators. Oh, and before I forget, the system has integrated data transfer with our Proxi-Com solution, so in this application, Ethernet/IP data is also flowing bi-directionally through the same wireless connector.
So, while you’re on your way to the plant in the dark to fix this connector problem again, in another town, your counterpart at this automotive company is sleeping like a baby.
Join in the discussion or contact us for more information.