Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Industrial networking for automation

Silica is appearing at this year’s Embedded World fair in Nuremberg (March 2nd – 4th, 2010) entirely under the banner of “Networking for automation systems”.

There will be a live demonstration of controlling a high-stack shelving system based on EtherCAT (Ethernet for Control Automation Technology) standards. The high-stack shelving system is used as an example to show how many things industrial Ethernet can do.

The system was designed, built and programmed entirely by SILICA’s applications engineers. All the specialists involved in developing it will be on hand and available to visitors for first-hand information throughout the fair.

The system is controlled via a process control system running as software under Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Standard on an Intel® Atom™ platform which serves both as EtherCAT master and industrial PC. The model’s sensors and actuators are interfaced via a slave module, demonstrating how the EtherCAT standard is realised with an FPGA core on a Xilinx FPGA.
Galvanically separated interfaces linking the 3.3 V and 24 V domains use Infineon and STMicroelectronics modules.

Both the high-stack shelving system’s input and output stations have RFID readers implemented with NFC chips by NXP and barcode readers which analyse camera signals using a Renesas microcontroller. Readout data is sent to the PLC in the industrial PC and processed there. A live image of the demo is sent from a CCTV camera using a Blackfin processor by Analog Devices.

SILICA’s appearance at the fair reflects its total solutions and technical support strategy: its own application developed in-house enables specialists to deal with typical problems and the complex applications involved directly.

SILICA is at Halle 12, Stand 241, and is also represented as co-exhibitor on Microsoft’s Stand 11-318.

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