ARISO Contactless Connectivity Enables Advanced Communication in Smart Factories

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As factory automation increases, the mechanical/electrical boundary becomes a key factor for improving intelligence. Repetitive motion requires an electromechanical interface that is reliable as well as able to transfer power to the load and data at a fast rate. In addition, factories need programmable flexibility for altering production runs on the fly.

Repetitive motion requires an electromechanical interface that is reliable as well as able to transfer power to the load and data at a fast rate.  In addition, factories need programmable flexibility for altering production runs on the fly.  Software implementation via communication channels such as Ethernet and PNP improves adaptability.  Both data and power need to be transferred across this electromechanical interface while the machine is in constant motion.  Until now, this has been an issue that resulted in limited movement, additional maintenance and reduced reliability.  A solution for transferring data and power across an interface that is free of mechanical connection has arrived in the form of ARISO Contactless Connectivity from TE Connectivity (TE).  ARISO Contactless Connectivity provides a unique, hybrid combination of technologies that utilizes RF communication and magnetic power transfer for contactless connectivity.

Slip rings are a common technology for transferring power and data, requiring a mechanical interface that can lead to issues such as shorting or ring wear.  In addition, the wiring harnesses associated with slip rings can limit mobility.

In the quest to overcome direct connection via slip rings, four technologies are commonly employed at an electromechanical interface.  These technologies include optical coupling, capacitive coupling, RF coupling and magnetic coupling.  For applications such as material carrier functions, robotic arms, and tool charging, additional limitations apply.  These limitations are often intensified further in environments that have water, moisture, dirt or even walls separating the smart factory components.  Solutions exist to combat the limitations of the four technologies for advancing smart factory technology. 

Optical coupling offers a high speed interface solution and isolation.  This technology is valuable in the factory environment for many applications.  However, the alignment of the transmit and receive sections are crucial.  This interface must remain free of obstructions such as dust, fluids and opaque structures such as walls or compartment dividers.  Furthermore, optical coupling has limited power transfer capability.  Finally, LEDs degrade with time which eventually reduces overall system capability.

Capacitive coupling is an excellent choice for transferring both data and power in a stationary environment.  However the transfer point must have a fixed distance with little misalignment.  This restriction limits capacitive coupling to a point where it is not a viable alternative for a rotating machine with an electromechanical interface. 

RF coupling is a popular method for data transfer.  Near field communications (NFC) transfer data in RF tags as well as other methods that enhance the smart factory.  NFC transmission is immune from liquids, dust and many barrier materials used for walls or compartments.  However, NFC is a poor transmitter of power. 
Magnetic coupling is also a great method for transferring power and data between interfaces. Magnetic coupling is immune to dust, light, liquids and many types of barrier material.  However, the bandwidth of magnetic coupling is limited.  This severely reduces data transmission rates.

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The ARISO Contactless Connectivity Technology Overcomes Many Design Barriers

In the quest to advance the capabilities of the smart factory, the advantages of RF communication and magnetic power transfer have been combined into a single, ruggedized solution called ARISO Contactless Connectivity that enables unlimited contact connections and freedom of mobility across an electromechanical interface. In addition, this option is free of maintenance while being immune to most environmental factors. The first variant is designed for Sensor application and supports up to 8 PNP Channels and up to 12W at 24V.

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The Hybrid Technology of ARISO Contactless Connectivity Combines a Near Field Antenna and Resonant Power Connection Across the ICPT Contactless Connection

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Power and Data Are Passed Across a Contactless Connection That Enables Unlimited Connections Without Wear or Degrading

Automotive factories have as many as 100,000 data interface nodes.  Many of these interfaces take place in environments that have high rotation or vibration.  Contact based connections are not of use for many of these interfaces.  The many sensors and loads such as motors and mechanical actuators need both power and data in order to operate.  This transfer must be flexible in terms of alignment and distance in order to account for wear, isolation and machine flexing.  TE’s ARISO Contactless Connectivity technology solves the issue while providing more than, 360° movement.  The sealed solution is immune to environmental effects while eliminating the wear of slip ring technology.  Separation distances of 0-7 mm provide isolation while misalignment factors are reduced due to the ability to operate over a range of angles. 


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ref [1] The ARISO Contactless Connectivity Technology Eases Alignment Requirements While Enabling Power and Communication To Pass Across a Contactless Connection

ARISO Contactless Connectivity employs AC power transfer along with additional advantages.  The chosen method of LC resonant technology enables an efficient power transfer that generates low heat and reduces noise interference.  Resonant power systems offer soft switching that is free of the ringing noise generated by hard-switched converters.  By controlling the resonant frequency, a tuned interface is created. 

ARISO Contactless Connectivity owes its advantages to both RF and magnetic coupling technologies.  When combined into a single product, versatile options are created.  The packaged solution is both rugged and effective while being immune from many environmental factors that inhibit other options. 


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reference [3] The ARISO Contactless Connectivity Solution Provides a Ruggedized Package That Combines Magnetic Power and RF Antenna Data Transfer Technology

The advantages of this technology are applicable to many factory loads including:

 TE’s ARISO Contactless Connectivity can be used as standard connectivity or accessory in the following applications:

 - Filling & packaging machinery
- Machine centers
- Conveyer belts & assembly systems
- Food & beverage
- Vacuum chambers
- Robotics: system integrators
- Intelligent tools & work piece holders
- Connect passive distribution boxes, remote IOs & sensors

 TE’s ARISO Contactless Connectivity can also be customized and designed into the following equipment:

- Robotics: robot body
- Rotary units/grippers
- Tool changer
- Handling equipment
- Swivel & rotary units

As with any technology, the ability to implement the product in a working application is crucial to enabling implementation with low NRE time.  ARISO Contactless Connectivity is available via TE directly and TE’s distribution partners.

Summary

The smart factory needs power and communication in order to remain flexible and efficient.  Efficient data transfer improves response time.  For example, a product’s color can be changed in seconds in a printer drum application with simple on the fly programming via a reliable, contactless connection.  Or tolerances can be immediately adjusted to reduce waste when samples fail to meet specification.  The ARISO Contactless Connectivity technology enables these and many more options for your factory while crossing barriers that were once limited.  Overall factory efficiency and flexibility improve while factors such as maintenance and limitations due to harsh environments are reduced or eliminated.  


 

 

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