Hiperface DSL protocol reduces cabling and adds safety

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Hiperface DSL protocol reduces cabling and adds safetySick (UK) is promoting Hiperface DSL, a fully digital encoder feedback interface with both SIL2 and SIL3 safety capability for the communication of feedback data from brushless servo motors to associated drive electronics. Although Hiperface DSL has previously been announced to the market, there are now products due to be launched within months.

The Hiperface DSL data protocol is designed to carry comprehensive sensor data from the motor to the drive while reducing system costs. It is suitable for use in a wide range of robotic and automated machinery applications, as well as in process and packaging equipment.

Darren Pratt, an encoder specialist for Sick (UK), comments: "Hiperface DSL is currently the only motor feedback interface with the capability of supporting encoders to SIL3 levels for both safe speed and safe position functions. In addition, the protocol requires less expensive hardware than current digital encoder feedback systems, enabling significant cost savings.

"The combination of improved speed regulation and functionality with greater operator safety, and at a reduced cost, marks a significant step forward. Hiperface DSL is set to be the new standard for high- to low-performance applications."

Reduced cabling

The interface is said to be so robust that cores inside the motor power cable can be used for the communication of feedback data to the drive. The twisted pair of conductors normally used for the signal from the winding temperature sensor can instead be utilised for the Hiperface DSL communication. Encoders supporting Hiperface DSL will have an optional temperature sensor input for digitisation of the temperature signal and transmission to the drive concurrently with encoder feedback data. The result is that a separate feedback cable is no longer necessary.

Pratt adds: "Machine builders using a motor and drive solution utilising Hiperface DSL will benefit from a huge reduction in cabling costs and commissioning time.

"Hiperface DSL encoders will also contain lifetime management functionality for preventative maintenance. Temperature, speed and rotation information will be logged inside the encoder with all information accessible via Hiperface DSL. Open accessibility to this information will enable plant operators and maintenance engineers to plan preventative maintenance enabling increased plant availability and reduced machine downtime."

With future applications in mind, Hiperface DSL will also allow the simple incorporation of additional sensor information to further enhance dynamic axis control, including torque, vibration and acceleration.

Safety specification

The robust Hiperface DSL protocol enables digital sensor data transmission over distances of up to 100m based on two or four wires integrated with the motor power cable, resistant to EMC interference. The system is capable of supporting safe encoder feedback up to SIL 3 / PLe, and facilitates a wide range of drive connectivity and applications.

Sick says the first encoders supporting Hiperface DSL will be launched in the summer of 2011. Leading manufacturers of servomotors and drives are expected to be launching systems utilising Hiperface DSL before the end of 2011.

For more information on Sick Hiperface DSL, please contact Ann Attridge () or Andrea Hornby () or telephone +44 (0)1727 831121.

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