Link maker

Zimmer Group IO-Link End Effector

Previously, communication with IO-Link end-effectors on robots required external wiring, cable installation accessories and a wired controller. This wiring is expensive and requires a lot of time and maintenance. In addition, the cables limit the freedom of movement and flexibility of the robot arm, increase the weight of the arm and thus reduce the accuracy and gripping speed. A key component that robotics lacked to date was a highly available wireless communication solution designed for this segment of automation.

Flexible solutions for robots/cobots

Previously, communication with IO-Link end-effectors on robots required external wiring, cable installation accessories and a wired controller. This wiring is expensive and requires a lot of time and maintenance. In addition, the cables limit the freedom of movement and flexibility of the robot arm, increase the weight of the arm and thus reduce the accuracy and gripping speed.

A key component that robotics lacked to date was a highly available wireless communication solution designed for this segment of automation.

Conventional wireless solutions, such as WLAN or Bluetooth, are not suitable for control tasks in a single machine area due to stringent low deterministic latency requirements and scalability to support hundreds of sensors and actuators.

To meet these requirements, IO-Link Wireless was developed and specifically designed as the standard for high-performance wireless communication in plant automation.

IO-Link Wireless enables transparent and manufacturer-independent connection of the sensor/actuator field level with the automation system level in a machine.

Winner of the German Innovation Prize 2020
Innovative: Zimmer Group won the German Innovation Award 2020 in the area of ​​”Excellence in Business to Business” in this category in 2020. The award recognized the innovative gripping solution that shows a combination of Zimmer IO-Link grippers with CoreTigo IO-Link Wireless technology. At the same time, this system solution underlines the innovative strength with which the two companies are paving the way towards fully networked production. Thus, the foundations for a fruitful collaboration between the two companies have been laid as early as 2020 and further developments are being planned.

Universal and modular as well as wireless networking
Robots play an important role in the manufacturing process of a product. Therefore, they must be equipped with technologies that will benefit both mechanical engineering firms and plant operators.
Wireless technology is rapidly becoming a key technology that fills the connectivity gaps in factory automation and flexible in-machine communication. Secure, highly available, deterministic, standardized, interoperable and fast communication makes a substantial contribution to the flexibility and modularity of a machine.
The value of wireless communication is evident at many stages of machine design, machine production, machine construction and for the operator in production plants. For manufacturing companies, IO-Link Wireless technology offers several advantages and opportunities. The availability of a machine can be increased through minimized changeover, downtime and repair times as well as optimized processes.
For mechanical engineering companies and integrators, the system solution from Zimmer and CoreTigo provides the ability to transform IO-Link grippers and other end-effectors into IO-Link Wireless components and integrate them into the mechanical engineering concept of in a fast, accurate and secure way. This makes it easy to adapt all Zimmer gripping systems, for example, and make them wireless.

The advantages of IO-Link Wireless at a glance:
• Reduction of cables between the gripping solution and the control system with the same performance, functionality and power as cable-based solutions.
• Compatibility with industrial automation and process protocols (Profinet, Ethernet/IP, EtherCat). Planning, commissioning, operation and maintenance can be carried out using standard IO-Link tools. This ensures interoperability with wired IO-Link systems.
• Power is supplied by the robot.
• New applications are possible (eg high-speed, cordless machine components, smart tools and mobile system components).
• Easy and economical to use for renovations and new configurations.
• Improved machine flexibility and modularity for mass customization and adaptive manufacturing.