IO-Link Solution for Signal Connection Simple Differential Equation

Author / Editor: Yu Gu / Lisa Saller, Lisa Saller

At the differential gear production plant of a Chinese auto parts supplier, Turck is showing how its IO-Link solution for signal connection is easy, fast and efficient. A Chinese manufacturer of differential gears uses Turck's TBIL IO-Link hub to connect hundreds of sensors and actuators in production.

Economy program: 26 TBIL I/O hubs means 26x savings on multicore cables and their assembly.
Economy program: 26 TBIL I/O hubs means 26x savings on multicore cables and their assembly.
(Photo: Turck)

Each of these junction boxes connects up to 16 sensors or actuators via IO-Link. The solution saves minimizes the time required for assembling multicore cables while also reducing costs. The solution is completed with Turck's BL20 Profibus gateways with IO-Link master modules. Besides switching signals, they also bring RFID data and analog signals to the PLC.

The automotive industry is a highly competitive sector. Nowadays, automotive plants in Asia, Europe and America are building very good cars, and the differences in quality between the particular vehicle classes are marginal. This competitive pressure is also felt by the auto parts supplier sector. Some manufacturers are renowned for the tough way in which they handle their suppliers. The positive side of this competitive pressure is the increased production efficiency that it has developed. Suppliers have to keep their production flexible and ensure that setups and modifications can be carried out quickly. To do this, they are increasingly relying on systemic production and products. Modular concepts enable larger quantities of individual components and shorter development and production times.

Use of differential gears

One example of these developments is the production of axle differential gears for automobiles. Differential gears ensure that the wheels of a vehicle can move at different speeds. When a vehicle is cornering, an axle differential gear is necessary so that the outer wheel can cover a greater distance than the inner wheel. The differential balances out the different speeds of the wheels. For off-road driving, four-wheel drives have the ability to block single differentials or all of them in order to transfer the power from stuck wheels to all wheels. Four-wheel drive vehicles also have a central differential in order distribute the drive power to the front and rear axles.

Many sensors in gear production

Several magnetic field sensors on the production line of the differential gears detect the positions of pneumatic cylinders and clamps, while proximity switches detect components of the differentials themselves. There are also many actuators such as air valves, solenoid valves and other devices, which perform the commands of the controller.