The Modern Factory Floor
Factories of tomorrow are a very different landscape from the factories of old. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has enabled plant operators to monitor every aspect of the manufacturing process. From a single sensor on a motor to automated ground vehicles on the plant floor, everything is connected. This allows for machine to machine (M2M) communication, machine learning, and much more. All of this allows for a significant reduction in waste, costs while being more environmentally friendly, safer, and more efficient.
Predictive Maintenance and Condition Based Monitoring
Today, it is imperative to be able to see the health of a manufacturing line. The ability to monitor vibration, temperature, noise, voltage and current, as well as productivity levels of a line enables a plant operator to order maintenance on a line before it goes down. Rather than going into a line-down situation or even having unnecessary pre-scheduled maintenance is no longer an issue. With Condition Based Monitoring that can detect an aspect out of spec, operators can perform preventive maintenance when it is necessary before it becomes an issue.
STMicroelectronics has designed just such a solution to provide this. The STEVAL-BFA001V1B was designed for Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance. With an industrial sensor board, an adapter for the ST-Link/V2 programming and debugging tool, and peripheral connectivity kit, users are able to take advantage of the 32-bit ARM Coretex-M4 core and array of environmental sensors to monitor a variety of factors that can be used to determine the health of a machine. The Kit is capable of data storage and communicates via IO-Link and M12 connector.
More Intelligence, More Connectivity
M2M communication has become vital to Smart Factories. The ability to collect every data point through every step of the process and communicate that to the cloud or edge computing software can ensure that the entire process is analysed for maximum efficiency and waste reduction in real-time. By using Industrial communication protocols such as Modbus, Profibus, or even IO-Link enables M2M communications that rely on RJ485, Industrial Ethernet, and even WIFI or Bluetooth enabled devices to support OPC Unified Architecture or IPv6-based network infrastructures.
ST takes into account safety as well. No Manufacturing process is complete without taking into account the safety of its workforce or its manufacturing assets. To accomplish this, ST offers IC’s with extended voltage ranges and performance that complies with IEC 61508 specification and also in accordance with SIL (Safety Integrity Level) requirements at the system level.
ST Microelectronics has been designing products for hazardous industrial applications for over 30 years. With the Factories of tomorrow, ST can help you pave the way to making your factory safer, faster, more efficient, and more connected than ever before.
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