Hannover Fair 2003: Parker Hannifin shows wireless solutions

Hannover, Germany—Parker Hannifin is demonstrating its new wireless automation products in its exhibit (Hall 23, B44) at Hannover Fair 2003 on April 7-12.

By Control Engineering Staff April 8, 2003

Hannover, Germany- Parker Hannifin

Bluetooth is a relatively new standard for short-range wireless communications and networking that combines robustness, small size, low power consumption and low costs. Though industrial automation applications for Bluetooth are still in the early stages, the technology is becoming in-creasingly common in consumer products.

Parker adds that its wireless IA products will allow manufacturers and processors to eliminate miles of cable and millions of connectors; reduce wear, corrosion and contamination problems; and enhance monitoring, control and configuration capabilities. In general, adoption of the new Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards for industrial applications is expected to dramatically spur demand by lowering costs and simplifying configuration and installation.

Attendees visiting Parker’s booth (located in Hall 23, B44) at Hannover Fair will be able to view and operate three wireless IA application demonstrations:

  • Hydraulic system wireless diagnostics , which features a Parker hydraulic fluid diagnostics system that wirelessly provides information on the cleanliness and health of a small-scale hydraulic steering mechanism. The diagnostics system incorporates sensors that count minute particles and measure moisture, temperature and fluid pressure. The signals from these sensors are converted and transported via Bluetooth devices to a Bluetooth-equipped pocket PC with a Parker-designed graphical user interface.

  • Industrial automation system. Visitors will input their names into a graphic user interface, and have each name printed on a promotional yo-yo that is then selected from a rotating dial table and presented to the visitor. The demo integrates pneumatic, electromechanical and hydraulic devices, including Parker’s new Bluetooth Wireless Moduflex valve island. In this exhibit, one Moduflex provides output control signals to the valves on the rotating dial table, while another controls the Parker motor drive and a hydraulic trim actuator that presents the printed yo-yo to the visitor.

  • Wireless interfacing to process valves and controls. This demo features three Parker wireless devices: Parker Pneutronics Division’s Electronic Pressure Controller and Parker Europe Fluid Controls Division’s Electronic Pressure Regulator and Pneumatic Rotary Actuator. All three devices are configured with a Parker-designed, microcontroller-based Bluetooth dongle that provides capabilities for one input and one output. Visitors will be able to monitor and control the three devices using a pocket PC.

‘New wireless applications we’ve been working on should prove particularly attractive to industries where certain functions are difficult to perform because of harsh operating conditions or other restrictions,” says Sandy Harper, Parker’s senior R&D project engineer and wireless solutions project manager. “The products will also find application in industries such as food and pharmaceuticals that require an ultra-clean environment where wireless handsets are invaluable to monitor, control and configure equipment. The new wireless standards will eventually provide considerable cost savings and efficiencies in industrial automation, helping companies achieve their lean business goals.’

Parker is a member of the Bluetooth SIG’s Industrial Automation Study Group, created to establish wireless guidelines and standards for the industrial automation applications and Bluetooth implementations. Based on marketing information, the group projects that the wireless IA market has a potential of close to $3 billion in sales by 2006. This figure does not take into consideration the traditional Bluetooth capability built into PDAs, computers and peripherals adapted to interface to IA systems.

For more information, visit Parker-Hannifin (Cleveland, OH) at www.parker.com .

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor