Industrial Electronics

IO-Link wireless technology enhances flexibility and efficiency of natural stone processing machines

05 April 2024

Pedrini, a manufacturer of natural stone processing plants and machines, and CoreTigo, a provider of industrial wireless automation solutions, announce an advancement in natural stone processing machinery. By integrating CoreTigo’s IO-Link Wireless devices into its machinery, Pedrini was able to enhance existing machines, gaining the benefits of this industrial-grade wireless communication, without the need to design new machines.

Pedrini sets a high bar of innovation and digitalization for the industry by constantly growing and developing, taking it into the era of Industry 4.0. Pedrini’s SPECTRA B220 planetary calibrating machine is designed for thickness grinding of natural stone slabs including marble, granite and quartzite. The machine’s calibrating unit is composed of numerous spindles equipped with diamond tools. OptimalSource: CoreTigoSource: CoreTigo performance relies on real-time accurate reading and control of the current of each spindle while in high-speed operational mode. The SPECTRA B220 now utilizes CoreTigo’s IO-Link Wireless communication for monitoring the machine spindles. The wireless solution replaces the need to run communication cables from the spindles through the slip rings of the calibrator and to the PLC.

The deployment’s complexity is reduced significantly with an IO-Link Wireless Bridge (CoreTigo’s TigoBridge) connected to a multiport I/O Hub that communicates current data from eight spindles simultaneously (and a total of 48 spindles per machine with six TigoBridges). A single IO-Link Wireless Master (CoreTigo’s TigoMaster) collects all the data from the Wireless Bridges on the machine over the air, and communicates it directly to the PLC. The data is visualized on the HMI and enables real-time machine calibration and optimization.

The use of IO-Link Wireless communication allowed Pedrini to switch from complex and high-cost communication slip rings on the calibrators into smaller and more cost-effective slip rings. This new machine design enables a range of benefits and advantages for the SPECTRA B220 machine:

• Slip ring complexity reduction — cost-effective solution with reduced deployment time and effort


• Increased flexibility — the wireless solution enables simple retrofit and system expansion by easily adding dozens of connected spindles without slip ring or cabling constraints


• Improved maintenance — reduced spare parts for expensive slip rings, reduced cable wear and tear, and reduced maintenance operations due to wireless interferences.


• Reliability — IO-Link Wireless provides performance which is a million times more reliable than conventional wireless systems (such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth). It coexists with other wireless networks, does not require line of sight, and is designed for high-speed motion applications in harsh industrial environments.

To contact the author of this article, email GlobalSpecEditors@globalspec.com


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