With "Smart Bridge", the advantages of commercially available mobile devices for commissioning, parameterization, diagnostics, maintenance and service of industrial sensors are used, without complicated wiring or installation work being required. The "glass machine" of Pepperl + Fuchs demonstrates how Smart Bridge makes the operation of sensors transparent to the user. The system consists of an adapter and an app for smartphones and tablet PCs.
The smart bridge adapter is looped into the sensor supply line and from there also supplied with energy. In parallel to IO-Link communication with the controller, a Bluetooth wireless connection to mobile devices is established. With the intuitive Smart Bridge app, commercial smartphones and tablet PCs (Android and iOS) become comfortable operating and display devices for industrial sensors. These can be used during commissioning and servicing of industrial sensors without the need for expensive installations or intervention in the control software.
Depending on the application, the adapters can be plugged into the sensor supply cable for temporary or permanent retrofitting and contain a memory card in addition to the IO-Link interface to the sensor and the Bluetooth module. With this sensor data can be recorded over longer periods of time. A USB interface is used to read the recorded data. Modern tablet PCs and smartphones are using Smart Bridge to clear mobile control and display units with a variety of applications such as
- Adjustment of parameters, reading out and writing back of settings ("Digital screwdriver")
- Display of measured values also with sensors with digital data transmission ("Intelligent Multimeter")
- Recording of measurement and diagnostic data over longer periods of time.
As such, Smart Bridge takes a small evolutionary step toward the horizontal communication required for Industry 4.0.