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27 Feb 2024

SMC to Launch New Open IIoT Demo Unit at APPEX 2024

SMC Corporation Stand: E121
SMC to Launch New Open IIoT Demo Unit at APPEX 2024

SMC Corporation Australia New Zealand (ANZ) will be exhibiting a custom-built demo unit on Open IIoT’s stand at APPEX 2024 to showcase the company’s latest in Industry 4.0 ‘smarts’. 


Open IIoT was first formed in 2018 and comprises of SMC, Beckhoff Automation, ZI-Argus, Balluff and NORD Drivesystems. The cohort was established to showcase real-world IIoT collaboration and to break down jargon and misinformation surrounding Industry 4.0. 


Speaking to the newly-built unit, Jozef Ceh, SMC’s Group Manager ANZ for Integrated Solutions says that visitors will immediately notice a new format on Open IIoT’s stand. “We have taken a more decentralised approach this time round,” he explains. “Fast broadband internet connections and sophisticated network protocols will enable all our demo units to operate both independently and in unison.”


While in the past Open IIoT had one system comprising of our different software and hardware components, today the group has opted for a more dynamic approach. “Internet connections and sophisticated network protocols will now create connectivity between individual processes that operate independently in separate physical locations, but are accessible and controlled though a central user interface that is deployed through the cloud infrastructure.” 


Jozef adds that while SMC’s unit is in fact a standard ‘pick and place’ application, making use of an electric servo gantry system, the key focus will be on the technology used in the process.  


What’s on show?


The recent release of SMC’s new EXW1 compact wireless system coincided perfectly with this build. It features EtherCAT and IO-Link Master connections and is the ideal way to highlight SMC’s digital automation architecture in a live application. “It underpins the power of networking when it comes to remote control and data accessibility.”


The unit also makes use of an EXW1 IO-Link master wireless remote unit – a product that Jozef believes is a true gamechanger. “It integrates all the standard features and benefits of IO-Link into a wireless network, while offering both Class A and Class B port specification - making this product a logical choice .”


The JXC servo motor controller with IO-Link network interface and safe torque off feature is integrated in this unit. “The direct-input step motor controller is designed for general machine builders who rely on accurate speed, position or force but at the same time look for improved flexibility and stronger security.”


It’s another reminder that we always go ‘beyond pneumatics’

Jozef concludes saying: “Over the years we have gone beyond pneumatics and we are really proud of our wireless range which features all the smarts that our customers need. It’s a reminder of how we constantly listen and continue to innovate based on their needs.” 

“We are excited to showcase the wireless network infrastructure – especially the implementation of our new wireless IO-Link master modules. IO-Link is one of the fastest growing technologies, with the additional benefits and flexibility of a wireless digital architecture, which will definitely have a significant impact how we approach system design moving forward.”

Check out the demo unit at Open IIoT’s stand from 12 to 15 March 2024 (stand D040). 

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