Kopenhagen Fur, the world's largest auction house for furs, decided recently to install a new pelt sorting system comprising 30 stations to optimize the sorting process - and thus revenue. Machine safety was a very serious issue in this project.
The new system was set up around existing measuring equipment, which made it possible to exploit the equipment more effectively. “It was really most important that we could build up the pelt-sorting system in modules, so that it was scalable in relation to future projects," explained production engineer Janus Tappert.
"That would mean we did not have to start from the beginning with every new project. And all thirty stations should be able to function individually while being included as part of the overall machine safety system”.
An AS-i solution from Bihl+Wiedemann Nordic ApS was chosen, because AS-i is able to handle the complex machine safety system as well the I/O. The primary communications networks have been PROFIBUS-based, which the company has been using for several years. The pelt-sorting system has more than 120 PROFIBUS nodes - divided between AS-i gateways, frequency converters, bar-code readers and other equipment.
Tappert continued: "We are now in the process of building a new production line.
The only difference is that we are going over from PROFIBUS to PROFINET. The PROFIBUS network was heavily loaded with a large number of nodes - and PROFINET was its obvious successor. One of the advantages of PROFINET is that it is possible to get a better loading on the bus system and at the same time achieve an even higher diagnostics level." Another not entirely insignificant advantage of PROFINET is that Kopenhagen Fur's subcontractors can provide remote support through a VPN tunnel.
A new pelt-sorting system has been installed and PROFINET was considered the best solution. It provided a better loading on the bus compared to the former PROFIBUS system and achieves a higher diagnostics level.