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News

Wireless monitoring simplifies overhead crane maintenance

Prosoft Technology (Europe) : 16 October, 2013  (Application Story)
The KIA Motors plant in Slovakia, which produces the cee’d, KIA Venga and Sportage, has installed industrial wireless solutions at its automobile stamping and press operations to improve safety at the plant for employees. The purpose of the project was to communicate from the maintenance room to the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix Controllers. With ProSoft Technology wireless system, one 802.11n radio is on each of the five cranes, with a radio in the maintenance room.
Wireless monitoring simplifies overhead crane maintenance
Cranes transfer stamping dies to the main press lines where parts such as doors, fenders and hoods are produced. Before the plant chose ProSoft Technology´s 802.11n industrial radios, maintenance on the overhead cranes was a tedious process. Engineers had to climb up 14 meters of stairs or a ladder to access the crane controller to connect it directly to a processor for diagnostics. Cranes now can be accessed from the maintenance computer at any stage, which results in much less downtime.
 
"It was necessary to connect the overhead cranes to one network to be able to access the PLC from any maintenance computer in the Auto Press shop," said Tomas Potocar, Engineer with KIA Motors. "The overhead cranes were separate devices without any connection to computers used by the maintenance department."
 
"Only if the crane is in its 'home' position near the step, could the maintenance guy get to its cabinet in 10 minutes. Now it´s possible to get access from the maintenance room immediately", said Josef Nekvinda, an engineer with Rockwell Automation. 
 
Potocar and his team were at the Rockwell Automation University in Podbanske, Slovakia, where they heard about the ProSoft Technology product range. "Shortly after hearing this presentation, a discussion about KIA Motors needs had started," Potocar said. "In choosing ProSoft Technology wireless, KIA Motors wanted to ensure there was a constant, reliable connection between the PLC and the maintenance computer antenna. Implementing a wireless solution took much less time to commission than a wired alternative."
 
The ProSoft Technology 802.11n Industrial Hotspot series offer highly reliable wireless networking to KIA Motors. These radios are optimised for rugged industrial performance and easy deployment in the field. Furthermore, they support IEEE 802.11n standard and MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology, which are key to industrial installations. Features of these radios include high data throughput, hazardous location certifications (UL Class I Div 2, ATEX Zone 2), extended operating temperature range, high vibration/shock resistance, DIN-rail mounting, and Power over Ethernet.
 
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