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SICK’s sHub Smart Sensor Hub prevents machine downtime

16 July 2021

SICK has launched the sHub® sensor hub, a smart add-on to its HIPERFACE® DSL single-cable motor feedback system, which turns servo motors into a source of data for real-time condition monitoring and predictive maintenance of machines.

The compact SICK sHub® sensor hub fits snugly as an extension to SICK EDS/EDM35 motor feedback encoders to send temperature, vibration, position, and speed data via HIPERFACE DSL® to the servo controller. The SICK sHub® can therefore assure early detection of critical mechanical failures, such as ball bearing damage or motor imbalance, to pre-empt machinery downtime.

SICK’s revolutionary HIPERFACE DSL® (Digital-Servo-Link) One Cable technology has been adopted by more than 60 major motor and drive manufacturers worldwide and is now widely recognised as the industry-standard protocol for digital motor feedback. HIPERFACE DSL® enables reliable data transfer between drive and motor in servo drive systems via two wires which are directly integrated into the motor power cable. 

In common with all SICK HIPERFACE DSL® encoders, the EDS/EDM35 incorporate a winding temperature sensor input and have a service-life histogram inside them for condition monitoring. The sHub® sensor hub adds a built-in vibration sensor and enables all data to be routed synchronously to the drive without the need for additional cabling.

Darren Pratt, SICK UK Encoder Product Manager, explains: “Armed with the real-time data collected with the sHub®, machinery maintenance teams can take corrective action ahead of time, for example if the servo motor is imbalanced, and can monitor vibration and temperature trends to detect early signs of component damage.

“The sHub® therefore offers an attractive proposition for machine builders who want to offer smart condition monitoring as a premium service, so that their customers can improve operating efficiency and machine uptime.”

Smart Condition Monitoring
The addition of an integral vibration sensor in the SICK sHub® sensor hub greatly simplifies data analysis, making it much more straightforward to provide relevant information about motor condition, when compared with externally-mounted sensors. Because the SICK sHub® sends vibration data synchronised with the position and speed of the motor via HIPERFACE DSL®, a clear insight can be gained from inside the control loop. The sHub® vibration sensor can measure up to 50g with a 10kHz bandwidth. 

The SICK sHub® and EDS/EDM35 smart motor feedback system can also be integrated into drive safety systems, such as safely limited speed (SLS), thanks to the safe communication capability of HIPERFACE DSL®.

Since their launch, SICK EDS 35 singleturn and EDM 35 multiturn encoders have achieved a step-change in resolution and dynamic performance. The smart motor sensors use an innovative optical system with dual-channel scanning to achieve 24-bit resolution per single-turn revolution, and a proven 12-bit mechanical gear design enabling up to 4,096 revolutions for the multiturn system.   

“The SICK sHub® and EDS/EDM35 combine to make motors smart by adding intelligence for predictive maintenance, and, in turn, this enables the smart machines that are the foundation of Industry 4.0 Smart Factories,” Darren Pratt concludes.

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