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Case Study:

  • Project:
    SSD Link to Parker LinkNET upgrade
  • Cost:
  • Timescale:
    10 Days

Skymark Performance films, offer one of the best solutions for extruded substrates, printing, lamination and complex conversion for their customers. They offer their customers a “Just In Time” production solution to their supply chain so having a precise and reliable production line is vital to Skymark and the customers they serve. Oracle Drive Systems were called to carry out a site survey on how they can improve their hardware to ensure breakdowns are kept to a minimum and Skymark can offer an advantage to their customers.

We noted their current drives and PLC system although worked well, were now old and in particular the SSD LINK  fibre optic system was now obsolete.  We had maintained the LINK system for over 13 years for Skymark and had upgraded it over time to as far as it could go. Oracle Drive Systems do have spare parts for the LINK system but we are limited on stocks available and they are quickly becoming harder to source worldwide either as old stock or refurbished units.

 

Brief on LINKnet:

Parkers new LINKnet is an Ethernet based version of the popular and proven SSD Link system to coordinate drives in a production line.  LINKnet now uses standard CAT-6 cable and needs no external power supply when used as a plug-in module for Parker AC690 or DC590 drives (a stand-alone DIN rail variant is available for other devices).

LINK vs LINKKnet 

The new LINKnet system can easily be retro fitted to many systems that use the SSD LINK system, and if Parker AC690 or DC590 drives are already used no other parts need to be upgraded just the LINKnet tech boxes and cabling.

The LINKnet system will connect to any Ethernet connected PLC, if replacing an SSD LINK2 touch screen then Parker now offer their TS8000 range to complete the install.

No need for extra training, the LINKnet system continues to use the popular Parker DSE software system which is a simple drag and drop interface. It enables the user to expertly design systems, using the many pre-engineered macro and function control blocks in LINK’s extensive software library.

 

Work carried out:

Skymark took the decision to have a complete new automation system installed by Oracle Drive Systems and use Parker as the brand for drives,  Allen Bradley Control Logix for the PLC.  As a contract maintenance customer they received priority booking and we arranged our engineer team around Skymarks factory shutdown time as the complete automation line would be replaced.

For removal and installation of hardware we used a 15 man team made up of Oracle Drive Systems engineers and approved sub contractors. With coordination and prior planning, the removal went ahead of schedule and installation of the new equipment could start sooner than expected. Some of the components installed include: 14x  Parker LINKnet tech boxes and Ethernet cabling, 7 new Parker drives, ,  PLC system with 12 remote racks, a UPS system, a DIN rail mounted PC and flat screen monitor for software monitoring and set up, and remote connectivity for Oracle engineers to log in from anywhere in the world. Using remote log in we can access all the plc and drive nodes including the 2 panel view hmi’s. All work  was finalised with a full set of CAD drawings.

This was extensive work but was made quicker due to our experience with Parker drives and systems. The IP reading settings and easy connectivity of the LINKnet system made the drive calibrations very easy as well. An additional benefit of using the LINKnet system compared to the LINK system which used fibre optic cabling, is that is doesn’t need the yearly maintenance checks of light levels compared to the CAT-6 cable which is faster and can be used with larger distance between devices.

We have now completed a number of LINK to LINKnet upgrades in the UK and abroad. We are confident to promote LINKnet to any of our customers with the old LINK system and to look into upgrading sooner rather than later if they want to look into futureproofing their automation systems with reliability and easily replaceable parts if necessary.

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