We can roughly assume that for most of conveyor systems more than half of the on-site installation time is spent on wiring and programming. In case we use EvoLink, this can be reduced greatly. First of all we nearly eliminate electrical works on site by pre wiring. If there are any electrical works needed, the system can be started up in sections so that the mechanical and electrical teams can work simultaneously.
As for the programming, much is simplified as well. Again, a bigger part of the program can be prepared beforehand and there is no need to test and define each sensor or drive. The only interface is the whole component represented by an EvoLink Board.
System starts up weeks earlier
Preparation is the key and EvoLink helps you prepare. This effectively means moving the tedious wiring job from customer´s site to your production. Based on the experience of Alvey and its partners, we can clearly see the saving of weeks if not months on the customer´s site.
There is no doubt how important production time is. The sooner the installation is available, the sooner the customer is able to monetize on it. This should be a decisive argument when choosing a control technology. It means an improved ROI.
Electrical works on site greatly reduced
EvoLink effectively enables the electrical works to be done already in the assembly shop. All the components are pre-wired for the installation at the final customer’s site. This is achieved by two innovative designs.
First, each component has its own EvoLink Board and therefore its own independent computer. This use of distributed inteligence effectively moves the logic of one central PLC to all the components in the network allowing for a great variability of the components.
No less important is the connection of the cables. Great care is taken by EvoLink system to implement durable and fool proof connectors for all the cables implemented. There are various industrial connectors for both power and for data connections.
Easy and fast programming in C++ instead of PLC
For decades, PLC has been a standard controller for all the industrial applications. This has been reliable system with questionable programming effectiveness. The PLC programmer spends most of the time on defining inputs/outputs and developing complex schemes, which is all relatively monotonous work.
EvoLink on the other hand defines the inputs/outputs automatically and therefore allows the programmer to focus on the system logic. To make things even easier, the EvoLink is programmed in C++. C++ programmers are more common and easier to find compared to specialised PLC programmers. However, EvoLink is compatible with the IEC 61131-3 standard, and it is still possible to program it in ladder diagram, function block diagram and others, like a PLC.
Makes any component really plug & play
EvoLink can be thought of as a standard interface. Each EvoLink Board has its own „driver“ loaded depending on the component it is controlling. This can be of course done for virtually any component. Be it a labeller, wrapper, new sorter, case packer or any other machine added to the line, it can be fully pre-cabled and made plug & play. This function has an endless potential for expansion to nearly any industrial field imaginable.
Easy future changes and extensions
Any extension and maintenance of the system can be done while the rest of the system is running. This is a revolutionary feature as so far it has been always necessary to stop the existing installation while making any changes or extentions. EvoLink enables to „hot plug“ any additional component to the running installation.
In order to adapt for the existing installations and enable their fast extentions, ASI can be interfaced directly to the EvoLink board. Any existing installation can therefore be extended by an EvoLink system without significant stopage.
Improves monitoring of the automation system
As each component is equipped by its own controller, a lot of storage and processing power is available. For a comparison, EvoLink Board has more processing power than most PLCs but it controls only a component, not the entire system.
EvoLink is able to process any data such as power consumption, running hours, number of start/stops, roller slip detection and many other statistics empowering your system to greater efficiency.
These data can then be used to make statistics, data analysis and preventive maintenance. A clever alarm (and events in general) system allows for an in-dephts and precise supervision.
Safety stop plug & play
Safety regulations are more and more strict, EvoLink is ready to follow. An extra circuit has been developed for double wired safety stop integrated directly on the EvoLink Board. It is sufficient for securing case and pallet conveyors, as well as many other components like case erectors, labelers, wrapping machines. A safety stop button can be plugged on any of the EvoLink Boards connected to the system and if pressed it will stop the entire safety zone. Thanks to advanced wiring the pressed stop can immediately be located.
Comprehensive in-house testing
All the components integrate their own program. They are independent, and not tied to a precise position in a factory. No address to set, therefore, two components of the same type are mechanically, electrically and functionally identical to one another. In the traditional way, you would need the whole installation program to test one component, or you would need to make adjustments each time. With EvoLink, we developed a test bench testing all the sensors, actuators, software, mechanics and cabling of each individual components. When arriving on site, the components are guaranteed to be fully functional, which again, saves time to the different teams starting-up the installation.
The components are not specialized to a precise position in a factory, therefore, in case of a breakage, a whole conveyor can be electrically disconnected from both side, taken out, replaced by another one of the same type, re-plugged, and the installation will run. The potentially long processes of changing a broken part or making a diagnosis can be done outside of production, with minimal disruption. There is no need to re-program, re-configure or change any code. No need for overqualified maintenance personal.