Challenge Tool Changer
Robotic tool changer with IO-Link
Challenge Tool ChangerMany applications require that parts of a machine are changed to accommodate different phases in the production cycle. This necessitates providing manifold connections between the main (fixed) part of a machine and the exchangeable part. The two elements of the machine must then be linked mechanically and electrically to provide power, pneumatics, and I/O signals to enable data exchange within the machine.
The electrical connections require large multi-pin connectors and multicore cables to achieve this end. This complexity has its price: the connections regularly cause problems and are expensive to buy and maintain. The fact that the connections also require a high degree of accuracy regarding the mechanical alignment between machine components further increases machine costs.
Should it ever be necessary to distinguish between several variants of the exchangeable part, further I/Os are required both in the I/O system and on the machine. This is yet another difficulty that not only increases costs, but also the complexity and sizing of the connectors between machine parts.