Snap Signal is an easily deployable, complete portfolio of modular IIoT hardware and software that delivers actionable machine data from across your factory. More than just another flavor of IIoT, Snap Signal is an overlay network that can capture data signals from virtually any source. It seamlessly converts these sources to a single industry-standard protocol, then distributes the data for quick and easy consumption.
The devices that outfit automated production lines—sensors, tower lights, motor drives, valves, and other components—transmit electronic signals as part of their basic functionality. By adding a system to monitor these signals, you can unlock a wealth of valuable information. This data could be used for improving efficiencies, reducing downtime, and lowering costs, or even for predictive equipment maintenance. It all starts with capturing the data that will be beneficial to your operation.
Snap Signal products are designed to be part of a plug-and-play solution. Snap Signal incorporates M12 connectors, which makes it possible to deliver the benefits of Snap Signal as an “overlay network,” which consists of using splitter cables to connect to existing devices. This overlay network is unique so the attached monitoring connections simply “listen in” to the signals. The overlay network also speeds up the process of monitoring devices on your machine, because it connects quickly and does not require previous cable runs to be rerouted.
Once the physical connections are made to the devices on your machine or automation system, we need to get everything speaking the same language. Some devices might send discrete PNP or NPN signals, others might use analog 0–10 V dc signals, and you might plan to add other types of devices in the future, such as current transducers. All of these signals need to be quickly and easily converted to a unified protocol. This enables you to build a serial network.
With signals now on unified protocols, it is time to build networks of devices. IO-Link devices and anything that was translated to IO-Link using Snap Signal converters should be connected to an IO-Link Master. Multiple IO-Link Masters can be used, depending on the size and complexity of the system. IO-Link Masters and wireless radios can send collected signals from your entire production system to a device that interprets Modbus data, such as the Banner DXMR90 Industrial Controller.
At this stage, all the signals are brought together from the unified protocol, so that all the data from the entire system can be sent to a cloud platform, PLC, or SCADA. Banner’s central control unit for Snap Signal data distribution is the DXMR90, which features a D-Code Ethernet port to transmit collected data. It is also possible to connect the controller to a DXM1200 device, which uses a cellular modem to transmit data wirelessly.
The data gathered from the system needs to be displayed so that machine operators, maintenance staff, and plant managers can make data-driven decisions. The data may be consumed via HMIs, PLCs, SCADA, or cloud platforms including Banner’s Cloud Data Services (CDS), offering customizable dashboards for simultaneous and comprehensive online monitoring of devices in Snap Signal systems. Ultimately, the goal of Snap Signal is to make data available to the people who need it.