Initial application tests show UWIN wireless technology could replace wired solutions
UWIN (Ultra reliable Wireless Industrial Network) is a wireless technology for real-time industrial communication in demanding environments and application scenarios. Since deterministic cycle times are anchored within the system concept, UWIN is considerably more reliable than Wi-Fi and its response times of under 0.5 milliseconds break even the latest 5G speed records. The technology is also particularly robust: if the chosen wireless channel is occupied by other systems, UWIN seamlessly switches to the next available channel without delay.
These features make UWIN the ideal replacement for wired solutions in the factory, where rotary feedthroughs, sliding contacts and drag chains continue to struggle to compensate for the limited mobility of the subsystems. Adding UWIN to existing production plants is easy with “plug and produce“. The technology maximizes this benefit when it comes to wireless control of individual machines or their moving parts.
To demonstrate that UWIN can be a viable replacement for wired solutions, we tested the wireless control of CNC machinery as part of the “Industrial Communication for Factories – IC4F“ project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). In addition, we are currently in the process of testing entirely new applications.
For instance, the Research Center IoT-COMMs, which belongs to the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Internet Technologies CCIT, has launched the “SmartTool.connect” project. This involves integrating UWIN directly into a machine’s tool holder in order to transmit sensor readings of vibration, temperature, radial runout and speed collected by the rotating tool and thus minimize tool wear.
We are currently working on an evaluation kit for UWIN (EWIN) so that we can quickly roll out future application-oriented projects with industry partners. EWIN comprises a base station and three field devices. The appropriate channels and cycle times can be freely defined via a corresponding user interface in order to check which error-rate, latency and range requirements UWIN is satisfying within a given environment.