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Honing Machines Connect to PROFINET

How one OEM found a solution for connecting to PROFINET systems anywhere in the world.

Nagel Precision in Ann Arbor, Michigan is the U.S. subsidiary of Gernagel_setup_inside_the_honing_machine_1024aman Nagel Maschinen- u. Werkzeugfabrik GmbH.

They create machines for honing, superfinishing, and deep hole drilling which are used to manufacture engine blocks, transmissions, pinion gears, valves and other metal artefacts which require a very smooth surface.

The machines are installed in manufacturing plants around the world by companies such as GM, Chrysler, KIA, Hyundai, and Ford to name but a few.

Nagel uses a non-PI networking protocol for control. However, they export all over the world and must communicate with other networks, especially PROFINET, which is frequently used in car manufacturing plants.

We started out with third party network cards, says Jim Saule, Information Technology Director at Nagel Precision Inc. However, these were cumbersome and quite expensive. That’s when I started investigating the Anybus X-gateway from HMS. I liked the fact that you could support several different networks with the same configuration. We don’t want to understand every type of controller out there. We’d rather focus on perfecting our machines. Anybus X-gateways have allowed us to do just that and at around half the cost.

The Anybus X-gateway works as a translator between the competitor’s protocol and PROFINET. The communication stream is transparent on both sides of the gateway making the honing machine a separate node on the factory floor, fully able to communicate with the plant-wide network.

We’ve been using the Anybus X-gateway for more than two years now and it has been flawless, says Saule. I really appreciate the fact that we can support several different networks. This enables us focus on our core business. I would recommend any machine builder to look into Anybus. The variety is great and there are substantial savings to be made.” ANYBUS

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