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InstaTool for Robotic Tool Changers  
 
 
InstaToolT    
New innovation greatly reduces time for tool changes in
DeviceNet environments.


InstaTool ModulesDeviceNetT is a popular industrial communications bus used to connect industrial devices and reduce or eliminate time-consuming discrete wiring.

The Problem
With the obvious benefits of DeviceNet technology comes the inevitable delay that occurs during tool
identification - as long as 8 seconds at each tool change. The cumulative effect of these delays is a loss of production time. This compounded effect becomes a factor in reducing manufacturing productivity.

In an effort to minimize this delay, a new DeviceNet standard is being proposed which could potentially reduce this delay to 2 to 3 seconds. This is still a noticeable delay during an application process.

ATI InstaToolT solves the problem.

Connection Time Chart - InstaTool Vs. old technologiesThe Solution: ATI InstaToolTM Technology

With ATI InstaToolT, long delays for tool identification and tooling I/O are a thing of the past.

By using ATI InstaToolT technology, the new tool-side module communicates tool ID and tooling I/O to the master/robot module in just tenths of a second after tool changer coupling. There is no longer a need to establish a DeviceNet node on the tool side, which in turn prevents power-ups from negotiating lengthy DeviceNet protocol sequences. Tooling is available on the network in under a second.

Best of all, there are no costly upgrades of DeviceNet scanner and master controller equipment required to enjoy the substantial benefits of ATI InstaToolT.

Product Advantages

  • Near-Instant Connection and Tool Identification: With InstaTool, tool ID occurs within 150 milliseconds, as compared to up to 8 seconds using current technology. Tool I/O is available within 700 milliseconds.

  • Reduction in Time: No delay means overall cycle time is reduced and production is increased. This advantage is heightened in applications with multiple tool changes.
    Reduced DeviceNet Node Management: With ATI InstaToolT and InstaBusT technology, the tool changer master node handles 160 I/O communications downstream, resulting in fewer DeviceNet nodes to manage.

  • Tool ID Passes Through Master: Systems with multiple masters and tools can positively identify which tools are connected to each master.

  • Tool Stand Interlock (TSI): A tool stand interlock feature is provided on the tool/slave side for safer tool changer operation. The TSI allows uncoupling only when the tool changer is in the tool stand. Customers have the option to choose mechanical or proximity sensor switches to close the TSI circuitry.

  • Additional Safety Features: Additional DeviceNet inputs are provided to identify unsafe operating conditions. Customer operating software can be programmed to halt tool changer operation when unsafe conditions exist.

DeviceNet - with and without ATI InstaToolTM
The illustrations below indicate the fundamental differences between standard DeviceNet connectivity and the new ATI InstaToolT technology.
 

Current Network

Before ATI InstaToolT, the DeviceNet signal passed from the DeviceNet controller, through the master side to the tool side of the tool changer, then on to the nodes. With this method, each time a new tool side connection is made, up to an 8 second start-up delay occurs before tool identification is made and the application can continue.

Network Topography without InstaTool

   
ATI Solution

With InstaToolT, the DeviceNet signal effectively stops at the tool changer master, creating an always-on connection to that master node. Using patent-pending high-speed technology, the master node handles all I/O communication downstream from the master. The result is a connect time of less than 150 milliseconds for tool ID and under 700 milliseconds for tool I/O. Tool I/O appears at the master node.

Network Topography with InstaTool in place



Click here for our most recent InstaTool literature! (PDF Version)

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