A new Tracking Base for Tools: the Virtual Cable

A new Tracking Base for Tools: the Virtual Cable

Freedom of movement doesn’t guarantee Quality. The development of wireless tool technology has delivered untold benefits in the manufacturing environment: from the ability to configure assembly lines without the constraint of a fixed power supply to improved accessibility for operators. Theoretically, making wireless tools part of a smart manufacturing network should deliver an Industry 4.0 idyll - but we ignore the human element at our peril.

Human beings are sociable creatures. Given the ability to move around the workplace unfettered, the temptation to take their wireless tools with them - perhaps to help a colleague working on another part of the assembly line - can be irresistible. However, these unscheduled fastening tasks introduce a high probability of error. For operations managers, this can be a real headache. Chaining tools down to the workbench again negates all the benefits of wireless technology. It can also send out the wrong signals: maybe the managers don’t trust their operators with the equipment!

By listening to our customers' experiences, we’ve developed a solution using the Desoutter CONNECT Smart Hub that means wireless tools can be told to function only within a defined area.

A new Tracking Base for Tools: the Virtual Cable

Discover the Virtual Cable

True to the principles of CONNECT, the solution is flexible and requires no specialist programming. We call it Virtual Cable. It comprises a Tracking Base for use with CONNECT and a tracker integrated into each tool.

It’s really easy to set up. Working areas can be defined manually entering the radius parameters R min and R max on the CONNECT hub or in the CVI Config software. Alternatively, you can define the area in a teaching learning mode directly by pressing the tool’s trigger.

The tool will only work within the defined area.

  • Each CONNECT hub can oversee up to eight Tracking Bases
  • Each Tracking Base can oversee up to eight working areas or tools
  • Each area can be assigned one or several tools, up to the maximum of eight

A new Tracking Base for Tools: the Virtual Cable

So, the addition of Virtual Cable allows users to define up to 64 areas or 20 tools per CONNECT hub in any configuration.

In essence, Virtual Cable ensures that the correct wireless tool can only be used for its pre-determined task without using physical constraints. Enabling total traceability and control over tool locations and applications, Virtual Cable demonstrates Desoutter’s longterm commitment to supporting its customers in making the transition to Industry 4.0 working.

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