Smart Solutions Next Generation of Feeder Controllers

Editor: Ahlam Rais

Brabender Technologie has introduced its latest feeder controllers – the Congrav CM-E 3.0 and Congrav CB-E 3.0. The new controllers can be integrated in Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 environments.

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The new Congrav CM-E 3.0 control and power module is feeder-mounted, while the Congrav CB-E 3.0 is installed in control cabinets.
The new Congrav CM-E 3.0 control and power module is feeder-mounted, while the Congrav CB-E 3.0 is installed in control cabinets.
(Source: Brabender Technologie)

Brabender Technologie’s next generation of feeder controllers, the Congrav CM-E 3.0 and Congrav CB-E 3.0, provides a high-performance foundation for the future in which the Internet of Things (IoT), predictive maintenance and equipment monitoring will play major roles. Processor performance and the new controller’s memory were developed with the future in mind, not just for today, states the company.

The new controller features multiple advanced RISC processors. These processors form the basis of an energy-efficient, high-performance platform and provide the necessary computational power to enable a high level of feeder performance required in today’s demanding industrial environments.

Two main processors (CPUs) with five cores ensure fast and efficient communication as well as computational and distribution processes. The software has been designed for easy upgrades to make the best use of the new hardware platform, adds the firm.

The new control modules feature six digital inputs and six digital outputs, more than any previous generation of controllers. The inputs can be used for stop/start functions or interlocks, while the outputs can be used for operating, refilling (for instance via a slide gate above the feeder), or for alarm messages.

The new controller provides multiple state of the art ethernet interfaces. It will be possible to connect two network socket connection terminals using a second new TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) network protocol interface. The controller can bi-directionally share data with other computers using this new link.

The company is offering the 3.0 controller with a web interface. This web interface delivers both Internet and cloud connectivity. On customer request and approval, data can be analyzed in real time via the Internet or in a dedicated customer cloud. The firm is laying the groundwork for integration into the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 and building a bridge into the future, mentions the company.

A ‘real time clock’ has been incorporated in the new Congrav CB-E controller which even operates when the controller is turned off. It provides accurate activity information and aids in feeder diagnosistics and predictive maintenance, opines the firm. A total of four ethernet interfaces provide extra capacity for future IoT tasks, host interfaces, diagnosistics, maintenance or connection to the operator control unit. Having up to 63 modules for controlling external add-ons substantially increases the possible options.

A mini-PCI express slot and slots for future add-in cards, like WLAN or Bluetooth modules, were also incorporated in the design. The new generation of controllers can be operated using the existing Congrav OP1-S (for one feeder), Congrav OP6-E (for a maximum of six feeders) or Congrav OP16-E (for a maximum of 16 feeders) operator interfaces. Backward compatibility is built in for most previous generations of Brabender Technologie controllers and operator interfaces.

The new generation of controllers features a separate security chip protecting customer data and hardware.