Coupling System Has RFID Option for Error-Free Connections

Coupling system for pneumatic conveying lines is available in either uncoded or coded versions. 

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Motan’s MetroConnect U/C manually operated coupling system for pneumatic conveying lines is available as either an uncoded version—MetroConnect U—or coded—MetroConnect C—with RFID-technology. The uncoded version can be retrofitted to coded at any time, and older coupling systems can be extended with the MetroConnect C independent of manufacturer. Motan notes that not only do coded coupling stations prevent coupling errors, but in certain fields, they are necessary if material tracking, validation or certification is required.

In machine-dedicated conveying systems, every single processing machine is assigned a conveying material feed line, with connection to different material sources occurring via a coupling station. Manual switching of uncoded couplings is susceptible to human error, with expensive consequences if the wrong material is conveyed to a machine.

The MetroConnect U/C coupling table can be easily and clearly labeled. The lids of the couplings, as well as the lock hooks, are spring assisted, making handling simpler.

The coded version of the coupling system, MetroConnect C, is equipped with RFID-technology for a contact-free identification process. The systems operate with weak electromagnetic waves that are transmitted from the reading unit. When the transponder is within range of the reading unit, communication begins.

Motan has equipped the MetroConnect C coding system’s hose couplings with a swivel grip handle featuring an integrated tag. The lids of the coupling supports are also fitted with a tag. The reading/writing sensors are built into the casing of the coupling supports. The swivel grip handles of the hose couplings allow the transponder to be in the correct position for the sensor without having to turn the material hose itself. There is a removable cover on the coupling holders that has an LED light behind it, which signals operation or data exchange.

The coupling system is controlled, monitored, and configured with the MetroConnect controls. Up to eight blower lines can be configured with the MetroConnect controls, and a maximum of 96 loaders and material sources, as well as up to 125 coupling points, can be connected to each blower line. If required, an extension of up to 250 coupling points is available.

The mostly self-explanatory operation offers extensive monitoring and diagnostic possibilities. The operational state for every material outlet can be viewed via a status report, and the reconfiguration of the sensors and transponders is also possible through the MetroConnect controls.

For processors looking to change existing coupling tables, the MetroConnect C coupling system can be adapted to older systems independent of the manufacturer. In comparison to barcodes or laser marking, RFID-technology allows transponder data to be read or written by the sensor without direct visual contact, and the technology can eliminate operator errors due to incorrect source/destination connections.