Drives and Controls Magazine
Technology turns smartphones into sensor monitors
Published:  09 June, 2015

Pepperl+Fuchs has developed a technology that turns smartphones and tablets into operating and monitoring devices for industrial sensors. The SmartBridge system consists of an adapter and an app that runs on Apple or Android devices.

The IP67-protected adapter is inserted into the supply cable to the sensor and establishes an IO-Link connection which it uses to read parameters from the sensor. It sends this data wirelessly via Bluetooth to the mobile device running the app. The app shows any nearby adapters, and displays the sensor data and parameters either numerically or graphically.

The manufacturer-independent app can monitor any IO-Link-compatible sensor using its IODD (IO Device Descriptions) file to create a page specific to that sensor.

Pepperl+Fuch’s Smartbridge adapter can monitor almost any IO-Link-compatible sensor via Bluetooth

P+F suggests that the SmartBridge system could have several potential uses including as tool for managing sensor parameterisation, for long-term logging of sensor data, for troubleshooting and diagnostics, and as a temporary display.