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Expert Live Q&A: Tool Positioning Systems

Welcome to the ‘Tool Positioning Systems (TPS)’ question and answer session. 

Taking questions submitted by viewers in this Q&A is Adam Bigelow, Atlas Copco’s Product Marketing Manager for our TPS platforms. In this session, we’re exploring the three tool positioning systems available from Atlas Copco: Industrial Location Guidance (ILG), Industrial Location Tethering (ILT), and SpotPoint. ILT tethers a tool (battery or cabled) to a specific workstation and disables the tool if it goes outside the set working range. ILG is an integrated, encoder-based guidance system for articulated arms and torque tubes. SpotPoint, the newest platform addition, is a wireless, bolt-level error-proofing system for battery tools, low reaction tools, and more. 

The first audience question is about the torque ranges for each platform. For ILT, the range is dependent on the battery or cable tool being used with the platform and the customer’s application requirements. This can also be said for SpotPoint. Typically, the range for battery or cabled tools is anywhere from low single digits up to around 150 Nm. ILG’s torque range depends on the articulated arm or torque tube it is connected to. Our large array of articulated arms and torque tubes have torque capacities that range from 12-2,000 Nm, depending on the product. Following this, Adam begins to elaborate further on each platform individually. 

ILT consists of two main components: a base station that allows for programming, and a tag to be placed on the tool you wish to connect. ILT runs power through an accessory bus, and communicates through a radio frequency of 6.5 GHz, which is a very strong signal. In 2020, we released a web browser that allows for programming, but users can continue to program through the base station if they wish. ILG expands on our previous two positioning systems (TPS and PRS). It’s web-based, and once it’s connected to the plant network, anyone can access it from anywhere in the facility. SpotPoint is similar to ILG in its bolt-level error-proofing capabilities, but it’s a wireless, line of sight platform. It consists of a receiver and transmitter that sits above the workstation. Inside the receiver is an industrial computer where the software is located, and programming is done. 

When asked if all three platforms are compatible with ToolsNet 8, Adam confirms that they are. He follows up saying that currently, ILG and ILT also work with our error-proofing software, SQS3. Adam expects that SpotPoint will be added to this compatibility list for SQS3 very soon. He then receives a question asking for an example of when someone would use SpotPoint vs. ILG. Adam explains that this depends on the customer’s station, and it comes down to a few requirements, such as whether or not the customer is using an articulated arm or torque tube, and how much flexibility the customer has within their station. We end the Q&A with a question about adjusting for individual Psets on ILG and SpotPoint. Adam explains that users can program these platforms so that every single bolt can be its own Pset. 

If you want to know everything that was asked and how Adam responded, be sure to watch the Q&A session in full!

Adam_Bigelow_ITBA

Adam Bigelow

Product Marketing Manager

Meet Adam Bigelow! Adam began his career with Atlas Copco as a Product Specialist in 2016, where he was responsible for the PF6 FlexSystem and what was then known as Local Value Added (LVA). In 2019, he became the Total Workstation Product Marketing Manager. Currently, he’s responsible for all solutions that make up Total Workstation, such as our industrial location system, articulated arms, torque tubes, screw feeders, and more.

Throughout most of his professional life, his career has been involved with vehicles in some sort of fashion. He draws from his expertise in this area to help him excel in his current role. Adam finds watching videos and clips on how things are put together to be fascinating, and he loves being able to use this knowledge in his everyday life. Outside of Atlas Copco, Adam enjoys golfing and being active with his two sons.