Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Machine control to user: Mitsubishi Electric and Fraunhofer IPT to unveil smart system for mobile devices in manufacturing


Nowadays, workers on the shop floor are required to operate increasingly complex machinery whilst reacting flexibly to any disturbances. At the EMO Metal Working Trade Fair in Hanover from 18 – 23 September in Hall 25, Booth B94, Mitsubishi Electric and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT will be revealing for the first time, a smart information system which will deliver information tailored to match the requirements of the job in hand, straight from the machine control unit to the machine operator. This will slash the time required by the operator to make a decision and will permit even unfamiliar tasks to be solved more swiftly and more flexibly.

Costs rapidly start to mount up in production when a machine unexpectedly comes to a standstill. The onus is then on the machine operator to make the right decision on the spot to get the machine running again.

© Photo Mitsubishi Electric/Fraunhofer IPT

The intelligent information system delivers information tailored to match the requirements of the job in hand, straight from the machine control unit to the machine operator.

As a rule, the cause of a breakdown can reliably be identified and the optimum solution devised only when all relevant information has been collated to provide the bigger picture. The Fraunhofer IPT and Mitsubishi Electric have collaborated to develop a new system which can gather together all the information of relevance to the machine operator on mobile terminals and present it in processed form:

Smart glasses or tablets can thus support the employee directly on the shop floor – in activities ranging from training, through monitoring and eliminating machine malfunctions through to maintenance. The new system works with commercially available smart glasses and tablets running an android operating system and can now integrate these in industrial manufacturing environments.

From machine to the glasses: Information from machine control presented in words and images

The smart devices and the Mitsubishi Electric machine control unit communicate directly with one another in the new system. Thus, staff can see in real time when tasks are completed, disturbances occur, when a machine door is not properly shut or when scheduled maintenance work is coming up. The system informs the machine operator directly via pop-up on the terminal and offers help.

Information on subjects such as how to replace a tool is provided step by step in various formats such as video or text. This allows users to solve the problem promptly themselves, without having to stop one activity in order to locate and look up manuals, operating or test instructions. Companies which implement the system, can thus reduce machine down-times, schedule production orders more accurately and manufacture products more quickly.

The system supports the machine operator not only in the event of disturbances and repairs, but can also monitor individual machine tool components in real time: The smart devices flash up-dated motor current levels for various drives and 3D part models are augmented into the real machine environment within the operator´s immediate field of vision.

This permits the state of the components to be monitored continuously and at any given point in time. Operators can therefore take action before an impending error occurs or may be informed by the system that a component is sustaining less wear than previously assumed, allowing them to make an informed and independent decision to extend the scheduled period between maintenance operations.

Helping staff to help themselves: Use mobile devices to help employees to learn and to respond to the lack of appropriately skilled workers

Education and training materials can also be accessed in a range of formats using the new system. This will allow staff to extend their knowledge directly on the job and to apply their newly acquired expertise directly. New and untrained employees will be able to learn and work independently from their very first day at work.

The glasses also empower experienced personnel by helping them to operate highly complex machinery. For the companies concerned, this means that they profit not only through increased productivity; the system can also make a valuable contribution towards addressing bottlenecks in sectors hit by acute shortages of skilled labor.

Mitsubishi Electric and the Fraunhofer IPT will present the system for the first time at EMO 2017 in Hall 25, Booth B94. Companies interested in this development are welcome to test it using a range of smart devices and to discuss it with experts.


Florian Lindner M.Sc.
Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnologie IPT
Steinbachstraße 17
52074 Aachen
Phone +49 241 8904-160 

This press release and a printable photo are also available on the internet:

Weitere Informationen:

Florian Lindner, M.Sc. | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnologie IPT

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht “Laser Technology Live” at the AKL’18 International Laser Technology Congress in Aachen
23.02.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Empa shows "Gas station of the future"
23.02.2018 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>