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Better and faster machines through automation technology

There is hardly any industry that does not rely on machines. Machines with automation technology and test and measurement technology are used in the metal industry as well as by textile manufacturers.

No machines without automation technology

Automation technology allows machines to carry out certain work processes on their own. This saves the owner of the company not only time, but over the long term also money since fewer employees are needed. When machines employ a high level of automation technology, the degree of automation is perceptible. These processes still need people to monitor the machines and replenish the supplies. The finished products also have to be transported by hand. Automation technology achieves its goal more effectively through innovations that stem from electronics research. Although problems are solved much easier with automation technology, workers who monitor the machines face more difficult tasks. They must learn a variety of requirements by heart and always be in a position to intervene in the automation technology of the machines.

Even automation technology has its limits

The limits of automation technology were once readily apparent. Large machines were the only benefactors of automation technology and test and measurement technology. Automation technology can meanwhile be used inlarge, medium and small scale machines . Today, the limits of automation technology have more to do with whether the automation technology and test and measurement technology will pay off. If the automation technology is deployed to produce only a single component instead of thousands, then it becomes a question of the return on the investment.

Many things can be calculated and accomplished through test and measurement technology

In machines, test and measurement technology involves not only methods, but also equipment, which are used to determine a variety of values. With test and measurement technology, machine values such as pressure, length, time and temperature become visible and easy to understand.

Automation technology in machines - technologies that work hand in hand

Test and measurement technology would hardly function by itself in machine engineering were it not for control technology and automation technology. Production engineering is a good example of how test and measurement technology works alongside these other two technologies. That basically means that test and measurement technology is already being used together with automation technology in machine engineering.

Achieving the goal through various fields of test and measurement technology

Test and measurement technology involves not just one, but several interdependent fields. If engineers fail to enhance current test and measurement systems and methods, advances in test and measurement technology will come to a halt. Miniaturization, modeling and capturing methods are also helping to keep test and measurement methods on the leading edge. In the area of test and measurement technologies, especially test and measurement technology in machines, the focus is always on alignment and adjustment. When machines do not meet the desired goal, improperly calibrated test and measurement technology could be the cause. Test and measurement technology and machines are used together mainly in the area of production engineering. The underlying standards for test and measurement technology are not uniformly interpreted in every country. Germany, for instance, relies on the DIN 1913 standard, which sets the guidelines for test and measurement technology. In contrast, Austria uses OENORM M 1330, where the OE in front of the designator stands for Austria.

Automation technology is therefore a vital element of test and measurement technology and vice versa.

Machine Engineering

Machine engineering is one of Germany's key industries. The importance of this segment has led to the creation of new university degree programs in fields such as production and logistics, process engineering, vehicle/automotive engineering, production engineering and aerospace engineering among others.

innovations-report offers informative reports and articles covering technologies such as automation, motion, power train, energy, conveyor, plastics, lightweight construction, logistics/warehousing, measurement systems, machine tools and control engineering.

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Process-Integrated Inspection for Ultrasound-Supported Friction Stir Welding of Metal Hybrid-Joints

Ever faster, ever lighter, ever increasing energy efficiency: Lightweight construction is one of the key technologies of today’s industrial production. By now, saving of weight, material and energy applies across industries while taking account of the entire product life cycle. In this manner the realization of innovative lightweight structures as well as the combination of dissimilar materials play an essential and mandatory role to meet the divergent requirements, components are expected to fulfill. Hence joining technologies are of crucial importance for any kind of goal-driven lightweight construction.

Fraunhofer IZFP researchers aim for process-integrated inspection of the error-prone seam zones of friction stir welded components. In doing so, they...

27.09.2016 | nachricht Read more

Lightweight robots in manual assembly

Study rounds up initial experiences from companies using the technology

What is the current state of cage-free robot technology in German industry? This was the question Fraunhofer IAO investigated in the study “Lightweight robots...

13.09.2016 | nachricht Read more

High-purity plastic parts: the search for inclusions

The OPtima research project is aimed at improving the manufacture of plastic components for semiconductor machines.

Semiconductor machines and plastic parts

25.07.2016 | nachricht Read more

Modular Prototype Production with Lasers Enables Faster Gas Turbine Development

The long lead time of turbine blades and vanes presents a big challenge to the validation of new part designs in engine tests. Conventional vane production through casting is unsuited for the fast iteration cycles required today in the development of hot path components. In a joint project, Siemens and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have now developed a faster production process based on selective laser melting (SLM). Components are manufactured in a modular way in the new process chain, resulting in additional benefits.

Last year, Siemens commissioned its Clean Energy Center, a new combustion test center in Ludwigsfelde near Berlin. The center plays a major role in developing...

06.07.2016 | nachricht Read more

New options for high-strength fibre ropes

The new rope end connection made of plastic is the result from six years of research conducted by the University of Stuttgart. The cover for high-strength fibre ropes is now ready to be put on the market, a prototype is already in use. Its inventors are now looking for appropriate partners in industry.

Lightweight, inexpensive and extremely durable: The novel rope end connection for 4 to 96 mm strong fibre ropes can be subjected to extremely high tensile...

17.06.2016 | nachricht Read more

Highest measurement speed and flexibility due to automated ultrasonic testing

The Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS develops application-specific solutions for ultrasonic testing. The systems of PCUS® pro family range from simple manual testing to fully automated ultrasonic testing. At the World Conference on Non-Destructive Testing (WCNDT) researchers of Fraunhofer IKTS present the new development PCUS® pro Array II, which is optimized for fast automated testing in metal processing as well as in the fields of railway and automotive, power plant or wind power technology.

PCUS® pro is the ultrasonic platform developed at Fraunhofer IKTS. For years, it has been known for highest reliability, high test speed and adaptability to...

03.06.2016 | nachricht Read more

Locating natural resources in the deep sea – easily and eco-friendly

Locating natural resources at the sea ground so far involves high costs. To reduce these, the Laser Development and Material and Processes departments at the LZH, together with eight European partners, work on developing a laser-based, autonomous system until 2020. This system shall detect soil samples, such as manganese nodules, and analyze the material composition of the specimen directly on the deep sea ground.

Locating natural resources at the sea ground so far involves high costs. To reduce these, the Laser Development and Material and Processes departments at the...

25.04.2016 | nachricht Read more

Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing

The Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing (ACAM) was founded in 2015 by a number of the city’s institutes and technology-oriented enterprises, and its network concept has really caught on. Even at this set-up stage, companies from Germany, Austria, Japan and Switzerland have already decided to participate. At the first meeting of partners, they joined representatives of the six institutes and campus-based enterprises involved in the ACAM network in approving an ambitious program for 2016: six research projects and twelve seminars.

Tremendous reception by industry

05.04.2016 | nachricht Read more

Industrial product and component labeling for extreme process conditions

Researchers at Fraunhofer IKTS developed a robust solution for the individual labeling of components and products. It withstands extreme environmental influences, can be applied within seconds and read-out reliably. Therefore, the new development is suitable for the integration into industrial plants.

Many raw materials and semi-finished products are exposed to extreme conditions in manufacturing processes or in application, for example high temperatures in...

22.03.2016 | nachricht Read more

Electricity from waste heat made possible by ceramics

Where conventional materials reach their limits, ceramics can display their excellent properties. Functional ceramics – so-called thermoelectric materials – can convert waste heat directly into electricity, for example, in high-temperature processes. At the Hannover Messe 2016, Europe's largest ceramics research institute presents for the first time a system that demonstrates the reliable functionality of thermoelectric ceramic modules developed at Fraunhofer IKTS. (Hall 6, Booth B16)


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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

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