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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.

Latest News:

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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)

 

22.03.2016 | nachricht Read more

Measuring paper thickness fast and reliably

The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is unveiling its “bd-2” sensor for thickness measurements of paper and board webs. Within a measurement range of 8 millimeters, the system can accurately measure the thickness and embossed depth with a precision better than 200 nm. The small sensor head coupled with high-speed data processing facilitates inline measurements in the production line. At CONTROL 2016 in Stuttgart, Germany, visitors can experience the “bd-2” sensor live.

Materials and quality control must meet increasingly stringent requirements in the paper processing industry. To provide thickness measurement, for instance,...

14.03.2016 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

Im Focus: Launch of New Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing

At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility.

In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive...

Im Focus: New laser joining technologies at ‘K 2016’ trade fair

Every three years, the plastics industry gathers at K, the international trade fair for plastics and rubber in Düsseldorf. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will also be attending again and presenting many innovative technologies, such as for joining plastics and metals using ultrashort pulse lasers. From October 19 to 26, you can find the Fraunhofer ILT at the joint Fraunhofer booth SC01 in Hall 7.

K is the world’s largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. As in previous years, the organizers are expecting 3,000 exhibitors and more than...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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