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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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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

Small, compact, resistant – LAR laser sensor

The new generation LAR laser triangulation sensors by WayCon Positionsmesstechnik are small, compact sensors for different applications.

The optical sensors are extremely resistant to a variety of surfaces and are further suitable to measure true run/synchronism and thickness and for position...

14.03.2016 | nachricht Read more

3D meets FRP: More flexibility for highly stressed components

Individuality and adaptability need not be at odds with robustness and stability: It is envisaged that products such as seat shells for automobiles or medical prostheses which are required to meet all of these characteristics will be produced in future using a combination of 3D printing and fiber composite technology. 3D-printing ensures maximum flexibility in terms of the form and function of the component; the fiber composite plastic provides the stability required, even when subjected to high loads.

The Fraunhofer-Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, in collaboration with its partners within various engineering groups, is currently...

08.03.2016 | nachricht Read more

Simulation even SMEs can afford

DREAM project creates a tool for simulation-based decision making for production

The sheer complexity of today’s production systems makes “going with your gut” decision making a questionable approach at best. So as part of the EU-funded...

02.02.2016 | nachricht Read more

Nano-beads for the steel forge

The crystal structure of metals can change at linear defects, which should affect the properties of the materials

Steel has already been around for roughly 3000 years and in several thousand variations today - yet it is always good for a surprise. Scientists at the...

15.12.2015 | nachricht Read more

Mobile Robots for the Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry is showing how it’s done: The factory of the future is clearly taking shape here. In their EU project VALERI, European researchers and industry partners have demonstrated that mobile manipulators, i.e. mobile industrial robots, are fully able to work side by side with human colleagues. The robots in this project are applying sealant to aircraft fuselages or inspecting aircraft parts, for instance.

Coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg, the experts specifically aimed to automate manufacturing jobs...

01.12.2015 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

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