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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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Integrating One’s Sights on the Factor of 10: “futureAM – Next Generation Additive Manufacturing”

The future of 3D printing will be the focus at formnext 2018 in Frankfurt am Main. For this, the Fraunhofer Focus Project futureAM offers particularly exciting insights, a project in which six Fraunhofer institutes are involved. The partners are doing both, comprehensively looking at digital and physical added value right from the order to the finished component; and at the leap into a new technology generation of additive manufacturing.

The complete process chain serves as the common theme

26.10.2018 | nachricht Read more

BladeFactory research project: Quicker rotor blade production and a higher quality result

Together with 14 project partners, Fraunhofer IWES, in the role of coordinator, launched the BladeFactory project at the beginning of October. The research project, which has been funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economics Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to the tune of € 7 million, is set to last 3.5 years. During this period, IWES researchers will develop and test production methods with the aim of reducing the production time for rotor blades. To this end, the team is working to parallelize production steps. In addition, a 3D laser measurement system, which is suitable for assuring the quality of blade production, will be tested for the first time.

Using the technology presently available, it takes around 24 hours to produce a rotor blade blank. The process is protracted since almost all production steps...

12.10.2018 | nachricht Read more

“TwoCure”: the New Dimension in Resin-Based 3D Printing

The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has taken its “TwoCure” process to the next level by developing it into an industry-ready machine technology. The team of scientists from Aachen, Germany will be presenting their “TwoCure” system at formnext in Frankfurt am Main from November 13 to 16. The new technique uses resin-based 3D printing to produce large numbers of plastic components without support structures in an automated process.

Sometimes systems have an inherent flaw that causes manufacturing difficulties. In the case of resin-based 3D printing, most users would immediately point to...

11.10.2018 | nachricht Read more

Additive Manufacturing: Budget-friendly retrofit of module for wire-based laser deposition welding

When economic or safety considerations rule out the use of powder materials in additive manufacturing, the option of wire-feed laser deposition welding resents itself. The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen has developed a smart laser module for wire deposition welding, which can easily be integrated within existing process chains, handling systems or machine tools. The engineers from Aachen will be unveiling the LMD-W-20-L module for the first time to the visitors from industry at Formnext, the Fair for Additive Technologies in Frankfurt/Main, Hall 3, Booth E70, 13-16 November 2018.

3D powder bed printing is currently the most well-known additive manufacturing process for filigree and complex metallic parts. A laser fuses the powdered...

05.10.2018 | nachricht Read more

More functionalities: Microstructuring large surfaces with a UV-laser system

Coherent operates a high-performance excimer laser system for processing large surfaces in partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, Germany. Using the short-wave laser system, the partners aim to develop new methods for carefully controlled surface processing. Preparation of CFRP adhesive surfaces is just one example of the numerous potential applications.

In the last few years, the rapid growth in display manufacture for mobile devices has ushered in a considerable renaissance for excimer lasers. Operating in...

05.07.2018 | nachricht Read more

New kinematics for milling – customized, high-precision manufacturing

Manufacturers generally must offer high-quality products at low prices in order to remain competitive. Three Fraunhofer Institutes are therefore working on the next generation of industrial robots which will facilitate cost-effective production processes. The researchers are focusing on developing a new kinematics for milling lightweight materials, metals, and steels. The aim: achieving a production tolerance of just 0.1 millimeters all over the robot workspace starting with the very first component.

More and more consumers are demanding made-to-order, customized products. The production facilities of tomorrow will need to be efficient and versatile if they...

04.07.2018 | nachricht Read more

A factory to go

In the future, companies will be able to offer flexible production close to their customers. A fully automated production line can be housed inside a 20-foot ISO container, which a heavy truck can transport quickly to wherever it is needed. Medical products can be manufactured in close proximity to a hospital, for instance. Fraunhofer researchers teamed up with partners to develop this mobile factory in the scope of CassaMobile, an EU project.

Imagine you are late for the train once again. Things get hectic, you trip – and break your leg. A compound fracture! You will need surgery. But first a...

04.07.2018 | nachricht Read more

"We're hoping for up to 600 kilometers per hour"

The super-high-speed train Hyperloop is intended to carry passengers at close to the speed of sound. In pursuit of this vision, SpaceX founder Elon Musk has launched the "Hyperloop Pod Competition". Teams of students from around the world compete against one another with their prototypes of the passenger module, referred to as the pod. The pod from the WARR Hyperloop team has already twice proven to be by far the fastest. Now the students have unveiled their third pod, which will take to the test track in Los Angeles on July 22. In an interview, team leader Gabriele Semino explains how the latest prototype differs from its two predecessors.

Tell us about the pressure to succeed after the two victories in the first two competitions…

15.06.2018 | nachricht Read more

Flow probes from the 3D printer

After completing her mechanical engineering studies at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) Katharina Kreitz was virtually flooded with job offers from renowned companies. But instead of accepting one she decided to found her own company for developing precise and individual flow probes, which are used among other things in Formula 1 racing.

Katharina Kreitz came up with the idea of founding her own company as the result of dissatisfaction: During her studies, which focused on aeronautics and space...

25.05.2018 | nachricht Read more

Evaluating risk of hydrogen embrittlement: new simulation of cold cracks in high-strength steels

High-strength steels play a vital role in the construction of modern vehicles and machines. If these steels are welded during the production of components, mobile hydrogen atoms can cause problems within the material: the atoms accumulate slowly at highly stressed areas of a component, resulting in the steel becoming brittle at these locations. This can result in so-called cold break formations which can lead to component failure. Dr. Frank Schweizer of the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM has developed a simulation method with which component manufacturers can assess cold break tendencies and adjust their production accordingly.

Manufacturers of vehicle and machine components often use high-strength steels to save material in lightweight construction and for crash-relevant structural...

03.05.2018 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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