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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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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

Nanostructured Alloying with Oxygen

Latest findings published in Nature Communications

Severe plastic deformation and powder processing techniques are used to produce nanostructured materials with tailor-made compositions and without the effort...

09.04.2018 | nachricht Read more

Enhanced ball screw drive with increased lifetime through novel double nut design

Ball screw drives with preloaded nuts are frequently used in machine tools. They are typically exposed to rather high load forces and must be in addition preloaded for high precision requirements. An excessive amount of preload, however, will cause unwanted friction and wear, while little preload will result in poor precision. An invention of the University of Stuttgart solves this problem by adding additional spring elements.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patent-related matters and in marketing its innovations.

Ball screws or ball screw drives are gear arrangements with rolling balls inserted between a screw and nut element. They are used to translate rotational...

23.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

Scientists from Hannover develop a novel lightweight production process

In cooperation with the Institute of Welding and Machining (ISAF) of TU Clausthal, the Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH) gGmbH is developing a novel forging process for lightweight car manufacturing. The researchers' aim is to create a material bond between steel sheets and bulk aluminium parts already during the forming process – without the need for an extra joining step. This would contribute to a faster and more efficient production of load-optimized components.

Hybrid compound forging is the first process that combines two lightweight construction approaches, namely creating a material bond between steel sheets and...

27.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

PRESTO – Highly Dynamic Powerhouses

The PRESTO series is designed for precise temperature control as well as rapid cool-down and heat-up phases, making it ideal for reactor temperature control, material stress tests, or temperature simulations.

PRESTO W91/W92 – High-end Thermo-dynamical Product

15.05.2017 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Hygiene at your fingertips with the new CleanHand Network

The Fraunhofer FEP has been involved in developing processes and equipment for cleaning, sterilization, and surface modification for decades. The CleanHand Network for development of systems and technologies to clean surfaces, materials, and objects was established in May 2018 to bundle the expertise of many partnering organizations. As a partner in the CleanHand Network, Fraunhofer FEP will present the Network and current research topics of the Institute in the field of hygiene and cleaning at the parts2clean trade fair, October 23-25, 2018 in Stuttgart, at the booth of the Fraunhofer Cleaning Technology Alliance (Hall 5, Booth C31).

Test reports and studies on the cleanliness of European motorway rest areas, hotel beds, and outdoor pools increasingly appear in the press, especially during...

Im Focus: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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