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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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EU project GALACTIC develops supply chain for Alexandrite laser crystals

In the EU project "High Performance Alexandrite Crystals and Coatings for High Power Space Applications" (GALACTIC), the LZH wants to develop a solely European supply chain for space-qualified high-performance laser crystals made of Alexandrite with the partners Optomaterials S.r.l. (Italy) and Altechna Coatings UAB (Lithuania). These laser crystals are to be used in earth observation satellites in space.

Laser systems in earth observation satellites generate data for the analysis of the earth's atmosphere and surface.

02.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

Finding natural resources in the deep sea with the laser

Localizing mineral resources on the sea floor has so far been associated with very high costs. In the EU project ROBUST, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH), together with eight other partners, developed a laser-based analysis system to examine soil samples in the deep sea almost non-destructively. The system has passed initial practical tests.

The system for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) makes it possible to examine material samples for their atomic composition almost non-destructively.

31.03.2020 | nachricht Read more

The perfect thread guide

Researchers at Chemnitz University of Technology, in cooperation with Pfeil GmbH, are developing a new type of blind stitch sewing technology for the production of high-performance lightweight components

The use of textiles as fibre reinforcement in lightweight construction is well established, as successful application examples from the automotive and...

13.03.2020 | nachricht Read more

Drilling rivet holes in CFRP with the laser - efficient process for series components

In the LaBoKomp project, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and four partners have developed a laser-based system for drilling rivet holes in composite materials. The LZH was significantly involved in the development of the underlying process and the required system technology. They were able to drastically reduce the drilling time per hole for laser-based processes.

The LZH scientists successfully tested the laser drilling process and the system on so-called "cargo struts". These are C-shaped struts stabilize the cargo...

10.03.2020 | nachricht Read more

Super magnets from a 3D printer

Magnetic materials are an important component of mechatronic devices such as wind power stations, electric motors, sensors and magnetic switch systems. Magnets are usually produced using rare earths and conventional manufacturing methods. A team of researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has worked together with researchers from the Graz University of Technology, the University of Vienna and the research institution Joanneum Research to produce specially designed magnets using a 3D printer. The results were published in the journal Materials.

Permanent magnets are incorporated into a number of mechatronic applications.

05.03.2020 | nachricht Read more

Additively manufactured rocket engine features an aerospike nozzle for microlaunchers

Microlaunchers are an alternative to conventional launch vehicles. Able to carry payloads of up to 350 kilograms, these midsized transport systems are designed to launch small satellites into space. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden and TU Dresden’s aerospace experts developed an additively manufactured rocket engine with an aerospike nozzle for microlaunchers. The scaled metal prototype is expected to consume 30 percent less fuel than conventional engines. It will feature prominently at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 12 and in the showcase at booth C18 in hall 16 at the Hannover Messe from April 20 through 24, 2020.

The market for small satellites is sure to boom in the years ahead. The United Kingdom aims to build a spaceport in the north of Scotland, the first on...

12.02.2020 | nachricht Read more

Photonics meets textile engineering: faster CFRP component manufacturing with an ultrashort pulsed laser and robot

Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) components are usually assembled using fasteners. These are typically glued into the CFRP component once it has been cured and drilled. The consortium behind the CarboLase project came up with a new method, using an ultrashort pulsed laser to drill the holes for the fasteners in the textile preform with micrometer-scale accuracy. Integrating the fasteners in these high-precision cut-outs before the CFRP component is cured saves time by shortening the production process. In 2019, the project team’s efforts were rewarded with the prestigious CAMX Award in the “Combined Strength” category.

Carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) are one of the most versatile composite construction materials. They combine the positive mechanical properties of...

30.01.2020 | nachricht Read more

Causes and consequences of manufacturing deviations

What causes manufacturing deviations, and how do they affect the quality of technical products? Since 2016, the research group FOR2271 ‘Process-oriented tolerance management with virtual assurance methods’ has been investigating these issues at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). The German Research Foundation (DFG) has now decided to provide FOR2271 with a total of 1.7 million euros in funding for a further three years.

Gear wheels, shafts, bearings – complex machines only work as well as their individual components. Accordingly, the definition of admissible manufacturing...

10.01.2020 | nachricht Read more

Casting-rolling line at TU Freiberg enables innovative magnesium components for lightweight construction

The researchers at the Institute for Metal Forming at the TU Freiberg are able to produce magnesium strips up to 70 centimetres wide with this unique prototype plant. These can be used to produce novel, lightweight magnesium components for the automotive industry or mechanical engineering.

As part of the AMARETO project (Saxon Alliance for Material and Resource Efficient Technologies), the Institute for Metal Forming (IMF) has now produced cast...

20.12.2019 | nachricht Read more

Fine-tuning for additive production

"COAXshield" and "LIsec": Fraunhofer IWS presents shielding gas nozzle and light scanner for laser powder build-up welding at "formnext" trade fair

Additive manufacturing systems can generate highly complex components, which could not be produced with conventional machine tools or only with great effort....

15.11.2019 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The human body as an electrical conductor, a new method of wireless power transfer

Published by Marc Tudela, Laura Becerra-Fajardo, Aracelys García-Moreno, Jesus Minguillon and Antoni Ivorra, in Access, the journal of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

The project Electronic AXONs: wireless microstimulators based on electronic rectification of epidermically applied currents (eAXON, 2017-2022), funded by a...

Im Focus: Belle II yields the first results: In search of the Z′ boson

The Belle II experiment has been collecting data from physical measurements for about one year. After several years of rebuilding work, both the SuperKEKB electron–positron accelerator and the Belle II detector have been improved compared with their predecessors in order to achieve a 40-fold higher data rate.

Scientists at 12 institutes in Germany are involved in constructing and operating the detector, developing evaluation algorithms, and analyzing the data.

Im Focus: When ions rattle their cage

Electrolytes play a key role in many areas: They are crucial for the storage of energy in our body as well as in batteries. In order to release energy, ions - charged atoms - must move in a liquid such as water. Until now the precise mechanism by which they move through the atoms and molecules of the electrolyte has, however, remained largely unknown. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have now shown that the electrical resistance of an electrolyte, which is determined by the motion of ions, can be traced back to microscopic vibrations of these dissolved ions.

In chemistry, common table salt is also known as sodium chloride. If this salt is dissolved in water, sodium and chloride atoms dissolve as positively or...

Im Focus: Harnessing the rain for hydrovoltaics

Drops of water falling on or sliding over surfaces may leave behind traces of electrical charge, causing the drops to charge themselves. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz have now begun a detailed investigation into this phenomenon that accompanies us in every-day life. They developed a method to quantify the charge generation and additionally created a theoretical model to aid understanding. According to the scientists, the observed effect could be a source of generated power and an important building block for understanding frictional electricity.

Water drops sliding over non-conducting surfaces can be found everywhere in our lives: From the dripping of a coffee machine, to a rinse in the shower, to an...

Im Focus: A sensational discovery: Traces of rainforests in West Antarctica

90 million-year-old forest soil provides unexpected evidence for exceptionally warm climate near the South Pole in the Cretaceous

An international team of researchers led by geoscientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have now...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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