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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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Efficient engine production with the latest generation of the LZH IBK

Aluminum engine blocks are significantly lighter than their conventional cast iron predecessors. However, in order to make them durable, the cylinder surfaces must be lined with a wear-resistant coating.

The internal processing laser head (IBK) developed by the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) can be used to prepare the inner surfaces of the cylinder. The IBK...

13.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

12.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

Aachen becomes a center of excellence for optics production

Having established a center of excellence in Aachen, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT is now bringing together a network of companies and research institutes to create a new photonics hub in North Rhine-Westphalia. In the "Aachen Center for Optics Production", or ACOP for short, the Fraunhofer researchers are pooling their own expertise with that of the regional optical industry to jointly create a digital, networked infrastructure for optics production. Eleven companies have agreed to support the center in its work. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia is funding the collaborative venture to the tune of 2.8 million euros over an initial period of three years.

Aachen has a long tradition as a center for the production of high-precision optical components and systems. The researchers at the Fraunhofer IPT have...

01.10.2019 | nachricht Read more

Recyclable lightweight single Component Composite Material developed for Injection-Molded Components

Polyethylene (PE) would be an ideal material for lightweight construction: energy-efficient, can be produced from renewable raw materials, almost residue-free recyclable. However, only PE components that are reinforced as composites for example with carbon or glass fibers are truly mechanically resilient. Scientists at the Fraunhofer IWM, MicroTribology Centrum µTC, together with the Freiburg Materials Research Centre and the polyolefin manufacturer LyondellBasell, have now produced and qualified a sustainable "All-PE composite". The trick is that the reinforcing fiber structures are also made of PE and even form themselves during injection molding.

The hydrocarbons polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) account for a good half of all polymers produced worldwide. PE can be found in many plastic products...

27.08.2019 | nachricht Read more

Under scrutiny: Automated induction thermography for surface crack testing of forgings

Within the framework of a project funded by the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen" AiF ("Consortium of Industrial Research Associations"), Fraunhofer IZFP scientists investigate the reliability of the automated application of the thermographic crack detection method: After positive validation, this technology is to find better acceptance as an alternative to the established magnetic particle inspection. Using this method, surface-related defects such as cracks in forged parts can be determined quickly, objectively and in a resource-saving manner while the results can be stored and documented in detail.

This study is intended to confirm the increased inspection reliability compared to current standard procedures. The resulting optimized economic efficiency of...

23.08.2019 | nachricht Read more

Innovative valve train saves 20% fuel

Up to now, the gas exchange valves of four-stroke engines are controlled through camshaft drives. Despite some complex additional mechanics, the flexibility of such camshaft driven system remains limited. Empa has now developed an innovative, electrohydraulically actuated valve train that enables completely free adjustment of stroke and timing, while at the same time being robust and cost-effective. This valve train was mounted on a serial production engine and has been running successfully in test bench operation for several months. The new technology saves up to 20 percent fuel in typical passenger car low load operating conditions.

The valve train is the "respiratory organ" of combustion engines: it manages the aspiration of fresh air and the discharge of exhaust gases, which is referred...

19.08.2019 | nachricht Read more

AddSteel project: new steel materials for 3D printing

North Rhine-Westphalia has launched the NRW Leitmarkt project AddSteel, which is aimed at digitalizing the steel industry. Coordinated by SMS group GmbH, a plant engineering company based in Mönchengladbach, this project will develop new function-adapted steel materials for additive manufacturing. One of the project’s key areas of focus is the qualification of the developed materials for laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), a metallic 3D printing process, at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen. One of the AddSteel project team’s first successes was the development of the first case-hardening and heat-treatable steel powders designed specifically for LPBF applications.

A major challenge facing steelmakers in Germany, and especially those in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, is the continuing decline in sales. Previously,...

26.07.2019 | nachricht Read more

Novel approach to self-assembling mobile micromachines

How the components come together depends on their design and shape and the resulting dielectrophoretic forces when exposed to an electric field.

Building a robot with many different components is a challenging task, even more so at the micro scale. Very convenient, if the parts self-assemble.

25.06.2019 | nachricht Read more

Clean lungs thanks to laser process exhaustion

“CleanRemote” protects work environment against hazardous micro dust

In sectors such as the automotive industry, components can be processed at extremely high speed using the laser remote process. However, this can result in...

19.06.2019 | nachricht Read more

Chemnitz University of Technology Tests a Driverless Transport System at KOMSA Logistics

The prototype “Hubert” was created as a part of a three-year project – a special feature of Hubert is a 3-D sensor that recognises people and thus makes it possible to collaborate beyond its usually autonomous operating mode

Central Germany is considered by many to be a region filled with inventors and tinkerers. On the way towards Industry 4.0, a new solution for the future has...

12.06.2019 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New opportunities in additive manufacturing presented

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden demonstrates manufacturing of copper components

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...

Im Focus: New Pitt research finds carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.

New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...

Im Focus: Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

Im Focus: A new quantum data classification protocol brings us nearer to a future 'quantum internet'

The algorithm represents a first step in the automated learning of quantum information networks

Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...

Im Focus: Distorted Atoms

In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.

An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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