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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 | Read more
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 | Read more
"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 | Read more
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 | Read more
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 | Read more
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 | Read more
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 | Read more
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 | Read more
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 | Read more
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 | Read more
Researchers from Dresden and Osaka present the first fully integrated flexible electronics made of magnetic sensors and organic circuits which opens the path towards the development of electronic skin.
Human skin is a fascinating and multifunctional organ with unique properties originating from its flexible and compliant nature. It allows for interfacing with...
Researchers of the Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital Dresden at the National Center for Tumor Diseases Dresden (NCT/UCC), together with an international...
A Duke University research team has identified a new function of a gene called huntingtin, a mutation of which underlies the progressive neurodegenerative...
For years, a new synthesis method has been developed at TU Wien (Vienna) to unlock the secrets of "strange metals". Now a breakthrough has been achieved. The results have been published in "Science".
Superconductors allow electrical current to flow without any resistance - but only below a certain critical temperature. Many materials have to be cooled down...
KIT researchers develop novel composites of DNA, silica particles, and carbon nanotubes -- Properties can be tailored to various applications
Using DNA, smallest silica particles, and carbon nanotubes, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed novel programmable materials....
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