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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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Optics and laser components out of the printer

Complete laser systems out of the 3D printer? What sounds like a long way off is the goal of a new research project of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH) together with the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH), the Clausthaler Zentrum für Materialtechnik (CZM) and the Hochschule Hannover - University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HsH). They want to 3D print at least parts of a laser system. Because this manufacturing technology enables completely new approaches for the production of lasers and for the lighting industry.

The scientists of the innovation network GROTESK want to 3D print optics and optomechanical components made of different materials, such as glass, polymers and...

28.11.2018 | nachricht Read more

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
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms

Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.

In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...

Im Focus: First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure

Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.

Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...

Im Focus: Megakaryocytes act as „bouncers“ restraining cell migration in the bone marrow

Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.

Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

Im Focus: Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Bayreuth researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects

An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".

The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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