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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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“Additive Manufacturing” speeds up

Empa offers Switzerland a platform to exchange information and knowhow in the field of Additive Manufacturing: During a technology briefing held at Empa Academy on January 18, experts from industry and research learned about the latest developments in this pioneering technology, which is also extremely important from an economic perspective.

Empa’s latest technology briefing just goes to show how important Additive Manufacturing (AM) is set to become for Switzerland: Over 150 people from industry...

31.01.2017 | nachricht Read more

Fraunhofer Institutes develop non-destructive quality test for hybrid cast components

Lightweight design is increasingly applying trend-setting hybrid structures made of fiber composite materials and lightweight metal alloys, combining the advantages of both types of materials in hybrid construction techniques. In the current state of the art, the joints are bonded or riveted. In recent years at Fraunhofer IFAM, a new type of joining technology has been developed for various types of hybrid joints in high pressure die casting. In comparison with conventional joining techniques, the cast parts have advantages in package size, lower weight, and galvanic isolation.

Lightweight design is increasingly applying trend-setting hybrid structures made of fiber composite materials and lightweight metal alloys, combining the...

30.01.2017 | nachricht Read more

Satellite-based Laser Measurement Technology against Climate Change

In the last few years, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has been developing satellite-based laser beam sources for climate research. The project »ALISE« (Diode-pumped Alexandrite Laser Instrument for next generation Satellite-based Earth observation) started in August 2016 and will run until July 2018. In cooperation with the Leibniz Institute for Atmospheric Physics (IAP) and Airbus Defence & Space, the Fraunhofer ILT will be investigating the technical feasibility and the possible applications of a novel laser system for satellite-based observation of the world's climate.

The fight against global climate change poses one of the greatest challenges of the coming decades. To develop effective measures against global warming,...

17.01.2017 | nachricht Read more

LZH optimizes laser-based CFRP reworking for the aircraft industry

To be able to rework aircraft components made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) more efficiently in the future, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has started the joint research project ReWork together with the INVENT GmbH, OWITA GmbH und Precitec Optronik GmbH. The aim of the project is to develop a reliable process for thin-walled and complex CFRP components.

Today, many aircraft components are made of the lightweight material CFRP. Advantages of this material are the low weight and the high stability.

24.11.2016 | nachricht Read more

eldec generators CUSTOM LINE: Customized energy source for perfect induction heating

“Customized” is the key word when it comes to delivering a perfect production solution in plant and machinery manufacture. Each technology is to a large extent individually tailored to the customer's environment, guaranteeing a highly efficient, optimally configured process. Induction heating, especially, is one technology that must be “customized”, because the quality of the procedure depends on a whole range of very specific details in the user's application. The generator, being the energy source, plays an important role in this, as the experts at EMAG subsidiary eldec, based in Dornstetten, Germany, know very well. They have been developing a wide variety of generators for more than 30 years, including many customized models in their CUSTOM LINE. Their approach is to engineer all the resonant-circuit components in conjunction with the control architecture to form a customized product, which provides induction heating with high efficiency, controlled application of energy, and stable processes. In order to make this process successful, close collaboration with the customer is required throughout the entire development process of the generator.

There are many possible application areas for induction hardening technologies. This efficient technique is used in the manufacture of plant and machinery, in...

23.11.2016 | nachricht Read more

MICO Generators from eldec: Full hardness and short processes for the tool and mold making industry

Tool and mold making professionals routinely face many challenges unique to their industry. In order to ensure the stability of the tools produced, very hard grades of steel are required, however, specialists must also be able to precisely shape this material for use in creating demanding components for things such as car body manufacturing. In other words, quality in the toolmaking process has an enormous impact on quality in automobile manufacturing. It is clear that under these conditions the final surface hardness of the tools is essential, and additional hardening of the cutting edges is usually necessary. The production planners at Werkzeugbau Laichingen, in Ulm, Germany, have been relying on technology from eldec: Their cutting edges are hardened by mobile and robust MICO generators. This flexible technology significantly decreases and simplifies the production process.

Experts often describe toolmaking as a link between development and production with a considerable impact on the industrial value added. This is why the...

22.11.2016 | nachricht Read more

Laser-additive manufacturing paves the way to Industry 4.0

On November 09th, 2016, already for the third time, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and NiedersachsenMetall invited small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to attend the Innovation Day Laser Technology at LZH. About 100 guests informed themselves about the state-of-the-art as well as the application and market potential of the focus topic “Laser Additive Manufacturing”.

„Are we ready for implementing Industry 4.0?“, asked Dr. Volker Schmidt, CEO of NiedersachsenMetall and Chairman of the Industrial Board of the LZH, the...

14.11.2016 | nachricht Read more

Process-Integrated Inspection for Ultrasound-Supported Friction Stir Welding of Metal Hybrid-Joints

Ever faster, ever lighter, ever increasing energy efficiency: Lightweight construction is one of the key technologies of today’s industrial production. By now, saving of weight, material and energy applies across industries while taking account of the entire product life cycle. In this manner the realization of innovative lightweight structures as well as the combination of dissimilar materials play an essential and mandatory role to meet the divergent requirements, components are expected to fulfill. Hence joining technologies are of crucial importance for any kind of goal-driven lightweight construction.

Fraunhofer IZFP researchers aim for process-integrated inspection of the error-prone seam zones of friction stir welded components. In doing so, they...

27.09.2016 | nachricht Read more

Lightweight robots in manual assembly

Study rounds up initial experiences from companies using the technology

What is the current state of cage-free robot technology in German industry? This was the question Fraunhofer IAO investigated in the study “Lightweight robots...

13.09.2016 | nachricht Read more

High-purity plastic parts: the search for inclusions

The OPtima research project is aimed at improving the manufacture of plastic components for semiconductor machines.

Semiconductor machines and plastic parts

25.07.2016 | 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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