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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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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

Evaluating risk of hydrogen embrittlement: new simulation of cold cracks in high-strength steels

High-strength steels play a vital role in the construction of modern vehicles and machines. If these steels are welded during the production of components, mobile hydrogen atoms can cause problems within the material: the atoms accumulate slowly at highly stressed areas of a component, resulting in the steel becoming brittle at these locations. This can result in so-called cold break formations which can lead to component failure. Dr. Frank Schweizer of the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM has developed a simulation method with which component manufacturers can assess cold break tendencies and adjust their production accordingly.

Manufacturers of vehicle and machine components often use high-strength steels to save material in lightweight construction and for crash-relevant structural...

03.05.2018 | nachricht Read more

Nanostructured Alloying with Oxygen

Latest findings published in Nature Communications

Severe plastic deformation and powder processing techniques are used to produce nanostructured materials with tailor-made compositions and without the effort...

09.04.2018 | nachricht Read more

Enhanced ball screw drive with increased lifetime through novel double nut design

Ball screw drives with preloaded nuts are frequently used in machine tools. They are typically exposed to rather high load forces and must be in addition preloaded for high precision requirements. An excessive amount of preload, however, will cause unwanted friction and wear, while little preload will result in poor precision. An invention of the University of Stuttgart solves this problem by adding additional spring elements.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patent-related matters and in marketing its innovations.

Ball screws or ball screw drives are gear arrangements with rolling balls inserted between a screw and nut element. They are used to translate rotational...

23.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

Scientists from Hannover develop a novel lightweight production process

In cooperation with the Institute of Welding and Machining (ISAF) of TU Clausthal, the Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH) gGmbH is developing a novel forging process for lightweight car manufacturing. The researchers' aim is to create a material bond between steel sheets and bulk aluminium parts already during the forming process – without the need for an extra joining step. This would contribute to a faster and more efficient production of load-optimized components.

Hybrid compound forging is the first process that combines two lightweight construction approaches, namely creating a material bond between steel sheets and...

27.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

PRESTO – Highly Dynamic Powerhouses

The PRESTO series is designed for precise temperature control as well as rapid cool-down and heat-up phases, making it ideal for reactor temperature control, material stress tests, or temperature simulations.

PRESTO W91/W92 – High-end Thermo-dynamical Product

15.05.2017 | nachricht Read more

Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

24.04.2017 | nachricht Read more

It Takes Two: Structuring Metal Surfaces Efficiently with Lasers

In the automotive industry, more and more surfaces are getting a microstructure treatment. Whether they are added to cylinders or dashboards, functional surfaces are all the rage. Able to offer virtually unlimited precision, lasers are the right tool for the job. To ensure that productivity matches precision, development is under way on a machine that will be able to efficiently process even large surfaces thanks to a combination of two different pulse types.

In the automotive industry, more and more surfaces are getting a microstructure treatment. Whether they are added to cylinders or dashboards, functional...

15.03.2017 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron cryo-microscopy: Using inexpensive technology to produce high-resolution images

Biochemists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have used a standard electron cryo-microscope to achieve surprisingly good images that are on par with those taken by far more sophisticated equipment. They have succeeded in determining the structure of ferritin almost at the atomic level. Their results were published in the journal "PLOS ONE".

Electron cryo-microscopy has become increasingly important in recent years, especially in shedding light on protein structures. The developers of the new...

Im Focus: The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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