3D printer packs a punch
Aidro, a north Italian hydraulic systems specialist, was at HANNOVER MESSE 2017 to launch additive manufacturing in the shape of metal 3D printing as a new technology for the hydraulics sector.
Aidro, a family-run company founded in the north Italian province of Varese by engineer Paolo Tirelli in 1982, has over the years developed into a hydraulic systems specialist. Five years ago, Valeria Tirelli succeeded her father as CEO of Aidro, making new investments in equipment and resources to expand the product range and improve customer service. With innovations such as the mini power pack and in-house e-commerce system, the company is ideally placed to meet the needs of the future. Aidro is at HANNOVER MESSE 2017 to also launch its new additive manufacturing, thus paving the way for using metal 3D printing in the hydraulics sector.
Aidro is underlining its pioneering status in launching additive manufacturing in hydraulics with its presentation of a 3D stainless steel hydraulic valve block for single-action cylinder control. This exhibit is a classic example of how a traditional solution can be virtually re-invented using a different and innovative design approach – simply install the necessary valves and connect them as desired. The internal channels of the valve block are optimized to enhance flow and save space, while the risk of leaks is eliminated, as auxiliary boring is no longer needed. As well as the innovative 3D hydraulic valve block, the Aidro stand also offers numerous other metal 3D printed hydraulic products such as stackable, directly operated pressure reducing valves and redesigned coils.
Aidro S.r.l. (21020 Taino, Italy), Hall 21, Stand J15 (1), co-exhibitor with ASSOFLUID
Contact: Valeria Tirelli
Tel.: +39 0331 960250
Continuous commitment to innovation
Marking its 90th anniversary, drive specialist Bauer was at HANNOVER MESSE 2017 to celebrate its commitment to innovation, which has kept it at the forefront of the market.
When HANNOVER MESSE opened its gates for the first time seventy years ago, Bauer Gear Motor GmbH - based in Esslingen, Germany - had just put its teenage years behind it. Fast forward to 2017, and this drive specialist can now look back at ninety eventful years and a vast accumulation of know-how. Bauer was keen to celebrate its enduring commitment to innovation at HANNOVER MESSE 2017. The company's presentation this year included products for wastewater treatment, electric motors with increased energy efficiency, the Bauer HiflexDRIVE range, stainless steel geared motors for hygiene-critical environments and customized technical solutions for applications involving special requirements.
Bauer was also showcasing a selection of its IP protection classes, featuring special sealing systems and special coatings. One of the highlights was an exhibit developed for operation in sewage sludge at depths of up to 10 meters. The underwater Bauer BK10 helical bevel geared motor meets various standards, including the strict British "Water Industry Mechanical and Electrical Specification" (WIMES), which lays down specific performance properties and designs for electric motors and related control technology.
Bauer Gear Motor GmbH (73734 Esslingen, Germany), Hall 25, Stand C11, co-exhibitor with Altra Industrial Motion
Contact: Philip Crowe
Tel.: +49 711 3518 276
Shedding the pounds for lightweight design
At the "Lightweight construction from Baden-Württemberg" pavilion, exhibitors in the Leichtbau BW GmbH network were demonstrating cutting-edge ways to shave weight off an Audi Q7.
Over the decades, our cars have become longer, wider - and above all heavier. Even if this meant constant improvements to both active and passive safety levels, experts have long pointed out that this extreme weight gain also has negative side effects. In an effort to improve handling, but also to protect the environment, lightweight construction has really taken off in recent years. At HANNOVER MESSE 2017, Leichtbau BW GmbH - a network of around 1,500 companies and more than 200 research institutes from Baden-Württemberg - was demonstrating the potential of multi-material design and SMEs' innovative prowess when applied to the bodywork of an Audi Q7. This handsome SUV sure cuts a fine figure, having "shed" up to 325 kilograms compared to its weightier predecessor.
At just under two metric tons curb weight, the latest Audi Q7 (model 3.0 TDI) is now the lightest in its vehicle class. The turning point in cars’ spiraling weight came with the Audi Space Frame (ASF), a cutting-edge multi-material body. Its clever combination of steel and aluminum in the bodywork shaved 71 kilos off its forerunner. Besides alternative material components, new geometric lightweight solutions, such as torsion rings, were used in the bodywork structure. These bionically inspired closed ring structures help significantly stiffen the bodywork and thus boost the car's overall performance. Dr. Wolfgang Seeliger, the managing director of Leichtbau BW GmbH, explains: "Vehicles like the Q7 show the competition between materials such as steel, aluminum and CFRP is entering a new phase. At the same time, the trend in lightweight construction is moving away from 'material wars' toward intelligent new product and functional concepts."
Leichtbau BW GmbH (70174 Stuttgart, Germany), Hall 6, Stand F30, co-exhibitor with Baden-Württemberg International
Contact: Sandra Bayer Teixeira
Tel.: +49 711 12898843
This circuit breaker won’t trip you up
GEWISS Deutschland GmbH was showcasing its "BEST OF 2017" prize-winning ReStart AUTOTEST residual current circuit breaker with integrated BUS module at HANNOVER MESSE.
Many people are not aware that residual current circuit breakers can also trip in response to external events such as lightning strikes without the protected system displaying a fault. In itself, this isn't a problem, as long as someone is there to reset the ground fault circuit breaker as usual - by hand. However, if left unattended for longer, the tripped switch can lead to extended outages in the power supply resulting in unpleasant knock-on effects or, at worst, even serious damage. For example, this might disable alarm systems or reset the programming of air conditioning or watering systems. At HANNOVER MESSE 2017, GEWISS, a leading international producer of systems and components for low-voltage electrical systems, was showcasing an innovative circuit breaker that automatically resets called ReStart AUTOTEST, which has recently won a BEST OF 2017 industrial accolade.
The smart AUTOTEST residual current circuit breaker with BUS module automatically tests its own status without interrupting the power supply of the downstream system or dropping its guard. These regular automatic checks ensure the system is working correctly and prevent potential wear and tear to its own mechanical components. The device also reduces coordination work and downtimes while improving the safety of the whole electrical system. The addition of a BUS interface to the circuit breaker allows real-time monitoring and logging for the entire system and also means the self-test can be triggered remotely. So users can check and record that the system is functioning properly anytime, anywhere.
GEWISS Deutschland GmbH (35799 Merenberg, Germany), Hall 12, Stand B77
Contact: Alexandra Zange
Tel.: +49 6471 501-59
The future is smart
Bremen-based startup Sensosurf, a sensor integration specialist, presented the world premiere of its intelligent flange and pedestal bearings for predictive maintenance at HANNOVER MESSE 2017.
Sensosurf - a high-tech startup founded in Bremen, Germany, in 2016 - develops innovative sensor integration solutions. Its aim is to use intelligent machine components to provide even more reliable information for predictive maintenance in the future. To this end, the company installs its sensors directly in components such as bearings and screws in order to measure mechanical loads at locations where conventional sensor solutions reach their limits. It was with this in mind that Sensosurf presented the world’s first intelligent flange and pedestal bearings at HANNOVER MESSE 2017.
These smart bearings measure forces that act directly on them and generate application-specific data that was not previously available. In this way, manufacturers of conveyor systems, construction and agricultural machinery and oil and gas facilities receive concrete and detailed information on the status of plant and machinery and thus benefit from the enhanced possibilities of predictive maintenance. As well as the resulting increase in customer loyalty and the expansion of the service portfolio, they also offer the actual machine operators unprecedented levels of process reliability.
Sensosurf GmbH (28359 Bremen, Germany), Hall 3, Stand A24, co-exhibitor with Young Tech Enterprises
Contact: Dr. Cord Winkelmann
Tel.: +49 421 2208 340
No-one and nothing left behind!
At HANNOVER MESSE 2017, Dreieich-based Portwell Deutschland GmbH announced an exciting addition to the Internet of Things scene - the exceptionally modular IoT gateway XM-1.
In Germany alone, there are millions of machines and devices from the pre-IoT era that are perfectly functional and will continue to serve their purpose well into the future. But how can these valuable capital goods be linked into the world of the Internet of Things? The solution is the IoT gateway concept, which featured as a major hot topic at HANNOVER MESSE 2017 - especially for Portwell, one of the world's leading innovators on the industrial PC (IPC) and embedded computer markets and a key IoT supplier of intelligent gateways and edge devices. Portwell chose the trade fair as a platform to announce the XM-1, a modular IoT gateway solution based on international patents.
The XM-1 doesn't just meet the requirements of a multi-compatible IoT gateway solution, however. It also fulfils the needs of an extensive range of IoT applications. Thanks to the unique system characteristics of the XM-1, which is exceptionally modular in structure, all the communication modules can be hot-plugged on-site without opening the system chassis. With two board choices available - ARM processor-based (more power-efficient) and X86 processor-based (high computing power) - the XM-1 supports four different communication technologies: ZigBee, LoRa, Wi-Fi, and 2G/3G/LTE (optional). What’s more, conventional interfaces such as RS232/422/485 or a 4-Port ethernet switch can also be integrated.
Portwell Deutschland GmbH (63303 Dreieich, Germany), Hall 8, Stand F25
Contact: Peter Ahne
Tel.: +49 6103 3008-105
Transforming the design of home mobility solutions
thyssenkrupp Elevator AG, co-exhibitor with Microsoft at HANNOVER MESSE 2017, showed how it aims to revolutionize home mobility solutions in the future using Microsoft HoloLens.
When you think of the smart home, your mind generally turns first to digitalized lighting and heating control systems, refrigerators that replenish themselves, and freshly made coffee that greets you in the kitchen in the morning. Accessibility and intelligent home mobility solutions, on the other hand, often take second place, although it is precisely these areas that are becoming hugely important given the increasingly aging population. thyssenkrupp, based in Essen, Germany, is responding to the already growing demand for customized home mobility solutions by launching mixed-reality visualizations based on Microsoft HoloLens.
The mixed-reality glasses showcased at HANNOVER MESSE 2017 will be launched in Germany and other key markets soon and are designed to enable real-time visualization of stairlift products in customers’ homes in the future. The glasses also speed up various process steps, thus reducing delivery times to as little as a quarter of the current level. "New realities demand new solutions, and thyssenkrupp sees Microsoft HoloLens as an enabler in transforming the customer experience for home solutions and helping to ensure a continued quality of life for aging populations, regardless of their mobility restrictions," says Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator.
Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, WA 98052-7329, USA), Hall 7, Stand C40
Contact: Michael Ridder
Tel.: +49 201 844-563054
Sophisticated technology for heavy loads
Based in Langenthal in Switzerland, the Güdel Group showcased a range of top-quality products at HANNOVER MESSE this year, including floor traversing axes in sizes 4 and 6.
Over the course of its sixty-year history, the Switzerland-based Güdel Group has grown from a small drive technology company to a global specialist in high-precision machine components and complex automation solutions. Its extensive portfolio includes linear guide units and axes, racks, pinions, gear units and gantry robots. As well as manufacturing individual parts, Güdel also combines components to offer complete systems that deliver exceptional control intelligence for a wide range of industry applications. At HANNOVER MESSE 2017, the company trained its spotlight on three key products.
One of the highlights was the largest of these three exhibits - the TMF-4 floor traversing axis. With a total length of 16 meters, the TMF-4 was demonstrated driving a trolley that supported a KUKA KR 6000 robot that was in turn supporting the body of a VW Tiguan. The demonstration confirmed that the TMF-4 provides the extended working range that state-of-the-art production processes call for. What's more, like all Güdel floor traversing axes, the TMF-4 is compatible with all conventional industrial robots. Anyone not sufficiently impressed by the TMF-4 was able to check out the largest floor traversing axis in size 6 at the nearby stand of automation specialist Fanuc. Thanks to its seventh axis, the TMF-6 can carry a load of 20 metric tons over an even larger working range.
Güdel Group AG (4900 Langenthal, Switzerland), Hall 17, Stand E04
Contact: Marek Heidrich
Tel.: +41 62 916 91 91
An end to lame compromises
Lenze SE demonstrated in Hannover how a scalable, modular automation system and a comprehensive toolbox of application-specific software modules could significantly cut the engineering work involved in producing flexible machine concepts.
Modular concepts are one of the key elements of Industry 4.0. But until now, the flexibility they require has forced mechanical engineers to make compromises when it comes to control systems. Depending on the complexity of the system, they could use central or decentralized control, but always ran the risk of limited expandability. Or they could resolutely stick with central control and simply suffer the resultant overdimensioning for more basic applications. Global motion-centric automation specialist Lenze SE has now solved this dilemma for good. At HANNOVER MESSE 2017, the company from Lower Saxony demonstrated how its scalable, modular automation system and comprehensive toolbox of application-specific software modules can be combined to produce flexible machine concepts with far less engineering effort.
Thanks to the development of a new servo-drive system with integrated control unit, Lenze now has everything it needs to help mechanical and plant engineers achieve open, end-to-end modularization - without a compromise in sight. The constant need to choose between central and decentralized control can now be consigned to engineering history, as the harmonized product portfolio of hardware and software now provides both - to an equal degree and with immediate effect. The key is the FAST Application Software Toolbox, which is used to program technology modules. If required, the Toolbox can also help synchronize different modules as part of a more complex plant - and without any need for reprogramming. The application software runs just as effectively on decentralized controllers as on a central control system. What’s more, FAST simplifies the engineering involved, as many control and motion functions are already supplied as ready-made software modules.
Lenze SE (31855 Aerzen, Germany), Hall 14, Stand H22
Contact: Frank Lorch
Tel.: +49 5154 82-1512
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