The fascinating powers of superconductors
FESTO AG is exhibiting new industrial applications for superconductors at HANNOVER MESSE 2017.
Superconductors are materials with very special properties. If cooled below a characteristic "critical temperature", their electrical resistance immediately drops to zero, and they can freeze the field of a permanent magnet at a defined distance - so that either the superconductor itself or the magnet hovers. These properties mean superconductors have vast potential for future industrial use. They can be used to support objects without needing any feedback control systems, or as part of a contactless, low-energy system for moving objects - even on the far side of walls. At the same time, this dust- and abrasion-free method is perfect for carefully transporting hovering objects in ultra-clean environments. As a leading global supplier of automation technology, FESTO has long devoted itself to researching and developing potential applications for superconductors and is revealing its latest results at HANNOVER MESSE.
One potential application is the contactless cleaning of an object encased in a SupraTube - a sealed vertical tube glass tube filled with liquid. A cryostat at the top helps superconductors keep a magnetic puck hovering at a distance of about five millimeters. When made to spin and released from the upper cryostat, the magnetic disc spirals downward through the tube until it is caught again and centered by the superconductor in the other cryostat at the bottom.
FESTO AG & Co. KG (73734 Esslingen, Germany), Hall 15, Stand D11
Contact: Dr. Heinrich Frontzek
Tel.: +49 711 347-0
Unplugged and hands-free!
The FreeCon Contactless system that Weidmüller Interface GmbH is exhibiting in Hannover does away with manual charging processes for mobile systems.
Although many technologies that were previously tethered by cables have now given way to their cordless counterparts, power transmission still generally requires leads and sockets, despite industrial automation and digitalization. This conventional method still harbors the age-old nuisances of burned, bent or soiled contacts, which can cost time and money due to production stoppages. The most vulnerable applications are those that have to be repeatedly plugged in and unplugged, such as the automated transportation systems increasingly used in production halls and warehouses. While the machines operate on a pretty much autonomous basis, a member of staff still has to frequently plug them in to charge. The larger the fleet of automated industrial trucks, the more likely this manual charging process is to interrupt workflows. Weidmüller Interface has come up with a neat solution in the elegant, efficient and sophisticated FreeCon Contactless system it is showcasing at HANNOVER MESSE 2017.
As the name implies, FreeCon Contactless supports a contact- and maintenance-free power supply, which can be used for a wide range of industrial applications. The FreeCon Contactless is ideal as a means of automatically charging mobile systems, such as forklifts, other transportation systems and robots. This innovative system uses inductive resonance coupling to transmit 240 Watts – 24 Volt DC / 10 amperes across an air gap of up to five millimeters at up to 90 percent efficiency.
Weidmüller Interface GmbH & Co. KG (32758 Detmold, Germany), Hall 11, Stand B58
Contact: Horst Kalla
Tel.: +49 5231 14-291190
Fax: +49 5231 14-291097
Even more true-to-life
TU Dresden has joined forces with AMST Systemtechnik GmbH to develop a revolutionary driving simulation concept to meet the more stringent requirements involved in developing and testing vehicle assistance systems.
Increasingly powerful data centers and rising cost pressures have shifted key areas of automobile development work into virtual reality. However, the very real effects that vehicle functions have on drivers and passengers still need to be tested in this virtual environment. Particularly when it comes to developing assistance systems, which form the technical basis for increasingly automated driving, it is vital to check their driving behavior and how drivers interact with them at a very early stage in their development. But conventional track-tethered driving simulators struggle to create the appropriate scenarios. TU Dresden has developed a highly dynamic driving simulator concept in response to this challenge. The "auto.mobile-driving simulator" project, which it set up together with AMST Systemtechnik GmbH, is on show at the "Forschung für die Zukunft" (Research for the Future) pavilion during HANNOVER MESSE 2017.
The greatly enhanced flexibility of the "auto.mobile-driving simulator" not only replicates vehicle behavior much more realistically, but also revolutionizes the insights that can be gained into the ways driver, vehicle and assistance systems interact. As the "auto.mobile-driving simulator" is freely mobile and can cover a large area, the scope and authenticity of simulations can be scaled to suit requirements. Thanks to the complex chassis and drive system, researchers will be able to simulate longitudinal and lateral acceleration of up to 1G in future.
Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden Institute of Automobile Engineering, Chair of Automobile Engineering (01069 Dresden, Germany), Hall 2, Stand A38
Contact: Thomas Tüschen
Tel.: +49 351 463-32831
Fax: +49 351 463 37066
A warm helping hand to unstick stuck screws
BEGA International develops special tools for the safe and cost-effective assembly and dismantling of bearings and drive components. The BETEX iDuctor that the company is unveiling at HANNOVER MESSE 2017 heats metal parts both simply and precisely to aid the process.
Despite the arrival of Industry 4.0, there are still plenty of sectors where components are screwed together by hand. In shipbuilding, wind power systems and the rail and automotive sectors, there are always plenty of these screw fixings that stubbornly refuse to come undone. Mechanics all have their own special tricks for getting to grips with stuck screws - and one of the most popular is to apply heat. The BETEX iDuctor that Dutch company BEGA International is unveiling at HANNOVER MESSE 2017 heats metal parts in a very simple and accurate process.
As its name implies, the BETEX iDuctor uses induction technology to heat all kinds of metal parts, without contact or flames. Whether small drive components, bearing housings, nuts, bolts, pipes, screws or other small surfaces - the machine heats them until they glow red, if required, in a matter of seconds. The user-friendly, handheld BETEX iDuctor features overload protection and its power can be adjusted steplessly according to requirements. The iDuctor is supplied in a handy plastic carrying case complete with a two-meter-long flexible inductor and a pair of heat-resistant gloves.
BEGA International B.V. (8171 ME Vaassen, Netherlands), Hall 25, Stand G04
Contact: Gerald Keuter
Tel.: +31 578 668000
The injection molding specialists at Dr. BOY GmbH always have a special treat up their sleeves. Their Industry 4.0 exhibit at HANNOVER MESSE 2017 is no exception, serving visitors a freshly tapped beer.
A key feature of Industry 4.0 is automated collaboration between different production processes. In the same way that different trades work together (or at least should) on construction sites, machines performing different tasks can be coordinated to form a seamless production chain. Dr. BOY GmbH has linked up with its technology partners Universal Robots A/S and Müller Maschinentechnik for HANNOVER MESSE 2017 to demonstrate how this works in reality.
To start with, a BOY 35E VV injection molding machine produces transparent plastic cups from the SMMA copolymer NAS. Next, a UR lightweight robot on the free machine table of the Boy insert-molding machine takes the cup from the mold and feeds it into a labeling station from Bluhm Systeme GmbH. The labeling station sticks a label designed by visitors onto the cup. And then, as has proven so popular in the past, visitors can decide whether they would like an empty cup – or one filled with freshly tapped beer. If they opt for the beer, another UR robot takes the cup from the first robot’s gripper, holds it under the tap and then hands the beer to the "customer". After sampling the beer, visitors can check the production data for their cup at their convenience, simply by scanning the printed QR code. Bottoms up!
Dr. BOY GmbH & Co. KG (53577 Neustadt-Fernthal, Germany), Hall 17, Stand C26
Tel.: +49 2683 307-0
Fax: +49 2683 32771