Back pain just got outsourced
The German Bionic Cray X from the robotics experts at German Bionic Systems is the first exoskeleton developed in Germany to enter series production. Visitors to HANNOVER MESSE 2018 can try it out for themselves under the banner of "Wearable Robotics".
Since the dawn of the first industrial revolution, man and machine have worked together as one - but closer than ever since the fourth revolution took hold. This increased proximity is down to the rise in popularity of exoskeletons, which bring humans and technology right up close. These external frameworks fuse human intelligence with mechanical strength by supporting or augmenting the wearer’s movements and thus sustainably lowering the risk of work accidents and complaints caused by excess strain. They are used first and foremost in areas where human intervention is essential, such as industrial production processes, heavy-duty work on construction sites, logistics tasks and in the care sector. Current studies predict the demand for wearable robots will grow significantly over the next few years, with BIS Research forecasting a market volume of USD 4.65 billion for 2026.
With impressive figures like that, now seems like a good time to launch onto the market. And indeed, after six years in development at specialist robotics firm German Bionic Systems, the first exoskeleton to be developed and manufactured in Germany is entering series production. "After the successful completion of a comprehensive test program that we undertook last year with leading German industrial companies, the first series model from German Bionic Systems is now ready for delivery. Based on exceptional feedback and a full order book, scaling and technological development are now a top priority for us, underpinned by an aim to be the leading German provider of active exoskeletons for use in production applications," says Dr. Peter Heiligensetzer, CEO of German Bionic Systems.
GBS German Bionic Systems GmbH (86156 Augsburg, Germany), Hall 17, Stand D13
Contact: Eric Eitel
Mobil: +49 175 167 08 91
Versatile robotic solutions from Switzerland
In its 125th year, Stäubli is once again creating a stir - this time with customized robotic solutions for electronics manufacturing, including ESD robot models, and the LabVIEW-based programming connection that is now available.
Founded in Switzerland back in 1892, Stäubli has developed from technical pioneer and reliable partner of the weaving industry to become a supplier of special robot solutions for a wide range of customer needs, thanks to the expertise it has continuously acquired throughout its 125-year history. The industrial robots now developed and produced by Stäubli deliver unrivaled quality and performance and offer users high flexibility, productivity and reliability. They can be used for anything from basic assembly and pick-and-place operations to extreme production environments and the strictest clean-room conditions. Stäubli recently unveiled customized robotic solutions for electronics manufacturing, including ESD robot models, and the LabVIEW-based programming connection that is now available.
Electronics manufacturing presents major challenges for robots in terms of particle emissions, precision, reliability and dynamics. To prevent uncontrolled electrostatic discharges from harming sensitive electronic components in production operations, Stäubli offers ESD-compliant four- and six-axis robots. The LabVIEW connection now available is also a genuine first. The six-axis models in the TX and TX2 series, TS SCARA robots and FAST picker TP80 robots can be integrated into the well-known National Instruments platform using the latest DigiMetrix Robotics library.
Stäubli Tec-Systems GmbH Robotics (95448 Bayreuth, Germany), Hall 17, Stand C13
Contact: Sonja Koban
Tel.: +49 921 883 3212
Digitization, Industry 4.0, flux capacitors - and what then?
The latest sector reports published by VDI Technologiezentrum on digitization and Industry 4.0 reveal that technology alone cannot provide all the answers. The combination of technology, humans and organization clearly requires greater coordination.
Digitization entails developments that raise issues, are in many cases already happening and will only become more far-reaching and complex during the years ahead. The sector reports contained in the new publication "Digitization and Industry 4.0 - technology alone will not suffice" seek to describe these developments in concrete terms and encourage debate on the effects of digitization on labor, co-determination and organizational and technical developments.
This compendium was written by innovation policy advisers at VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH (VDI TZ) together with experts in industrial and labor research from TU Dortmund as part of a research project sponsored by the Hans Böckler Foundation. The collaborative effort arrived at the hardly surprising conclusion that the working environment in the sectors in question is undergoing increasing change, as the new information and communication technologies enable modularization, new networks, big data and increasingly optimum algorithms. "This places new demands on employees," the project's director, Dr. Norbert Malanowski from VDI, sums up. Some jobs have been changing, others disappearing, and new ones are being created, he explains. The authors of the sector reports therefore recommend focusing more on the interaction between the three factors technology, humans and organization. In industry, this applies to companies, workforces, works councils, trades unions, employers and also associations as the key engines of innovation.
VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH (40002 Düsseldorf, Germany), Hall 2, Stand C40
Contact: Dr. Norbert Malanowski
Tel.: +49 211 6214-511
A nose for social responsibility
Business students at the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (HNEE) have a nose for how to make environmental management more tangible for the general public - with an interactive map of city center smells.
Students at HNEE who are studying the Environmental Management 1 module in the Sustainable Economics department and have first-hand knowledge of the university's own environmental management system know a thing or two. For example, they know that certain parts of Eberswalde smell of fresh bread and even lavender, but all too often the dominant scent is that of exhaust fumes. Although the smells of Eberswalde are not vastly different from those of other towns and cities, soon you will be able to see them, too. "We want to use an interactive map to encourage people to really explore smells," explains Philip Gleibs who, with his fellow students, has already sniffed around Eberswalde extensively and incorporated the data into a digital map.
"But we'd be happy for more smells to be added," explains Pascal Herfort, also a student at HNEE, who wants the residents of Eberswalde to take part in the project, which has been dubbed "Smells like…". The project is part of the study module, which aims to bring to life the subject of environmental management at a local level. "It is conceivable that this could create scent routes through Eberswalde and, in the long term, the interactive map could be relevant for local tourism," explains Dr. Thoralf Buller, who supervises the module as a lecturer at HNEE.
One side effect of the research for "Smells like…" also led to a further practical test: "We found that the smell of exhaust fumes was particularly strong near the town campus," says student Jan Hingst. As a result, plans have been considered to measure particulates, which could also be of interest to local companies. "Measuring emissions isn't rocket science. We want to do our own testing on the town campus with equipment we’ve put together ourselves. In the long term, this type of model could also be used by companies in Eberswalde to gather data in their environment," explains Buller, who sees the practical examples as the gateway to genuine, serious research. This approach ensures students can experience the moment of amazement, work empirically and develop a passion for the subject. "A pragmatic approach is always the right one, especially one like this with relatively minimal outlay. And one that is important for raising awareness of environmental issues. We want to deliver results that benefit society and its future development."
Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (University of Applied Sciences) (16225 Eberswalde, Germany), Hall 2, Stand B33, Partner at TU Berlin ScienceMarketing
Contact: Annika Bischof
Tel.: +49 3334 657-227
Hassle-free parking with the ZF ProAI
Autonomous parking is here to help - the days of worrying about tight parking spaces are a thing of the past, thanks to the AI Control Box from ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
In the fall of 2017, ZF signed a strategic collaboration with Chinese technology firm Baidu to advance autonomous driving technologies in China. Now the two companies are implementing their first system based on the ZF ProAI supercomputer for autonomous driving. The system supports a feature that can drive a vehicle to a parking space and back without driver input. Drivers use a smartphone app to summon and park their vehicle. The valet parking technology is currently being rolled out in a test fleet owned by Pand Auto, one of China's biggest carsharing companies.
Torsten Gollewski, Manager Advanced Engineering and Design at ZF, explains: "ZF ProAI is ready for production. It is the result of our cooperation with NVIDIA, which we announced exactly one year ago at CES 2017. In our current project with Baidu, this supercomputer once again shows how we are accelerating autonomous driving and also makes it simpler for new players in the industry to demonstrate mobility innovations." Zhenyu Li, Vice President and General Manager of the Intelligent Driving Group at Baidu: "ZF's supercomputer is ideal for our autonomous driving applications, as it can process a huge amount of data such as high-definition digital maps in real time. In addition, it combines artificial intelligence with deep learning capabilities and meets all the current automotive standards."
According to ZF, the cutting-edge valet parking system, which till now has primarily been developed to significantly reduce operating costs for carsharing providers and greatly improve processes and convenience for their vehicle users, will prove popular among mobility service providers and vehicle manufacturers alike. Both will have a great opportunity to take an in-depth look at the new system at the upcoming HANNOVER MESSE 2018.
ZF Friedrichshafen AG (88046 Friedrichshafen, Germany), Hall 22, Stand A20
Contact: Robert Buchmeier
Tel.: +49 7541 77-2488
Seeing the light…
Georg Schlegel GmbH & Co. KG has launched another version of its active illuminated emergency stop buttons. Thanks to an anti-lock collar and a diagnostic unit, the new QRBDUV actuator boosts occupational safety at manufacturing companies.
The recently withdrawn DIN EN ISO 13850 specified that an inactive, fixed emergency stop button had to be covered to prevent mix-ups in hazardous scenarios. Unfortunately, this was not always possible in practice, resulting in dangerous situations or even accidents. The standard has therefore been extended and now permits the use of active illuminated emergency stop buttons as an alternative. With its new QRBDUV actuator, Georg Schlegel GmbH & Co. KG, a global manufacturer of components for electrical and electronic control systems, has gone further than just implementing the expanded standard and added a number of extra safety features.
In addition to the yellow illuminated anti-lock collar on the emergency stop button, the QRBDUV actuator now also has an integrated diagnostic unit. This unit continuously monitors the button’s illumination status and therefore functionality. If for any reason the light goes out, thus indicating that the actuator is inactive, a signal is automatically sent to the corresponding part of the plant, and production - including all modules, if they are connected in series - is stopped. "If the modular part of the plant is connected to the overall system, the active status of the emergency stop button is indicated by the light. If the connection is lost, the light on the actuator goes out and thus shows that the button is inactive," explains Kurt Blank, head of R&D at Schlegel. The company currently offers the QRBDUV emergency stop button for IP65 protection. Two versions are available - one as a kit, and the other as a plug-and-play solution. If customers opt for the kit, they can install all the components individually into the mounting plate. The plug-and-play version, however, is ideal for retrofitting, as the box can be easily installed using an M12 plug.
Georg Schlegel GmbH & Co. KG (88525 Dürmentingen, Germany), Hall 11, Stand C50
Contact: Bernd Geisinger
Tel.: +49 7371 502-0
The German system specialist Rittal has developed a new IoT interface that lays the foundation for seamlessly integrating its cooling units and chillers into state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 applications.
Industry 4.0 scenarios such as augmented operators and predictive maintenance all depend on the collection, provision and distribution of data. This calls for IoT-compatible devices equipped with the essential communication networking abilities. With its new IoT interface, Rittal GmbH & Co. KG is now laying the foundation for the optimal integration of cooling units and chillers into Industry 4.0 applications. Rittal has specially designed this interface to enable both continuous communication between sensors and the cloud and connections to superordinate monitoring and energy management systems.
State-of-the-art devices such as the new cooling units and chillers in the Rittal Blue e+ range make it possible to measure and record a multitude of values and other information. The IoT-compatibility of the new Rittal interface greatly improves the added value to be gained from these high volumes of data. The IoT interface can be mounted either on a top hat rail or directly onto the cooling unit or chiller. The protocols supported are OPC-UA, Profinet, SNMP, Modbus and CANopen, which cover almost every conceivable connection to superordinate monitoring or energy management systems. The interface can of course also be connected to cloud-based systems, thus paving the way for new applications and smart service solutions. For example, Rittal aims to optimize the maintenance and servicing of climate control solutions and thus cut operating costs. Another important aspect is energy data management, as a constant supply of data increases energy efficiency, resulting in further cost reductions.
Rittal GmbH & Co. KG (35745 Herborn, Germany), Hall 11, Stand E06
Contact: Christian Abels
Tel.: +49 2772 505-1328
No flies on this super-fast EtherCAT board!
esd electronics is a regular exhibitor at HANNOVER MESSE. This year, the bespoke hardware and software solutions manufacturer is showcasing the new EPPC-T10 Embedded Single Board Computer for rapid control and regulation tasks in EtherCAT applications.
As defined in the IEC 61158 standard, EtherCAT is a highly flexible real-time Ethernet protocol for industrial applications that stands out from other industrial Ethernet solutions by processing and exchanging data 'on-the-fly'. Instead of first receiving the standard Ethernet frame from the master then interpreting it and subsequently copying the process data on, the telegrams in EtherCAT pass through all the slave devices, each of which simply takes out the data that is intended for it. This means a frame does not have to be received in full before it can be processed, rather processing can begin as early as possible. As a result, delays are minimal and data on the master is incorporated into the telegram in a corresponding manner. This makes EtherCAT the perfect solution for Ethernet-based industrial control systems that feature a large number of decentralized I/Os and/or cycle times of less than 100 µs. With the EPPC-T10, esd electronics has now developed an embedded single board computer that is designed to be ideal for rapid control and regulation tasks in EtherCAT applications involving up to three independent networks.
The EPPC-T10 is based on an NXP PowerPC QorIQ T1014 CPU with 1.2 GHz, 64-bit architecture and a double-precision floating-point unit. It comes equipped with ECC-RAM, an RTC with battery backup, a microSD card slot, an internal PCI Express Mini Card slot for hardware extensions and four status LEDs. What’s more, it also features a connector for an RS232 interface, a USB 2.0 host port and three Gigabit Ethernet connectors. The EPPC-T10 can be installed using a DIN EN rail mounting (TS 35). The local voltage and temperature are monitored to ensure maximum reliability, and firmware is updated with Flash fallback. The software support includes Linux BSPs and the universal "Das U-Boot" boot loader. EtherCAT Master Stack and bespoke customer designs are available upon request.
esd electronics gmbh (30165 Hannover, Germany), Hall 9, Stand F17
Contact: Stephanie Bugar
Tel.: +49 511 37298-0
Conversion that goes both ways!
For 50 years, Sicilian-based LAYER Electronics has been developing and manufacturing successful electrical engineering products. At HANNOVER MESSE 2018, the company is unveiling its Aton series of bi-directional converters to the public for the first time.
Since it was established in 1967, LAYER Electronics has focused on manufacturing products for maintenance, control and generation applications relating to electrical energy. Its wide-ranging product portfolio includes industrial UPS up to 1,600 kilovolt-amperes, various frequency converters, AVRs (stabilizers) up to 2,000 kilovolt-amperes, electronic grid filters, solar and wind inverters up to 250 kilowatts, wind turbines up to 20 kilowatts, charge controllers, power supply units, converters for emergency lighting, DC/DC converters, battery charging devices and transformers. The Italian company is now coming to HANNOVER MESSE 2018 to showcase its new Aton series of bi-directional converters.
Aton stems from a joint project between LAYER Electronics, the CNR (Italian National Research Council) and the University of Palermo. The aim of the project was to develop a bidirectional converter that is fully controlled by a digital signal processor (DSP). The converter also had to be powered by renewable energy sources and its own storage system comprising the most widely used types of battery. The Aton storage converters can be used in a number of configurations, according to need - as a grid-connected inverter, an off-grid inverter designed to supply power during a blackout (UPS mode) or a power factor correction (PFC) charger used to recharge storage systems.
Layer Electronics s.r.l. (91100 Erice, Italy), Hall 13, Stand E60
Contact: Antonino Culcasi
Tel.: +39 0923 562794
DUALIS is further expanding its network of partners by linking up with ERP4all. The aim is to combine GANTTPLAN advanced planning software and the MiCLAS ERP system to provide a turnkey solution for process optimization in digital factories.
Dresden-based DUALIS GmbH is a well-known planning and simulation software specialist. Its APS (Advanced Planning and Scheduling) system GANTTPLAN is used to fine-tune and optimize production processes and has already been integrated into numerous applications and in industrial and manufacturing companies. As a result, DUALIS has built up a dense network of sales and solutions partners over the years, which has just gained another new member. At HANNOVER MESSE 2018, DUALIS is exhibiting alongside ERP4all to showcase an end-to-end solution for efficient in-depth resource and order planning in intelligent manufacturing. The bedrock of this new solution is the MiCLAS ERP system from ERP4all, with GANTTPLAN acting as an APS add-on to support vertical integration and network the ERP system with the shopfloor.
"At the heart of our collaboration is a drive to ensure this joint software solution focuses on the specific needs of our small and mid-sized customers, particularly with regard to the growing Industry 4.0 requirements for networked processes. A major priority for us is designing modular software that can be adapted to needs. DUALIS is an experienced and flexible solutions partner that helps us craft a bespoke approach in all sectors," explains André Schöll, Managing Director of ERP4all Business Software GmbH.
DUALIS GmbH IT Solution (01219 Dresden, Germany), Hall 6, Stand K18, Partner at Visual Components
Contact: Heike Wilson
Tel.: +49 351 477910
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