Smart sensors that are wirelessly attached to the component, improve the understanding and control of production processes so that processes can be flexibly monitored and adaptively controlled. What sounds like a far-off vision of the future is already being implemented by the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, Germany: Together with seven industrial partners, the researchers have designed an intelligent and flexible process control system that can process large amounts of data and transmit it almost instantaneously using 5G and cloud technology.
In collaboration with TU Dresden, Fraunhofer researchers have developed a process for obtaining valuable, high-purity ethyl acetate from whey. This can be used, for example, to produce environmentally friendly adhesives, thereby replacing conventional ethyl acetate extracted from fossil-based raw materials. It also eliminates the need for costly disposal of the molasses produced during whey processing.
Forming presses are widely used as key elements of industrial production processes. From automotive technology to refrigerators, almost every product we encounter contains formed parts. The purchasing costs of these machines can reach double-digit millions, and it takes a great deal of time to set up and adjust precisely as needed. Given such a high level of investment, buyers expect machinery of this kind to keep running efficiently for a long time without any loss in quality. At the Hannover Messe, the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Internet Technologies CCIT will demonstrate how cognitive transformation of industrial processes can improve the efficiency of forming machines (Hall 5, Booth A06). The technology that serves as the basis for the exhibit is smartNOTCH – a cognitive T-slot.
Researchers at Fraunhofer IZM have joined forces with TecVenture, Optrontec Inc., and KAIST to create a high-speed camera fitted with a unique multi-lens array that can capture images with a far greater depth of field than its conventional counterparts. The miniaturized electronics make the system a good choice for efficient damage analytics in industrial use or for many research activities. To prepare the camera for reliable work in the tough reality of industrial environments without compromising its compact size, the electronics for the system were miniaturized by Fraunhofer IZM using the Institute’s embedding technology.
The ExOne Company (Nasdaq: XONE), the global leader in industrial sand and metal 3D printers using binder jetting technology, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (“Fraunhofer IFAM”), one of the most important independent research institutions in Europe, announced they are deepening their partnership on binder and materials development projects following the success of CleanFuse™ metal binder.
The manufacturer-independent networking of automated guided vehicles has taken a major step forward. Six companies tested the VDA 5050 interface together with their vehicles at the AGV Mesh-Up. The event was part of this year's TEST CAMP Intralogistics of the IFOY AWARD.
Eco-friendly flying is on the horizon. All over the world, researchers are developing new technologies to achieve this goal. One focus of developments is the idea of using hydrogen-powered engines for aircraft in the future. The aircraft companies, though, face the challenge of storing this energy source. Hydrogen turns liquid when cooled to minus 253 degrees Celsius, and only then can it be used as a so-called cryogenic fuel. Both tanks and pipe systems in the aircraft have to be absolutely tight at such low temperatures. An innovative new welding process has been developed to help: magnetic pulse welding. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden have now demonstrated that this joining technology can produce extremely resilient, metallic mixed joints for cryogenic applications. They successfully achieved these outstanding joint properties in cooperation with the Technical University of Munich.
The industry is preparing for participation at Motek/Bondexpo in Stuttgart from the 5th through the 8th of October, 2021. As digital trade fair platforms, Motek-Virtual and Bondexpo-Virtual are currently proving their worth as effective and useful online marketplaces by making it possible to maintain business contacts between manufacturers and users, but all involved parties are nevertheless urgently awaiting the next edition of the on-site event.
A particular highlight is the address to be given by the Minister President of Bavaria. Further, a line-up of well-known industry experts are set to impart their updates and knowledge on up and coming technologies; these will be complemented by discussions and roundtables. From 24–26 November 2020 representatives from the automation industry can take part in an exciting and packed three days and make use of the platform following the event.
The automatica exhibition scheduled for December 8–11, 2020 will not take place due to the current travel restrictions in Europe in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, which are becoming more stringent. This decision has been taken by Messe München in agreement and close coordination with the conceptual sponsor VDMA Robotics + Automation and the automatica Advisory Board. In coordination with the industry, Messe München is now developing a compact new in-person event for mid-2021, which will be adapted to the specific circumstances in times of the coronavirus. In addition, auto-matica is further expanding its digital offering.