Friday, April 20, 2018

Process Optimisation and Reliability. @be_in_motion #PAuto

Baumüller has developed a tool as part of its Industry 4.0 solution that can be operated via the cloud or local predictive maintenance or that can be used to determine potential for process optimization.

The task of BAUDIS IoT is to collect, analyze and communicate data. The software either runs as an integrated version e.g. on an industrial PC or on the retrofittable BAUDIS IoT box. The interface of choice for transmitting data to the cloud at Baumüller is OPA UA, but other interfaces can be chosen.

BAUDIS IoT is designed for two application scenarios: one for reducing downtimes from unplanned service cases and one for optimizing process and machine utilization. Data is recorded by local sensors e.g. on the drive or also via access on other electrical or mechanical components.

Relationships in the production process can be detected and evaluated through the continuous acquisition of data. This makes it possible, for example, to determine reasons for idle times and thus to improve the machine utilization. Data from several production lines, even globally, can be compared and thus standardizations can be made possible. All data can be prepared for communication to different user levels, from management to machine operator, customized in terms of representation and scope.

The second major strength of BAUDIS IoT is that service can be planned. Due to the continuous collection of data from the process or the drive system BAUDIS IoT enables an early warning regarding possible problems, such as bearing damage. In this way, maintenance intervals and service capacities can be planned in the long term and unexpected failures can be avoided. By monitoring data, such as regarding vibrations and machine utilization, the wear reserve of the monitored components can be largely completely utilized.

All data recorded via sensors or directly in the drive can be collected, analyzed and stored directly by the operator, or for example can be transmitted through the cloud to the service provider or the company headquarters. The algorithms on which the data analysis is based can be constantly updated in the cloud.

BAUDIS IoT is therefore ideal for both greenfield and brownfield systems. The system is either based on software on an industrial PC or the BAUDIS IoT box, which is a retrofittable hardware component. The system can be used independently of the manufacturer of the automation components and the sensors. When analyzing the data through the cloud, the latest algorithms are always available and the system constantly becomes more intelligent.

@be_in_motion #PAuto

Passing the torch!

After 35 years at the helm of the Laser Components Group, company founder Günther Paul (72) is taking full time retirement. In 2014 he transferred his company shares to his sons Patrick (40) and Felix (38).

On 18 April the entire staff said goodbye to their long-time boss with a surprise celebration at the company headquarters in Olching, Germany. Once again, they reviewed the most important milestones in the company‘s history – from the beginning as a two-man business in the family home in 1982 to today’s international group with branch offices and production facilities in five countries. Long-standing companions and representatives of the overseas branches sent video messages to wish Günther Paul all the best for this new chapter in his life.

In a short address, Patrick Paul emphasized the successful handover process. Over the years, more and more competencies have been transferred from one generation to the next, thus avoiding any negative effects on the company‘s growth.

The future retiree, who was busy working in the garden just before the unexpected invitation to lunch, was deeply touched by his farewell party and thanked his employees for the successful surprise. He promised to remain in touch with the company, as long as his numerous hobbies gave him time to do so.

@LaserComponents #PAuto

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Another network connection makes total 17!

Ethernet POWERLINK* is the 17th industrial network to be included in the Anybus® X-gateway™ offering. The new gateways enable system integrators and machine builders to connect POWERLINK-systems to any other fieldbus or industrial Ethernet network.

This is the 17th network to be supported by the Anybus X-gateway concept from HMS. The new X-gateway versions enable system integrators and machine builders to easily connect POWERLINK systems to and from any other fieldbus or industrial network. The new Anybus X-gateway enables communication between Ethernet POWERLINK and PROFINET, EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, Ethernet Modbus-TCP, CC-Link IE Field, PROFIBUS, DeviceNet, CANopen, Modbus RTU and CC-Link among others.

The new X-gateways come with a USB interface for easy configuration via the Windows-based tool Anybus Configuration Manager. No programming is necessary. The X-gateways for POWERLINK come with dual-port Ethernet interfaces and an integrated switch, removing the need for external switches.

“Ethernet POWERLINK is one of the growing Ethernet networks on the market and is especially strong with machine builders in central Europe,” says Christian Bergdahl, Product Marketing Manager at HMS. “We have offered POWERLINK connectivity in our embedded Anybus CompactCom modules for several years and now see the need to expand the offering to our Anybus X-gateways. The new gateways will enable machine builders and system integrators to connect to POWERLINK in a quick and easy way.”

* Ethernet POWERLINK is an industrial Ethernet network originating from the Austrian automation company B+R, established as a leading network for machine building and system integration around the world.


@HMSAnybus #PAuto @EPSG

Flowmeter right on the dot!

The jury of the Red Dot* Design Awards was impressed enough with Endress+Hauser's Picomag flowmeter  to award it the Red Dot seal of quality in the product design category. The smart plug-and-play instrument scored equally well for its functionality and compact design.

The Red Dot is an internationally recognized award for products that feature high-quality design and optimally meet the needs of customers. “We are pleased that the Picomag persuaded the jury with its compact format, flexible installation possibilities and intuitive operation,” said Dr Bernd-Josef Schäfer, Managing Director of Endress+Hauser Flowtec, the Group’s center of competence for flow measurement technology based in Reinach (CH).

Professor Dr Peter Zec, initiator and CEO of the Red Dot Award, congratulated Endress+Hauser: “The winning products are marked by outstanding functionality and an attractive appearance, which proves that the designers understood their customers.” Among other things the products are evaluated according to the level of innovation, functionality, design quality, ergonomics and durability. A roughly 40-person jury selected the winners from 6,300 objects that were submitted for consideration.

In industrial process measurement and automation, demand is steadily rising for simple, reliable and maintenance-free measuring instruments in a pocket-sized format. The new Picomag from Endress+Hauser fulfills these requirements and can be deployed across all industries. It measures not only the flow in electrically conductive fluids, but also the process temperature. In addition, Picomag offers customers easy commissioning with Bluetooth using its SmartBlue App, as well as seam­less system integration thanks to IO-Link technology.


*The Red Dot Design Award is one of the world’s biggest design competitions. The award, which stands for outstanding design quality, is divided into three categories: product design, communications design and design concept. Winners will be honored at the beginning of July during the Red Dot Gala, which will be held at the Opera House in Essen, (D). All of the winning innovations will be displayed during a special four-week exhibition and also presented in the Red Dot Design Yearbook.


 @Endress_Hauser #PAuto @reddot

Automation and reporting software.

New versions of Copa-Data's automation and reporting software with zenon 8.00 and zenon Analyzer 3.20 have been announced. Users will benefit from a number of performance improvements, extensive functionality for smart factories and energy distribution, as well as new predictive analytics calculations.

As well as module and industry-specific extensions, the focus of this year’s release is fundamental adaptations to product infrastructure. In future, zenon customers can take advantage of improved performance in the areas of data distribution, grids and redundancy, as well as cycling archiving. For example, through optimized data distribution between driver and Runtime, zenon 8.00 processes more than 10,000 variable changes per second in one screen. Thanks to multi-threading, grid redundancy performance is improved by up to 50 percent. In stress tests, cycling archiving performance of 250,000 variables written per second has been demonstrated.

In addition, further zenon developments lay the foundation for a new licensing system which makes license management more flexible, quicker and clearer for customers. In the future, zenon users can manage their software licenses more independently and enjoy more flexibility and time savings thanks to automated digital processes.


Customers enjoy enhanced user-friendliness
in Extended Trend

“With our short release cycles, we support the innovation capability of our customers. The increasing volumes of data from the digital transformation of industry demand reliable applications. Thanks to design thinking and agile software development, we guarantee the continual development of zenon while bringing reliable new technology promptly to the market,” explains Reinhard Mayr, Head of Product Management at Copa-Data.

New features in zenon 8.00
The Extended Trend module in zenon presents recorded values graphically in the shape of a curve. It shows historically recorded data, as well as online data that has not been saved. Project creators and users enjoy enhanced user-friendliness in zenon 8.00 due to many new features and optimizations in Extended Trend. Increases in engineering efficiency are delivered through, for example, index substitution of curve variables – a form of object-oriented engineering. Graphical renderings of archived data can be engineered faster and more intuitively – the project engineer is provided with the best possible assistance when creating effective diagrams. It is even simpler for users to receive customized and relevant information. For a quicker overview, variables can now be pulled natively by drag and drop into the diagram window. A configurable pop-up window provides supplemental information on a specific value, which reflects the trend.

Equipment Modeling in zenon organizes a physically existing system into any number of hierarchically structured groups and units. Variables, recipes, functions and archives, and other meta-information can be assigned to these equipment groups over several projects. This allows for data modeling in the development environment, as well as the user environment. This way, the module offers an optimal overview of the status of equipment used. In zenon 8.00, the Industrial Maintenance Manager module is now comprehensively coupled with Equipment Modeling. Machine and maintenance data can, therefore, be managed that much easier. Service intervals can be conveniently planned and clearly represented.

zenon Batch Control is a solution for batch-based production in a variety of industries. Its intelligent design and seamless integration in zenon as a process control system provide for quick implementation and efficient validation. With zenon 8.00, master recipes can now be automatically released. In addition, a recipe can be created in an external program, then automatically imported and released for production. This allows for a consistently automated workflow. Moreover, touch operation for batch recipes has been improved.

zenon 8.00 also brings essential new features for shift management. Process data in the Alarm Message List, the Chronological Event List, and in Trends and Reports can now be filtered based on shifts. As a result, informative production analysis with consideration of shift data is an option, which can be particularly helpful in large production facilities.

zenon Process Recorder offers the possibility to transparently analyze errors and problems after the event. It supplements existing zenon tools for even more precise error analysis. With zenon 8.00, the evolution of a project can now be illustrated. Any deviations from the current state are highlighted in the replay mode tables. That way, several project development stages can be consistently analyzed using one tool.

New features for the energy industry
For energy automation, COPA-DATA has developed additional functionality with regard to a comprehensive Distribution Management System. Two new modules, Load Flow Calculation and State Estimator enable grid calculations in the context of energy distribution. Load Flow Calculation benefits smaller energy grids in which all inputs and charges can be properly measured. The State Estimator plays a role in larger energy grids in which complete measurements do not take place. Furthermore, calculations can now be made to optimize grid operation, such as topologic interlocking from the grid calculation or the (n-1) calculation to assess faults in subcomponents of the grid.

If invalid data is sent from a Remote Terminal Unit (RTU), this can lead to widespread loss of function at the operator site. The newly developed Alternative Data Points (ADP) driver helps avoid this issue and provides improved data consistency and operation safeguarding through robust data flow. The alternative data points jump in during an RTU fault and maintain the data flow either with redundantly collected data from other RTUs or through programmable simulation data. Moreover, the ADP driver is also useful for control systems in other industries.

Based on historical values, and with the help of prediction models, better decisions can be made in the manufacturing industry using the Predictive Analytics Reports included in zenon Analyzer.
New features in zenon Analyzer 3.20
To measure and ensure production quality, the Statistical Process Control – SPC is frequently used. The most common SPC reports can be created and analyzed in the new version of the COPA-DATA reporting software, zenon Analyzer 3.20. These include process capability analysis to assess quality stability in pilot production, control charts for quality checks in series production and a histogram to render the distribution of measured values around the average value. Additional statistical reports such as box plot, trend with limits, or the XY trend, supplement the already extensive analysis offered to optimize production quality.

In addition, zenon Analyzer 3.20 offers smart analysis tools thanks to the new Predictive Analytics Reports. Based on historical values, and with the help of prediction models, better decisions can be made. The requirement for meaningful predictions is a comprehensive and solid database, which is made possible through consistent digitalization of production. zenon Analyzer offers two types of predictions. Time-based predictions provide an outlook of how a variable will develop in the future. Value-based predictions show how a value will develop if another value is changed, for example, to assess energy consumption following a fictitious change in production volume.

In the future, the project engineer will configure the prediction model in the Prediction Model Manager. This newly introduced tool is a part of the zenon Analyzer Management Studio. It includes helpful wizards for step-by-step creation of prediction models.

@copadata #PAuto @StoneJunctionPR

Sponsor for control system conference.

Seeq will sponsor this year’s Control System Integrators Association annual conference as it grows its worldwide partner network.

Seeq will join more than 500 control system integrators from around the globe on April 24-27 in San Francisco (CS USA) for the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) Executive Conference. Seeq is excited to be a member of CSIA and participate in the annual Executive Conference where members meet, collaborate and learn from each other.

“System Integrators are critical to the delivery of Seeq as an advanced analytics solution. Our customers rely upon the experience and expertise of CSIA members to enable solutions that deliver insight and drive results,” highlighted Michael Risse, CMO and VP of Strategy for Seeq.

“We are excited to welcome our system integrators, as well as CSIA members like Seeq that contribute to our theme of ‘Growth Through Innovation and Sound Business Practices.’ Each year our members are excited to get together, share best practices, and learn about the latest technologies contributing to their success and growth,” commented CSIA Board Chair, Jeff Miller, from Interstates Control Systems.

In addition to training workshops and educational sessions, CSIA will host their Annual Industry Expo where Seeq will be featured in Booth 37. Seeq will also be sponsoring and participating in the CSIA Fun Run/Walk.

“CSIA not only provides a great environment to learn from others, but also to identify emerging technologies like Seeq. Customers are demanding insights into the data they collect and utilizing Seeq along with our operations expertise to make their companies more data driven and agile” according to Nick Wiley, Executive Vice President at Casne Engineering, a CSIA member since 2008.

@SeeqCorporation #PAuto @CSIAtweet

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Smart camera with choice of software.

Users can choose, for the first time, the image processing platform that best suits their application needs and be guaranteed a rich range of image processing functionality.

Stemmer Imaging can offer Adlinks's x86 NEON-1021 smart camera pre-loaded with a choice of Teledyne DALSA Sherlock, Stemmer's Common Vision Blox or MVTec Merlic embedded software.

The NEON-1021 features Intel® AtomTM quad core 1.91 GHz processors for increased computing power. FPGA coprocessors and GPU deliver advanced image processing capabilities, both beyond the performance of conventional smart cameras. This allows the camera to process multiple complex inspection tasks simultaneously.

By offering ADLINK NEON smart cameras with a choice of pre-loaded machine vision software, Stemmer Imaging is giving system integrators and developers the option of selecting the development environment that most closely meets their needs. While saving them the time and effort for porting software from other x86 platforms, they can also provide advice on the most suitable image processing platform for developers, if required.

Sherlock is an extremely popular and flexible imaging development environment for vision integrators. Its rich suite of proven vision tools and advanced algorithms can be applied to a wide variety of automated inspection applications, while a graphical point and click program construction enables rapid prototyping. Standard tools within Sherlock include:
  • Search (pattern finding)
  • ID readers
  • Character readers (OCR)
  • Measurement and counting tools
  • Contour tools
  • Texture and colour classifiers.
A variety of speciality tools have also been included to simplify difficult inspection tasks such as the inspection of beads of material or measuring the height profiles of parts using laser lines.

Stemmer’s own Common Vision Blox is a powerful programming library for fast and reliable development and implementation of vision solutions. Common Vision Blox not only provides a range of optimised tools, but also offers the freedom to embed user’s own algorithmic know-how and to implement innovations quickly. These tools for machine vision professionals include:
  • Unique tools – premium tools for applications that are not available elsewhere
  • Search and read
  • 3D analysis
  • Recording
  • Surface inspection 
  • Colour processing
MVTec MERLIC is an all-in-one tool for quickly building machine vision applications with no programming requirement. The PC-based complete software solution features an image- centric user interface, intuitively guiding the user through the application.

The NEON-1021 features 2MP global shutter image sensors. A built-in PWM lighting control module eliminates the need for additional lighting controller equipment, reducing total cost of ownership. Optimized I/O includes one additional slave GigE Vision camera connection, 4x isolated input, 4x isolated output, and VGA output for maximized integration with external devices. Rugged construction with IP67-rated housing and M12 connectors enables the camera to withstand the harshest industrial environments 

@stemmerimaging  #PAuto @ADLINK_Tech