Today’s schedule is special in that a co-located summit on the IoT is taking place in Room W196-C.
In fact, the IIoT (Industry 4.0) is the hot topic here at IMTS … but unlike other industries still adopting big-data-type connectivity, manufacturing already uses IoT-type functions in myriad real-world examples.
Education and the leveraging of open-source design tools are other topics getting play at IMTS 2016. Case in point: My first visit of yesterday was with Esben Østergaard of Universal Robots, who explained two of his company’s initiatives to make design work easier with (among other things that we’ll cover in a bit) design sharing.
More specifically, one new tool from the company is Universal Robots+ … a library of application solutions to serve as a sort of ecosystem of pre-engineered designs that the company calls URCaps.
These designs include the details of hardware components and software that others have already developed to reduce development time and effort to integrate proven setups.
9.21.2016 Update: Check out this video that Universal Robots assembled on some of the applications displayed at IMTS 2016 incorporating Universal Robots.
- Technology: Collaborative robots and tools for designing workcells
- Manufacturer: Universal Robots
- IMTS 2016 Booth: N-6865
In addition, the company now offers a new free online training resource called Universal Robots Academy — launched at IMTS 2016. Try some of the modules at universal-robots.com/academy.
It’s unprecedented in the industry to make hands-on interactive teaching modules available for free like this with no licensing required.
“We are facing a looming skills gap of two million unfilled manufacturing jobs in the U.S. by 2020. To bridge this gap, we must raise robot literacy — enabling automation solutions to be deployed faster and easier. UR Academy (along with the new app store we call Universal Robots+) is an initiative that we’ve launched to address this,” said Esben Østergaard.
More connectivity and IoT — where it makes sense physically (at connectors)
Yesterday I also got the chance to meet with Jon DeSouza, president and CEO of Harting Inc. of North America, and Vivek R. Davé, Ph.D., director of technology development, and chat about use of the HARTING IIC MICA system for one of the three levels of IoT functionality — that at the edge (sensing, actuating, and execution) level of operations.
The MICA is a suite of connector products with embedded chips for data-processing power — intelligent mini-industrial computers integrated at the connector point to extract relevant data from lots of input. Here’s just one example of a MICA application — in autonomous vehicles:
By the way … if you’re interested in the Global Automation & Manufacturing Summit: Presenters are covering IIoT trends — including cloud-based manufacturing, robotics, and IoT-based maintenance. Here’s the schedule.
Luncheon Keynote: Industrial Internet of Things: Jack Nehlig of Phoenix Contact USA explains his company’s initiatives on the Industrial Internet of Things as an industry supplier and manufacturer.
Cloud-based manufacturing standards: Representatives from GE and Schneider Electric give overview of industry attitudes toward and adoption of IIoT in manufacturing … with a panel discussion of how to meet standards.
Robotics: Rise of the Machines: Mike Jacobs of the Robotics Institute of America (RIA) and Rick VandenBoom of Applied Manufacturing Technologies explain adoption and use of robotics in manufacturing.
How maintenance and Big Data can co-exist: Sal Speda of the ARC Advisory Group — along with Franz Gruber of FORCAM and Aurelio Banda of Beckhoff Automation engage in a panel discussion on maintenance in the age of IIoT. More after the jump.
IIoT development with software
Of course, starting a facility layout from scratch is often the best way to leverage the latest technologies — including IIoT connectivity. At this IMTS, software developer CENIT is showcasing its FASTSUITE Edition 2. This is software that helps engineers with factory automation tasks … from planning to ongoing operation … including a range of production technologies.
Models of technologies and functions interact in a single user interface with a standardized data model (for efficient workflow with full control while preventing data redundancy or information loss). The software works to transfer engineering data or for virtual startup of production systems … and a range of uses in between.
- Technology: Development software for both process and control
- Manufacturer: CENIT
- IMTS 2016 Booth: E-3331
Other manufacturers showing off IoT functions at their booths
Delta Group, is showing examples of smart manufacturing and IoT in industry as well.
- Technology: AC motor drives; AC servo drives; PLCs, industrial PCs and panel PCs; HMIs
- Manufacturer: Delta Group
- IMTS 2016 Booth: E-4338
Attendees may download a free Delta Passport to get access to:
Delta’s newest MH300/MS300 compact AC Motor Drives for Micro Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) applications up to 30 hp. The demo is sequenced by one of the MH300/MS300 built-in PLC’s to highlight its stand-alone control and local I/O capability and is easily connected with Ethernet Modbus and EtherNet/IP.
An Automation Demo that highlights the ability to completely control a machine over EtherCAT and Information connectivity over EtherNet/IP. Attendees will see how a scaled down lean-control system can execute G-Code to do simple shape cutting applications completely with core smart functions. The Advanced Machine Automation Demo will also show how Delta Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is ready through drop-in cloud connectivity devices on 3G wireless.
Delta’s four-axis control with integrated servo drives on a 400-mm SCARA robot — the DRS40L series — in a simulated dispensing application.
“As a leading contributor to the advancement of the global manufacturing industry, Delta is constantly developing new product technology to create architecture level solutions for industrial machinery,” said Bill Faber, Director of Delta Products Corp.’s Industrial Automation Business Group.
“Our IIoT-ready offerings are designed to help manufactures at all stages of the smart manufacturing journey propel themselves and their companies into a new era of connectivity and efficiency.”
Other software and integrated machine-control platforms
The efficiency of CNC machine control development and operation can be improved by replacing traditional systems with an integrated, multifunctional control platform. Traditional systems include logic, machine-specific technologies, point-to-point movement, path-based interpolated movement and visualization, each requiring hardware interface and communication software to work together. With B&R’s integrated solutions, a single software development environment, Automation Studio, running under the same hard real-time operating system on a single processor over deterministic industrial Ethernet, unifies all these functionalities.
The straightforward, standards-based design approach lets OEMs easily and independently implement machine processes on the controller without need for intervention by the control supplier. This benefits both machine builders and users by streamlining engineering, hardware, training and service costs while delivering uncompromising performance, flexibility and scalability. As a result, machine builders can respond to customers’ needs more rapidly while maintaining the integrity of their intellectual property.
The solution is completely scalable with all motion control technology, including, but not limited to, hydraulics, steppers, servos, linear and rotary actuators, and pneumatics. It integrates seamlessly into the machine application, allowing it to be customized for the specific task at hand. The flexible design also makes it simple to integrate robotic control with CNC. Kinematics for various types of robotic control — such as SCARA, delta, articulated, portal and gantry — are supported.
In other news, B&R also introduced a linear-track conveyance system at IMTS 2016 that boosts productivity and flexibility.
- Technology: Linear-track conveyance system and integrated controls for unifying CNC, logic, general motion, robotics, HMI, and safety functions
- Manufacturer: B&R Industrial Automation
- IMTS 2016 Booth: E-4115
B&R is also showing a X20 I/O system bus controller that allows OPC UA communication from sensors to the ERP layer without any interfaces. The company is also showing its modular mapp software components —including new RoboX and mapp Teach modules.
IMTS attendees will also learn more about the SafeDESIGNER library for press applications. B&R is one of the first manufacturers to offer a complete set of the function blocks specified in PLCopen part 4.