#HM17 Robotics inspiration from elephants, octopuses and the human arm!

Festo has unveiled three new lightweight robotic concepts for handling with pneumatics, working in collaboration with humans.

While the BionicCobot is inspired by the natural movement of the human arm, the BionicMotionRobot is inspired by the way elephant trunks or octopus tentacles move, and the way they wrap around objects was the inspiration behind the OctopusGripper. All three projects show what hazard-free, direct human-robot collaboration could look like in future and are among the future-oriented concepts that Festo’s Bionic Learning Network are showcasing at the Hannover Messe 2017 trade fair.

The strict separation between the tasks of humans and those of robots is now making way for a more collaborative working space. The latest bionic lightweight robots from Festo are ideally suited for safe human-robot collaboration due to their natural movement patterns and their inherently compliant pneumatics. Festo believes that the evolution of these lightweight cobots demonstrates a new, cost-efficient alternative to classic robot concepts for the future.

BionicCobot – a pneumatic lightweight robot with nature-inspired human movements

The movement patterns of the BionicCobot are modelled on those of the human arm, from the shoulder via the upper arm, elbow, radius and ulna down to its gripping hand. Each of its seven joints uses precision-controlled closed loop pneumatics to emulate the natural operating mechanism of the biceps and triceps – the efficient interplay of flexor and extensor muscles. The BionicCobot can thus execute very delicate movements, just like its biological model.

The movements of the BionicCobot can be finely regulated so as to be either powerful and dynamic, or sensitive and yielding; the system therefore avoids endangering humans, even in the case of a collision. This is made possible by the “Festo Motion Terminal”, a new pneumatic automation platform that unites high-precision mechanics, sensors and complex control and measuring technology within a very small space.

Depending on the task to be carried out, the BionicCobot can be fitted with different gripping systems. It is intuitively operated by means of a specially developed graphic user interface: the user can teach the BionicCobot the actions to be performed and parametrise them. The defined work steps can then be transferred by drag-and-drop to a sequencer track for implementation in any desired order. The entire movement sequence is virtually depicted and simultaneously simulated. The interface between the tablet and the Festo Motion Terminal is the ROS (robot operating system) platform, on which the kinematic path planning is calculated.

BionicMotionRobot – a lightweight robot with natural forms of movement

An elephant’s trunk and an octopus’s tentacles can move in a highly flexible way. The BionicMotionRobot effortlessly emulates these fluent movement patterns with its flexible pneumatic bellows structure and corresponding valve and control technology. The concept of inherently flexible kinematics is derived from an earlier Festo Bionic project, the Bionic Handling Assistant from 2010. A new type of outer skin made from a 3D textile knitted fabric now enables the BionicMotionRobot to fully deploy the force potential of the entire kinematic system. The bionic robot arm has a very impressive weight to payload ratio with a loadbearing capacity of almost three kilograms – with around the same net weight.

OctopusGripper – gripping modelled on the octopus’s tentacles

With the OctopusGripper, Festo is presenting a bionic gripper based on the octopus’s tentacles. It consists of a soft silicone structure that can be pneumatically controlled. If compressed air is applied to it, the tentacle bends inwards and can wrap around the object being gripped in a form-fitting and gentle manner. Just as with its natural counterpart, two rows of actively and passively controlled suction cups are arranged on the inside of the silicone tentacle. This enables the OctopusGripper to pick up and hold a large number of differently shaped objects. The flexible gripper has a wide range of possible applications in combination with the BionicMotionRobot and the BionicCobot, and the Festo Motion Terminal controls and regulates both the robot arms and the gripper. Thanks to its soft, inherently flexible structure, the OctopusGripper has great potential for use in collaborative working spaces in the future.

The Bionic Learning Network

Over ten years ago, Festo initiated the Bionic Learning Network, which is closely linked with the processes of innovation within the company. In cooperation with students, renowned universities, institutes and development companies, Festo sponsors projects, testbeds and technology platforms. The objective is to benefit from bionics as a source of inspiration for new technologies and to realise these in industrial automation.

@FestoAG #PAuto  #Robotics
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#HM17 Bridging the OT/IT Gap.

Opto 22 and Dell are exhibiting jointly at the Hannover Messe (24–28 April Hall 8 Stand F31). Products from both companies will be showcased, demonstrating how to integrate and deliver edge computing applications and connect real-world signals and industrial “things” to the digital world of information technology, mobile, and cloud computing.

Delivering Cohesive IIoT Solutions
groov_Logo-RGB-groov.com_x2Converging Operations Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) is a critical stumbling block for many industrial IoT applications. As a Dell IoT Partner Program member, Opto 22 is uniquely positioned in the market to deliver a complementary product solution for connecting real-world electrical devices and signals to Dell’s advanced Edge Gateway line of products. The two companies provide a cohesive solution to bridge the cultural and technology gap between OT and IT.

This combination fuses together an industrially rugged hardware platform, data visualization for mobile and web clients, robust industrial automation protocol support including Modbus/TCP andnOPC UA, and advanced data flow processing through software development environments Node-RED. Combined with the ability to connect multiple data sources including devices, databases, and third-party APIs (application program interfaces), Opto 22 and Dell deliver a single, cohesive, cost-effective, and powerful platform for nearly any IoT or edge computing application.

imgres“We’re excited to exhibit at Hannover Messe with our IoT Solutions Partner, Opto 22, and showcase solutions that provide secure manageability and analytics for edge computing,” said Jason Shepherd, Director of IoT Strategy and Partnerships, Dell. “Working closely with our partners is critical to reducing the fragmentation in the IoT market today.”

Going the Last Mile
Connecting existing industrial assets to IT systems requires translating the electrical signals (voltage and current) in the physical world to the bits and bytes of the digital world. Opto 22, respected worldwide for its 43-year history of product quality and innovation, manufactures the I/O and controllers that translate signals on that “last mile” of the data route.

Designed on open standards and built for harsh industrial environments, Opto 22’s SNAP PAC System integrates hardware and software for industrial Internet of Things, industrial control, remote monitoring, and data acquisition applications. Designed to simplify the typically complex process of understanding, selecting, buying, and applying an automation system, the SNAP PAC System consists of these integrated components:
• SNAP I/O™—analog, digital, and serial I/O modules for wiring directly to field devices, machines, and sensors. Wide variety of signal types; 1 to 32 I/O points per module; most I/O modules are guaranteed for life.
• SNAP PAC brains—intelligent I/O processors for distributed control on Ethernet and serial networks
• SNAP PAC controllers—standalone or rack-mounted industrial controllers with networking options and a RESTful API, or a software-based controller
• PAC Project™ Software Suite—easy-to-use flowchart-based control programming, HMI (human-machine interface) development and runtime, plus optional OPC server, database connectivity software, and software-based controller for PC-based control
• groov—an easy-to-use tool for building and using custom mobile operator interfaces and system dashboards to monitor and control systems and equipment from any web-enabled device.

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#HM17 Delta’s high-calibre solutions for smart manufacturing & energy efficiency. .

Delta’s expanded and strengthened portfolio of state-of-the-art solutions, capable of realizing smart manufacturing and higher energy efficiency in a broad range of applications, will be featured at Hannover Messe 2017 (April 24 to 28).

DELTA_IA-3G_DX-2000_Series_20160729.jpg_ico500Delta will present a live demo of the newly-launched Integrated IIot, Automation and Robot Workstation, featuring 6-axis articulated robot solutions with advanced machine vision system and the new Manufacturing Execution System (MES) linked to a cloud platform as a comprehensive model of Delta’s unique capabilities in integrating state-of-the-art hardware and software for smart manufacturing.

For realizing smart and green buildings, Delta will also demonstrate its Building Management & Control System (BMCS) and the Delta Energy Online platform. The former enables intelligent and complete control of buildings and their respective sub-systems (HVAC, lighting, solar PV systems, etc.) as it is uniquely compatible with protocols commonly used in buildings. The integration of these systems and other energy-saving solutions by Delta enable our company’s own renovated HQs building for the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region, to be inaugurated on April 18, 2017, to achieve up to 30% annual energy savings.

Other key highlights from our showcase will also include fast and convenient DC and AC EV chargers supported by our very own Site Management System (SMS), high-efficiency renewable energy solutions and energy storage technology, UPS systems, complete power infrastructure for telecommunications, our newest wireless charging for industrial vehicles, display & monitoring technology, and a wide spectrum of power and thermal management components.

@DeltaEMEA #PAuto
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#HM17 Making equipment manufacturers future-proof.

COPA-DATA will show how the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) can be a worthwhile business area for modern machine builders. The technological interaction between zenon, the COPA-DATA software system for industrial automation, and the Microsoft Azure cloud platform will be shown in a live demo with the internationally-active equipment manufacturer KHS at the Microsoft booth in Hall 7, Booth C40.


Phillip Schmidt

Visitors can get to see the integration of zenon in the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and get an idea of how, in just one system, it is possible to access all data from a company’s individual machines, production lines or complete production sites. Thanks to the high connectivity of zenon, this is possible in a heterogeneous production environment. The comparison of different production sites using zenon is also available now.

Additional services such as predictive analysis, machine learning, cross-site reporting, remote maintenance and control can be fully cloud-based and also implemented in hybrid scenarios. In doing so, the zenon Azure Process Gateway ensures secure and loss-free data communication to the Azure service IoT Hub. For a high-performance design of the different applications, COPA-DATA’s IIoT solutions also use further Azure services such as Stream Analytics, Azure Machine Learning and Azure SQL.

“Our zenon software allows, in conjunction with Microsoft Azure, various IIoT applications. At our booth, we will show you how our customer KHS benefits from this technological interaction,” explained Philipp Schmidt, Head of Innovation Management at COPA-DATA. “In combination with the learning algorithms from our partner Resolto, it is possible, for example, to read the wear, its condition, and information about predictive maintenance of the machines in zenon. This benefits both the equipment manufacturer and the operator of these machines and is a significant step towards a smart factory.”

Use machines and equipment more efficiently

The manufacturer of filling and packaging equipment, KHS, uses zenon as standard as its software to control and visualize its machines. At the Microsoft booth C40 in Hall 7, KHS and COPA-DATA will work together to show how machines can be better maintained on the basis of newly-analyzed status data and thus how they can be used more efficiently. Wear can be detected early, for example, with the help of data analytics.

“We are showing our ability to innovate with this showcase,” explained Karsten Vollmer, Innovation Manager from the Technology Management Central Division at KHS. “Our filling and packaging systems are at the highest technical level and run around the clock throughout the world.

“An important next step in the direction of IoT for our customers is also secure networking of the machine operation (HMI) in cloud-based architectures. New cloud technologies joined with the connectivity of zenon offer us the basis for the development of new business models as well as comprehensive enhancement of existing products on offer. Furthermore, our customers can operate their plants even more efficiently as a result of the findings from machine learning.”

@copadata #PAuto
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#HM17 Softing providing direct access to Siemens controllers.

Softing will be presenting a new version of its dataFEED OPC Suite at Hannover Messe. End users will be offered a whole series of new functions intended to help save time and costs while ensuring error-free system integration.

dataFEED_OPC_Suite_block_access_cmyk_300dpi_EN.jpg_ico500The most important new feature in the dataFEED OPC Suite is the possibility of using direct data access with “optimized block access” in Siemens controllers. Users also gain direct symbolic data access to Siemens SIMATIC S7-1200 and S7-1500 controllers.

As a second new feature, dataFEED OPC Suite now also supports the Siemens S7-2 protocol, which enables symbol information to be read directly from the controller. The symbol import or time-consuming manual data point configuration previously required is no longer needed. OPC client applications also receive information about symbolic addressing via the OPC server or OPC UA server integrated into the dataFEED OPC Suite. As a result, data points for the respective data blocks can now be accessed using symbolic names.

Last but not least, there is also a new version of the dataFEED Exporter, which can be used for the direct export of symbols from a Siemens TIA Portal V14 project and their subsequent import into the OPC Suite. Apart from current Siemens controllers, dataFEED Exporter 1.10 also supports older controller types such as the SIMATIC S7-300/-400.

Andreas Roeck, Product Manager at Softing Industrial: “With the new version of the dataFEED OPC Suite and dataFEED Exporter, our customers now have an easy-to-use, integrated solution for high-performance access to the complete family of Siemens SIMATIC S7 controllers. This makes data integration simple and reliable for a wide range of applications – even in complex systems.”

Softing’s dataFEED OPC Suite combines a full package of components for OPC and IoT cloud communication within a single product. The integrated MQTT gateway enables easy integration of legacy and new controllers into IoT cloud solutions such as Microsoft Azure or IBM Bluemix. A state-of-the-art user interface with intelligent, practice-oriented default settings and intuitive user guidance gives system engineers and end customers a quick, straightforward and future-proof approach to implementing data integration solutions with datafeed OPC Suite.

Visit Softing Industrial at Hannover Messe, April 24 to 28, 2017, Hall 8, Stand E20.

@SoftingIA #PAuto
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#HM17 Baumüller presents networked automation solutions.

Baumüller will be displaying its exhibits in line with the guiding theme of the trade fair “Integrated Industry – Creating Value” at Hannover from April 24-28, 2017 (Hall 14). The visitors will experience the added value of Industry 4.0 solutions based on numerous features for smart production: from an integrated system for predictive maintenance to the web-capable visualization for quick commissioning and flexible adaptations in the production process.

baumueller_hm17Produce flexibly thanks to maximum networking
Two networked material handling and robot systems at the trade fair stand will show how production is optimized through networking. The palletizing process of the 3-axle material handling system and the welding of the robot occurs in one process. The communication occurs via a Euromap 67 interface. Both systems are complete solutions from Baumüller, from the control software to the drive. Baumüller thus shows how machine modules can be optimally automated for the production process and also flexibly automated depending on the application. The individual modules can easily be combined to form complete machines and systems or also integrated into new or existing systems.

In the system area, the focus is on component developments as well as innovations in software and visualization. Standardized databases, a wide range of field buses and open interfaces are the basis for flexible and efficient communication and networking. With the software modules from Baumüller, mechanical engineers and machine users benefit from pre-programmed comprehensive features, which simplify the commissioning of Baumüller considerably and thus help achieve a faster time-to-market and high level of error security. The modules can easily be incorporated in the programming interface of the respective control unit so that there is not any additional programming work.

Visitors can convince themselves of the intuitive operation of the Baumüller visualization and the advantages of web capability directly at the exhibits. The user can then conveniently access the visualization of the production data on a smartphone or tablet whenever needed.

In the service area, Baumüller offers networking via sensor-based machine monitoring that can be coupled by machinery manufacturers or users with different service models. The condition monitoring system improves the availability of machines and reduces the costs for service and maintenance. This solution is also presented at the trade fair booth as part of the overall package.

#PAuto @BM_Services #Baumüller
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#HM17 “HARTING@Hannover Messe: a strong connection for 70 years”

“Ice cream, bananas and cake!”

An impressive anniversary will be celebrated at this year’s Hannover Messe (24 April to 28 April 2017, Hall 11, Stand C15). Long since the world’s biggest industry trade show, Hannover Messe will be exactly 70 years old this year. And the Harting Technology Group has good reason to join the celebrations, too: this family owned and family managed company is among the handful of exhibitors who have made the journey to the capital of Lower Saxony every single year since 1947. Hanover is highly significant to Harting for many different reasons.

The company’s attendance at this year’s fair comes under the banner “HARTING@Hannover Messe: a strong connection for 70 years”. The Group sees itself as a pioneering force for digital transformation, offering yet more innovative Integrated Industry products and solutions this year, too. “Integrated Industry creates value. At this year’s Hannover Messe, we will be demonstrating how Harting products and solutions can make a real contribution to delivering increased customer benefit”, says CEO Philip Harting.

How the partnership began in 1947


Hannover 1947

Back then, company founder Wilhelm Harting was not to know that, by 2017, his grandchildren Philip and Maresa Harting would be the head of a Technology Group employing 4,300 people – the third generation taking the company forward since1945.

When “Wilhelm Harting Mechanische Werkstätten” opened 1945 its doors in Minden, Wilhelm Harting was on the lookout for customers for his new business – initially successful for its electric fences, hotplates, energy-saving lights and irons. “He was looking to strike up a relationship with new customers”, remembers Dietmar Harting, who went along his father and with his brother Jürgen when they were children. Both boys found the “Export Messe” really exciting. “There was ice cream, bananas and cake”, says Dietmar Harting.

The first fair in the summer of 1947 lasted 21 days and was open exclusively to German exhibitors. Around 1,300 companies attended the event in Hanover, which attracted 736,000 visitors and generated export contracts to the tune of nearly 32 million US dollars. Because there were only 180 hotel rooms available, over 10,000 visitors had to stay in private accommodation.


Hannover 2016

As it attended more fairs over the next few years, Harting demonstrated its entrepreneurial vision and feel for technology trends and the needs of customers and markets. The following decade was marked by the production of medical apparatus, tape recorders and jukeboxes. The Han® connector patented in 1956 and the new types of connector that followed marked the beginning of a huge success story, attracting lots of attention to Harting at the fair and confirming its market position. The production of modern cigarette vending machines also made a significant contribution to constantly rising sales. The end of the 1970s marked a new era, with the introduction of internationalisation – the first step towards becoming a global company.

Coming in April, Hannover Messe has been the most important date in the Harting trade fair diary for seven decades now. With a main stand covering 1,600m² and as a partner on several shared stands – as ever –Harting continues to stake its claim as a highly innovative technology company. With complete hardware and software solutions for all applications in the field of industrial connection technology, the company has also developed into a solution provider for Integrated Industry (Industrie 4.0).

Commitment and Recognition
Harting’s commitment to the fair is not limited to its physical presence in the line-up, however. Its strong sense of belonging is also evidenced by Dietmar Harting’s long-term role as Chairman of the Advisory Committee of Hannover Messe and the Construction and Investment Committee of Deutsche Messe AG Hannover, his work with the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Messe AG and, since 2002, his role as its Vice Chairman. Dietmar Harting was awarded the Lower Saxony Service Medal (2004) and the Trade Fair Honorary Gold Medal (2006) for his far-reaching commitment.

@harting #PAuto
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