Automation 4.0

Flexible control technology for smart factories

Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, digitalization and smart factory – these are the keywords that are everywhere and are signaling a change in industrial machine and system manufacturing. Regardless of the exact definition of the term, all approaches have one goal: to produce a lot size of 1 in the same quality as larger quantities – this at a competitive price. 

 

Modern control technology, connectivity and efficient big data handling are success factors on your way to machine and system concepts. Which data helps to optimize the production process, where is the data analyzed, which algorithms and rules apply to refine them. Smart factories offer numerous opportunities and new, digital business models - on the way, however, there are many challenges to meet.

 

The digital factory is calling: Flexibly implementable machines, big data handling and global connectivity is in demand.

The digital factory is calling: Flexibly implementable machines, big data handling and global connectivity is in demand.

As an automation partner, we support you in this challenge which extends far beyond the current understanding of machine control. In addition to sequence and process control, including motion control and Safety, a wide range of data must be collected for higher level systems and delivered promptly as well as safely. Of course, as a manufacturer of complete automation solutions ourselves, we cannot provide finished 4.0 systems. Our extremely compact, modular and scalable control architecture however, supports future-oriented machine and system concepts. This is where our extensive machine and application know-how comes in. 

Modular, open and future proof

Following The "Internet of Things" approach, we focus on distributed intelligences in our automation solutions, which enable modularization of the machine. The application is divided into functional units, which are equipped with the appropriate computing power. Each CPU controls a clear function unit in the machine and exchanges information with the neighboring controllers as required. For you as the machine manufacturer, this has the advantage that no computing power in "fat PLCs" must be reserved.

Intelligent sensors combined with modern control systems make it possible to collect or monitor condition data from components, machines and systems in real time (condition monitoring). Examples of this are vibration, temperature or power. Predictive maintenance uses these data to predict the development of the machine condition and plan service intervals. For you, as the machine manufacturer, this opens new service business fields. The S-DIAS control system provides modules for measuring energy consumption, currentvoltagetemperature and vibration. For the connection of smart sensors, we provide with the IO 011 a module with SDCI master interfaces (I/O link).

With OPC UA, process data can be exchanged independently of the platform and manufacturer. OPC UA has already established itself as an international standard for communication 4.0. An efficient solution for horizontal M2M, as well as vertical communication between the machine or system with the office and control level (MES, ERP, SCADA), or to the cloud is therewith provided. With SIGMATEK systems, the OPC UA client as well as the server function can be implemented very easily.

 

The connection to private networks or cloud services such as those offered by Cisco, Microsoft Azur or amazon web services for example, can be made via OPC UA or other standardized message-based communication protocols such as AMQP (Advanced Message Queueing Protocol) or MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport).

The networking of machines and systems, remote maintenance and software updates via Internet, as well as data exchange with MES or ERP systems up to cloud communication place increasingly higher demands on data security in the production process. Here, SSL encryption via VPN ensures the required data security. We have VPN tunneling integrated into our control system; up to the programming port.

 

At SIGMATEK, Safety is seamlessly integrated into the control system. The Safety- oriented data can be exchanged via the system bus, as well as Ethernet TCP/IP networks and even over WLAN. For this purpose, the black channel principle is used.

The demands that networked, digital production makes on machines and systems is connected with increasing complexity. In the future, the software will therefore gain weight. To implement complex applications so simple that anyone can operate them, provides a decisive added value according to the easy2use approach. The object-oriented all-inone engineering Tool LASAL supports you with flexibly designed concepts – in all project phases.

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