Trends in automation technology Trends in automation technology | HBM


Development cycles need to be shortened and costs reduced for companies to remain competitive today. At the same time, raw materials, energy and the workforce are getting more expensive. It is necessary to improve the efficiency of the process without influencing the quality of the product. Automation is the  answer to these numerous challenges. The measurement technology of today needs to get ready for the demands of automation technology tomorrow - from the sensor to the software.

Whether in the test environment, production or service and maintenance - automated sequences ensure added efficiency and lower costs in all areas. The automation of test and production facilities for instance permanently saves money by saving power, using resources more carefully or by improving production sequences and thus product quality.

Systems that are intelligently equipped also help to avoid expensive production downtimes. Automation technology not only makes the service and maintenance of systems easier and faster, it also signals potential risks for production long before they turn into real problems.

High requirements for measurement technology

As a part of automation technology - be it interfaces, data transmission rates or integration capability - measurement technology must meet high requirements in order to keep ahead in this branch. The latest technology is necessary.

Industrial Ethernet is on the advance

The implementation of real time-based Ethernet interfaces, EtherCat and Profinet for instance, provides users with a real jump in performance. Industrial Ethernet is therefore rapidly forging ahead in production automation.

An industrial amplifier also needs to fit seamlessly into this concept. This is why the modular PMX amplifiers from HBM have an Industrial Ethernet connection as standard and are therefore ready for all applicable standards in automation technology.

Monitoring test benches in real time

Users are informed about critical operating states in time through the monitoring of test benches in real time. This reduces downtimes, avoids damage and reduces costs. In addition, self-diagnosis makes handling easier and also draws attention to operating errors and settings outside the specifications.

This however requires precise measurement data that can provide information at all times about the status of the test bench. Torque transducers from HBM, such as the T40B with the EtherCAT interface module TIM-EC, is a solution.  This is a good  example of state-of-the-art measurement technology making efficient automation possible via real time Ethernet.

Software that connects

Automation does not just involve hardware: software is also necessary. One example is the availability of web servers or open program libraries that  permit system integrators to integrate devices into existing system landscapes.

As a practical example devices can be easily integrated in complex test benches with the open command set of the PMX amplifier. The control of all components is implemented via a uniform operator interface. The integrated PMX web server also enables mobile service applications and remote access via network and WLAN.