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ABB drives standard for automation and future-proofed IIoT architectures

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Just as HTML spurred growth of the Web, the new Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture (OPC UA) interoperability standard will enable industrial players to unlock the full potential of Industry 4.0.

In an announcement published today by the OPC Foundation, the organization states its vision of becoming the worldwide industrial interoperability standard. This seamless IIoT communication standard, called Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture will apply for all levels of industrial automation. Combined with Time Sensitive Networking (OPC UA over TSN) it will be able to replace a myriad of different fieldbus systems. Forecasting the end of disparate protocols, it will enable devices from different vendors to talk to each other – from the field level to the controller level all the way to the cloud.

ABB is committed to support the industry-wide adoption of OPC UA over TSN. At the vanguard of driving interoperability in industrial automation, ABB and B&R – the acquired and integrated solutions provider for machine and factory automation – have played a pivotal role in bringing together industry stakeholders to establish an open standards based communication for Industrial IoT. Additionally, ABB will take up a designated seat on the board of the OPC Foundation in 2019 to further help accelerate development of the new technology.

As OPC UA over TSN is vendor neutral, customers will no longer see their efforts complicated by incompatible protocols or proprietary ecosystems. This will facilitate integration and spur innovation – an imperative as the Fourth Industrial Revolution accelerates digitalization via the interconnection of billions of smart devices worldwide.

“ABB has long been a pioneer within the automation industry developing leading-edge technologies to deliver solutions to some of industry’s greatest challenges,” said Peter Terwiesch, President, ABB Industrial Automation Division. “That we have taken a leading role in reaching this historic milestone for open standards and interoperability in industrial automation, which will see major dividends for both customers and suppliers alike, is further testament to our commitment, expertise and vision to unlock the full potential of Industry 4.0.”

Adoption of the OPC UA over TSN standard will allow companies to leverage the benefits of multi-vendor, peer-to-peer communications and control between sensors, control devices, programmable logic controllers and distributed control systems without the need for costly and time-consuming software development and cumbersome gateways and bridges.

“Customers across the industrial landscape will no longer be bound to suppliers based on the communications protocol used,” said Bernhard Eschermann, CTO, ABB Industrial Automation Division and designated board member of OPC Foundation. “Adoption of the new standard will open up cross-industry collaboration and encourage partnerships driven by what creates the most value for customers.”

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Drive systems

Optimas Solutions licensed to manufacture Phillips Drive Systems

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Optimas Solutions, a leading full service provider of fasteners and c-class components, is licensed by The Phillips Screw Company to manufacture a number of its innovative drive systems. This further reinforces Optimas’ commitment to producing advanced, reliable high-quality fastening solutions for challenging industrial applications.

In addition to managing a global network of high-quality suppliers, Optimas also has its own manufacturing capabilities. These enable Optimas to react quickly to unexpected product and component demands, thus supporting its customers with a flexible supply chain. Optimas’ manufacturing facilities specialise in cold forming and offer a wide range of services, from design and prototype testing to full-scale production of highly-specialised components.

As part of Optimas’ ongoing commitment to providing high-quality fasteners, the company holds manufacturing license agreements with The Phillips Screw Company. Optimas’ manufacturing sites, located in Wood Dale, IL, U.S., and Droitwich, UK, are licensed to produce PHILLIPS SQUARE-DRIV®, ACR® PHILLIPS II®, MORTORQ® Super and External MORTORQ® Super drive systems for automotive and heavy industrial applications.

Phillips Screw Company is the inventor of the original 1930s’ Phillips® drive system and continues to develop innovative, high-quality fastening solutions such as MORTORQ® Super high strength spiral drive and External MORTORQ® Super bolting systems. These are a family of products that, thanks to their long product lives, are used in challenging environments.  MORTORQ® spiral drive products feature high torque control which is achieved by providing a greater contact surface area between the driving tool and fastener head.

Phillips’ quality monitoring programme guarantees that only manufacturers that can deliver consistent precision and reliability are issued with a license to manufacture these drive systems. Within Phillips’ exclusive global network of less than 100 manufacturers, Optimas is licensed in both the US and UK.

Mike Mowins, President of Global Licencing at Phillips, commented: “Optimas has been a licensed manufacturer for many years, and this relationship has been highly advantageous for both parties. The numerous certifications and quality standards that Optimas adhere to attest to the quality of the components manufactured. These include ISO9001, ISO14001, OHSAS 18001 and the latest VDA 6.2 and IATF 16949.”

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Drive systems

Drives for pallet conveyor technology

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Pallet conveyor technology primarily requires economical drive solutions with high overload capacity. NORD DRIVESYSTEMS supplies optimally matched, individually configurable and flexible drive technology which reduces the number of versions and minimises costs, especially for transporting pallets and cage pallets with roller or chain conveyors.

For simple pallet conveyor technology applications, NORD has developed an efficient drive combination consisting of an asynchronous motor and a NORDAC BASE frequency inverter. This drive solution is specially tailored to the requirements of pallet conveyor technology and provides dependable technology with a robust design. It can be combined with all NORD geared motors and can be flexibly extended according to requirements, or the customer’s specifications. Standardisation results in a reduction of the number of versions. This considerably reduces stocks of spare parts, optimises maintenance and saves costs in the sense of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).

The three-phase asynchronous motors provide powers up to 1.5 kW and feature high overload capacity, solid workmanship and a long service life. The frequency inverters are installed close to the motor and are equipped with an integrated PLC. The freely programmable PLC processes the data from sensors and actuators, provides diagnostic options and communicates with the higher level controller. A pre-installed software for control, parameterisation and diagnosis is configured for the special drive requirements of pallet conveyor technology.

The drive units can be integrated into all common bus systems. The AS interface or I/O interface are especially suitable as a simple and cost oriented solution for communication in pallet conveyor technology. A different bus system can be used without any problems if there are more sophisticated requirements.

Dependable, flexible, robust and service and maintenance friendly – with the combination of an asynchronous motor and the NORDAC BASE, NORD has created an application oriented drive solution for pallet conveyor technology.

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Drive systems

Communication 4.0 in Mauerstetten

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Mayr power transmission celebrates the roofing ceremony for its new Communications Centre “mayr.com”

The dry weather made it possible: Work is currently being conducted at great speed on the construction site of the new Communications Centre for Mayr power transmission in Mauerstetten. And therefore the building owners and the executive companies were able to celebrate the roofing ceremony last Thursday. As planned, the modern, round construction is to be closed off and sealed before the winter.  

3,100 cubic metres of concrete, 400 tonnes of construction steel, 3,540 square metres of useful building area and a 50 metre-long tunnel as the connection to the existing company building – the shell construction of the new Communications Centre by Mayr power transmission in Mauerstetten has been completed. This also makes the impressive extent of the modern, architecturally-challenging round building complex palpable. It is already clear that this is going to be a special construction. In future, a generously-sized reception and conference area will be located here, as well as additional office space. In this way, mayr.com is to become the new, representative centre of the company for communications, customer support as well as training and further training, which will radiate far beyond Mauerstetten. Conferences, seminars and cultural events are to be held here.  

Praise for the hard work and commitment of all involved

After the first eight months of construction time, all work is still running according to schedule. That’s reason enough to celebrate. Therefore, the roofing ceremony finally took place last Thursday in the presence of numerous representatives of the companies involved in the construction.   

Standing on the balcony of the new building, Site Manager Sigi Socher from the construction company Kreuzer spoke the traditional roofing ceremony verses and blessing to the guests attending the event. CEO Günther Klingler honoured the hard work and the commitment of all those involved.

“During the construction phase, in particular the digging of the tunnel on the Bahnhofstraße, some difficult working steps and working techniques had to be applied which weren’t a matter of course even for the construction specialists. And the statics of the construction have also been a real challenge. Due to the committed work by the Planning Team headed by architects from the Architectural Office Hirner and Riehl from Munich as well as employees from the companies Kreuzer and Xaver Schmid, all deadlines have been complied with so far”.

mayr.com – Communications with perspective

The name of the new Communications Centre “mayr.com“ creates a direct reference to the brand or the company mayr®, and the abbreviation “.com” (which stands for “communication”) describes the core function of the building. At the same time, the name networks the different media via the Internet address of the same name, www.mayr.com. Networking is also the keyword for the challenges of the Industry 4.0. This concerns the networking of products, machines, processes – and also of people. “Today, communications are becoming increasingly important to us”, explains Ferdinand Mayr, a member of the Management. “This new building also represents this fact. Here, for example, we will in future communicate with customers and partners, trainees, students and also our own employees. Further training is an investment in the future when one considers the rapidly changing requirements and markets. With our new Communications Centre, we can secure our competitiveness and strengthen our competence at the Mauerstetten Headquarters. We are equipping ourselves for the future”.   The mayr.com is to be completed during the course of the coming year, so that staff can move into it in the summer.

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