A Look at Hannover Messe Digital Days

A Look at Hannover Messe Digital Days

Photo courtesy of Deutsche Messe.

Early October brought the next collection of training and technology seminars from Hannover Messe Digital Days including some interesting conversations on predictive maintenance and advancements in material handling. Here’s some highlights:

Mitsubishi Electric Examines the Evolution of Predictive Maintenance

In one of the many informative Hannover Messe Digital Days presentations held during Hannover Messe’s Digital Days event in October, Mitsubishi Electric took a deep dive into predictive maintenance (PM).

“PM is not only a technique that uses condition-based monitoring practices and advanced analytic models to monitor the performance of equipment during normal operation to predict failures and recommend maintenance interventions when required,” said Boima Morray, senior director of marketing at Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. “It’s the best way to look at maintenance.”

Early on, reactive maintenance was the norm where technicians would simply “wait” for the equipment to breakdown and take the necessary measures to get the equipment up and running again. Preventive maintenance then became popular as maintenance professionals began scheduling regular equipment checks on the shop floor, performing health assessments and determining when the equipment might breakdown.

There were some key disadvantages to this approach, according to Morray. “Performing maintenance checks on equipment that showed no signs of failure meant increased time periods where the plant would have to shut down. While equipment failures will happen, there needs to be a system in place where you can address the issue immediately and make sure your operation is up and running.”

Predictive maintenance uses analytics to predict and address equipment failures before they occur. A huge change from reactive maintenance philosophies. Data collection, data storage, data analytics, corrective measures, and resolution are all PM tools used today.

The caveat—of course—is the costs associated with this amount of analytics. Morray said that PM requires massive amounts of data that need to be sorted. Maintenance professionals need to able to monitor equipment in real-time, collect and analyze the data and recommend a corrective measure to schedule a maintenance before the failure occurs.

One example was examining the gears and motors in a robotic arm. While reactive and preventative maintenance will work on this application only predictive maintenance will address environmental concerns, gear strength, motor temperatures, humidity, etc. using real-time analytics—putting the “smart” in smart manufacturing.

An initial higher cost to implement PM tools on the shop floor will lead to a significant cost savings down the road as PM lowers maintenance costs, extends equipment life, reduces operation downtime, increases productivity, etc. Zero-planned downtime can be achieved with the right program.

As condition monitoring and predictive maintenance evolve so will the personnel on the shop floor. The skills and tools needed to coordinate and resolve potential machine failures will require data engineering—the ability to understand the data provided and plan corrective measures in a timely manner. “A higher skillset will be needed in the future, for sure,” Morray said. “Engineers will need the ability to identify and manage connected products, machine learning fundamentals and big data analytics. The toolbox is simply getting bigger allowing maintenance personnel to predict failures before they occur.”


Faster, Smaller and Smarter Material Handling with Beckhoff Automation

Jeff Johnson, mechatronics product manager at Beckhoff Automation, examined how engineers and plant operations managers need motor and drive technologies that provide greater functionality using less space today.

His presentation included information on the company’s eXtended Transport System (XTS). These dynamic mechatronic systems offer the flexibility and scalability that systems in many industries require, such as for complex assembly lines, material handling and distribution, packaging machines, high-throughput filling lines and more. Although linear transport systems are becoming far more integrated with machines, other emerging technologies can boost performance, increase uptime and speed up changeovers. These include new servomotor and drive systems, high-powered Industrial PCs, gigabit communication via EtherCAT G and one-cable automation via EtherCAT P. Johnson discussed how these technologies can reduce maintenance and increase overall efficiency in motion control applications.

The linear transport system XTS unites the benefits of rotary and linear systems. XTS is a mechatronic system containing all functions necessary for operation: a modular, fully integrated linear motor with power electronics and position measurement in a single device, a mover as a moved part and a mechanical guide rail. The most diverse applications can be realized with these few coordinated components. The desired geometries, lengths and radii are formed by the number and choice of the components. XTS enables individual product transport with a continuous flow of material. Due to the low construction volume, the energy efficiency can be improved and the size of a machine can be significantly reduced.

The motor modules of the new XTS Black Line supplement the existing product range by variants without holes in the upper profiles of the motor module. The motor modules in the XTS Black Line are intended for use with guide rails that are not screwed onto the modules.

Straight and curved motor modules can be combined with each other and also with standard modules as desired. The Black Line motor modules are easier to clean because there are no holes in the upper profile. The XTS Black Line motor modules from Beckhoff are ideal for combination with the GFX Guidance System from Hepco. The smooth upper profiles of the motor modules without mounting holes enhance cleanability.

Additionally, the fully encapsulated mechatronic transport system, XTS Hygienic combines the advantages of rotary and linear drive systems for demanding environmental conditions. The stainless-steel version of the XTS linear transport system (with IP 69K protection rating) provides all functions required for system operation:

  • modular, fully integrated linear motor combines power electronics and position feedback in a single component
  • multiple movers used as moved parts for controlling the material flow
  • mechanical guide rails for configuration of any desired geometry

With this matching set of only a few components, the most diverse applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries can be realized. All surfaces are chemically resistant and provide ease of cleaning. A system implementation with XTS Hygienic offers hygienic design without any hidden edges or undercuts. All components are sealed at the joints with a high-quality elastic material and enable high-pressure washdown. As a result, the XTS Hygienic corresponds to the EHEDG recommendations. Due to the reduced construction volume of the XTS components, users benefit from a smaller machine footprint in a clear layout providing ease of maintenance. Learn more here: (https://www.beckhoff.com/XTS/)

April 2021

Hannover Messe will return—hopefully live and in-person—April 12-16 2021.

The show will provide all exhibitors with the package that suits them best, from an analog exhibit to hybrid combinations to a purely virtual presence. The exhibitor decides how he/she wants to participate in the show during the pandemic.

“Our exhibitors often tell us it is almost impossible to reach new customers without trade shows. They need a fixed date in the calendar when people come together to find innovation and orientation,” explained Dr. Jochen Köckler, chairman of the managing board, Deutsche Messe AG. “That is the DNA of the Hannover Messe brand and it is a promise it will honor in 2021 – analog, digital and hybrid.”

For exhibitors and visitors who are unable to travel, Hannover Messe offers new options in the digital space. For example, online streaming studios and hybrid formats combine the physical exhibition hall with the virtual realm. “In addition to our expertise staging trade fairs, we also have digital know-how, which we demonstrated this year with the Hannover Messe Digital Days,” stated Köckler.


Categories: Editors Choice

About Author

Matthew Jaster

Matthew Jaster, Senior Editor, has a B.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago and has 15+ years of writing and editing experience in automotive, manufacturing, engineering, law and arts and entertainment.

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