Hannover Messe 2021: Smart Manufacturing

Hannover Messe 2021: Smart Manufacturing

Robotics, digital tools, automation and artificial intelligence will all play a significant role in the factory of the future. After two days of visiting virtual booths and attending conferences, we begin to see the road map of this technology taking place at Hannover Messe thru smart manufacturing intiatives. Companies like Continental, ALD Vacuum Technologies, Schaeffler, and Bosch Rexroth are using technology to advance PT and motion control components:

Continental Air Actuators with Integrated Sensors Provide Real-Time Operating Analytics

Air springs have been reliable servants in industrial applications for decades: They carry enormous loads, reliably perform lifting movements and highly effectively isolate vibrations in a wide variety of applications and industries.

Now Continental is showing the great potential these inconspicuous components have regarding digitalization of processes and Industry 4.0. This is made possible by Continental’s HPTA sensor, which is offered for many standard air springs.

The abbreviation HPTA describes the physical variables that the sensor is able to measure: Height, Pressure, Temperature and Acceleration. The valuable data collected enables several active and passive applications, opening the door for smarter and more efficient processes as well as additional digital solutions.

The height signal is the appropriate control variable for active and load-independent level control. In addition, all data can be recorded and evaluated as part of continuous condition monitoring. This way, malfunctions are detected as early as possible, unplanned downtimes can be avoided and maintenance costs reduced. The sensor’s measured values can be used to calculate other variables such as vibration amplitudes, vibration frequencies or the weight on the air spring.

Interested parties can find out what advantages air springs with integrated sensor technology offer with the HPTA starter kit: In addition to an air spring with integrated sensor, the case also contains a USB adapter and software including instructions. This allows users to test all sensor functions and try them out in their own environment in order to experience the added value directly on their own equipment. Continental offers technical support for air spring design and sensor integration for the relevant application as part of development projects.


ALD Vacuum Technologies Provides Digital Heat Treating Solutions

Case hardening by low pressure carburizing with high pressure gas quenching is an innovative heat treatment technology for surface hardening of metallic workpieces.

ALD Vacuum Technologies GmbH has bundled its know-how in digital transformation, which has been built up over the years, and brought it to product maturity under the brand ALD EXPERT. Here are some product highlights from the digital exhibition:

The ALD EXPERT ALYZER allows users to take the first step towards digital transformation. In order to be able to implement digitalization or IoT projects successfully and sustainably, it is essential to take a critical look at the added value, payback period and risk at the beginning. This makes it all the more important to provide customers with the best possible support right from the investment phase: From the requirements analysis to the feasibility study, the necessary profitability analysis and the joint development of the specifications, right up to the decision whether or not to implement a project. The assessment packages offer the right support for precisely this purpose. A target-oriented approach to develop the customer’s situation in the best possible way, to almost minimize the investment risk and to achieve payback periods within the year.

The ALD EXPERT EROPTER ensures the intelligent use of the necessary resources at your production site. Through software modules from this product line, we enable you to monitor as well as evaluate defined resources of your choice and thus ensure an optimized use of these. An optimized use of these resources is possible through specific developed algorithms from ALD, paired with an innovative planning tool that can be adapted to any customer environment.

With solutions from the ALD EXPERT EROPTER, you not only ensure resource availability for your production and the associated guarantee of the required product quality and delivery capability, but also enhance considerable cost-saving potential through time- and quantity-optimized use of resources.

The ALD EXPERT SPLORER combines your real production machines/plants with the virtual world and enables you to map the entire life cycle of a plant in a virtual 3D model. Software modules from this product line guarantee a complete and object-related documentation from the design process, over the entire service life of the plant, up to scrapping.

By linking production data or defined key figures for targeted process monitoring with the virtual plant model, efficient maintenance management of all plants is possible. Object-related documentation prevents repetitive errors in maintenance and the closed information flow means that gained knowledge about plant components can be reintroduced into the design process. The ALD EXPERT SPLORER delivers cost and process optimization along the entire life cycle of machines and plants. www.ald-vt.com

Schaeffler Focus on Motion at Hannover Press Event

With the DuraWave RTWH precision strain wave gear by Schaeffler, lightweight robots and cobots work more dynamically and precisely, and can be used in areas of application that require higher speeds, precision and cleanliness levels, as well as increased load-bearing capacity.

At the press event this morning, Schaeffler discussed a variety of new technologies including condition monitoring with OPTIME, strain wave gears for robotics and new opportunities for gearbox components.

Schaeffler offers ready-to-install silk hat-type speed-reduction gears – or “speed reducers”, as they are also known – for use in robot articulated joints. By harnessing the functional principles of strain wave gearing, the RTWH combines high gear ratios – and correspondingly high torques – with relatively lightweight construction. The RTWH precision gearbox developed by Schaeffler is characterized by clearance-free operation, high positioning accuracy, and compactness. It is also very durable and therefore has a long operating life.

A long operating life is a key factor in robots, which need to operate with a maximum of reliability and a minimum of downtime. Depending on their size, Schaeffler’s RTWH gearboxes can deliver reduction ratios of 50:1 to 150:1. The torques resulting from these reductions are transmitted reliably and accurately thanks to the gearbox’s robust construction and the integration of the highly rigid XZU conical thrust cage needle roller bearing. As a result, robots fitted with RTWH gearboxes are highly efficient and able to move through to their end positions dynamically, accurately, and without excessive overshoot. This means they are able to complete sorting, handling, and assembly tasks quickly and efficiently.

Schaeffler is currently examining industrial applications for its gearboxes as well as additional opportunities for its strain wave gears used in robotics.


Hermes Award Goes to Bosch Rexroth

The SVA R2 Subsea Valve Actuator is the world’s first electric actuator that can replace conventional hydraulic cylinders with field-proven safety technology.

The Hermes Award 2021 at Hannover Messe 2021 went to Bosch Rexroth. The company won the prize with the world’s first electrical actuator for controlling process valves under water on April 12th, 2021.

The jury, chaired by Professor Reimund Neugebauer, president of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, selected the product SVA R2 (Subsea Valve Actuator) , which is the world’s first electrical actuator for controlling process valves under water. The SVA R2 offers an energy-efficient and safe alternative to the actuators previously used in offshore oil and gas production. SVA are self-sufficient assemblies with their own fluid circuit and a variable-speed pump drive. The central unit and the kilometers of lines for the fluid are no longer required. This also greatly minimizes environmental risks. The SVA only require a power supply and a data line. A displacement control regulates the flow rate from the speed with almost no loss. This simplifies the construction and increases the energy efficiency significantly.

“Bosch Rexroth is a longtime exhibitor at Hannover Messe and always impresses with its innovations. The winning product is another milestone and stands for high-tech in connection with environmental protection. The company is thus making a major contribution to sustainability, one of the key topics at the Hannover Messe Digital Edition,” says Dr. Jochen Köckler, CEO of Deutsche Messe AG.

Jury chair and Fraunhofer President Professor Neugebauer explains the selection of the winner: “With the SVA R2, the developers at Bosch Rexroth combine economic and ecological aspects into a sustainably innovative product for the maritime process industry: With the Subsea Valve Actuator, existing electrical supply lines for sensors are sufficient for reliable operation of the actuators. The small dimensions and integrated interfaces provide industry with another advantage, because they enable the new actuator to be used and retrofitted in existing systems.”

The Hermes Award is Hannover’s annual international technology prize. It recognizes outstanding products and solutions that have a particularly high level of technological innovation. All companies and institutions that exhibit at Hannover Messe are eligible to compete.

The new SVA R2 Subsea Valve Actuator is the world’s first electric actuator that can replace conventional hydraulic cylinders with field-proven safety technology and without taking up additional space. The integrated electric controller offers precise motion control. Thanks to condition monitoring and a safety spring, the SVA R2 satisfies Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3 in accordance with IEC 61508 and IEC 61511. The use of internationally standardized interfaces throughout means even more standardization in the subsea process industry. The actuator minimizes energy consumption and is geared toward delicate ecosystems. At the same time, the installation and operating costs are reduced. The functions, operating life and safety of the actuator have already been successfully tested in accordance with international standards. When the SVA R2 is used in subsea factories at a depth of up to 4,000 meters, hydraulic pipes or power units are no longer required. The electric supply pipes which are already installed for sensors are adequate to ensure the reliable operation of the actuators.

Up until now, the operators of process systems have mainly relied on hydraulic cylinders in order to open and close subsea valves with a quarter turn and a defined force. With offshore installations, for example for oil and gas production, these cylinders are supplied by a central hydraulic power unit with hydraulic pipes several kilometers in length. This solution uses a great deal of energy in order to compensate for the cumulated losses and it cannot control the movement with precision. To date, plant engineers and operators have still relied on hydraulic cylinders because they are the only components to offer field-proven safety systems with a mechanical spring in a compact design. The electric actuators which are currently available do not have such a safety function as this is not possible given the size and weight requirements. Approaches designed to ensure safety using subsea batteries cannot guarantee the reliable closing of valves over the required operating life of up to 25 years.

For the agile development of the SVA R2, the Bosch Rexroth team worked closely with a number of suppliers and operators of offshore installations, as well as international universities. The new module comprises a pressure-compensated container that contains an electric drive, a motion control system and a safety device – and can replace the hydraulic cylinders previously used on a 1:1 basis. It requires only one cable for the power supply and communication. The SVA R2 is designed to actuate valves reliably with the power supply that is commonly used for subsea sensors. Switching to compact and safe electric actuators means that the hydraulic pipes several kilometers in length along with the associated power units and controllers are no longer required.

The Subsea Valve Actuator is designed for high volume production. The electronics for the motion control system are from the automotive division and offer proven robustness and reliability. The SVA R2 is protected by a number of patents and is designed to operate for 25 years. Bosch Rexroth relies on globally accepted interfaces throughout and supports plant engineers, operators and offshore service providers when standardizing equipment. The actuators for rotary adjustment complement the SVA L2 Subsea Valve Actuator for linear movements, which received the “Spotlight On Technology Award” from the renowned Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) last year.

Bosch Rexroth tests full scale prototypes on a specially built test stand in accordance with the most stringent international standards for subsea applications. Compared to other applications, they set the highest requirements in regards to the functions and safety of the components and modules used. As a result, the SVA R2 is suitable for other applications both below and above water such as hydrogen production, CO2 storage and general applications in the process industry. The first pilot tests are due to start in the third quarter of 2021. (www.boschrexroth-us.com)

Main photo: Hannover Messe 2021 Digital Edition (Courtesy Deutsche Messe).





Categories: Revolutions

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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