Turck Cloud Solutions uses preconfigured data evaluation for industrial tasks, data security and for simple handling in visualizations. The data is transferred directly from Turck’s controller and I/O components to the cloud. For this, Turck is using the Kolibri protocol recently purchased from Beck IPC, which guarantees encrypted communication to the cloud. Users can thus save and evaluate production data in the Turck cloud – either just for monitoring tasks or for optimizing their processes and plants. The benefit compared to other systems is the fact that the relevant data can be simply selected in the controller at the click of a mouse. The cloud user interface can then arrange this data directly in clusters and logically organize it in diagrams and charts without any additional configuration.
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Dialogue between manufacturers and users
Satisfied customers through integration
35 Open Integration partners gathered together at Endress + Hauser in Reinach, Switzerland, to share their experiences and thoughts for the first time. A highlight of the event was a presentation from representatives of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries outlining how they benefit from the partner program during digitalization of their processes – and what they would like to see in the future.
The goal of the Open Integration program initiated by Endress + Hauser can be summed up quickly: the simple, fast and manufacturer-independent integration of components and devices into various automation systems. And, almost more importantly, satisfied customers.
While it sounds simple in theory, when it comes to day-to-day system operation, it’s far from that. Even the most experienced automation specialists have great respect for multi-vendor systems. That also applies to complete solutions “from a single source.” After all, digital communications – a precondition for the extensive use of existing intelligence in field devices and systems – places serious demands on integration.
With its Open Integration partner program, Endress + Hauser is inviting providers of control technology, fieldbus infrastructure, measurement technology and actuator systems to test and document the interaction of their products even more extensively in the interests of their customers. The cooperation partners include Auma Riester, Bürkert, Festo, Flowserve, Hima Paul Hildebrandt, Honeywell Process Solutions, Mitsubishi Electric, Pepperl + Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric and Turck.
Open standards as a basis
The foundation of this effort is open communication standards (Hart, Profibus, Foundation Fieldbus, EtherNet/IP or Profinet), as well as open integration standards (FDT, EDD, FDI). With a nearly unlimited selection of options, the reference topologies represent practical combinations suitable for applications in the chemical, life sciences, food & beverage, oil & gas, power & energy, primaries & metal and water & wastewater industries.
The reference topologies take into account industry-typical requirements such as explosion protection, availability and redundancy. Each topology is thoroughly tested and documented in the lab in Reinach in conjunction with the partners, after which the recommendations are published.
Interoperability tests create added value
And how do customers benefit from the Open Integration partner program? Every problem that the integration experts discover prior to commissioning can be resolved at a much lower cost compared to fixing the issue in the field at some later point. Customers receive concrete, validated recommendations for automating their systems, which go well beyond established conformity and interoperability testing while ensuring seamless integration. Last but not least, they save time and money.
With developments such as IIoT and APL, users will face new challenges, plus integration testing will be given added weight. This makes it even more important for the Open Integration partners to work together over the long term. The participating customer and provider representatives were in full agreement on this point. Cyber security, in addition to the issue of connectivity, will play a key role in the future. They furthermore agreed that effective strategies need to be developed to counter new entrants in the automation industry such as IBM or Amazon.
One thing was clear during the get-together in Reinach in early June: the process control industry wants open, interoperable systems instead of proprietary solutions. One of the users wants uniform, structured access to static information via QR- and RFID-supported type plates in accordance with DIN 91406. Standardized diagnostics in line with NE 107 is also at the top of the wish list.
In the near term, Endress + Hauser wants to work with its partners to address these and other open issues with the aim of utilizing Open Integration to offer customers even more value-add during digitalization of their processes. The common goal: satisfied customers who can extensively utilize the opportunities that digitalization brings with little risk.
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Measuring the Density Factor
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Anticipation of damages
Bilfinger makes high-voltage power safer
Identifying flaws at the earliest possible stage, ensuring quality, and avoiding complaints – this is the purpose of Bilfinger Cable Check. Working in close collaboration with the global chemicals corporation Borealis, the Bilfinger subsidiary Bilfinger Industrial Services Sweden has developed a cable-inspection device used to confirm the quality and purity of the insulating material used in high-voltage cables. This allows the manufacturers of cables and insulating materials to detect impurities or irregularities in the material, thereby reducing the risk of malfunctions.
“With Bilfinger Cable Check, we are making high-voltage power safer. We identify defects before the end product leaves the factory. This significantly reduces the risk of later complaints. Many of these cables later will be laid on the ocean floor, meaning that any malfunctions would end up being very expensive.”
Anders Olsson, Product Manager at Bilfinger Industrial Services Sweden
Cable Check was developed in response to the need for a precise and easy-to-use laboratory device capable of analyzing quality and purity in the production of cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE), a synthetic material used primarily to insulate high-voltage electrical cables. The cable-inspection device is already being used in Europe, the United States, and Asia by cable manufacturers, OEMs, XLPE producers, and testing institutes. It consists of a stereo microscope, i.e. a special optical microscope featuring ultra-intense illumination and an integrated camera that is mounted on a multi-axle base. The microscope is hooked up to a computer so that the analytical findings can be recorded. The unit also includes integrated functions that allow the user to fully re-trace the analytic processes performed.
During the cable-inspection process, the cable’s external semiconducting layer is removed and submerged in a heated oil bath. In the process, the crystalline components melt and the sample becomes amorphous and transparent. This allows any impurities or cavities in the insulation as well as any defects of the internal semiconductor to be visually identified. Under certain conditions, branching structures in the cable known as “water trees”, which originate at defective points in the cable insulation, will become recognizable.
In 2018, Bilfinger was able to secure four orders for cable-testing devices. The most recent of these was awarded by Maillefer, the global leader in wire, cable, pipe and tube production technologies. The scope of delivery for the individual orders included spare parts, training sessions, and start-up services, as well as options for enhanced functionalities.