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.
Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation News Plant Construction, Engineering & Components
Industry digitization with 5G campus networks
Partnership for smart production
With its campus networks, Deutsche Telekom offers an infrastructure for the smart factory of tomorrow. Together with partners from industry, Europe’s largest telecommunications company wants to further expand its 5G ecosystem for industry. In process automation, Deutsche Telekom is now cooperating with Endress + Hauser.
The aim of the cooperation is to develop joint offers in the field of measurement and automation technology for the process industry. This involves the integration of measuring instruments and accessories into the next generation of mobile communication networks as well as digital services based on them. Both companies have signed a corresponding memorandum of understanding and are now working on a coordinated timetable.
Measuring instruments with mobile communication module
Endress + Hauser is one of the first manufacturers to equip its field devices with mobile communication modules and to connect existing installations to 5G networks via newly developed Hart gateways. This enables a large number of instruments to transmit a wealth of process and device data in parallel and in real time. These can, for example, be used in cloud applications for predictive maintenance of process plants.
Campus networks open second signal path
“In addition to the actual measured values, our instruments record a wealth of information from the process and about the sensor. 5G campus networks open up a second signal path that is independent of the plant’s control system and thus make it possible to tap this potential. This will enable us to link value chains more closely across company boundaries and make industrial processes more efficient.”
Matthias Altendorf, CEO of Endress + Hauser
Strong partners for smart production
“Building a complete 5G ecosystem for industry will accelerate the pace of digitalization in industry,” explains Claudia Nemat, member of the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management, Technology and Innovation. “We look forward to working with renowned and experienced partners.” In addition to the partnership with network supplier Ericsson, the telecommunications company now also cooperates with E&K Automation, a manufacturer of driverless transport systems, and Konica Minolta, which offers augmented reality glasses, among other products.
Fairs Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation Plant Construction, Engineering & Components
Product related and smart services
Customer focused solutions for smart engineering
Digital and product related services are also playing an increasingly important role in the drives industry. Against this background, Wittenstein alpha will unveil a value-added service portfolio – the web based “Wittenstein Service Portal” – which is individually tailored to the needs of fitters, maintenance technicians and commissioning and service engineers. As of November 2019, details of all standard products from Wittenstein alpha, Wittenstein cyber motor and Start-up Galaxie can be displayed on a Service Portal website for each individual product. All relevant product information such as technical data, video tutorials, documentation, add-on components and accessories, successor models can be accessed there easily throughout the lifecycle together with numerous other services. Gearboxes with cynapse – in other words, with an integrated sensor module and an IO-Link interface – are likewise incorporated along with smart services, so that the Service Portal simultaneously builds bridges to Wittenstein components used in IIoT environments.
The second generation of Wittenstein cyber motor’s small servo drive system promises even more performance in terms of connectivity, configurability and compactness. The completely redesigned cyber simco drive 2, which is about 30 percent smaller and also forms part of the new, compact cyber dynamic system, is the principal highlight here. Integrated in the motor, it impresses with its connection to the PLC in real time via a multi-Ethernet interface as well as decentralized intelligence directly on the axis.
The ability to generate motions directly in the servo drive relieves the machine’s automation system. Moreover, by integrating the electronics in the motor, a compact and installation-friendly design results while at the same time wiring is eliminated. The optional integration of multiturn encoders, holding brakes and planetary gearboxes further expands the functionality of the servo motors in the cyber dynamic line. In short, manufacturers profit from smart and totally new performance dimensions.
Wittenstein at the SPS 2019: Hall 4, Stand 221
Transparency in monitoring and diagnostics
Digital junction box
With Siwarex DB, Siemens is launching a digital junction box for weighing applications with robust field housing in IP66 protection on the market. It can be integrated easily into Simatic environments. The Siwarex DB extends the Siemens weighing technology portfolio and through its seamless networking ensures that individual analog load cells can now be acquired and evaluated more comprehensively than ever before. They can be used both for the targeted monitoring of weighing processes and for extended diagnostics. Any error messages are displayed centrally on the Simatic controller and the HMI.
The seamless connection of the control unit and Siwarex WP weighing electronic enables immediate diagnostics of the load cells. This makes servicing quicker and easier, and minimizes downtimes. In order to prevent inaccurate or incorrect measurements, the weighing modules must operate precisely. An essential requirement for this is complete transparency regarding the status of the devices. Siwarex DB offers the option of connecting the scales with up to four load cells, thus providing the required flexibility in plant planning. A new feature is the single-channel monitoring of each connected load cell. For example, error conditions such as wire break or overload can be detected and removed specifically, making servicing easier. With Siwarex DB, the use of a multimeter is a thing of the past. Siwarex DB can also be used in a wide range of applications in the field of industrial weighing technology, such as level monitoring, silo or container weighing.
By using a Siwarex WP231 as the weighing electronic, direct connection to a Simatic S7 CPU for the Simatic S7-1200 system is supported. For the distributed Simatic ET 200SP system, on the other hand, the use of Siwarex WP321 is recommended. Seamless communication between Siwarex and Simatic reduces effort during commissioning. If, for example, height compensation is required during commissioning, the load of each individual load cell can be viewed immediately using the Siwarex WP weighing electronics.
The Siwarex DB digital junction box can be used to retrofit existing plants with minimal effort. If the similar Siwarex JB solution is already in use, it can be simply replaced with the Siwarex DB (which has the same dimensions) and connected to the existing cables. Another advantage for the user is that there is no change to the normal operating procedures within the Siwarex weighing electronics and Simatic.