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Samson and Infraserv
IIoT Solutions for Medium-sized Companies

SAMSON and InfraServ Wiesbaden Cooperate to Advance IIoT Solutions for Medium-sized Companies
Picture: Samson

Samson, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and InfraServ Wiesbaden are announced the beginning of a strategic cooperation with the goal of further developing digital solutions to make the transition to Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Samson is a supplier of products and systems to control the flow of all kinds of media. For over 110 years, the company has been specializing in control valve engineering and is currently focusing on the integration of smart products into Internet of Things (IoT) environments. InfraServ Wiesbaden has been operating and developing Kalle-Albert Industrial Park since 1997. The park is home to 75 companies and the second-largest industrial park in the Federal German state of Hesse.

The cooperation between the two companies is concluded for an unlimited period of time. The key goal is to jointly advance an IIoT platform that digitally supports the optimization of processes and plant control in medium-sized industrial companies inside and outside the industrial park.

UBIX and GES Systemhaus, two subsidiaries under 100 % ownership of Samson and InfraServ Wiesbaden respectively, are both active in plant automation. The Samson subsidiary runs a cloud-based multi-tenant platform for the digitalization, visualization and automated control of industrial plants. The platform includes flexible interfaces for the connection of customer systems and external analytical tools. With the help of the expertise gathered by the InfraServ Wiesbaden group, which offers digital solutions under the product name ‘KI Konzept’, plant maintenance is to be improved based on the smart analysis of data (smart maintenance).

“We want to expand our digital portfolio based on the UBIX platform with InfraServ Wiesbaden as our cooperation partner. Our new partner strengthens our expertise in smart, networked valve engineering, flexible production processes and applications to handle challenging tasks. As a developer of industrial sites, InfraServ Wiesbaden operates its own large systems for supply and disposal. This means that they already know, understand and serve the specific needs of the on-site companies that come from many different branches of industry. We look forward to the cooperation and the synergies it will produce.”

Dr. Andreas Widl, Chief Executive Officer of Samson

“Many medium-sized production companies are facing the challenge of having to build new, digital expertise to keep up with the evolution towards Industry 4.0. Smart automation, process control and manufacturing technologies applied in combination with computer-based big data analyses and networked infrastructures offer them huge opportunities to fortify their market position in the long run. We are very happy to join forces with Samson as a renowned, innovative partner in this area to drive forward the use of digital technologies to our own benefit as well as to the benefit of our customers,” says Mr. Peter Bartholomäus, Chief Executive Officer of InfraServ Wiesbaden.

Digital twins and pilot project

The main goal behind the cooperation is to jointly develop and expand Samson’s UBIX platform. This is to be achieved by InfraServ Wiesbaden placing programming orders with Samson to handle specific control processes within its plants or to implement customer requirements concerning smart maintenance or plant control. The result will be ‘digital twins’ to simulate plant control operations, analyze the flows of energy or goods (value chains) as well as design processes for the smart, predictive, mobile maintenance of plants and equipment. In a next step, these processes can be further improved by cross-linking a larger number of different devices and systems as well as by applying special AI software tools based on big data analyses or machine learning.

InfraServ Wiesbaden will use the UBIX platform to handle customer inquiries and market solutions under its own product name, KI Konzept. To ensure a maximum level of data security, customers will have their own dedicated access to the UBIX platform through the high-performance data centers hosted by InfraServ Wiesbaden.

As part of the strategic development cooperation, the two companies launched a common pilot project. The project goal is to optimize the processes in the biological water treatment plant operated by InfraServ Wiesbaden in Kalle-Albert Industrial Park.

The agreement was signed in Frankfurt am Main, Germany in October 2019. The partners have agreed to not disclose any further details relating to the financial aspects and scope defined in the cooperation agreement.

Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation News Quality Management

The future in fast data transfers

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Conventional technologies such as Flexible Flat Cable or Flexible Printed Circuit (FFC/FPC) or micro-coaxial cable are increasingly reaching their limits as data transmission rates between internally installed printed circuit boards continue to rise. Yamaichi Electronics’ Y-FLEX technology solves this problem. With the high-speed FPC, data rates of 56 Gbps (PAM4) can be realized over a cable length of 100 mm.

The cable’s suitability for high data transmission rates is realized through various features such as LCP (Liquid Crystal Polymer) as the base material, the contacting of various layers with so-called silver bumps and the special, 100 percent reproducible production process. To achieve particularly high transmission rates, specific coordination with the FFC/FPC connector used is important.

In principle, the mating face can be adapted to any standard ZIF/non-ZIF/LIF connector. However, to achieve optimum performance, Yamaichi’s specially designed high-speed ZIF/non-ZIF connectors are most suitable, e.g. the HF507 series.

In comparison: FFC and standard FPC

The biggest difference compared to FPCs is in the insulation material. Unlike standard polyimides used in conventional FPCs, the LCP insulation material of Y-FLEX has a much lower dielectric constant and power factor tan δ at high frequencies. As a result, attenuation is significantly lower and data transmission rates are much higher than standard FPCs. In addition, LCP has better hygroscopic properties than standard polyimides, which facilitates processing and allows trace spacing and trace widths of less than 30 µm to be realized with the highest accuracy.

In comparison: micro-coaxial cables

With this cable, transmission standards such as PCIe Gen 4 (16 GT/s), USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) or eDP HBR 3 (8.1 Gbps) can be achieved without hesitation. In the latest measurements of the current generation, even data rates of 56 Gbps (PAM4) were realized over a cable length of 100 mm. Due to the manufacturing process (especially precision etching and LCP material as insulator) this technology is 100 percent reproducible.

All conductor tracks are completely identical and thus achieve constant transmission characteristics over the entire length. In coaxial cables, on the other hand, the ratio of inner to outer conductors varies along the cable because of the stranded structure.

When assembling the individual coaxial conductors to the connector, there may also be differences in length and thus in the propagation time of the individual lines.

Fit for future markets

A leading manufacturer of mobile communications and high-frequency measurement technology recognized this technology several years ago and now uses it in a variety of projects, such as 5G testers and body scanners. In addition to measurement technology, Y-FLEX is used, for example, in autonomous vehicles, data networking, image processing and medical technology.

 

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Ingredients & Auxiliary Materials Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation News

Research project for the digitalization of battery production

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Every day, VARTA produces nearly ten million battery cells, making it an ideal partner for the DigiBattPro4.0 project of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation. The abbreviation stands for digitalized battery cell production with Industry 4.0 technologies. The goal is to develop the battery production of the future, in which every step is digitally recorded and monitored using artificial intelligence. The aim is not only to detect faulty parts, but also to optimize the process so that the cause of the fault can be rectified immediately. And this is done without the need for human intervention.

 

“We are proud to be able to act as a pioneer here. DigiBattPro4.0 is an exciting project that will help us make our processes even more digital and even faster. In this way, we are securing and further expanding our competitiveness and technological progress.”

– Isa Topac, Digital Transformation Manager at VARTA

 

In DigitBattPro4.0, experts from the Fraunhofer Institute network the machines and design a computer model so that the real production process can also be mapped virtually. This is intended to create the basis for self-regulating production. The plan is then to use this technology in the production of the new lithium-ion round cells, which the company will produce on a pilot line starting at the end of the year. The aim is to achieve fully automated production in which speed can be further increased and scrap further reduced. The project is scheduled to run for four years.

 

“DigiBattPro4.0 offers us the opportunity to make a decisive contribution to the development of tomorrow’s battery production. In the future, it will be possible to monitor and optimize all process steps thanks to state-of-the-art technology and artificial intelligence. The company already delivers the highest precision in all steps of cell production today and is therefore the optimal partner for the project. We are delighted to be involved once again in the future of battery technology and production.”

– Rainer Hald, Chief Technology Officer of VARTA AG

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Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation News

Functional printing in Freiburg

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In Freiburg, the technology company Continental bundles its expertise in all aspects of functional printing in a technology center with state-of-the-art machinery. The centerpiece is a machine specially developed for functional printing. It enables the use of numerous printing processes and processes a wide variety of materials – from artificial leather to metal, from paper to rubber. To date, the company has invested around 2.5 million euros in its site in Baden-Württemberg.

In functional printing, different applications are produced using printing processes. Prototypes of intelligent products are created at the center for functional printing technologies. By integrating functions and associated services, they open up new potential and pave the way for technologies of the future. “They allow predictive maintenance concepts through to automatic ordering processes for spare parts in Industry 4.0, but they are also the basis for new types of vehicle interiors,” explains Dr. Erhard Barho, who heads the functional surface solutions unit at Continental.

 

All printing processes, materials and finishing techniques in one place

Printing and process specialists as well as experts in circuit design are working together in Freiburg to develop and test processes for integrating these functions into products for the printing and packaging industry, for example, as well as for the automotive industry.

 

“We are concentrating all printing processes, all materials and all finishing techniques in one place. Until now, customers had to look for different partners for the individual tasks and coordinate them. We now offer everything from a single source in terms of the future of the printing industry.”

– Head of the Center, Armin Senne

 

“For us, the starting point for developing new technical applications is customer benefit,” says Barho. Renowned cooperation partners help here: for example, the center is located in the immediate vicinity of the Fraunhofer Institute. The long-standing cooperation with printing forme specialists such as Janoschka and Flex-Punkt is also being continued and expanded here. The focus here is on topics relating to the future of packaging, such as smart packaging with touch displays and biosensor technology. Food packaging that stores the time of first opening is also conceivable.

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