At the SPS IPC Drives 2018, Siemens showed a newly developed hardware platform for edge applications as part of its Siemens Industrial Edge concept: The compact Simatic Edge Device works on the basis of the embedded industrial PC Simatic IPC227E, and features integrated connectivity to automation on the machine level. This allows manufacturing data to be captured and processed directly at the point of production. If there is a change to the framework conditions underlying the industrial application, Industrial Edge offers facility to adjust software applications on the Edge Device, keeping them right up to date using functional, feedback-free updates. The hardware comes with a closed all-metal housing, ensuring maximum industrial functionality for flexible, maintenance-free use under even the harshest of conditions. Rapid commissioning is guaranteed using pre-installed Edge software.
Siemens Industrial Edge affords users the opportunity to close the gap between classic local data processing and cloud-based data processing to suit individual requirements. Edge computing enables the local feedback-free processing of large data volumes practically in real time. Industrial Edge also enables users to cut the costs of data storage and transmission, as large volumes of data are processed in advance and exclusively relevant data is subsequently sent to the cloud or the company’s own internal IT infrastructure. Siemens Industrial Edge supports cloud transmission protocols for MindSphere, the open cloud-based IoT operating system from Siemens. In future, it will also support Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT), which will additionally guarantee the flexible exchange of data with other systems and clouds.
Savings through edge computing in the Siemens Electronics Factory Amberg
In the factory in Amberg, a printed circuit board cutting machine is used for the manufacture of Simatic products. During a milling operation, fine milling dust is produced which exerts an aggressive impact on the machine. This can cause the spindle bearing to jam, and potentially result in unscheduled machine downtime. To prevent this from happening, a number of the machine’s operating parameters are analyzed using artificial intelligence with a view to detecting any anomalies in spindle behavior which would indicate the possibility of an impending failure. This is done by transmitting data picked up by the sensors to the Edge device for analysis. A machine learning algorithm calculates the anomaly value in real time. A rise above a predetermined threshold value indicates that a machine failure is imminent. This Edge application enables cases of bearing erosion and machine downtime to be predicted between 12 and 36 hours in advance of an actual failure. In the event of anomalies, the machine spindle can be exchanged as part of the next scheduled service before a failure can cause costly unplanned downtime.
Easily Protect against Surge Voltage
The new M-LB-2000 system offers surge protection with nothing more than a loop disconnect function for easy maintenance and commissioning, making it ideal for use in applications that only require a minimal specification.
The M-LB-2000 can also be used as a superior alternative to terminal blocks with surge protection. The terminal blocks can be replaced by the 6.2 mm slim modules with no additional space required. The one-piece devices can be mounted on a standard DIN mounting rail, are approved for applications up to SIL 3, and are certified in accordance with Atex and IECEx up to Zone 1. This makes the M-LB-2000 system the ideal complement to the M-LB-5000 surge protection system – the two-part system that offers diagnostic functions.
The M-LB-5000 with condition monitoring function has patented diagnostics and uses a special algorithm to detect different overload situations that can cause the surge protection functionality to wear out. This improves the availability of the protective function, and therefore the system as a whole, while minimizing maintenance costs. The traffic-light display on each protection module greatly reduces testing work, as the fault can very easily be assigned to a specific signal circuit.
This system also offers considerable advantages over other solutions when it comes to maintenance. For example, the base module on the DIN mounting rail stops the signal from being interrupted when the protection module is disconnected. A protection module can therefore be replaced without affecting plant operation. However, if the signal circuit needs to be intentionally interrupted – for isolation tests during commissioning, for example – the protection module can simply be rotated by 180 degrees and plugged in. In this case, the signal circuit is interrupted by an integrated isolating function.
287 patents in 2018
Patent portfolio expands further
The number of patents submitted by the Endress+Hauser Group continues to rise. As reported during the annual Innovators’ Meeting held this year in France, the Group submitted 287 initial patents in 2018, a new record. Endress+Hauser owns nearly 7,800 active intellectual property rights worldwide.
“This year we once again achieved a record number of innovations, both in the number of patent filings and the number of approved patents.”
Angelika Andres, Corporate Director, Intellectual Property Rights at Endress+Hauser
While the 309 invention disclosures are a sign of the company’s ongoing innovation capability, the 537 granted patent applications also represent an all-time high.
Roughly one-third of the patent filings are related to the Industrial Internet of Things, digital communications and instrument diagnostics. Under the motto #empowerthefield, in 2018 the measurement engineering specialist began to bundle its digital activities with a focus on Heartbeat Technology, as well as the recently introduced Netilion IIoT ecosystem.
Patent department in the US
Each invention undergoes a multistage internal evaluation process before submission to the patent office, usually within four months. To handle the stream of innovations, in 2016 an internal patent department was created in the US, one of the Group’s most important markets. Four specialists at the Greenwood, Indiana location are responsible for protecting the technical innovations. This team has full responsibility for handling all patent filings from the Group companies located in the US, plus up to 80 percent of the overseas filings.
Innovation spirit in the spotlight
Under the motto ‘Innovation – what makes us human’, Matthias Altendorf, CEO of the Endress+Hauser Group, as well as other members of the Executive Board, welcomed more than 300 guests to the annual Innovators’ Meeting, which was held in late March in Saint-Louis, France. Employees involved in patent filings presented their innovations during the company’s traditional get-together. Exceptional innovations were recognized with special awards.
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Chilled Mirror Hygrometer Range
In many processes moisture is a critical factor that needs to be monitored, and controlled. Chilled mirror is the technology of choice for humidity measurements to national standards in laboratories worldwide.
Chilled mirror has the highest attainable accuracy of any dew-point measurement technology, and provides excellent repeatability over a wide measurement range. It is a proven, well established and reliable measurement technique: the temperature at which condensation forms on a surface is measured directly, so there are no calculated variables that could change over time. This means chilled mirror does not suffer from drift or hysteresis.