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Ingredients & Auxiliary Materials

Research project for the digitalization of battery production

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

Ingredients & Auxiliary Materials News

Ultrasonic sensor for precise measurement in harsh industrial environments

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With the 2U Industry ultrasonic sensor, the elobau company offers a reliable and convenient way to measure fill levels and detect objects. Elobau is a globally active manufacturer of non-contact sensor technology, level measurement and operating elements for mechanical and plant engineering as well as mobile machinery based in Leutkirch. Thanks to the high variability and flexibility of the product, the sensor is suitable for almost any type of level application. Regardless of the transparency, gloss, surface condition and color of the liquid or material, the 2U Industry delivers precise results, even in harsh industrial environments. Commissioning is quick and easy. The ultrasonic sensor measures without contact, which means that no moving or mechanical parts are used in the measurement. As a result, the operator benefits from minimal maintenance requirements.

Focus on flexible use and ease of operation

With regard to the output signals, the user can choose between an analog current or voltage signal. In addition, up to four freely programmable switching outputs (high-side / low-side) are available. The ultrasonic sensor was preferably developed for level measurement of liquid media and solids such as granulates, but can also be used for distance measurement to objects, walls or soil. The user has the possibility to carry out continuous level and point level measurements. The parameterization of the sensor is menu-driven with the help of the display and a key (teach-in key). The easy-to-read display shows the level. The rotatable head of the sensor allows an optimum view of the display at all times as well as additional flexibility for mounting in difficult installation situations. Regarding the mounting threads, variants with G 1.5″, G 2″, 1.5″ NPT and 2″ NPT are available. The 2U Industry is suitable for applications where the range of the sensor can be up to 1 m and the ambient temperature ranges between -20°C and +70°C.

Added value thanks to ultrasound

The principle of ultrasonic technology is as simple as it is effective. Ultrasonic sensors cyclically transmit sound pulses in the high-frequency ultrasonic range in the direction of their target object. The target reflects the signal, which is received by the sensor as an echo. The distance can then be calculated from the transit time. This measuring principle allows not only distances to be measured, but also the positions of objects to be detected – even in precipitation, humidity, dust, smoke and extreme temperatures. This makes the ultrasonic sensor an all-round talent that is suitable for a wide variety of measurement and monitoring tasks.
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Ingredients & Auxiliary Materials News Processing Technologies

In Minimal Installation Space: Maximum Performance

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With the BFK518 spring-applied brake, INTORQ from Aerzen, Germany, is setting new standards. The robust and easy-to-install holding brake with emergency stop function for servo motors offers maximum braking torque while requiring minimum space. A revolution on the market. The company presented the new product as a world’s first at SPS 2019. “Our new spring-applied brake combines the advantages of a spring-applied brake with the performance of a permanent magnet brake,” explained Ralph Krone, Key Account Manager at INTORQ. With its high and reliable holding torque, small dimensions, and high temperature stability, the spring-applied brake suits a wide variety of applications – from robotics to packaging technology to production machines.

High braking torque due to new process

The extremely high braking torque of the BFK518 – considering its size – is the result of the large friction radius of the rotor and the small air gap, which is produced within a narrow tolerance range. A flange manufactured as a bent sheet metal part serves as a support structure that tightly abuts the rotor – this means the friction surface is used 100%.
“This new technology is revolutionary and makes our spring-applied brake unrivaled in the market. It ensures maximum reliability of the brake.” – Ralph Krone, Key Account Manager at INTORQ

Flexible mounting position, easy installation, stable price

Unlike permanent magnet brakes, spring-applied brakes do not require any setting work, which saves time and prevents errors. The BFK518 from INTORQ also does not require axial positioning, the friction disc is designed to automatically set the correct position. The installation position of the brake is flexible. It can be quickly and conveniently mounted on the motor’s fixed or floating bearing. Unlike permanent magnet brakes, electromagnetic spring-applied brakes do not require rare earth magnets, which keeps the cost of goods stable.

Safety during power failure

Spring-applied brakes are failsafe brakes. Multiple compression springs produce the braking torque in the de-energized state through frictional locking. Even if the power fails, the failsafe brake ensures complete safety. The brake is released electromagnetically: the coil of the stator is energized with DC voltage. The resulting magnetic flux works against the spring force to draw the armature plate to the stator.
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Ingredients & Auxiliary Materials News Pharmaceuticals

Variable data printing for pharmaceutical applications

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An innovative new digital printing solution for blister foils and sealed blisters for product serialization in pharmaceutical and medical device applications: Domino Printing Sciences has announced the launch of the new K600G. This printing solution has been developed in collaboration with innovative pharma specialist Gallarus and with input from life sciences industry expert SeaVision. It is the result of a successful team effort between digital printing market leaders and life sciences experts, and promises to ideally meet the needs of pharmaceutical manufacturers now and in the future.
“In recent years, package-level serialization has become a global requirement in the pharmaceutical industry. It is likely that serialization of individual yards of a blister pack will become the new standard in the future to further enhance patient safety and reduce medical errors. The K600G is designed to provide manufacturers with an on-site variable data printing solution that includes item-level coding to meet these future needs.” – Craig Stobie, Director of Global Sector Development at Domino
Using digital printing technology to customize product packaging within the manufacturing chain reduces reliance on external packaging suppliers. This allows pharmaceutical manufacturers to respond more flexibly to regulatory changes or product labeling requirements. The product offers customized options for different installation types, including offline, nearline, top-of-line and single blister coding for direct printing on formed blister packs, as well as an integrated inline version tailored entirely to the needs of machine manufacturers (OEMs). “Digital printing and flexible supply chains are now playing a much bigger role in pharmaceutical manufacturing – so the K600G is a necessary investment to keep pace with future legislation and market trends,” explains Volker Watzke, EU Medical Devices Sector Manager at Domino. “As Domino customers, pharmaceutical manufacturers also benefit from our experts who are always happy to support them in implementing global requirements. We want to ensure that our customers are always in control of their production lines,” Watzke continued. “In pharmaceutical production, code quality and readability are critical. Given the cost of unplanned downtime, it is also essential that machines are always operating at optimum performance. The new development has taken into account this necessary level of reliability and longevity with regard to automated cleaning systems to reduce operator intervention and keep the system running at optimal performance,” explains Bart Vansteenkiste, Global Sector Manager – Life-Sciences at Domino. To achieve maximum efficiency, the system can also be supplied with unique software – based on artificial intelligence – that collects, analyzes and learns from operational data to provide intelligent manufacturing solutions. As a result, it can print at speeds of up to 75 meters per minute. Print widths range from a single print module with a print width of 108 mm to seven dual print modules with a total width of 782 mm. With precise printhead alignment and image stitching from the intelligent i-Tech StitchLink micromotor, seamless printing across the entire web width is achieved.
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