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For machine builders and manufacturing facilities, digitalisation is no longer a choice, but a necessity. Global trends like Industry 4.0, Industrial IoT and digitalisation finally leading to smart manufacturing are already proving their benefits in real-world applications. India's machine builders and manufacturers are evaluating technologies and solutions and mapping their paths to implementation for which B&R is highly appreciated by machine builders and manufacturers. B&R provides solutions for tomorrow’s needs resulting in significant competitive edge in the area of smart manufacturing and production effectiveness.

Transformation

Companies across every industry are eager to tap into the benefits promised by the digital transformation. Like every major industrial revolution, this one is comprised of an array of technological developments – some already mature and others still under development. The big changes will come about as these disparate parts all are put to work together.

The challenge of implementation, therefore, raises some important questions: Is it possible for any one entity to acquire competence in areas as diverse as processing, communication, safety, reliability, batch size one, mass customisation and new ways of user interaction? What does the roadmap look like? Where do the investments end and the benefits begin?

The answers lie not in abrupt, disruptive revolution, but in peaceful, piecemeal evolution. They lie in a platform where the parts can be upgraded stepwise – one that is shaped by the competence and needs of each company and its application. Along the way, it is vital that each stage of transformation results in a working system, which can settle, mature and provide desired benefits before moving on to the next, more ambitious stage.

The order in which the stages of transformation are completed must be adaptable to the area of application, availability of infrastructure at each stage and according to the priority set by customers. In addition, it is necessary to work on solutions tailored to their unique, individual challenges in order to effectively reap the benefits of the latest technologies. Clearly, there are many paths to Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing – yet, as long as the roadmap is clear, the journey can be smooth and the destination truly rewarding.

B&R enables smart manufacturing

Everyone is talking about smart manufacturing practices and the Industrial IoT. These topics come up frequently in this issue of automotion India, where you will see how B&R, is already propelling its customers today ahead of the competition with next-generation automation solutions.

Even as technologies change, the objectives at machine level and line level remain the same. We seek higher throughput, less downtime, lower energy consumption and higher product quality. In addition, further improvement is needed in ensuring the safety of human operators and reducing pollution and wastage. The journey to smart manufacturing sets out to achieve all of these objectives by applying the latest developments in open communication along with ever-increasing intelligence in the sensors, actuators and automation systems.

Converging OT with IT

Factories are looking at ways to gather data from machines as well as lines and send it to IT systems for analytics. With intelligence becoming more and more decentralised and a growing volume and variety of machine and line data becoming available for analytics, the need for edge computing is on the rise. Edge architectures help collect data from sensors, actuators, machines, lines and plants and move it to IT systems for analytics and long-term storage.

Edge architectures from B&R make life easy for factory operators and plant owners by providing a variety of options tailored to their requirements. Edge Connect allows them to gather data directly from sensors and actuators in the field, which can then be shared securely with any cloud platform using the open-source OPC UA protocol – making it the easiest way to collect data from the field.

Edge Embedded goes a step further, providing basic intelligence, trends, reporting, data aggregation and the possibility of viewing data locally on the shop floor before moving it to the cloud. With Edge Embedded, factories can divide computation between the cloud and on-site controllers.

Edge Controller provides factories with comprehensive on-site analytics, business intelligence and machine learning – giving them full control of their data. Edge Embedded and Edge Controller can also be equipped with energy and condition monitoring solutions. Edge architectures from B&R are the perfect way to begin the transformation towards smart, connected factories of the future.

Edge architectures from B&R make life easy for factory operators and plant owners by providing a variety of options tailored to their requirements. Edge architectures help collect data from sensors, actuators, machines, lines and plants and move it to IT systems for analytics and long-term storage.

Open, real-time access to valuable IIoT data

Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) in combination with OPC UA provides precisely timed horizontal access to data from machines, controllers, I/O systems and lines – regardless of who built the individual devices. As an open protocol, OPC UA has already found widespread use in a diverse range of industrial applications. Nearly all manufacturers offer OPC UA in their controllers and other products. The technology is developed and promoted by many different manufacturers under the oversight of the OPC Foundation industrial consortium.

The combination of OPC UA and TSN will set the stage for entirely new industrial automation architectures. One of the most notable features of these new designs will be the disappearing borders between IT and OT networks. With B&R Orange Box, legacy equipment can be integrated into production networks enabling Industry 4.0 connectivity via OPC UA without any changes to the existing machines. B&R also offers familiar queuing protocols like MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport) and AMQP (Advanced Message Queuing Protocol), which allow data packets to be transferred reliably, even in cases where the network connection is poor or intermittently unavailable.

Ultimate production effectiveness

As manufacturers strive to meet new and more challenging consumer demands, machine builders must keep pace with new and more efficient designs. Today's consumers are coming to expect the option to personalise their products. To make individualisation profitable, OEMs must design their machines to provide flexible manufacturing and batch-of-one production at the same level of cost efficiency as mass production.

B&R knows the challenges faced by machine builders in designing such flexible and scalable machines and is able to help them produce small batches efficiently and benefit from the higher margins of personalised products. One of the most exciting ways we do this is by extending their digital transformation to include motion control and mechanical design with ACOPOStrak.

ACOPOStrak is a revolution in adaptive manufacturing that extends the economy of mass production down to batches of one. The unique high–speed ACOPOStrak diverters make it easy to divide and merge product flows, which can pass shuttles from one track circuit to another at full production speed.

ACOPOStrak is a revolution in adaptive manufacturing that extends the economy of mass production down to batches of one. Parts and products are transported quickly and flexibly from processing station to processing station on independently controlled shuttles. In addition, unique high–speed ACOPOStrak diverters make it easy to divide and merge product flows, which can pass shuttles from one track circuit to another at full production speed. This opens up entirely new possibilities for making manufacturing systems more agile and responsive. The parallelisation of processing stations helps avoid bottlenecks and provide higher machines and lines output. Operating ACOPOStrak with conventional conveyor belts brings flexibility of the intelligent ACOPOStrak together with the low cost of a conveyor system, which is the perfect recipe for more cost-effective mass customisation. It is a generational leap in intelligent, flexible transport systems with its absolutely unique design delivering decisive technological advantages for adaptive, connected manufacturing. ACOPOStrak boosts overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), multiplies return on investment (ROI) and accelerates time to market (TTM).

Your partner on your digital journey

As manufacturers strive to meet new and more challenging consumer demands, machine builders must keep pace with new and more efficient designs. Today's consumers are coming to expect the option to personalise their products. To make individualisation profitable, OEMs must design their machines to provide flexible manufacturing and batch-of-one production at the same level of cost efficiency as mass production.

B&R's innovative products and solutions – together with our exceptional support and partnership – keep our customers ahead of the competition as innovation leaders in their markets.

David Hemetsberger

Strategy Manager– India, B&R Austria

“B&R provides solutions for tomorrow’s needs resulting in significant competitive edge in the area of smart manufacturing and production effectiveness. Our innovative products, solutions and trust in open source technologies such as OPC UA TSN, POWERLINK, openSAFETY – together with our exceptional support and partnership – keep our customers ahead of the competition as innovation leaders in their markets. We help our customers build next-generation machines and factories, thus, becoming Industry 4.0 ready.”

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