When it comes to mass producing identical parts, injection molding is king. For a rapid prototype or small run of custom pieces, nothing beats a 3D printer. Try to operate between these worlds, and you'll have to make some compromises. Or will you?
Excess heat generated in control panel enclosures must be dissipated or removed to keep electronic components functioning reliably. But how sure are you that your cooling system is doing its job? A new I/O module from B&R's X20 series puts uncertainty to rest. It monitors environmental conditions in the control cabinet without needing any additional sensors.
How do you bring IT and OT together? It's a question that must be answered by any company hoping to realize the visions of Industry 4.0. A puzzle – so far – without a real solution. But B&R is breaking down the barrier between the two worlds, giving machine builders access to one of the world's largest software ecosystems.
Colorful, shiny or metallic design highlights help cosmetics packaging stand out on crowded store shelves. They also help strengthen a brand's image and build customer loyalty. Known in the packaging world as high-visibility enhancements, these eye-catching elements are typically applied using a process called hot foil stamping.
Machine builders and plant operators have one major common goal: to make manufacturing more digital and flexible. To reach this goal, the manufacturing industry relies on research institutions such as the Graz University of Technology in Austria. At the renowned university's Smart Factory testbed, everything revolves around agile and secure manufacturing solutions. We sat down with project manager Rudolf Pichler to learn how his testbed contributes to the implementation of smart factory solutions and how manufacturing companies benefit from the knowledge that is gained there.
Ski type, skill level and slope conditions are just three of many factors that play an important role in the ski tuning universe. To make sure its new generation of automated ski service machines is able to handle any ski preparation task that might be required, Wintersteiger implemented a highly flexible automation solution from B&R.
Bauer Maschinen GmbH has automated a unique research drill rig for exploring the seabed. It was made possible by B&R automation components that function reliably, even 2,500 meters below the surface of the ocean.
When people speak about innovative machine vision, the topic of artificial intelligence is sure to come up. Is AI the future of image processing? Our vision specialist Andreas Waldl has the answers.
The automotive industry is gearing up for a future dominated by electric vehicles. We sat down with B&R's electromobility expert, Ronny Guber, to learn about the important role batteries will play in that future, and what automation challenges car manufacturers and their suppliers will need to master in order to come out ahead.
The semiconductor market is particularly volatile. Over the past few decades, periods of shortage and surplus have alternated rather abruptly. Supply chain expert Gerald Haas explains what lessons from the past can be applied to the current semiconductor crisis.
B&R has launched its own portfolio of integrated lighting technology. Machine vision expert Andreas Waldl explains why this was the only right choice and sheds light on the topic of integration.
Jörg Theis has been CEO of B&R since April 1st, 2021. In this interview, the 51-year-old reveals what fascinates him about his employees, where he sees the company five years from now, and what other ABB divisions might learn from B&R.
Beate Freyer, managing director of simulation company machineering, explains how digital twins ensure smooth operation and provide added value throughout the entire production process.
Connecting individual machine modules to form a continuous line can be a lot of work and take up a lot of space. Optima succeeded in creating a seamless transition using ACOPOStrak.
For the past five years, Johannes Vitzthum's life has revolved around track technology. Trained as a mechanical engineer, the young product manager has dedicated much of his career with heart and soul to this disruptive technology.
For nearly half a century now, programmable logic controllers have played a central role in machine automation. But we're starting to hear the first voices claiming that new technologies like 5G, virtualization and the Internet of Things will shift all that control to the cloud. Today's three closing questions are directed at B&R's product manager for its X20 control and I/O system, Andreas Hager. How likely does he think it is that these predictions will come true?
What role does simulation play in machine manufacturing and plant engineering? The answer is simple: It is the key to the next level of efficiency throughout every phase of a machine's lifecycle.
Industry expert Fredrik Holmberg explains why small batches are such a big challenge for medical device assembly companies, and how adaptive manufacturing offers a solution that really pays off.
3D printers are showing great promise in building construction, printing prefabricated components that are then transported to the construction site. A research project at the Technical University of Liberec in the Czech Republic aims to create a mobile robot that can print buildings directly on site. The team is using B&R controls, drives, HMI and software solutions to control the ground-breaking robot's sophisticated print head.
For foods and pharmaceuticals sealed in airtight packaging, leak testing is a critical step in the production process. Oxipack's new inspection unit, the Rotary, detects microscopic leaks without harming the product. Through close cooperation with machine builder Geurtsen and the control experts at B&R, the Dutch specialist's solution is efficient enough to test every item passing through the line
The youngest member of the OPC UA specification family – OPC UA Safety – enables safety communication in OPC UA networks. We sat down with B&R's safety expert Franz Kaufleitner to learn what the new standard has to offer and what implications it has for B&R's openSAFETY technology.
Today's plants and machinery take up a lot of space. The time has come to break free from the limitations of one-dimensional product transport – and set the stage for a new era of productivity.
How do you bring IT and OT together? It's a question that must be answered by any company hoping to realize the visions of Industry 4.0. A puzzle – so far – without a real solution. But B&R is now bridging the IT/OT divide and offering machine builders access to the world's largest software ecosystem.
B&R is the world's first single-source supplier of controls and robotics. But what do they actually stand to gain from integrating robots into their machines? We sat down with robotics specialist Sebastian Brandstetter to find out.
When you manufacture power supply systems, there's no avoiding the barrage of functional and safety testing to ensure that they are fit for use. To futureproof its testing performance, power supply maker Gustav Klein has developed an innovative new test bay. With its modular safety solution from B&R, Gustav Klein is able to manage many different test bay configurations in a single software project.
In early 2014, an update to Germany's renewable energy legislation brought abrupt changes to the nation's biogas market. agriKomp took advantage of the situation to give its biogas plants a decisive upgrade: a completely new control solution from B&R. The company is more than pleased with the results: scalable solutions that are faster to develop and commission.
Machine manufacturers must be well-prepared to service their customer's machines, and must react quickly when maintenance is required. With a remote maintenance solution, a connection can be established in no time.
Copper is an important, yet expensive, component of heat exchangers. For manufacturers of heat exchangers, minimizing copper waste is therefore a high priority. Together, Netto Electronics and B&R developed a solution that monitors copper consumption precisely and delivers serious savings.
Nordfish-Foodmark is committed to leveraging Industry 4.0 manufacturing technology to optimize its operations. To give its brownfield plants the necessary connectivity, the company evaluated a solution from B&R.
Pick-and-place applications have traditionally had an upper limit to their productivity, because the robots and machines have operated as separate units. With the integration of robotics control into its automation system and introduction of a new software solution, B&R is now changing that.
For a special-purpose machine builder like Singer & Sohn, success depends on the ability to accommodate customer requests quickly and efficiently. That's why the food industry OEM relies on automation technology from B&R.
Initial testing has shown that OPC UA over TSN averages 18 times faster than existing industrial communication solutions, leading some in the industry to wonder whether such a dramatic leap is really necessary. To get to the bottom of this question, we spoke to one of the new technology's leading experts: Dietmar Bruckner.
The market for industrial manufacturing technology is a global one. Modern communication and transportation make it possible to sell machines and plants to customers in all corners of the world. The task of maintaining those assets, however, can be a daunting challenge. We sat down with B&R's product manager for industrial IoT René Blaschke and had him walk us through the process of deploying B&R's Secure Remote Maintenance solution.
The integration of ABB robots into the B&R automation system is enabling entirely new approaches to machine automation. ABB's Gregor Kumm and B&R's Stefan Schönegger tell us what advantages the new solution brings.
The manufacturing industry requires machines that adapt to different products with little to no downtime or retooling. With today's automation technology, the dream of having one machine able to manufacture many different products is becoming a reality.
When you rush through the construction of a new machine without thorough testing, you risk letting fundamental flaws in the design go unnoticed until commissioning. At that point, any changes to the finished machine are extremely costly and time consuming. That's why a growing number of machine builders are using simulated models – digital twins – to test and implement new machine designs quickly and cost effectively.
If you imagine an agricultural landscape, you probably picture a field being worked by a farmer on his tractor. As the world's population continues to grow, however, there will be at least one big change to this scenario: While the special relationship between farmers and their equipment will continue, the machines out on the field will be handling much of the work on their own.
When a machine fails or has to be stopped for maintenance, it comes with a hefty price tag. And that's not just the cost of repair work and replacement parts, but rather the revenue that is lost every minute that a line is not productive. By helping to detect impending damage before it occurs, an investment in predictive maintenance can really pay off. In addition to preventing revenue loss, predictive maintenance extends the life of the machine and even opens up new business models.
Traditionally, once an OEM sells a machine, they are perfectly content to never hear from the buyer again – because that means the machine is running. How smoothly it is running is another question altogether. Beyond the occasional spare part or scheduled maintenance, contact with the customer – and any prospect of additional revenue – ends at delivery. That is all about to change, however.
All across the world's markets and industries, products are moving from conceptual design to market release in a shorter and shorter amount of time. How long it takes to develop a machine's hardware and program its software can be a decisive factor in its success or failure against the competition. So, naturally – the faster, the better. Digital twins can play an important role in rapid development and testing of a machine's hardware and software. Digital twins revolutionize time to market
MapleSim is an advanced modeling tool from mathematics specialist Maplesoft that computes the physical forces experienced by complex mechanical systems. Partnership with B&R now makes it easier than ever to incorporate these models in B&R's Automation Studio engineering platform and on the machine itself as a digital twin. Chad Schmitke from Maplesoft and Kurt Zehetleitner from B&R explain the immedite payoff for machine builders as well as the long-term implications of this exciting technology.
Lighting is a key element of any machine vision system. It determines if and how the camera sees the targeted object. In addition to the intensity, angle and wavelength of the beam, two factors that make all the difference are precise timing and intelligent control.
B&R is the first automation provider to fully integrate machine vision into its automation system. Product manager Andreas Waldl explains why so many machine builders are speechless the first time he describes what is possible with the new solution.
Machines, field devices, ERP systems and cloud applications – all communicating on a single network? An impossible dream until only a few years ago, but with OPC UA over TSN, it will soon be reality. The world's automation companies have agreed on a common standard for real-time industrial communication.
Transferring data from the machine controller to the cloud requires a connection to the Internet. This makes it susceptible to cyberattacks. Machines with cloud connectivity need special protection.
B&R unveiled its groundbreaking integrated safety technology in 2008 under the banner of "Smart Safe Reaction". In the decade since, B&R has established itself among the world's most innovative manufacturers of programmable safety technology.
mapp Technology is revolutionizing the creation of software for industrial machinery and equipment. mapp components – mapps for short – are as easy to use as a smartphone app. Find out more about the future of sotware engineering.
These days, virtually every mobile machine now falls under the jurisdiction of the Machinery Directive. To avoid the high cost of developing their own safety solutions from scratch, manufacturers of mobile machinery seek out reliable technology partners for safety technology.
In addition to their real-time operating system, many machines also need a general purpose operating system to perform tasks such as aggregating data and sending it to the cloud or to run computationally intensive HMI applications. With a bare-metal hypervisor, it is now possible to implement both systems on a single industrial PC.
Mining companies go to great expense to keep their excavators up and running, for every second of unscheduled downtime is a costly loss of productivity. The crucial reliability can be achieved much more cost-effectively through intelligent maintenance solutions.