Hannover Messe is scheduled for April 20-24 this year, and it will be running under the broad theme of Industrial Transformation. We took an initial look at this week’s press preview on Wednesday — here’s a look at some more of the companies that were at this year’s press preview in Hannover:
Festo (Hall 7, Booth C32) will be unveiling more details on its new technology to be unveiled at Hannover Messe in a separate online press conference in late March (so stay tuned for more details then!), but the company had its very cool BionicSoftArm at the event; the arm could shake hands or emulate the hand movements of a volunteer (I tried both, and it was fascinating). The length of the BionicSoftArm can be varied with up to seven pneumatic actuators, giving flexibility in working range and mobility. This makes it very easy to implement applications that are difficult to realize with a standard robot.
Emerson (Hall 6, Booth B38) was in attendance with its Aventics line of pneumatics technology. The Smart Pneumatics Monitor (SPM) provides condition monitoring and energy analysis of pneumatic systems without machine control. It delivers data about things like actuator wear, allowing for proactive maintenance. SPM features a simple drag-and-drop feature, so users can assemble and link the components to be monitored. It then records and analyzes collected data on the local level and sends the information to end-devices or higher-level IT systems via OPC UA and MQTT. The company says SPM minimizes the risk of machine downtime and substantially lowers operating costs.
Weidmüller (Hall 12, Booth D80) is aiming to establish itself as a leader in the area of IIoT, and is using the mott of “Pioneering Industrial Connectivity – Easy. Flexible. Efficient.” At this year’s Hannover Messe. The company will be focusing on its innovations in electromobility, IIoT, PUSH IN connection systems, machine learning and workplace solutions. “Over the last few decades, Weidmüller has helped to shape an entire sector through its groundbreaking innovations,” Sybille Hilker, company spokesperson said. “As a pioneer of industrial connectivity, we take on the current and future challenges of the industry.”
ifm efector (Hall 9, Booth D36) showed off its new PMD Profiler, typically used in assembly and handling applications. The device works by means of triangulation. The sensor projects a straight laser line on the surface to be measured — and its receiving element (a PMD chip) detects the reflection of the laser light. There’s an angular offset between the projection unit and the receiving element, so the contour sensor can detect an object’s height profile. The PMD Profiler has a measuring range from 150 mm to 300 mm and installation and configuration is simple. Neither external illumination nor screening against extraneous light is required. Three pushbuttons and the guided menu on the color display can be used to teach in reference objects.
At Harting (Hall 12, Booth D3), one focus was on the company’s Han S secure connections for modular energy storage. This flexible housing has room for contacts up to 200 A. The mounting housing is freely rotating and access to the locking mechanism is intuitive. It uses red for plus and black for minus with additional mechanical coding makes the interfaces interchangeable. Han S provides optimum security, meeting all technical requirements and the latest UL 4128 standards for stationary energy storage systems. The company says that the use of connectors speeds up the assembly of energy storage units made of lithium-ion cells, a market which is booming.
And Beckhoff (Hall 9, Booth F06) was showcasing its “smart engineering directly in the cloud” program, where PC-based control offers a central, open and comprehensive machine control platform for delivering highly efficient, IoT-based automation strategies. This enables machines, plants and production lines to be connected in ways that unlock their full efficiency potential across entire processes. The company’s TwinCAT Cloud Engineering adds a new dimension by providing users with an easy means of engineering TwinCAT instances and controllers in the cloud. With TwinCAT Cloud Engineering, users can instantiate and use existing TwinCAT engineering and runtime products directly in the cloud. Quick and easy to access from the Beckhoff website with a web browser and requiring no additional software, the new solution enables registered users to work with the TwinCAT development environment even from previously unsupported devices such as tablet PCs.