Convergence Knowledge Center

Welcome to the Convergence Knowledge Center!

Much like the evolution of the automobile, automation will embed technologies in such a way that they are transparent to the user and allow untrained users to not only operate but also become capable of performing self-guided maintenance tasks.

Leading the way is the convergence of functionalities on a single HMI dashboard, as part of an integrated control capability based on international standards. This convergence is led by Moore's Law and enabled by a host of new technologies, ranging from three-dimensional immersive animation to networked safety, to energy and condition monitoring technologies, to mainstream consumer and IT platforms. Key to the productivity gains arising from convergence are compounded benefits: an easier and safer machine to use has better Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). Better OEE reduces energy consumption, which translates to improved sustainability. Sustainable operation also means reduced scrap, which improves quality, etc. And all these metrics have the net effect of increasing revenue streams and profitability. B&R believes in this domino effect of convergence and making machine operation more efficient.

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Application Videos

APACKS @ Pack Expo 2014

APACKS presents its sanitary and flexibly designed Exact Mass liquid filling system. With B&R, APACKS developed the system to be the most accurate and fast filling liquid filler in the marketplace.


Gleason @ IMTS 2014

Gleason's latest machine introduction, the 300GMS, is a complete gear inspection system for automotive, aerospace and similar sized gears. The system is equipped with a new-generation Renishaw® 3D scanning probe for accuracy and a B&R motion control system that contribute the machine’s enhanced performance.


Weiler Labeling Systems 1 @ Pack Expo 2014

Weiler Labeling Systems introduces its new RL-840N glueless cut-and-stack rotary labeler, which incorporates NuLabel’s activatable adhesive technology. The machine’s performance is largely attributed to a B&R control system that is stepper motor driven and uses Ethernet POWERLINK technology to provide microsecond communication.


Flow International @ IMTS 2014

A leader of industrial waterjet machines, Flow International Corporation, showcases various precision Mach Series waterjet cutters at IMTS, all with control systems by B&R adapted on them to provide efficient and accurate performance. From the Mach 2c to the Mach 4c, these powerful machines can cut virtually any material on earth, from fine tissue paper to 13 inch steel and titanium landing gears, with extreme precision.


Hayssen Flexible Systems @ Pack Expo 2014

The new Merlin “Blu” flow wrapper from Hayssen Flexible Systems is easy to use and comes equipped with extensive hygienic features. The innovative machine is sleek and includes several tool-less removal features and an easy-to-clean design. With a B&R control system, the flow wrapper integrates temperature control, visualization, and motion control all in one package.


Trumpf @ IMTS 2014

TRUMPF’s new disk laser cutting machine, the TruLaser 1030 Fiber, is ideal for flat laser cutting, with capabilities of handling various types of sheet metal, including aluminum, brass, copper, and galvanized titanium. The entry-level laser cutter features an integrated design to keep the machine extremely compact and user friendly. The machine includes customized HMI from B&R and uses the modular software programming environment, Automation Studio.


APPLICATION STORIES/CASE STUDIES

The journey is the destination

Each year, the luggage of 3.6 million travelers passes through the Halifax Stanfield International Airport in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Cofely sought a better automation solution for its baggage sorting systems – and found it at B&R.

Salad made simple

The allure of packaged salads remains strong. The convenience of this healthy food option makes it accessible and attractive to many, but consumers are also price sensitive. Like others in the food processing industry, packaged salad producers often devote a large portion of their time and financial resources to packing their products by hand. While this may have worked in the past, increasing pressure to maintain low prices and improve production efficiency is motivating packaged salad producers to embrace new technologies in order to remain competitive.

How to wind up on top

METEOR can look back on decades of tradition in the construction of winding machinery. Automobile industry suppliers use their machines to produce ignition coils. The team of twelve generated a revenue of around 6 million Swiss francs in 2012, with the automotive sector representing about 60 percent of this total. METEOR sells around 60 winders each year, including three series of multi-spindle winders with standard models designed for coil widths ranging from 10 µm to 1.2 mm. Special applications can be developed for coil diameters up to 4.0 mm.


PRODUCT VIDEOS

What could you do with...
...the most powerful industrial PC...
...and a giant multi-touch tablet?

There's nothing wrong with the same old operator interfaces, there's just so much more productivity possible by ruggedizing the latest innovations in mainstream computing. First it was multi-touch panels capable of running Windows™ 8 based applications, first seen at PACK EXPO, IMTS and SPS/IPC/Drives shows last fall. Now it's the next generation of industrial PC, with the latest Intel® processors powering them. Here's what Intel has to say about it.

Multi-Touch Panels


Next Generation of Industrial PC



Defining 'The Internet of Things' - How to Connect your Machine

In the consumer Internet of Things, the phone company now lets you turn your home's lights on and off from your mobile device, change the thermostat, and lock or unlock your doors -- connecting what previously were manual devices that could only be operated locally. Simply stated, IoT identifies and represents unique intelligent devices over the Internet. But we already identify and represent unique devices in industrial automation. It may or may not be over the Internet and it may not be every device on a machine, but in general, industrial automation is ahead of consumer technology adoption – for once – in what is really just distributed intelligence based on standards. This paper seeks to separate the hype from the practical and identify existing industrial IoT functionalities. Download now

The Convergence eBook: The future of industrial automation

A key change in developed markets is the demographics of the industrial automation user. What is happening to the generation that grew up in North America with purpose-built PLCs, ladder logic, vendor-driven device buses and limited human-machine interface graphics? They’re starting to retire, and they are being supplanted by a polarized work force consisting of computer scientists applying automation technologies on the one hand, and a perennially under-educated labor pool operating the machinery on the other. Download eBook

Packaging Machinery Automation Playbook

This 85-page multi-media packaging automation 'Playbook' is your guide on how to use machine automation to save costs and improve efficiencies. Topics covered include trends in packaging, universal specifications, OEE calculations, capital project justification, networked safety, and on-machine help systems. Download playbook

PackML + PackSpec = packaging's future

A joint meeting of the Organization for Machine Automation & Control's PackML and PackSpec committees recently took place in Atlanta. It included a workshop moderated by OMAC board member, P&G's Dan Amundson. The goal of the meeting was for the PackSpec group to harmonize its specification document with PackML revisions to make it easier to implement and benefit from, and to develop a universal controls specification for packaging machinery based on OMAC Packaging Guidelines.

OMAC is the global organization for automation and manufacturing professionals that is dedicated to supporting the machine automation and operational needs of manufacturing. Currently it operates three Working Groups: Packaging Machinery, Manufacturing Infrastructure, and Machine Tool.

Ending the "fieldbus wars" with openSAFETY

Maurizio Tarozzi, Global Technology Manager for Packaging Solutions at B&R, explained how openSAFETY, the first open and the only bus-independent safety standard for all Industrial Ethernet solutions, can take packaging line integration and effectiveness a step further. Presenting a case study featuring a complete beverage line for filling water into plastic bottles, Tarozzi illustrated how openSAFETY is able to transfer safety data such as E-stop button activation, light curtain violations, etc. between disparate PLC technologies used throughout a single packaging line.

"Safety networks can provide a new level of integrated safety and diagnostics," pointed out Griffen in the Q&A session that followed. However, with industrial bus organizations each proposing their own safety network, Griffen sees openSAFETY — an IEC-compliant protocol that can run on the application layer of any major network — as a potential solution to what has been dubbed round two of the "fieldbus wars" of the 1990's. For more information, click here.

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