Convergence Knowledge Center

Convergence in software: Program less, configure more!

Much like the evolution of computers in the automobile, automation functionalities are converging onto a graphical dashboard -- the human-machine interface. This convergence is enabled by automation suppliers that follow Moore's Law and embrace mainstream computing technologies.

The latest of advance is B&R's modular application -- or mapp -- technology that makes automation software easier to program, operate, maintain and update. B&R's mapp technology utilizes powerful, pre-tested software components that are readily configured and reconfigured. IEC 61131-3 compliant mapp technology covers all aspects of automation software, not just motion function blocks but everything from file handling to recipe changes.

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Application Videos

Welcome to mapp Technology

The result, after many man-years of development, is mapp Technology. Short for modular application, mapp represents B&R's strategic investment in its own future viability. It bridges the gap between traditional, sequential software design and intuitive interfaces overlaying advanced software concepts. mapp embeds powerful software functionality inside readily configured software objects, called mapp links which are based on the IEC 61131-3 standard.

mapp Concept - What is mapp Technology?

This video explainins the concept behind mapp Technology


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.


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

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

The Fundamentals of IEC 61131

IEC 61131-3 was most recently updated in 2013. It's an open PLC standard that defines the application programming development environment. In this presentation, Bill Lydon, director of PLCopen North America, explains the four programming languages and the structured design language that the standard covers. Watch now

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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B&R Industrial Automation Corp.
1250 Northmeadow Parkway, S-100
Roswell, GA 30076

Tel: +1 (770) 772-0400
Fax: +1 (770) 772-0243