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

GN Thermoforming

Versatile and User Friendly Thermoforming Machine
The GN760 Plug-Assist Thermoformer is expanded with a huge number of services provided by B&R. GN Thermoforming uses the ACOPOSmulti system, the X67 I/Os for all of the field wiring, Automation Studio for programming and the visualization and POWERLINK for communication.


Athena Automation

Preform System Delivers Speed, Performance and Energy Efficiency
Athena Automation Ltd. and Sipa benefit from B&Rs know how in efficient servo technology including POWERLINK and openSAFETY. Rapidity, performance and energy efficiency display their machines.


Top Tier

L7 All-Electric Palletizer with Precise Placement
TopTier's new L7 All Electric palletizer features PerfectPattern technology, guaranteeing precise placement of cases on the row-build section, as well as confirming case rotation and size.


Batching Systems

Optical Scanning Technology from Batching Systems Scans 4,000 Times per Second
The continuous counter, Batchmaster IV scans at 4,000 times per second. The sophisticated optical scanning technology behind the machine produces extremely accurate batches, identifying products based on size and shape and filtering out any parts outside of the accepted range. The counter features a B&R touchscreen HMI that combines control, visualization and motion control and it also allows for remote access and diagnostics.


SCM Group SpA

Blow Molder for Complex 3D Automotive Component Manufacturing
The SCM Group is a global leader of machine manufacturing for the woodworking industry whose machines take advantage of advanced systems from B&R. The Superset NT moulder provides manufacturers of all types of profiles with maximum production flexibility. Thanks to the B&R Power Panel, jobs can be changed easily and with little effort, allowing even smaller batches to be produced in a very effective way.

APPLICATION STORIES/CASE STUDIES

Let It Flow

More and more manufacturers are realizing they can achieve greater efficiency and productivity by implementing ultrahigh-pressure waterjets in their operations. Waterjets can cut a vast range of materials, are generally easy to use and maintain and, unlike many other methods, do not produce excessive heat that can alter the properties of the material.

Plastics Processing Goes Green

Injection molding machines produce plastic products by melting and injecting material, most commonly plastic, into a preformed mold. Advantages of this method over alternative manufacturing methods include minimal finishing requirements and the ability to recycle and melt scraps for reuse. With an increase in packaging and various household items made from plastic, injection molding machine production has grown steadily.

Maximizing Mechatronics

Founded in 1848, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is the state's most renowned comprehensive teaching and tier-one research university with a student body of approximately 42,000 and 18,000 faculty and staff. The College of Engineering enrolls approximately 1,500 graduate and 3,800 undergraduate students. Each year, students here participate in various technical projects, such as the "Bucky Car Wash", a fully functional miniature car wash built with B&R components.

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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