Siemens, Intel, and Microsoft Team Up to Envision Production Line of the Future
At the heart of the new Innovative Production Line (IPL) proof of concept is an end-to-end enterprise connectivity architecture that extends to cloud services. Green manufacturing, immersive 3D user interfaces, continuous optimization, and energy management all play a role.
Industrial automation is rapidly evolving as information technology drives new levels of efficiency and productivity. As a result, customers in the industry are demanding solutions that are both innovative and reliable.
The Innovative Production Line (IPL) proof of concept, developed collaboratively by Siemens, Intel, and Microsoft, combines reliable Siemens industrial automation products with the latest Microsoft and Intel technology to develop a vision of the production line of the future.
To envision a highly efficient factory floor, information must seamlessly travel between the factory floor and the information technology center. End-to-end enterprise connectivity architecture spans from production line sensors to IT datacenter servers and even to cloud services. This architecture complies with all required enterprise IT policies by shielding the real-time factory network from the IT network using a Windows Embedded Server as a relay-server between the two networks... Read more
ISO 12100 Machinery Safety Standard Explained
A primer on the newly updated ISO 12100 machine safety standard, the three types of standards it encompasses, and how it helps designers identify risks during the design stage of machine production, reducing the potential for accidents.
ISO 12100:2010 (ISO 12100) specifies basic terminology, principles, and a methodology for achieving safety in the design of machinery. It specifies principles of risk assessment and risk reduction to help designers achieve this objective. These principles are based on knowledge and experience of the design, use, incidents, accidents, and risks associated with machinery. Within the standard, procedures are described for identifying hazards and estimating and evaluating risks during relevant phases of the machine life cycle, and for the elimination of hazards or sufficient risk reduction. Guidance is given on the documentation and verification of the risk assessment and risk reduction process.
ISO 12100 defines three types of standards representing different levels of granularity: type A standards establish general, overarching guiding principles, type B standards have specific design principles for a specific technology, and type C standards are application-specific standards. “A type A standard itself, ISO 12100 is also intended to be used as a basis for the preparation of type B and type C safety standards,” says Thomas Maier, principal engineer, functional safety at Underwriters Laboratories (UL)... Read more
Case study: Advanced Process Control Enables New Technique for Manufacturing Photovoltaic Cells
Manufacturer innovates with new manufacturing method that slashes production costs in half while increasing product quality. An advanced, open-architecture control system that handled both process and discrete control was a key requirement.
St. Louis, Missouri-based Confluence Solar, recently acquired by GT Advanced Technologies, borrowed a method for crystalline growth commonly seen in the semiconductor industry to produce monocrystalline substrates for photovoltaic cells. If properly controlled, the process can reduce the cost of producing monocrystalline substrates for photovoltaic cells by a factor of two while increasing the quality over what batch processes can produce.
Open architecture, advanced process control, and discrete control were key aspects of the project.
Having a commercially-viable innovation is only the first step in the birth of a new company. The idea leads to proof of concept and thenall things being positiveyou have to ramp to full production and that means making the right decisions about your manufacturing and automation processes. Make mistakes here and your existence as a company may be threatened.
This was exactly the situation facing St. Louis, Missouri-based Confluence Solar in 2010. The idea: use the Czochralski method of crystalline growth commonly seen in the semiconductor industry to produce monocrystalline substrates for photovoltaic cells, thus increasing product quality while slashing production costs in half... Read more
Video Tutorial: Siemens SIMATIC Diagnostics Saves Maintenance and Troubleshooting Costs
Traditional automation system diagnostics often don't provide enough information for fast and easy maintenance
Learn how Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) can eliminate time consuming and costly maintenance through improved diagnostics on your automation system. This graphical animation video will highlight several advantages for reducing time and cost when configuring SIMATIC diagnostics during the design of an automation system and how improved diagnostics enables quicker maintenance... View now