Hannover Messe showcases the world’s most innovative Industrial Automation companies every year and 2014 was no exception. There was more emphasis than ever on control systems integration and prototyping (notably ViProSim from OWL MaschineBau). Web client based SCADA is beginning to make its mark with both Thingworx and GTI Control exhibiting their web based SCADA platforms. Internet of Things (called Internet 4.0 in Germany) offerings are becoming more pervasive with companies such as Cambridge consultants & ATS Electronik showcasing the application of some consumer technologies (bluetooth geo-location) to factory floor use cases. March of the Robots continues with Kawasaki exhibiting a 7-axis hygienic robot for vial filling manipulation for a pharmaceutical industry use case (see the video below). The launch of a the server oriented architecture PLC (through OPC UA) marked another world’s first from Beckhoff Automation. Meanwhile OPC UA continues to gather industry momentum. HAL Software will be showcasing their own S88/S95 prototyping product in Hannover next year. Be sure to drop by.
Kawasaki 7-axis Robot
Kawasaki demonstrated this 7 axis pick and place robot arm emptying vials. Not an especially useful use case admittedly. However, the fact that the arm can live in a sterile H2O2 Glovebox is useful.