HARTING vigorously advancing the development of Industry 4.0 solutions

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Turning trends into applications/ Focus on HARTING IIC MICA and Infrastructure Box

The HARTING Technology Group has vigorously pushed forward with the development of its Industry 4.0 solutions since the Hannover Messe and will be presenting the results at the SPS IPC Drives trade fair in Nuremberg from 24 to 26 November 2015 (Hall 10; Stand 140). ”Industry 4.0 is the dominant topic here at the trade fair. Consequently, we have been pressing ahead with developing our Smart Factory, the HAII4YOU Factory(Slogan: HARTING Integrated Industry 4 You), since April,” as Philip Harting, Chairman of the Board and personally liable partner emphasises.

”We have developed concrete applications from the trends in Integrated Industry, while consistently focussing on customer benefits,” explains Uwe Gräff, Managing Director HARTING Electric and HARTING Electronics. At this year’s Hannover Messe HARTING clearly identified the six trends in Integrated Industry (Customisation, Miniaturisation, Identification, Modularisation, Integration and Digitalisation) and targeted product and solution development in these areas.

HAII4YOU Factory

”Consequently we will also be presenting a HAII4YOU Factory update in Nuremberg,” states Dr. Volker Franke, Managing Director HARTING Applied Technologies and Industrie 4.0 expert at HARTING. With the implementation of ”intelligent stop points” HARTING will be using the HAII4YOU Factory as the basis for a demonstration of how the material flow within a Smart Factory can be controlled. ”This control does not require any additional programming or PLC,” explains Dr. Franke. The Technology Group is combining its competence as a component, application and system provider in the HAII4YOU* Factory.

Two prominent trade fair highlights are the HARTING IIC MICA and the Infrastructure Box. MICA is a modular platform of open hardware and software that can be rapidly and economically adapted to many industrial application areas. HARTING will be presenting production models and solutions and MICA deliveries will commence in 2016.

The decidedly positive customer response has prompted HARTING to hold an application contest called ”How do you use MICA?” Users are called on to develop an innovative application with MICA. The three best applications will be announced at the Hannover Messe 2016 and the winning teams will be awarded premium prizes.

The Infrastructure Box ensures availability and establishes flexibility with the optimal efficiency of modular Smart Factories for Industrie 4.0. The HARTING Infrastructure Box offers constant monitoring of all of the system’s lifelines. The reconfiguration and expansion, including during operation, are guaranteed by Han-Modular® connection technology and selective operation start-up. This allows the Infrastructure Box to act as a link in the Industrie 4.0 architecture and keeps the system’s heart ticking, so to speak.


Heason Technology Build EtherCAT Controlled Hexapod

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Motion control and high-tech systems integrator Heason Technology demonstrates its capability for mechatronic design and build with an EtherCAT controlled 6-axis hexapod (parallel robot) demonstration rig that comprises mechanical, electronic and software components from several of its distribution partners.

The rig actually uses two hexapods – a large servo-electric actuator driven unit that can run pre-programmed motion sequences or can be configured to mirror the movement of a smaller, manually controlled, ‘joystick’ with six linear position sensors. The motorised hexapod’s top plate is thus positioned to a full six degrees of freedom to move the load (three 20-inch TFT video monitors) in translation (x, y, z) and rotation (pitch, yaw, roll). For even more visual effect, the rig has an electric ducted fan and a Bernoulli-effect blower that supports a ball throughout the movement of the hexapod.

The automated hexapod uses the Stewart Platform system to full effect with six Thomson PC-series high-precision linear actuators arranged in pairs and fixed by flexible ball-joint linkages to the mechanism’s rigid base and moving top. The actuators have large diameter ballscrew transmission with a preloaded nut arrangement for high repeatability, smooth motion and excellent repeatability. They are regularly specified for applications ranging from packaging machinery to conveying and pick-and-place systems where they replace the limited positioning capability of pneumatic actuators and their extended life, high repeatability and quiet operation provide much improved production throughput and parts accuracy.

Fitted with Kollmorgen AKM™ series brushless motors with incremental encoder feedback, the actuator’s fully synchronised servo control combines Elmo Motion’s ‘Gold’ series Solo Whistle drives and the Maestro EtherCAT master controller. As a Gold Partner with Kollmorgen Europe, Heason Technology regularly specifies AKM series permanent magnet servomotors. The range offers unprecedented choice and flexibility with eight frame sizes and a wide variety voltage, feedback, braking and interfacing options to choose from.

EtherCAT controlled 6-axis hexapod parallel robot

Elmo Motion Control’s Gold Line is an unprecedented and wide range of servo drives that spans 6 to 780 V DC for DC-brushed, and brushless sinusoidal and trapezoidal commutated motors. In particular, the network-based Solo Whistle servo drive is an ultra-compact, integrated digital servo drive that offers up to 1.6 kW of continuous power or 3.2 kW of peak power. With support for a wide variety of feedback sensors and multiple communication options, Heason’s hexapod rig utilises the EtherCAT network option which marries this impressive drive with Elmo’s Maestro motion controller. The controller has a great deal of flexibility, enabling multi-axis control with a choice of CANopen or EtherCAT masters for distributed drive networking – saving installation costs and reducing wiring tasks over control cabinet drives.

For this application, Heason chose the industry standard EtherCAT option which is fast becoming the number one choice for high speed motion systems requiring tightly synchronised motion. The Maestro has up to 100 axis control capability and a 50 microsecond servo update rate specified for up to 16-axes. It also boasts advanced features such as motion blending, PVT and spline support, Delta robot kinematics and more.

As part of a wide choice of programming environment options for the Maestro which includes PLCopen, .NET, and both Native and Win C/C++, the industry standard IEC 61131-3 with PLC function block coding was chosen for the hexapod’s sequence and manual modes. The advanced EASII (Elmo Application Studio II) programming, configuration and application development tool was used to bring all aspects of the hexapod demonstration rig together in one easy-to-use graphical environment.

The manually controlled ‘joystick hexapod’ has the same geometry as the motorised version with a fixed base and moving top with a simple control arm fitted. Visitors are invited to position the larger unit using the improvised joystick control. Six VLPSC series linear sensors, supplied by Variohm EuroSensor – Heason’s sister company in the Variohm Holdings Group, each have a stroke length of 50 mm and include self-aligning pivot bearing mountings as standard. Well proven in harsh industrial environment, agricultural/construction machinery or challenging motorsports applications, the durable sensor design is based on conductive plastic potentiometric technology with an integrated signal conditioning module for 0…10 V DC voltage or 4…20 mA current output.

The Slinfold – West Sussex based motion specialist combines its own design and build systems integration expertise with motion products, components and systems from a small but select group of globally recognised distribution partners. Heason Technology’s comprehensive range includes servo and stepper motors with associated drives and motion controls, linear and rotary positioning mechanics, linear and rotary encoders, ceramic servo motors and positioning stages, high precision gearboxes, rotary actuators and slip ring assemblies.

New CEO and President appointed in Beijer Electronics

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The Board of Directors of Beijer Electronics AB (publ) has appointed Per Samuelsson (57) as new CEO and President.

Per Samuelsson has for 16 years held a similar position within the Strålfors group. Strålfors was previously listed but was bought out in 2006 by what is today PostNord.

Per was formerly a member of the Group management of PLM, as division manager, and has previously held several senior positions within the Perstorp Group. Per holds an MBA from the Stockholm School of Economics.

Per replaces Anna Belfrage, acting President and CEO since September 2014. He will join Beijer Electronics on August 17, 2015.

Per Samuelsson, CEO of Beijer Electronics
Per Samuelsson, CEO of Beijer Electronics

— We look forward to working together with Per and continue developing Beijer Electronics, partly through proactive investments in subsidiaries Westermo and Korenix to strengthen their positions in industrial data communication and wireless communication, and also by continuing internationalization of our HMI products.

We also want to thank Anna for her efforts and leadership as interim CEO, particularly in structuring parts of the company and reduce costs to achieve improved profitability, says Anders Ilstam, Chairman of Beijer Electronics.

Beijer Electronics is a fast growing technology company with extensive experience of industrial automation and data communication. The company develops and markets competitive products and solutions that focus on the user. Since its start-up in 1981, Beijer Electronics has evolved into a multinational group present in 19 countries and sales of 1,402 MSEK 2014. The company is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Nordic Stockholm Small Cap list under the ticker BELE.

Siemens, Connecting industrial outstations inexpensively and securely

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With the new CP 1243-8 IRC communication processor, Siemens enables telecontrol applications based on the Sinaut ST7 telecontrol protocol. The new communication processor makes it possible to connect Simatic S7-1200 controllers as outstations (remote terminal units/RTUs) to higher-level ST7 stations with minimum effort and low costs.

The solution is suitable for use in new and existing systems. Redundancy and comprehensive security functions ensure high availability and security. Key applications for the CP 1243-8 IRC are distributed plants in the fields of drinking water supply and distribution, sewer networks, and rain overflow tanks. In addition, the communication processors can be used for environmental monitoring and as local transport and distribution grids for district heating and electrical energy networks.

Connected RTUs are contacted via public or private communications networks. An industrial router (such as those in the Siemens Scalance M product range) can be connected to the Ethernet port of the device to establish an internet or cell phone connection. Additional connections for analog dial-up or private wireless network can be established via separate modules.

CP 1243-8 IRC communication processor
Siemens CP 1243-8 IRC communication processor


The CP 1243-8 supports both cyclical and event-driven transmission of every type of data required for process control and also offers alarm functions. The device can transmit measurement values from outstations to control centers or higher-level stations and send automatic e-mails and text messages to maintenance personnel. In order to prevent data loss in the event of a dropped connection, the communication processor continuously saves time-stamped measurement values. As soon as the connection is reestablished, the buffered values are automatically transmitted in the correct historical sequence to the control center.

To improve availability, the CP 1243-8 IRC offers the option of establishing an additional connection via the second WAN interface (for route redundancy). For this, a so-called teleservice (TS) module – for instance, an RS 232 serial interface or dial-up modem (analog, ISDN, and GSM) – is connected to the second WAN interface. Users can operate with one or the other interface, or both simultaneously.