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Innovations redefining industry standards for precision and adaptability

Innovations redefining industry standards for precision and adaptability

December 30, 2023 11:33 am

Praveen Vaidya, Heading the National Application & Development Centre at B&R Automation, discusses how B&R’s integrated systems, digital twins, and innovative tools showcased at SPS 2023 redefine manufacturing and boost productivity, sustainability, and collaborative development.

What is your perspective about the manufacturing outlook for 2024?
The manufacturing industry is showing promising signs of returning to pre-pandemic norms, navigating supply chain challenges, economic fluctuations, and semiconductor crisis. Despite these hurdles, the market shows resilience and a continuous drive to reach its full potential. While growth still relies on productivity and quality, there’s a rising importance placed on flexibility and simplicity to maintain this upward trend. Key megatrends, such as the demand for personalized products, the need for skilled labour, the expanding scope of digitalization and AI, and potential future uncertainties, will continue to drive the push towards robotics and automation. The manufacturing industry’s journey towards Industry 4.0 and the realization of “smart factories” is gaining traction and instilling confidence among manufacturers in building sustainable solutions. The quest for innovative approaches to reduce energy consumption, explore raw material alternatives, and sustain production efficiency while achieving sustainability is at the forefront of manufacturers’ priorities.

How does B&R’s integrated system, along with Digital Twin, address the challenges faced by end-user manufacturers in achieving manufacturing excellence?
In the complicated machinery world, the synergy of various products is the driving force. Imagine the game-changing scenario where a single tool seamlessly commands and synchronizes all components, streamlining operations and reducing complexities for manufacturers.

B&R employs an integrated approach, ensuring seamless collaboration between hardware and software under a unified engineering tool. The hardware design and software programming duration can make all the difference. Hence, the speed of development becomes crucial for achieving shorter time-to-market goals.

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Digital twins can greatly aid the quick development and testing of a machine’s hardware and software. The only way for machines to achieve their ever-tighter development schedules is through highly efficient processes. Errors must be ruled out first rather than corrected after the fact. Even the prototype of a new machine must be just right the first time. End Users in the market have been specifically keen on subjects like ‘zero manufacturing defect’.

B&R collaborates with machine manufacturers in the market to assist them in reaching significant manufacturing milestones, thereby ensuring their competitiveness. The development of mechatronic systems utilized in the packaging unit is already implementing the ‘Adaptive manufacturing techniques methodology.’ B&R’s powerful integrated solutions include ACOPOStrak, SuperTrak, ACOPOS 6D and Vision system. These smart products enable the cost-effective production of small batches and personalized items, enhancing product quality by swiftly detecting defects with microsecond precision using cameras.

What new solutions contributing to productivity and sustainability in industrial settings were showcased at the recently held SPS 2023?
At the SPS 2023 event held in Nuremberg, B&R showcased industrial solutions aimed at contributing to a more productive and sustainable tomorrow. They introduced the ACOPOS 6D LaunchPad and ACOPOStrak design tool to simplify machine design and minimize development intricacies. The visitor attendees experienced a preview of the forthcoming design through low-code, no-code, simulation based methods. The newest version of the engineering tool, Automation Studio 6 with mapp technology 6.0 was laid out, showcasing an experimental AI copilot that lets development teams spend more time developing and less debugging.

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