AMK and ITQ present a visionary concept
As a pioneer in digital challenges in drive engineering, AMK is engaged in the use of digital expertise in the age of Industry 4.0. With the combination of smartphone, apps, and intelligent drives, AMK prepares machines for the digital revolution.
The smartphone replaces the controller. With this revolutionary approach, the control tasks are divided into real-time-critical tasks and non-time-critical tasks. The real-time-critical task package migrates completely to the new AMK MultiServo and thus to the drive level. For non-time-critical sequence control, standard mobile devices from the consumer market are used instead of industrial hardware.
AMK and ITQ are using a demo machine to demonstrate the feasibility of the concept. By integrating the sequence control in the smartphone or tablet, a human-machine interface is available to developers, start-up engineers, and on-site personnel that they are accustomed to using from their own smartphone. This in turn means that handling of production machines can be learned much more quickly. The complete operation and programming of the system, including the motion control, is set-up through functionally subdivided apps. They provide all necessary functionalities for control, operation, and visualization of the machine and thus take the place of powerful central engineering environments that are correspondingly complex to control. "Bringing software in a container and making it available in app stores will gain importance in the future," said AMK Managing Director Dr. Ulrich Viethen. At the same time, the different innovation cycles for hardware and software can also be separated from each other. Because the apps are uncoupled from their highly specialized electronics, no one has to wait on the other for further developments. As a result, further developments in programming can be used immediately and in a very cost-effective way.
So that the drive and smartphone understand each other, a common industrial communication standard – OPC UA – is used for this concept that provides all necessary security mechanisms for safe communication.
The megatrend Industry 4.0 raises networking to a new level. And software in particular will provide an elementary contribution in the future for continuous improvement of productivity and performance of existing machines.
See the smartphone as controller in our live demo: