By

Lindsey Guajardo

KEB announces Movilink driver for HMI and Routers

KEB America announces the addition of a Movilink driver to their HMI and Router products. The new feature will allow the control products to interface with SEW-Eurodrive Movidrive® inverters.

 

In many control and automation projects visualization and datalogging can be added to give the user more useful feedback and facilitate operation. In order to make this enhancement as easy as possible for nearly any type of existing installation, KEB includes a wide range of communication interfaces in their products. The introduction of Movilink into the HMI and Router of the C6 line of automation products allows us to reach a wider range of system integrators and end users.

 

 

All KEB HMIsMovilink drivers are now available on KEB HMI include an RS485 serial interface standard, which is used by the Movilink driver. Rugged, high-quality KEB HMI are well suited for many industrial applications. They come in a range of sizes and screen formats, bright back-lit displays with millions of colors, and touch technology. An LC version is available for applications that require a controller – an affordable solution for basic machine control with visualization. Each unit ships with COMBIVIS Connect software, so the system integrator has the ability to set up offsite commissioning and remote support.

 

By adding datalogging to an installation, the C6 Router with Movilink can enhance the performance of a Movidrive® inverter. Using KEB’s IEC 62443-3 certified secure, global network and COMBIVIS Connect the user has all the tools to monitor the system and analyze performance. The router is also capable of facilitating remote adjustments so the system can be fine-tuned without having to leave the office.

 

Movilink joins the list of over 40 communication drivers offered by KEB America. By being able to support a host of PLC interfaces KEB HMIs allow the customer to build a platform based on KEB products that will work in many different situations. In addition to the HMI and Router, KEB offers a full line of control and automation products from gearmotors and brakes, to IPCs and software. Each product was designed work as a stand-alone solution to be integrated into an existing system, or to be joined with other KEB products in a new installation.

 

For more information on connecting KEB control products to a SEW-Eurodrive inverter, contact us today.

 

 

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C6 VPN Industrial Router

 

 

Movilink drivers are now available on KEB HMI

SPS IPC Fair 2017

KEB invites you to visit us at the SPS IPC Fair 2017. The event will take place November 28 – 30 in Nuremberg, Germany, and you can find our exhibit in Hall 4, Booth 4-370. A map of Hall 4 can be downloaded here.

 

KEB has a tradition of bringing the latest technology in motor control to the fair, and this year is no different. Visitors to KEB’s booth will be able to learn more about our unique SCL-Posi™ motor control technology – positioning control without encoder feedback. The technology allows system integrators to save their clients money and cabinet space by eliminating the need for additional encoder hardware. You can read more about SCL technology here. During the fair visitors will be able to view in person each item in KEB’s IIoT-ready catalog. Brakes, clutches, and gearmotors; drives and PLC; HMI, routers, I/O, and software. Our expert engineers will be available to answer all of your questions about modernizing an existing installation or building a new system from the ground up.

 

The 28th International Exhibition for Electric Automation Systems and Components will host 1,700 exhibitors from the industrial automation industry. As the use of networked controls rises, the organizers expect Industry 4.0 to be a leading topic at the event. This year they have arranged for a guided tour to be available to attendees where they can learn directly from specialists in the design and development of each aspect of the modern manufacturing operation.

 

sps-fair-2017

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Artificial intelligence and the future industrial job field

The notion that developing efficiency in the way we work will destroy the future job market is not new. Articles and editorials currently making the rounds show a range of reactions to how robots and artificial intelligence will affect the workforce.

 

The hashtag #RobotsDontKillJobs was rising on LinkedIn recently, alongside the publication of this article by Quartz.com: Germany has way more industrial robots than the US, but they haven’t caused job losses. With Germany being a leader in manufacturing, it’s no wonder people are looking to their experiences to learn more about how robots are integrating into the landscape. And the results show that over the last 20 years they’ve integrated extremely well, increasing productivity and profitability. During that same time frame Germany saw little to no change in employment statistics.

 

This type of automation – what we like to call “cobots” – where robots work with people in the highly-skilled areas of the manufacturing floor is where KEB products shine. The C6 line of automation tools was created to seamlessly fit into an existing installation so the humans and robots can keep the conversation flowing freely. Products like the C6 Industrial VPN Router for connecting to the production floor, our range of IPCs for automation and maintenance and HMI for visualization and control. Connect everything with KEB’s COMBIVIS software. When good communication happens, work is done faster and with more efficiency.

 

Artificial intelligence - automation products for better efficiency

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There is, of course, the flip side of the story. On that same trending hashtag, I came across this article from Futurism.com: The Reports Are In: AI and Robots Will Significantly Threaten Jobs in 5 Years. Wait… I thought our jobs were safe from the robots? If we take a look at the kind of work that can be automated, it’s mainly things that can be done by less-skilled hands. Entry-level work is starting to disappear from job postings as these tasks are falling to robots. Workers in positions that require a higher amount of skill and experience seem to be safe from the robot takeover, and in fact are starting to see more job security according to the Quartz.com article, but younger workers aren’t able to get in on the ground level of manufacturing any more, and those with years of experience in the less-skilled tasks have seen a big drop in job security.

 

artificial intelligence - designing robot componentsIf the future of the engineering job market lies in more skilled jobs that work alongside robots, those of us currently in the field should work to ensure tomorrow’s engineers are ready for the task. Encouraging STEM development in schools and in extracurricular opportunities for underrepresented groups in the engineering field will be an important part of the future industrial job field. Here at KEB we frequently work with universities in the Twin Cities area and beyond offering internship opportunities. We’re able to provide practical experience to students wanting to put their engineering theories to work on the newest automation tasks.

 

When it comes to designing the tools for modern industrial settings KEB prefers to build systems unique to each problem to be solved, rather than selling individual products. That’s why we’ve engineered a wide variety of options into the brakes, drives, and motors available. In this way we can better assist our customers in designing an automated workflow even if they already have robots at work. KEB robotic clutches and brakes are perfect for applications that require highly precise movements.

 

artificial intelligence - programming AIRobots have been part of the manufacturing world since the Industrial Revolution, yet with each new technical development the worries resurface. In the coming years, a new fear will likely creep in – the proliferation of machines with the ability to learn. Not only will we rely on robots to do simple tasks, but as time goes on they will get better at anticipating issues and adjusting accordingly without human direction. Heavy hitters like Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and John Giannandrea of Google are raising their concerns about possible bias in artificial intelligence algorithms. These types of algorithms typically aren’t a part of industrial manufacturing, but the precedent is being set. Computers are frequently being taught to learn by people who do not have expertise in that particular field and those using the computers are not able to view or analyze the proprietary algorithms. If this trend continues the lack of transparency and niche knowledge in artificial intelligence could create a future job field that’s closed off to many potential entry-level engineers.

 

Did the digital camera kill Kodachrome film, and in turn has the smartphone caused digital cameras to fall out of favor? Is it Amazon’s fault that Sears is closing stores all over the country? Are millennials killing … well, everything?  Probably. Will robots take over someone’s job? Of course they will. The job market of our parents is not the same as the one we came into, and when our children or grandchildren look for their first jobs it will certainly be changed again. And in the end, if Steve Wozniak isn’t worried about robots then we’ll probably be OK.

KEB America brings packaging solutions to Pack Expo in Las Vegas

Shakopee, MN – KEB America is planning their third trip to Pack Expo, North America’s largest packaging industry trade show. The event will take place September 25 – 27 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. KEB America will be exhibiting in the South Lower hall, booth 6282.

 

KEB at Pack Expo Las Vegas '17

 

For more than 45 years KEB has perfecting the development of automation and control solutions. The catalog of products offered can be used at nearly any point in the packaging line. KEB America has full design and manufacturing capabilities for a range of flexible and durable products at their ISO 9001:2008 certified facility in Shakopee, MN. See a few of our products in the video below.

 

 

During the expo, visitors to KEB’s booth can expect to see the company’s top-quality, German-engineered hardware solutions and cutting-edge, IIoT-ready control and software solutions. Integral gearmotors, servo motors, clutches, brakes, drives from KEB are ready to be customized for each packaging line’s unique needs. Full automation and control will be on display with KEB’s HMI, PLCs, embedded control, flexible I/O, routers, and IPCs. Ask a KEB engineer for a demonstration of the COMBIVIS Connect software to see how the products all work together to create a real-time monitoring and commissioning network without having to leave the office.

 

As part of their commitment to providing the best possible solutions to the packaging industry, KEB America has recently announced their commitment to the software programming standards set by OMAC and PackML.

 

Pack Expo Las Vegas draws more than 2,000 exhibitors and 30,000 attendees from every vertical market within the packaging industry. The show is hosted by PMMI Media Group and is part of a series that includes Pack Expo shows in Mexico, the Eastern US, and shows focusing healthcare and food packaging technology.

 

For more information and updates from the show please visit KEB America on social media. You can find KEB America on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.

 

Working with OMAC to promote better standards

For more than 45 years KEB has been perfecting the development of automation and control solutions for several vertical industries, including packaging machinery.

 

The catalog of products we offer can be used at nearly any point in the packaging line, which is why KEB America aims to be more than a supplier of a single component. We are a complete solution provider for the packaging industry. Our commitment to creating the best solutions for our customers can be seen not only in our top-quality, German-engineered hardware solutions, but the powerful software which programs our control products.  For this reason, KEB has joined the OMAC group and has begun the development of a PackML solution.

 

OMAC and PackML promote standardization in packaging machinery software

 

Standardizing solutions for automation and control

Building an application system that uses modern automation and information analysis should be a priority for competitive manufacturers. However, many companies face significant delays or even road blocks when building their packaging line because machines simply cannot communicate with each other or with the end user in a useful way. KEB recognizes the issues that come up with system integration, and has joined with OMAC in an effort to make fully-networked lines a reality for more companies.

 

Since 1994, the Organization for Machine Automation and Control has been working to provide manufacturers and their customers with the tools to optimize their production and profitability in a competitive market. OMAC brings together end-user manufacturers, OEM machine builders, system integrators, technology providers, and non-profit/government agency organizations to address common roadblocks to success and create standards of performance across their product lines.

 

 

PackML

KEB has joined the list of technology providers whose products follow the standards set by OMAC, and will be developing software to meet PackML requirements.

 

PackML, or Packaging Machine Language, was created to encourage interoperability between hardware and software vendors supporting the packaging industry. It does this by standardizing machine states, modes, commands, and data. The end result is improved development time, better reliability, and easier maintenance and monitoring.

 

 

KEB as a technology provider

HMI LC, programmed with OMAC standardsBy committing to PackML standards KEB is ensuring our library of products will be suitable for both new and existing packaging lines. If you’re building a new line from the ground up, our sales engineers can walk you through our full catalog and select the products and versions best suited to your business goals. Existing lines can benefit from KEB’s decades of experience and top-of-the line technology with products that seamlessly integrate with any of the other technology providers in the OMAC.

 

Implementing PackML standardized state diagrams on the KEB HMI will provide operators with a familiar interface, great for fast training and support. Programming a KEB PLC is done with programming tags and key performance indicators that are already defined so communication between equipment is quick to set up and easy to configure.

 

At KEB we’re committed to being a full solution provider for our customers. If you have any questions about how KEB products with PackML built in can benefit your packaging line, be sure to contact our knowledgeable sales engineers.

 

You can also chat with us in person at the PackExpo in Las Vegas – booth 6282. We’d love to meet with you and share our packaging machinery solutions.

The role of the IT professional in Industry 4.0

The role of the IT professional in Industry 4.0Building and maintaining an automated industrial process is changing. Improved networking capabilities is bringing a wave of businesses into Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things. So much so, that younger professionals have come to expect the ability to monitor their installations remotely from their desk, smartphone, or tablet, and companies like KEB are building a new generation of products that speaks to this need. When a product comes with a choice of communication interfaces, wireless or wired, WAN, LAN, and serial, the most informed consumer will be the one who knows the communication network inside and out.

 

In most installations, setting up network connectivity falls to a department that previously wouldn’t have been involved in purchasing decisions for the factory floor – the IT department. Recent surveys among integrators that have begin setting up IIoT-ready automation processes have indicated that nearly a quarter of all purchase decisions for these installations will involve IT, and in many cases these purchases will be a line item in the IT budget. Though a product may be used by the engineers, KEB recognizes every department within a company will have different business goals, different bottom lines. In IIoT, there’s an intersection of interests between engineers and IT so the products offered need to serve both of these.

 

In a previous post, I went over how data-gathering techniques that are a part of IIoT devices can be used to improve the productivity of an installation. KEB drives, like the F5 Inverter, have the ability to send data to devices with logging capabilities. Being a part of industry 4.0 is building a system in which this communication takes place as part of the IT department’s new role in factory automation. KEB’s products are able to speak to each other using one of more than a dozen communication protocols. Additionally, our C6 VPN Router can be integrated wirelessly, or using a wired network. By using KEB products an integrator will give their IT department maximum flexibility for designing the communication network.

 

Watch the video

It’s more common, however, for our customers to be updating their existing installations rather than starting from the ground up. Many of KEB’s products are designed for a long product and support lifetime. The F4 series of drives, for example, was produced for over twenty years before we updated to the F5 which has now been going strong for fifteen years. We hope that all of our products will see many years of use in a customer’s installation, so we endeavor to make our new products easy to integrate into existing systems. Even third party products can work well with KEB’s IIoT-ready devices. Are you using an Allen Bradley PLC? We can work with that. This feature – the ease of integration – is what we feel makes our IIoT products truly IT-friendly.

 

When it comes to industry 4.0 and the IT department’s role in a company, we know they have loads of responsibilities on their plate. Adding into this the necessity of installing and maintaining the factory floor’s communication network shouldn’t be a roadblock to the newest technology and the future of machine automation. Give us a call, or send us an email and we’ll help you make your IT professional’s job easier.

 

High temperature industrial router for outdoor datalogging and communication

Here at KEB, summertime is great for picnics, bike rides, or a cool dip in one of Minnesota’s 10,000 beautiful lakes. Unfortunately, finding relief from the heat of the summer air isn’t as easy for many industrial installations. A high temperature router is important to maintaining consistent datalogging and communication in installations that may lack cooling or air conditioning. In this post we’ll highlight the extended temperature range and optional communication options of our C6 Industrial VPN Router.

 

The largest benefit our customers see from creating a networked automation system is that it can save time and money when it comes to maintenance and monitoring. When something goes wrong with a machine it can be looked into from a remote connection anywhere in the world using KEB’s secure global network.

 

C6 Router for Remote Connection

 

The standard router is a great tool for monitoring many types of installations, but we know some of our customers work in environments that lack climate control or Ethernet networking. Wastewater, oil and gas, wind turbines, and many other types of outdoor installations can benefit from communication options that can be used on any cellular network, as well as an extended operating temperature range.

 

For applications in environments prone to extreme temperatures – like a cabinet without air conditioning in the Arizona desert – the router comes in an extended temperature version. With the extended range, the router can safely be used in temperatures as low as -20°C and up to 70°C. This option is available for all four models of our router.

 

The M1 and M2 models come with one push-pin type SIM card and a SMAStecker antenna. An auxiliary Diversity antenna is optionally available as well. The antenna can be directly mounted to the device, connected via extension cable or extension cable with wall mount, or the router can be connected with an outdoor antenna.

Industrial router antenna

 

Every C6 router is made from rugged industrial-grade materials. It has a stainless steel enclosure that can be DIN rail or wall mounted, and has no fans or moving parts. They carry CE and cULus approvals and an IP20 protection rating. Communication to other devices is set up using the WAN or LAN Ethernet ports. The standard router will operate in temperatures ranging from 0° to 50°C.

 

If your application can benefit from the extended temperature range or cellular communication options for our C6 Router please contact us today and we’ll get you set up with a risk-free trial.

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