Videos
Wolfram Eberhardt, corporate communications at Rittal, explains the economics and energy efficiencies of the RiMatrix S modular data centre system introduced at CeBit 2013 and Hannover Messe 2013. Wolfram Eberhardt of Rittal: RiMatrix S is Rittal’s concept for a standardized data centre construction. With immediate effect, data centres can be quickly configured, delivered, and put into operation. Every unit in the process chain, from consulting to service, benefits from the prefabricated elements. In addition, Rittal ensures that the system has a high energy efficiency. RiMatrix S is the perfect solution for modern, standardised data centre infrastructures with uniform interfaces and continuous automation. “We want to fundamentally change the rules of the market with this worldwide novel approach to standardized data centres,” said Friedhelm Loh, Rittal’s owner and CEO. Data centres are traditionally one-off solutions. Often they are jointly designed and implemented with the customer to meet specific needs. Nevertheless, in the modern Web 2.0 society, there are large and growing numbers of “standardized units,” as well as services that differ from one company to the next. Standard services on standard hardware are supplied with electricity and air conditioning via a standard infrastructure. For a long time now, many data centres have been largely similar in many aspects. Rittal-RiMatrix-S TechnikHowever, in terms of design, implementation, and operation, elaborate, custom-made concepts still dominate. This is not only time-consuming, but also expensive, as hardly any standardized processes and components can be defined once and then be called again up repeatedly. Rittal is addressing precisely these needs with its RiMatrix S, a world first. RiMatrix S complements the existing RiMatrix product line as a modular system with predefined modules of server and network enclosures, and for climate control and power supply. The smallest RiMatrix S variant, the Single 6, consists of six racks to accommodate servers and an additional frame for network technology. The larger version, the Single 9, has eight server racks plus one rack for network technology. Both can be combined to form larger units. What sounds merely like a minor change in data centre construction is in fact a revolution: “With the RiMatrix S, Rittal is making a paradigm shift in the IT world, because never before has a complete data centre been available under a single Model No.,” explained Bernd Hanstein, Vice President Product Management IT at Rittal. RiMatrix S has a delivery time of only six weeks. The extremely short delivery and commissioning times are a direct consequence of the data centre modules’ high level of standardization. While consultants usually draw up the sizes and expansion stages of individual racks in detail with the customer, RiMatrix S is assigned in blocks. Operating costs are calculated in advance because Rittal delivers a defined promise of performance for the PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) value. If the server modules are used in conjunction with a cooling unit from Rittal, the system specialist guarantees an excellent PUE of up to 1.15. For each kilowatt of power that the servers take up, only 15% of additional energy is used, for instance for climate control and uninterruptible power supply. The high level of efficiency also stems from the fact that Rittal has combined the results of research and development projects in RiMatrix S. Thus findings from the AC4DC project, concerning the overall control of all climate control components in a data centre, ensure that the modules function at the optimum operating point in terms of climate and server load. Despite this, the RiMatrix S module solution is flexible. Customers can connect their own resources via the clearly defined transfer points for energy, climate control, and network. Yet the benefits of quick installation and commissioning do remain. If RiMatrix S is installed at the customer’s facilities, all the components are in the correct order and can be mounted immediately. This way, customers have a functioning infrastructure and can make use of their applications and services within a very short time. The return on investment (ROI) is faster and time to market is minimized. Rittal RiMatrix S StrategieRittal offers a specially developed RiMatrix S Configurator on its website, where interested parties can calculate in advance whether speed, ease of installation, and standardized processes outweigh any possible disadvantages from the reduced customization. This is not to say that RiMatrix S offers a fixed concept permitting no changes. Experience has shown that changes in the data centre take place at fixed intervals; a 19" enclosure alone is installed in the rarest cases. Individual activities are performed on one combined maintenance or conversion date. Because the Single 6 or Single 9 modules are erected much more quickly and easily than comparable systems made from free-standing enclosures, the time spent on rebuilding and extension work is kept to a minimum. Uniform components not only simplify the mechanical construction, but also provide benefits in system administration. Administrators can use the same monitoring and control tools with each RiMatrix S module, even if the modules are mounted at different locations. This reduces training time, makes service and IT-management easier, and ties up fewer of the administrator’s resources, which then become free for other tasks. www.rittal.ca
Published in Factory
This year’s prestigious international Hermes Award goes to Bosch Rexroth. Presented annually at Hannover Messe, the award singles out outstanding innovations pioneered by individual companies. In this video, Bosch Rexroth chairman Dr. Karl Tragl explains why the company was chosen in 2013 for its Open Core Engineering system. “This year’s HERMES AWARD has been won by Bosch Rexroth, an internationally successful manufacturer of high-tech products. For many years the company has exhibited at HANNOVER MESSE in order to present its dynamic innovation processes to decision-makers. The award-winning solution makes a major contribution to ‘Integrated Industry’ and will accelerate the trend towards networked industrial production,” explains Dr. Jochen Köckler, Member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe AG. Bosch Rexroth has received the HERMES AWARD for its Open Core Engineering project, which unites the previously separate worlds of programmable logic controllers (PLC) and information technology (IT). Bosch Rexroth has created a seamless solution based on open standards, software tools, function packages and the Open Core Interface. Traditional PLC-based engineering can now be combined with the enhanced capabilities of high-level programming languages. In addition, innovative functions can be run as native applications on external devices such as smartphones. Via these native apps it is possible to read data as well as to write data directly to the controllers. This gives OEMs an opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors by creating customized software functions without the direct support of the respective controller manufacturers. The HERMES AWARD was presented by the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Dr. Johanna Wanka, at the HANNOVER MESSE Opening Ceremony on 7 April. “Industry is on the threshold to a fourth industrial revolution. The Open Core Engineering project is an outstanding example of the potential of Industry 4.0 for innovative and efficient communication in the field of production,” Minister Wanka emphasized in her prize-giving speech. “The Jury of the 10th HERMES AWARD has singled out a software product for the first time. In the context of Industry 4.0 more and more factory automation functions are being transferred to software. The award-winning solution will simplify the migration from today’s factory-based world to the Internet of Things. Open standards will ensure that the digital product memory will be available everywhere in real time,” added Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, Chairman of the Jury and CEO of the Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). The independent Jury nominated Top 5 Along with the winning firm, Bosch Rexroth AG based in Lohr am Main, the following companies were also nominated for the 2013 HERMES AWARD: Ebm-papst GmbH & Co. KG, Mulfingen; Hirschmann Automation and Control GmbH, Neckartenzlingen; KAESER Kompressoren AG, Coburg; and Schildknecht AG, Murr. The award-winning and nominated products/processes will be on display at the companies’ stands during HANNOVER MESSE 2013. In addition, “tech transfer – Gateway2Innovation“ in Hall 2 (Stand D12) will present detailed information about all the nominated submissions and companies. www.boschrexroth.ca
Published in Factory
Beckhoff Automation chief technology officer Gerd Hoppe provides an overview of the latest PC-based control products based on 25 years of experience in the market, including the innovative eXtended Transport System that is aimed at logistics, assembly and transportation applications. www.beckhoff.ca
Published in Factory
Mechatronic solutions consultant Sean-Patrick Mulherrin of EPLAN previews functionality coming Fall 2013 in Version 2.3 of EPLAN software. A new Preplanning Module interface is shown that bridges the gap between a design concept "napkin" sketch and engineering a complete electromechanical system with drawings. www.eplancanada.com
Published in Software
Harting displays two recent additions to its Han industrial connectors line – one for up to 10,000 mating cycles and another for temperatures up to 200 degrees C. Frank Quast, Head of Product Management Connector Han at Harting, demonstrates the benefits of these robust, cost-cutting industrial connectors. www.harting.ca
Published in Factory
Joris Myny, Siemens Canada Ltd. vice president, Industry Automation and Drive Technologies divisions, outlines how Siemens provides the technology for the 5 necessary stages to successfully create products: design, planning, engineering, execution and services such as condition monitoring. www.siemens.ca
Published in Factory
Stephan Langer, Business Unit Networking product manager at Balluff GmbH, demonstrates the versatile IO-Link factory automation platform that goes beyond the company's traditional sensor business. IO-Link provides a system platform for industrial networking, connectivity, identification, object detection, linear postition sensing and measurement, condition monitoring and fluid sensing. www.balluff.com
Published in Factory
Festo safety specialists Dirk Glere and Klaus Gabriel discuss safe products and systems for factory automation applications. www.festo.ca
Published in Factory
Festo Energy Efficiency consultant Roland Volk of Festo AG demonstrates the options for machine designers deciding on electrical vs. pneumatic technology for their projects. www.festo.ca
Published in Factory
Highlights of activities at the Phoenix Contact booth at Hannover Messe 2013 cover products from plug-in connectors to wireless connectivity devices, as well as industry and educational initiatives. www.phoenixcontact.ca More Phoenix Contact Hanover Fair Videos
Published in Factory
Festo Canada Inc. and Festo AG have faced challenges due to the economic crisis, but have weather the storm with new technologies and strong business practises. Canadian president and CEO Thomas Lichtenberger and chairman of the management board of Festo AG, Dr. Eberhard Veit, weigh in on topics such as the recent Federal Budget in Canada, as well as opportunies from Festo's innovations in edrives and process automation. www.festo.ca
Published in Factory
B&R Automation marketing manager Stefan Schönegger outlines the safety products necessary to protect humans and their machines from each other. From the B&R booth at Hannover Messe 2013, he also details SafeLOGIC-X, that uses the openSAFETY communication protocol, the first open – and only 100% bus-independent – safety standard for all Industrial Ethernet solutions. www.br-automation.com
Published in Factory
At Hannover Messe 2013 in Germany, newly appointed vice president of SEW-Eurodrive Co. of Canada Ltd. Anthony Peluso describes the company's broad line of drives, gears, motors and controls for applications in natural resources, packaging and food & beverage sectors. www.sew-eurodrive.ca
Published in Factory
Han-Eco® is HARTING’s new heavy-duty, modular industrial connector series – the highly configurable connector with a lower weight and price point than metal, thanks to its rugged thermoplastic hoods and housings. Han-Eco® accept all Han-Modular modules.
Published in Factory
Torsten Ratzmann, HARTING Senior VP of Production & Logistics, details how the company maintains such high quality at its 11 plants around the globe. HARTING facilities are benchmarked with the best companies in the world, explains Ratzmann.
Published in Factory
Swarms of robots acting together to carry out jobs could provide new opportunities for humans to harness the power of machines. Researchers in the Sheffield Centre for Robotics, jointly established by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, have been working to program a group of 40 robots, and say the ability to control robot swarms could prove hugely beneficial in a range of contexts, from military to medical. The researchers have demonstrated that the swarm can carry out simple fetching and carrying tasks, by grouping around an object and working together to push it across a surface.  The robots can also group themselves together into a single cluster after being scattered across a room, and organize themselves by order of priority.
Published in Factory
With the BionicOpter, Festo has technically mastered the highly complex flight characteristics of the dragonfly. Just like its model in nature, this ultralight flying object can fly in all directions, hover in mid-air and glide without beating its wings. The BionicOpter is being featured at the Festo booth at Hanover Fair 2013, April 8-12. www.festo.com/en/bionicopter
Published in Factory
Research at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden has resulted in a new type of machine that sorts used batteries by means of artificial intelligence (AI). One machine is now being used in the UK, sorting one-third of the country's recycled batteries. “I got the idea at home when I was sorting rubbish. I thought it should be possible to do it automatically with artificial intelligence,” says Claes Strannegård, who is an AI researcher at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. Strannegård contacted the publically owned recycling company Renova in Gothenburg, Sweden, who were positive to an R&D project concerning automatic sorting of collected batteries. The collaboration resulted in a machine that uses computerised optical recognition to sort up to ten batteries per second. The sorting is made possible by the machine's so-called neural network, which can be thought of as an artificial nervous system. Just like a human brain, the neural network must be trained to do what it is supposed to do. In this case, the machine has been trained to recognize about 2,000 different types of batteries by taking pictures of them from all possible angles. As the batteries are fed into the machine via a conveyor belt, they are 'visually inspected' by the machine via a camera. The neural network identifies the batteries in just a few milliseconds by comparing the picture taken with pictures taken earlier. The network is self-learning and robust, making it possible to recognise batteries even if they are dirty or damaged. Once the batteries have been identified, compressed air separates them into different containers according to chemical content, such as nickel-cadmium or lithium. “For each single battery, the system stores and spits out information about for example brand, model and type. This allows the recycler to tell a larger market exactly what types of material it can offer, which we believe may increase the value through increased competition,” says Hans-Eric Melin, CEO of the Gothenburg-based company Optisort, which has developed the machine. This means that besides the environmental benefits of the machine, there are commercial benefits. Today the collection and sorting companies are actually paying money to get rid of the batteries. But Melin thinks that real-time battery data could spark a new market for battery waste, where large volumes are traded online. So far, the company has delivered two machines – one to Renova in Gothenburg (where half of all the batteries collected in Sweden are sorted) and one to G&P Batteries in the UK. The interest in Optisort and its machine is rising and Strannegård, who founded the company, is very happy his idea is turning out to work so well in the real world. “This is sparking further research and development so that we will eventually use artificial intelligence to sort all types of waste,” he says.
Motion Industries and Ansell team up to help manufacturers choose the right safety gear for their employees in this instructive video. www.mihow2.com
Published in Factory
A distributed I/O network can provide a universal and modular way to connect a wide range of signal input and control output possibilities. Hosted by journalist and industry expert Peter Welander, this video shows the benefits of using a distributed I/O network to send information between instrumentation devices in their and control elements in a control room or on a factory floor. Connecting field devices to the network saves time and expenses associated with the installation and repair of wiring. The modular nature of distributed I/O networks makes it easy to add expand operations or integrate legacy process sensors. In addition, peer-to-peer systems are redundant, meaning that a break in a wire pair will not affect signal transmission.
Published in Process

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