20. April 2007

Automation IT at the Hanover Fair 2007

Automation IT at the Hanover Fair 2007

Automation IT is the Communication Platform for Industrial Business’s Applications

Hanover, April 17, 2007

“Automation IT must be actively mapped out” is the conviction of the businessman Dietmar Harting. For in a business, despite all its details, it is always about the whole. The overall process is the final decider, when it comes down to competitiveness. “Only through efficient processes competitiveness can be continually improved”.

Automation IT is the communication platform for industrial business’s applications. The sum of the applications constitutes the processes of a company. From this, we see that communication is no end in itself, but must guarentee the seamless integration of all applications. Traditionally communications has been understood as a proprietary and application-specific isolated solution. Under these basic conditions, the data exchange between an ERP and an SPS system is only possible via gateways. The inefficiencies thereby created and the consequent high costs have made the general change over from proprietary communications standards to a communication platform necessary. And in order to demonstrate that this paradigm change is already possible, HARTING presented at Hannover Messe 2006, together with various partners at a community stand, the concept of Automation IT. In 2007 Automation IT is ready. In Hall 16, Stand F17, 25 application solutions from well-known partners will be shown which cover all the processes of a manufacturing company: Connecting Industrial Applications.

The Overall Process

That the requirements of the end customer are best fulfilled, from the placing of an order through production and logistics to after-sales support, is decisive for long-term company success. Quality, costs and above all speed are the determining success factors that ensure the growth of a business.

The Applications

For the build-up of process-optimised production, development and marketing, companies rely on solutions from specialists. Many large systems are not customised enough to the special requirements, as every process has its own specifics, which map the differentiation and core competencies of a company. Automation solutions such as those from Schneider Electric, GE Fanuc or Rockwell Automation can be merged with an ERP-solution from SAP or an MES-solution from MPDV, for example.

That is also true for the optimal solutions in the Sensor/Actor area, that firms such as SEW, Baumüller, ESR, Turck, Sick or Pepperl + Fuchs offer. In the digital factory, in product development and simulation, manufacturers like UGS complete the range.

The offerings from the Automation IT partners cover the complete process chain and present an all-embracing process excellence.

The Communication Platform

The pre-requirement for a working process chain is continuous communication. In practice, however, continuity in a communications platform is often missing. In order that data transmission in the overall process is guaranteed, gateways are required that make communication complex, expensive and unreliable - which can be counteracted through an integrated communications platform.

Ethernet is the recommended standard for this communications platform. Cisco, a partner on the Automation IT stand, summarised it as follows: „For Cisco there is no alternative to Ethernet. And there is no need for an alternative, as the IEEE 802.3 standard offers suitable network functions for all applications. Continuous further development of the standard through the IEEE guarantees compatability with new applications“.

Today, Ethernet is suitable for all applications. For the Automation environment, functions have been developed that bring Ethernet directly to an intelligent Sensor/Actor. „Schneider Electric has for years advanced the application of standard Ethernet in automation, and we know from experience and many applications that real-time Ethernet absolutely works. Moreover, with this open system, we see that our automation technology can be integrated into a holistic company landscape quickly and without problems“, emphasises Rüdiger Gilbert, Marketing Manager at Schneider Electric. Ethernet is being permanently developed further, hence it offers performance for both today’s and tomorrow’s applications and at the same time ensures the greatest investment security.

Automation IT offers benefits at all levels and this continuous communications platform profits the user through process optimisation. Throught Automation IT the application supplier achieves a seamless integration of his solution into the overall process. By using this common communication platform the devise manufacturer is enabled to optimize his resources.

After the introduction of the Automation IT concept at Hannover Messe 2006, the partner stand this year shows the communication platform through seven real, live demonstrations. And it’s all about the real application of Automation IT, as competitiveness can only be improved through efficient processes.