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Eaton’s White Paper Describes How Machines and Systems get Ready for the Connection to Industry 4.0 Applications

08 January, 2018

 entitled: ‘Preparing machines and systems for connection to the Internet of Things (IoT).’  The paper describes the basic points of the Industry 4.0 architecture, such as horizontal and vertical integration, Cyber Physical Systems and Smart Devices, and puts them into the right context in plain words.

The benefits and challenges for machine builders and systems integrators are discussed, while practical recommendations are provided to materialise the advantages of the new digital age. How control systems could be realised in a modular and decentralised way, rather than the historical centralised control system approach. This enables ‘function blocks’ to be re-used, which facilitates and shortens engineering cycles.

The white paper also explains how components can become ‘smart’. These ‘smart devices’ are enabled to autonomously control such ‘function blocks’ within the machine based on the environmental data available. Using protocols such as OPC-UA, machines can be easily equipped with new standardised communication features; as a result, machine builders will be able to make their systems IoT-ready, enabling end users to integrate them into their Digital Factories of the future.

“The Industry 4.0 concept does far more than just increase productivity and efficiency, integrating Cyber Physical Systems into the Internet of Things opens up even greater possibilities,” said Christian Zingg, Director Innovation & Global MOEM Segment at Eaton. “Collected data could be supplied to the machine builder to allow monitoring of the machine’s operation and introduce predictive maintenance measures, increasing the machine’s availability. The manufacturer can also see how the machines are being used and recommend optimisations or further improvements.”

Real-world examples are provided that show how easy these concepts can already be integrated today. By using Eaton’s intelligent wiring system SmartWire-DT together with the PKE electronic motor-protective circuit breaker or the DE1 variable speed starter. It describes how simple it can be to retrieve process data and provide it to an external resource for mobile visualisation or deep-dive analysis.

In the white paper three IoT examples are provided, including one project that highlights how even hydraulic power units can become part of such a digital solution. Having years of experience in both the electrical and hydraulic worlds, Eaton not only provides the components but also shows how the combination of these products is becoming vital, particularly in Industry 4.0 scenarios. And, on top of that, such a combination can save a huge proportion of energy.

Eaton has set itself the objective to provide the mechanical engineering sector with solutions that can be integrated easily to make machines IoT-ready. The power management company is developing components, systems and services for this to enable all OEMs to implement the basic principles of Industry 4.0 in their products, regardless of whether they are small, compact machines or complex, large scale systems.

Download the white paper


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