Support for simpler automation

When it comes to automation, different systems and technologies work hand in hand. Integrators need to be sure that all components work together smoothly and can exchange data and information seamlessly. Schmalz supports you with software modules, online tools, smart products and vacuum know-how – from the conception to the ongoing process.

The path to vacuum automation starts with a plan. Only those who design a system professionally, know the service life of the products used and take wear and tear into account can ultimately speed up commissioning and avoid dissatisfied customers. In order to mitigate this risk for end customers and integrators, many robot, gripper and component manufacturers have taken the path of developing predefined solutions with a higher degree of integration for specific applications.

Online configurators accelerate implementation and support the simulation of the entire process by providing CAD data for the digital twin. With the new PXT configurator, users can create their own individual gripper, which they can later expand and adapt to new situations and combine it with the MATCH end-of-arm ecosystem. Schmalz has anchored a lot of know-how in the tool, which ultimately makes it easier to assemble and dimension the load handling device.

Less mistakes, faster at the start

If all components are available, usability comes into play: The easier it is to set up the individual systems, the lower the probability of errors. At the same time, automation is implemented more quickly. The Schmalz Connect Suite simplifies and accelerates the implementation of both intelligent Schmalz products and IO-Link components from different manufacturers. In addition to commissioning, the plug-and-work capable system also supports monitoring, maintenance and error analysis via the web browser.

The “Schmalz ControlRoom” app is intended for a quick overview, direct parameterization and service issues such as the procurement of spare parts. The idea behind it: Everyone uses smartphones. Schmalz therefore equips its intelligent components with an NFC (Near Field Communication) interface. If the plant operator holds his mobile device to the vacuum ejector, switch or gripper, he can record and evaluate data from the process or simply transfer parameter settings to a replacement device.

Ready for more

In order to still be able to automate economically in a volatile environment like we are currently experiencing, the systems must be adaptable. What plant operators need for this are adaptable and expandable components: Flexible gripper concepts can then also take on additional tasks later. Possible Schmalz solutions here are the PXT modular system or the multifunctional end-of-arm platform for robots MATCH, which the end customer can adapt to their new requirements without an integrator.

In addition to flexible hardware, you also need software that is adaptable. One possible solution comes from Glatten: Schmalz developed the Vision Operating System ivOS especially for bin picking – an open operating system that easily connects and controls robots, sensors, picking software and grippers, regardless of the manufacturer. The individual modules can be ideally combined in order to be able to cover a very wide range of applications with the same operating system. It is even possible to subsequently exchange individual components such as the grippers or the picking software. Schmalz is bringing artificial intelligence into the process for the first time, for example to implement the appropriate gripping strategy for the detected objects.

Prevention during operation

A regular look at the flowing data stream ensures long-term stable processes. Integrators and plant operators must therefore implement mechanisms for monitoring, troubleshooting and updating the systems. It is important to identify weak points and wear and tear at an early stage so that they can be rectified in a plannable manner. In addition, energy guzzlers such as porous seals are quickly unmasked. This requires systems like the Schmalz Connect Suite, which enable predictive maintenance: communicative vacuum components that record operating data and forward it directly to the controller, the cloud or the smartphone via IO-Link, Ethernet or NFC.

So what paves the way to automation with vacuum? Selection aids and easy-to-use engineering tools for planning, solution kits for quick integration and vacuum know-how – integrators and system operators can find all of this from vacuum specialists like Schmalz.

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