B&R PRODUCT OF THE MONTH Commission robots quickly & easily


ANUC UK, a leading global manufacturer of automation and industrial robotic solutions, is planning to move its UK headquarters to a new state-of-the-art building at Ansty Park, Coventry. The 107,000 sq ft building will be

developed by Highbridge Properties in partnership with HCA on a seven acre landscape site and will be due for completion early next year. The building will comprise a 56,000 sq ft design, manufacturing and training facility, 43,000 sq ft of offices and an 8,000 sq ft showroom area. Tom Bouchier, managing director, FANUC UK, commented: “We are excited to announce our move to Ansty Park. Our new headquarters will enable us to grow and develop our team of industry experts, and offer the highest quality services to our customers. As our business continues to evolve, we look forward to working alongside a variety of technological centres of excellence.” Adrian Hill, director of Highbridge Properties, said: “We are delighted that FANUC has chosen Ansty Park as the location for its new UK facility. FANUC will be a great addition to the already strong occupier base at Ansty Park. Furthermore the impressive design and high specification of the building will enhance the excellent scheme quality within the development.” Carl Tupling, executive director for the Midlands for the HCA added: “The HCA is pleased to have played a part in securing another new facility at Ansty Park.”

B&R is expanding its already extensive mapp technology portfolio to include function blocks for all the most commonly used robot kinematic systems. Not only does this allow users to commission robots much more quickly, it also makes maintenance and diagnostics substantially easier.

The new robotic functions in mapp include both serial and parallel robot kinematics, such as SCARA and delta robots. The user interface is based on familiar IEC 61131 programming methods. The robotic functions integrate seamlessly into the overall system, so there is no need for a dedicated robotics controller. The robot kinematics themselves are configured graphically in a convenient web interface. Programming in the conventional sense is not necessary. The mapp blocks can even handle manual operations such as jogging and point-to-point movement of the tool centre point. Technicians can run diagnostics on the robot via the easy-to-use web interface. mapp technology consists of individually encapsulated blocks that streamline development of new software. With mapp technology, development of application software is accelerated by an average of 67 per cent. B&R Industrial Automation T: 01733 371320


he HARTING Technology Group has managed to win the coveted Hermes Award for the second time,

garnering the prize at an evening event in Hannover. The company beat four other competitors with its Harting MICA (Modular Industry Computing Architecture), the company’s mini-industrial computer. The family-owned company had previously picked up the prestigious prize in 2006 for an RFID solution. The Hermes prize is awarded by the Deutsche Messe. “The Hermes Award is the world’s most important

innovation prize for industry. We are very excited about this important victory. It highlights the innovative capacity of our engineers and developers,” explained Philip Harting, CEO of the technology group. The presentation of the nominated innovations and the award took place as part of the festive opening ceremony of the exhibition in the presence of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and US President, Barack Obama. The

prize was presented by Professor Dr Johanna Wanka, Minister of Education and Research. The Harting MICA (Modular

Industry Computing Architecture), which was developed by subsidiary Harting IT Software Development, is an open and modular platform that functions as a core component consisting of embedded hardware and software for Industrie 4.0. The jury was also impressed by the concept of lightweight virtualisation using Linux containers, which the MICA achieves in a compact field device. The MICA provides existing machinery and systems with intelligence, making it possible to migrate existing factories towards Smart Factories. This in turn enables numerous SMEs to enter the world of Industrie 4.0.


ollowing our special 20th anniversary issue last month,

we received the following words from founding editor, Paul Gay. In the 20 years since the launch

of Automation, industry has seen a continual IT revolution which has had a major impact on the manufacturing and the

engineering techniques used to manage and control the processes involved. Back in the 1990s, PC meant police constable or programmable controller but the acronym was soon hijacked by the ubiquitous personal computer. In those days the logic used to control automatic

machinery was made up of mechanical cogs and cams or electrical relays. The programmable logic controller (PLC) revolutionised this arrangement by providing a logic programme and electronic input/output devices to control the machines. During that decade, Automation magazine consistently noted developments in logic control predicting the imminent arrival of system integration where PLCs would be incorporated into a

plant wide strategy for the automatic factory. The systems approach allows the same control data to be shared right across the supply chain so that industries adopting the technology benefit from the efficiencies generated by an integrated approach from raw materials and component supply right through production to delivery of finished goods to an end user. To facilitate further developments in this technology, automation suppliers have turned to electronic communications to further extend integration and once the stumbling blocks of security and reliability associated with Internet communications have been overcome, we can expect to see more developments in the integrated factory. For the future, the Internet of Things will be an area

of considerable interest to the automation engineer. The technology allows a plethora of intelligent sensors to communicate electronically and be integrated into the automation system. This technique has been labelled the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, and will perhaps complete the integration process as we predicted in the pages of Automation magazine.


The hunt to find Britain’s best manufacturers is on. EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, is launching the 8th annual Future Manufacturing Awards, designed to find Britain’s unsung manufacturing heroes and most outstanding apprentices. The awards are free, easy to enter and give apprentices, manufacturers and supply chain businesses of all sizes from across the UK the chance to shine.

Advanced Engineering 2016, the annual engineering trade show, has announced a new partnership with The Manufacturer, published by Hennik Research. As part of the arrangement, The Manufacturer will bring its Smart Factory Expo to Birmingham’s NEC, on 2 and 3 November 2016, to run alongside Advanced Engineering.

Nederman, a global leader in industrial air filtration, has now re- modelled its UK headquarters in Preston to offer a comprehensive demonstration and training facility for manufacturers aiming to reduce the environmental impact from production processes.

SSI Schaefer has expanded its Midlands-based facility at Pury Hill, near Towcester in Northamptonshire. The newly expanded operation involves the acquisition of an additional building to accommodate the company’s IT Department. AUTOMATION | MAY 2016 5

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