igus GmbH
The Machine Planner from igus allows the quick design of complete automation solutions involving robots without any programming knowledge.

This Week in Power & Motion: igus Online Tool Speeds up Robot Selection and Configuration Process

July 14, 2023
The igus RBTX Machine Planner provides a quick and easy means of selecting and configuring robot workstations, Hexagon is partnering with NVIDIA on industrial digital twins, and more industry news you may have missed.

There is much going on in the world of hydraulics, pneumatics and electronics motion systems, from technology introductions and industry advancements to new trends and industry leaders. Each week the Power & Motion team collects some of the latest industry news to help keep our readers up to date on what's happening in the fluid power and motion control sectors as well as the industries they serve.

RS Adds New Smart Manufacturing Solutions to Lineup

RS has added five new suppliers to its product line for smart manufacturing solutions, enabling the company to expand its offerings for customers in this space. 

  • HMS Industrial Networks develops industrial information and communication technologies which connect industrial devices to surrounding systems as well as the internet. Products from HMS that will be offered by RS include industrial data communications products, connectors, antennas, wire and cable, power products, and test and measurement devices. 
  • Lutronic designs and develops connectors, wiring solutions, and sensors optimized for industrial automation. RS will offer the company's sensor and actuator wires and high-quality M8 and M12 connectors. 
  • OptiFuse designs and manufactures overcurrent and over-voltage protection products. The company's fuses, circuit breakers, fuse holders, and terminal covers will be among its products available from RS.
  • Bosch Rexroth Automation Technology designs a range of production solutions, such as flow racks and frames for fully automated manufacturing lines. Its workstation solutions ranging from bolts and basic mechanical elements to height-adjustable workstations and chairs and LED system lamps will be available from RS.
  • Beijer Electronics designs and produces hardware and software solutions which connect people and technologies. RS will offer the company's PLCs, HMIs, protocol converters, compact controllers, and connectors.

Hexagon Collaborates with NVIDIA on Industrial Digital Twin Solution

Hexagon AB is collaborating with NVIDIA to create industrial digital twin solutions which the company says will unite reality capture, manufacturing twins, AI (artificial intelligence), simulation and visualization to deliver real-time comparison to real-world models.

Per Hexagon, the company's HxDR reality capture platform and Nexus manufacturing platform will be connected to NVIDIA Omniverse, a platform for developing and operating industrial metaverse applications, based on the Universal Scene Description (USD) framework. Complementary technologies are included in both companies' platforms which Hexagon says will help customers to advance manufacturing for digital factories and accelerate the power of digital twins for intelligent cities, construction and infrastructure. 

The combination of their technologies will provide customers with a means of factory planning and design using digital twin technology. Their solution aims to help optimize process quality and overall operations as well. 

"In collaboration with Hexagon, we'll bridge the gap between the real and virtual worlds — a prerequisite for building digital twins — allowing us to train robots in virtual worlds and bring autonomy to everything that moves," said Rev Lebaredian, Vice President of Omniverse and simulation technology at NVIDIA.

READ MORE: How Digital Twins Can Increase Agility and Bolster Operations

XCMG Continues Renewable Energy Developments

China-based construction equipment manufacturer XCMG is investing in development of machines powered by diesel alternatives. The company says it is making sizable investments into the research and development of new energy product development and related technologies which include electronic control, battery, and electric drive. The company is also investing in what it terms green and intelligent manufacturing to improve the productivity and sustainability of its operations as well. 

XCMG recently shipped a large order of its XC968-EV pure electric loaders to customers in Southeast Asia where it says alternatively powered equipment is becoming the preferred choice. The electric loaders are powered by a triple motor drive system which enables them to deliver zero-emissions operation while also reducing machine noise levels. 

The loaders feature the company's in-house designed electric control system which XCMG says is capable of meeting the challenges of various construction environments. Also included on the machines are an advanced hydraulics system and intelligent control, both of which help to improve efficiency and precision of machine movements. 

XCMG recently showed the electric loaders alongside its G4804BIIVE pure electric mixing truck at a trade show, demonstrating its focus on the development of alternatively powered machines. 

"Looking ahead, we thrive to support our customers to achieve success with digital, green, and intelligent equipment products and integrated solutions, and together building a greener future for all," said Yang Dongsheng, Chairman and CEO of XCMG. 

READ MORE: Construction Equipment Digs Deeper into Electrification

igus Launches Online Platform for Designing Robot Working Environments

igus has introduced the RBTX Machine Planner to its online marketplace for low cost automation solutions. Machine Planner helps users to quickly and easily design a complete automation solution which includes a robot, frames, conveyor belts, grippers, safety systems and other necessary components. 

The company explains that configuring a robot workstation can be a complex task which can be time-consuming, taking up weeks of effort to not only choose the right components but also ensure they all work together and will fit into the allocated space in a manufacturing operation. But with the igus Machine Planner online platform, this process can be sped up, benefitting manufacturers of all sizes but particularly small- to mid-size businesses which may not have the time or capacity for implementing automation solutions. 

Different machines and application designs are included in Machine Planner to provide users with various options to meet their specific requirements. This includes robots from the igus RBTX marketplace, feed automation such as conveyor belts and various accessories such as grippers and linear systems. igus says with just a few clicks, a user can select their desired options and configure a solutions within 1 minute without needing CAD drawings or technical clarification. 

"Our new online configurator for cost-effective automation solutions makes inexpensive robotics accessible to everyone because the user does not need any design knowledge," said Alexander Mühlens, Head of igus Low Cost Automation Business Unit. "The Machine Planner takes over the engineering and thus combines robotic components correctly. The tool can be called up easily with a browser."

Watch the below video interview with igus to learn more about its low cost automation offering.

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Executive Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is executive editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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