Advantech Gives Full Play to Its Integration Advantages and Steps into a New Era of Intelligent Manufacturing

    As a leading manufacturer of system integration and design services in the fields of automation, embedded computers and the Internet of Things, Advantech has a group integration advantage in the development of embedded computers, underlying software, motion control, machine vision, HMI and other technologies, and is committed to realizing the integration application between the factory equipment information layer and the enterprise's complex MES system and supply chain system. Provide complete factory intelligent monitoring and manufacturing information management solutions.


    At this year's Expo, the magazine interviewed Mr. Li Guozhong, business development director of Advantech (China) Equipment automation Division, and asked him to share the current development planning and the latest development trends of Advantech in motion control, machine vision, smart factory and other aspects.


    Mr. Li Guozhong, Business Development Director of Advantech (China) Equipment Automation Division


    Improve the Efficiency of Equipment Development


    When it comes to Advantech's development plan in the field of motion control, Mr. Li Guozhong introduced that Advantech will develop in the following three directions in the next two years, with the goal of providing fast hardware and software development tools for groups with different technology development routes in the market at this stage to help improve the development efficiency of equipment.


    First of all, in the PC-based control card part, Advantech will fully launch the master EtherCAT protocol control card and the slave station I/O, and cooperate with key drive and motor manufacturers to provide a complete motion control solution. Focus on the development of 3C electronics industry such as mobile phone manufacturing, semiconductor packaging and testing, printed circuit board production, non-standard automation and other equipment market.


    Secondly, in the section of industry-specific controller, Advantech has developed an embedded special controller (MAS controller), which locks the development of industry-specific equipment, adopts the concept of special aircraft design, integrates I/O, motion control, machine vision and other functional interfaces, and combines with industry-specific software. Users only need to carry out UI, I/O definition design and complete a small amount of work such as electric control panel wiring on these bases, and can quickly realize the manufacturing process of various production equipment, such as: pipe bending machine, cutting machine, screw locking machine, high-speed precision dispensing machine and so on.


It is worth mentioning that on this controller, Advantech has specially launched a set of easy-to-use, open graphics secondary development software (Motion Studio), and it is free.


    In the past, the development of motion control card on PC generally requires the use of C language to call API programming, which is a certain difficulty for ordinary engineers. In order to be more conducive to the development of equipment, Advantech has specially developed this set of powerful and convenient programming secondary development software. Or some integrators engaged in the development of machine vision systems, can quickly use this set of tools to achieve equipment development, improve the efficiency of equipment development.


    Motion Studio Secondary programming software platform is a software development platform specially designed for MAS motion controller, integrating motion control, visual image processing, logic control, communication and other controls in one, users can easily program, configure, diagnose and debug, greatly shorten the equipment development time, and complete the project development.


    Third, in the PAC controller part, Advantech will add more software and hardware modules (including control software, digital/analog volume, PWM function, etc.) on the basis of the original, in order to adapt to the targeted development trend of different industries, such as special functional modules for the cutting and winding processes in the production process of lithium batteries. And support IEC61131-3 standard language five programming methods, Advantech will focus on the development of lithium battery production, metal processing, packaging and other areas of the market.


    At the Forefront of Industry Applications


    Under the guidance of the current national strategic development plans such as Industry 4.0 and "Made in China 2025", the global industry is entering a new era. More and more enterprise users emphasize the intelligent function of the overall production line, and the demand for visual production, equipment networking, cloud data processing, and real-time factory information construction is becoming increasingly prominent. And this is where Advantech's strengths lie.


    Especially for the integration of motion control and machine vision applications, Advantech's machine vision department has been established for more than three years, and will continue to strengthen the business integration of motion control and machine vision applications of different brands based on the same embedded platform in the future, in order to improve the response speed and accuracy of the system.


    Mr. Li Guozhong said: "Motion control and machine vision are the core components of the equipment or machine, which is where Advantech's strengths lie. We can provide a variety of off-the-shelf software packages to develop a complete set of smart equipment and smart factory solutions for customers. Advantech hopes to be at the forefront of industry applications in this part, so that these high-end industry users can quickly adopt the production equipment that suits their requirements."


    It is reported that Advantech's motion control-machine vision integrated solution has been successfully applied in a number of high-end industry fields. For example, in the application of small fasteners (screws, nuts), such as 3C electronic manufacturing or precision locking screw machines in the military and aerospace industries, the requirements for precision are very high, generally need to use machine vision and motion control technology on a high-speed vibration disk for multi-channel full inspection to achieve high-speed comparison trigger; In addition, high-speed motion control and machine vision solutions are also needed for high-speed, high-precision testing and positioning sorting of semiconductor chips in the back-end packaging and testing process of semiconductor chips. Through the development practice in these fields, the strength of Advantech in the integration of image processing, optical recognition, motion control and other technologies has been greatly enhanced, and the product line and solutions of Advantech intelligent manufacturing have been further improved.


    Realize Intelligent Factory Equipment Information Integration and Networking


    From the perspective of the overall development of the group, in the face of the strong market demand for smart factories and smart manufacturing, Advantech is continuing to complete the integration of software and hardware and provide solutions under the advantages of industrial computers, industrial control technology and automation equipment, and promote the practice of Industry 4.0 with the Internet of Things thinking.


    According to reports, Advantech divides the practice of Industry 4.0 into three stages, the first stage is for the equipment field, to achieve comprehensive equipment perception and networking, in order to achieve data transparency and production information visualization; The second stage is to do the integration and information analysis of equipment data and production information, in order to provide the intelligent services formed by the third stage of intelligent equipment and big data analysis.


Focusing on the six major areas of Industry 4.0 - equipment automation, equipment monitoring and benefit optimization, machine monitoring and preventive maintenance, MES integration and production history, plant energy management, and plant environmental monitoring - Advantech will move towards Industry 4.0 with integrated automation systems and cloud innovation technologies.


    In the construction of intelligent factory equipment networking, Advantech builds data acquisition capabilities for closed machines and mechanical equipment. By adding data acquisition modules or data acquisition cards, Advantech can monitor every device in the most cost-effective way, quickly integrate the operation status of key equipment in the workshop, and fully grasp the information such as equipment utilization rate, current operation status, and failure rate. Open the door for the device to communicate with other devices and the upper management system to avoid information islands. At the same time, the system also integrates existing PLC and instrument signals, and integrates with the system after converting the communication protocol. Through the communication protocol conversion platform, the workshop is connected to a variety of equipment controllers and sensors of different countries of origin, different brands and different levels of old and new, which effectively integrates the complex protocols and signal sources, and breaks the problem that the machine is not easy to communicate with each other and the information cannot be shared. After integration, it can be easily connected with the upper management system, successfully linking automation and information resources.


    Advantech Smart Factory solutions also use a variety of serial device servers and WebAccess Internet of Things core software to integrate all control platforms in the factory, send data back to the central control computer, so that the machine status is clear, to solve the electronic manufacturing factory area is vast, the number of machines, need to configure personnel to monitor the equipment status at any time in front of the machine. It opens up the diversified equipment in the factory, and truly realizes the real-time remote management and monitoring of the factory.


    From core technologies such as motion control, to integrated applications with machine vision, and to overall solutions for smart factories, Advantech is steadily moving forward along the road of Industry 4.0. As a leading manufacturer of system integration and design services in the field of automation, embedded computers and the Internet of Things, Advantech will adhere to the concept of integrating "Internet +" and running through "Industry 4.0", join hands with more cross-border partners, and bring greater value to the innovation and services of the intelligent equipment industry through the collaborative manufacturing mode under the integration of the Internet of things and the Internet!


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