Accelerate production automation through the use of innovative technology from SECO

Autonomous manufacturing takes the lead thanks to SECO solutions which support industrial automation with data analysis.

SECO continues its preparation for the embedded world Exhibition&Conference, the leading event that is bringing the global embedded community together in Nuremberg, Germany, from March 14th to 16th. Visitors to booth 1-320 will have the exclusive chance to see up close how easy and convenient it is to improve business operations with SECO’s unique offering of embedded technologies. This includes a suite of high-reliability computing boards and Clea Apps, a set of value-added functions that satisfy a wide variety of common business needs. Running on SECO’s Clea end-to-end IoT-AI analytics software suite, Clea Apps are utilized across a broad range of vertical markets. One example is industrial automation, a multifaceted sector where SECO’s end-to-end technology is helping move businesses forward into the era of Industry 4.0.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is transforming the face of manufacturing and the way companies do business. The purpose is to optimize operations by connecting machines and extracting data suitable for predictive analysis and maintenance. This results in cost savings, increased efficiency and competitiveness, and higher earnings without compromising operator safety.

One critical focus of plant management is to mitigate risks associated with operations, ensuring the safety of people and infrastructure. Using SECO’s Functional Safety (FuSa) certifiable electronics, OEMs of industrial machinery can easily – and quickly – obtain IEC 61508 certification for their products, achieving compliance with regulations for the functional safety of industrial systems. Such certification attests that a product meets strict design standards that guarantee its ability to fail safely, minimizing the risk of injury or chronic health issues.

At SECO’s booth at embedded world, a functional demo of a safety radar designed by our partner Inxpect will demonstrate the advantages of using a functional safety-certified industrial device. The safety radar detects access or the presence of operators in dangerous areas, returning alerts that prevent hazardous situations. Its ability to distinguish human figures from other elements (such as dust, insects, etc.) also prevents the generation of false alarms.

Risk reduction is also intrinsic to human-robot collaboration. When placed onto production lines, robots should be able to autonomously adapt their behaviours to the presence of humans, moving fast when no one is around while being harmless when people are nearby. This requires algorithms of complex kinematics to be calculated quickly utilizing a safety programmable logic controller (PLC). ​A PLC demo developed with SEW, also to be available in the SECO booth, leverages FuSa certification, hardware virtualization, and lockstep technology of the Intel® Atom® x6427FE processor on SECO’s HALLEY SMARC computer on module (COM). HALLEY provides an embedded computing platform that reduces industrial application design effort, targeted for cost- and energy-efficient mixed-critical automation, including multi-axis safe motion of cobots, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). Virtualization technology is used to isolate the safety PLC from the non-safe PLC. HALLEY’s fully integrated safety processor enables the replacement of several functions traditionally implemented as hardware devices with software modules.

Safety is one of the basic requirements in running a plant, but not the only one. Energy management is a raising issue, as companies increasingly strive to optimize power usage. For the OEMs of industrial equipment, who typically are significant energy users, the data-driven approach enabled by SECO’s Clea IoT/AI platform allows for optimized management: field data, both from the machinery and environmental, is processed in real-time and transformed into valuable information for more efficient energy management.

Optimization is not only about energy consumption, but also about production processes. Bringing computing power closer to industrial infrastructure, SECO’s solutions for Industry 4.0 benefit companies that want to get the most out of their data in real-time. Being Clea-ready, they can easily leverage software tools to process data locally, quickly, and autonomously, as well as communicate data to the cloud for big-picture analysis across a facility. Clea provides a set of apps implementing a variety of common industrial functions, as well as easy development of the company – and application-specific functions via software development kits (SDKs) in various languages – paving the way to the smart factory.

SECO’s Edge-to-AI technology for the industrial plant will be shown to embedded world visitors via the demo of a smart gripper, presented in partnership with Camozzi Digital. It is an innovative technological concept with the functions of a hand, combining flexibility, efficiency, ergonomics, and intelligence all in one device. It can perceive objects to analyze and estimate their weight, size, and distance. Retrieving data via SECO’s FLEXY VISION 13.3 panel PC, Clea Smart HMI – the interface for industrial HMIs tailored for OEMs of industrial automation – monitors the status of the smart gripper acquiring and elaborating data with AI modules.​ Data visualization occurs both locally (on the HMI integrated into the machinery, benefiting the operator) and via the cloud in a control room that enables management of the entire factory. This is just one example of how by connecting in-field devices to the cloud and running AI analytics models. Clea enables data from equipment distributed across the plant to be collected and used efficiently and cost-effectively.

In a context as complex as the industrial automation field, where flexibility, reliability, robustness, and safety are top priorities, SECO’s computing and AIoT solutions for autonomous manufacturing enable unprecedented operational excellence in the easiest, least risky, and most secure way. The result, for companies, is a significant increase in productivity, a dramatic reduction in downtime, enhanced safety, and a more than positive impact on ROI.

To learn more about how SECO can help industrial manufacturers reinvent their business using powerful, end-to-end solutions fully adaptable to specific needs, don’t miss the chance to visit us at the embedded world Exhibition&Conference. Stop by booth 1-320. Our experts will be ready to explain our full offerings and collaborate with you to find the solution that best fits your company’s needs.