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Industrial Networks Keep Growing Despite Challenging Times

Mark Young

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Every year, HMS Networks analyzes the industrial network market to estimate the distribution of new connected nodes in factory automation. This year’s study shows that the industrial network market is expected to grow by 8% in 2022. Industrial Ethernet still shows the highest growth and now accounts for 66% of all newly installed nodes (65% last year). Fieldbuses are at 27% (28) while wireless remains at 7% market share. PROFINET and EtherNet/IP share first place in the network rankings with 17% market share, but EtherCAT closes in fast, now at 11%.

HMS Networks now presents their annual analysis of the industrial network market, focusing on new installed nodes within factory automation globally. As an independent supplier of solutions within Industrial ICT (Information and Communication Technology), HMS has a substantial insight into the industrial network market. The 2022 study includes estimated market shares and growth rates for fieldbuses, industrial Ethernet, and wireless technologies. In the study, HMS concludes that the industrial network market continues to grow and that the total market growth in 2022 is expected to be +8%, confirming the continued importance of network connectivity in factories.

Industrial Ethernet is growing steadily
Growing by 10%, Industrial Ethernet continues to take market share. Industrial Ethernet now makes up 66% of the global market of new installed nodes in factory automation (compared to 65% last year). EtherNet/IP and PROFINET share first place at 17% market share, but EtherCAT takes a big leap forward and reaches double digits for the first time at 11% market share. Modbus-TCP is also doing well as it grows to 6% market share.

Fieldbuses are growing again
Fieldbuses are at 27% market share compared to 28% last year. However, there is an interesting fact behind these numbers as HMS concludes that despite losing one percent market share, the actual number of installed fieldbus nodes is expected to grow by 4% in 2022 compared to last year, following several years of decline. The underlying reason is believed to be the fact that factories favor established industrial network solutions in uncertain times such as these due to effects from corona and the challenging component situation.

PROFIBUS remains the most installed fieldbus by 7% market share, followed by Modbus-RTU at 5% and CC-Link at 4%. Interestingly, the Modbus technologies TCP and RTU continue to be widely used also in modern factories, together accounting for 11% of the market in 2022 compared to last year.

Wireless use cases emerge – Impact of 5G is yet to come
Wireless grows by 8% which is on par with the overall growth rate of the network market, thus remaining at 7% market share. Typical use cases include cable replacement applications, wireless machine access, and connectivity to mobile industrial equipment. The market still awaits the deployment and impact of 5G in next-gen factory automation installations.

Industrial networking is key for productivity and sustainability in manufacturing
“Industrial network connectivity is an absolute key to reaching productivity and sustainability objectives in modern manufacturing, and this is the main driver for the growth we see in the industrial networking market,” says Anders Hansson, Chief Marketing Officer at HMS Networks. “Factories are constantly working to optimize not only productivity and sustainability, but also quality, flexibility, and cyber security, and we know that solid industrial networking is key to achieving this as well. While we see growth across all network areas,
it is particularly interesting to see that the established fieldbus technologies are getting back to growth again.”

Regional network variations
EtherNet/IP and PROFINET are leading in Europe and the Middle East with PROFIBUS and EtherCAT as runners-up. Other popular networks are Modbus (RTU/TCP) and Ethernet POWERLINK. The U.S. market is dominated by EtherNet/IP with EtherCAT developing strongly and gaining market share. PROFINET leads a fragmented Asian market, followed by EtherNet/IP and strong contenders CC-Link/CC-Link IE Field, EtherCAT, PROFIBUS, and Modbus (RTU/TCP).

HMS Networks
www.hms-networks.com

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Igus Advances the Circular Economy With the First E-chain Made Entirely of Recycled Material

Mark Young

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igus, the Germany-based manufacturer of motion plastics and moving cable management systems, announced the world’s first cable carrier system made entirely from recycled material.

Cradle-to-cradle: this is the principle of the circular economy, which is based on nature. The aim is to return consumer goods to the biological or technical cycle in order to conserve valuable resources and raw materials. The motion plastics specialist igus is also pursuing this goal and has developed the world’s first energy chain made from recycled material based on its own “chainge” e-chain recycling program.

More sustainability with consistent quality: The new cradle-chain made of recycled material conserves resources and drives the circular economy forward. (Source: igus GmbH)

From extreme weather and natural hazards to marine pollution, the climate crisis is worsening, and more and more people are becoming aware of it.

“Even the purchasing decisions of our customers are increasingly being shaped by ecological considerations. That is why we have put a lot of effort into product development in order to be able to produce more resource-efficiently – without sacrificing product quality,” said Jörg Ottersbach, head of the igus e-chains Business Unit.

The result is the E2.1.CG cradle-chain – a complete range of e-chains made from the new igumid CG material.

“Numerous tests in our own test laboratory show that the new e-chain has almost the same technical properties and load limits as an energy chain made from the standard igumid G material. Another advantage is that the cradle-chain is available at the same price as e-chains made from the standard material,” said Jörg Ottersbach.

The new range of e-chains is available from stock in five series and 28 chain types.

From discarded e-chain to recycled material

The cradle-chain uses, among other things, recycled material from the “chainge” recycling program. As part of this program, igus has been collecting used energy chains from customers since 2019, so they do not end up in industrial waste. This service is offered for both igus e-chains and chains from other manufacturers. So far, more than 32 tons of material have been collected across 13 countries. For 2022, igus has set its goal to increase this total to 500 tons.

Scrap material is sorted by type, cleaned and processed to new quality. This is possible with the help of a chemical analysis and formulation tuning- a process in which material is optimized for the desired properties and enables consistent product quality. The post-consumer material igumid CG is then used to make the recycled cradle-chain – without any loss of quality in terms of wear behavior, stability or bending fatigue.

Sustainable raw material cycle – with 28% less CO2

With the new e-chain product range made of recycled material, igus is making a further contribution to conserving resources and advancing the circular economy. According to the Environment Product Declaration, this sustainable raw material cycle also reduces CO2 emissions by 28%.

“The focus should not be only on first use of products, but also the reuse of raw materials. We see a lot of ‘cradle-to-cradle’ potential and strive to reprocess as many raw materials and discarded products as possible so that precious resources are not wasted but used wisely for as long as possible,” said Jörg Ottersbach.

Learn more about plastic e-chain cable carriers from igus.

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Best EA Play Games on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X

Mark Young

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We’ve curated a list of the best games on EA Play right now. The list includes some classic first-person shooter games such as Battlefield 1 and Crysis Remastered. Sport simulator fans can also rejoice with the inclusion of games such as FIFA 22 and EA Sports UFC 4 in the game library amongst others. Gamers can enjoy these titles on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Pl…

Original Article: gadgets360.com

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Festo Introduces the UR+ Certified Multi-axis Cobot System

Mark Young

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Festo announces the development of its UR+ certified multi-axis solution for Universal Robotics (UR) cobots. The certified UR system adds up to four axes of motion beyond the UR cobot six axes, and embodies Festo precision, reliability and longevity. This solution from Festo lowers customer engineering time and speeds startup as it arrives ready to install.

The Festo Motion Control Package control panel, bottom left, is pre-integrated with a UR control panel, bottom middle. Axes are configured within the UR environment for ease of use. QR code for virtual reality image.

Cobot applications are intentionally simple to configure and operate. This multi-axis system is no different. No programming is involved in set up and no additional PLC is required. Multi-axes are configured through the UR HMI. End users simply set position, speed and acceleration on the HMI or, using the URCap toolbar, move the axes in manual mode to configure motion.

The multi-axis system features the Festo Motion Control Package (FMCP) for UR, which is a complete motion control panel for up to four axis motion. The FMCP is fully integrated with the UR cobot control panel and HMI and features a UR safety I/O and communications interface.

In addition to a seventh axis used for linear transfer, the FMCP can control turning tables, automatic storage systems, conveyors and transfer tables, all under the UR umbrella. The FMCP has extra space within the panel for future expansion and brackets for wall mounting, which reduces footprint.

The seventh axis is also used for extending the range of action for a UR cobot in such applications as palletizing and machine tending. Festo EGC belt-driven or ball-screw linear axes comes equipped with a cobot mounting plate. The EGC has an energy chain for cable management and servo motor optimized for performance. Standard EGC axes are available in lengths of up to 8 m with up to 10 m axes available by request.

Festo offers a wide range of grippers such as vacuum, mechanical and the innovative Magswitch magnetic grippers, including the cobot smart gripper E30. Automatic tool changers are also available.

Visit the UR Festo Multi-Axis Solution page on the UR website for solution details and to request additional information.

 

 

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