Lenze will be serving up drive and automation concepts for a virtual world on Stand J56 at the PPMA Show in September. Demonstrations will show how virtual reality can give engineers an insight to the operation of complex mechanics and software, leading to faster machine development. Visitors who participate in a demonstration can take away their personal VR viewer. Lenze engineers will also explain new options for data acquisition, analysis and storage of a machine’s operating data in the ‘cloud’ along with remote support communication technologies for predictive maintenance.

Lenze is increasingly using virtual reality technology as an extremely effective engineering and training tool. PPMA visitors can experience it themselves on the company’s stand and those that do so will be given a smartphone VR viewer to take away. The main potential of VR lies in making it easier to deal with the growing complexity of machine automation, by giving programmers and design engineers live experience of their applications through a digital twin. This term describes a digital virtual copy of the design that is put together in parallel with the real machine. Evaluating the digital twin before the machine design is fixed gives a sense of depth and scale that cannot be achieved with a 2D monitor. Design projects are speeded, safety can be enhanced through virtual simulation, and software such as the Lenze FAST modules can be fine-tuned for optimum performance.

Also on the Lenze stand, machine manufacturers can discover what Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) can do for their business model. Lenze offers here an easy way for OEMs to create a digital business of their own by adding value to machine data. Machine and systems engineers using automation technology from Lenze can now create online data services very easily with secure access to machine operating data in the cloud. The company has joined forces with the IoT specialist, ei3 Corporation, to offer a combination of remote analysis of machine performance and also remote predictive maintenance.

“We want to enable our OEM customers to set up their own digital business quickly and easily, because it will strengthen their relationship with their own customers. It will add value and improve margins,” explained David Krampe, senior marketing manager at Lenze.

The company recognises that processing and packaging machinery needs to operate reliably, often 24 hours a day. Engineers on the stand can explain how intelligent service concepts can help to achieve that aim. Service modules allow Lenze experts to remotely analyse performance data and rectify errors online. New techniques include the use of “smart glasses” to increase the quality level of the data transmitted, and barcode scanning of the product nameplate which reveals full hardware and firmware data, improving response times.

On the Lenze stand – J56 in Hall 5 – under the theme “Dinner is served” experienced engineers will present recipes for the processing and packaging industry based on 70 years’ experience in drives and automation.