Hands-on Studies with Murrelektronik Components

There is an ongoing trend towards networking machines in the automation industry. More and more, machines communicate with each other without human intervention. The technical term for this is Industry 4.0. Professor Christian Kuhn, Cooperative University of Mosbach, has established a laboratory for Industry 4.0.

Murrelektronik is proud to support this DHBW project through the donation of many fieldbus components.

Using these components, fifth semester students become familiar with the typical steps of a production plant as they upgrade an existing system. The small system moves small metal and plastic chips not machine parts, glass bottles or newspaper rolls however, the programming and transportation processes remain the same. This makes the system ideal for studying at the university.

Murrelektronik’s PROFIBUS and PROFINET fieldbus products are being used in the retrofitting course where, in addition to the working with the hardware, the students also get to know the software.

Sven Benseler, engineering faculty member, says that the students, when installing the system, gain technical knowledge that is difficult to find in textbooks. To bring a machine to life is a big challenge with many programming and mechanical requirements. During this process, students learn that sometimes a cable is too short or there isn’t enough space to properly plug in a connector – all problems that can be avoided with proper prior planning.

By the end of the course, the students’ work comes shining through in the form of a shiny new machine. The successful decentralization has eliminated the cable tangle that was the result of numerous single wire connections. Now communication takes place via one green cable. In the next semester they will learn that visual diagnostics make it possible to see, at a glance, if the machine is working properly or if there is a failure is in the process.