Digital engineering tools: Automation Suite

Digital engineering tools

Don’t waste any more time during the design processes. Thanks to digitalisation and our online engineering tools, you can find the product you need in next to no time, design an axis gantry in a flash or transfer CAD/ECAD data straight into your plans at the click of a mouse. Here is an overview of the key tools.

Handling Guide Online: the right handling system in just three steps

With the Handling Guide Online, you can configure and order your handling system in record time. It encompasses all the knowledge of our experts. Just enter the data for your application and the Handling Guide Online automatically works out suitable solutions. You then simply select the system you want, which you can order immediately through the Online Shop. This reduces your engineering time and effort to a minimum and guides you to the right handling system in record time.

The benefits of the Handling Guide Online:

  • Fast: the right handling system in just 20 minutes including CAD model and commissioning file
  • Intuitive: simple operation and structured data prompts
  • Efficient: minimised engineering effort
  • Reliable planning: the net price is displayed immediately
  • Shorter time to market: only around three weeks from configuration and ordering to delivery and installation
  • Versatile: now includes highly dynamic and compact handling systems

User report: GN Thermoforming Equipment

GN Thermoforming Equipment

GN Thermoforming Equipment, located in Chester, Canada, is the global market leader for thin, thermoformed plastic objects. When the latest thermoforming system, the GN800, was developed in 2016, GN decided to look for new technologies for the pick & place system and came across Festo and the Handling Guide Online. This enables these systems to be designed and integrated into the machine in no time at all. The proposed solutions enabled GN to achieve the desired increase in productivity as well as the ability to execute at least 45 picks per minute.

New technologies wanted. Efficiency booster found.

The containers that are made by GN’s machines using thin plastic and a heat-forming process have a huge variety of applications, including in the food industry. Specially developed tools press the heated plastic into the desired shape. At the customer's request, the engineers at GN also develop pick & place solutions that stack finished products as they come out of the machine – known as robotic stackers.

Faster engineering, simpler ordering

Thanks to rapid engineering, the time-to-market for the GN800 was shorter, even with robotic stacking. The documentation provided by the Handling Guide saves time too. Laborious searching, for example for spare parts, is no longer necessary. At the same time, development costs are reduced because the design of the linear gantry has already been established and employees can concentrate on other important design elements. Purchasing also benefits from the decision to design the pick & place solutions using the Handling Guide Online. The fact that there’s just one single part number for the entire linear gantry simplifies ordering and data management, and makes them less expensive as well.

Quick assembly and more space in production

Pre-tested solutions from the Handling Guide Online are pre-assembled and delivered in one piece to facilitate quick installation and short set-up times. This reduces the previous installation time of four working days to four hours. Last but not least, the automatically optimised sizing feature of the handling systems from Festo means the GN800 is smaller and thus takes up considerably less space than the previous solutions. Overhead costs are reduced as a result and there is more space at the production location.

Reduced costs and faster time to market

The Handling Guide Online offers advantages along the entire value chain. The management team at GN is very satisfied with this solution. Not only do the cost reductions play an important role for GN, but also other factors such as the faster time to market and potential time savings for GN’s employees and customers.

Configurator for process valve units

From manually actuated process valves to fully automated ones, the new configurator makes selecting the optimum solution child’s play. Simply select your parameters and the configurator will immediately suggest appropriate combinations, making engineering faster, safer and easier.

The benefits to you at a glance:

  • Fast and simple project management: from the product search, configuration, sizing and documentation to ordering and delivery of the process valve unit, everything is combined in one tool. You also have the option of submitting individual queries.
  • Efficient procurement process: information on pricing and delivery is immediately visible, providing complete transparency and facilitating an efficient procurement process.
  • Made-to-measure products: the products all perfectly match one another and are appropriately sized for your specific application.
  • Includes system ID and CAD download: together with the individually proposed solution, the configurator generates a system ID for the complete combination which you can save for future orders. You can also download the CAD data for the correct configuration of the complete module. This simplifies your documentation too.

Camera Configuration Studio: get pictures up and running

The image processing software Camera Configuration Studio delivers fast and reliable results for your imaging tasks. This digital tool enables you to configure inspection programs and define, log and adjust all processes, from image recording to the input and output parameters, and simulate them in advance on the PC.

In addition, the hardware, which includes our high-resolution smart camera SBRD and the specially designed machine vision controller, opens up new options in automation and robotics. The complete image processing program SBRD is suitable for beginners and professionals.

The benefits at a glance

  • Simple and intuitive operation: skip conveniently back and forth between individual commissioning steps with the Job Navigator
  • Stable image processing: the results are generated on the basis of a wide range of data
  • Quick parameterisation: for pick & place applications with the additional tool CCS xRun
  • Unlimited customisation by adjusting and evaluating the inspection characteristics for any number of images

Pneumatic Sizing: calculate optimum pneumatic control chains

You may have already asked yourself if there isn't a quicker and more accurate way to calculate the optimal pneumatic control chain. There is! And not just with one design version, but up to three that are suitable for your application, thanks to the Pneumatic Sizing tool from Festo.

By entering three application parameters such as load, stroke and positioning time, you will get up to three suggestions: the perfectly precise result, as well as the performance and eco versions. This makes designing your pneumatic control chain child’s play.

Pneumatic Sizing allows you to benefit from:

  • Optimal air consumption, or
  • the ideal process time per cycle, and
  • direct connection to the Festo Online Shop.

Automation Suite: ready for operation faster

The Automation Suite makes things easy for you, since you only need one piece of software to parameterise, program and maintain Festo components. The basic functions of all Festo components are already integrated, so you can start straight away. Configure and parameterise a fully operable drive system in five steps: the electric components are added by dragging and dropping them, then linked together and connected to the controller.

Can be expanded individually for your electric drive system

The user-friendly interface has a uniform design and modular structure. You can also configure the Automation Suite individually. To do this, simply install plug-ins and extensions directly from the software. You can integrate the servo drive CMMT-AS into the controller program of the CPX-E with just two clicks. The optional CODESYS add-on enables the motion control and robotic functions to be programmed for CPX-E.

PositioningDrives: the simple, effective way to find the right electric drive solution

PositioningDrives speeds up your project engineering and prevents design errors. By choosing the right components, energy efficiency is also improved. Designing drive mechanisms, gear units and motors separately can increase the safety factors and result in oversized electric drive systems. After entering just a few application parameters, you receive several suggestions from which you can choose the right solution. You then simply save the results list that has all the information such as the motion profile, dynamic load data, product characteristics and a bill of materials.

  • Combines mechanical and electric systems in differently sorted options
  • Visual representation of axis, motor/gear unit and controller
  • Degrees of utilisation as a bar chart
  • Prevents design errors
  • Improves energy efficiency
  • Complete project documentation in the chosen language