Siemens buys industrial supplier to make collaborative mobile robots safer

Siemens buys industrial supplier to make collaborative mobile robots safer

Siemens has taken over ownership of the leading supplier of industrial Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS) focusing on applications in production and enabling efficient use of collaborative mobile robots.

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The German company Agilion, based in Chemnitz, Germany, is recognised as a pioneer in the field of RTLS in the Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) frequency spectrum.

This technology enables highly precise localisation within a range of just a few centimetres, tracking of many different assets, and exceptionally easy commissioning.

The precise real-time localisation of assets such as tools or vehicles will enable manufacturers to optimise their production and logistics processes and so improve their quality, productivity and flexibility.

Precise monitoring of the production process
Uses for RTLS include a wide range of applications in complex environments, used in a manufacturing scenario, for instance, it enables precise monitoring of the production process and a transparent material flow.

Real-time data made available using RTLS about the location and status of assets forms the basis for networking involved players and logistical processes along the value chain.

This allows users to continuously and automatically compare the position of every production asset with the 3D model of the product or production environment.

Evaluation and combination of this 'digital twin' with other information – for instance using apps in the open IoT operating system MindSphere – permit dynamic optimisation of production and logistics processes.

Reduction of risk errors
As a result, processes can be more efficiently controlled, downtimes minimised and the risk of errors reduced. RTLS also provides the foundation for totally new workflows in production, material flow control and logistics, for instance in conjunction with Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) or mobile robots.

With its workforce of around 60, Agilion is a global technology leader in the field of enterprise wireless location solutions for industry and public transport networks in the application fields Industrial Supply Chain Tracking, Vehicle Tracking and People Tracking.

With about 150 installations in more than 20 countries, Agilion has been providing support to all sectors of industry for over 10 years with process optimisation and efficient enterprise control based on RTLS real-time locating solutions.

Agilion will be integrated into the Process Industries and Drives Division's industrial communication and identification business.

Bentley Motors to build the UK's largest solar-powered car port

Bentley Motors to build the UK's largest solar-powered car port

Bentley Motors has announced that construction has started on the UK's largest ever solar-powered car port at Bentley's factory headquarters in Crewe, UK.

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The installation of 10,000 solar panels, which has a capacity of 2.7MW, will take approximately six months to complete. Once completed, the car port – which covers Bentley's colleague car park – will take Bentley's energy system to 30,815 solar panels. This includes the 20,815 panel roof top installation completed in 2013.

Commenting on the installation, Peter Bosch, Bentley's Member of the Board for Manufacturing, said: "We continue to focus on new initiatives that reinforce our commitment to the environment, whether this is introducing alternative powertrain technologies in future models, or our award-winning work to reduce the environmental impact of our factory.

"This solar installation is another example of how we can make our factory more sustainable by using technological innovation. This helps us produce extraordinary cars with responsibly-sourced materials in an efficient manner, while continually striving to reduce the company's environmental impact."

The solar car port installation, which covers 1,378 car parking spaces, and an area of 16,426m², will be installed and operated by FlexiSolar, the innovative solar car port specialist.

The project is also backed by Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency driven to support the science and technology initiatives that will grow the UK economy.

This solar installation announcement follows recent recognition that Bentley Motors has become the first UK automotive manufacturer to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standards for carbon, water and waste, further reducing the environmental impact of its operations in Crewe.

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