SPS 2014 – PROFINET for Machine Builders

Machine builders have long been using PROFINET. At the SPS Fair this year we paid tribute to them with a machine to print, build, and launch paper airplanes.

Like many real production machines, this one had multiple modules. The three interdependent modules communicated over PROFINET. And each module was controlled by PROFINET. Twelve vendors contributed PROFINET and IO-Link products to the project which was a Masters project for a student team at the technical university of Darmstadt. Student Daniel Freund was onsite to supervise the machine operation. He provided some background on the project. Many months of effort were expended by the three designers and four builders.

Like many real world projects, this one was thrown a curve ball at startup. Instead of plain paper, at the fair preprinted paper on one side was used. The slickness of the large printed area presented a challenge to the paper handling. They overcame this hurdle to successfully launch paper airplanes throughout the fair.

Here’s a two-minute video look at the controls and the operation:

Of course, it’s not just paper airplanes that PROFINET helps build. Read the app story of the machine builder that helps Boeing build the 787 Dreamliner.

–Carl Henning