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Siemens Digital Industries Software, in collaboration with KU Leuven, has launched the Digital Twin for Smart and Sustainable Products Chair to promote methodological research, stimulate innovations in industrial applications, disseminate results and support educational activities within the field of digital twin technologies.

ARIA (Automated Robotic Industrial Assistant) has a small footprint, is fully configurable, and offers a broad array of options and preprogrammed software packages that enable the unit to be tailored to the application.

With TwinCAT runtime for real-time Linux®, Beckhoff is opening up new application possibilities for real-time control. The ability to execute several TwinCAT runtimes on a single industrial PC means users can now combine different system parts on one high-performance computer to streamline programming and diagnostics. It also makes it possible to access a GPU (graphics card) from the real-time environment, providing a hardware accelerator for particularly computing-intensive applications such as vision – and much more besides.

TwinCAT runtime for real-time Linux® is based on Beckhoff’s own Linux® distribution, which expands the existing spectrum of operating systems beyond Windows and TwinCAT/BSD. This distribution was developed using the free Debian operating system and includes a Linux® real-time kernel as standard for real-time execution of the runtime. The Debian package system also makes it easy to install additional software.

This all combines to provide a TwinCAT runtime for stable real-time control on a Linux® platform. Using container technologies such as Docker®, Podman, or LXC, several TwinCAT runtimes can be executed on a single IPC to achieve modularity in machine and other control applications. The individual execution of several TwinCAT runtimes on a single industrial PC facilitates hardware consolidation with corresponding cost advantages due to the improved utilization of the available computing capacity.

Linux® users can take advantage of a whole new world of automation possibilities, while the familiar TwinCAT application programming remains unchanged. Benefits include the optimized execution of several real-time applications on a single CPU, increased user flexibility thanks to the modular control code, simplified addition or replacement of application modules, and the targeted execution of updates for individual applications. There is even a reduced overall investment in terms of both time and costs for engineering.

TwinCAT runtime for real-time Linux® will initially be available for the new ARM-based CX82x0 and CX9240 Embedded PCs (with ARM Cortex™ A53 CPU). The Beckhoff Linux® distribution will then be successively rolled out for all of the company’s other industrial and embedded PCs.

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The OPC Foundation, a global organization dedicated to interoperability in industrial automation, announces the formation of a new working group focused on leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI). This initiative marks a pivotal moment in the convergence of AI and manufacturing, promising to redefine how engineers interact with data and systems to build cutting-edge solutions.

TwinCAT Machine Learning Creator from Beckhoff is aimed at automation and process experts and adds the automated creation of AI models to the TwinCAT 3 workflow. This allows users to handle the entire process, from data collection to the trained model, for themselves – without any AI expertise of their own. The finished model is optimally adapted to real-time requirements in the control environment in terms of latency and accuracy.

The FLASH-COMP project – which is using AI to transform quality control in manufacturing – now has an up-and-running data space, which will form the cornerstone of the project’s novel Decision Support System (DSS). By housing databases, applications, and AI algorithms to support decision-making, the data space provides the fuel for the DSS that will eventually empower operators to manage production quality and make operational decisions that ensure products are manufactured right first time.

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