More than 250 international participants including GlobalFoundries, OSRAM, Infineon, and ABB met on January 18th and 19th for the 15th anniversary of the “Innovation Forum for Automation” in Dresden. The conference, hosted annually by the Automation Network Dresden in January, provides a platform to a selected audience to learn about innovative projects in the field of factory automation. The focus of this year’s forum was on increasing industrial value creation and application examples for Industry 4.0.

These examples provided insights into the future of factory automation and showed, for example, the effects of collecting and analyzing large data volumes (big and smart data) on the further development of predictive maintenance strategies. Other key topics included new sensor technologies for plant control, mobile robotics solutions, and the use of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies in complex automation scenarios.

Innovation Award goes to Siltronic from Freiberg

Each year, a company is awarded the “Innovation Award for Automation” for particularly innovative projects. This year’s winner, Siltronic, was recognized for the implementation of a very unconventional, completely new solution in the field of mobile robotics. Automated guided vehicles (AGV) which accommodate the highly automated transfer of silicon wafers in production lines were equipped with “aquariums” of 60 litre capacity. A major challenge was the fast loading and unloading of the polishing machines without allowing the liquid to spatter out (and endanger the highly sensitive electronics).

The AGVs are designed for a high level of flexibility, autonomous navigation, dry and wet transport of different types of cassettes, capabilities to handle heavy loads, and easy installation in a running fab.

The “Innovation Forum for Automation” is organized by the Automation Network Dresden (AND), which includes the four German automation specialists: Fabmatics, AIS Automation Dresden, SYSTEMA, and XENON Automatisierungstechnik.

Please click the following link to get some more impressions of the event:

You will find more details about the conference in the press release.