Smart semiconductors for energy-efficient industrial automation

Industrial automation is leading the way to the fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0. It is the essential driver for efficiency in global productivity; a growing number of smart factories all over the world increasingly rely on automation. At its core, industrial automation helps companies use all resources for manufacturing and other value-generating processes as efficiently as possible – from base materials to energy.

Big Data analytics lets manufacturers not only continuously improve their products and processes, but also lets them develop new services such as predictive maintenance and automated software updates. Smart semiconductor solutions are the essential gatekeepers for these developments and innovations. At many automation touchpoints they ensure efficient and secure data flow, control the speed of industrial motors and facilitate unexpected gains in overall flexibility.

Industrial automation relies on all kinds of semiconductors

Successful industrial automation is linked to powerful, secure and smart components. Looking at typical applications, industrial automation ranges from simple thermostats in single devices to large industrial control systems which include tens of thousands of input measurements and output control signals. They also include sensors, isolated interfaces for sampling measurement data, control applications in remote clients, classic PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) and other edge-control elements to the cloud for processing data.

There are power semiconductors such as IGBTs and MOSFETs, gate drivers and dedicated controllers in the field of motion control and robotics. While fully focusing this portfolio on the efficient use of energy, Infineon can address the entire range of applications including robotics, machine tools, pumps, fans and high-power drives, and can enable more while using less.

Motor control is key in industrial automation

Common industrial automation applications include food processing, packaging, logistics systems, machine tools and robotics. Industrial automation relies heavily on industrial AC drives and servo inverters to meet higher requirements in terms of dynamic behavior and precision. An Infineon XMCTM microcontroller at the center of a high-level motor control system makes speeds up the processing of cascaded control tasks. Current, position and speed can all be measured with absolute precision. Demanding real-time loads require a high-performance system. Infineon motor control solutions based on our OptiMOS™, CoolMOS™, CoolSiCTM MOSFETs, current control ICs, EiceDRIVER™ gate drivers and sensor and security solutions are designed to enhance industrial automation applications like these, including innovative servo motor applications.

Application page: Motor control for industrial applications

Application page: Motor control and drives

Application page: Robotics

Energy-efficient servo motors for many areas

As automation grows across industries, demand increases for servo motors. Robotics, CNC (computer numerical control) machinery and automated manufacturing all rely on sophisticated, high-quality servo motors providing top energy efficiency and reliable performance based on semiconductor solutions from Infineon's portfolio.

A servo motor is made up of a compatible motor coupled to a sensor that gives feedback about position. In addition, servo motors require refined and specifically defined controllers. As a rotary actuator, it enables precise control of position, velocity and acceleration. A unique characteristic of the servo motor is that it consumes power while rotating to the desired position and then rests upon arrival. The servo motor’s ability to combine precise motion control with high torque levels makes it the perfect fit for automation and robotics while leading to higher levels of precision and efficiency.

Application page: Servo motor

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Broad portfolio for optimized efficiency

Infineon power semiconductors connect the real and the digital world in the industrial space at the highest possible energy levels and reduce energy losses in all applications. For example, power semiconductors and related gate drivers from Infineon control the variable speed of industrial motors. Sensors measure motor speed as well as the environmental and internal conditions of a machine. Isolated interfaces operate systems in high-voltage domains, interacting e.g. with motors and low-voltage domains where controllers perform safe system operations. There are microcontrollers that perform control algorithms or AI to operate machines. Furthermore, there are connectivity devices in the area of Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® for the Industrial Internet of Things as well as security devices which guarantee safe operation restricted to authorized users only and use of only properly certified original system elements.

Explore our portfolio for industrial applications

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