MURRELEKTRONIK, ADAPTATING TO THE NEW MARKET CONDITIONS
The questions were answered by Andreas Chromy, Managing Director CEE.
Easy Engineering: What new products / solutions do you have for your customers?
Andreas Chromy: As the worlds of machinery and system connectivity grow closer together, Ethernet based solutions are becoming more and more important. The shift from Profibus to Profinet entails an increase in the number of Ethernet components in machinery and systems. Our switches allow you to achieve more flexible, cost effective installations of your Ethernet components.
Murrelektronik offers an extensive portfolio of switches – from managed to unmanaged. Our new Xelity® series is developed and produced in Germany. The series includes managed and unmanaged switches with a choice of 4, 6, 8, 16 or 24 ports in a compact housing. Unmanaged devices with 4, 6 or 8 RJ45 ports will be available soon. The switches have a similar housing with push in terminals for the power connection that make installation simple. They are resistant to EMC influences and are able to be redundantly supplied with power to ensure system availability. They prioritize Profinet protocols while transferring data packages of up to 100 Mbit/s. The high temperature range (-25 to +60C) and UL listing allow for worldwide usage.
Murrelektronik has expanded its switch portfolio with the new, compact Xenterra switch family. They are characterized by their flat yet robust design. Xenterra is available in 5, 8 or 16 port versions allowing you to select the right sized switch for your application. The switches can be either DIN rail or wall mounted which further reduces the space needed for installation. The transmission speed of all Xenterra switches is 100Mbit/s.
Power over Ethernet provides a significant installation advantage. PoE cameras or PoE Panel PCs, which previously required one cable for power and one cable for data now only need a single cable for power and data transmission. PoE switches are a must for reducing your wiring efforts. Our TREE series is made up of 5 to 8 port switches that have the option of supplying both 24V and 48V allowing users to select the switch that best meets their needs. Another advantage – our TREE PoE switches use standard 8-pole RJ45 cables.
Our latest fieldbus module MVK Fusion has an extreme range and is unique due to its variety. It combines three basic functions: standard digital sensors and actuators, safety digital sensors and actuators and IO-Link. This combination is new and innovative. It enables unique and ground-breaking automation concepts to be realized. Installation becomes simpler and faster.
MVK Fusion makes complex configurations easier because they can be done entirely by the engineering tool in the safety control system. Software developers and electrical engineers no longer need in-depth knowledge of other manufacturers’ tools and manuals. MVK Fusion makes it possible to have fewer fieldbus modules per unit. Some applications might only require a single module. This opens up new opportunities for many automation applications!
E.E: How will these products / solutions help them in the next period?
A.C: Murrelektronik’s managed switches are designed for connectivity in industrial areas. They make network setup quick and their extensive diagnostic options allow errors to the quickly spotted and corrected. This minimizes downtime. Neighborhood detection makes component replacement straightforward. Prioritization of Profinet data packages is also a plus.
Murrelektronik’s unmanaged switches enable the straightforward, compact connection of Ethernet devices. They are a heavy duty solution for industrial applications in rugged environments like machine tools and packaging machines. They are vibration-proof, resistant to EMC influences and suitable for a wide temperature range.
Murrelektronik’s IP67 switches can be powered directly via an output port of a fieldbus module like our Impact67, MVK Metal or SOLID67. Our compact, IP67 rated switches allow you to shift the coupling layer to the field making your control cabinet smaller.
In general, integrated web servers and simple connections to network analysis tools make status communication easy. In addition, installation solutions are made easier thanks to the wiring flexibility provided by the switches. Unmanaged switches reliably cover basic functions and offer good value for money, while versions like the PROFINET managed switch offer a maximum range of functions.
Murrelektronik’s MVK Fusion fieldbus module standardizes three components, opening the door to a one-module strategy. The two standard digital ports can be configured as inputs or outputs – they are customizable for each application. The four safety ports ensure that almost all digital safety requirements are integrated into the installation. The two IO-Link ports offer a wide range of functions: they integrate smart devices into the fieldbus system and they also enable the system to be expanded cost-effectively via IO-Link hubs.
E.E: How did your employees react to the new working conditions?
A.C: The Corona virus crisis has changed the world of work. When it became clear in March that Europe would not be spared by the Corona virus pandemic, the switch from office work to home office had to be made quickly. Digital communication tools were set up in no time at all, new working methods were organized and appropriate hardware was issued. Mobile working worked very well afterwards and turned out to be a refreshing innovation. By saving time for the employees (no need to travel to the workplace), the work-life balance was improved while at the same time productivity was increased. The switch to digital means of communication also made us aware that not all meetings have to take place physically. Therefore, we have been able to learn lessons from the crisis and are well prepared for future challenges.
E.E: What innovative products / solutions did you come up with to meet the situation?
A.C: Technological change affects many areas of an organization. Many people in a company depend on up-to-date process data. The data can be used for a variety of purposes including optimizing or increasing machine availability or scheduling maintenance. Murrelektronik-nexogate brings data from the industrial field into the cloud. This compact, control cabinet component is integrated into the Ethernet communication system as an additional device and transfers data to the Murrelektronik cloud via a cellular network making transmission independent of your location‘s IT infrastructure.
Murrelektronik offers a ready-to-use and easy-to-use device management and data cloud that allows your employees to manage all Murrelektronik-nexogate devices globally and remotely. Without special IT knowledge, login authorizations can be controlled and smart data can be made available in the form of dashboards or via an API interface. This data can be accessed – at any time, from any place. Which employees receive which information is defined. It is possible, for example, that the production planner receives information about the current output of a plant, while the maintenance technician is shown the temperature of the servo motors. All the while, management gets real time data on machine usage and so much more. For this reason, the Murrelektronik-Cloud can be used to define who can see which data and with what level of detail. The entire organization benefits!
E.E: Under what conditions was the transition from the post-COVID-19 situation to the current one?
A.C: Murrelektronik is an international company in automation technology with a global production network and five locations in key parts of the globe. However, we anticipate a somewhat restrained incoming order and a subsequent decline in sales. In addition, we will have to adjust to the postponement of projects. Nevertheless, we see great opportunities with our product portfolio of automated digitization technology to support our customers in the transformation of new technologies and thus to advance digitization and process optimization.
E.E: What are your estimates for the rest of the year?
A.C: In general, we expect effects until 2021. However, Murrelektronik offers a broad portfolio that covers a large number of industries. For this reason, we are currently focusing on the industries that are still growing. This includes, for example, the areas of logistics or Food & Beverage. In addition, we develop customized solutions for our customers that are ideally suited to the new technological challenges and that strengthen and accelerate the digital transformation.
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