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19 June 2018 to 22 June 2018
Munich, Germany

Robots for smart production, digital transformation of manufacturing, artificial intelligence, human-robot collaboration, and Industry 4.0, will all be talking points at this year’s Automatica when it takes place from 19 to 22 June in Munich, Germany.

The Automatica forum will have presentations from BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler, and Continental Automotive, as well as MTU Aero Engines, IBM, DHL, Deutsche Telekom, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and Leibniz Universität Hannover. The International Symposium on Robotics will run alongside the exhibition on 20 and 21 June, with a panel discussion on the future of robotics scheduled for the end of the 20 June.

In addition, the automobile production congress will take place on 18 to 19 June, while the OPC Foundation will host its one-day OPC Day Europe conference within the framework of IT2Industry on 21 June.

Messe München will be showcasing IT2Industry as a new integrated topic area at the event. More than 50 exhibitors both from the classical IT fields and specialist providers from industry will present products for the smart factory, industrial IT security via cloud computing, big data through to virtual reality, industry-specific software, and systems and predictive maintenance.

The Service Robotics Demopark is a joint exhibition platform that showcases the wide range of applications for professional service robotics. Twelve exhibitors will present their service robots for transport, smart manipulation and the public sector every hour.

These include the electronic exoskeleton by RB3D for road construction, which can be worn and tried out, and the Kinova robot arm Jaco, which will learn what visitors teach it. Other highlights include the Kuka lightweight robot for rehab applications by BEC, and the Care-O-bot 4 by Mojin Robotics, which will accompany interested visitors to their product of choice through speech interaction.

Messe München will also host the Makeathon, targeted at young professionals and students from the fields of software engineering, mechatronics and mechanical engineering. Teams of young engineers will have 30 hours to develop software and hardware prototypes within the areas of robotics, Internet of Things, and automation.

Messe Muenchen

VDMA OPC UA Vision initiative made concrete

By Anne Wendel, director, VDMA Machine Vision

Two OPC UA Companion Specifications will be presented at Automatica 2018, not only theoretically, but also through a concrete OPC UA demonstrator. This is interoperable, vendor-independent and has been developed together with 26 partners.

At the demonstration area in hall B4, booth 332 two use cases will be shown. The first will demonstrate skill-based control: an assembly cell for the production of fidget spinners integrates components and systems from more than 20 manufacturers. Interoperable integration is achieved by means of skill-based description.

The second will display condition monitoring: several robot manufacturers will show how condition monitoring can be implemented independent of manufacturer and robot type in the cloud. All relevant status data are clearly visible on the dashboard.

Visitors will have the opportunity to talk with experts and to follow technical presentations. The stand will have experts on hand to discuss the OPC Vision release candidate and the OPC Robotics draft documents. Standardisation can only succeed if it’s developed and supported by many. 

At Automatica 2016 it became official: VDMA Machine Vision and the OPC Foundation jointly agreed to develop an OPC UA Companion Specification for machine vision.

The decision to develop an OPC UA Companion Specification for machine vision was made official by VDMA Machine Vision and the OPC Foundation at Automatica 2016. This was preceded by an international G3 study group called the ‘Embedded Vision Study Group’, led by Klaus-Henning Noffz, CEO of Silicon Software and board member of VDMA Machine Vision. Here, experts from Japan, Europe and North America investigated which new standards and interfaces would be needed to make machine vision fit for the future, one of the recommendations being the OPC UA Companion Specification for machine vision.

After discussions within the board of VDMA Machine Vision, with other divisions of VDMA and exploratory talks with the OPC Foundation, the VDMA OPC Vision initiative started work in autumn 2016. The Integrated Assembly Solutions and Robotics division followed.

Together with member companies, the three VDMA sector groups – Machine Vision, Integrated Assembly Solutions, and Robotics – are developing vendor-independent information models for the first time. These create the basis for interoperable communication in the factories of tomorrow using OPC UA. In this way, machines will speak the same language in the future.

Adaptive Vision

Adaptive Vision (B5.107) will present its deep learning-based software tools. The new module makes it possible to classify input images as accepted or rejected with no programming. Everything can be done with easy-to-use graphical editors designed for convenient execution of the training process.

Adaptive Vision offers a deep learning add-on together with its flagship product Adaptive Vision Studio, a data flow-based software designed for machine vision engineers, which has been on the market for more than 10 years.

The first product to be presented will be the feature detection tool. It uses supervised training, whereby the user needs to label pixels corresponding to defects on training images. Another tool on display will be anomaly detection, which works by training with samples representing correct objects so that the software can then detect deviations. Finally, the object classification tool will be shown, which classifies images into pre-defined classes.



On show at Euresys (B5.110H) will be a live demo of its new Coaxlink Octo frame grabber, as well as present its Coaxlink CXP-12 frame grabber. The Coaxlink Octo is an eight-connection CXP-6 board;iIt supports up to eight cameras on a single frame grabber. The Coaxlink CXP-12 board is a four-connection CXP-12 frame grabber.

Both boards support camera data transfer rates of up to 5GB/s. Equipped with a PCIe Gen 3 x8 bus, the boards offer a peak delivery bandwidth of 7.8GB/s. The effective delivery bandwidth is 6.7GB/s. They are also compatible with the company's Memento Event Logging Tool.

Coaxlink applications include 3D AOI, flat panel display inspection, print inspection, and in-vehicle video transfer.


Isra Vision

Isra Vision (A4.316) will exhibit solutions for different random bin picking applications. These include: the MiniPick3D system for handling particularly small components down to only a few cubic millimetres; PowerPick3D for particularly fast processes; and the IntelliPickD-Pro, which has been designed with everyday challenges on production lines in mind. The IntelliPickD-Pro's powerful laser lighting ensures detailed image capture in incident light and other difficult production conditions.

With the embedded PC, all Isra Vision's bin picking sensors have an embedded PC and therefore do not require extensive wiring to connect the camera and the robot controller, ensuring fast data transmission. Users benefit from shorter scanning times and faster data processing. All systems are compatible with standard communication interfaces and can be installed easily thanks to their flexible installation system.


Laser Components

On display at Laser Components (B5.501) will be the Flexpoint MV18 laser line module with an M18 thread for easy integration into standardised systems. The product is designed to deliver homogeneous power distribution along the entire projected line, an important requirement for its use in industrial image processing.

The robust module is available in wavelengths between 405nm and 850nm. With an output power of up to 200mW, the 450nm version currently is the most powerful of the MV series.

The laser is focused by means of a precise mechanism, which ensures high beam stability and low line drift. The power supply can be connected via an M12 thread at the rear of the module.

Five optics variants are possible with different combinations of line thickness and depth of field available to match the demands of different applications. In addition to the standard version with adjustable focus, Laser Components also offers the module in a low-priced version with factory-fixed focus.

LMI Technologies

LMI Technologies (B5.105) will showcase its flagship Gocator 3D smart sensors for inline inspection. The company will have live demos of high-speed, high-resolution line profilers in critical quality control applications, such as glue bead and cell phone inspection.

Visitors will also have the chance to see Gocator 3D snapshot sensors scanning small electronic parts. Gocator robot-integrated applications and 360-degree multi-sensor networks will round out the in-booth experience.

The event is a great opportunity for industry professionals to experience Gocator’s capabilities while immersing themselves in LMI’s innovative FactorySmart approach to inline automation, inspection, and optimisation. This approach goes beyond the simple data acquisition of standard sensors to provide a more intelligent solution to the real-world challenges of manufacturing today. Gocator works seamlessly within the factory environment to improve production in any industry.

Matrix Vision

Matrix Vision (B5.202) will introduce the standalone PC version of the MvImpact Configuration Studio (MvImpact-CS), the software core of the MvBlueGemini. The company will also present camera models with Sony Pregius sensors with up to 12-megapixel resolution for Gigabit Ethernet, Dual Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0.

Furthermore, the 3D/6D modular perception camera, the MvBlueSirius, will be shown. Inspired by human vision the camera determines position, location, and movement of known objects in space. Logistics and automotive users will benefit from this reliable and fast system.

Finally, Matrix Vision will display the intuitive smart camera MvBlueGemini. Basic functions can be implemented on the camera without programming, meaning end users and system integrators are able to implement applications more efficiently and industrial image processing becomes more productive.


MVTec Software

The latest versions of Halcon and Merlic software will be demonstrated at MVTec Software's booth (B5.305). Robot bin picking based on matching technologies within Halcon will be on display, as will the new parallelisation capabilities of Merlic 4. A demo will show how Merlic uses deep learning OCR technologies to recognise different fonts on packaging, such as expiry dates or batch numbers, in fractions of a second. MVTec will also illustrate integration of a programmable logic controller into vision systems using Merlic.

Professor Carsten Steger, director of research at MVTec, will give a presentation during the Automatica Forum called: 'Usage scenarios for machine learning in industrial imaging – examples of current projects in the food and pharmaceutical industries'.



Photoneo (B5.133) will showcase its high-accuracy and high-precision PhoXi 3D scanner, powered by an Nvidia Jetson platform.

Besides the 3D scanner and a sophisticated bin picking demo cell, the team will introduce the latest addition to Photoneo's product portfolio: Bin Picking Studio. The bin picking software saves configuration time and reduces integration costs. It is based on Photoneo’s experience with bin picking applications and machine vision. Robot integrators are invited to try the software by setting up a complete bin picking application.


TM Robotics

Visitors to TM Robotics' booth (B5.304) can have their portrait painted by the THL500 Scara robot. Using a connected camera, the robot will capture facial features and sketch the image onto a piece of paper, while being automatically unloaded and loaded using a Toshiba Machine BE series actuator.

The THL series consists of eight Scara models, ranging from 300mm to 1,200mm arm length. However, it is the THL500, one of the mid-range THL models, that will be playing the role of artist at TM Robotics' stand.



Vitronic (B5.300) will display various systems for optical surface inspection, as well as the Vrio WSI weld seam inspection system.

On show will be an advanced internal inspection sensor, a new addition to the Vinspec family of sensors for automotive production. The sensor is used to inspect interior walls of cylinders that are not easily accessible; it can capture data for different processing planes across the entire surface.

The company will also showcase Vinspec 3D Inline, a solution for examining surfaces and geometric deviations on castings during the production cycle. Furthermore, a 3D inspection solution for looking at the surfaces of small components, such as bearing blocks in engines, will be presented.

All inspection results are sent to an integrated database for documentation and archiving. This results in optimised production processes, reduced costs, and consistent quality.

Finally, Vitronic will highlight how optical inspection systems can provide information for reworking stations. Defects identified by the system can be displayed at the station showing different views of the test part, a feature that significantly speeds up reworking.