Smart materials for power in Industry 4.0

Smart materials for power in Industry 4.0

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Henkel in Germany has developed several materials that tackle the challenges of power management in Industry 4.0 designs.

The operational demands of more complex machine-to-machine communication (M2M) systems, advanced robotics, and factory energy management networks require high-performance thermal control and electronic protection materials. Integrating system-enhancing materials helps reduce manufacturing downtime, lower cost and extend viable hardware life through improved reliability.

These include high performance thermal interface materials (TIMs) for efficient heat removal as well as protective coatings, encapsulants, gaskets and sealants that defend electronic modules against operational stress and environmental influences such as moisture and dust. Henkel also makes bonding adhesives that hold components and housings firmly in place during production cycles.  

The Bergquist BOND PLY TBP 1400LMS-HD thermally conductive adhesive was selected for a power supply that requires automated assembly, a thin alternative to mechanical fasteners, and robust heat dissipation. All this was achieved with a single material.

A DC-DC converter used  the Bergquist Gap Filler TGF 3500LVO liquid TIM with automated application, resulting in 20% production cost reduction, 15% output improvement and equivalent thermal management performance to the former material.

Sonderhoff automated dispensing technology combined with Fermapor K31 formed-in-place-foam gasket (FIPFG) materials enabled a signification quality improvement and 30% cost reduction for sealing of a power distribution system housing.

“The demonstrable quality and efficiency benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning within the smart factory are well-documented. I4.0’s successful evolution, however, requires innovations that can address the intersecting expectations of form, function, cost, efficiency, and reliability – all while digitized production systems incorporate higher-power devices to support big data and continuous operation,” said Justin Kolbe, Director of Market Strategy for Power and Industrial Automation at Henkel. “We are partnered with the world’s leading developers of energy generation and power conversion systems, motors and drives, and controllers and sensors that make factories of the future possible.”

“Motors, drives, controllers and robotics are the muscle executing on smart factory’s intelligence,” he said. “For true lights-out automation to transpire, bits and bytes must be supported by dependable, high-performance brawn.”

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