On display at SPS 202306 February 2024

(Image credit: Siemens)

With automation a major theme, the 32nd edition of German trade fair SPS, Smart Production Solutions, provided a space for 50,000 interested parties to learn more about developments in November 2023

Siemens showcased a production machine that is augmented with its Industrial Copilot for the first time as part of a collaboration with motion technology company Schaeffler.

The Siemens Industrial Copilot helps automate repetitive tasks, freeing up engineering resources for other work. It is also expected to assist less-experienced shop floor employees to grow into engineering roles.

To support engineers with various automation tasks, the artificial intelligence (AI) powered assistant is connected to Siemens’s engineering framework Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal via the open application programming interface TIA Portal Openness.

According to Siemens, engineering teams can reduce time, effort, and the probability of errors by generating PLC code through natural language inputs.

The Industrial Copilot has access to all relevant documentation, guidelines, and manuals to assist shopfloor workers in identifying possible errors. These capabilities are claimed to enable maintenance teams to identify errors and generate solutions more quickly. This will help reduce machine downtime, make industrial companies more efficient, and thereby support sustainability efforts.

Overall, the solution will assist in optimising the engineering and operation lifecycle. From the planning phase to validation, generating unit tests of function blocks, monitoring, and optimising machine performance, the unit is expected to make human-machine interactions faster and more efficient.

Cedrik Neike, member of the managing board of Siemens and CEO Digital Industries, said: “This is the beginning of a new era: In the past, we had to speak to machines in their language. With the Siemens Industrial Copilot, we can speak to machines in our language. In few years, AI will be omnipresent in industry. Siemens and Schaeffler joining forces to make Generative AI industrial grade.”

ADI OtoSense demonstrated a smart motor sensor, where vibration data is fed into the OtoSense AI software system, and the current status of an asset – and the action it performs – are quantified. ADI OtoSense AI is said to deliver a low-cost, intelligent device capable of delivering insights into an asset’s health or operation in real-time.


Codesys showed a cloud-based server platform that is said to simplify typical automation tasks. With the Codesys Automation Server, machine builders and operators can commission, secure, monitor, manage, exchange and update control systems. The web-based operation of the server can be carried out equally by stationary or mobile browsers. The Codesys Automation Server is said to provide device administration without IT knowledge, and an overview of a control landscape with information on topology, status, network addresses, current project, boot application and application parameters. It also offers controller-specific functions such as automatic backup/restore of application software, user management, rolling out application changes, access to integrated web visualisation and remote debugging, as well as a convenient management of certificates. The product was initially hosted in a public cloud platform as Software as a Service. It is now also available as an on-premises product for hosting platforms.

Schneider Electric’s Lexium Cobots (collaborative robots) can take on monotonous and physically demanding tasks. They can work in environments that are dangerous for humans and can be deployed in existing or new production lines in various industries.


ABB has developed a solid-state circuit breaker concept that is expected to make electrical distribution systems more reliable while driving down maintenance costs. The circuit breaker is also said to meet the durability demands of next-generation electrical grids. According to ABB, the circuit breaker will help customers address the main challenges of future energy requirements thanks to unlimited protection to satisfy applications such as renewable. The new ABB Novolink devices help digitalise motor starting solutions and gain insights into the con-nected loads. They are said to be easy to design into existing wiring plans and connect to standard AF contactors. Installation is expected to be fast due to reduced wiring and fewer components.The Novolink devices enable predictive maintenance to help reduce downtime, as well as increase efficiencies and boost cost savings. It is integrated into the B&R automation system.

Finally, Bosch Rexroth presented an automation toolkit that is claimed to reduce components and engineering costs by 30-50%. CtrlX Automation comes with a Linux real-time operating system, open standards, app programming technology, web-based engineering and an Internet of Things connection. The CtrlX Core runs the real-time, Linux-based operating system CtrlX OS. It gives users access to the ecosystem initiated by CtrlX Automation. Due to its open and hardware-independent architecture, the control platform CtrlX Core overcomes the boundaries between the embedded system and drive-based technology platforms. According to Bosch Rexroth, the portfolio is extended by a powerful variant. Thanks to the use of central processing unit technology, this offers approximately seven times the performance of the previous CtrlX Core. In addition, the industrial control with reduced interfaces and options is available as an entry-level solution.

Steffen Winkler, chief strategy officer of the automation business unit of Bosch Rexroth and chair of the SPS exhibitor advisory board, said: “The SPS is, as ever, regarded as the leading industry event for automation. The trade fair sets the pace for the market and is the highlight of the year. In 2023, the SPS successfully once again attained its pre-corona level. But that’s not all: as the only industrial trade fair that brings the topic of automation to all relevant regions of the world under one brand, it is now taking a logical step and expanding into the USA. It is a great honour for me as chairman of the exhibitor advisory board to be involved in driving this leading automation platform forward and to be part of its success story.”


Symeo is launching its LPR-1DHP-350 radar system, which performs distance measurements for short and medium ranges. Based on primary or secondary radar measurements, the LPR-1DHP-350 can detect the position and speed of objects such as cranes or rail-based transport systems in real-time and make the data available via the device interfaces. The sensors are put into operation with the aid of a web-based interface. A directional antenna is integrated into the housing. The device features millimetre-wave technology for precise measurements.

Operations Engineer

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