We're only at Industry 4.0 at the moment - can control technology really already be one step ahead? But let's start from the beginning and count - from mechanics to electrics and electronics to SoftPLC and virtual controllers.
Controller 1.0: Mechanical controllers
They made mechanical engineering big: purely mechanical controllers with crankshafts, camshafts and vertical shafts as well as extensive speed conversions by gears and cogwheels. These first machines were initially driven by horse-drawn vehicles, later by steam engines and gasoline or diesel engines. A classic application, which was still widely used until recently, is the main shaft on web presses. The rapidly increasing complexity of the mechanics with elaborate function, the immense material expenditure as well as the physical limits due to mechanical conditions are the reason why such controls have almost become extinct.
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This article is only available in German language.
Author: Roland Wagner