Machinery is the entirety of the products of mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering is one of the oldest engineering sciences. It is understood as a branch of industry as well as an engineering discipline. This field of activity includes the development, construction and production of machines and machine parts. As a branch of industry, mechanical engineering originated from the craft of metalworking by blacksmiths and locksmiths. As an engineering discipline according to modern understanding, it is based on a systematic scientific reference to physics, especially mechanics.
The following section is intended to give an exemplary sketch of the vastness of mechanical and plant engineering. This includes for example the following industries and products:
- Food Processing and Packaging Machinery, e.g., bakery machines, meat processing machines and packaging machines.
- Robotics and Automation, e.g., Robots, machine vision systems and integrated assembly solutions
- Plastics and Rubber Machinery, e.g., Injection moulding machines and extrusion devices
- Metallurgy, e.g., foundry machinery, furnaces, metallurgical plants and rolling mills
- Materials Handling and Intralogistics, e.g., automated guided vehicles, industrial trucks and cranes
Other industries include the following:
Agricultural Machinery, Air Conditioning and Ventilation, Air Pollution Control, Air-handling Technology, Battery Production, Building Control and Management, Ceramic Machinery, Cleaning Systems, Compressed Air and Vacuum Technology, Construction-Equipment and Plant Engineering, Die and Mould, Drying Technology, Electrical Automation, Electronics, Micro and Nano Technologies, Engines and Systems, Fire Fighting Equipment, Fluid Power Industry, Glass Machinery, Lifts and Escalators, Machine Tools and Manufacturing Systems, Measuring and Testing Technology, Micro Technologies, Mining Industry, Photovoltaic Equipment, Power Systems, Power Transmission Engineering, Precision Tools, Printing and Paper Technology, Process Plant and Equipment, Pumps and Systems, Refrigeration and Heat Pump Technology, Security Systems, Surface Technology, Software and Digitalization, Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technology, Textile Machinery, Valves, Waste Treatment and Recycling, Welding and Pressure Gas Equipment, Woodworking Machinery.
Classical mechanical engineering is undergoing change. Driven by digitalization, the classical disciplines of mechanical engineering, such as
- technical mechanics
- thermodynamics or
- material technology
get extended by, for example
- automation technology and
- virtual product development.
In this context, the companies of this working group have identified OPC UA as a standardized interface for data exchange. As a result, they are working on features, use cases and information models that apply across the board to the entire mechanical engineering sector.