Since 1992 the non-profit research institute has been dealing with applied research in the areas of automation technology and industrial communication. The institute is structured into 4 departments which comprise of 10 research focal points. Moreover the institute supports 2 competence centres and two accredited test laboratories.
The 4 departments are as follows:
The institute contributes to a better image of Magdeburg and Saxony Anhalt due to its research activities within EC, federal and industry projects as well as its involvement in national and international standardisation committees. The institute is also highly recognised within German and international companies and research institutes.
Special emphasis is put on the following 2 research focal points:
Machine and Plant Management:
Information technical support of industrial value chains and support of maintenance processes.
Compiling scientific methods and creating tools for the information technical support.
Products and Services
Testing laboratory PLCopenAccording to the requirements of IEC 61131 and the demands of PLCopen ifak has been accredited as the testing laboratory of PLCopen, to test PLC systems (Base Level, Conformity Level & Reusability Level) as a basis for certification. Currently tests for Instruction List (IL), Structured Text (ST), Function Block Diagram (FBD) and Sequential Function Chart (SFC) are provided. This will be extended to all other languages and compliance levels as soon as the test programs are approved by TC3.
Field device integrationThe Electronic Device Description (EDD) is used to describe automation devices vendor-independently. It is part of the Hart protocol and integrated into PROFIBUS. An EDD Manager for integration into engineering & commissioning tools is provided. Furthermore, toolkits support the development of Device Type Manager (DTM) according to the Field Device Tool (FDT) specification.
Implementation support, generic interfaces and test configurations for communication systemsComputerbased specification (formal languages) and implementation of fieldbus protocols, resulting in portable and problem specific software (PROFIBUS-DP, PROFINET - CBA, I/O). Integration of different communication systems (PROFIBUS-DP, Hart, CAN, DeviceNet) into open distributed computer controlled systems (IEC 61131, OPC). A test system consisting of several devices (different vendors, different protocol software) provides testing facilities to detect intercommunication problems.
Software engineeringThe engineering of software tools for automation such as configuration and commissioning tools, programming environments and HMI's requires both know-how in computer science (compiler, GUI, data base, network, ...) as well as in automation. ifak has successfully finished several projects for its customers and continues to offer its software engineering services for further projects.