For Festo, 3D MID technology offers many options for the future of automation technology and for use in production systems. Dr Volker Nestle, Head of Future Technology at Festo, opened the Molded Interconnect Devices (MID 2016) international congress in September in Würzburg with his presentation about the potential and implementation barriers for MID in automation technology.
MID technology can be used to apply visible, three-dimensional conductive tracks to the surface of injection-moulded components. This enables mechanical and electronic functions to be integrated on a shaped part in a unique way. The products can therefore be designed much more freely in terms of space and made much smaller and lighter – an important step towards further miniaturisation. Particularly when it comes to developing cyber-physical systems, MID technology plays an increasingly important role due to its functional integration possibilities.
Challenges facing MID technology for Industry 4.0
In his presentation to open the specialist congress, Dr Volker Nestle explained the beneficial properties of MID and also outlined the current challenges for its application, in particular. As the mechanical and electronic design process has to go hand in hand when developing MID components, new design tools are required.
The activities currently running on the Industry 4.0 platform regarding the uniform descriptions and standards for mechatronic components provide an ideal basis for the definition and implementation of a consistent engineering process – from the design stage to the functional description and the ongoing operation of MID components.
MID innovation award for the BionicANTs 2015
Festo uses MID technology for its bionics projects, among other things. With the BionicANTs, which were presented in 2015 at the Hannover Messe, Festo produced miniature robots for the first time based on this technology. These were awarded the 2015 MID Innovation Award by the Forschungsvereinigung Räumliche Elektronische Baugruppen 3-D MID e.V. research association.
World’s leading specialist congress
In order to provide a platform for the global exchange of information and experiences surrounding MID technology – and thus to promote the further development of spatial mechatronic systems – the Forschungsvereinigung 3-D MID e.V. has organised the Molded Interconnect Devices international congress every two years since 1994. With around 300 participants from all over the world, the internationally acclaimed congress is the world’s leading event for MID technology.