Optimising Production Processes with ClipX


ClipX One-Channel Signal Conditioner facilitates integration into machines and production systems, enabling complex processes.

  • Client


  • Services

    To make production significantly more cost-effective.

  • Technologies

    Measurement Technology 4.0

  • Dates




An increasing number of companies are currently focusing on the digitisation of industrial production. Nearly two-thirds of companies in Germany have already implemented Industry 4.0 or have specific plans for doing so. The Bitkom trade association is expecting the total market for Industry 4.0 to grow by more than 22% to EUR 7.2 billion in 2018. With the help of sensors, decentralised control units, and IT applications, future manufacturers will be able to monitor and control even complex production processes almost in real-time. This increases transparency of the sequences and reduces storage costs as just-in-sequence materials can be ordered and processed.


At the same time, processes are becoming more flexible, so that the production of everything from small batch sizes to individual parts (batch size of one) thus becomes economically viable. Manufacturers of customised products can change and adjust their production process a lot easier and faster based on the “Plug and Produce” concept. This is achieved by using sensors that are fast and easy to integrate into complex production systems. Signal conditioners ensure that the sensors can communicate with the decentralised controls in real time via an industrial communication module using fieldbus protocols. Measurement software, in the form of newly integrated web servers, provides an innovative balance between the simplest possible operation and implementation of increasingly complex functions.


Meeting the High Requirements of Measurement Technology 4.0

Thus, the sensor data provides the raw material for Industry 4.0 production plants. The acquisition of measurement data, as well as its further processing and transfer to higher-level control units, is being completed at increasingly faster speeds. Manufacturers have further optimised their products to meet the requirements of measurement technology 4.0: HBM, for example, provides the entire measurement chain to digitise production. The latest innovation by the measurement technology manufacturer is a dynamic signal conditioner that not only amplifies the sensor signals and transfers them to the control unit without any interference but also completes preliminary calculations and summaries to reduce the load on higher-level controls.


ClipX – The Next Generation Signal Conditioner

“We have achieved the next technological breakthrough with ClipX,” explains Michael Guckes, the HBM Product Manager. With a measurement accuracy of 0.01% and an integrated calibration certificate, this new fail-safe signal conditioner is setting new measurement technology standards. The rapid development in terms of measurement accuracy increases product quality, thus drastically reducing costs. Thanks to the new ClipX signal conditioner, companies will potentially be able to make production significantly more cost-effective.


“A particular feature of the new signal conditioner is the intuitive and responsive web interface that was developed based on the globally used Google Material Design. It automatically adjusts to the size and resolution of the control unit that is being used,” explains Guckes. Parameterisation and diagnosis can also be completed remotely. Thanks to the web interface, the signal conditioner is immediately ready for operation without requiring installation of the software or completion of any training. “This not only saves time but also reduces the costs and operation is very simple,” he emphasises.


Fast Processes Thanks to Modern Interfaces

The measurement technology in industrial applications must integrate seamlessly into automation systems. ClipX is thus equipped with the functions and features that simplify integration of the measurement technology in the production process. Hence, the ClipX signal conditioner is equipped with all well-established automation interfaces, including the Health Monitor diagnosis tool to integrate the device with comprehensive control concepts. Since data volumes and transfer speed requirements have grown drastically, fast Ethernet-based fieldbuses have become increasingly popular as a communication protocol within the automation technology industry. In the past, this involved simple fieldbuses, such as CAN or Profibus. “Now and in the future, data acquisition systems must support the real-time Ethernet protocols EtherCAT, Profinet or Ethernet/IP, which can also transfer large volumes of data at very high speeds,” explains Guckes.


From the sensor via the electronics to the web interface: HBM develops and produces perfectly matched sensors and measurement modules, which together provide reliable measurement results without system breaks.


Smart Functions Provide Relief

The next generation signal conditioner can already process the measured signals and evaluate them in real time using the smart functions. Therefore, the signal conditioner can now accomplish some of the tasks that would otherwise be taken on by the higher-level controller, such as mean value formation, peak value acquisition, and other mathematical computations and PID controllers.


In contrast to standard industrial signal conditioners, ClipX does not require a separate top module to process data directly. ClipX adjusts to any measurement task, regardless of whether it is a single- or multi-channel application in manufacturing or production monitoring machines. Guckes explains that up to six devices can be connected modularly via the plug and play system so that the measured data can be calculated in advance. One or more different system controls can also access the ClipX system using the fieldbus interfaces in ClipX.


This decentralised intelligence of the test and measuring equipment is particularly vital for applications with a very high degree of automation in order to reduce the failure frequency and system load on the controller. With the aid of powerful signal processors, all measured values and their derived values from the virtual calculation channels – also referred to as smart functions – can be transmitted to the controller for the machines and systems in real time at up to 4 kHz.


The advantages of ClipX:

  • Modern automation interfaces for flexible applications

  • Future-proof investment that meets future IoT requirements

  • Most accurate industrial signal conditioner with an accuracy class of 0.01%

  • Unbeatable price-to-performance ratio


Efficient Production Thanks to HBM

Guckes is certain that modern signal conditioner systems, such as ClipX from HBM, will not only reduce the production costs but also increase the quality and production speed, thus ensuring that our customers in the industrial automation sector are perfectly equipped for the digitisation of their production processes.