Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Renold has launched a new version of Smartlink, the innovative chain monitoring technology that can be installed and operated either by maintenance engineers or OEMs. Previous versions of Smartlink have had to be installed and monitored by Renold's own engineers limiting its use to larger projects.

Now Smartlink can be owned and operated by anyone, bringing the benefits of chain monitoring to a much wider range of applications. The new Smartlink devices are supplied already fitted to a section of chain; users simply install the new chain link and Smartlink is ready to go. The new Smarlink units are available for operation on 1, 1.25 and 1.5in pitch chains. They are remotely controlled with a choice of two handheld devices, providing users with two levels of sophistication.

The simpler of the two handheld controllers is no bigger than a keyfob and enables Smartlink to be operated as an overload detector. In this instance Smartlink will provide a warning when chain exceeds a predetermined load enabling engineers to check machinery and make sure that it is safe to continue operating the system. The alarm conditions on the Smartlink device can then be reset using the remote control.

A more sophisticated handheld controller is available that is capable of downloading much more detailed information from Smartlink about the nature of the stresses and loading the chain was subjected to during a given period of operation. The data can then be analysed on a PC to identify the exact location of load peaks in the drive system using software specially written by Renold.

These developments have been possible thanks, in part, to the availability of smaller PCBs and miniature batteries that were initially developed for high-grade military applications. These new batteries are so small that Renold's team were able to integrate them with the PCB itself so that they were no longer a component on the board, they became part of it.

Speaking of the new launch Renold's Marketing Communications Manager, David Turner, says: 'This launch represents a breakthrough in chain monitoring technology and brings the benefits of Smartlink to a much wider range of engineers'. 'The new Smartlink units provide a groundbreaking opportunity to understand system loads which may be detrimental to the performance of a product or the operation of machinery'.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dalsa has released the Falcon 1.4M100 1.4 megapixel, high-speed camera from Firstsight Vision. The new camera delivers 100 frames a second at full 1400 x 1024 pixel resolution. Even faster frame rates can be achieved through vertical windowing. The dynamic range of 57dB ensures excellent image quality.

Housed in a compact body, the new camera is ideally suited to applications in electronics manufacturing and semiconductor inspection. These include wire and die bonding, flat panel display inspection and pick and place. The high-speed capabilities also make it suitable for use in industrial metrology and general machine vision applications such as print registration and pharmaceutical inspection. The sensor provides global shuttering, global reset and concurrent integration and readout.

True global shuttering is suited to imaging fast-moving objects. It captures crisp images without smear or distortion by electronically shuttering all pixels simultaneously, even at short exposure times. This avoids the distortion of images of moving objects using rolling shutter systems.
Fully programmable via base mini Camera Link (CL), the camera incorporates exposure control, gain and offset adjustment and flat- field correction. The mini Camera Link interface allows data transmission over 10m cable lengths.

Ease of use is enhanced through direct camera control using Dalsa's CamExpert point-and-click graphical user interface. The Falcon 1.4M100 is fully compatible with Dalsa's Xcelera PoCL (Power over Camera Link) series of frame grabbers, as well as Dalsa's X64-CL and Anaconda CL vision processors.