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Showing posts from March, 2009

AL-3 Monitor Optimises Analogue Signalling Devices

IFM Electronic has introduced the AL-3 monitor, which complements analogue signalling devices by allowing the user to set switchpoints and compare or combine values and scaling ranges. The AL-3 monitor is a programmable, two-channel analogue threshold relay with two inputs for analogue standard signals (0/4...20 mA).

It picks up the current signals on separate inputs, compares them with the set limit values and switches the outputs according to the set switching functions. The input signals can be scaled to the measuring range of the sensor or transmitter so the measured values are indicated on the front display corresponding to their physical unit.

The AL-3 features an output relay with changeover contact and a transistor output for each channel. The user can monitor values that exceed or fall below the limit values and window function. In the comparator operating mode, a differential pressure can, for example, be determined from the two input signals, monitored and provided as an anal…

Schunk Intec Designs Three-Finger Centric Grippers

Schunk Intec has created the PZB-plus series of three-finger centric grippers with a central bore designed as a fitting. The central-bore feature is equipped with female threads for customer-specific add-ons and can be used as an ejector or to supply material. The PZB-plus can also be used to monitor the handling or assembly process with a camera system or to pick up workpieces and centre them using the fitting during the gripping process.

There are also threads integrated on the upper face of the gripper and on the cover plate to facilitate mounting customer-specific add-ons. The PZB-plus is available in two different stroke-length versions; the smaller stroke results in approximately double the gripping force. The six sizes, ranging from 64mm to 200mm, are fitted with multi-tooth guides, as is the case in the PGN-plus and PZN-plus ranges.

Compared with the PZB series, the PZB-plus can pick up 100 per cent-higher torques in directions at right angles to the gripping motion. This makes …

Aalborg Releases Direct-Reading Flowmeters

Aalborg Instruments has introduced direct-reading scales for Models P, S and T flowmeters. Direct-reading flow-tube scales are designed for a specific gas or liquid at a given temperature and pressure, valid only for the associated units of flow. Flow rates for a specified set of parameters are clearly indicated in specific engineering units, such as ml/min or scfh.

Using correlating tables and graphs to determine flow rates is no longer necessary. NIST-traceably calibrated for specific liquids and gases, these units are ideal for OEM applications and processing industries. Direct-reading scales are available for argon, carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen, hydrogen chloride, methane, nitrous oxide, oxygen and propane.

Megger Unveils Protection Relay Test Set

Megger has introduced the Freja 306 protection relay test set. It provides an economical system for testing protection relays, including differential types, and has six independently controlled current outputs. The Freja 306 features extended Hi-Current outputs, rugged construction and a wide operating temperature range, making it ideal for field use.

It is suitable for use as a stand-alone device, or in conjunction with a PC running the Freja WIN software package. In either case, the operation of the instrument is straightforward and intuitive, with Freja WIN adding the benefits of a highly intuitive graphical user interface, as well as enhanced options for automated testing. The outputs of the Freja 306 can be configured as 3 x 15A plus 3 x 35A, or as 1 x 100A.

The outputs with a 35A rating are particularly useful when testing 5A relays, while the capability of these outputs of generating up to 50V eases the testing of many types of electromechanical relay. The Freja 306 also provides…

Windcon 3.0 Features CAN-Bus Interconnectivity

SKF has launched Windcon 3.0, the third-generation version of its wind turbine condition monitoring system. SKF Windcon 3.0 is designed to enable wind farms to extend turbine maintenance intervals, manage resources more effectively, and avoid downtime. The new Windcon system features CAN-bus interconnectivity to a number of systems typically found in modern wind turbines, such as centralised lubrication, blade monitoring, and gearbox oil condition systems.

These elements can be remotely monitored at any maintenance centre with internet access, using SKF Webcon software. Using vibration sensors mounted on a turbine's main shaft bearings, drive train gearbox, and generator, SKF Windcon 3.0 collects, analyses, and compiles a range of operating data that can be configured to suit a wind farm's specific requirements. The collected data enables root cause failure analysis to eliminate recurring failures and keep costs down.

A brochure is available to accompany the solution, which expl…

PDU2M Added To Belt-Driven Linear Motion System

Hepcomotion has introduced the PDU2M to its Profile Driven Unit (PDU2) belt-driven linear motion system. The company said the PDU2M delivers a 200 per cent increase in moment load capacity and 1000 per cent uplift in moment load stiffness compared to a standard PDU2. Direct load capacity is also 50 per cent greater. In practice this means, for example, that designers can use a single PDU2M unit as a horizontal axis in an X-Z system, where previously two PDU2 units working in parallel would have been required to provide the necessary rigidity and strength.

Key to this capability is the high-performance Hepcomotion Herculane wheels that are mounted on adjustable eccentric studs. These wheels run virtually friction-free on the inside of the profile, providing stable support for the carriage plate. Felt wipers sweep debris from their path. The unit is available with a number of carriage designs to allow the quick and easy construction of multi-axis systems with a minimal requirement for br…

Segway Transporter Uses Novotechnik Sensor

The steering system of the two-wheeled Segway Personal Transporter (PT) utilises an angular position sensor from Novotechnik to aid balance and acceleration of the vehicle. The second-generation PT is a self-balancing transportation device with sophisticated motion and stabilisation technology that uses the rider's natural body movements to propel and steer the vehicle.

The vehicle can hit 12.5mph and covers a range of 24 miles. The Segway PT uses its Leansteer steering system to allow the riders body movement to guide the vehicle, while the Segway Smart Motion (SSM) controller uses the same information to maintain motion and direction with complete dynamic stability through its balance sensor assembly (BSA), which has integral solid-state rate gyro and tilt sensors.

In operation, the rider simply moves forwards, backwards and to each side to propel and steer the PT in the corresponding direction while the control system ensures that bumps, camber or uneven slopes, which may affect …

Huco Dynatork Publishes Product Leaflet

The Full Picture is a published leaflet that provides a quick overview of all Huco Dynatork product divisions. In addition to couplings, the company now also designs and manufactures a range of floating piston air motors. The leaflet also outlines the products in the motion control, power transmission and assembly components ranges. This four-page leaflet is available from the Huco Dynatork sales office.

Ansys Application Enables 3D Structural Analyses

SMC has appointed Idac to develop a macro that will allow SMC engineers to predict the deflections and stresses seen by the telescopic communication masts the company manufactures. SMC is regularly required to design and manufacture telescopic communication masts, which are customised to handle customer-specified load configurations. The deflections of the mast must be kept within a very tight tolerance for proper operation.

Stresses also need to be kept within specified limits. SMC required an automated procedure to analyse different design configurations based on a number of predefined design variables under a given set of loads. This would require a set of input design variables to be supplied by a 'user' to the Ansys software, which would then create the Finite Element (FE) Model to be analysed, solve the FE Model and post-process the results into a set of text files and graphical plots for final assessment by SMC.

Idac was required to develop a macro that would allow SMC en…

Fluke Holds Thermography And Power Seminars

Fluke is offering free participation in industrial/building thermography, power quality and Leonardo Energy seminars via the internet. Each hour-long webinar explains the techniques used to carry out straightforward but powerful troubleshooting and preventive maintenance programmes using the latest handheld and portable instruments.

The webinars use many images captured in the workplace and explain how to interpret those images and what is going wrong to cause them. Participants will be shown how to recognise a power quality problem, how easy it is to measure power quality using the latest instruments, how to interpret the measurements efficiently, and how to determine the best troubleshooting strategy faster. There is a choice of two webinars - electrical energy management or power quality.

Dates and more detail about each webinar, and how to enrol, can be found via links on the Fluke homepage. Fluke is also running a programme of 'hands-on' power quality training seminars and …

Festo Introduces Multi-Axis Control Module

Festo has launched an intelligent multi-axis control module for electric drives. The CPX-CMXX module is a highly integrated unit designed for use with Festo's CPX series of multifunctional control terminals. It is suitable for parts handling and positioning applications such as pick and place, palletising, machine loading and unloading, inspection/measuring and labelling. The module can operate autonomously or in response to signals from a host controller - it features a built-in PLC-compatible interface.

It can store and execute simple individual axis movements, and can coordinate the movement of two groups of axes, each containing up to four axes. There are 1,024 position sets available for each of the two groups of axes; these can either be linked and executed in sequence, or multiple sets can be executed in synch. The module communicates with the various drive modules via CANopen, using the standard fieldbus FHPP handling and positioning profile.

All configuration, parameterisat…

Jena Tec Expands Linear And Rotary Motion Ranges

Jena Tec has announced two further models to its linear and rotary motion ranges in the field of precision rotary tables. The first model, the MRT230, is a lightweight ring grinding unit driven by a pancake segmented motor via a gearbox and toothed belt. The cast alloy base plate allows bolting directly to a grinding machine table. Mounted on the rotary axes employing ABEC 7 angular contact bearings is a magnetic chuck, 230mm diameter providing load capability of up to 30kg.

The central 40mm location spigot allows location of fixturing and the unit can be supplied with a variety of three jaw chucks and t-slotted face plates on request. The unit is supplied complete with an electrical control box providing infinitely variable speed control up to 120rpm. The MRT230 is suitable for rotary grinding of bearing spacers and other applications where constant surface finish is important combined with accurate parallelism.

The second product is the ABRT series air bearing rotary table. This range…

Tilt Sensor Aids Safety Critical Applications

Penny + Giles has launched a robust tilt sensor, STT500, for use in safety critical applications used on cranes and lifting platforms. A tilt sensor is an essential part of a safe load indicator (SLI) system on a crane, designed to alert the operator if the lift is exceeding the safe operating range of the machine.

The SLI measures the angle and extension of the boom along with the load weight, and calculates if the machine is working within the manufacturers suggested safety margins. Based on solid-state technology, the STT500 offers reliability, stability and compactness over fluid-based, electrolytic and pendulum operated sensors. It can operate from a 5V or 8-30V power source and has a measurement range of +/-10, +/-20, +/-30 or +/-60 with an output from 0.5 to 4.5V DC over the full inclination angle.

STT500 is supplied in a marine grade (LM6) cast aluminium alloy housing with 88mm diameter flange. It has a high environmental protection rating of IP69K to withstand the ingress of du…

Coupling Incorporates Stainless-Steel Bellow

MK1 bellows couplings from R & W Coupling Technology allow for increased bore diameter within a given coupling size through the use of radial set screws with dismounting grooves. Ideal for use in precision encoders and linear actuators, the MK1 range can help adapt between shafts with a large difference in size.

The coupling incorporates a stainless-steel bellow that compensates for axial, lateral and angular shaft misalignments simultaneously, while operating with zero backlash and high torsion resistance. Miniature metal bellows couplings are available for a torque range of 0.05-10Nm (0.4-88.5in/lb) and bore sizes from 1-28mm.

Turbine Flowmeters Measure Aggressive Chemicals

The Titan 800 Series turbine flowmeters are low-cost, non-metallic meters, ideal for measuring aggressive chemicals including ultra-pure water. The standard connections will accept 8mm or 12mm hose sizes and the electronic output from a Hall effect sensor gives NPN or PNP pulses for a remote counter, offering 0.1 per cent repeatability over a flow range of 30:1.

With a PVDF plastic construction, the standard unit operates to 60C and 10 bar, and two built-in LEDs indicate power and the output pulse rate. A direct flow switch output is available, for low flow or cooling flow failure alarms, as are units suitable for high-temperature 125C operation. With the optional six-point water calibration, the Titan 800 series offers 1-2 per cent flow accuracy. The flow ranges available cover from 0.05-15 litres/min.

Motortronics VMX Series Low Voltage Soft Starters

Flexibility of Control, Multiple ramp profiles, Pump-FlexTM Decel, process control timers and advanced motor protection make Motortronics VMX Series Soft Starter adaptable to a wide variety of AC motor applications, no need for add-on modules or costly auxiliary devices.

Compact packaging has become critical in more and more electrical installations. The VMX Series meets this need without compromising features and ratings. By using a highly engineered packaging design and the latest generation microprocessor, all the control and protection features you need are in the VMX Series. Narrow and shallow dimensions are perfect for integrating the VMX Series into motor control centers (MCCs), pump control panels, and retrofit starter enclosures.

Integral Bypass Contactors are standard on all sizes and provide maximum efficiency of panel space while maintaining the Motortronics reputation for being able to soft start most any load. The VMX Series is the only fully integrated, compact, world-…

IFM Enhances Inductive Proximity Switches

Analogue inductive proximity switches from IFM Electronic have longer sensing ranges and improved linearity. These proximity switches safely detect the tiniest changes in distance and provide a linear analogue signal - depending on the version - with a voltage output (0-10V) or current output (4-20mA).

The switches feature a repeatability of less than two per cent and linear output characteristics better than three per cent of the final value of the measuring range over the whole operating range. The sensors are supplied in cylindrical M12, M18 and M30 designs. The enhanced operating range depending on housing size and mounting type can be 0.2mm to 2mm for flush-mountable M12, and 1mm to 26mm from the non-flush rectangular version.

The response time of less than 10ms (type dependant) allows use of the sensors in processes that require fast control. The sensors have an operating temperature range of -25C to 80C.

Stealth Marking System Verifies Quality

Laser Photonics has announced the release of an automated laser part marking system, the Stealth. The Stealth is specifically designed for manually operated mass production environments. This system is fully automated and can be used by any production facility that is consistently marking a variety of parts that need quality verification. The system contains: a standard Laser Photonics fibre laser marking system; an integrated vision system; an RFID system; a material fixture handling system; and a PLC automation system.

The combination of all of these systems into one unit is a concept designed to help manufacturing facilities increase throughput time while making sure each component is properly marked and tracked. Due to its automated design, The Stealth does not need a trained laser operator to complete a marking task. After the machine is turned and activated into automatic mode, it will wait for the operator to place a fixture into the machine. Once the system detects the fixture,…

HaydonKerk Offers Motodrive PDE Actuator

HaydonKerk Motion Solutions has introduced the Motodrive PDE actuator, available in Size 17 single- or double-stack. The Motodrive PDE actuator is an integrated linear actuator and electronic drive designed to operate with optically isolated inputs of pulse, direction and enable signals. It is programmable for micro-stepping ranging from full-step mode to 64 micro-steps per full step.

Step resolution ranges from 200 full steps per revolution to 12,800 steps per revolution when micro-stepping. When combined with the Haydon captive, non-captive, or external linear actuator, extremely fine positioning resolutions can be achieved. With a supply voltage of 12 to 42V DC, the Motodrive PDE actuator functions with a run current programmable at HaydonKerk up to 2.6 Arms per phase.

The drive direction is enabled with logic level voltage, and is activated using +5V DC. When operated at ground potential, the drive results in a retract move of the actuator, allowing for multi-functional and flexible…

Balluff Reveals Flush-Mountable C-Slot Sensor

Balluff has expanded its range of miniature BMF magnetic field sensors with the BMF 204K, a flush- mountable C-slot sensor with integrated holding. With a length of just 20mm, it disappears in the C-slot without protruding. This makes it ideal for use in short-stroke cylinders, mini-grippers and other space-critical applications. Installation of the BMF 204K is easy: the integrated holding element allows you to slide the sensor into the slot, position it and turn a screw to tighten.

It features high accuracy, short over-travel distances and low hysteresis. The sensor is optimised mechanically for the Festo C-slot, but also fits other slot styles such as SMC. It is available in a cable version with IP67 plastic housing and PNP normally-open output, and pigtail versions with M8 connector and cable lengths of 0.3 and 0.5m. BMF sensors detect individual positions, such as end of travel on pneumatic cylinders, wear-free and precisely and can 'see' the permanent magnets installed on …

SMAC Creates Tapping Process For Watch Maker

SMAC has developed a linear/rotary actuator, the LAR35 series, as a tapping process for a watch manufacturer in Switzerland. The tap diameter is 0.38mm; the part has a diameter of 3mm and is 0.25mm thick. The LAR35 series has a 50mm stroke and is mounted vertically with the shaft looking down. The custom tip is attached to the shaft end of the actuator to hold the tap.The shape of the parts can be varied so that the customer can hold the part to tap manually, while the fixture is being developed.

SMAC's patented soft-land capability allows the tool to land on the part gently, move back 0.1mm, start the rotation, press the linear axis with a small force, check any variation on torque on the rotary motor to avoid failure and check the linear position when the tap reaches the required position. The same procedure takes place in reverse. For the SMAC LAR series, linear and rotary are combined in one unit. With all SMAC actuators, force, speed and position are fully programmable.

Optotherm HP20 Offers Precise Temperature Control

The Optotherm HP20 provides precise temperature control (+/-0.01C) of thermoelectric modules and heating/cooling stages within a temperature range of -40C to +250C. The HP20 operates in a bi-directional, H-bridge configuration for smooth transitions between heating and cooling cycles and provides output current of up to 20A at 12VDC. The HP20's PID capabilities are claimed to enable rapid response to changes in operating conditions and provide tight control over a broad temperature range.

TE View, the included PC-based software, provides an interface for configuring and operating the controller via the controller's serial (RS-232) interface. Once the controller is configured, the computer can be disconnected and the controller can be operated manually using the front-panel push-button interface. When the controller is connected to a PC, the set-point and actual temperatures can be plotted in real time, providing a temperature history that can be saved in ASCII text format and i…

Molex Expands Range Of Ethernet Plugs & Jacks

Molex has introduced more robust versions of its RJ-45 Ethernet plugs and jacks for use in industrial, marine and telecom applications. Designed for compact applications requiring high-density and high-protection levels, the IP67-/IP20-rated connectors are built in accordance with the Profinet specification. Extended usage of Ethernet applications from office floors to the factory level requires RJ-45 connectors with an enhanced protection level and Category 5 (100Mbit/s fast Ethernet) performance.

Typical industrial applications include Profinet-driven robotic devices. Molex's IP20 data plug is the smallest RJ-45 Ethernet plug and the only version to which 22 AWG cables may be connected to support insulation displacement technology (IDT). The connector is designed with a standard grid of just 14mm, which provides maximum packing density in the application, according to Molex. The IP67-rated data plug version features a push-pull housing that can be locked and unlocked using one ha…

Precision Micro Develops Etching Process

A team at Precision Micro has developed a process to make Elgiloy, an austenitic super alloy, 'etchable'. Elgiloy is based on cobalt and is an erosion and corrosion-resistant stainless steel. Photo etching is a manufacturing technology that produces intricate, burr free, stress free, high-precision profiles by a process of controlled erosion. On the face of it, Elgiloy and photo etching should be incompatible.

This was the case until the process development team at Birmingham-based Precision Micro came up with a process route that the company claims has solved the problem. 'The solution does not just involve a combination of etchant chemicals,' said Bob Crutchley, director. 'A methodology has been developed, whereby a treatment is applied prior to etching and a catalyst is introduced during the etching process itself,' he added.

The process utilises standard photo resist materials and chemicals that have no exceptional hazard risk. It is designed to enable engine…

Reconditioned Driller / Borer Has High Precision

Obled-Sacsum has reconditioned its Poreba boring and drilling machine using a Dualdrive rack-and-pinion-drive system from Redex Andantex. This subcontractor of complex components now has a high capacity, precision machine capable of holding workpieces of up to 100 tonnes, with dimensions of 10m x 6m and a precision of +/-2/100mm on positioning. High speed is a fundamental characteristic of this type of large capacity machine since it can work continuously on the same product for three weeks.

It contributes directly to the profitability of the production equipment. The cost of the refurbished model is six or seven-times less than that of an equivalent new machine. Obled-Sacsum, having first invested in the latest generation of numerical control, then dedicated its research efforts into precision and productivity benefits. In this area, it is clearly mechanical drives that have largely contributed to the machine's improved performance.

The critical axis is the 10,000mm stroke X-axis, …

Data Logger Features Flexible Piercing Probe

Madgetech has announced the release of the RFOT, a wireless meat cooking and cool down data logger with a rugged flexible piercing probe. The RFOT includes wireless data transmission making it suitable for monitoring the cooking and cool down of meat products in real time.

It logs a temperature reading and then transmits it back to a central computer for real-time monitoring. If the data received is out of a safe range, immediate corrective action can be taken. The RFOT has a probe temperature range of -50 to +200C and an operating range of -30 to +100C.

The device is splash proof (IP67) and can even withstand wash down cycles. Madgetech's standard data logger software is available for free download from the company's website. The software includes a cooling flags function that automatically highlights the FSIS Appendix B cool-down temperatures and calculates the cool-down duration. It also features an automatic export to Excel for additional data analysis.

SMC Launches Clean Air Module

SMC has introduced its Series LLB clean air module, which is available in 23 various options. The LLB modules can combine a number of components such as a digital flow switch, a regulator, a regulator and pressure outlet port, an on/off valve, a restrictor and a filter. This modular approach offers space and installation time savings, plus removes the need to select and purchase individual components for a specific application.

With a nominal filtration rating of 0.01mm, the LLB is grease-free - for fluid contact space - and its cleanroom assembly and double packaging meet Clean class 10 accreditation. Designed for use with clean air or N2 gas, the LLB is available in flow range options of five to 100l/min (ANR) or 100 to 500l/min (ANR).

LG Unveils Manual & Motorised Rotary Stages

LG Motion has launched a range of manual and motorised rotary stages for precision positioning applications with standard accuracy to 0.1deg and loads up to 500kg. The LGR range covers five models with nominal outside diameter from 82mm to 250mm and a clear aperture (to 110mm diameter on the largest model) to take care of electrical wiring, beamlines or mounted equipment such as optical components and slip ring assemblies.

The smaller LGR0300 and 0400 stages include fine handwheel driven adjustment with a vernier scale for a positioning resolution to within six arc-min and loads up to 5kg. A clamping device is available to lock the turntable. The low-profile aluminium design is supplied with a durable black anodised finish with a selection of base and tabletop M4 or M5 tapped interfacing holes. The LGR1000, 2000 and 3000 series rotary tables are available in a choice of handwheel driven and motorised versions with nominal outside diameters of 88mm, 132mm and 250mm and direct load capac…

Rotork Unveils Rompak Electric Actuators

Rotork has introduced the Rompak range of electric actuators to offer the marine industry a lightweight solution for the operation of quarter-turn valves and dampers. The range is designed to enable shipboard valve functions to be set-up, controlled and monitored with the same degree of accuracy and flexibility as the most up-to-date process systems.

The Rompak actuators retain all the mechanical benefits of the original Rotork Rom design, including self-locking gears, manual override, externally adjustable mechanical stops, a wide range of mains power options and an IP67 watertight enclosure. The Rompak actuator adds a self-contained control package with local controls and status indication relays and the option of Rotork Folomatic positional control, current position transmitter, integral data logger, non-intrusive configuration with a Bluetooth wireless interface and digital bus network connectivity.

Network connectivity, which includes Rotork's dedicated Pakscan and the Profibus…

Rittal Develops Air-To-Air Heat Exchanger

Rittal has developed an air-to-air heat exchanger that has been specifically tailored to care for the needs of the mobile railway engineering industry. Available in both 24V DC and 110V DC versions, the exchangers have been constructed to EN 50 155 and vibration tested to EN 61 373.

Offering long-term reliable cooling, the exchangers extract heat from inside the enclosure to the surrounding environment, using only two working parts. Two fan motors housed inside the exchanger control the internal and external airflows independently. The exchanger matrix, made from aluminium, is light but durable and spray-finished in RAL 7035 to DB TL 918340.

Air-to-air heat exchangers offer a simple platform for servicing. Filter amts are available for dirty environments as well as a matrix module, which can easily be removed for cleaning with compressed air in less than five minutes. Quick connect plug electrical connections and the modular constructed fans allow fast serviceability and rapid replaceme…

Noax Unveils Electrically Isolated Plug-In Module

Noax Technologies has added an electrically isolated RS 232 plug-in module to its range of industrial PCs. With the module, port data is transferred using a powerful data coupler instead of a direct electrical connection. The electrical connections between the Noax industrial PC and the peripheral devices that are connected to the port are isolated in order to ensure that all components are effectively protected from interference voltages.

With this development, the IPC specialists from Germany are targeting industrial machine control applications. Under certain adverse conditions (for example, with poor power supply systems, neutral reference levels or high differences in potential), the RS 232 connection may transfer unwanted currents between the machine and the industrial computer. The damage caused may range from disruption of the data transfer to hardware failure.

Noax said that this electrically isolated port module guarantees a high level of reliability for data transfer as well …

Switch-Mode Power Supplies For Automation Control

Balluff has introduced a line of rugged primary switch-mode power supplies, for automation-control applications. The ten-model line includes a range of 24V DC models with single and three-phase inputs. Output current ranges from 0.75A (18W) to 40A (960W) mean there is a size for most applications.

If more power is needed, multiple power supplies can be connected in parallel for additional current capacity. Other features include built-in advanced overload and overvoltage protection, load regulation to +/- one per cent, ripple/noise of less than 50mV on most models and adjustable outputs to compensate for differences in specific control needs.

All models are din-rail mountable. The mean time between failure is specified over 210,000 hours (24 years) while operating at published specifications. The range also includes 5, 12, 15 and 48V models.

Ultrasonic Inspection Detects Pipeline Defect

Ultrasonic inspection involves transmitting sound waves of short wavelength at high frequencies to identify flaws, measure the thickness of materials or detect corrosion.
Conventional ultrasonic testing equipment sends a pulsed beam of high-ultrasound from a handheld transducer, which is placed upon the surface of the object being tested. This wave is disturbed and then partially returned from spots with internal imperfections or from the back of the material wall.

Capturing and analysing the return sound can show the amplitude of the pulse and the duration taken for return to the transducer. By measuring this sound, a skilled operator can identify the location and orientation of imperfections and the wall thickness. Acceptance criteria define whether or not the indication is a defect. Ultrasonic testing is now being used more often for inspection than the traditional balance between radiographic testing and ultrasonic testing - especially for pipelines.

SGS has good experience of failur…

Seaward Updates Powerplace 1557 Tester

Seaward has added a label printer to its Powerplace 1557 electrical installation tester, to allow on-the-spot cable tagging and distribution-board marking. The Powerplace 1557 is an integrated 17th edition inspection and certification tester. It incorporates electronic versions of mains-test certificates so that test data is automatically entered into the correct certificate fields as testing is undertaken.

The PowerSolutions concept has been extended with the availability of a new battery-powered Test n Tag thermal transfer printer for cable tags and labels, giving contractors the ability to clearly label electrical wiring in line with circuit drawings and system schematics. Bluetooth connection to the Powerplace 1557 enables the printer to produce durable tags and labels at the press of a button, allowing immediate identification of all cables and wiring systems.

The Test n Tag printer comes with a range of cartridge options. Self-laminating wire markers can be produced for standard p…

High Z vs Low Z - Optimized Drive Reactors

Line Reactors enhance the performance and protect variable frequency drives by providing impedance. Impedance, or Z, in an electrical circuit is a measure of the total opposition to current flow. “Low Z” line reactors provide a lower amount of impedance, while “High Z” line reactors provide a higher amount of impedance. This article addresses the use of line reactors on the line side of variable frequency motor drives, not the output side of drives. When to use “Low Z” Line Reactors?Variable frequency drive applications where a reactor is desired to prevent the possibility of drive problems associated with minor line voltage surges. Drive damage or fault conditions are not expected but could result. In virtually all applications, an inductor in front of the drive can be a measure of protection to extend the service life of the drive. Many low horsepower “micro” drives are proved as a low cost option for motor speed control or perhaps phase conversion. These are cost effective entry-l…

Smith & Wesson Uses Enovia PLM

Smith And Wesson, manufacturer of firearms and safety/security products, has chosen Enovia PLM to improve the efficiency of its product design and development process. This will enable employees across the globe to collaborate on designs and share up-to-date product information. Smith and Wesson will use Enovia to create a centralised database allowing common parts identification and more efficient capture and reuse of its institutional knowledge.

Initially started as a process to replace the company's paper-based systems, Smith and Wesson opted to go forward with Enovia Engineering Central to manage all of its engineering change requests and orders (ECR/ECO), automate business processes and create a centralised database.

Since then, the company's phased adoption of PLM has evolved to where each additional process enhances the ability of virtually any user to more efficiently accomplish tasks such as engineering changes and frame marking identification. Its implementation has al…

Bentley Uses Aesthetica Simulation Software

Bentley Motors has implemented Icona's perceived quality simulation software, Aesthetica, at its design and manufacturing plant in Crewe, England. It is being used to streamline and improve the process of achieving consistently high perceived quality in the company's vehicles without negatively impacting development timescales and manufacturing costs.

The software has been introduced to help overcome the difficulties of getting all stake-holders in the vehicle design and development process - styling, engineering, quality and manufacturing personnel - to agree at the most appropriate stage in the development process on the assembled conditions to which the Class A surfaces should adhere.

Jim Shaw, manager of concept engineering at Bentley, said: 'The practicalities of getting everyone involved to agree the gap and flush conditions ahead of the Class A surfacing process meant there was a reluctance to commit to them early enough in the design process. 'This was resulting …

SGS Completes LNG Design Verification

In just four months, SGS Industrial Services has completed the design verification of three cryogenic liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanks in accordance with Canadian code CSA Z276-01. Canaport LNG in Saint John, is a consortium between Irwing Oil, New Brunswick and Repsol, Spain, constructing the first LNG receiving and regasification terminal in Canada. After four years under construction, the Canaport LNG terminal should begin operations in the second quarter of 2009 and supply natural gas to the Canadian and American markets.

With its three large LNG cryogenic tanks, the first Canadian LNG terminal has a capacity of one billion cubic feet or 28 million cubic meters of natural gas per day and represents a capital investment of CAD750m (GBP413m). A project of this magnitude requires a strong international team in order for it to be completed in such a tight timescale. SGS Canada contributed to this success with its experienced team of engineers and professionals.

In four months, SGS succ…

Hi-Line Unveils Compressed Air Filter Units

A range of compressed air filter units from Hi-line has been designed for the removal of oil, water, particulates and gaseous aerosols from compressed air systems. The die-cast filter housings are produced from high-grade aluminium with external and internal surfaces being alu-chrome treated. They are also subject to a tough epoxy baked-on paint finish in 'compressed air blue' - RAL 5015.

These treatments are designed to provide long-term protection, even when subject to the harshest operation conditions, ensuring a long service lifetime. Optional electronic or pneumatic differential pressure gauges can be fitted as required. The oil/water condensate is removed via a highly efficient robust brass drain assembly with the built-in capability to attach a 6mm dia nylon condensate discharge line.

The filtration elements use pleated filter media that combines maximum efficiency with very low differential pressure drop. They are available in several grades to accommodate particle remov…

Minitec Issues Workplace Systems Catalog

Minitec has launched its Workplace Systems catalogue, illustrating a range of components and assemblies.The range is aimed at workstations, assembly lines, transfer stations and conveyor systems for manual and automated production lines, research laboratories, assembly areas, test equipment and inspection stations.

The Minitec Workplace Systems catalogue, which is spread across about 112 pages, guides the reader through ergonomic workplace layout with 14 detailed sections covering basic workstations, height adjustable tables, lighting and power supply, pneumatics, mounting devices and ESD accessories.

All of the components covered in the catalogue - which is available as a PDF download or as a hardcopy version - are also featured within Minitec's online ICAD interactive design module: an autonomous interactive program that allows selection of individual components with downloadable 2D and 3D, computer-aided design (CAD) and image files for AutoCAD and other CAD software programs, al…

Hytrol Uses Tolomatic Rodless-Style Actuators

Tolomatic is supplying rodless-style actuators to Hytrol Conveyor Company, a producer of conveyor systems, as a space-saving solution. Engineers at Hytrol needed a space-saving solution for designing a diverter for an overhead pull-off system that would divert 150lb boxes to a different conveyor line.

Manufacturing and packaging facilities may move and sort tons of bulk on conveyors, but the sorters, diverters and pull-offs that route products to their next destination must be as trim as possible to make the most of valuable floor space. Jackie Smith, application engineer at Hytrol, said: 'Our conveyors are used to move products down the line, divert them to the next station in the manufacturing process or, if a product is defective, divert them to a reject line.

'When we needed to design a diverter that was more compact and could be simply integrated into our systems, we decided that we needed to employ a different type of actuator.'.