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Showing posts from October, 2009

Conductive Compounds Reduce Static Noise

Connectors Unlimited has worked with RTP Company to formulate and supply plastic materials for a shielding solution for analogue cable and circuit connectors. Several static dissipative and conductive compounds were chosen for the improved static control they provided. 'The fundamental reason for using RTP Company's conductive plastics in our analogue connectors is to minimise noise interference in the electronic signal, which is primarily caused by static charge,' explained Marty Ignasiak, president of Connectors Unlimited. 'By effectively reducing static charges, we're able to improve the signal-to-noise ratio in our connectors and thus upgrade overall performance of devices,' he added. When selecting a supplier of conductive plastic compounds, Connectors Unlimited engineers kept three critical requirements in mind: thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity and structural rigidity. Maintaining dimensional stability of the analogue circuits during manufac

Wago Enhances Power Supply Range

Wago Corporation has added a UPS controller (and batteries), as well as buffer and redundancy modules to the 787 Series advanced power supply line. The 787 Series modules are designed to minimise downtime by shielding complex automation systems and components from common disturbances (for example, voltage fluctuations, harmonic distortion and outages). Encapsulated in a robust, DIN rail mount metal housing, every module includes three LEDs and at least one signal output status LED (varies per model). To ensure reliability, the modules utilise Cage Clamp spring pressure connection technology for fast, easy and maintenance-free terminations. Wago provides free configuration and monitoring software with the 787 Series UPS controller for custom configuration, diagnostics and monitoring. The 787 Series UPS also has an LCD/keypad and an RS-232 interface. Under normal operation, the UPS controller charges the 787 Series battery. During an outage, the UPS controller engages the battery,

NSK Bearings Save Costs For Carbon-Fibre Producer

NSK 's SpaceA range of bearings has solved a problem of premature failures of stainless-steel bearings used in the manufacture of carbon graphite and composite materials for aerospace applications. Operating in a solution of ammonium bicarbonate, the stainless-steel bearings were failing after about six weeks; however, the SpaceA replacements have been operating for eight-months without problems, providing significant savings for the manufacturer. The SpaceA bearings are situated at both ends of five rollers, over which the carbon-fibre material passes in a surface-treatment process before being submersed in the bath of ammonium bicarbonate. This is an arduous application for bearings, as illustrated by the fact that the 10 stainless-steel 6205 bearings that were used previously were failing and requiring replacement every six weeks. In addition, analysts calculated that the frequent replacement was costing far too much in lost production time. Keen to remove these costs and impr

Barden Provides Super-Precision Bearings

The Barden Corporation offers custom-designed, super-precision bearings for use in a wide variety of high-performance air handling systems. Certain technologies demand custom-engineered, high-precision bearings rather than standard catalogue bearings. Air handling or air movement systems, for example, often require high-precision bearings, especially if the application is critical or requires a bearing solution that offers long life, high reliability and high speeds. Other factors that make high-precision custom bearings essential to many applications are high temperatures, high pressures, poor lubrication, low vibration levels or abnormal contamination levels. Air handling systems are commonly found in every industry sector. Examples include axial and radial flow fans, compressors, turbomolecular pumps, dry pumps, emergency magnetic touchdown systems, turbochargers, air conditioning systems and cooling systems used on military aircraft for engine, avionics or infrared weapon systems

Internal Diameter Gripper Holds Irregular Parts

SAS Automation has introduced an Internal Diameter Gripper (IDG) for parts that are heavy, fragile or have an irregular shape. The IDG grips and releases on command and is recommended for manipulating breakable and heavy parts. Unlike standard clamps, the IDG distributes force evenly over the entire contact area, making it suitable for irregular-shaped parts. This IDG is a cost-effective solution when compared with bladder grippers and automated or magnetic clamps. Its rubber strips ensure a secure grip and can be replaced cheaply. A nose adapter can be easily customised for locating or part stabilisation.

EMC Equips Labs With Online Transient Generator

The TRA3000 system from EMC is able to bring the power of the web to EMC laboratories. An Ethernet interface and internal web server enable control, communication and report generation without proprietary software. A modular architecture enables onsite upgrades for any combination of ESD, EFT, surge, AC/DC dips, interrupts and variations, common mode and both AC and impulse magnetic fields. Automatic recording of temperature, pressure and humidity are available for the HTML test report. A USB interface is used to securely transfer files, test reports and service information to external devices.

Igus Optical-Fibre Cable Suits All Bus Systems

Igus has developed an optical-fibre cable, Chainflex CFLG.2LB, which is suitable for all bus systems. This dual-core optical-fibre bus cable is designed for energy-chain applications where extremely small bending radii and high cycle life are expected without loss of data. The fibres are designed to reduce the minimum bend radius from the traditional 10x outside diameter of the jacketed cable to 5x, or 40mm. Because of the matched length of the fibre-optic cores and the aramid strain and torsion relief, more than 8.5 million double strokes have been proved for energy chains in a 38mm test setup. The highly abrasion-resistant TPE outer-jacket compound protects against mechanical damage and is oil and chemical resistant. The environmentally friendly cable is PVC and halogen free and, when dynamically moved, suitable for a temperatures ranging between -40 and 60C. This makes them applicable across all industries, covering applications from machine tools and pick-and-place equipment to

Micromech Offers Complete Linear Motion Solution

Micromech 's Promech linear actuators from Parker are for OEM instrument manufacturers looking to speed time to market and reduce the overall installed cost for linear motion axes. Promech Series LP28 and LD28 actuators come completely assembled and tested and include linear bearings, drive screw, thrust bearings, motor mount, coupling and motor. With a travel range from 5mm to 500mm, the LP28 has several linear bearing options and a variety of leadscrew and motor size options to match the positioner to the application requirements. This compact actuator is suitable for positioning payloads up to 4.5kg and may also be fitted with optional seal strip, home and limit sensors. The LD28 is a complete linear actuator solution that offers greater screw and motor design flexibility, enabling OEMs to pursue optimal solutions for their applications. It offers a travel range from 5mm to 300mm and is offered with a variety of options to match the actuator to application requirements. The LD

Advanced Manufacturing Announces Medtec 2010

With focused display areas for high-tech manufacturing, packaging, materials, automation and design, Medtec UK will present all the latest technologies and tools for medical device manufacturing. Staged at the Birmingham NEC on 27-28 April 2010, exhibitors at this annual event will be complementing the Medtec Conference Education and Innovation platform with targeted displays within several special feature areas. Precisiontec will display multi-axis CNC technology, micro-machining, EDM technology, lasers and ultrasonic technology for the manufacture of surgical devices, implants and interventional cardio devices from speciality medical alloys. Medipack offers materials, outsourcers and machinery for the packaging of medical devices and manufacture of pharmaceutical drug delivery systems. The Biomaterials platform will exhibit high-performance plastics, injection moulding and extrusion techniques for medical manufacturing. The Automation, Assembly and Robotics area will showcase the i

EO Adds More Than 30 Lenses To Techspec Range

Edmund Optics (EO) has expanded its line of Techspec imaging and machine-vision lenses. The company has added more than 30 EO-designed and -manufactured lenses, including Techspec fixed focal length and telecentric lenses, to its catalogue and website. These new lenses will be showcased at the Vision Show, which is scheduled to take place in November 2009 in Stuttgart (Hall 4, Booth A15). The expanded offerings include four different product lines: Techspec Compact Fixed Focal Length lenses; Techspec Compact Telecentrics; Techspec Large Format Telecentrics; and Techspec High Resolution Telecentrics. EO also offers customised solutions for those with special application needs. The EO Techspec Compact Fixed Focal Length lenses are designed with the working distance and resolution requirements of factory automation and inspection in mind. The lenses support imaging sensors as large as 2-3in and are available in focal lengths of 8.5mm, 12mm, 16mm, 25mm and 35mm. A broadband anti-reflect

Haydon Kerk Launches Composite Polymers

Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions is offering Kerkite Composite Polymers and other special materials. Kerkite polymers are standard materials used in Kerk brand precision anti-backlash leadscrew nuts, RGS linear rails and guides, and ScrewRail linear actuators. Kerkite materials are self-lubricated and formulated to provide optimum performance, and offer a variety of mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties resulting in compatibility with many chemicals and environmental conditions. Kerkite offers design flexibility using Haydon Kerk's injection moulding and mould-design capabilities. In addition to Kerkite polymers, Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions offers a range of other special materials. Kerk precision anti-backlash lead screw nuts can be produced using a variety of materials, including PEEK, polyester, Torlon, Vespel, Ertalyte, and other specialty polymers.

NI Drag-And-Drop Powers Lego Robotics Kit

National Instruments has announced a new version of its drag-and-drop software that powers the Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 robotics kits. With this system, children can design their own robots using features such as colour recognition, Bluetooth support and additional robot models. The software, which will be included with all Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 kits, is based on NI Labview graphical programming software. With this software, students' drag and drop icons that are representative of the various tasks they want their robots to perform. NXT 2.0 software creates the possibility for new types of robotic customisation so that no two robots are alike. Software features include support for a colour recognition sensor, which helps robots perform colour-matching tasks and sense light levels, and programmatic Bluetooth support. New sound and image editors can load images and sounds into the robot's memory for display on the LCD screen or to play back the sound of choice. Children can a

Adept Handling Robot Showcased At Food Expo

Adept Technology has announced that its USDA-accepted robot for high-speed food handling will be showcased at the Worldwide Food Expo in Chicago, Illinois on 28-31 October, 2009. The Quattro s650HS is said to be the only USDA-accepted parallel robot available for food processing. It is also available with an optional fixed platform addressing high-payload applications. The Quattro line is designed for high-speed manufacturing, packaging, material handling and assembly applications. It features a four-arm kinematic, enabling higher speeds and faster accelerations. The Quattro is suitable for flexible packaging, material handling, kitting and assembly applications where performance is of paramount consideration.

Fanuc Robot Handles Special Brick Variants

Wienerberger UK has engineered an automated system for handling special brick variants in partnership with Fanuc Robotics UK. The system uses a Fanuc Robotics M710-iC six axes robot to pick up green bricks from an input conveyor and positions them onto a ceramic pallet where they remain until fired. Bricks are handled separately with a 'suits-all' vacuum gripper solution, a vision system and bespoke palletising software. Single or double bricks enter the system on a conveyor and their precise position is identified by a vision system using Fanuc Robotics IR-Vision integrated software. The M710-iC robot is fitted with a single vacuum gripper that orientates itself to information fed by the vision system and picks up the brick. The control panel has PC and Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) that allow the shape to be drawn, edited and dimensions to be input. From this information the software defines where the gripper locates the brick, where to place the brick and how to orientat

Smart-Trak mass-flow controller utilised by MBARI

The Monterey Bay Research Institute (MBARI) is using Sierra Instruments' mass-flow controllers to discover how increasing atmospheric CO2 levels are affecting marine life in seas. The Monterey Bay and our oceans are changing rapidly due to the influx of CO2 in the atmosphere. According to Dr Barry, a benthic biologist and senior scientist at the Monterey Bay Research Institute, about one-third of human CO2 gas emissions in our atmosphere are absorbed by the ocean, making the ocean 30 per cent more acidic than 100 years ago. 'Ocean acidification' is the term that has been coined to describe this process. Early in his experiments, Barry was frustrated with the performance of the mass-flow controllers that controlled gas inputs to his aquarium tanks. After research and discussions with Sierra Instruments, he chose the company's Smart-Trak model 100 with its Pilot Module gas feature. Barry and his team installed nine Smart-Trak Model 100 units to control mixtures of O2,

CGTech Releases Enhanced CNC Simulation Software

CGTech has released version 7.0 of the Vericut CNC machine simulation and optimisation software. Vericut 7.0 features enhancements that reduce the time required for manufacturing engineers to develop, analyse, inspect and document the CNC programming and machining process. CGTech have focused on code optimisation and customer-driven enhancements, reducing the number of pop-up dialogues for day-to-day Vericut users and eliminating any confusion associated with 'apply', 'ok' and 'cancel' buttons. As a result, setting up a new project in Vericut has been simplified.  Items formerly in pop-up dialogues have been moved to the Project Tree, where all projects are configured using a configuration panel, automatically displayed as the user selects each branch. Actions are immediate, so 'apply' or 'okay' clicks are unnecessary. The Component Tree has also been merged into the Project Tree but can be optionally hidden. The Project menu has been simplifie

Sensonics Installs Vibration And Speed Monitors

Sensonics , a condition monitoring specialist, has supplied and installed DN26 series vibration and speed monitors for Shanghai Boasteel, an iron and steel company in China. The contract for the supply and installation of the monitors was completed in conjunction with Star Royal Industry and Engineering, Sensonics' Shanghai-based distributor. The two new systems monitor the bearing vibration of de-dusting and sintering fans, providing online condition monitoring and shutdown protection.

Hamamatsu To Exhibit CCD Board-Level Cameras

Hamamatsu will be introducing the C10990 series of OEM CCD board-level cameras at the Photonex 2009 Exhibition. The cameras feature high sensitivity and high resolution and include the latest 1.3 million pixel 2/3in progressive scan interline front illuminated CCD, circuitry and lens mount all on one board. Also on show will be the latest range of semiconductor detectors featuring photon detection capability, the S10362-33 series multi-pixel photon counters (MPPC). This device uses a Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode structure for ultra-low-level light detection, and the active area has been increased from 1mm2 to 9mm2. Other products include the C10988MA, an ultra-compact spectrometer built using MOEMS technology. The C10988MA is a device measuring 27.6mm x 13mm x 16.8mm, which was developed for use in portable and hand-held devices, where a standard mini spectrometer would be too large and consume too much power.

High Torque Capacity Coupling Resists Axial Motion

Schmidt-Kupplung is offering the axially fixed Loewe GK Torque, designed for torque applications where the coupling has to resist axial motion. The coupling combines the technical features of a single universal joint and a shaft coupling. The crossed pins slide in the plain bearings, which allow a pivotal and radial displacement of the two anodised aluminium hubs with lowest side and bearing loads. The series GK Torque is available with outer diameters ranging from 27mm to 100mm and with a torque range up to 220Nm. Anodised aluminium clamp hubs ensure a press-fit shaft connection. For higher torque requirements, a special customised steel version of the axially stiff coupling is realised. This coupling size has an increased outer diameter and a torque capacity of 600Nm.

Saft Supplies Li-ion Batteries For Tactical Radios

Saft has won an order from Bharat Electronics (BEL) to supply its MP series rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. The contract covers an immediate requirement for Li-ion batteries both for new radios and for replacement batteries for radios already deployed in the field. Under the terms of the contract, Saft will supply MP series to BEL, including MP 176065 (nominal capacity 6.8Ah) and MP 174865 (nominal capacity 5.3Ah) batteries together with MP 174565 Integration batteries (nominal capacity 4.8Ah) for a new version of the radio that requires a compact lightweight battery pack with a total capacity of 8Ah. Saft MP series Li-ion cells are said to be maintenance free and hermetically sealed at temperatures up to +75C. In addition to the electronic protection circuits that monitor individual cells within battery packs, the MP cells have safety features such as: built-in circuit breaker to enable the fast, automatic disconnection of cells from faulty chargers; safety vent that op

GE Fanuc Unveils Proficy Workflow For Smartgrid

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms has announced its work process management software enabled for use by utilities for Smartgrid solutions. With Proficy Workflow, utilities can digitise and orchestrate work processes to achieve coordinated, efficient and reliable power delivery. Proficy Workflow, in conjunction with a Service Oriented Architecture such as Proficy SOA, can orchestrate processes across systems and people, triggering automatic and manual actions based on real-time events - which support the three key Smartgrid functions of delivery optimisation, demand optimisation and asset optimisation. 'Every utility contains a mix of automated and manual interactions between equipment and personnel,' said Greg Millinger, product general manager for Proficy Workflow and Proficy SOA for GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms. 'Often, these processes are not fully documented and include extra steps and resources. 'As such, they are difficult to adapt to changing needs, which challe

Schurter Develops Connector Search Tool

Using Schurter's Parametric Search for Mating IEC 60320 Connectors tool, customers can quickly find a power supply connection solution for a particular application. Searching for suitable equipment connectors (appliance couplers) means selecting the connector parameters according to IEC 60320. The search for connector options on the Schurter website, which can be performed from the most diverse perspectives and several points of departure, will yield a manageable selection of products within a very short amount of time, claims the company. The information on the website and on the respective product fact sheets will produce exactly the counterparts required. Schurter offers a large portfolio of appliance couplers according to IEC 60320 as well as the corresponding power supply and interconnection cords, which, for better clarity, is divided up into several functional groups such as: connectors, distribution units, power entry modules with and without filter, cord connectors or c

Adept Presents Quattro S650H Robot

Adept Technology will be demonstrating the Adept Quattro S650H robot for solar manufacturing at the Taiwan International Photovoltaic Forum and Exhibition in Taipei, from 7-9 October. The technology will be shown in a solar wafer handling system, designed by the company's partner Castec International, on booth 1359. Castec will be demonstrating the high-speed system using the Quattro S650H robot with integrated vision guidance and inspection. 'Castec's turnkey automation solutions, incorporating Adept's robotics and control products, are designed to increase throughput, minimise breakage and reduce scrap,' said Rush LaSelle, director of global sales and marketing. The demonstration system will feature the Adept Quattro robot, which is a parallel robot (or 'delta robot') that features a four-arm rotational platform designed for maximum speed and maximum acceleration across the entire work envelope. The embedded amplifiers and compact controls in the Adept

Michell Sensor Speeds Up Maintenance Of RH Devices

Michell Instruments has introduced the I7000 Hygrosmart humidity sensor, which is claimed to make the maintenance of the company's relative-humidity (RH) instruments quick and simple with no downtime. The interchangeable module incorporates all calibration data and is delivered together with a calibration certificate. To ensure continued measurement accuracy over time, the user can recalibrate an instrument by replacing the old sensor with a new one. No specialist training is required for this process, according to the company. The I7000 Hygrosmart interchangeable module forms the base of a range of temperature and humidity instruments, suitable for applications from precision manufacturing to controlled environments and heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

Tentec Refurbishes Bolt-Tensioning Tool

Tentec has helped the Artemis Ocean Racing team after its bolt-tensioning tool seized just six days before a big race. The tensioning tool failed while refitting the vessel's keel and the technicians needed help fast. After a quick call to Tentec, an engineer was sent to Ocean Racing's HQ within the hour to assess the situation. As suspected, it was the tool cell within the tensioning equipment that had been damaged and required refurbishing back at Tentec's factory. The bolt tensioner had been specifically designed and manufactured by Tentec. The application uses titanium bolts to hold the long central stabiliser 'fin' of the yacht and needed a special insert within the tool. This fin is fully adjustable via hydraulic rams for various trim settings of the vessel. The bolts are held within a glass-fibre structure at the base of the mast, which is the critical stress area of the vessel. However, time was of the essence and the demands of the refit meant the team c

PEM Spotfast Provides Permanent Flush Mounting

The latest PEM Spotfast fastener from Penn Engineering permanently joins metal sheets to PC boards or plastic panels and creates a flush-attachment connection without protrusions on either side. These fasteners offer alternatives to riveting or adhesives and their rotational capability extends application potential with the fastener serving as a single flush-mounted pivot point. The steel fasteners (Type SFK) install smooth with the top metal sheet and flush or sub-flush with the bottom panel. When used as a pivot point, the top metal sheet is captivated between the head of the fastener and the lower (non-rotating) panel, which allows the metal sheet to rotate freely. The fastener's design features two separate clinch and knurl joining profiles that hold the key. Squeezing the fastener into place using punch and anvil causes a cold flow of the metal sheet material into the fastener's clinch profile and a broaching fit of the knurled end into the PC board or plastic panel. Th

Softnoze Introduces Machine Vision Mounts

Softnoze USA has announced product models that mount, aim and secure machine vision cameras and smart sensors. The first two product series are the MV-SUB-CB and the MV-SUBE-CB components. Combining a strong, stainless-steel bracket with a high-strength polymer base is said to make camera and sensor installation easy, as well as give final machine designs a professional look. Machine vision has found applications within all sectors of automation, and while they remain more complicated to deploy than typical sensors and switches, their mounting and aiming requirements can be matched using one or more of Softnoze's 16 machine vision components. Regardless of manufacturer, the MV brackets accommodate a multitude of cameras and smart sensors. This is done utilising a multi-slotted and drilled plate. The plate is held very securely, yet is easily aimed using a swivelling ball, which can then be held captive within the polymer base upon tightening. Beyond the 16 standard models, Softn

Objet Offers Digital Material Pack For 3D Printers

Objet Geometries has released a digital material pack that allows manufacturers and designers to create suitable parts and models for product-design testing, simulation and validation. The offering is only available on the Connex350 and Connex500 - 3D printers that are capable of simultaneously printing multiple materials with different mechanical and physical properties. The pack provides 3D printing users with 18 new materials comprised of combinations of Verowhite and Tangoplus or Tangoblack Plus, the latest addition to the Tango range. The materials encompass the full Shore A hardness scale (from 27 to 95), characterising a range of rubber-/elastomer-based products. With these materials, Connex users can print parts, such as wires and cables, grips and handles, plugs and connections, shock absorbers, function buttons, gaskets and seals, among other rubber applications. The rigid materials simulate the strength and toughness of products made of such standard plastics as PP, LDPE,

Elta Fans Ventilate Education Facility

Forest Way Special Educational Needs School has installed 35 Elta Fans as part of a system to provide a comfortable, well-ventilated learning environment for the pupils. The school, situated in the National Forest in Leicestershire, is a co-educational special school for 138 pupils aged 3-19 years old with a wide range of special needs. Designed with sustainability in mind, the school incorporates several integrated, eco-friendly systems, added to which is the low-energy ventilation system that utilises the Elta fans. The ventilation system incorporates 18 Elta Quietflow single fans, three Quietflow twin fans, one Elta Skyflow SSF roof unit, four domestic SE fans and two SCE fans. The 22 larger fans were supplied complete with all required ancillaries and accessories such as mounting feet, silencers, speed controllers and sensors. The system is powered by renewable energy and automatically controls the ambient environment in each classroom. The main contractor for the development wa