Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2010

Lee Enhances Plastic Composite Compression Springs

Leep plastic composite compression springs from Lee Spring now offer up to 30 per cent improved strength and durability for medical apparatus, X-ray, food processing and electronics applications. The range was developed in response to customer requests for springs that combine the strength of metal with the attributes of high-performance, engineered thermoplastics. Plastic composite springs are said to present a unique set of performance characteristics compared with metal springs.

Strength-to-weight ratios are considerably different while mechanical and thermal stability are maintained at temperatures up to 170C (340F). Corrosion resistance is excellent, they are non-magnetic, offer dielectric insulation, low flammability and are recyclable as well as RoHS and Reach compliant. Manufactured in Ultem PEI resin, different formulations can be used to meet or exceed performance criteria. PEI (polyetherimide) was selected as the material of construction following years of engineering desig…

Stak Guard Ideal for Machine-Guarding Applications

Stakrak has announced that its Stak Guard modular perimeter machine guarding mesh systems are fast and easy to install and protect workers from machinery such as robots and other automated systems. Protecting workers from machinery is an essential requirement for all manufacturing sites and businesses where areas of potential danger exist. As well as ensuring that employees benefit from a safe environment, the cost of accidents can be crippling in both downtime and financial terms.

The Stak Guard modular perimeter machine guarding mesh system is an ideal, cost-effective and Machine Guarding Directives (2006/42/EC) compliant solution. These directives, which came into force in December 2009, relate to captive fixings and the use of a tool being required to remove the guard. Two different modular systems are available in a multitude of panel widths and heights, ensuring the best solution for most machine-guarding applications.

A range of door types and locking systems is also available,…

Screw Compressors are Quiet and Energy Efficient

Boge Compressors has extended its C series of screw compressors up to 22kW to provide a quiet, compact and efficient compressed-air solution for medium-sized compressed-air users. The C 15 to C 30 are claimed to set new industry standards in specific power and sound pressure levels - from 63-69dB(A) - making them very quiet in operation as well as offering increased compressed-air outputs. The extended Boge C series range has been developed to generate high free air deliveries in continuous operation and in an efficient manner.

For maximum operating dependability and efficiency all essential components have been integrated into the compact module; this serves to eliminate pipework and reduce flow losses. Boge said the new models are also energy efficient with the specific real demand for energy ranging from 7.08-7.16kW/m3/min (according to ISO1217AnexC/ PN2 CPT2). Due to its compact design, space requirements are kept to a minimum. An installation surface of less than 1m2 is sufficien…

Breather Adsorbs High Humidity in Enclosures

Brownell's breather desiccators provide protection against corrosion, dampness and contamination in electronic, electrical, optical, electro-optic, telecommunications, computer equipment, and so on. The desiccators incorporate a humidity indicator, which monitors saturation and indicates when desiccant change or cartridge replacement is required. They are blue when the desiccant is dry and turn pink when the maximum amount of moisture has been adsorbed.

An adsorbing agent (either silica gel or molecular sieves) reduces the existing or incoming moisture to acceptable levels. The use of molecular sieve desiccant is recommended when the equipment may be subject to immediate failure as a result of water vapour condensation. The molecular sieve desiccant maintains an ultra-low relative humidity for extremely sensitive applications. It is most suitable for applications where equipment or enclosures may be subject to operation at low temperatures and water vapour condensation must not oc…

H.264 Video Compression Cuts Security DVR Costs

Maxim Integrated Products introduces the MAX9530 - a four-channel analogue-to-digital front end for converting analogue video and audio signals to the digital format required for compression. An on-chip memory controller is integrated to support a variety of output formats, including the optimal format for direct connection to Maxim's range of H.264 processors. This eliminates the need for the costly FPGA or interface logic required by competitive solutions.

When used together with Maxim's MG3500 H.264 video processor, the MAX9530 is claimed to reduce system BOM cost by more than USD1 (GBP0.60) per channel while delivering excellent system video quality for compression. The MAX9530 will therefore enable a new generation of multi-camera security DVRs that demand superb video quality, competitive cost and the time-to-market advantages of an end-to-end single-source solution. In the video security market, large-scale deployments can involve hundreds of analogue CCTV video cameras…

Oscilloscopes Deliver 100GS/s Sampling Rates

Tektronix has announced the DPO/DSA/MSO70000C Series of digital and mixed signal oscilloscopes to offer more accurate signal integrity measurements for high-speed serial standards. These devices now deliver 100GS/s sampling rate performance; enabling lower noise along with increased data points on 5x over-sampled 20GHz acquisitions. High-performance oscilloscopes with a bandwidth greater than 4GHz are used in a variety of high-speed serial, wideband radar, fast optical communications systems, high-end embedded systems and high-energy physics applications.

The DPO/DSA/MSO70000C Series can provide the performance and signal fidelity designers need to ensure that their latest components and systems meet design specifications. Along with a two-fold increase in sampling rate compared to the 'B' Series it replaces, the DPO/DSA/MSO70000C Series features a faster compute platform. This new platform offers faster processing for longer data records such as jitter, noise, BER (bit error …

Shockseal Foams Protect Large LCD Displays

Rogers Corporation's Poron Shockseal foams are engineered to meet the cushioning, sealing and protection requirements of large LCD displays. Poron Shockseal foam is available as thin as 0.5mm and conforms to some of the smallest and most intricate manufacturing designs. Poron materials help safeguard electronic devices and the Poron Shockseal series offers even greater impact protection for sensitive applications.

Poron Shockseal foam reduces impact force by more than four times that of competitive materials, according to Rogers. These foams have the same compression set resistance as other Poron materials and the same compressibility as the Poron 92 formulation. This allows them to maintain spring forces over time and effectively seal out dust and other harmful particles.

Single-Board Computer Features Rugged Design

Aitech Defense Systems has introduced a 6U VPX SBC suitable for radar system boot computers, sonar processors, video and graphics engines and single-board process and machine control applications. The SBC offers the selection between PCI Express or Serial Rapid IO (SRIO) and a host of on-board I/O ports. Using an integrated dual-core PowerPC processor, the single-slot C110 combines low power performance with increased memory capabilities.

It is built to OpenVPX (VITA 65) and VPX (VITA 46.0) specifications and is fully compliant with legacy VME operations, such as VME64 per VITA 46.1, while supporting advanced VME protocols including 2eSST and 2eVME. Four ports, configurable to either Serial RapidIO (SRIO) or PCI Express (PCIe), make up the VPX core backplane fabric. Via the I2C bus, the VPX connectors also provide system level management monitoring of the board's status, including monitoring key rail voltages and temperatures.

The C110's on-board I/O resources include four Gig…

BI Develops High-Reliability Resistor Networks

BI Technologies offers a series of custom thin-film resistor networks in hermetically-sealed metal or HTCC (high-temperature cofired ceramic) packages. The Model 144 Series high-reliability resistor networks can be specified with custom schematics, non-standard resistance values and ultra-tight resistance and TCR tolerances to meet the requirements for military electronics systems, avionics and aerospace circuits.

According to Mike Torres, fixed-film product manager for BI Technologies Electronic Components Division, the Model 144 Series thin-film custom resistor networks provide tighter resistance tolerances and TCR tracking performance than other precision networks. 'We can produce custom networks with up to 25 resistors that mix and match resistor values based on the customer's requirements,' he said. 'And, through our processing and packaging, we can achieve ratio tolerances between individual resistors in the network to less than +/-0.01 per cent and TCR tracking …

Schurter Announces DIN-Rail Mountable EMC Filters

Schurter has introduced EMC filters for DIN-rail mounting especially suited for use on TS35 (EN60715) Din rails in industrial equipment and control systems. Products include series FMAB-RAIL and FMBB-RAIL for one-phase systems, FMAC-RAIL for three-phase systems and FMAD-RAIL for three-phase systems with neutral line.

The FMAB-RAIL and FMBB-RAIL one-phase filters are designed for use with one 250V AC installations and the FMAC-RAIL three-phase filters and the FMAD-RAIL three-phase filters with neutral line are designed for use with three 277/480V AC installations. The DIN-rail fixture and fitting concept facilitates simple snap-in of the Schurter FMAB, FMBB, FMAC and FMAD filters. The FMAB, FMBB, FMAC and FMAD RAIL series have UL and ENEC approvals.

Mosfet Packaging Features Top-Side Cooling

In order to meet the needs for high current capability, high efficiency and smaller form factors, Fairchild Semiconductor has developed the Dual Cool packaging for Mosfets. Dual Cool is a top-side cooling PQFN device that incorporates new packaging technology to enable additional power dissipation through the top of the package. Dual Cool packaging features an exposed heat slug that delivers a reduction in thermal resistance from junction to top of case, resulting in more than 60 per cent higher power dissipation capability than standard PQFN packaging when a heat sink is mounted.

Additionally, Mosfets in the Dual Cool package are designed with Fairchild's Powertrench process technology, that enables lower RDS(ON) and higher load currents in smaller package sizes. These devices are currently available in both Power33 (3.3mm x 3.3mm) and Power56 (5mm x 6mm) Dual Cool packaging options. Maintaining the industry-standard PQFN footprint, the Dual Cool package allows power engineers to…

DC Motor Driver IC for Fan and Blower Applications

The A4941 from Allegro Microsystems is a three-phase, sensorless, brushless DC motor driver IC designed for fan and blower applications in the white goods and office automation sectors. Key features of the device, which is housed in a small eTSSOP package, include sensorless commutation, a wide (5-16V) supply voltage range, 1.25A peak output current, -40 to +105C operating temperature range, lock detection with auto restart and soft switching for reduced audible noise.

The motor drive system in the A4941 consists of three half-bridge NMOS outputs, back EMF sensing circuitry, adaptive commutation control and a state sequencer. The sequencer determines which output devices are active, while the back EMF sensing circuits and adaptive commutation circuits determine when the state sequencer advances to the next state. The three half-bridge outputs are controlled by a state machine with six possible states. Motor back EMF is sensed at the tri-stated output for each state.

Back EMF sensing m…

Rolec Adds to Plastic Enclosure Range

Rolec has expanded its Starcase range of plastic enclosures, which can be used for heating and air conditioning controllers, monitoring systems, security equipment and test and measurement devices. The Starcase range has been designed for industrial electronics. Design features include two hinged trims on either end of the case that hide the case fixings screws and wall-mounting shafts.

As a result, no visible fixings can be seen once the unit is on the wall. The enclosures are moulded in flame-retardant ABS rated to UL 94 V-0. The standard colour is light grey, RAL 7035 and the cases have a fine-textured surface finish. The standard protection class is IP66 for indoor and outdoor use and the moulded gasket can be replaced during long-term maintenance. They are also fully insulated to VDE 0100. The latest enclosure in the range has dimensions of 140 x 110 x 60mm, adding to the existing five sizes from 120 x 90 x 50mm to 280 x 170 x 60mm. The cases are assembled by four corrosion-proof…

BVM Develops High-Performance Motherboard

The latest Mini-ITX motherboard from BVM is said to be ideal for developing high-performance systems for industrial control and automation, retail, gaming, print imaging and digital signage. The LV-67F is based on the QM57 chipset and supports the 64-bit multi-core Intel mobile Core i7/i5/i3 processors in the rPGA988A socket. Two versions of the processor are available, the 32nm Core i7/i5/i3 with HD graphic function or the 45nm i7-8x0 and i7-7x0 without embedded graphic capability.

Intel Turbo boost technology and Intel Hyper-Threading technology maximises processor performance and reduces power requirements. Up to 8GB of DDR3 800/1,066MHz system memory are supported, and the Intel HD graphic function provides dynamic video memory technology with MPG2/WMV9/VC1/AVC hardware acceleration, advanced pixel adaptive de-interlacing and high-quality scaling. Additional display features include a 24-bit dual channel LVDS and an optional DVI interface. I/O capability includes two GigaLAN ports…

Murata Improves Design of 1W DC-DC Converters

Murata Power is introducing 1W isolated DC-DC converters for industrial, test and measurement and process control applications. The series is suited to all applications where an isolated surface-mount DC-DC is needed. The latest design techniques and materials have been used to reduce the module's footprint while improving electrical performance characteristics. The MTU1 series has dimensions of 8.2 x 8.4 x 8.5mm, representing a footprint reduction of 50 per cent compared to the previous generation.

Power density is 1.71W/cm3 and the series features wide temperature performance at full 1W load, between -40 and 85C. The load regulation has been enhanced to 7.5 per cent, a change of 40 per cent. The DC-DC converter also features 56 per cent less power dissipation and lower running temperatures than its predecessor, improving overall efficiency by more than one-fifth, to 89 per cent.

The increase in efficiency and benefit of reduction in power dissipation enables an open-frame design…

Prysmian Cables Increase Fire Safety on Railway

Prysmian will supply the Avrasya Metro Group (AMG) with Afumex fire-resistant power cables in the Kadikoy-Kartal metro line in Istanbul, Turkey. With 16 stations, 22km of double track and eight-car trains travelling in both directions every 1.5 minutes, the Kadikoy-Kartal metro line will cross the Anatolian side of Istanbul from Kadikoy to Kartal, connecting the European and Asian sides of the city with a link to the Marmaray rail tunnel under the Bosphorus strait.

The system will provide secure and fast transportation across the city, carrying up to 90,000 persons/hour in both directions for a total of one million passengers a day. Construction is expected to take 19 months and to be completed by the end of 2011, and will require Prysmian to supply 300km of medium-voltage wired armoured cables and more than 1,300km of low-voltage fire-resistant and low-fire-hazard (LS0H) Afumex cables.

The Afumex range of cables combines low flame spread and heat release with very low emission of smo…

Mykal's Desolvit Degreaser for Marine Applications

Mykal has announced the renewal of certificates for its Desolvit high-performance degreaser (DSI 1000) as a surface cleaner oil dispersant by Scottish Marine and the Marine Management Organisation. High-performance degreaser (DSI 1000) is certified for the removal of oil that comes ashore from spills and must be cleaned from rocky shorelines.

It can also be used for the cleaning of boats, quaysides, equipment and clothing. High-performance degreaser (DSI 1000) has history of use for the clean-up of major oil spills on shorelines, including the Exxon Valdez in Alaska, the Sea Empress in Milford Haven, the shoreline of the Faro Islands and dry docks in Turkey.

High-performance degreaser (DSI 1000) is a citrus-based, non-flammable solvent cleaner for the removal of oils and greases from components, tools and equipment in manufacturing, engineering, maintenance, and assembly operations. It also carries approvals for use in critical degreasing applications within the defence, aerospace and…

Cambridge Sensotec Extends Gas Analyser Range

Cambridge Sensotec has expanded its Rapidox product range to provide multiple gas analysers to suit most applications in industry, research and education. Cambridge Sensotec can offer systems to analyse food packaging processes, for high temperature and vacuum oxygen measurements in inert gases, or to provide gas analytical data to assess the impact of environmental issues, as well as many other applications. The company uses two types of oxygen sensors in its Rapidox range of gas analysers: zirconia and electrochemical.

The majority of Cambridge Sensotec analysers use a zirconia-based sensor. There are several reasons this is preferred. A zirconia oxygen sensor is said to offer a very fast response time coupled with accurate readings at low oxygen levels. Zirconia sensors also work well in vacuum and with pressurised gas. They also have a lifespan of more than 35,000 hours.

In environments where the zirconia oxygen sensor may not be suited, Cambridge Sensotec offers Rapidox units wit…

Trac-It System Optimises Beacon Foods Processes

Marco has announced that Beacon Foods has placed a second order for the Trac-IT factory profitability system. Beacon Foods is a producer of roasted and char-grilled vegetables and fruit ranges, relishes, chutneys and compotes. The existing Trac-IT system was installed in 2007 and has brought important improvements to the Beacon manufacturing process. Integrating with its Sage management system, it integrates traceability with recipe and stock control, from goods-in through to final despatch.

This roll out of further Trac-IT modules will now control the complete process from the initial order and the amount of raw materials required, through to labelling, warehouse management, transport and invoicing. Sandra Thomas, IT controller at Beacon Foods, said: 'Extending the existing system to packing, despatch and transport in 2010 is going to benefit all departments. 'The enhanced production planning system will provide better management information to control waste and improve effic…

Double-Diaphragm System for Reliable Measurements

Wika Instruments has developed a double-diaphragm system for reliable pressure measurement in critical processes found in industries such as chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverages.

The double diaphragm system can, in the event of a diaphragm break, reliably prevent products finding their way into the environment or system fill fluid contaminating the process. The diaphragm break monitoring for diaphragm seals can be implemented on a range of instrument variants throughout Wika's pressure instrument range.

Temperature Transmitter for Industrial Tasks

Wika Instruments' T32.xS temperature transmitter, developed for a range of industrial applications, is now available with a variant certified for use in SIL2 and redundant SIL3 applications. Certified for use in protection systems under IEC61508 conformity, the T32.xS is said to be one of only two temperature transmitters worldwide which conform to this procedure.

Alongside comprehensive internal failure monitoring, the T32.xS offers dual sensor functionality with automatic redundancy changeover, integrated drift protection and compatibility with virtually all software and hardware platforms.

Weatherproof Plug Offers IP67 Ingress Protection

Hylec-APL has introduced the Teeplug cable connector, a weatherproof, quick-anchoring plug that allows secure fitting onto difficult installations such as lighting bollards and lampposts. The Teeplug is designed for mounting on flat or curved surfaces. The plug can be fitted and anchored without access to the rear of the panel and offers IP67 ingress protection. The quick-anchor, all-weather-approved Teeplug looks like a conventional plug and socket but can be inserted through a bulkhead or pole outer skin, installed and clamped without access to the back of the connector.

Terry Spriggs, product marketing manager for Hylec-APL, said: 'Having drilled the correct-sized hole, the panel-mount component of the connector can be inserted directly through the hole. 'The attached protective closure cap is then tightened up; as this is done the inner thread pulls a collar of tapered fingers towards it, effectively creating a raised fixing collar behind the mounting surface. 'The act…

Dimensional Weight Pricing for Carrier Industry

Mettler Toledo has revealed how the transport industry can cut costs and carbon emissions through the optimisation of space and dimensional weight pricing. Just as we were beginning to appreciate the importance of reducing our carbon footprint and taking action to prevent an environmental catastrophe, the financial crisis hit.
Many companies were forced to cut back and this presented a dilemma, as the green way is not always the cheapest way.

The transport industry has been hit hard by the economic crisis. Fuel prices continue to rise while the volume of packages being sent has decreased. At the same time, carrier companies find themselves in an environmental predicament. There is increasing pressure to find solutions that will help to offset their high level of emissions. The question is whether it is possible to be green and still save money. A straightforward way for transport companies to cut down emissions is to reduce the number of vehicles in the road or sky.

This can be achiev…

Scorpion Launches 3D Stinger For Robot vision

Scorpion Vision has launched the Scorpion 3D Stinger for robot vision, designed to solve the challenge of picking parts from a conveyor belt, a pallet or crate. The Scorpion 3D Stinger captures images, identifies and locates the product and sends the ID and 3D location to a picking robot. Today, parts are often picked and stacked manually. Manufacturers spend time and resources shifting or organising parts in the manufacturing process or feeding robots and machines with parts.

To pick unordered parts requires that the robot can recognise the parts from many angles and that it knows where in space to pick. Stinger is built on Scorpion Vision software, which makes it possible for a Scorpion 3D Stinger system to add inspection and quality control tasks when needed. Scorpion has built-in modules for communication with all industrial robots and is easily adapted to any motion control unit. The company is looking for suitable business partners for distribution of the Scorpion 3D Stinger.

Flir Systems Sponsors Infrared Symposium

Thermal imaging specialist Flir Systems sponsored the Infrared Symposium, an event to commemorate the centenary of the first published infrared photograph by Prof Robert Williams Wood. In October 1910, Wood made a presentation to the Royal Photographic Society entitled 'Photography by Invisible Rays'. The Infrared Symposium brought together leading experts in the fields of thermal imaging and thermography.

The first infrared scanning camera was introduced by Agema in 1965, a company that subsequently became Flir Systems. The state-of-the-art 1960s Thermovision thermal imaging camera weighed 60kg, not including the 220VAC generator that powered the unit. A 10-litre jar of liquid nitrogen was also required to cool the linear array detector. Data storage amounted to capturing the video display in a Polaroid image. In the 1980s, infrared focal plane array cameras were developed.

They remained cooled devices but had slimmed down to 10kg or less and offered a typical resolution of 1…

Rofin-Baasel Lasers Aid Solar Cell Production

The laser is a key technology for many tried and tested high-efficiency concepts and has become an indispensable tool for thin-film photovoltaic module production, according to Rofin-Baasel. With most thin-film materials, the layer scribing steps required for monolithic integration cannot be performed with more flexibility and precision using any other process. This is why laser technology has been a key part of thin-film development for more than two decades.

Mechanical scribing replaced wet chemical etching because the wet chemical method was too slow and also environmentally unfriendly. The wear-free laser process is much more controllable and also reduces the risk of breakage in subsequent processing. The other laser application in thin-film manufacturing is edge deletion in advance of hermetic sealing of the module. Here, laser technology gradually replaced sand blasting, a dirty and environmentally questionable process, and now holds a market share of more than 50 per cent in ne…

Laser Sintering Powders Target Rapid Manufacturing

RP Support has introduced a range of laser sintering performance powders for a range of processing and rapid manufacturing applications. The materials, for exclusive distribution into the UK and Ireland, will be supplied through a newly formed partnership with Advanced Laser Materials (ALM). The high lifecycle of the products is said to reduce waste, while the high stability of the polymer blends ensures the consistent quality and properties required for rapid manufacturing.

PA 650 is an easy-to-process Nylon12, with optimised dry powder flow, which can be run as a drop-in replacement for other PA12 sintering powders, providing improved part detail and surface finish. PA 615-GS is a highly glass-sphere-filled material for higher dimensional stability, stiffness and temperature resistance compared with unfilled PA. Against comparable materials this powder is more recyclable and produces a better part surface finish. PA 601-CF is a carbon-fibre-filled Nylon12 powder with very low densit…

Bearings Ideal For Heat-Treatment Equipment

Cross and Morse has announced that the Sealmaster series HF and HFT high-temperature bearings have been engineered to meet the requirements of industrial furnace/oven applications. The bearings are offered in both fixed and float arrangements. Bearings are standard with increased external clearances to allow for expansion. They incorporate specialised sealing arrangements and two types of steel end-caps: HEC and HFC.

All Cross and Morse high-temperature bearings are supplied with a high-quality, high-temperature synthetic lubricant to provide reliable operation up to 400F (200C). The units are equipped with two pipe plugs for lubrication. Typical applications include heat-treatment equipment, kilns, curing furnaces, food processing conveyors and bakeries.

Strategy Picks Ishida High-Speed Clip-Strip System

Ishida has revealed that contract packer Strategy Group has installed the flexible strip pack applicator (F-SPA) for hanging products in retail stores. The automatic clip strip solution, provided by Ishida's UK distributor Index, is said to provide effective merchandising for retail outlets while offering cost savings compared with hand-loaded alternatives. Index said hang-strips are a good format for impulse purchases and because they do not take up shelf space, provide an opportunity to gain a first retail listing.

They can also be used for special promotions or placed strategically next to complementary items in any part of the store, for example, snacks by the beer section. Such benefits, said Index, mean that a correctly merchandised strip can deliver up to 30 per cent increase in sales compared with shelf display. For Strategy, the F-SPA provided a cost-effective solution to maximise the benefits of hang-strips. Melanie Norcross, sales manager at Strategy, said: 'In the …

Immersion Probes Offer in Situ Reaction Monitoring

Fibre Photonics has launched polycrystalline mid-infrared fibre optics designed to provide real-time reaction monitoring in chemical process research and development and the pharmaceutical industry. The polycrystalline mid-infrared fibre optics are flexible, durable and highly transmissive within the mid-infrared region (3300 and 550cm). As a fibre material of choice in robust ATR immersion probes, they provide the capability to accurately monitor and quantify the formation and reactive activity of key functional groups through their individual fundamental vibrations.

Fibre Photonics provides a range of ATR mid-infrared fibre-optic immersion probes as a real-time in situ reaction monitoring solution within a laboratory and production environment. Each probe can be coupled to an FTIR spectrometer by means of SMA connectors and has been designed to withstand the ever-changing requirements of a development laboratory, especially where high-throughput or scale-up reactions monitoring are …

Lab Vacuum System for Liquid Waste Disposal

Integra Biosciences has launched Vacusafe, a compact laboratory vacuum system that is said to offer simple, reliable and safe aspiration of waste liquids. The company said that, unlike many 'homemade' aspiration systems made from non-optimised parts, the Vacusafe is a dedicated product for the convenient and safe disposal of almost any liquid waste. Vacusafe has a range of important safety features including a dependable liquid waste level sensor to prevent overfilling of the bottle and two hydrophobic filters that block potentially dangerous aerosols from entering the laboratory workspace.

The self-sealing quick connectors prevent spills after disconnecting the tubing and a sturdy handle makes the carrying and emptying of the Vacusafe waste bottle effortless. With a range of Vacuboy adapters included, removal of liquids is possible from virtually any container format. For laboratories looking for an all-in-one vacuum aspiration system, the Vacusafe combines a low-noise pump, …

Video Highlights Direct-Drive Robot Capabilities

An online video from Agilent explains how its direct-drive robot (DDR), at the centre of a Biocel system, advances high-throughput screening for drug discovery research and genomic applications. The five-minute video, available to view on the Agilent Automation Solutions website, shows how the DDR is fast, precise and designed with safety in mind.

Direct-drive technology reduces the number of moving parts, resulting in a robotic arm that Agilent said has increased reliability and speed, moving smoothly with precision and accuracy. The one-person, one-touch design of the Agilent DDR is shown to enable fast and easy robotic configuration teaching, minimising set-up time and the need for dedicated personnel.

Motor Driver IC for Refrigerator Fan Controls

The A4941 from Allegro Microsystems is a three-phase, sensor-less, brushless DC motor driver IC designed for fan and blower applications in the white goods and office automation sectors. Features of the device, which is housed in a small eTSSOP package, include sensor-less commutation, a 5-16V supply voltage range, 1.25A peak output current, -40C to +105C operating temperature range, lock detection with auto restart, and soft switching for reduced audible noise.

The motor drive system in the A4941 consists of three half-bridge NMOS outputs, back EMF sensing circuitry, adaptive commutation control and a state sequencer. The sequencer determines which output devices are active, while the back EMF sensing circuits and adaptive commutation circuits determine when the state sequencer advances to the next state. The three half-bridge outputs are controlled by a state machine with six possible states. Motor back EMF is sensed at the tri-stated output for each state.

Back EMF sensing motor co…

Parker Domnick Hunter Receives 9th Queen's Award

Parker Domnick Hunter has been presented with a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category for its success in developing new export markets for its gas separation technologies. This is the company's ninth Queen's Award and was presented by Lord Lieutenant Nigel Sherlock OBE. The development of the Maxigas range of gas separation technologies has been vital to the company's success. In particular, the compact, modular and self-contained Maxigas system is said to represent a considerable advance in industrial-scale nitrogen generation.

It provides businesses with an economical and practical method of generating their own nitrogen on site, from a conventional supply of compressed air. This high-performance and energy-efficient system produces nitrogen on demand and eliminates the need for traditional gas bottles and bulk storage facilities, which are costly, present health and safety issues and typically involve frequent freight movements.

Parker sai…

IFM Relay Meets Latest Safety Standards

IFM Electonic has launched a safety relay that conforms to all the latest safety standards, including SIL3 to IEC 61508, PLe under ISO 13849-1 and EN 574 type IIIC. The G1502S from IFM fulfills many safety tasks without the need for different types of relay. This safety relay works with the whole range of fail-safe inductive sensors from IFM. It can be used in a variety of ways.

It performs monitoring tasks in safety applications using different types of electro-sensitive protective equipment (ESPE), so the user doesn't need a special type of relay for light curtains, e-stops or two-hand controls. The latter can be two-hand controls to EN 574 type IIIC employing electronic sensors or mechanical switches.

The time delay feature, adjustable between 0.25 and 10 seconds, can be applied to two safe outputs. The time delay cannot be tampered with, without tripping the relay. The safety relay has several multifunctional self-detecting and self-monitoring inputs and short-circuit proof ou…

Ball Bearings for High-Speed Dental Handpieces

Barden has introduced the X-Life range of super-precision ball bearings designed to enhance reliability, lengthen operating life and reduce noise levels in high-speed dental handpieces. In terms of bearing selection, it does not get much more challenging than choosing a bearing for a high-speed dental handpiece.As well as having to withstand the harsh operating environment in which the bearings are constantly bombarded with debris, the latest dental handpiece turbines typically have to operate at extremely high speeds of between 400,000 and 500,000rev/min.

The bearings also have to undergo repeated chemical or steam sterilisation cycles, which can strip away the bearing lubricant. In addition, the bearings much also remain cool enough to avoid injury or discomfort to the patient and the dental surgeon, while also offering the lowest possible noise and vibration levels in order to reduce patient anxiety and allow for a more relaxed, comfortable operating environment. Wear on a dental h…

Softelec Updates Technical Drawing Software

Softelec has released Version 11 of its VPHybridCAD software for editing and converting scanned technical drawings. VPHybridCAD V11 now supports all AutoCAD versions from 2004 to 2011. All VPHybridCAD products also support the 64-bit versions of AutoCAD 2010 and 2011 making use of expanded memory and performance. For stand-alone operation, VPHybridCAD V11 products can run on Windows 7, XP and Vista in full 64-bit mode.

With a number of new and redesigned functions and features VPHybridCAD V11 continues to provide access to scanned technical documents, either for detailed revisions with direct hybrid editing tools, or for complete automatic vector conversion. For all VPHybridCAD products, such as VPraster and VPstudio, PDF file import has been expanded. While most variations of PDF files with embedded raster images are supported, even PDF data containing vector data can now be loaded and handled. A PDF/A export format option for long-term file storage has also been added.

Aside from a …

Huntsman Provides Materials for Solar Applications

Huntsman Advanced Materials has announced that it offers a wide range of material solutions for use in the production of solar energy components. Huntsman has worked in co-operation with industry partners to introduce a complete package of materials and processing technologies that are designed to enable actively temperature-controlled PV modules with increased efficiency. The liquid system, Araldite AY 4583/HY 4583, enables an energy-saving encapsulation process at low temperatures and eliminates the critical lamination process with EVA.

A range of heat-conductive, electrically insulating adhesives is said to enable a new module design and construction with improved heat transfer and efficiency, together with excellent strength and bonding properties. The company also offers thermally conductive adhesives to protect the flexibility of solar cells. Highly reflective, white solder mask Probimer 77 White contributes to the increased efficiency of the PV module through higher and multipl…

Process Techniques Improve Deposition Mask Quality

Precision Micro has developed manufacturing technologies to increase the resolution and improve the aperture quality in the deposition masks used in the production of flat and flexible panel displays. The technologies are also designed for depositing gold and silver traces onto quartz crystals. Using its LEEP and LEEF process techniques, the company claims it can now produce cost-effective nickel, stainless steel and Invar masks that outperform traditional alternatives.

The techniques combine low preparation costs with high tolerances, delivering greater density designs with higher accuracy, added Precision Micro. Each individual mask can contain as many as several million apertures, each down to 10 microns in diameter but the number of apertures is not reflected in the cost of manufacture, as all the detail is chemically etched or electroformed simultaneously. Masks produced with LEEF or LEEP technology are burr free, stress free and completely flat, whereas masks produced by laser c…

Compressor Generates up 1.2m3/min of Oil-Free Air

Boge has announced that it has extended its K series of oil-free air compressors with the compact K 15 model. Using the pushrod principle, the K series eliminates the complicated cross-head construction. The cylinder bore in which the special-compound-coated piston moves is made of a high-strength aluminium-silicon alloy. These sliding partners lead to friction and therefore loss-free generation of compressed air.

The K 3 to K 8 with 2.2 to 5.5kW drives offer air deliveries of 0.24 to 0.65m3/min for 10-bar and 15-bar operation. The K 8 is also available in a 40-bar version. The new K 15 extends this range and uses two opposing pushrod units. Using this four-cylinder system, the K 15 can generate up to 1.2m3/min of oil-free compressed air. The K 15 also integrates high-efficiency control.

The K series operates on a stop/start basis - controlled by either a pressure switch (as a standard), or with the Boge Basic electronic controller, which is said to ensure efficient use of energy. Low…

Filter Removes Contamination from Lubricants

Eclipse Magnetics has added a self-contained filtration system for higher flow rate applications to its range. The Automag Skid system removes ferrous, para-magnetic and grinding wheel debris contamination from lubricants and coolants at flow rates of up to 900 litres per minute. Units for higher flow rates can be custom engineered and/or multiple systems can be used together. The system was recently launched at ITMS, Chicago, and AMB, Stuttgart.

A clear observation tank linked to the filter gave a clear demonstration of the effectiveness of magnetic filtration: liquid, heavily contaminated with sub-micron particles, was filtered from opaque black to transparent within 30 seconds. The system can be specified to be used inline or offline. The offline system is supplied with an integral pump. The system is free-standing, self-contained and can be located wherever it is required.

Multiple systems can be used together for higher flow rates. At the heart of the system is an Automag magneti…

Eclipse Clamping System Used In Rail Machining

Eclipse Magnetics has supplied a Power Matrix Rail magnetic clamping system to UK switches, crossings and systems manufacturer, Corus Cogifer. The system provides touch-button permanent-magnet clamping for the machining of rails. Compared to the company's previous hydraulic clamping system, the Power Matrix Rail has reduced setup and production times. The Power Matrix Rail addressed several drawbacks of the previous system, including long set-up time, which was addressed by the touch-button clamping functionality.

Average set-up time has been reduced by 60 per cent. On the previous system, clamping was applied at 600mm intervals. With the Power Matrix Rail system, continuous clamping of the entire rail means that feed speeds were able to be increased by 15 per cent without affecting the machining tolerances.

Both head and foot of the rail had to be supported, so machining was only possible on one side of the head at each set-up; the rail had to be moved to the other side of the sy…

Ondrives Introduces High-Precision Bar Stock

High-precision bar stock is now available to purchase from Ondrives, a power transmission components specialist. The bar stock is offered from 2.5mm pitch up to 10mm as standard. All are available in varying numbers of teeth and working lengths to suit virtually any application as the stock can be cut down to specific lengths by end users. Made-to-measure pulley bar is also available for applications where customers are unable to modify standard lengths.

ETE Systems Cool Fibre-Coupled Laser Diodes

Elite Thermal Engineering (ETE) introduces turnkey cooling systems for fibre-coupled laser diodes produced by Limo, Jenoptik, QPC and Nlight. The cooling systems can also be customised for fibre-coupled laser diodes manufactured by other suppliers such as Coherent, Spectra-Physics, IPG and so on. ETE offers two types of turnkey cooling systems: one for diodes without integral TECs and the other for those with integral TECs.

The first system is made up of OCP series thermoelectric cold plates and the corresponding MC-1000 series controllers. It includes CS-050, CS-110, CS-150 and CS-300. Each comes with thermoelectric cold plate, thermal interface pad, thermoelectric controller and all necessary sensors and cables. The three-digit number represents the cooling capacity of the systems and is consistent with the numbering system of the OCP series cold plates and the MC-1000 controller series.

The second range of systems is configured for the Itec series fibre-coupled laser diodes introdu…

Measuring and Imaging of Small Parts in 3D

Micro-Polyview is a 360deg, 3D, multi-image optics solution from Opto Engineering designed to measure and inspect small objects whose dimensions range from 1mm to 10mm, using a single lens. Traditionally, where a sample needed to be observed from a number of angles, different perspective views were typically achieved by deploying an array of cameras or by moving the imaging system around the component; both solutions being complex and expensive.

Opto Engineering's Micro-Polyview lens, however, is capable of observing and measuring an object from different angles by using an array of mirrors interfaced to a bi-telecentric lens. While keeping the top of the object directly imaged at the centre of the field of view, the lateral views feature exactly the same magnification and the images remain in perfect focus even when the object is displaced.

All views can be used to precisely measure the dimensions of components from different angles with only one camera and without moving anythin…

PCBmotor Wins Electronics Creativity Award

Piezo motor manufacturer PCBmotor has been named the winner of the Editor's Choice category at the 'EE Times' sixth Annual Creativity in Electronics awards. The company's product was selected as a winner due to its motor design enabling motors to be mounted directly onto a printed circuit board (PCB). This is said to reduce application cost and introduce new design opportunities. Traditional design methods use PCBs as motor controllers with connections to a physical motor located somewhere in the vicinity of the card.

In order to build smaller, cheaper and better applications, designers must think outside of the box. Using the new technology, PCBmotor said designers can: reduce application size by integrating the motor and all electronics into one PCB; reduce bill of materials - the company's direct drive eliminates gears; further eliminate cost by getting rid of screws, wires, connectors and manual assembly; and increase design options with the hollow and ultra-sl…

Diaphragm Pump For Fluid Transfer Applications

Verder has announced the launch of the Verderair VA25 diaphragm pump series, designed for applications including drum fluid transfer, unloading fluids, chemical evacuation, sump evacuation and more. The pump series is based on the existing Verderair (VA) concept and offers lower pulsation, less air consumption and a higher fluid output. It has also been designed in a way that makes it easy to maintain.

Mike Heap, sales director at Verder, said customers using the Verderair 25 can benefit from 30 per cent better air efficiency, 20 per cent flow increase, and a lifetime that is five times longer than competing solutions. This means less downtime and easier maintenance, according to Verder.

As a result of the good material strength and more efficient, leak-free operation, the Verderair VA25 diaphragm pump can be used in application including ceramic glaze supply, dewatering, and repackaging of fluids from an original container to smaller receptacles. It is also easy to install with eight…

MCU Simplifies Multi-Channel Moisture Measurements

Michell Instruments has launched a multi-channel control unit (MCU) designed to simplify multi-channel moisture measurements. The Promet IS process moisture-in-gas analyser is now available in a multichannel format, with the MCU, which enables the control of up to four pressure-compensated moisture measurement channels within a single 19in sub-rack unit. Measurements of moisture in process gases and liquids can be easily combined in a single analyser system with the MCU as the Promet IS channels for moisture-in-gas can be combined together with a sister product for moisture-in-liquid measurement - the Liquidew IS.

Each channel of the MCU functions independently of the others so that maintenance can be carried out on one channel while the others continue to operate as normal - this is ideal in situations where redundancy is required for safety reasons. The MCU keeps the cost per channel to a minimum and is also simple to operate, according to Michell Instruments. Its bright alphanumeri…