Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March, 2011

Energy-Efficient Motors and Drives at Hannover

At this year's Hannover exhibition, WEG is launching the W22X range of ATEX/IECEx certified, high-efficiency flameproof electric motors, designed to cope with aggressive and explosive atmospheres. The new range is set to provide petrochemical, oil and gas markets with high levels of motor energy efficiency, as well as protection from hazardous environments, even though regulations do not yet require it.

Within the W22X range, WEG is offering both IE2 high efficiency and IE3 premium efficiency motors for hazardous areas. Also new are the CFW700 and CFW701 drive ranges, which visitors will be able to see on display for the first time on the WEG Germany stand in hall 15. The inverters are designed to provide optimum variable-speed drive solutions for three-phase induction motors in the HVAC market, but without a price premium.

Delivering accuracy and reliability in both speed and torque control, the new CFW700 inverter range features simple start-up, multi-speed, self-adjustment, PI…

Hach Lange TOC Analyser Monitors Runoff at Airport

An advanced self-calibrating total organic carbon (TOC) analyser from Hach Lange is helping Manchester airport to effectively monitor runoff while reducing instrument maintenance requirements. The Biotector B7000 analyser is helping to protect the environmental performance of the airport. As a result of very low temperatures over Christmas, the airport used more than 600,000 litres of de-icing liquid, such as glycol on aircraft and acetates on runways, paths and standing areas, which created a challenge for Mark Steward, water services engineer at Manchester airport.

He said: 'The liquid can be washed away by rain and snow into the airport's main drainage system so it is paramount that we have the necessary analysis on-site to monitor the situation. 'This is because high volumes of different contaminants, such as glycol, will have a significant effect on the subsequent wastewater treatment process. 'The B7000 was selected following excellent performance in independent …

Nova Chooses Thermo Scientific LIMS/DMS Technology

Nova Biologicals has implemented an integrated Thermo Scientific laboratory information management system (LIMS) and Nextdocs document management system (DMS) solution. The solution automates time-consuming, paper-based laboratory data management processes, ensures compliance with industry regulations and enables the company to deliver excellent customer service, according to Thermo Fisher Scientific.

In the wake of more stringent regulations for environmental testing introduced by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in recent years, Nova required stronger compliance through record keeping, demonstration of capability (DOC), document control, reagent and standard traceability and reporting. As its manual, paper-based system could no longer support this, Nova selected the Thermo Scientific Samplemanager LIMS integrated with the Nextdocs DMS.

Nova offers diagnostic testing for the presence of infectious dis…

Trace Moisture Analyser for Specialty Gas Industry

The DF-745SG trace moisture analyser from Delta F brings the capabilities of the 700 series to applications requiring the accurate measurement of trace moisture levels in gas mixtures. The analyser is also suitable for applications within the specialty gas industry. Manufactured by Delta F, a division of Servomex, the DF-745SG is a process analyser optimised for measuring moisture in a specialty gas stream.

By utilising the latest tuneable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDL) technology, the DF-745SG delivers accurate moisture level readings with a performance enhanced by drift-free operation, low maintenance and low calibration advantages. This combination of high-sensitivity 100ppb low detection limit with a range of 0.1ppm-100ppm means that specialty gas plant owners and operators can utilise the DF-745SG to improve efficiency, increase plant throughput and improve yields. At the centre of the DF-745SG is application software specifically designed for blending specialty gases …

Spiroflow Bulk Bag Filler Suits Delicate Products

Spiroflow has revealed that its Rise and Fall bulk bag filler is being used by a Middle East-based supplier of a mixed fruit and nut product to load 300kg batches into bulk bags with no damage. The supplier's product contains whole walnuts, which are particularly fragile. To avoid fruit and nuts having to fall the full height of an empty bulk bag, the bottom of the empty bag is raised up to just below the outlet of the filling tube.

The gap between the end of the tube and the bottom of the bag is just enough to allow the nuts to gently flow into the bag without damage. The bag is then lowered slowly to allow filling to continue. The lowering of the bag controls the flow of the fruit and nuts down the filling tube due to the self-choking action caused by the natural angle of repose of the product as it exits the tube and spreads out. Accordingly, the bottom of the bag is incrementally lowered until it is filled to the desired weight.

Following gentle vibration, the bag is ready to …

Rockwell Enhances Machine-Level Historian System

Rockwell Automation has released Factorytalk Historian Machine Edition v2.2 software, which is designed to help manufacturers gain enhanced visibility into production operations. Factorytalk Historian Machine Edition (ME) v2.2 offers native connectivity to the OSIsoft PI system. With this new release, PI system users who employ Allen-Bradley Controllogix controllers from Rockwell Automation now have an off-the-shelf, machine-level historian application that can easily transfer historical data to their on-site or enterprise-wide PI system.

This native connectivity means Factorytalk Historian ME can automatically communicate with the PI system, allowing users to easily integrate their PI system with Rockwell Automation products to access a new level of visibility into production operations. Such scalable historian applications allow manufacturers to rapidly tap into manufacturing intelligence and make process improvements by leveraging granular, real-time and historical production data …

Video Demonstrates Bravo Liquid Handling Platform

Agilent Automation Solutions has released an online video that demonstrates its Bravo automated liquid handling platform together with a range of accessories. Applications for the Bravo platform include compound distribution, assay plate preparation, microplate replication, library reformatting, reagent addition, serial dilutions, DNA extraction as well as cell assays and screening.

Streamed from the Agilent website, the video demonstrates how the Bravo liquid handling platform delivers speed and versatility in a compact footprint. Its nine plate-position footprint has been designed to fit inside a standard laminar flow hood, enabling automated liquid handling for cell-based assays or hazardous reagent handling. The Bravo uses high-accuracy pipette heads for dispensing from 100nl to 200ul in 96-, 384-, and 1,536-well formats or to a single column or row of any of these plate types.

Pipette heads can be changed in minutes, and numerous plate-pad options are available to enable a range …

Saudi FDA Selects Intertek Conformity Assessment

Intertek has signed an agreement with the Saudi Food and Drug Authority to provide conformity assessment services for the import of cosmetics products into Saudi Arabia. The agreement confirms Intertek as a provider of conformity assessment services for exports of cosmetics products to Saudi Arabia and authorised to issue the certificate of conformity. The certificate is a mandatory requirement for customs clearance.

Sustainable Pencils Made from Recycled Polystyrene

Axion Polymers has revealed that its high-grade recycled polystyrene made from waste fridge plastic is being used to manufacture sustainable pencils. Stationery product manufacturer BIC is using Axpoly PS01, sourced from post-consumer fridge plastic in its Ecolution range of sustainable wood-free pencils. Made entirely from recycled polystyrene, the pencil's casing looks and behaves like conventional cedar wood. This means the pencil can be sharpened in a conventional pencil sharpener and does not splinter.

Although a wooden pencil is essentially 'renewable', using slow-growing trees to make a short-life, consumable product is not a sustainable solution. Furthermore, the traditional manufacturing process to produce a graphite-leaded, wooden pencil is slow and involves high levels of wood waste. BIC introduced the all-plastic pencil using a co-extrusion process for both the 'lead' and outer body 10 years ago. More recently, it replaced the virgin polymers with recyc…

DSI Test and Measurement for Optical Coatings

Durable thin film optical coating manufacturer Deposition Sciences (DSI) offers test and measurement capabilities for an array of specialised optical coatings for military and aerospace applications. The company's special products group (SPG) participates at all levels of product development, from engineering and prototyping to full-scale production, based on customer specifications. DSI's quality testing capabilities include measurement of in-house produced materials as well as independent verification of external coated samples for vendor/supplier surveillance, process analysis and qualification testing.

SPG's spectral measurement capabilities include testing spectral ranges from 0.190 microns to 50 microns. Reflectance and transmittance tests range from near-normal to 45deg and cryogenic measurement can be characterised from ambient to <10K. Polarised measurements (SandP) are also available if needed, and hemispherical transmittance and reflectance tests measure from…

Label Printer/Dispenser for Packaging Applications

For labelling applications, Weber's 4000 entry-level series label printer and dispenser can be used for a range of straightforward product and packaging applications. The tamp-blow method, whereby the label is accurately positioned onto the product without touching it, allows labels to be placed onto either stationary or moving product, guaranteeing safe and accurate labelling, especially for uneven or sensitive product surfaces. A thermo-transfer or thermal-direct printer ensures brilliant print quality at speeds of up to 30 labels a minute, depending on the size of the label, content and dispensing stroke.

For more demanding applications, Weber's range includes the 4020 series, 4050 series and 5300 series, which is equipped with a variety of applicators for the most varied of tasks, such as linear, rotation or corner applications, as well as double-sided labelling. This 5300 series provides high levels of flexibility for customers' current applications and also with a vi…

Plastic-Parts Firm Uses Citizen Turn-Mill Centres

Jonathan Newis' subcontract machining operation, PTP, which is focused on the production of plastic components, relies on Citizen CNC sliding-head turn-mill centres. A recent installation of a Citizen L20-IX to meet much needed additional capacity has demonstrated reductions in machining times to the order of 5sec on a typical 30sec cycle time. This is largely explained through Citizen's development of Streamline Machining Technology on the new machine, which has also helped in achieving quicker and easier setting through the Windows-based CNC program editing, especially on the more complex work.

As the result of the latest installation, Newis has been able to take on new business and has relieved the work loading on his existing Citizen L16, K16 and B20 machines. PTP produces a range of components out of a diverse array of different plastic materials, such as PTFE, Delrin, Nylon, PVC and Nylatron, plus special plastics such as PEEK, graphite-filled PTFE and other filled high-…

Stainless-Steel Sensor Targets Mobile Hydraulics

MTS has extended its product portfolio of magnetostrictive position sensors for mobile hydraulics with the new Temposonics Model MB stainless-steel sensor. The unit has been developed specially for external attachment to a hydraulic cylinder and can be used in applications such as steer-by-wire. With its compact dimension and an M14 x 1.5 thread, the sensor is suitable for mounting on double-acting steering cylinders.

The magnet is integrated into the piston and transmits the position through a non-ferrous cylinder wall to the sensor. By using two externally mounted sensors, they can function in a redundant capacity to meet stringent safety requirements. Apart from easy external mounting on the double-rod cylinder, the MB sensor is also suitable for direct screw installation in a differential cylinder. In this type of installation, a ring magnet mounted on the piston slides over the sensor and marks the position.

Thus, the Model MB sensor offers the flexibility to either thread the se…

CopyCAD Package Allows CAD Product Re-Engineering

Delcam has combined the functionality from its CopyCAD reverse-engineering package with the 2011 release of its Powershape Pro CAD system. This extended range of functionality is suited for the creation of CAD models from all types of digitised scan data and for the re-engineering of existing products into improved or customised designs. Powershape Pro offers Tribrid Modelling; the addition of triangle modelling to the combination of surface and solid modelling that is offered in many other CAD packages as hybrid modelling.

Having all the different modelling techniques in a single package reduces the need to transfer data between multiple programs and so streamlines the whole product-development process. The extended range of functionality, for example, the ability to undertake Boolean operations between triangle meshes and solids or surfaces, makes Powershape Pro suitable for the re-engineering of existing products into improved designs or for creating bespoke products, for example, …

New Frames and Materials for Laser-Safety Eyewear

The Univet laser-safety eyewear range, available within the UK from ES Technology, has been enhanced with the announcement of a new selection of frame styles and materials. Univet products cover both laser and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) applications, and the addition of these new products compliments the range of frame styles, colours and lens shades available.

Wire EDM Machine Tools for Precision Toolmakers

Agiecharmilles has launched its next-generation range of wire EDM machine tools, which are suited for precision toolmakers and manufacturers of precision parts. There are three models in the new range - the Cut 200, Cut 300 and Cut 400. These new Swiss-designed and built machines replace Agiecharmilles' range of Cleancut wire EDM machines, first introduced in 2002/3. All machines have a top cutting speed up to 500mm2/min and are equipped with Agiecharmilles' Econotec technology, which allows manufacturers to reduce part cycle times by using large (and cheaper) 0.3mm-diameter wires for rough cutting.

Using larger-diameter wires not only results in faster cutting and a reduction in the number of passes required to produce a part, it also helps reduce consumable costs that have a direct impact on reducing the cost-per-part. The three machines are equipped with ICP (Integrated Collision Protection) on their X-, Y-, U- and V-axes, which allows users to achieve and maintain the mach…

Directional Antenna for Wimax and Wi-Fi Systems

LPRS has introduced the ARW-2400-2700-10 directional antenna for Wimax and Wi-Fi applications. Operating in the 2.4-2.7GHz frequency band, the ARW-2400-2700-10 antenna meets the existing requirements of wireless communications infrastructure and 3G communications operators, and is also designed to meet the needs of 4G systems as they become available from 2014. Major deployment of Wimax is set to roll out in the UK once Ofcom makes available the 2.6GHz spectrum.

Developments taking place in the Wimax 2.4-2.7GHz frequency band include systems intended to expand network capacity, lower operating costs, reduce energy consumption and increase connectivity by deploying a mesh of multi-frequency, multi-standard low-power communications devices that can be mounted on buildings, poles or wherever there is power and a broadband connection. The LPRS ARW-2400-2700-10 antenna has a frequency range of 2,400-2,700MHz, has an operating temperature range of -40 to 60C, measures 140 x 120 x 20mm and w…

Desktop Chassis Target High-End Hi-Fi Equipment

Hammond Electronics is offering two new ranges of desktop chassis for high-end hi-fi equipment, consumer-facing products where appearance is as important as function and retro-styled instrumentation. The HWCAS consists of a complete walnut frame fitted with aluminium top and optional base panels, available with either a black powder coat or natural finish. The 1444CWW and 1441CWW ranges are fabricated from aluminium or steel respectively, fitted with walnut end panels to the shorter sides.

The aluminium version has a natural finish; the steel has a black powder coat finish. The HWCAS is available in two sizes, either 330 x 254 x 76mm or 432 x 254 x 76mm. The chassis corners are of dovetailed construction, reinforced with corner posts fitted with brass inserts to take the panel fixings. The 2mm-thick top panel will support heavy components such as transformers without bowing. The 1444 and 1441CWW units come in six sizes ranging from 178 x 127 x 51mm to 432 x 254 x 102mm. The rigid chas…

VCO in S-Band for Fixed Wireless Applications

Z-Communications has launched an RoHS-compliant VCO (Voltage-Controlled Oscillator) model CRO2211B-LF in S-band for fixed wireless applications that require ultra-low phase noise performance. The CRO2211B-LF operates at 2,184-2,238MHz with a tuning voltage range of 0.5-4.5V DC. This VCO features a typical phase noise of -110dBc/Hz at 10KHz offset and a typical tuning sensitivity of 22MHz/V.

The CRO2211B-LF is designed to deliver a typical output power of 3dBm at 5V DC supply while drawing 22mA (typical) over the temperature range of -40 to 85C. This VCO features typical second harmonic suppression of -16dBc and comes in Z-Comm's standard MINI-16-SM package measuring 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.22in. It is available in tape-and-reel packaging for production requirements. The CRO2211B-LF is also suited for automated surface-mount assembly and reflow.

MCUs Enable LCD Implementation into Designs

PIC16LF190x MCUs enable the implementation of LCD into cost-sensitive designs, such as security tokens, smart cards, medical devices, home appliances, key fobs and other segmented LCD applications. Featuring Extreme Low Power (XLP) technology, with sleep currents down to 20nA and a typical active current of 35mA/MHz, the MCUs extend battery life, while maintaining accurate timing with a RTC and driving a segmented LCD. Incorporating Microchip's Enhanced Mid-range architecture, the PIC16LF190x range provides features and performance without incurring the cost of unused peripherals.

The optimised feature set integrates up to 14kB of Flash programme memory, up to 512 bytes of RAM and up to 14 10-bit Analogue-to-Digital Converter (ADC) channels, as well as serial communication and the capability to drive up to 116 LCD segments. The MCUs also feature XLP technology for extended battery life and capabilities such as an integrated temperature indicator to provide crystal-accuracy compens…

Simulators Support Battery-Operated Device Testing

Pickering Interfaces is expanding its range of PXI battery simulators with the introduction of the 41-753, a single-channel model designed to support the testing of battery-operated devices. The 41-753 provides a very fast responding adjustable power supply capable of providing voltages up to 6V and output currents up to 2.8A. The 3U PXI module has a programmable output resistance function that allows it to replicate the effect of batteries with a finite output resistance.

The 41-753 features a remote-sense connection and a very fast correction loop that allows the module to emulate the battery even at the end of the cable runs required to connect to the device under test. The module is fully isolated from ground. The fast correction loop means that the 41-753 can be used without having to add bulky decoupling capacitors in the device under test. It is particularly useful for the testing of mobile phones and PDAs.

Embedded PC for Space-Constrained Environments

Impulse has announced the launch of the ARK-3440, a fanless i5/i7 embedded PC that is suited for environments that require a compact and robust embedded PC. Available with both Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, it is supported by the Intel QM57 graphics chipset and a built-in full HD HDMI decoder. The powerful ARK-3440 supports up to 4GB of DDR3 memory with a clock speed of 1,066/1,333MHz. In addition, the ARK-3440 has multi-display support with CRT, DVI, HDMI 1.3 and optional 24-bit LVDS interfaces.

Communication options include 2 x 10/100/1,000Mbit Ethernet (with Wake-on-LAN support), 3 x COMs, 4 x USB2.0 and optional support for parallel and digital I/O. The ARK-3440's expansion capabilities include 1 x PCI and PCIe slot, and 2 x Mini PCIe. The ARK-3440 also has 2 x 2.5in SATA bays, allowing space for solid-state or mechanical storage. It also features a wide input voltage range: 9 to 34V DC, and is available with six programmable function keys (ARK-3440A only).

Hinge for Stainless-Steel Doors on in-line Suites

EMKA's 1110-U5-NPH hinge featuring a twin stainless casting with slide-in door fit is suited for stainless-steel doors on in-line suite arrangements. This could include offshore applications, outdoor situations or food and pharmaceutical plants. The slide-in door fit accommodates a 20mm return with increased strength and 180deg opening of cabinet doors. The integral earth terminal accommodates door-to-panel bonding while simplifying door removal if necessary. Part of EMKA's Program 1110 range, this quick-fit AISI 316 hinge incorporates an integral earth terminal.

Other stainless-steel enclosure hardware components include compression locks, spanner locks, wing locks and many other stainless-steel hinges - these are supported by some 500 extruded gasket profiles in EPDM, neoprene and PVC. EMKA's range of enclosure hardware includes electronic locking systems, stainless-steel hinges, spanner locks, wing handle/locks, 19in cabinet locks, HVAC locks and profile sealing strips …

Anders Releases Miniature System-on-Module Device

Anders Electronics has released a miniature system-on-module device for powering high-end feature phones, netbooks, digital TVs, printers and automotive infotainment systems, for example. The new Compulab CM-T3517 is based on the Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara AM3517/05 system-on-chip device and features the advanced Cortex-A8 ARM central processing unit (CPU). Suitable for high-visibility, space-constrained industrial and retail products such as shelf-edge advertising, kiosks, dispensing machines, ticketing machines or elevator controllers, the CM-T3517 provides a set of multimedia, connectivity and storage features on a credit-card-sized system-on-module device.

Leveraging the power and flexibility of the TI Sitara AM3517/05 system-on-chip device, which is based on the advanced Cortex-A8 ARM CPU, the CM-T3517 enables embedded systems to provide the usability and connectivity that users expect, while still being developer friendly. The CM-T3517 is offered with either a TI Sitara AM351…

Switchtec Offers High-Power PCB Terminal Block

Available from Switchtec, Euroclamp's MVP35 high-power PCB terminal block is suitable for photovoltaic applications and for high-voltage or high-amperage applications with ratings of 1,000V at 125A. Aimed at OEMs, CEMs, electronic manufacturers, PCB manufacturers and assemblers, the photovoltaic industry and those in building and automation, the terminals are suitable for use in photovoltaic products, high-voltage and high-current applications and any application that needs or uses large cables.

With the general move towards fully integrated PCB assemblies, manufacturers are requiring larger PCB terminal blocks for applications such as photovoltaic, which, owing to their nature, require terminal blocks capable of handling high voltages and high currents. Euroclamp designed the MVP35 terminal block to fulfil this requirement. The MVP35 is designed to accept 35mm2 (2AWG) stranded or rigid (solid) cable, or 2 x 10mm2 (2x8AWG) cables. The device has two basic designs: the standard MVP…

CMOS Logic Devices for Use in Consumer Electronics

Diodes Incorporated's new high-speed CMOS logic devices provide a drop-in replacement for industry-standard logic parts used in a range of consumer electronic products. Operating at 2 to 5.5V, the 74AHC1Gxx logic range is said to offer power-dissipation and switching-speed improvements over existing high-speed CMOS logic alternatives. The product range includes AND, NAND, OR, NOR, XOR, inversion and buffering functions, as well as Diodes' first unbuffered single inverter device.

All 10 logic functions are offered in SOT25 and SOT353 package options. As single-gate solutions, the devices provide the logic function at point-of-application, helping to simplify routing and optimising use of board space. Diodes' advanced high-speed CMOS logic range is a low-power alternative for system designs operating at between 3.3 and 5.5V. The devices' dynamic switching power has been reduced by optimising the output drive capability at +/-8mA, while still ensuring typical propagation …

Battery chargers for Li-Ion, Li-Polymer/Li-FePO4

Summit Microelectronics has introduced its fourth-generation programmable battery-charger integrated-circuit (IC) range for single-cell Li-Ion, Li-Polymer and Li-FePO4 battery packs. The SMB231, SMB232 and SMB233 integrate the largest feature set in the industry, including compatibility with all relevant industry standards: USB Battery Charging Revision 1.1, USB 2.0/USB3.0, JEITA Safety, IEEE1725 and Chinese USB Charging. All three products incorporate functionality that allows automatic matching between the AC/DC adaptor's current capability and the portable device's charging requirements.

Tiny packages and minimum external components allow for small board space and reduced solution cost. Like all Summit's solutions, digital, non-volatile programmability provides design and system flexibility at no additional cost. The SMB231/2/3 range of battery chargers is suited for a range of portable devices such as digital still cameras, mobile phones, digital camcorders, wireless h…

Yamaichi Electronics Offers LC Series Testing Jig

Yamaichi Electronics has launched the LC series operator-friendly testing jig, a reliable contact system that enables the customers to perform their product functionality test. The LC series was designed to ensure the performance of even more complex FPC subassemblies within a system. The challenges were the ultra-fine pitches down to 0.3mm and simultaneously dealing in parallel with the FPC production tolerances.

The LC series comes with specially designed contacts carrying out a micro wiping action and therefore ensures a stable and low contact resistance. Another feature is the elevator stage, which prevents the FPC pads from being damaged or scratched and protects the contacts during the FPC load/unload operation. The clothes-pin mechanism guarantees good reliability and easy-to-use operation. As an output option the customer can choose between discrete wiring, MIL standard, or FPC connector.

Single-Board Computer for Industrial Environments

The PCM-9343 ultra-low-power DM and P Vortex86DX 1GHz single-board computer is designed for regular and industrial environments. The PCM-9343 SBC is built with 100-per-cent solid capacitors, TG-150 PCB standard, soldered onboard memory and extended -40 to 85C temperature support. The PCM-9343 supports up to 512MB DDR2 memory and had a range of I/O capabilities including 2 x 10/100Base-T Ethernet, 4 x USB2.0, 4 COMs, 16 x GPIO, 1 x SATA, 2 x IDE and a PC/104 expansion socket.

The PCM-9343 is based on the x86 architecture yet consumes 4-6W of power. Compared with RISC-based platforms, the x86 architecture has extensive software-development support allowing for reduced development schedules and total cost. DM and P's Vortex86DX processor and SMI SM712 graphics chip platform with Floating Point Units (FPU) supports and runs most x86 designed applications. The PCM-9343 is designed in the 3.5in form factor and has a height of 24mm, including the heatsink, allowing for easy integration i…

Nexans to Design Umbilicals for Gygrid Development

Nexans is to manufacture the static and dynamic subsea umbilicals for the tieback system connecting the new Gygrid field development to the Njord A installation off the Norwegian continental shelf. The Gygrid field, discovered in November 2009, contains 23 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents (mostly crude). It will be tied back 20km south west to the Njord field. For the Gygrid development, Nexans will supply 19.5km of static umbilical that will serve hydraulic and power control functions.

Nexans is also supplying a 650m dynamic umbilical and a 700m gas lift/subsea isolation valve (GL/SSIV) dynamic umbilical to connect the static umbilical to the Njord A platform. Nexans will also supply a variety of accessories, including transition joints, termination work, connectors, repair joints and abandonment kit. The umbilicals will be designed and manufactured at Nexans' specialised umbilical facility in Halden, Norway. Delivery is scheduled for May 2012. The installation dept…

Imatek Installs Impact Tester at Research Facility

Imatek, a UK-based manufacturer of materials testing equipment, has installed an IM10 impact tester for automotive applications at the Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute (NMIRI) in Japan. The NMIRI is a research institute whose work is primarily focused on the automotive sector. The IM10T-20HV machine was supplied complete with Imatek's C3008 data acquisition system, second impact protection system (SIPS) and high-velocity and variable-mass system. The machine was also supplied with a removable temperature chamber for the pre-conditioning of specimens.

An electrical heating system and a liquid-nitrogen cooling system will enable specimens to be tested within the temperature range -70C to +180C. Imatek's IM10 range features laboratory-grade instrumentation, very rigid construction and high-quality software that provides detailed information, both graphical and tabular, for the specimen undergoing test. The IM10 range of impact testers is suitable for performing a ra…

Colour Cameras Suitable for Inspection Tasks

Available from Adept Electronic Solutions, the Teledyne Dalsa Falcon fast colour cameras are suitable for electronic PCB inspection, print inspection, fruit inspection and traffic applications. The new range has been supplemented by the release of four new Falcon colour cameras in the XDR and HG series, optimised for high dynamic range (XDR models) and high sensitivity (HG models), with resolutions from VGA to 4 megapixels and frame rates up to 300fps.

The Falcon XDR and HG series feature 120fps one-megapixel models and 300fps VGA models. Other benefits of the new cameras include their compact size (44mm cube), low power and Power Over Cameralink (PoCL) capacity, which reduces cabling requirements to a single mini-Cameralink connector. High-speed, smear-free imaging is ensured with the Falcon cameras.

To meet the need for imaging fast-moving objects without smear or distortion, Teledyne Dalsa offers true global shutter CMOS and interline transfer charge-coupled devices (CCDs), both te…

Misumi Releases Z-Axis Simplified Adjustment Unit

Misumi USA has launched a Z-axis simplified adjustment unit, suitable for the less demanding positioning and adjustment of jig fixtures, cameras, sensors and spray nozzles. The new unit (part number ZKB20) is a long-stroke, scaled-post, vertical-travel positioning device commonly used in manufacturing and assembly plants to make up-and-down height adjustments as needed in positioning devices.

The units can also be used for slotted-hole adjustments and setup changes. The new Z-axis simplified adjustment units provide secure clamping to prevent shaft rotation and they feature an easy-to-read scaled post and a rack-and-pinion feed mechanism that allows for fast, easy adjustments with a simple rotation of the handle. The result is more accurate alignment during setup and improved stability in maintaining the proper position during operation. Available in various lengths to accommodate travel distances ranging from 70mm to 170mm, the Z-axis simplified adjustment units are ruggedly construc…

M and P Launches Latest Vibration Testing Software

M and P has launched the latest version of its Vibcontrol Rev software, which is suitable for a range of vibration testing applications. Version 2.11 features a variety of improvements and additions, according to the company. For instance, in sine and random test modes, the user can now choose between online time data display and the normal frequency display for any input channel replacing external oscilloscope monitoring. Faster display updates also enhance this new feature.

In addition, the separate application architecture in Vibcontrol provides excellent user flexibility when wanting to multi-task between, for example, running a test while editing a new test or reporting on a previous run. For users who prefer an integrated single-task approach, the new auto-load and run toolbar button gives the option to directly execute the current test setup, further simplifying operation. Previously available in the Vibshockpulse utility, the user-defined pre- and post-compensation pulse selec…

Optically Clear Epoxy for Demanding Applications

Master Bond's new EP37-3FLF polymer system has been developed for demanding applications where flexible, impact-resistant bonds are required. This optically clear, two-component epoxy offers excellent resistance to cryogenic temperatures and severe thermal cycling, according to the company. Its low exotherm also makes it suitable for potting, encapsulating and casting, especially where wider cross-section thicknesses are specified. Its combination of properties allows it to cure without stressing delicate electronic components.

Serviceable over the wide range of 4K to 250F, the EP37-3FLF system cures at room temperature in two to three days or faster at elevated temperatures. This epoxy offers a non-critical 1:1 mix ratio by weight or volume and a low mixed viscosity of 1,400cps to 1,500cps. In addition, users can work with a 100g mass of the adhesive at room temperature for up to 90 minutes. The EP37-3FLF has a bond shear strength exceeding 2,000psi and a T-peel strength of 25pli…

PLM Experts to Present at ACE 2011 International

Aras has announced that a number of specialists in product lifecycle management (PLM) software will speak at the Aras Community Event (ACE) 2011 International on 26-28 April in Michigan, US. Speakers are as follows: Joe Barkai of IDC Manufacturing Insights; Peter Bilello of Cimdata; and Oleg Shilovitsky of Beyond PLM. The event, which is free to attend, will take place at the Henry (formerly the Ritz Carlton) in Dearborn, Michigan.

ACE 2011 International brings together business and IT professionals from around the world to network and collaborate with other members of the corporate community and gain insights to take their strategic PLM initiatives to the next level. Barkai, IDC's practice director of product lifecycle strategies, will discuss PLM for improved product lifecycle decisions; Cimdata president Bilello will outline the return on investment of PLM; and PLM blogger Shilovitsky will lead a panel discussion of what the future holds beyond PLM.

The three-day community even…

CMOS-Based Sensors Gain Environmental Approval

Sensirion, which produces humidity and temperature sensors, mass flow meters and controllers, gas and liquid flow sensors, as well as differential pressure sensors, has been certified to ISO 14001. This environmental standard certificate is a result of the sensor manufacturer's endeavours to improve the company's sustainability and to professionally manage all environmental aspects. The Swiss company states that reduction in energy consumption is an important goal.

For instance, a focal point in the construction of the new production building is minimisation of the energy demand. Emphasis is also given to the safe handling of chemicals, ensuring safety both for humans and for the environment. The replacement of hazardous substances by less harmful ones wherever possible is a standing goal. This includes, for example, the replacement of greenhouse gases with an environmentally friendly alternative in the sensors' calibration process.

Sensirion products are distinguished by …

Low-Current GSM/GPRS Modem for M2M Applications

Edevice has introduced Cellgo, a low-current GSM/GPRS modem for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. Cellgo enables power-constrained devices to connect to wireless cellular networks through a single cable used for both data and power. GSM/GPRS network connectivity, which is suitable for M2M data exchange, requires the supply of enough energy to cope with high consumption peaks of external cellular modems. Many devices are not able to supply such power, requiring the modem to be plugged into a dedicated power supply.

This constraint increases the upfront investment and makes the on-site installation process more complex since it requires an additional cable and power plug. With its internal super capacitor, Cellgo is said to ease such installation processes by eliminating the need for a dedicated power supply. Cellgo is an external modem enabling serial devices to connect to the GSM/GPRS network through a single cable grouping both data and power signals. The internal super capacito…

Aras Webcast to Focus on PLM Implementation

Product lifecycle management (PLM) software provider Aras has announced a webcast, entitled 'Transforming PLM for the Economic Recovery', to be held on 30 March 2011 at 11:00 Eastern US time. The webcast will focus on the new normal created by the global recession and slow recovery. Featured speakers include Jim Brown from Tech-Clarity and Chip Perry from Kalypso, who will discuss how organisations can transform their approach to PLM with smart, flexible solutions that anticipate changing needs and leverage the latest technologies.

Topics will include: Learn Best-In-Class PLM Industry Trends and What they Mean for Your Business; Discover the Advantages of Today's Practical Approaches to PLM Implementation; and Find Out How to Get Better PLM results Regardless of Your Implementation Status. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the report 'Transforming PLM for the Economic Recovery - Think Big, Start Small, Build Incrementally'.

When to Replace Worn Transmission Chain Sprockets

Renold Chain's David Turner provides advice on when worn transmission chain sprockets need to be replaced. Sprockets that have worn beyond a certain point will cause rapid chain wear and should be replaced as soon as possible, according to Turner. He added that there are a number of visual checks that should be carried out to determine this. Looking at the faces of the sprocket's teeth will give an indication of the amount of wear that has occurred.

This will be seen as a polished worn strip, about the pitch circle diameter, on each of the teeth. If the depth of the wear, X, has reached a value equal to 10 per cent of dimension Y, then the sprocket has reached the end of its life and needs to be replaced. Low-cost, poor-quality sprockets on most industrial applications are a false economy, said Turner. A good-quality sprocket should last through the life of several chains before there is significant wear. When changing sprockets, it is a good time to check the alignment of bot…

3D Mouse Support for Autodesk Revit 2012 Software

3Dconnexion has announced that Autodesk has added native 3D mouse support in Autodeskrevit Architecture 2012, Autodeskrevit Structure 2012 and Autodesk MEP 2012 software applications. The move is said to bring the full range of 3D mouse design benefits to Revit users. 3Dconnexion 3D mice are said to complement the intuitive interface and modelling and documentation tools in Revit software, helping to enhance every design workflow stage with increased productivity and comfort.

The company has also announced 3D mouse support in Autodesk Navisworks2012 software applications, bringing 3D mouse navigation benefits to model integration, review and analysis. 3D mice allow Revit and Navisworks users to pan, zoom and rotate simultaneously to deliver good navigation and intuitive control, helping to boost productivity and efficiency while enhancing user comfort. Revit offers a comprehensive level of support for 3Dconnexion's 3D mice, with an enhanced workflow at every step of the design pro…

Angular Rate Sensor Targets Interface Applications

VTI Technologies has announced that it has started volume production of the CMR3000, which is claimed to be the smallest and lowest-power-consuming digital output three-axis angular rate sensor. The CMR3000 is designed for user interface and game applications. The company's product manager, Pekka Kostiainen, explained that the sensor's low current consumption, sensitivity and small size make it suitable for consumer electronics manufacturers.

Kostiainen said: 'Due to gaming requirements, the measurement range is +/- 2,000dps with selectable measurement bandwidths. 'In the case of cell phones, the wafer-level package enables the smallest size of 3.1 x 4.2 x 0.8mm3 with digital SPI and I2C interfaces, which is a clear benefit,' Kostiainen added. The CMR3000's small device size and location of the I/Os enable designers to optionally accommodate another manufacturer's sensor on the same layout.

This is said to offer a solution to high-volume customers with seco…

3D Finite-Element Programs for Small Businesses

Field Precision has released a line of 3D finite-element programs aimed at small businesses and universities for applications such as electromagnetic fields, particle accelerators and X-ray imaging. The company's Basic packages run on 32- and 64-bit Windows computers. They include all the technical features of Field Precision's Professional packages with the exception of parallel processing.

Features of the Basic package include: low single-time purchase price; no continuing licence fees; free updates; a single-user licence includes activation on two computers with quick transfer when a computer is replaced; packages are easy to learn and run for a part-time user. Instruction manuals and ready-to-run application examples are included. Through efficient programming and the use of Fortran for critical mathematical routines, Field Precision programs achieve excellent speed, with solution times for practical applications ranging from a few minutes to less than an hour.

Field Preci…

Eaton UPS Protects Computers Against Power Surges

Eaton has launched the 3S, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that is designed to protect home computers and office equipment against common power quality problems. These include power failure, sags and surges. It also covers peripherals, such as printers, using a transformer. The compact, offline UPS is available with eight IEC sockets. The power ratings of the Eaton 3S have been upgraded from those of the Eaton 3105, to 550VA and 700VA.

The 3S also features data line protection and USB connectivity. Eaton said the 3S is easy to implement as it automatically integrates with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, so no drivers need to be installed. This ensures that the 3S works seamlessly with these operating systems' power management. A replaceable battery also helps to extend UPS service life. For advanced users, the 3S can also be monitored by Eaton's power management software.

Eaton Supplies Control Components for Digester

Electrical Manufactured Solutions (EMS) has selected control and automation components from Eaton's electrical sector for the control system on Mechline Developments' Waste2O food digester. The system's control system centres on a programmable relay from Eaton's easy range, which was selected, in part, for the 8A switching capacity of its outputs. This is complemented by an Eaton M-Max variable speed drive with a single-phase input and a three-phase output and an Eaton ESR4 safety relay that is used to monitor the machine's emergency stop circuits.

Resembling a top-loading washing machine, Mechline's Waste2O food digester is said to solve the problem faced by all restaurants and food-handling establishments of how to dispose of waste hygienically, inexpensively and with minimum environmental impact. Over the course of 24 hours, the digester converts up to 180kg of food waste into 'grey' water that can be easily and safely discharged into drain and sewer…

Autotech Expands its Robotic Simulation Services

Autotech Controls is expanding its range of robotic simulation services, for application in the automotive, airports, manufacturing, logistics and food and drink sectors. According to Autotech, it is the only UK controls firm to offer robotic simulation and will soon be the largest supplier of virtual manufacturing services among the UK's system integrators.

The Luton-based company has 15 years' experience in control design, installation and support. It provides services to blue-chip clients worldwide including BAE Systems, Bentley, Cadbury, Ford, Gate Gourmet, Jaguar Land Rover, Kellogg's and Procter and Gamble.

Halma Acquires Wagtech's Water Technology Division

Safety, health and sensor technology group Halma has acquired of the Water Technology Division of Wagtech International, on 1 March 2011, for a cash consideration of GBP3m. The acquisition, which is earnings enhancing, has been funded from Halma's existing cash and debt facilities. The acquired business will be merged with Palintest, based in Gateshead, UK, which is one of Halma's Water analysis businesses within our Health and Analysis sector.

Andrew Williams, Halma's chief executive, said: 'Wagtech Water Technology Division's range of water and environmental testing products fits closely with Palintest's existing activities and increases its presence within developing regions such as Africa and Asia where Wagtech has strong brand recognition.

The Advantages of Smaller Assembly Robots

Benchtop robots are capable of assembling modestly sized products and offer a cost-effective production tool for SMEs in manufacturing, says Peter Swanson, managing director at Intertronics. Small robots with footprints approximately A4 in size and working areas of 200 x 200mm have all the functionality of large machines. Bigger versions cover 800 x 600mm with a Z-axis of 200mm. They are robust, fit for shop-floor use and maintenance is relatively simple, often with internal computers and self-diagnostic protocols.

Typically, programming is via a simple teach pendant with prompted inputs and programmes are stored internally or kept on a computer. Software may be generic, allowing programmer control of functionality, or function specific, for a task such as dispensing. Customised software is more user friendly, with selectable point-to-point or continuous path motion. While two-axis machines are available, three-axis are the most popular, with full interpolation of lines, arcs and circ…