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Showing posts from May, 2011

ESAB Introduces Manual Cutting Packages

ESAB has introduced two new models in its Powercut line of manual cutting packages. The lightweight portable Powercut 900 and 1600 packages are designed to make cutting easier and more economical due to design features that simplify operation, reduce setup time and enhance consumable life. The Powercut models are said to offer the highest speeds and thickness capabilities in their class, as well as high duty cycles. Through a combination of long parts life, high speeds and simple torch design, they give the lowest cost per metre of cut of any machine in their price class, claims ESAB.

The power source is contained within a durable, damage-resistant external housing that is also corrosion and weather resistant. The sensitive internal electronics are suspended from the aluminium frame and insulated from shock and vibration. Silicone-sealed switches are also immune to corrosion and dust/dirt infiltration. A quick-disconnect torch disconnects from the machine simply, allowing easy dismant…

Spherical Rod Ends Suit Aggressive Environments

Elesa's BJT series of M6 to M14 glass-reinforced technopolymer spherical rod ends are suitable for rotary, oscillating and linear movements, even in particularly aggressive environments. They can also be used where water or humidity, fine dusts, dirt, fabrics and machining residues are present. The shaft rotary movement can take place directly on the inner diameter of the spherical cap, made of self-lubricating materials - they are designed to require zero maintenance with low wear and to absorb vibration and stress while minimising noise.

They have high mechanical strength and low weight, while being corrosion resistant, even in aggressive industrial environments. The BJT series is maintenance free and especially good at compensating misaligned linkages and absorbing vibrations and transverse stresses with low noise. Applications are likely to include sensor mechanisms, gas struts, rod-control linkages, motion control - low-power movement transmission and pneumatic actuator syste…

Facom Introduces Roller Cabinets for Workshops

Facom has released a range of roller cabinets and top-chests featuring design features that are designed to challenge traditional and restrictive workshop storage facilities. The Jet+ roller cabinets are available in three widths with up to 11 drawer combinations and with built-in features to increase efficiency for workshop owners and mechanics.

Innovations include retractable edges to accommodate large objects, wheels that only require a 7kg force to move the unit, handles designed to counter slippery hands, fast tool access and soft bumpers to absorb shock and protect vehicles. Each unit can be custom configured with flexible numbers of drawers per cabinet and modular tool storage for each drawer. All of the work surfaces are made from 2mm-thick ribbed, pressed aluminium that is also reinforced with a 15mm wooden board for strength and durability.

Software Supports Injection-Moulding Objectives

The Como Datacenter Type 2829B is a proprietary software designed for use with the Kistler Como Injection system, helping to support zero-defect plastics injection-moulding manufacturing objectives. It is designed to streamline and simplify the data-collection operations of the Como Injection data-acquisition system, by allowing it to automate information flow during plastics injection-moulding production. The Como Datacenter features an intuitive interface and its own 4GB storage database, allowing the user to view, analyse and store product-manufacturing data.

It also offers real-time statistical analysis capabilities and the ability to output a clear and comprehensive status overview within a hectic production environment. If the database is required to be used without size restriction, software may also be installed and run with a full version of Microsoft SQL Server. Kistler Como Datacenter provides plastics injection-moulding manufacturing personnel, such as operations managers,…

Mail-Sorting System Implements PBC Linear Actuator

Recently, print-mail automation specialist Capstone designed its large-scale Autoviri mail sorting and packing system, which included a PBC Linear actuator, to perform a critical transfer task. After working through some initial design challenges, Capstone, with PBC Linear's support, was able to produce an efficiently automated system that processed 1,000,000 pieces of mail per shift without shutdown or manual intervention. The complete Autoviri packing system performed 99 per cent complete packing automation from beginning to end.

PBC Linear was contacted to provide a linear motion solution to transfer the mailing trays into the package-sleever. Capstone required a system that was robust, could operate at high speeds and could run 24/7 with virtually no maintenance upkeep. The linear motion system also had to fit into the already specified profile Ellison had specified. Based on the initial loading and motion-profile requirements, Ellison chose PBC Linear's MT series linear a…

Leisure Centre Pool Set to Save with ABB Drive

A leisure centre in Sittingbourne, Kent, is set to save GBP4,000 a year on the costs of air handling for its swimming pool following a trial with an ABB low-voltage AC drive. The Swallows Leisure Centre is operated on behalf of the local authority by Serco Leisure, which was concerned by the energy use of the air-handling unit (AHU) in the upper pool area. To deal with a condensation problem in the pool hall, this AHU was being run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no control over its output.

To improve this situation, Serco asked ABB Drives Alliance member Mid Kent Electrical (MKE) to investigate the application and determine any savings that could be made. To assess the application, MKE monitored the power being consumed by the existing 22kW supply fan in the AHU over a period of one week, revealing that the average power consumption of the fan during the period was slightly more than 19.5kW. The second stage of the trial involved replacing the star/delta starting system with a …

Sensor Enhances Reliability of Fluidic Systems

Sensirion has introduced the LG01 micro flow switch for ultra-low liquid flow rates and bubble detection in bio-medical and process control applications. The sensor is said to make fluidic systems more reliable by enabling the detection of liquid flow within the range of a few millilitres per minute and less. For such measurements, the sensor offers a response time of less than 100ms. Its output signal of either 0V or 5V indicates whether the current flow rate is above or below the specified flow switch level.

At continuous flow rates above this limit, the identification of air bubbles within the flow channel is equally consistent. Maximum flow rates are accepted up to 220ml/min. Fluidic connections can be made via 1/4-28 standard fittings, suitable for connecting plastic tubing with outer diameters of 1/8in (3.2mm) or 1/6in (1.6mm). Barb connector adapters are available as an alternative.

The small and light sensor is designed for integration into bio-medical applications and general…

Three-Way Sorting Capability for Food Processors

Key Technology has introduced a three-way sorting capability on its Manta automated sorter for the food industry. Featuring two ejector systems, three-way sorting allows food processors to automatically eject product that can be reworked and recovered separately from material sent to waste, typically foreign material (FM). Good product continues through the camera/laser sorter unaffected as usual. Key Technology said this capability allows processors to produce a high-quality finished product without losing recoverable off-grade product to the waste stream or requiring additional sorting expense to separately rework product.

Manta with three-way sorting is suitable for processors that want to remove foreign material as well as valuable off-grade product from their primary product. For these processors, traditional two-way sorters require the reject stream be re-sorted using manual inspection or a second automated sorting system to recover valuable off-grade product. Depending on the a…

Microfluidics Module Based on Comsol Multiphysics

Comsol, the maker of Comsol Multiphysics simulation software, has introduced the Microfluidics Module, offering easy-to-use tools for the study of microfluidic devices and rarefied gas flows. The Microfluidics Module is designed for researchers, engineers and experimentalists in the fields of microfluidics and vacuum science. Application areas include lab-on-chip devices, digital microfluidics, biosensors, electrokinetic and magnetokinetic devices, inkjet technology, and vacuum system design.

The module is accompanied by a suite of tutorial and industrially relevant models that serve as both instructional examples and as a foundation for future work. The Microfluidics Module includes interfaces for single-phase flow. With these interfaces, users can simulate applications such as compressible gas flows at low pressures, non-Newtonian flows (for example, blood flow), and laminar and creeping flows that typically occur in lab-on-chip systems. A particular strength in this module is it mo…

Subcon Event Focuses on Subcontract Manufacturing

The annual Subcon Show taking place on 7-9 June 2011 at the NEC, Birmingham, UK, is focused on the arena of subcontract manufacturing. The show features 250 suppliers of subcontracting services across all areas of manufacturing and visitors include 3,500 key specifiers and buyers from the manufacturing arena.

Highlights of the show include a Manufacturing Technology Zone, a Tooling Show and a free seminar programme featuring expert speakers, including presentations from Richard Noble OBE of the Bloodhound SSC team and Don Wales, holder of the world-speed record for a steam-powered car. Visitors can gain free admission with advance registration. Opening times are: Tuesday 7 June 2011, 0930-1630; Wednesday 8 June, 0930-1630; and Thursday 9 June 0930-1600. The show is organised by Centaur Exhibitions, part of Centaur Media.

Wedge-Locking Washer for Demanding Applications

Heico Fasteners UK is to showcase its Heico-Lock anti-vibration bolt securing system at the Subcon 2011 event. The high-quality wedge-locking washer is suitable for demanding bolt-fastening applications and meets the requirements of the DIN 25201-4 standard and DIN 65151 'Junker' vibration test. Heico-Lock wedge-locking washers positively lock fasteners using tension instead of friction.

The pre-assembled pair of washers have inclined clams on the inside and radial 'teeth' on the opposite sides. Tightening of the bolt leads to a gripping action of the teeth, thus seating the surfaces. Once in place, movement is only possible across the face of the cams. Working together, both sides of the locking washers combine into a fastening system that prevents loosening of joints by shock and vibration.

Material Storage/Retrieval Tower for Punch Presses

LVD has introduced a compact material storage and retrieval tower (CT-P) for Strippit turret punch presses, including Strippit V, VT, M and VX series models. The space-saving CT-P system is said to provide increased productivity by facilitating optimal material flow and unattended operation for uninterrupted punching.

The system provides full capabilities for loading, unloading and storage of raw material and finished parts, enabling automated production from stored raw material to stacked finished parts, as well as providing increased storage capacity. The CT-P unit facilitates unmanned, 'lights out' production in a compact cell environment. The tower is offered in two configurations: six-pallet and 10-pallet units. The system can handle workpieces as large as 2,500 x 1,225mm and sheet weights up to 90kg with a maximum load/unload pallet storage capacity of 2,500kg.

Separable Bearings for Wind Turbine Gearboxes

SKF has introduced its separable high-capacity cylindrical roller bearings to support high-speed shafts in wind turbine gearboxes. Equipment manufacturers can add advanced technology and increase system reliability by incorporating these bearings within gearboxes and turbine units, the company said. For wind farm owners and operators, the ability to reduce gearbox failures and turbine downtime can minimise operating and maintenance costs, helping to lower cost per kWh and increase profitability.

The separable high-capacity cylindrical roller bearings from SKF combine the advantages of conventional cylindrical roller bearings and SKF high-capacity cylindrical roller bearings. They are sized to match standard original bearings, yet feature extra rollers for increased load-carrying capacity. In addition, they offer the ability to separate the inner ring from the rest of the bearing components without the risk of the rollers becoming disengaged. Conventional bearings used to handle minima…

Trumpf Introduces Electric Punching Machine

The Trupunch 3000 electric punching machine from Trumpf offers efficient, skeleton-free punching made possible by powerful nesting software combined with the option to rotate parts and scrap. The result increases reliability in several areas, according to the company. For example, parts are cleanly separated from the skeleton, the operator no longer needs to remove leftover material from the table, and the machine automatically separates finished parts from the scrap. Production costs are also reduced in the region of 10 per cent because less material is required.

The Trupunch 3000 introduces Trumpf's electric punching head, which is said to bring several benefits. It is quieter in operation and uses little power in standby mode. When it is punching it is more energy efficient, using 2kW of power per hour less than its predecessor. The punching head is also more productive, according to Trumpf. Tools are rotated at higher speed giving more benefits - threads are formed quicker, fo…

Linear Technology Offers LTC3833 DC/DC Controller

Linear Technology has introduced the LTC3833, a high-frequency controlled on-time synchronous step-down DC/DC controller with differential output voltage sensing and clock synchronisation. The controlled on-time, valley current-mode architecture forces a very fast transient response by increasing its operating frequency during a transient event, allowing the LTC3833 to recover from a large load step in only a few cycles. Its 4.5 to 38V input range encompasses a variety of applications, including most intermediate bus voltages.

Strong onboard N-channel MOSFET gate drivers allow the use of high-power external MOSFETs for high load current, up to 25A in applications with output voltages ranging from 0.6 to 5.5V, making it suitable for point-of-load requirements. The LTC3833's differential amplifier provides true remote output voltage sensing of both the positive and negative terminals, enabling high-accuracy regulation independent of IR losses (up to +/-500mV) in trace runs, vias and…

1056 Hinges Provide 180 Degree Opening for Cabinets

Program 1056 hinges, now available from EMKA, provide 180deg opening with screw-on and lift-off features. This makes cabinet production much easier where frames and door panels are produced in different facilities - in addition fixing with EMKA 2D nuts greatly aids rapid door alignment. 1056 hinges feature stainless-steel hinge pins, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor equipment, and are stocked in a range of sizes from 40 x 40 up to 60 x 60mm.

The 1056 lift-off configuration matches the existing 1056 range, but is able to either complement existing installations or refit in order to confer the benefits of quick door removal for equipment access or refitting. 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 for enclosure sealing in natural rubber, EPDM, neoprene and PVC.

Cast Launches IP Cores for Image Scaling

New IP cores for image scaling, video deinterlacing and graphics acceleration are now available in Cast's Video and Image IP core product line. Cast offers a range of video and image compression IP, with cores for H.264, JPEG 2000 and five JPEG variations. The new processing cores handle functions typically required before or after compression or decompression, enabling Cast to offer a more complete video/image IP package to system-on-chip (SoC) designers.

The products just launched and now available for ASICs or FPGAs are: Polynomial, Frequency Domain and Anisotropic Image Scalers, to convert the original resolution of an image or video to that of the system's display. These image-scaler core choices help designers to optimise systems for applications ranging from very small mobile displays to ultra-high-resolution large screens. The Motion Adaptive Video Deinterlacer converts analogue television or 1,080i signals to non-interlaced, high-quality format for subsequent processi…

Custom Design Service Targets Displays with Icons

GPEG's custom design service is suited to manufacturing segmented displays with icons, such as energy metering, marine electronics, industrial instrumentation, consumer products and readout displays. Using vertically aligned LCD technology produces a display with a good contrast ratio and wide viewing angles. Typically, the contrast ratio is more than 800:1 with viewing angles of 80/-50deg up/down and -80/80deg left/right.

The manufacturing process does not require a traditional black mask, thus reducing the complexity of the display. Using a white LED backlight ensures a bright, sharp image with an extended operating temperature range of -20 to 80C. The displays also work well in direct sunlight. The standard display features a black and white image, however alternate colours can be produced using colour films or a different coloured LED backlight.

Thermal Imaging Cameras for Heavy Industrial Work

A series of thermal imaging cameras rugged enough for heavy industrial applications and compact enough for use in research and development and automation has been introduced by Land Instruments. The new Arc cameras have high-resolution radiometric imagers and field-of-view options that can view targets at any distance with high clarity. They operate over a wide temperature range (-20 to 1,000C).

Applications for the Arc Camera include: automation, process control, automotive, machine vision, waste management, coal hotspot detection, critical vessel monitoring, product testing, petrochemical, metals, plastics, packaging, paper, food, minerals and medical. Because temperature processing is performed by onboard software, the cameras do not need to be connected to a PC. Connection to a range of I/O modules by standard industrial Ethernet allows simple standalone operation.

The high-resolution thermal imager uses advanced focal plane array detector technology to produce high-accuracy tempe…

Kistler Launches Control-Room Electronics System

Kistler, a supplier of instrumentation for the dynamic measurement of pressure, force, torque and acceleration, has introduced the Type 9887A2 Control Room Electronics System 2000 to the US market. The Type 9887A2 is expressly designed for the processing of non-spinning signal outputs from Kistler Roadyn Type S625, S635, S650 and S6HT six-component wheel force systems within six-degree of freedom, test rig, spindle-coupled road simulator and other high-accuracy vehicle-durability testing applications.

The Kistler Type 9887A2 Control Room Electronics System 2000 is designed to meet the needs of analogue and digital vehicle test rigs and stands. The system offers clear, intuitive user menus, touch-screen operation, a sampling rate of 5kHz and 16-bit resolution for full vehicle testing and diagnostics. Individually measured analogue signals of the Kistler Type 9887A2 are instantly digitised, coded and passed onto control-system electronics via a connecting cable, transmitted with minimal…

Wind-Turbine Producer Purchases FiberSIM Software

Wind-turbine manufacturer Nordex has purchased FiberSIM software from Vistagy to streamline its entire design-to-manufacturing process for composite wind-turbine blades. Nordex is using FiberSIM to develop detailed ply designs, accurate flat patterns and manufacturing output, and complete documentation for the engineering release.

FiberSIM will enable Nordex to enhance the automation of its product-development process and optimise assembly glue gaps. Nordex also noted that FiberSIM is a 'powerful tool' for composite design and manufacturing when used within its Creo Elements/Pro (previously Pro/Engineer) CAD system. FiberSIM is fully integrated into the PTC Creo Elements/Pro, Dassault Systemes Catia and Siemens NX CAD systems.

Weatherproof Connectors for High-End Applications

Hylec-APL has been working with OEMs, installers and distributers in a number of industries to deliver weatherproof connection solutions to a range of high-profile applications. The Tee Family range of connectors, plugs and junction boxes allows installers to make quick connections, which are ingress protected to IP68. With a number of sizes and entry options, the range is proving suitable for many applications where connections need to be protected from harsh and wet environments.

The fully approved all-weather Teetube, Teebox and Teeplug are being promoted exclusively by Hylec-APL. The range offers IP68 protection with up to eight pole connection options (depending on product) and includes cable connectors, plug-and-socket connectors and junction boxes. The Tee products use dome-topped cable glands to provide very quick and secure connections without the need for specialised tools.

The Tee Family is suitable for many applications in a number of outdoor and industrial environments. P…

Small Brushless Servomotors Have High Peak Torque

Inmoco has extended its Exlar range of SLM brushless servomotors with a new 180mm frame size that offers users high levels of peak torque (69Nm) from the smallest package available. This performance is the result of T-LAM stator technology, which is employed across the SLM range, providing 35 to 70 per cent more torque and higher efficiency than conventional high-speed brushless servomotors with equivalent frame sizes.

The SLM servomotors are a range of motion products designed to offer the OEM good performance, quality and customisation possibilities. The torque performance and efficiency provided by the motors is the result of a design harnessing a combination of high-density Neodymium iron boron magnets and the limited heat-generation qualities inherent in the T-LAM segmented stator design. In particular, the elimination of end turns in the stator and the use of thermally conductive potting removes the parts most susceptible to failure in a traditional stator.

The design also benef…

NGV Project Utilises Mettler Toledo Systems

Leading the development of a distribution network of natural gas for vehicles (NGV) in Switzerland, Apex is providing consulting services, NGV refuelling equipment and maintenance services. For the planned verification and calibration of a refuelling station, Apex founder and general manager Ueli Oester relies on Mettler Toledo rugged high-accuracy instruments. One important service provided by Apex is the verification and calibration of dispensing systems to bring them in conformity with national weights and measures legislation.

The flow of gas dispensed to a car is measured using the Coriolis principle. Bringing the measurements of a mass flow meter in compliance with national and international standards requires a high-accuracy scale and a set of approved calibration weights. The Apex service trailer contains three gas bottles made of composite material, a KB60 scale and a Mettler Toledo IND429 display unit. Beginning with the verification process, the weights and measures officer…

DECo Wire Feed Throughs Assist Biomarker Research

Douglas Electrical Components (DECo) has developed customised wire feed throughs for a line of MALDI TOF mass spectrometers used in protein biomarker research. The wire feed throughs have been specially designed to supply power, controls and monitoring into the high-vacuum, high-voltage environment of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight (MALDI TOF) mass spectrometers.

Each unit requires six wire feed throughs supplying 30,000VDC, six additional wire feed throughs supplying 15,000VDC and 12 additional wire and coaxial feed throughs providing control of active elements and signal monitoring.

OPC Diagnostic Tool Repairs Security Issues

The OPC Training Institute has released OPC Rescue, a diagnostic tool designed for anyone in the automation industry who wants to effortlessly eliminate their communication issues. OPC Rescue enables end users to not only diagnose communication and security problems with their systems, but to also repair them instantly with the push of a button. DCOM configuration is taken care of by the program, allowing end users to focus entirely on their systems.

With no installation required, OPC Rescue may be used with any brand of OPC applications. According to the OPC Training Institute, the wizard-based interface makes it easy to diagnose and repair communications, configurations and security issues. The diagnostic tool also handles more advanced settings, such as OPC communication on specific TCP/IP ports, DCOM settings, Windows firewall configuration and so on. OPC Rescue's Snapshot function instantaneously provides an organised and comprehensive report of all settings affecting OPC com…

PCB Terminal Strips are Lever Operated

Wago's new 2706 series PCB terminal strips are designed to bring lever-operated terminations to compact electrical applications, such as inverters, power supplies and other field-wired applications. The tool-free operation of the 2706 series eliminates the speciality tools and torque specs required by traditional screw terminations. It has a UL/CSA 30A/300V rating and accommodation of conductors AWG 24-10.

Ranging from 2-12 poles, the 2706 series provides a lever for each pole. Lifting each opens a cage clamp spring pressure unit, which remains open for conveniently terminating multi-conductor cables into the terminal strip. Lowering the levers creates an audible click, signalling that the units are secured. The 2706 series resists the thermal-, vibration- and current-induced loosening common to screw-style terminations, thus eliminating preventive maintenance.

Pin spacing ranges from 7.5 to 12.5mm, with the 12.5mm variant achieving UL 600V certification. The 2706 series is availa…

Brochure Highlights Control Valve Enhancements

AMOT's new brochure details how the Model G three-way temperature control valve combines fast response and low pressure drop, for tighter temperature control, with a small envelope and pipe size. The temperature control valve's improved compactness is targeted to reduce installation times and lower installation costs.

AMOT claims its latest valve models offer a lighter and more compact port-configurable design that can be installed in any orientation, providing a direct replacement to the GEF- and GPD-type valves without any extra parts. The new electric actuator is designed to improve system robustness, safety and compatibility, while simplifying calibration.

Intertronics Launches UVA Spot-Curing System

Intertronics recently launched the Bluewave LED prime UVA high-intensity spot-curing system and a line of compatible adhesives from technology partners Dymax. The unit is claimed to offer many advantages over conventional spot-curing systems, including no consumable bulbs to change, no warm up, cool cures and constant intensity up to 50,000 hours. The Bluewave LED Prime UVA generates curing energy using high-intensity LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) and is believed to produce the highest power of any LED spot-curing lamp on the market.

This system delivers maximum curing energy output through a 5mm-diameter lightguide, with an adjustable output up to more than 15W/cm2. The relatively narrow frequency band produced by LEDs generates cooler curing temperatures for temperature-sensitive substrates and results in reduced power consumption. All of these features make the Bluewave LED Prime UVA suitable for manufacturers looking to embrace quality and throughput while complementing other '…

Inverter Drives Feature Protective Functions

In partnership with Invertek, Sontay has introduced two new inverter ranges designed to provide effective electrical energy savings in HVAC fan and pump applications. The two ID inverter drives can also be used to enhance efficiency in a variety of process operations. The ID-CT (standard inverters) and ID-VT (variable speed) drives are designed to be compact, robust, reliable and easy to use. Within pump applications, these drives can help ensure an evenly distributed workload for maximum productivity.

They feature an energy-saving sleep mode at low or zero flow conditions; an automatic dry-shutdown facility; and the capability to lower flow and maintain supply in the event of a burst pipe or leak. For air-handling equipment with valves, fans and dampers, these drives provide control through enabling easy frequency skipping, immediate broken-belt warning to reduce fan downtime and an alarm override mode, to keep the drive operating as long as possible if a fire breaks out in the build…

Gas Filter Sleeves Resist Mechanical Fatigue

Porvair Polypropylene Gas Filter (PPGF) sleeves are made from proprietary binder-free, polypropylene fibre filter media, designed to provide a highly permeable matrix with low resistance to gas flow. According to Porvair Filtration Group, the filtration efficiency of the PPGF sleeves has been extensively tested and confirmed to be fully compliant with the requirements of T-SP-E-13. This standard requires a gas filter to achieve 95 per cent efficiency at the required particle size stated.

The PPGF material has a gravimetric efficiency of 99.95 per cent when tested over a size range of 0.75 to 10 micron. PPFG filter sleeves are manufactured in a seamless circular method using a mandrill former, upon which the needling is performed. This process enables a filter media with a high void fraction of approximately 75 per cent to be produced, which provides the benefit of a high relative dirt capacity. Porvair claims the material's compressive nature enhances filtration because, as it nea…

Protomold Aids Design of Circuit Breakers

In a recent project to design a range of moulded-case circuit breakers, ABB SACE used Protomold, a Proto Labs service, to make various parts for the Formula and Tmax XT models. Protomold not only produces individual injection-moulded prototype parts, but can also supply relatively small batches of production injection-moulded parts faster than conventional suppliers. Proto Labs offers two services: Firstcut produces CNC precision-machined one-off and low-volume prototype components, while Protomold provides rapid injection-moulded parts in batches from 10 to 10,000 in number.

Both operations employ powerful computers and proprietary software to help designers optimise a part for production, meaning that even customers with absolutely no manufacturing experience can still use Protoquote, the company's online automated ordering system. The Protomold online ordering process is available in five European languages, including Italian, and is designed to be straightforward and easy to …

Tool Monitors SF6 Insulation in High-Voltage Tools

Vaisala has introduced its Multiparameter Transmitter DPT145 for the online monitoring of SF6 insulation in high-voltage equipment. The DPT145 combines online dew point monitoring with pressure measurement, enabling assessment of the condition of SF6 insulation continuously and in real time. Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) is used as an insulating gas in transmission and distribution equipment such as switchgears and circuit breakers to prevent arcing during switch offs and to protect equipment from failures.

The direct normalised pressure measurement of the Vaisala DPT145 detects leakages immediately, while online dew point measurement provides early warning on moisture issues, which affect the insulating properties of the gas and cause rapid deterioration. The Vaisala DPT145 is capable of providing online monitoring of seven different parameters at once. It measures dew point, pressure and temperature directly, and provides calculated values for density, normalised pressure, dew point in…

Beko Discusses Evolution of Compressed-Air Systems

Beko Technologies discusses the evolution of compressed air and how it is generated and treated. 35 years ago, the salesperson selling compressed-air generation and treatment equipment had very few tools at his disposal. Many systems were oversized because there was no low-cost means of deciding the size of the system, so educated guesswork was used. The only scientific way to determine component sizes was to note all equipment consuming compressed air and then observe the cycles or take a usage factor - if using a drill it is unlikely that the drill would be in constant use as the hole would normally be drilled to insert a screw or bolt.

Even doing this usually led to a calculation that would oversize a system. Filter manufacturers were still focusing on sterile air and process filters rather than compressed air. Dryer manufacturers were making fridge dryers with no great attention to power consumption or pressure drop and desiccant dryers were selected on capital cost rather than ru…

Baldor Offers Same-Day Gearbox-Assembly Service

Baldor has enhanced its fast-turnaround gearbox-assembly operation, which now has access to a large extensively equipped machine shop, to the point where it can provide same-day build service. Capable of building custom-configured power-transmission products within hours of order placement, the UK-based assembly line can produce high-efficiency gearboxes and gearmotors in a range of models and sizes from the Dodge Quantis range. The Quantis product line is also directly interchangeable with most other leading gearmotor products for ease of replacement.

Dodge Quantis gearboxes and gearmotors are based on a modular design concept to facilitate the implementation of custom configurations. Baldor stocks all the components needed to assemble Dodge Quantis in-line helical (ILH) and right-angle helical bevel (RHB) speed reducers and gearmotors, in any case size from 38 to 108. The range includes the Quantis Gold gearmotor, which is based on an IE3 Premium Efficiency motor. Quantis ILH series…

Barrier Membrane Resists More Than 100 Chemicals

Saint-Gobain has launched the Coretech barrier membrane technology platform, which enables the engineering of versatile and lightweight chemical- and biological-protective composites. Coretech barrier membranes are designed to improve product performance and cost-effectiveness. The technology has been demonstrated in a range of applications, such as Onesuit Pro hazmat suits, which offer maximum protection against the permeation of chemical and biological substances in both liquid and vapour form.

Coretech barrier membranes are made by combining different polymers, elastomers and woven and non-woven substrates to achieve combinations of properties that will reliably deliver the required performance levels. Each Coretech barrier membrane has been engineered to deliver permeation resistance to more than 100 chemicals, including biological and chemical warfare agents. According to Saint-Gobain, other benefits include durability and robustness, non-combustibility and fire resistance, as we…

Driver and MOSFET Devices for Graphics Cards

Fairchild Semiconductor's Generation II XS DrMOS (Integrated Driver and MOSFET) devices are designed to offer high efficiency and power density, to enable designers to meet specific design needs. Generation II XS DrMOS devices, available in a 6 x 6mm clip PQFN package, are claimed to feature higher system efficiency than comparable devices, with 91.5 per cent heavy-load efficiency at 12V in, 1V out and 25A, as well as 94 per cent peak efficiency.

Generation II XS DrMOS can be operated at a 2MHz switching frequency and have up to 50A of current-handling capability. These features make it suitable for applications such as blade servers, high-performance gaming motherboards, high-performance notebooks, graphics cards and high-current DC/DC point-of-load (POL) converters. Devices in the range offer a 5 and 3.3V Tristate level to match the Intel 4.0 DrMOS specification and are compatible with a variety of PWM controllers on the market. The Generation II XS DrMOS range is claimed to red…

DC/DC LED Drivers Feature Low Ripple and Noise

Aimtec's AMLB-Z is its new line of step-up DC/DC LED drivers in a 2 x 1 package that is designed to incorporate all the functionality required by the most demanding luminary applications. With a wide (4:1) input range of 9-36VDC that steps down to an output voltage range of 14-48VDC, it produces constant output currents that range from 150 to 700mA. Ripple and noise as low 350mV p-p eliminates the need for additional components, which in turn supports product minimisation of the end application.

These modular solutions feature remote on/off function and continuous short-circuit protection, as well as adjustable PWM and analogue dimming functions to ensure the consistent and constant brightness of the LEDs they drive. RoHS-compliant, the AMLB-Z series of DC/DC LED drivers begins at prices of USD13.73, with samples available from stock. The drivers can be ordered through any of Aimtec's franchised distributors.

Rectifiers Offer Speed and Weight Improvements

Campbell Collins, a supplier of power supplies, capacitors and hi-rel power semiconductors, has introduced a new range of hyperfast, soft recovery, nanospeed and nanosize rectifiers from SSDI. The 1A, 9-nanosecond SHF1100 and SHF1150 series offer voltage ratings of 100 and 150V respectively. With its void-free glass ceramic package, this series of rectifiers provides a more rugged construction than similar 1N6642 rectifiers.

In addition to its faster recovery time, the SHF1150 is also lighter than 1N5806 rectifiers. Both the SHF1100 and SHF1150 are offered either in an axial leaded package or a surface-mount square tab package for ease of manufacture, and utilise high-temperature metallurgical category 1 bonds and solid silver leads. Designed for high-efficiency applications, the devices offer forward voltages of 0.5-0.975V (dependant on load) and have an operating temperature range of -65 to +175C.

Together with the demonstrated radiation tolerance of these devices, tested up to 200k…

MOSFET Suits Use in Battery-Powered Devices

Toshiba Electronics Europe (TEE) has expanded its SSM series of small-signal MOSFETS with the SSM3K333R, whose low loss characteristics make it suitable for power management in portable applications. Using Toshiba's latest, seventh generation n-channel process technology, the SSM3K333R MOSFET is optimised for standard voltage-switching requirements. It exhibits maximum ON resistance (RDS[ON]) values of only 42 and 28 ohms with switching voltages of 4.5 and 10V, respectively.

As well as having low resistance values that enable the low-loss operation essential for battery-operated equipment, the SSM3K333R is specified for a maximum drain-source voltage (VDSS) of 30V. As a result, the device is also compatible with many industrial power-management applications. Another improvement is the new SOT-23F package, which is claimed to offer lower thermal resistance against comparable package sizes. This improvement leads to a maximum DC current rating of 6A and a drain power dissipation cap…

DC/DC Converters Suit Use in Transportation

Power Sources Unlimited has introduced the Traco Power TEN 40N series of 40W DC/DC converters, with wide 4:1 and 2:1 input voltage ranges in a 1 x 2 x 0.4in package with industry-standard footprint. Input voltages of up to 75VDC, excellent EMC characteristics and EN 50155 approval make this product suitable for many demanding applications in railroad and transportation systems. Further standard features include Remote On/Off, over-voltage protection, under-voltage lockout and short-circuit protection.

Low-input current characteristics at minimal load make these converters suitable for battery-operated systems too. Typical applications are in wireless networks, telecom/datacom, industry control systems and measurement equipment. The operating temperature range is -40 to +71C. There is an additional standard option, TEN-HS4, which includes heat sink. Deliveries range from stock to 6-8 weeks and are targeted to be competitively priced.

Illuminated Switches Suit Use in Medical Devices

C and K Components has developed the Illuminated Tactile Switch (ITS) series, which are available in both vertical and right-angle configurations and suitable for a wide range of applications. Possible applications include consumer electronics, server/storage, medical devices, test/measurement/instrumentation, audio/video, computers and peripherals, appliances, security and network infrastructure. The switches are available in many different single LED colours and bi-colour options that are independent from the switching function.

The ITS series features a dome contact that provides crisp tactile feedback to positively indicate circuit transfer and to assure high reliability and long life of up to 100,000 operations. The advanced ITS series design employs insert-moulded terminals to lock out flux, solvents and other contaminants used with automated soldering processes. In addition, the ITS series can be customised to meet application requirements, with custom caps and legends availabl…

Ethernet Hybrid Switch Provides Large Bandwidth

Kontron has introduced the 3U OpenVPX PCI Express and Ethernet hybrid switch VX3905, which is designed to deliver extremely high transfer rates in centralised VPX and OpenVPX platforms. With up to 4 x 6 Gen1/Gen2 PCIe backplane ports for the data plane, it is claimed to provide ten times the I/O bandwidth found in systems deploying today and to pave the way for a new generation of high-performance embedded computing (HPEC) applications.

OEMs will benefit from flexible OpenVPX system designs, which enable application-specific configurations through centralised COTS backplanes. Owing to the open configurability of the Kontron VX3905, system developers can minimise development time and cost for specific system designs while enabling the reuse of these designs for other applications. The Kontron 3U OpenVPX PCI Express and Ethernet hybrid switch VX3905 is compliant with the OpenVPX VITA65 switch slot profile SLT3-SWH-6F6U-14.4. It provides up to 24 PCI Express Gen 1/Gen 2 ports for up to 3…

Pneumatic Timers are Small and Lightweight

TME has introduced a range of pneumatic time relays from Crouzet, with time ranges of 0.1 to 30 seconds and NO or NC outputs, in which voltage is replaced with pneumatic pressure/technical air. Time value setting is done by an embedded potentiometer that ensures an accuracy of +/-5 per cent. Models available include the Crouzet 81503540, with positive NC output and the time of 0.4sec; Crouzet 81506540, with negative NO output and the time of 04sec; Crouzet 81503710, with positive NC output and the time of 0.1 to 15sec; Crouzet 81506710, with negative NO output and the time of 0.1 to 15s; Crouzet 81503720, with positive NC output and the time of 0.1-30sec; and Crouzet 81506720, with negative NO output and the time of 0.1 to 30s.

The two first models have fixed time ranges without the possibility of adjustment, while the other models allow adjustment of time delay within the given ranges. Each model features nominal working pressure of 2-8 bar; 170Nl/min flow at 6 bar pressure; minimum …

Pneumatic Modules are Colour Coded

TME has introduced the Crouzet 815 series of pneumatic modules, of which there are modules for performing basic logic functions of AND, OR, NOT and YES; modules for memory; and modules for mounting. The Crouzet 81521501 performs the OR function; the Crouzet 81522501 the AND function; the Crouzet 81501025 the YES function; the Crouzet 81503025 the YES function; the Crouzet 81504025 the NOT function; the Crouzet 81506025 the NOT function; the Crouzet 81523501 and Crouzet 81523601 act as memory; and the Crouzet 81532104 and Crouzet 81532102 are mounting bases.

All these elements have M4 process connections; a working pressure range of 2-8 bar; 170Nl/min flow at 6 bar pressure; operation temperature range of -5 to 50C; and mechanical durability for 10 million cycles. Every Crouzet module, depending on the performed function, has its own casing colour. This is useful for replacing a damaged module or designing a new pneumatic system.

Short switchover times of about 25-29ms and the presence…

Pneumatic Microswitches Have Long Operating Life

TME has introduced pneumatic microswitches from Crouzet, which, due to lack of electromagnetic contact, are claimed to be longer lasting and more dependable than standard electric microswitches. The Crouzet 81290501 has no configuration and is normally open. The Crouzet 81290001 with NC configuration and is normally closed. These pneumatic elements measure 30 x 16.5 x 10.7mm; have a nominal operating pressure of 2 bar; pressure force used for switching at 6 bar of less than 50g; operation temperature range from -10 to 60C; and 170Nl/min flow at the pressure of 4 bar.

Capable of working with both air and inert gases, the microswitches have mechanical durability at the pressure of 6 bar, lasting up to around 10 million cycles; a response time of less than 15ms; connections 2 x 2.7mm; and a weight of 8.5g. There are two types of actuators/levers available for the above microswitches. These are Crouzet79215741, a 25.4mm-long straight lever; and Crouzet70507529, the same equipped with a ro…

Electronic Pressure Switch Features an LED Display

TME is offering the Wika PSD-30 series of electronic pressure switches, which are suitable for use in machine casings, pneumatic co-operating equipment, hydraulic appliances, pumps and compressors. There are six models of the PSD-30 available, with various signal-output configurations. PSD-30-10-N has a pressure range of 1-9 bar and two NPN transistor outputs. PSD-30-10-PA has a pressure range of 1-9 bar, one PNP transistor output and one 14-20mA analogue output. PSD-30-25-N has a pressure range of 1-24 bar and two NPN transistor outputs.

PSD-30-25-PA has a pressure range of 1-24 bar, one PNP transistor output and one 14-20mA analogue output. PSD-30-100-N has a pressure range of 0-100 bar and two NPN transistor outputs. PSD-30-100-PA has a pressure range 0-100 bar, one PNP transistor output and one 14-20mA analogue output. The PSD-30 switches are characterised by a number of features. These include a three-key keyboard; a navigation menu designed to be easy to use; flexible installati…

IC Suits Use in Data Loggers and Medical Equipment

Now available from TME, the MCP2200 integrated circuit (IC) from Microchip is designed to be used as a converter between USB and UART communication protocols. This chip makes it easier to implement USB protocol support into existing platforms, without needing to redesign them. The MCP2200 IC co-operates with microcontrollers equipped in a UART interface. Microchip also offers an evaluation board, the MCP2200EV-VCP, free libraries and a configuration tool for PCs running Windows.

The MCP2200EV-VCP evaluation board can also be treated as a ready-made, out-of-the-box system that reduces the time needed for introducing USB support into existing platforms, as it does not require in-depth knowledge about the product's specifications. The MCP2200 IC is additionally equipped in 256B of EEPROM and in eight general-purpose input/output lines (GPIO) that can be freely configured by the user.

The converter is available in three types of cases. Possible applications for the MCP2200 circuit inc…

True Wastewater Pump Energy Costs Revealed

During a speech at the Pump Centre Conference 2011, Stefan Abelin from Flygt urged end users to do more to understand true pump efficiency in actual field conditions. Extensive measurements in the field have shown that end users' actual energy costs are often increased by as much as 30 per cent for on-off pump operation in wastewater, compared to clean water pumping. The costs are even higher for pumps with long duty cycles or those in continuous duty operation. Little effort is being spent on measuring and understanding true pump efficiency.

There is a general lack of awareness of the key issues involved in efficient pump operations in the wastewater industry and an over reliance on minimum pump through-let size as a criterion for equipment selection. The pump industry has not yet taken on the task of developing test procedures for wastewater pumps that reflect 'real world' duty. Today the end user is left to assume that the same pump efficiency will be delivered in the a…

Ishida to Supply Poultry Processing Plant

The Meyn-Ishida alliance has won a contract for the delivery and installation of a complete wall-to-wall poultry processing plant adjacent to an existing factory for Wipasz in Poland. Wipasz, a Polish animal feed supplier, first diversified into poultry processing in 2010 with the acquisition of a 5,000-birds-per-hour facility. The first task of Meyn-Ishida will be to replace the existing live bird arrival system and to upgrade the current bulk pack operation with weighing and tray packing capabilities to enable it to produce a more sophisticated range of products.

The next step will be to deliver and install Meyn-Ishida equipment for a new to build processing plant. Both steps will be accomplished during 2011-2013. Meyn-Ishida combines the poultry processing expertise of Meyn with the weighing, packing and end-of-line knowledge of Ishida to offer a full range of integrated systems and equipment. The alliance has already been awarded several international contracts, including fully in…

Genevac System Improves ASE Workflow

Genevac has launched the Flip-Flop system, designed to improve post-Accelerated Solvent Extraction (ASE) concentration and preparation of samples. Using the double-ended Flip-Flop tube, samples can be collected directly from a Dionex ASE system. A Samplegenie adaptor with GC vial is then fitted. The tube is flipped over and placed into the Puck sample holder in a Genevac Rocket Evaporator and the cap removed.

The samples are then concentrated directly into a GC autosampler vial. The Genevac Rocket Evaporator enables rapid concentration or evaporation of up to 18 Dionex ASE vials simultaneously. In addition, using Genevac's proprietary Samplegenie technology in conjunction with the Rocket Evaporator enables samples to be concentrated directly into an autosampler or storage vial, eliminating the need for manual sample transfer.

According to Genevac, addition of the new Flip-Flop system completes the automation of transfers from ASE vials. Using this procedure eliminates manual trans…

Porvair Offers Wide Range of Reservoir Trays

Porvair Sciences offers a range of disposable reservoir trays designed for simple integration into any automated liquid handling system. Reservoirs are available in options for accommodating a single liquid or with partitioned space for several liquids. Moulded from high-purity polypropylene, each Porvair reservoir tray is claimed to offer high resistance to heat, as well as to most organic solvents, acids and bases.

When pipetting precious reagents it is advantageous to reduce the waste or dead volume in the reservoir. Incorporating a low plate profile and a novel 'pyramid bottom' design, Porvair reservoir trays provide easy access to all liquid contents, as well as ensuring a low reagent dead volume for 96- and 384-well filling applications.

The pyramid bottom design provides the facility for both low-volume and bulk transfer. With a wide choice of working configurations, as well as liquid volumes, an optimised reservoir plate is now available to suit liquid handling applica…

Heavy-Duty Joystick Controller for Arduous Tasks

Penny and Giles, a designer and manufacturer of position sensors, solenoids and joystick controllers, has introduced a heavy-duty, single-axis joystick controller to its JC6000 product range. It is designed to provide a higher-strength, return-to-centre joystick for use in arduous conditions or applications such as wheeled loaders and heavy plant machinery, where high across-axis loads can be an issue. The increased strength of the heavy-duty JC6000 has been achieved by redesigning the body casting, which the company claims has increased across-axis fatigue life by a factor of five.

This heavy-duty version will also use a new gaiter, designed specifically to accommodate the increased strength of the body casting. It is intended to be used as an alternative to existing single-axis, spring-return joystick controllers, as both versions share the same panel-mounting detail. The new JC6000 heavy-duty joystick controller is available with long-life potentiometer track sensors with auxiliary…

Flir Offers Guide on Thermography

Flir Systems has created a guide to thermal imaging, including a grounding in industrial and building science infrared, which is available for free as both a download and a hard copy 48-page book. The publication's content takes the reader through the design of a thermal imaging camera, how it works and why the technology is so important in a world focussed on thermal efficiency and minimising energy loss.

It offers an overview of typical applications and guidance on choosing the right camera supplier. Subsequent chapters explore the science behind thermography in industrial and building applications and how to identify the camera features that best suit the task. It also has a large section on thermal inspection and how to achieve the best results.

Point-and-Shoot CCD Camera Images Transient Events

The T-Cam from Specialised Imaging is a scientific CCD camera designed to enable high-resolution imaging of transient events. It is able to capture images of transient events at up to an 11-megapixel resolution. The ability to operate at shutter speeds faster than 1us eliminates motion blur. This, together with high optical sensitivity across a 12-bit dynamic range, enables the T-Cam to provide high image quality.

The T-Cam is equipped with two trigger inputs that are capable of accepting trigger signals from almost any conceivable source. The SI Sure-shot velocity triggering system is also incorporated for use where this is appropriate. The Sure-shot system takes an input from two spatially separated detectors, allowing the camera to calculate the correct exposure timing, irrespective of the subject's velocity.

Two independent customer-programmable pulse outputs are also included in the T-Cam to allow control of external lighting or other instruments. Combining robust, compact de…

Microstepping Drives Target Motion-Control Systems

Mclennan Servo Supplies has launched a range of microstepping drives from Applied Motion Products. The flexible STAC5 series features advanced algorithms for extended dynamic performance and flexible motion-control options including a choice of step and direction, PC or PLC host control and full-featured multitasking programmable control. The compact panel-mount STAC5 series is designed for straightforward integration into motion-control systems with direct-online power at nominal voltages of 120 and 220V AC with a maximum of 5A per phase to suit 23- and 34-frame NEMA stepper motors.

A 100Mbit Ethernet communication port is included to configure the drive with self test and auto setup, as well as support streaming of individual commands or full program upload and download. An encoder feedback option is also available that provides position verification and combines with a stall-detection and stall-prevention feature that allows selectable levels of position maintenance. The STAC5 has …