Friday, December 28, 2007

MotionMatch is a new sizing software package for servo drives and motors from Lenze-AC Tech. Company officials describe the combination of MotionMatch motor sizing software and MotionView drive configuration software as a powerful yet simple solution to motion control management. According to Darrow Hanesian, Director of Product Management at Lenze-ACTech: 'Sising a motor shouldn't be rocket science and neither should programming a servo drive'.

Hanesian reckons that Lenze -AC Tech's MotionMatch, used with the existing MotionView, takes all the guess work out of pairing a servo drive and a motor, plus the user can now configure the drive with infinite ease. 'Our application engineers often get asked about the right size motor for a customer's application; unfortunately, however, the question usually comes after some failure has occurred', says Hanesian.

Deb Kling, Lenze-ACTech Marketing Manager, agrees: 'With thousands of drive and motor combinations to choose from, it is no wonder that customers get frustrated with the selection process; with MotionMatch, all you need to do is enter your application requirements and the program will return the compatible servo drive/motor combinations'.

Hanesian and Kling say that Lenze-ACTech customers have been using MotionView to configure the PositionServo drive since the software's introduction in 2001. 'The success of MotionView lies in its intuitive windows-based menu and the ability to fully program the drive from a PC', says Hanesian. Kling calls the pairing of MotionMatch and MotionView 'a marriage made in machine heaven'.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Clear Resin Suits High-Quality Lenses

DSM Somos has released WaterClear Ultra, a highly clear, colourless stereolithography (SL) resin. In colour comparison testing, WaterClear Ultra has been shown to be the clearest SL resin available on the market today. Using a colourimeter, light transmission values were compared between WaterClear Ultra and various plastic samples, including a competitive polycarbonate-like SL resin and two commonly used clear engineering plastics: polycarbonate and acrylic.

Transmission data showed WaterClear Ultra closely mirrored the behaviour of the high-clarity acrylic and demonstrated higher clarity than the commercial grade polycarbonate sheet. 'Clear SL resins are in growing demand', says Somos Marketing Manager Eva Montgomery. 'Simply put, they translate into better looking prototype lenses, packaging materials,'. In the automotive sector, beta test feedback on WaterClear Ultra includes assessments that the resin's clarity resembles that of milled acrylic in both thin and thick sections.

Shawn Zindroski, President of Added Fabrication Studio Morpheus Prototypes, said 'In the past, clear SLA materials had a green or blue tint, or even appeared hazy'. 'Now, with WaterClear Ultra, not only do the parts come out of the SLA machine with phenomenal clarity and excellent side walls, but in secondary finishing WaterClear Ultra sands and takes automotive clear coats extremely well'. 'Also in the past, headlight lenses and inner lenses needed to be made out of milled acrylic, but with WaterClear Ultra we can now make them via the stereolithography process'.

'This reduces the turnaround time for my clients and opens the door for more clear part applications'. Martin Colombo, rapid prototyping Manager of Accelerated Technologies , states, 'WaterClear Ultra parts are so clear, they can be used right off the machine in many cases- saving finishing time and cost for my customers'.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sensor Detects Critical Leaks

Rechner have introduced the Leak 500 capacitive sensor for the detection of critical leaks. The sensor can be mounted, using the bracket if required, directly on to the base of a drip tray or to the floor of a cabinet and as soon as any liquid enters the field an output will be activated. The size of the sensor makes it ideal for containers and pipelines or for mounting in drip trays whether metal, glass or plastic.

The housing and the cable are made of PTFE, making the sensor suitable for the semiconductor and the chemical industries. The supply required is 10 to 35V DC and there are both PNP and NPN versions available. The housing has a height of 18.8mm and the gap between the active sensor face and the base over which the liquid is to be detected is 2.8mm.

The field of the sensor does not extend beyond the contained area below the active face, within the feet of the sensor. The Leak 500 is a simple way of providing an alarm to avoid the problems caused by leaks of critical liquids.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The MCR Hardwired Series Sola Constant Voltage Transformer provides excellent noise filtering and surge suppression to protect connected equipment from damage, degradation or misoperation.
  • VA Ratings: 120 to 15,000 VA. Input Voltage Range: +10/-20% of nominal

  • ±3% output voltage regulation

  • Acts as a step-up or step-down transformer

  • Galvanic isolation provides exceptional circuit protection

  • 25 year typical MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure)

  • Noise Isolation: 120 dB common mode; 60 dB normal mode

  • Surge Suppression: Up to 6,000 Volt surges

Monday, August 13, 2007

GPS Unit Synchronises Devices

Hima-Sella's HSD7000 Din Rail mounted GPS unit is capable of providing positional information and time synchronisation to external devices such as data recorders, PLCs and PCs. The unit is able to provide positional and speed data over an RS485 port (Modbus is available). This data can be transmitted over various media such as UHF radio, VHF radio, GSM and GPRS and can be used for tracking of vehicles such as locomotives, goods vehicles and mobile plant machinery.

GPS time data can be provided in two ways, namely over RS485 serial connections for communication with data recorders, PLCs, PCs and other computer based devices, or via a pulse at certain times, ensuring PLCs and data logging devices maintain an accurate time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ethernet Switches Offer Multiple Redundancy Levels

Ethernet Direct has released its dual homing technology in its industrial Ethernet switches. Ethernet Direct offers a broad range of industrial managed Ethernet products designed with multi-levels of redundancy to ensure a reliable and secured industrial network. Ethernet Direct offers X-Ring on Industrial managed Ethernet switches.

As a network expands by connecting many devices together, Ethernet redundancy becomes more critical to ensure nonstop connection. The X-Ring proprietary protocol incorporates both a coupling ring and dual homing.

When there is more than one X-Ring group set up in a network, the dual homing feature can ensure two X-Ring groups with redundant back up when connected to a backbone switch and can be enabled in the switches to allow for standby links to the upper level switch.

Dual homing provides an advanced redundancy network solution by connecting switches running in different redundant protocols such as the IEEE802.1w Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol and X-Ring to extend the network redundant coverage.

Ethernet Direct industrial managed switches can set back-up masters in X-Ring to ensure the most secure network. Redundancy is achieved by connecting two ports from two separate switches using the X-ring Ring protocol with two ports of managed switches using other redundancy protocol.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Diffusion Pump Offers Long-Term Performance

BOC Edwards has released the HT20B diffusion pump, for light and heavy-duty industrial applications. The robust HT20B diffusion pump provides consistent, long-term performance and users will benefit from the highest throughput of any comparably sized pump. The new pump gives a high pumping speed of up to 8000 litres a second and is ideal for processes involving large quantities of gases, such as furnaces and coaters.

The HT20B diffusion pump has a machined, cast aluminium interior for exceptional pumping stability and a stainless steel body to prevent corrosion and ensure process cleanliness.
It is simple to operate and requires minimum maintenance. The heaters and oil can be changed easily. The design of the interior and boiler assembly enables the pump's performance and ultimate vacuum to be maintained between oil changes.

It features a large sight glass to allow operators to easily check the oil level without disturbing the integrity of the vacuum system, whether the pump is running or not. It also has three power modes enabling the power consumption to be reduced when the pump is on standby or lightly loaded, and rapidly switched to full power for processing. As a result, users are able to reduce their running costs. 'We are delighted to be able to provide customers with a solution that meets their needs for a pump that has a low cost of ownership and is easily maintained', says John Skeates, Business Development Manager, BOC Edwards.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Panasonic offers a versatile line of counters and hour meters to meet just about any application need. Panel mount or PC board mounting are available. These products are of the highest quality and offer our customers an outstanding value. NAiS LH2H compact LCD hour meter features a big, 7 digit display, a ten year lithium battery built-in (replaceable), and conforms to IP 66 environmental durability.

Key Features:
 - No External Power Needed - Lithium battery built in, 10 year life (replaceable)
- Industry First, Bright, 2-Color Backlight - Green and Red
- Big, 7 Digit Display - 8.7mm tall digits
- Wide Measuring Time Range - 999999.9h/3999d23.9h - 999h59m59s/9999h59.9m
- Many Input Methods - Non-voltage, DC voltage, free vol.
- IP66 Environmental Durability
- Additional Color for Front Cover Available (Black)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Plate Accommodates Multiple Cable Entry

The latest wiring installation product from Buttkereit is the KEL-DPZ cable entry plate from the icotek range. This comprises a polyamide frame bonded to a moulded elastomer sealing plate which can accommodate multiple cable entry for a combination of cable sizes. These include 12 cables up to 5.6mm diameter, plus seven cables up to 9.7mm diameter and a further six cables up to 11.9mm diameter.

An installation time of only seconds is possible with these cable entry plates, saving considerable time on cabling up machine building projects, panel-mounted switchgear, the control systems for heating, ventilating and air-conditioning plant, and many other applications.

The KEL-DPZ unit is designed for use with a standardised cut-out for a 24-pole connector (35 x 112mm) and the elastomer plate incorporates a moulded-in circumferential seal for when it is bolted to a mounting surface.

All cable entry sealing features are pre-formed, with the first seal comprising a single membrane which is simply pierced to facilitate cable entry. The cable is then further pushed through a short sleeve, also moulded into the elastomer plate. This simple procedure, which does not require special tools, is quick and easy but results in a two-fold sealing of the cable to achieve an IP65 level of protection.

At the same time these seals also provide an automatic two-fold level of strain protection. Any number of the cable entry ports can be used, with unused entries kept in reserve without compromising the level of protection against dust and water.

The KEL-DPZ plate is 58 x 147mm in size but is only 10mm thick with a four-hole fixing. The elastomer sealing material is UL94V0, which is self extinguishing and free of halogen and silicone.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Video tutorial aids communication

Ethernet Direct has launched its video tutorial and training site. Ethernet Direct offers a comprehensive technical reference library of information specifically oriented to industrial Ethernet, with topics like Ethernet terms and how they relate to Industrial applications, network architectures and recommendations, industrial ethernet software tools and their value, common issues that are happening on the plant floor, important organisations and their function, sections to cover applications of Ethernet/IP, ProfInet, Foundation Field bus HSE, and Modbus TCP, and security on the plant.

Simplifying the terms and geared for control engineers, Ethernet Direct explains the technology required for the plant floor and industrial applications.
Users can apply for free membership in the Educational link area for advanced support presentations, videos, downloads, 'webinars' and other special features.
Understanding the terms and technology of Ethernet can be of great value as this communication becomes more common in a variety of Industrial applications.
The site is divided into major categories and helps answer frequently asked questions on a wide range of industrial Ethernet topics.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Flow sensors suit almost any pipe fitting

IFM Electronic's all-stainless steel SI5000 is the latest in a successful line of solid-state flow sensors. A major feature of the new range is a housing made of stainless steel in addition to wetted parts. The all-new SI5000 range uses IFM's calorimetric measuring principle, allowing the sensor to operates with no wear at all while providing high sensitivity and repeatability.

The measuring range covers 3-300cm/s for liquids and 200-3,000 cm/s for gases. Temperatures can vary between - 25 and 80C. It retains push-button setting of switch points and multicolour LEDs on the unit to indicate flow and switch points. Electronic locking of the settings and resetting the parameters to the factory setting provide additional safety. By using process adapters the sensors can be integrated in almost any pipe fitting. The unit is unaffected by the orientation of the sensing face with respect to the direction of flow, providing increased flexibility of installation.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The CUB5 provides the user the ultimate in flexibility, from its complete user programming to the optional relay output capability. The meter can be programmed as a single or dual counter with rate indication capability. The display can be toggled either manually or automatically between the selected displays. Red Lion CUB5 Series Display has 0.46″ (11.7 mm) high digits. The LCD is available in two versions, reflective (CUB5R000) and backlight (CUB5B000). The backlight version is user selectable for green or red backlighting with variable display intensity. The Red Lion Counter is programmable for one of eight different count modes, including bi-directional and quadrature. When programmed as a dual counter, each counter has a separate scale factor and decimal points. In the counter/rate indicator mode, each have their own scaling and decimal point read-outs in different engineering units.

The Red Lion Meter has two separate inputs which provide different functions depending on which operating mode is selected. Input A accepts the signal for the Count and/or Rate displays, while Input B accepts the signal for the Count display or direction control. In the anti-coincidence mode, both inputs are monitored simultaneously so that no counts are lost. The resulting display can be chosen as the sum or difference of the two inputs. The Rate Indicator has programmable low (minimum) and high (maximum) update times to provide optimal display response at any input frequency. There is a programmable user input that can be programmed to perform a variety of functions. The capability of the CUB5 can be easily expanded with the addition of an option module. Setpoint capability is field installable with the addition of the CUB5RLY0, relay output module. Serial communications capability for RS232 or RS485 is added with a serial option module. The CUB5 can be powered from an optional Red Lion Micro-Line/Sensor Power Supply (MLPS1000), which attaches directly to the back of a CUB5. The MLPS1 is powered from 85 to 250 VAC and provides up to 400 mA to drive the unit and sensors.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Condensate Drain Is Easy To Maintain

Bekomat 31/32 condensate drains just launched by Beko Technologies consist of only two parts. This design principle offers considerable advantages in terms of maintenance and economics. The devices of this new generation are made up of only two parts: a service unit comprising the corrosion-resistant aluminium housing together with all maintenance-relevant components, and an electronic control and sensor unit, which is installed only once.

Both parts are coupled via a practical snap connection. This design makes it possible to replace all parts subject to wear or requiring maintenance in one go: the old service unit is simply and quickly removed and a new, works-tested unit is fitted instead. The separation and connection of the two modules requires no tools - it's all done in next to no time.

The new service unit, which is pressure and performance tested at the manufacturer's facility, is ready for use. It does not need any additional electrical installation, and there are no seals or other parts to be mounted. With this plug-and-play principle, the maintenance of the Bekomat 31/32 devices achieves an optimum of cost effectiveness at minimum time expenditure. More than one million electronically level-regulated, sensor-controlled condensate drains from Beko are currently installed worldwide. With the new maintenance-optimised Bekomat 31/32 variants Beko aims to reach out even further. The Bekomat 31/32 join the current Bekomat range with capacities going up to 47kl/s.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Magnetic encoders keep track on the drag strip

In Stanley Kubrick's classic film Dr Strangelove Slim Pickens was dropped from the aeroplane riding a bomb. If he'd been riding a motorcycle then he would certainly have been astride a KTM nitro methane fuelled dragster built by Finland based Salakazi Racing. With almost 1500 horsepower from just 1995cm3, the KTM Dragster does the quarter mile in 6.7 seconds at a terminal velocity of 316km/h. Helping tame the KTM's (barely) controlled explosion is a brace of 'bomb proof' Renishaw RM22 compact, high-speed rotary magnetic encoders. Take a 360kg motorcycle with an absurd power output, a fearless, Finnish gentleman with a reputation for breaking speed records, and things happen quickly.

Within a split second, the engine screams to 7500rev/min. Before the spectator has a chance to comprehend what has transpired, the race is over and bike and rider are a quarter mille down the track, braking frantically. In motor racing terms, it doesn't get much simpler.
The objective is to traverse the straight line from A to B as quickly as possible. Jaska Salakari - the first Finn to break the seven-second barrier for the quarter-mile piloting the fastest Super Twin Top Fuel bike in the European Union, owns Salakazi Racing. Since 2000 his speed-obsessed six-man team, a combination of full- and part-timers, has been running a KTM Super twin powered dragster of its own design and construction. The 1995cc twin cylinder Nitroduke engine is fuelled with 95% nitro methane, gulping 1.1 litres per second of the volatile mix through a Salakazi-designed double fuel-pump.

It's about as close to a flying bomb as any earthbound vehicle could get. In drag racing, reaction times are measured in milliseconds and races are never won with a wildly spinning rear wheel.
All the horsepower in the world is useless unless effectively translated into rapid forward motion. For the pilot - or is that 'passenger'? - there's little or no time to think, let alone engage and slip a normal clutch. It's impossible for the rider to accurately determine the rate of engagement needed to provide optimal traction. Salakazi Racing has equipped its KTM dragster with an automatic Prowork three disc, four-stage clutch fitted with a Prowork digital controller.
The controller engages the clutch - according to how it has been pre-programmed - when the rider snaps open the throttle.

That's where the Renishaw RM22 encoders with their ability to monitor up to 30,000rev/min come into play. One of the tiny but critical devices monitors the position of the crankshaft in the engine, while the other measures the clutch speed. By comparing these values, clutch slippage, traction and road conditions can be determined with high precision. This data is highly coveted by the team and allows the technicians to properly adjust the first stage counterweights in the clutch before the race. Of course, track and bike conditions vary for every meeting, but the vital data collected and compiled by the Renishaw encoder after every run makes it possible to program the controller for as close to optimum clutch engagement as possible.

This provides maximum speed and acceleration with minimal wheel spin during the first few fractions of a second. Petri Makinen - Salakazi Racing's self-confessed 'technology guru' - is quick to point out that the Renishaw enabled solution is not the same as a traction control system. Primarily, he says, because the clutch is tuned by set values programmed into the controller before the race against the clock even begins. 'The Renishaw encoder isn't interactively controlling the clutch whilst underway', he explains: 'but the data it provides us with beforehand is critically important'. 'We couldn't obtain it - and couldn't preset the clutch - any other way'. 'We need to read the clutch speed even before the rear tyre completes the first full rotation, to make decisions for engaging the clutch, and the acceleration doesn't happen smoothly'. 'This problem has now been solved and proper filtration has been done to program code'.

'Next season, the Renishaw encoders will also be used to control the ignition advance and, in a couple of years, we are going to use the encoders to adjust cams'. Makinen uses the data to put the maximum engine power on the road and propel Salakari to speeds in excess of 300km/h in less time than it takes to read this paragraph. If past performance is anything to go by, it seems to be working. The Renishaw RM22 encoder is designed for trouble-free performance in the harshest environments but the Salikazi Racing Team has chosen one of the toughest of places to locate any piece of electronic equipment. Pointing to the end of the crankshaft on a partially disassembled engine Makinen smiles mischievously and says: 'This is where we put the Renishaw magnetic actuator'. 'We've located it directly on the end of the shaft'.

'The encoder body is on the other side, in the clutch housing'. 'I honestly think that only a space rocket would be a tougher environment for the encoder'. The RM22 is designed and manufactured by Renishaw's Slovenia-based partner company, RLS, and is immune to dirt and debris according to the IP68 standard. However, with a maximum operating temperature specified as 125C, Makinen elaborates on how the encoder survives the very high temperature inside the clutch. The secret, he says, is placing the encoder in the heavy, machined aluminium housing. 'With a diameter of only 22mm it was possible to locate the encoder in the clutch housing itself, without compromising the strength of the piece'. 'Clutches can explode', he says, as an aside.

'I've seen this happen a few times, so the clutch housing plays an important roll in rider safety'.
'If the encoder were bigger we'd have to re-engineer the solution'. The RM22 features a noncontact, two-part design, eliminating bearings or seals and allowing for rapid, easy installation and removal. 'After each race our mechanics cool the clutch and quickly remove the housing and the encoder', says Makinen. 'The heavy aluminium body shields the encoder from the heat during the race'. 'Before it ever gets a chance to heat up beyond specs, we've already got it back to the pit garage and removed it'. Once integrated into a complex machine such as a dragster motorcycle, any part or component is only as good as it is reliable. Makinen is emphatic in his praise for the Renishaw RM22, a diminutive but vital component, which has proved itself way beyond its published specification. 'Given the conditions, the reliability of the Renishaw encoders is amazing'. 'Without them, we could do nothing more than estimate vital engine and track information', he says. 'But guessing isn't good enough if you want to break records'.