Friday, October 24, 2008

MVTec Updates Halcon Software

MVTec will release version 9.0 of its Halcon software in January. Halcon v.9.0 offers valuable speedups, especially for automatic operator parallelisation, which distribute the processing to the available cores. This technique has been updated to increase the benefit of multi-core computers. Halcon 9.0 also provides new matching technologies. In the future, it will be possible to find 2D objects such as labels or work pieces with a corresponding structure, even in images with strong perspective distortions. Version 9.0 allows large images of more than 32k x 32k pixels to be processed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cluma Constructs Gantry For Waste Disposal System

Cluma Engineering, as integrator of hoisting products under the trademark Verlinde, has constructed a travelling gantry to handle the containers of the Dilsen-Stokkem city waste disposal system. The Dilsen-Stokkem waste drop-off centre will be opened to the public in September 2008 About 10 containers, one per type of waste material, will be made available to individuals and professionals.

These storage containers are located in two ditches next to the road. The gantry, delivered and installed by Cluma Engineering, is used to handle them and place them on the trucks that will then carry them to the processing centre. The gantry-type bridge is equipped with two electric Eurobloc VT3 cable hoists from Verlinde, each with a 12.5-tonne capacity. It is radio-controlled and can make translations of 28m laterally and more than 40m longitudinally.

To avoid the risk of pulling out the electric supply when the trucks pass under, and for visitors' safety, the customer wanted no cables on the ground. Cluma Engineering integrated an electric power unit directly on the bridge gantry, which is entirely integral with the travelling gantry and supplies it with electricity autonomously, with no wire link to the ground. Cluma also provided the container prehensile spreaders.

Friday, October 17, 2008



Contrinex, the Swiss sensor manufacturer, has introduced a range of safety light curtains. Known as Safetinex, the modular design allows fully tested systems to be delivered on a very short time scale. Contrinex safety light curtains correspond to safety Category 4 (EN/ISO 13849-1) and Type 4 (EN/IEC 61496 -1 and -2) and are designed to be used wherever risks cannot be eliminated through machine design. A person or any part of the body entering a danger zone is detected by the light curtain, resulting in immediate machine stoppage.

Safetinex light curtains consist of a sender and a receiver unit that demarcate the protection zone around the machine. The range comprises models with resolutions of 14mm for finger protection and 30mm for hand protection, with a maximum protective field width of 3.5m and 12m respectively. The maximum protective height is either 1685mm (14mm resolution) or 1822mm (30mm resolution).

The signal processing method used in the Contrinex system ensures fast response times and maximum safety for machine operators. All Safetinex models offer a choice between two operating channels to avoid any likelihood of cross-talk between adjacent pairs of safety barriers.

Connection is via an M12 or M26 connector, short cable (pigtail) with M12 connector or PUR pre-cabled, up to 10m long. In addition, the product range includes a Category 4 safety relay that can be configured for manual or automatic restart. Additional accessories include mounting brackets, which enable full angular adjustment, and T-bolts that fit into slots along each side of the barrier housing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

TraceParts Improves Brand Visibility For SNR

SNR is a manufacturer of bearings in France and develops parts for the industrial marketplace, automobiles and for the aerospace sector. The company has five production sites in France and six in other locations around the world. Its recent merger with Japanese company NTN was aimed at situating the new group NTN SNR to be ranked third in the world of bearing suppliers. Selecting a bearing is not only the result of simple geometric criteria. In addition, many parameters come into play such as speed, force, or conditions of utilisation.

In the mid-1990s, SNR decided to develop a configuring CD-ROM, called ICAT, in order to help its clients define the appropriate equipment with clear criteria. Axel Rocher, marketing manager for the industrial markets at SNR, explains the objectives of this configurator: 'ICAT made it possible to select a bearing from our line using a certain number of formula fields. 'Customers could define geometric specifications and various technical constraints linked to the bearing's operational environment. 'ICAT also made it possible to find one of our products by simply inputting a competitor's reference number.

'But, in addition, we wanted to propose a graphic display of the bearing to users of this CD-ROM, and we lacked the expertise for that.' In order to attain this last objective and to generate a 2D electronic design for the selected equipment, SNR called upon Trace Software Group. 'This initial development is at the origin of the ongoing active partnership between SNR and TraceParts,' said Axel Rocher. 'The team at Trace Software Group and the tools it implemented responded perfectly to our expectations.

'The company did not yet have the desire, and probably did not even have the idea, to become one of the main players as supplier to industrial component libraries. 'When this strategy was confirmed, and TraceParts was created, the partnership with SNR was naturally reinforced because generating our bearings in 3D in all CAD formats was a complementary service that we wanted to bring to our customers.' The ICAT CD-ROM still exists today but the majority of users of SNR bearings go online to make selections.

On the SNR website, a complete set of choices can be found that leads to a rapid selection of components and the generation of the part in the TraceParts environment. At the end of the selection, the site also proposes calculation utilities that permit, for example, to evaluate the life span of the bearing, to determine the factor of static security, or to describe the lubrication process that is advised for this specific part.

'TraceParts has been able to partner with SNR while respecting our choices. 'The presence of our equipment product line in an online library is an important addition to our public presence and fits perfectly within the NTN SNR group's geographic growth strategy. 'It actually improves the visibility of our brand and our products in Europe and beyond,' said Rocher.

Friday, October 10, 2008

PVL Offers MFS Plastics Level Switches

Pressure Vacuum Level is offering Riko's MFS plastics level switches. The switches have a gland at the cable entry point to prevent the ingress of moisture. A fitting enables a plastic tube to be fitted over the gland, enabling the level switch to meet the requirements of IP65. Each switch can be configured for normally open (NO) or normally closed (NC) contacts by removing and reversing the float.

Riko MFS level switches are compact, lightweight and need little maintenance. All wetted parts are white polypropylene or black nitrile, plastics that are not-conductive and are resistant to chemical attack and to the growth of bacteria and algae when used in float-switch applications. The precision plated reed switch contacts are sealed in an inert gas to prevent arcing.

All Riko MFS level switches have unsinkable foamed floats, of nitrile (Buna-N) in the case of the nitrile models, and are available with straight or tapered threads, in versions for 1/8, 1/4 or 1/2in, with types for top or side entry. The polypropylene models are ideal for applications in water and water-based solutions, as polypropylene does not support the growth of bacteria. Black nitrile models are best for oils, hydrocarbons and other liquids with a low specific gravity.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Bottle-Filling Plants Rely On Penko's Accuracy

Penko's high-precision weighing systems can measure every drop in a filled bottle and ensure every bottle is filled perfectly. Rotating filling machines can handle bottles that vary in capacity and weight, with up to 400 bottles a minute being filled while the machine is rotating. Filling any vessel at such a velocity requires constant weight monitoring to ensure no liquid is lost.

Makers of rotating filling machines rely on the accuracy of Penko's controllers. In typical filling machines, the Penko system checks weight, inputs and outputs every millisecond for maximum accuracy and to achieve the lowest standard deviation. For optimum results, weight and rotating forces have to be corrected while the bottles are in flight.

Each bottle's weight is initially checked, then the bottle is filled in three phases, pre-fill, coarse and fine, before the bottle leaves the carousel after having its end weight checked. Only precisely-filled bottles get capped.

Incorrect bottles are rejected. If an irregular or damaged bottle is detected, filling is halted. Penko's systems eliminate the need for additional weighing checks. Everything is handled by the filling controller. The entire installation is certified to industry health standards.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Spur Gears Feature Hub Fastening System

A series of Modules 0.5, 0.8 and 1 spur gears from Quality Transmission Components features the Fairloc integral hub fastening system that eliminates marred shafts. These 20deg pressure angle precision gears conform to JIS N8 Grade standards The SUS303 stainless steel gears are identified as the SUSL Series. The Fairloc integral hub fastener is suitable where phase adjustment, timing, position adjustment and frequent removal of the component are factors in the specific application.

In addition, Fairloc offers full component support along the entire hub section. These gears are compact, self-contained and offer a small gear hub envelope. They are designed to fit shafts ranging from 4mm to 10mm in diameter and are stocked with face widths ranging from 5mm to 8mm. Sizes range from 14 to 120 teeth. The Fairloc system consists of two slots that are machined into the hub, one orientated radially the other angularly, to create a transverse wedge that remains attached to the solid portion of the hub on one side.

The resultant cantilevered clamping section has a tapped hole to accept a cap screw that passes through a clearance hole in the solid portion of the hub, and into a threaded hole in the transverse wedge section. As the socket head cap screw is tightened the cantilevered section clamps the shaft securely. The screw can be tightened and released repeatedly without marring the shaft or affecting its torque transmitting abilities.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Parvalux Motors Have Integrated Electronics

Twelve months after the launch of its range of its DC brushless motors, Parvalux has strengthened its offering with a selection of motors with Integrated Electronics (IE). Both the PBL42 and PBL60 square frame ranges now come with optional integrated speed controllers. This offers product designers the advantage of the motor and controller coming in one low-profile, compact unit with no interconnecting wires, thereby making the task of design, installation and maintenance much easier

To coincide with the release of the IE models, Parvalux has published a new catalogue for the entire DC brushless range. In addition to the wider selection of motor and controller options, the 2009 catalogue highlights 36 recommended gearmotor combinations, as well as add-ons, extras and other customisation options.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Tentec Releases Hydraulic Bolt Tensioning Tools

Tentec has brought out the Aero Model WTF range of hydraulic bolt tensioning tools for wind turbines, with 25mm piston/ram capability for one-pull uninterrupted tensioning. These tools can be supplied to suit different thread forms, such as Williams and Dyson threaded bars and ISO metric and Imperial Unified Thread forms. As the amount of thread protruding can vary between turbines, the tensioning tool has been designed to work in two different ways.

When there is long stud protrusion from the foundation hexagon nut, a spare nut can be used on top of the Aero WTF tensioner, whereas with a short stud protrusion, an extended length puller can be used. This reaches down inside the tensioner to grip on to the short stud protrusion.

Other features include the gear nut run-down mechanism, which offers a rapid and consistent method to seat the foundation hexagon nuts during the tensioning procedure. All WTF tensioners are fitted with a spring mechanism that automatically resets the tensioner once the pressure has been released to zero. The Model WTF is then automatically ready to tension the next bolt. This speeds up turbine construction. No operator intervention is required.

All Aero WTF tensioners have been designed for use with Structural Hexagon Nuts to DIN 6915 and more conventional nuts to DIN 934. WTF is also designed for nuts that use washers to DIN 6916 and DIN 125. For added versatility, multiple Aero WTF tensioners can be linked together with high pressure flexible link hoses to give simultaneous bolt loading. All suitable hoses and connections are available from Tentec.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Viscometer Checks Food Product Viscosity

Recognising the value of reliable viscosity measurement, a major manufacturer of spreadable cream cheese chose the XL7 on-line viscometer from Hydramotion. Installed in minutes, the XL7 was able to give production staff the data they needed right from the start 'We had tested other online viscometers but always had problems because of the stickiness of the cheese, which had previously caused errors in the measurements,' said an engineer. The XL7 has a clean-in-place, solid-rod sensor with a crevice-free, all-welded 316 stainless steel construction.

The technology of the instrument deters material adhesion to the sensor, which can be mounted in any orientation and in any location using any size or type of fitting, including sanitary types such as quick-release tri-clamp, RJT, IDF or DIN. The company has gone on to adopt the same technology for other dairy products such as mayonnaise and salad dressings. 'The results have been very positive,' added the engineer.

'We can stop the line immediately if the emulsion breaks and we can set tolerance limits so that operators are warned if product viscosity goes out of spec.' Factory-calibrated to certified viscosity standards traceable to NIST, the XL7 needs no on-site calibration and has no moving parts.

Friday, September 26, 2008

AMCI Unveils Stepper Motor Indexer/Driver

AMCI (Advanced Micro Controls) has introduced the 6A SD17060E stepper motor indexer/driver designed for Allen-Bradley's Ethernet IP industrial network.
This integrated stepper indexer/driver saves money and simplifies installation by eliminating the need for a separate controller in the PLC Microstepping, programmable current output, and anti-resonance circuitry are all standard features
To add stepper axes, users simply attach another SD17060E to their Ethernet IP network.

Besides connectivity to Allen Bradley's network, the AMCI SD17060E has many features that set it apart from conventional stepper motor drivers. Such features include anti-resonance circuitry that eliminates motor shaft jitter, unwanted vibration and stalling. It also uses vari-step velocity control, providing exceptional smoothness and performance, independent of the user's configured resolution.

Smoothness is guaranteed even at the lowest resolutions. Mechanically, a narrow and compact design saves space, while versatile mounting options allow for panel or side installation. Customers who want their stepper motor to follow an encoder will value the SD17060E's electronic gearing feature.

Electronic gear ratios are programmable, making it easy and affordable to reconfigure applications. Standard AMCI safeguards also remain, including an interlock connection to prevent injury if the motor connector is removed while the driver is powered. Additional safety measures include short-circuit protection - phase-to-phase and phase-to-ground - and over-temperature circuitry.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sherborne Sensors Releases Linear Accelerometers

Sherborne Sensors has launched the A545 range of highly accurate and robust multi-axis linear accelerometers. They measure vector acceleration and are available in either bi- or tri-axial variants. Highly accurate piezo-resistive strain gauge technology is used which, unlike fluid-damped devices, employs air damping so that accuracy remains essentially independent of temperature. The transducer is engineered for harsh environments and is packaged in a robust aluminium alloy housing incorporating positive mechanical stops that confer high shock resistance and overload protection.

It is also fully compensated for the effects of temperature on both sensitivity and zero outputs. Typical applications include biomechanical investigations, data acquisition systems and more severe uses such as crash test, impact, shock and vibration analysis. Acceleration ranges are from +/- 2 to +/-500g and for customers with specific applications, the accelerometers can be supplied with different acceleration ranges in each axis, for example +/-2g in the X axis and +/-5g in the Y axis. Designed for operation from a DC power source, the accelerometer is suitable for DC and AC acceleration applications and has a wide-range useable frequency response from DC to several kHz.

Friday, September 19, 2008



TURCK Inc. announces the new C12 interfacer™ relay featured in the new "RELECO by TURCK" catalog. The 2-pole changeover contact relay is used for linking PC or PLC logic to machine operation. C12 interfacer relays offer numerous advantages over conventional block, modular terminal strip or socket I/O products that require hours of wiring and potential downtime if a relay fails or needs to be replaced.

The C12 interfacer provides a modular solution with a universal socket to allow both input and output relays with various voltages to be positioned on a DIN rail and replaced individually as needed. The relays also feature a built-in surge suppressor that eliminates the need to specify separate relays for AC and DC applications.

C12 interfacer relays are industrial grade plug-in relays with rugged blade terminals that won’t easily bend or break and feature push-to-test and pull-to-lock latches for trouble-free testing. Further, the relay’s face label includes its electrical configuration, voltage range and wiring diagram to facilitate maintenance ease and efficient control systems. The relay also features a dual status indicator that contains both an LED pilot light and a mechanical flag to indicate output at a glance.

In addition to the C12 interfacer relay, the "RELECO by TURCK" catalog features new CSS relays used for either AC or DC inductive and resistive load switching. The durable CSS-DC relays are ideal when switching up to 50 VDC in heating elements, motors, solenoids or input/output signals on PLCs. CSS-AC relays were designed for use in switching resistors, incandescent lamps and signaling applications.
Wisetools Adds Loops Module To Inview v5.5

Wisetools has added a loops module to Inview v5.5, allowing users to search for loops at the area or unit levels by loop name, measured variable, loop number, equipment number or PandID number. The loops report displays loops in a tree format and expands to display associated tags. In addition, documents are available for those loops and tags that have data, for example loop drawings, loop notes, datasheets, datasheet notes, alarms and trips, index attached documents, calculations, calibration values, hook-ups, I/O assignments, process data and calibration values.

Inview is a comprehensive, web-based viewer for SPI/Intools users, plant maintenance and project managers. Inview has simple built-in searches, filters and customisable views/prints of: specs/datasheets, process data, panel strip reports, index attached documents, calculations, hookups, alarms and trips, I/O assignments and the loops module.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rapid Electronics Launches Enclosures

Rapid Electronics has launched a range of DIN rail-mountable ABS enclosures from Fibox, hand-held and wall-mounted enclosures from Pactec, and modular keyfob cases from Evatron. The Fibox Tempo range is fitted with an easy-to-install hinge, available with grey or clear lids, and IP65-rated RoHS-compliant and halogen-free, all Fibox enclosures are supplied with PUR gasket, screws for mounting plate and DIN rail, polyamide cover- screws and plastic hinges.

Mounting plates, DIN rails, hinges, wall-mounting lugs and covers are all available separately. The XP series from Pactec is a range of hand-held enclosures for keypads, testers and other hand-held applications. Made of ABS-94HB polycarbonate material, the enclosures are secured by recessed screws and available in black or PC bone.

Also from Pactec is a range of IP67-rated wall-mounted enclosures, suitable for harsh outdoor environments or indoor industrial applications, such as wireless communication systems, wall-mount lighting controls, security systems and test equipment.

Friday, September 12, 2008

BEI Kimco Magnetics Releases Product Brochure

BEI Kimco Magnetics, a company of Custom Sensors & Technologies, has recently released a product brochure highlighting its brushless DC motors and drives. The brochure provides a brief overview of each of these product lines as well as matrix detailing product specifications and associated part numbers. Also included is a synopsis of BEI Kimco Magnetics' manufacturing and quality standards and market position.

For the brushless DC motors, customers can determine part number requirement based upon the following criteria: peak torque (Nm); continuous stall torque (Nm); maximum speed (rpm); motor constant; rotor length; diameter (mm); axial length (mm); and weight (g).

For drives, the order criteria include: supply voltage (VDC); nominal current; max; current; and input. For linear actuators, customers can determine part number requirement based upon the following criteria: peak force (N); continuous stall force (N); total stroke (mm); actuator constant, OD/width (mm); and length (@mid-stroke) (mm).

For rotary actuators, part numbers are determined using the following criteria: peak force (Nm); continuous stall force (Nm); total excursion angle (degrees); actuator constant; width (mm); and height (mm).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beko Extends Range With Owamat 11

Beko Technologies has extended its range of oil water separators with the launch of Owamat 11. Owamat 11 can be used on compressors up to 230 m3/hr capacity - around double that of the existing Owamat 10, which remains in the line-up It offers a cost-effective solution for condensate treatment in one of the most popular compressor size ranges. Owamat 11 is structurally similar to Owamat 10, with the additional feature of a filter warning indicator.

It is also possible to fit a heating system Owamat 11, as with all its larger stable mates. Owamat is an oil-water separation system for dispersed condensates. Benefits of the new range include smaller footprint, greater separation efficiency, and the ability to treat some synthetic oils. Separation in the new Owamat range is achieved by the Oekosorb filtration material.

Owamat 10 and 11 are suited for integration into portable equipment, and for mounting onto compressor packages due to the wall/floor brackets supplied with the product. A conical filter cartridge ensures that condensate bypass is not possible, assuring the user of clean discharge. Owamat 11 is available from Beko UK from 1 September.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Lithium-ion Batteries Set For PV System Trials

A new Franco-German project is dedicated to the development of a new concept in energy conversion and storage for grid connected photovoltaic systems. Saft, Conergy and Tenesol have announced the launch of Solion, a Franco-German project dedicated to the development of a new concept in energy conversion and storage for grid connected photovoltaic (PV) systems. The objective of the Solion partnership is to develop an integrated energy kit able to be produced on an industrial scale for decentralised on-grid, residential PV systems.

This project will introduce large lithium-ion batteries into PV systems on the largest scale ever tested in Europe. Lithium-ion technology is required in order to meet the need for 20 years' battery life in demanding environmental conditions. The 75 systems will be deployed in Germany and France. These trials will validate the performance of the system, its economic viability, the added value of energy storage in an on-grid PV system and the benefits for stakeholders.

Storage will enable solar energy to be "time shifted" to periods of peak demand or when there is no sun in order to allow self consumption or grid support. Today, grid-connected PV systems, without energy storage, are directly fed in. The project will demonstrate the major benefits of storing energy generated from PV to the environment and to all stakeholders.

Solion has been recognised by the Eureka/Eurogia and Tenerrdis programmes, and is supported by the French Ministry of Economy Finance and Employment (DGE) and the German Ministry of Environment (BMU). A German utility (E-ON), three German research institutes (ISEA, ISET and ZSW) and one French research institute (INES -CEA) are associated with this project.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sensors Measure Up To 30 Positions In One

Multiposition measurement is available for all sensors with a fieldbus interface, and CANbus and Profibus sensors are able to measure up to 30 positions simultaneously. MTS Temposonics noncontact position sensors can now measure up to 30 positions along a common axis using only one sensor Depending on the number of measuring points, an appropriate number of position magnets that all generate an individual signal travel along the sensor housing simultaneously.

Each magnet is firmly assigned to a mobile machine part. Simultaneous detection of several positions permits considerable savings compared with conventional displacement sensors and rotary encoders. Due to a decreased number of position measurement systems and the compact construction of the Temposonics sensor, the costs of displacement measurement and space requirements are reduced. Multiposition measurement is available for all sensors with a fieldbus interface, whereby CANbus and Profibus sensors are able to measure up to 30 positions simultaneously.

The version with EtherCAT output provides measurement of up to 20 positions in one cycle in the asynchronous mode, or five positions and five velocities during the synchronous mode (distributed clock). For high flexibility of operation, the sensors are available as profile or rod-shaped versions, with detached electronics or with flexible sensing element. With a linearity better than +/-0.01% full-scale, and a repeatability of better than +/-0.001% full-scale, measurement lengths up to 20m are available.

The field of application for multiposition measurement includes mainly quick, precise adjustment of the cutting width, eg in the paper, ceramics, metal, textile or wood industry. Each cutting tool has its own position magnet on the sensor that is mounted in parallel to the motion axis and travels independently. The advantages of multiposition measurement are also unbeatable when materials handling, plastics machinery or construction monitoring are concerned.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wire Processing Kit Targets Railway Sector

The new Nova range of wire processing equipment has been designed especially for the manufacture of wire harnesses for the locomotive and rolling stock industry. Wire processing specialist Spectrum Technologies is set to make a major move into the locomotive and rolling stock (LRS) sector. Using the InnoTrans 2008 show in Berlin as a platform the company will be introducing its new Nova range of wire processing equipment designed especially for the manufacture of wire harnesses for the locomotive and rolling stock industry.

Nova is a modular range of wire processing products based on Spectrum's successful new Nova platform recently introduced to the aerospace industry. Nova wire processing systems incorporate ink jet or laser technology, as required, for direct wire marking and identification in place of expensive heat shrink sleeve marking systems. These marking technologies are embodied in a range of wire mark, measure and cut systems that are available configured either with single dereelers for manual wire loading or multistation dereelers with automated wire loading systems.

The automated systems enable up to 32 different wire and cable reels to be held on a multistation dereeler, which is coupled to a high speed wire auto select and load system for rapid wire changes on the Nova wire marker (typically 6s). Using these systems under computer control manufacturing data can be downloaded to the Nova controller so that wire harnesses can be processed automatically with wires generated in order by connector group and collected by various downstream wire handling system options.

After pioneering this technology within the aerospace industry, Spectrum has identified the LRS sector as being well suited to benefit from the use of direct wire identification and modern lean manufacturing techniques in the production of wiring harnesses for locomotives and rolling stock. Research has shown that LRS harnesses are very similar to those used in the aerospace sector: complex, physically large and made up of high performance, specialist wiring.

LRS sector harness requirements are developing in a similar manner to aerospace around 20 years ago with increased complexity, system integration, weight and size concerns leading to issues with wire identification methods, mark durability, lifetime costs and system upgrade and environmental issues etc.

As a result wire processing technologies presently used in the LRS sector are increasingly unable to deliver the required quality or offer the needed cost reductions to cope with current and future demands. With this in mind Spectrum has developed NovaJet. NovaJet offers black and/or white ink marking with UV cure for enhanced permanence; systems are available in manual or automated configurations.

Direct marking onto the wire offers many cost reducing and quality benefits compared with sleeving such as the significant reduction of consumable material and associated labour costs; enhanced flexible marking (bar coding, connector/pin information, traceability); reduction of bulk at wire ends and consequently the overall weight of the harness; improved legibility and permanence of the identification codes. NovaJet systems are also fully upgradeable in the field from manual to automated configurations.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Consultants Model Novel Arresting System

Project is aimed at developing new civil aircraft arresting systems for safely decelerating an aircraft that overruns a runway during landing or take off. Protection Engineering Consultants of Spring Branch, Texas, has chosen to add DEM Solutions' EDEM software to an already impressive arsenal of innovative software solutions used in multi-hazard assessment and protective design consulting work. Protection Engineering Consultants will use the EDEM modelling software in a current project aimed at developing new civil aircraft arresting systems for safely decelerating an aircraft that overruns a runway during landing or take off.

DEM Solutions' EDEM software package will provide a way to model, test, and evaluate promising alternative granular materials and design options for the arresting systems by modelling the action of aircraft tires rolling through simulated aggregate arresting beds. EDEM offers a virtual representation of aggregate dynamics that would be very computationally expensive to achieve with a finite element code. The ability to directly input aggregate material properties into the various model scenarios will also reduce time and costs.

"We have been very impressed with the short model set-up time that EDEM offers", commented Matthew Barsotti, of Protection Engineering Consultants. "The all-in-one interface makes pre- and post-processing a seamless process and allows the flexibility to change parameters in the middle of a simulation".

Protection Engineering Consultants partners with government agencies, architectural and construction firms, and a variety of industrial and commercial clients to provide research, design and consulting services to enhance the physical protection of people, systems and the built environment. EDEM software may eventually be incorporated into a variety of projects involving assessment of, and protective design for, ballistic and vehicular impact attacks and accidents.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Motor Protection Relays in SymCom Model 777 Product Family are more than simple overload relays. They are complete motor, pump and system protection devices. These protection relays combine voltage and current monitoring to provide robust motor management.

The Model 777

overload relay can be used to protect any 3-phase motor drawing 2-800 amps (external CTs are required above 90A). It combines overload, underload, and voltage and power monitoring functions in one package and has a 3-digit display for viewing voltage, current, and last fault information to simplify diagnostics. Model 777 products are UL listed, CSA recognized and CE approved. Specialized Model 777 units are available to provide linear trip capability, handle medium voltage applications, provide low power trip functions for special pumping applications and more. See page 4 for descriptions of available specialized Model 777s. Adding an optional Modbus, DeviceNet™ or Profibus communications module enables communications.

Features

• Power factor measurement
• Power measurement
• Run-hour meter
• Programmable automatic, semiautomatic
or manual restart control
• 3 separate restart timers for rapid-cycle protection,
motor cool down and dry-well recovery
• Remote pushbutton reset option
• Built-in 3-digit display for setup and diagnostics
• Last fault indication on display
• Last 4 faults available on network or remote displays
• Optional remote displays (RM-1000 and RM-2000)
• Communication capabilities
• Adjustable underload trip delay
Gearboxes & Couplings For The Big Apple

Major subway car builders like Kawasaki, Alstom and Bombardier have all used Renold couplings in their propulsion systems with proven success. Renold has won a US $14 million contract to supply rail traction gearboxes and couplings to Alstom for trains ordered by the New York City Transit Authority (NYCT). The contract is phase two of a three phase schedule and is expected to be fulfilled over an 18 month period commencing May 2008.

The couplings are being fitted on the new R160 series trains destined for operation on the famous New York Subway. The subway system carried over 1.5 billion passengers in 2007 and the R160 cars will run on the highest traffic areas of the system, so reliability is an essential factor in design and manufacture.

The new gearboxes and couplings are fitted in-between the AC traction motor and the drive axle. They allow the safe transmission of torque while the motor and gearbox shafts are misaligned, vertically and horizontally, by up to 4.5 degrees.

Renold has a long supply history with NYCT and many other US transit authorities dating back over 45 years. Renold's couplings are extremely robust in design, have an excellent service history, and the major subway car builders like Kawasaki, Alstom and Bombardier have all used Renold couplings in their propulsion systems with proven success.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Strategy provides a holistic approach to saving energy in electrical drive applications. As a responsible solution provider and technology partner Lenze, the drive and automation technology specialist, actively supports the current efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and energy costs. With this in mind, Lenze AG has developed a three pillar strategy which provides a holistic approach regarding electrical drives.

It allows the user to identify the potential for improvements in energy consumption. By increasing energy efficiency, energy requirements can be reduced with no detrimental affects on the process. In this way the strategy contributes directly to the reduction in greenhouse gases. In industry electrical drives are among the biggest consumers of energy. As a result, increasing their efficiency is a key factor for efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and energy costs.

Although product oriented efforts will undoubtedly help reduce energy consumption, only a holistic approach focusing on the use of drives and drive components, can maximise the true savings potential. Therefore Lenze is using its competence in drive solutions to introduce a programme that will increase energy efficiency with three main strategic approaches. The Lenze Rightsising approach aims to specify drive systems in such a way that applications are only supplied with the energy they actually need. Drives should not be oversised because efficiency drops sharply with partial loads, so dimensioning should be based on an accurate assessment of the maximum amount of energy required by the application.

Lenze application knowhow together with powerful software dimensioning tools leads to a Rightsised selection. Taking this approach prevents energy from being wasted when operating in a partial load range and reduces material costs. If the amount of energy required by an application fluctuates, a common case with fluid flow and intermittent processes, the energy provided can be matched to the level required using inverter drives. In practice this means that a high degree of efficiency and thereby energy savings can be achieved at a justifiable cost.

The second pillar of the Lenze strategy is to select high efficiency components for the drive installation. Once the drive is correctly dimensioned and, where necessary, uses an inverter, the energy efficiency can be further increased by employing higher efficiency components. Selecting optimised asynchronous motors, or using synchronous motors that are energy efficient by design, on speed controlled drives allows the total efficiency of the installation to be increased.

Similarly energy efficient gearboxes, typically helical and bevel designs, also increase efficiency. The comprehensive Lenze product programme has the perfect solution for each application case. The third aspect is to make use of the braking energy. When applications feed significant amounts of kinetic or potential energy back to the drive, for example in material transport applications, this energy can be re-used.

Lenze currently offers several concepts for using regenerative energy. Energy can for example be exchanged between several axes using a DC bus connection. There are also options of feeding energy back into the electrical mains supply. The Lenze three pillar strategy highlights numerous possibilities for energy saving in the field of electrical drives and provides support during implementation.

As part of this strategy Lenze supports the customer with energy efficient products, tools for dimensioning and comprehensive application know-how. In addition Lenze has published a new brochure entitled "Energy saving solutions" which analyses the possible measures for increasing the energy efficiency of drives and provides guidelines on how these measures should be implemented.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Accelerometer Gets The Measure Of Shocks

Measurement Specialties has released the Model 3700 accelerometer for impact, structural and transient shock testing. New from Measurement Specialties, the Model 3700 MEMS piezoresistive shock accelerometer was specifically designed for use in impact and shock testing environments and is packaged in a rugged stainless-steel housing. The accelerometer is available in ranges from +/-2000 to +/-6000g and is ideal for long-duration shock transient measurements.

The accelerometer incorporates mechanical overrange stops that offers shock protection greater than 10,000g. A PFA-jacketed cable, with customer selected cable length, provides reliable operation in transient environments.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Calculator Shows Sensor Savings

With only a few pieces of information, TR Electronic engineers will evaluate cost-effective and innovative approaches to any existing sensor strategy. TR Electronic has added an online sensor calculator to its website, enabling visitors to to calculate the potential savings available. With only a few pieces of information, TR Electronic engineers will evaluate cost-effective and innovative approaches to any existing sensor strategy.

The sensor calculator is free to use, and results will be provided within 24 hours. Whether the object of the exercise is a measurable reduction in spending (dollars saved) or a specific return on investment (ROI, NPV etc), TR Electronic reckons the sensor calculator will provide all the information required.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Valves Provide A Simple Alternative

The Cartridge Valve is part of a family of direct-acting solenoid valves for air and liquid (including light oil) applications. Parker Fluid Control Division has released a new line of manifold mount Cartridge Valves. The valve is a simplified alternative to solenoid operators and stud mount valves. The Cartridge Valve is part of a family of direct-acting solenoid valves for air and liquid (including light oil) applications.

These small yet powerful valves meet commercial, industrial, mobile, instrumentation and medical market needs. Economy models are available for less demanding applications. The manifold mount Cartridge Valve is offered in two and three-way models with a stainless steel body. It offers a space-saving approach, without manifold orifices to machine or press.

The valve offers no loose parts to assemble together. The sleeve, plunger, spring and orifice are pressed together as one unit. Ultimately, less machining means lower manifold costs to the buyer. Available with all 204 and 304 coils, the valves are offered normally closed or open with a sleeve port size of 1/8in.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Online Learning Provides Engineering Qualification

IDC Technologies' Advanced Diploma in Industrial Automation includes weekly live, interactive presentations over the web, presented by experts. IDC Technologies' Advanced Diploma in Industrial Automation is now attracting enquiries for the last intake of 2008 Registrations for this course close in September. Studying via distance learning, students in this year's two previous intakes are based in countries including Canada, Australia, the UK, South Africa, France and Argentina.

The course includes weekly live, interactive presentations over the web, presented by experts. There are also assignments, readings and simulations to complete. IDC Technologies Engineering Manager, Steve Mackay said "There is a critical shortage of automation, instrumentation and control engineers around the world now due to retirement, restructuring and rapid growth in new industries and technologies".

He said that a career in industrial automation can be well paid, challenging, but ultimately enjoyable. "This is a practical course and students will be valued in the workplace where time is short and immediate results, with hard-hitting and useful know how, are required as a minimum" Mackay said. The course is endorsed by The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), which was formed by the Institution of Electrical Engineers and the Institution of Incorporated Engineers. It has more than 150,000 members worldwide.
Telecommunications Deal Covers IET Resources

The IET and Nortel certification programme provides easy access to additional information, training and qualifications for continuing professional development and career progression. The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has signed an agreement with Nortel, a Canadian telecommunications company The agreement will give Nortel's certified technical community a fast track route to IET membership and allow its UK-based engineers and other IT professionals, who attain Nortel certifications, access to IET membership benefits including development and networking opportunities.

Robin McGill, IET Chief Executive, said: "Increasingly, the IET is forming partnerships with other technological organisations as part of a collaborative approach to raising standards worldwide". "We are delighted that Nortel has taken this opportunity to give its UK employees access to the global knowledge network which the IET has established over the years".

"This information base is an acknowledged contributory factor to career success and achieving personal and professional goals". "The agreement between Nortel and the IET is important in helping to raise the profile of IT personnel worldwide and to addressing the skills shortage in this sector, which is critical if we are to keep pace with technological advancements".

The IET and Nortel certification programme provides easy access to additional information, training and qualifications which are invaluable for continuing professional development and career progression. Fast track membership means that a sponsor is not required to achieve IET membership with designatory letters. The agreement enables Nortel to validate the IET certification directly.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Industrial Encoders for Dummies

US manufacturer BEI has teamed up with the iconic "For dummies" brand to produce an innovative tutorial guide on industrial encoders. Aimed at novices and experts alike, "BEI industrial encoders for dummies" reaches beyond the primer to provide an interesting, informative and very readable 42-page reference covering optical encoder technologies and applications.

This free guide, available from BEI's exclusive UK and Ireland distributor, Variohm EuroSensor, provides a detailed overview of incremental and absolute optical encoders and how they are applied in real world applications; with hints and tips on key specifications, system design information, installation procedures and environmental considerations. There is also a "things to know about your manufacturer" chapter that aims to deal with true cost of ownership issues and supplier evaluation.

The book also takes time to entertain with some fascinating and surprising uses for encoders. As a leading European supplier of sensors and associated components, Variohm Eurosensor provides sales and application support for BEI's complete range of linear and rotary encoders, electronics and displays.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

HVAC Market Benefits From Building Boom

Rising competition is squeezing electric drive manufacturers' profit margins, especially with the rising demand for smaller and low-cost HVAC drives. The boom in the construction business has rippled into the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry in Europe, which, in turn, has buoyed the electric drives market This is because HVAC accounts for nearly 10% of its total market revenue.

New analysis from Frost and Sullivan Electric Drives Market in the European HVAC Industry, finds that the market earned revenues of US $292.5 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach US $456.5 million in 2014. The HVAC industry's status as one of the major consumers of electrical energy among industries in Europe and the recent hike in energy costs have compelled electric drive manufacturers to develop energy-efficient systems.

The passing of standards and directives stressing energy conservation bolstered this development. However, the implementation of these directives has not been smooth in certain Eastern European countries due to their unstable political situations and lack of efficient systems. Their changing economies and varying construction industry trends have also deterred long-term investments in the market. Meanwhile, rising competition is squeezing electric drive manufacturers' profit margins, especially with the rising demand for smaller and low-cost HVAC drives.

Manufacturers have to develop clever business strategies to maintain their market share in this price-competitive environment. However, the falling prices have also had a positive fallout. "The declining prices of the drives have ensured that the payback period of the investment on these drives has shortened", says Frost and Sullivan Research Analyst Venkataraman Salavakkam.

"With shorter payback periods, users are able to justify the capital expenditure on these products". The growing awareness of the financial benefits of energy conservation is increasingly driving the replacement of power-hungry HVAC systems with energy-efficient systems, which incorporate variable frequency drives that increase efficiency levels.

To sustain this momentum, participants could also offer value-added services, as they can often sway purchase decisions in their favour in this highly competitive market. They can ensure customer loyalty by developing a strong, responsive and agile after-sales service network that will ensure that customers' after-sales requirements are met. This move will also bring in substantial service revenue. In fact, while the AC and servo drives segments are the biggest revenue generators, the DC segment mainly relies on maintenance and repair orders to sustain itself.

The sales of electric drives are likely to be buoyed by the products' ease of use. The improvements in technology have eliminated the need for operators to have excellent technical expertise or an understanding of the machines and processes. "The control panel of the drives is user friendly and embedded with a range of features", notes Venkataraman. "This ease of use has converted them to simple devices and has encouraged OEMs and mechanical contractors to use the drives in HVAC systems".

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Asia-Pacific To Lead Machine Safety Expansion

The worldwide market for machine automatic safeguarding products is forecast to reach US $2504.3 million in 2012, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 8.7%. A new market study by Venture Development Corporation (VDC), covering 27 types of machine automatic safeguarding products, finds the worldwide 2007 market for these devices to have been US $1647.1 million. Product categories covered in the study were: emergency-stop controls (two types); presence-sensing safety sensors (five technologies); programmable safety systems (safety PLCs) - both stand-alone and integrated with machine controllers; safety controllers/modules/relays (six types); safety interlock switches (10 types); and two-hand safety controls (two types).

The worldwide market for these products is forecast to reach US $2504.3 million in 2012, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.7%. Via the implementation of these products users gain cost savings in operations through more efficient operation of high-speed and powerful machinery and equipment without fear of personal injury or equipment damage. Nonetheless, many factors will determine the rate of shipment growth for these products.

Automation innovations are bringing about needs for newer equipment and machinery, including safeguarding methods and equipment for these. Often these innovations are driven by the need for higher productivity at lower cost as well as the need for new equipment or machinery for new products. Other factors include: changing machine safeguarding safety standards, regulations and enforcement, and the pace of these changes; concerns over lawsuits from noncompliance and injuries or death, and changing company safety policies; increasing levels of understanding and acceptance of machine automatic safeguarding technologies in various regions and countries; and growth expectations in the various worldwide economies, and likely growth in levels of capital investment in manufacturing.

By far the highest overall growth rate is forecast for shipments to Asia-Pacific markets. The most significant reason for this forecast is the rapidly increasing manufacturing operations in Asia-Pacific countries with emerging economies, particularly China. Manufacturing businesses in these countries are being formed and expanded. In addition, manufacturers in other regions are moving operations to these countries with low labour costs.

Part of the increases in capital investment by these firms will be the need for machine automatic safeguarding products. In addition, governments in the Asia-Pacific region are becoming more concerned about worker safety, with stricter enforcement of standards/regulations. Also expanding the market are global firms opening manufacturing operations in the region who will tend to implement the same type of machine automatic safeguarding they use elsewhere.

Friday, June 13, 2008


For over 50 years, Entrelec® by ABB has been one of the leading manufacturers of terminal blocks, with products in use all over the world. All terminal blocks are manufactured using only the highest quality materials and carry UL, CSA, VDE, IEC and other worldwide approvals. Entrelec® by ABB offers space savings, industry standard DIN rail mountable terminal blocks and a variety of colors, functions and connection technologies that customers demand.

Product Offering

AMS 500 Marking Systems
PCB Connection Devices
ATEX Terminal Blocks
PLC Wiring System
Blocks for 5.08mm Connections
Power Terminal Blocks
Cable Management System
Screw Clamp Terminal Blocks
Distribution Terminal Blocks
Specific Terminal Blocks
IDC (ADO) Terminal Blocks
Spring Clamp Terminal Blocks
Accessories
Mini Terminal Blocks
Test Connectors



The industry’s most identifiable termination technologies are:
# Screw Clamp technology remains the most popular in connection devices.
# Spring technology is a fast growing standard in screw-less connection.
# IDC (insulation displacement connection) technology is the newest, fastest, and most innovative of screw-less connections.

In addition to general purpose terminal blocks, Entrelec® by ABB offers definite purpose products such as Distribution, 5.08mm connection, Power, Mini, ATEX , and Railway terminal blocks to satisfy the specialty needs of their customers. Terminal Blocks entrelec® by ABB's dedication to its customers is proven by offering FREE software to assist in rail design and operating a 24 hour service hotline for emergencies.

Markets and applications include:

* Process Control
* Large and small panel building
* Machine Tool
* Energy/Utility
* Railway/Transport
* Chemical/Petrochemical
* HVAC
* Ship Building
* Building Automation
* Instrumentation
* Utilities
* Automobile

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Future For Programmable Logic Controllers

PLC applications cut across discrete, process and hybrid automation segments, and are poised for steady growth across all manufacturing. Strong economic growth in Asia and Eastern Europe significantly boosted the programmable logic controller (PLC) market in 2007 And although economic expansion is expected to continue, future growth will be at a slower pace The worldwide market for PLCs is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% over the next five years.

The PLC market reached nearly US $9.0 billion in 2007 and is forecasted to grow to over $12 billion in 2012, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study. Robust investments in manufacturing and infrastructure industries continued worldwide.

"Emerging economies, such as those in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and Eastern Europe, helped propel the growth of the PLC market, which was driven by increasing consumer demand from the growing middle class in those countries, adding new infrastructure within those countries to boost their quality of life, and a positive environment for capital investments in emerging markets", according to Senior Analyst Himanshu Shah, principal author of ARC's "Programmable logic controller worldwide outlook".

Globalisation is causing manufacturing companies to invest in creating new capacities in various industries such as chemical, cement, metals, pharmaceutical and textile. Building automation is also experiencing strong growth with massive commercial, industrial, and residential building projects around the world. PLCs, which are used across all major discrete and process industries, will continue to experience growth as robust, emerging economies create buoyant demand for increasing automation.

While a cooling off period is expected, automation demand is expected to continue to grow during the forecast period. The market is demanding the programmable automation controller (PAC), a multidisciplined controller capable of providing real-time logic, motion and process control, in addition to HMI and other functions, on a single platform. Major automation suppliers have extended PLC functions beyond just logic, especially in higher end models.

The PLC-based PAC market growth is expected to be higher than the overall PLC market growth. This growth will be driven by the logical extension of PLC functionality to a multidisciplinary platform. ARC predicts that most of the small and large PLCs of today, as well as some of the micro PLCs, will morph into PACs, and the pure PLCs will remain at the nano and some of the micro level. PLC applications cut across discrete, process and hybrid automation segments, and are poised for steady growth across all manufacturing.

Manufacturing companies, acutely aware of the need for more automation, and for both producing and saving energy to cope with rapidly rising energy demands and costs globally, are increasingly using PLCs. In addition to the quantitative assessment of the PLC market, this report provides an insightful analysis of the products and strategies of leading PLC suppliers and explores issues that will impact this business in the future.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Measurement Systems Spot Problem Components

The ability to integrate multiaxis systems and controllers allows different faces of the parts can be simultaneously measured, matching the production timing. Automotive industry parts and assembly quality standards have moved from sigma level sampling to zero defect requirements This can be achieved through a combination of containment through 100% inspections (eliminating bad parts) and correction through immediate feedback and adjustment

Manufacturers of critical parts and assemblies such as airbags, wheel bearings and pistons have achieved this by adding SMAC XYZ measurement systems to their inline manufacturing process. These linear motor based systems incorporate a "softland" capability that removes the need for expensive probes. Volumes up to 100mm3 can be covered by a single system.

Robust guiding and the direct drive linear motor greatly reduce the need for periodic offsets, which are a major problem with standard commercial CMMs. The ability to integrate multiaxis systems and controllers allows different faces of the parts can be simultaneously measured, matching the production timing.

SMAC devices can be used in machine shop floor environments where the presence of oil often causes CMM systems to fail. All SMAC controllers allow the output of variable data in a variety of formats that the user can configure in their program.

This allows easy interfacing with another system. The system integration of the high-volume individual SMAC moving coil actuators combined with in house development of key components including encoders makes the systems cost-effective solutions to 100% verification of parts and assemblies.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tablet PC Survives Tough Use

The computer's SunView Screen has been developed to provide the best user experience in all lighting conditions, both indoors and in bright sunshine. JLT has released the JLT8404 rugged tablet PC, with an aircraft-grade aluminium chassis and 8.4in colour touchscreen, viewable in sunlight. The device offers integrated wireless communications including Bluetooth, WLAN and 3G/GPRS, as well as GPS, a choice of powerful processors and a Windows operating system.

It lacks moving and external parts, offers an IP65 rating and has survived drop tests to 1.2m and temperatures ranging from -20 to +50C. The computer's SunView Screen has been developed to provide the best user experience in all lighting conditions, both indoors and in bright sunshine. Coupled with this is a new touch-screen that has advanced features including palm rejection and offers great accuracy without the need of a digitiser and active stylus.

The JLT8404 is suited to a wide range of applications in manufacturing, asset management, warehouse stock control, safety inspections, service maintenance, logistics and other field-based work such as surveying. The device can also be used for in-vehicle applications using an optional in-cab docking station, which also provides additional connectivity options.

For automatic identification/data capture, customers can use any Bluetooth barcode, chip card or RFID reader. In addition, the hot swappable battery allows extended periods of operation and a choice of rugged hard disk or flash disk provides secure data storage capabilities. JLT also offers a range of accessories including mounting systems and keyboards.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Software Provides A Single Development Environment

B And R Industrial Automation produces an integral software tool designed to cover all automation tasks By using a single tool, machine manufacturers no longer have to spend large amounts of money to implement interfaces between the controllers, drives and visualisation application. Innovative manufacturers generally invest heavily in developing, maintaining and updating application software.

To secure this investment over the long-term, characteristics like modularity, scalability and reusability of software modules and functions are becoming increasingly important. Software needs to be flexible when it comes to machine configurations and options. Connecting ERP systems, E-CAD tools and automation tools enables the creation of individual machine software based on automated processes. With Automation Studio, B and R Industrial Automation provides a single development environment for control, visualisation, motion control and communication tasks.

All standardised IEC editors, a completely integrated ANSI C compiler and debugger, graphic configuration for I/O points and axes and integrated configuration of machine visualisation systems accompany the customer from the programming and commissioning phases all the way to production and service. Many advanced functions for temperature control, drive technology and fieldbus communication are already included in the standard Automation Studio package.

Automation Studio users can now develop their automation projects faster, maintain them more reliably and the open software design provides a system that can be integrated seamlessly into existing processes. A network-wide real-time communication system is needed in addition to a software tool. With Powerlink, B and R Industrial Automation has offered Ethernet-based real-time communication for the last five years. This technology has now established itself on the market.

In the meantime, more than 40,000 series production machines have been set up and are being used in various industries. In addition to B and R Industrial Automation, many automation manufacturers are relying on this open technology. The scalability of the software is complemented by the modularity of the hardware.

IP20 and IP67 I/O offer a high level of flexibility and can be scaled using small slices or compact blocks and can be linked to the controller using fieldbus connections or direct coupling. Many options are available to customers for visualisation of machine processes, from compact power panels to high-performance industrial PCs with Soft PLC. Of course, it's possible to implement all standard display and operating variations using keypads and touch screens.

On request, visualisation system panels can be matched to a machine manufacturer's corporate design. The use of highly dynamic servo drives in combination with synchronous, induction, torque or linear motors creates the basis for innovative drive technology. Software functions for co-ordinated movements, CNC applications and robotics functions complete the motion package, allowing extremely efficient drive solutions.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Magnetic Encoders Boost Dragster Speed

Visitors to Renishaw's stand at Mach 2008 (hall 5, stand 5140) will be able to see Team Salakazi's KTM Super Twin nitromethane fuelled dragster which takes just 6.7 seconds to cover a 402m race track, achieving speeds of around 322km/h. Aided by Renishaw's rotary magnetic encoders that monitor crankshaft position and clutch speed, this 360kg 'rocket' generates 1417kW from just a 1995 cc engine.

Not many people would even consider sitting astride a snarling 1417kW engine travelling at over 300km per hour. But Jaska Salakazi from Finland has made a career of it, becoming the first person in the world to break the seven-second barrier over 402m on a Super Twin Top Fuel bike. Since 2000, the speed-obsessed six-man team at Salakazi Racing has continually designed, built and refined its KTM Super twin powered Dragster.

A recent modification is the addition of two RM22 compact high-speed rotary magnetic encoders, produced by Renishaw's partner company RLS. These measure clutch speed and monitor the position of the engine's crankshaft, helping to take the bike to extremely high speeds. Clutch slippage, traction and road conditions can all be precisely determined by comparing values from the encoders, providing the team's technicians with the vital data to pre-programme the bike and make final adjustments to the first stage counterweights before the race begins. Where milliseconds are crucial, the encoders enable the team to optimise clutch engagement and maximise speed and acceleration on the spot.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Inductive Switches Meet SIL2 And SIL3 Standards

IFM Electronic has released inductive sensors which meet SIL2 and SIL3 safety standards. The proximity sensors are available in in M12 (SIL2) or M18, M30 and cube styles (SIL3). Designed with two output signal switching devices built in, the new fail-safe series will work with conventional safety relays and safety PLCs.

No special demands such as shielding, twisted wires or separate laying are placed on the industrial standard M12 connection. The sensor is simply connected to existing evaluation units, safety controllers and safe bus systems using a common unscreened 4-core cable. The IFM electronic fail-safe inductive system continuously monitors coil damage and component health.

Any fault, at any time is instantly signalled. All failsafe inductive switches from IFM electronic are constructed with full redundant internal circuits, certified by the TUV Rhineland. They provide all the advantages of an inductive sensor: with no moving parts, an IP67 rating and a standard M12 connector.

Monday, March 10, 2008

3D Software Runs To Virtual Challenge

The Virtual Plus Reality Challenge is a novel technological experience from Dassault Systemes in support of the Paris-Beijing race being run by renowned marathon runner Philippe Fuchs. In addition to hosting a technologically advanced mini-website based on the latest 3D solutions allowing the general public to watch the run in real-time, the company is hosting a global premiere for science and sports with the Marseille Motion Science Institute using Philippe Fuchs' biomechanical data to model his stride, and a charity event in partnership with Sports Without Borders allowing the general public to join the marathon through an innovative Facebook application.

The Virtual Plus Reality Challenge will continue through to Philippe Fuchs' arrival in Beijing during the Summer Olympic Games. In addition to helping companies to design, produce and recycle products from aircraft to shampoo bottles, Dassault Systemes' 3D software is also being used to create innovative and high-performing sports applications, from stadiums to bicycles to running shoes.

For example, leading sports apparel companies like Under Armour push the limits with Dassault Systemes' solutions to launch new innovative products. The Virtual Plus Reality Challenge goes one step further, with 3D sports applications for the general public, a partnership with Sports Without Borders and a cutting-edge study combining sports and science. Fuchs supporters will be only a click away from the runner's latest progress.

A dedicated mini-website will allow fans to get his real-time position via a geolocation interface, video commentary on his cardiac performance, and multimedia updates from Fuchs himself of latest developments, thanks to his 3D avatar and Dassault Systemes' online TVnima broadcast application.

After the 3D modelling of products as simple as a water bottle and as complex as a submarine, the next challenge is to model the human body and its functions. Thanks to Dassault Systemes' solutions, scientists have already modelled the human foot in 3D. In order to confirm the accuracy of this model, the Marseille Motion Science Institute, in collaboration with Dassault Systemes, will use biometric data gathered during Fuchs' Paris-Beijing run to verify that the virtual foot does in fact behave like a real one, in all its complexity.

The resulting scientifically proven 3D model foot - a first worldwide - will be used to promote advancements in sports medicine and equipment design, as well as optimise athletic training. Dassault Systemes is inviting the general public to join Fuchs in this charity race for Sports Without Borders via an innovative Facebook application: virtual runners will be assigned 3D photorealistic avatars generated from 2D portraits and will select virtual running environments from a photo library.

Once these steps completed, virtual runners will receive a video of their virtual run. They can also build support for Sports Without Borders by inviting Facebook friends to participate, which will result in the creation of a solidarity chain linking all friends' videos in a single virtual relay. Dassault Systemes will feature the longest and zaniest relays in its Virtual Relay Hall of Fame on the dedicated mini-website, as well as a real-time counter of virtual (and real) kilometres run.

The kilometres run by virtual participants will be added to those run by Fuchs, and Dassault Systemes will contribute accordingly to Sports Without Borders' efforts to improve the living conditions of children in Latin American, Africa and Asia with athletic programmes. Dassault Systemes' partnership with this dynamic NGO will leverage the universal appeal of 3D solutions in order to build awareness and support of Sports Without Borders' projects internationally.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Pressure Transducer Keeps High-Volume Costs Down

Applied Measurements has released the Pi600E pressure transducer, designed to meet the needs of medium to high-volume users seeking a balanced price/performance ratio. Available in pressure ranges from 0-5bar to 0-200bar the Pi600E has a stainless steel body housing a ceramic diaphragm and ASIC conditioning electronics.

The pressure connection is 1/4in BSP male with the option of electrical connection via an integral cable or a miniature DIN type plug and socket.

Available electrical output configurations are millivolts per volt, 0-5V DC or 4-20mA. All the transducers are fully compensated for the effects of temperature and offer an overall accuracy of better than 0.5%/FSO static.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Small Force Sensor Offers Mounting Options

Designed for tension or compression force measurements where space is tight, RDP Electronics' Model 3124 sensor can be mounted in an existing system within a restricted work area. It suits applications when space is limited, such as fluid power transfer, hydraulic piston monitoring or structural development tests It can be directly mounted to the side of a hydraulic cylinder.

Side-mounted cable connections allow cable assemblies to be supported without affecting movement of the cell during tension or compression loading.

Ease of mounting and affordability make these cells well suited for simultaneous testing of multielement systems. Contained in a compact, small-diameter carbon steel housing the Model 3124 is available in ranges from 20 to 125kN.

Friday, January 18, 2008


SM-EtherCAT extend the functionality of Control Techniques' variable speed drives, providing support for real-time, high-performance Ethernet communication. Control Techniques' Product Manager, System Integration Products, Imad Rajraji said 'EtherCAT is the first in our planned range of real-time Ethernet solutions with more protocols to follow'.

The module is for use with Control Technique's full range of AC and servo drives from 0.37kW simple conveyor or pump control, through high-precision servo applications and 1.9MW multimode drives.

This allows customers to standardise their network across the whole machine. The SM-EtherCAT module is the latest in a wide range of communication options that already include Ethernet/IP, Modbus TCP/IP as well as traditional fieldbus. EtherCAT is being requested by customers because of its excellent performance and bandwidth, allowing users to get good dynamic performance from their drives.

It covers the whole range of communication requirements from high-end motion control through to central factory computer control of conveyors and pumps. Control Techniques' SM-EtherCAT module can operate at cycle times down to 250us, synchronising the drive's position or speed loop to the communications network, improving overall system performance. Control Techniques now has 24 SM option modules, used to extend its I/O, feedback, communications, automation and motion capability.

All AC and servo drives use the same option module format allowing flexible connectivity and functionality with Digitax ST, Control Techniques' new servo drive, Commander SK, as well as Unidrive SP, which has a total of three internal option slots for modules.