Tuesday, March 31, 2009

SGS Introduces Pre-Shipment Inspection Service

SGS SA Industrial Services is offering its customers a pre-shipment inspection and certification service covering equipment or materials. SGS will inspect quality and quantity, packing and marking and loading supervision. A certificate of inspection can be provided against a letter of credit and authorised by a chamber of commerce.

For export to countries with import certification schemes, pre-shipment inspection is necessary to receive an import certificate. Without this certificate the shipment will not clear customs in the destination country. Pre-shipment inspection ensures goods arriving at their destination conform to the required specifications.
Delrin-Based Chains To Appear At Hanover Show

Iwis Antriebssysteme and CoKG will introduce their Flexon hinged-slat chains and Mattop chains at 'Motion, Drive and Automation', to be held in Hanover, Germany, from 20-24 April 2009. The polymer chains are made from Dupont's Delrin acetal resin, which helps them prevent contamination and makes them energy efficient and easy to maintain.

FDA-approved Delrin combines high mechanical load capacity, dimensional stability (also in humid environments) and excellent sliding behaviour. According to requirements, chain-links produced using two-component injection moulding are available, whereby the strap made of Delrin is over-moulded with a non-slip, soft component made of a high-performance thermoplastic elastomer.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Panasonic FP-X series PLC comes with a wide range of features suitable for most applications and is designed to save development cost. Ultra high processing speed of 0.32 μsec per instruction (executes a 5 Kstep program in 1.9 msec). Large program capacity of 16, or 32 Kstep exceeds the capacity of most compact PLCs. Expandable up to 382 I/O points, low cost coordinated motion, analog, and communication cassette options are also available.

Excellent for communication applications with the ability to network 16 FP-X (master to master network), or 99 FP-X (master to slave network). Modbus RTU master and slave supported (will support up to 63 slave per master). Built-in 8 channels of high speed counters with speeds up to 10 KHz per channel (optional high speed counters also available with speeds up to 80 KHz). USB connection, built-in power supply, removable screw terminals are only a few of the well thought out features of the FP-X PLC.

The transistor type FP-X comes with up to 4 axis of built-in pulse outputs (AFPX-C14 supports 3 axis). Each motion axis can operate independently or as 2 pairs of linear interpolation. The transistor outputs are designed for rugged operation with up to 0.5 Amp load simultaneously on all outputs. The relay type FP-X is also capable of motion by using an optional pulse cassette.

Key features
  • High-speed Operation - The 32-bit RISC processor provides the top-level processing speed in compact PLCs. The scan time is 2 ms or less for 5,000 steps. A high-speed PLC is indispensable for enhancing the functionality of equipment.

  • Large Capacity Program Memory - FP-X, which is equipped with 32k steps*2 program memory, is ideal for fully covering the increasing functions, such as communications, positioning, and analog control. The sufficient program capacity can also support future equipment modifications.

  • Independent Comment Memory - There are difficulties with program management on a PC, such as identifying the latest program. The use of the program in the PLC of equipment in operation is often regarded as the best option. Since FP-X has an independent comment memory, all comments can be stored in the PLC together with programs, facilitating program management and maintenance.

  • Maximum Number of I/O Points - Since up to eight expansion units can be connected to one control unit, the maximum number of I/O points is 300. Furthermore, with the add-on cassette and expansion FP0 adapter connected, the number of I/O points can be increased to 382.

  • Built-in 4-axis Pulse Output (Transistor Output Type) - The transistor output type C14 comes with 3-axis while C30/60 comes with 4-axis pulse output built-in the control unit. The multi-axis control, which previously required a higher-level PLC or additional positioning unit, or two or more PLC units, can now be achieved with only one FP-X transistor output type unit in a small space at a low cost. In addition, as this type does not require a pulse I/O cassette needed for a relay output type, other function expansion cassettes such as communication or analog input can be attached for more diversified applications.

  • Modbus-RTU - Communicates with equipment compatible with Modbus-RTU

  • Expansion Cassettes - Expansion cassettes are available for Extra digital I/O, analog, motion, Ethernet, Serial communication, etc.
Honeywell Unveils Strategic Site For Manufacturers

Honeywell has launched a website that delivers ideas, information and tools to help manufacturers maximise plant performance and get the most out of their existing assets. The site - www.theoptimizedplant.com - focuses on four key strategies: reducing maintenance costs, reducing risk and improving cash flow, implementing return-on-investment (ROI) solutions and driving down operational costs. It includes a range of tools, including videos, podcasts, white papers, case studies and informational web seminars, all of which are claimed to offer practical advice for deriving faster returns.

Harsh Chitale, vice-president of marketing and global strategy for Honeywell Process Solutions, said: 'Over the past few years, manufacturers have been feeling pressure to push production to the limits, but now they're under intense scrutiny to cut costs while maintaining production.' The site features tips on extending the life of current assets, improving product quality, using certified recycled parts to reduce maintenance costs, installing applications to reduce energy consumption, implementing cost-effective migration strategies, reducing raw material costs, optimising existing advanced applications and complying with regulations.
iSpeed Drives Match System Output To Demand

Parker Hannifin has launched a range of intelligent variable speed drives that it says will deliver energy savings for users of commercial and industrial refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. The company said the drives can cut up to 40 per cent of the energy used by refrigeration systems with single compressor units and up to 25 per cent from the energy consumed by conventional multi-stage compressor racks.

The drives, designated iSpeed, are designed to control the operating speeds of compressors, fans and pumps, matching system output precisely to variations in demand, giving optimum energy efficiency with low maintenance and long-term reliability. In addition, the ability to ensure accurate control of refrigeration systems, with precise and smooth adjustments in compressor speed to match operating load demands, helps to minimise the problems caused by fluctuations in pressure and temperature.

In the example of food refrigeration, this preserves product integrity and improves shelf life by reducing dehydration and shrinkage. Similarly, by controlling the cycle rates of compressors, with a smooth increase and decrease in compressor speed, the iSpeed drives reduce wear and stresses on moving parts. The same technology also enables fewer compressors to be used in many applications, with one variable speed controlled compressor being temporarily run at higher capacity, rather than starting several fixed speed compressors to meet short-term increases in load demand.

In a typical installation, a single iSpeed drive can control one variable speed compressor and up to eight fixed speed compressor units. The drives can be retrofitted by end users to existing refrigeration or air-conditioning systems, or used by OEMs in new builds. In each case, iSpeed drives are easy to install, configure and operate, featuring pre-programmed modular control algorithms and interfaces to a range of standard third-party controllers. The iSpeed family of intelligent variable speed drives has been developed through a partnership between Parker Hannifin's Sporlan Valve Division and KIMO RHVAC.

Friday, March 27, 2009

JW Winco Star Knobs Are Temperature Resistant

JW Winco has announced that it now offers metric size series EN 5337.8 safety star knobs with keys. The star knobs are RoHS-compliant and developed for applications where access by unauthorised personnel is not permitted. The shape of the keyhole profile is identical to the key profile, and the protruding part of the key can be folded so that releasing and clamping for the knob are not impeded, even when the key is in the lock.

Made of glass-fibre reinforced technopolymer plastic, the knobs have a tapped brass insert and are temperature resistant up to 100C (215F). The hand knob has a black matte finish, and the underside plastic cover is ultrasonically welded to the handle body. They are resistant to solvents, oils, grease, and other chemical agents. The keys are made of red plastic with a stainless steel stem. Several sizes are offered as standard, and one with a stainless steel insert is available upon request.


The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has announced that the CIRED electricity conference and exhibition will take place on 8-11 June at the Prague Congress Centre. CIRED is an international event and is organised alternately by the IET and the Association des Ingenieurs sortis de L'Institut d'Electricite Montefiore (AIM). 1,072 abstracts from more than 50 countries were submitted for consideration for CIRED 2009, and some 700 papers will be presented over three days, through formal presentations, roundtable discussions, special reports and poster presentations.

The CIRED conference provides delegates with an opportunity to learn, discuss and exchange experience about the major structural, technical, managerial and regulatory changes affecting the industry. A technical exhibition associated with the conference will also take place. Exhibiting companies from more than 50 organisations, including Siemens, ABB, GE Energy, Kema and Dutch Power, across 53 countries will attend. CIRED 2009 is sponsored by Phase To Phase, Areva T and D, Enel, T and D Europe and CSRES.
Morgan Offers PBN Material For TFPV Manufacture

Morgan Technical Ceramics' CVD Materials business is offering its Performance Pyrolytic Boron Nitride material for use in the manufacture of the photo-absorption layer in thin-film photovoltaic cells. Performance Pyrolytic Boron Nitride (PBN) is a good material for crucibles and evaporation boats used in producing the thin-film photovoltaic (TFPV) cells, as well as for coating graphite heating elements used for material vaporisation.

In solar cell production, thin-film deposition offers a simpler and more cost-effective alternative to using silicon wafers. Thin films use less material and are faster and simpler than the complex and delicate process of slicing, dicing and placing of silicon wafers. However, cost of deposition must be reduced and the efficiency of the resulting PV cells sufficiently increased to make solar electricity as inexpensive to generate as carbon-based methods.

Use of the PBN material in the TFPV process is considered an important innovation that will make the goal of using solar energy to generate more of the world's electricity more attainable. Morgan Technical Ceramics' Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) Materials business is working with players in PV cell manufacture in the US, Europe and Asia, supplying a variety of components for thin-film solar cells. In the TFPV deposition process, precursor vapours are transported from a source vessel into a deposition zone onto a heated substrate to deposit the PV layer.

In some instances, solid materials are melted and vaporised from ceramic crucibles or boats to form a flux that is deposited on the heated substrate. It is critical that the ceramic crucible or boat be dimensionally stable and chemically non-reactive to the molten source material. PBN ceramic is a good material because of its high corrosion resistance and non-reactivity with the source materials used in PV deposition. The PBN material is highly anisotropic (directionally dependent) in its thermal transport and very resistant to thermal shock. PBN is also a good electrical insulator. The material is stable in inert and reducing atmospheres up to 2,800C and in oxidising atmospheres to 850C.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

AGY Launches Low-Loss Glass Fibre Yarn

AGY has introduced L-Glass, a low-loss glass fibre yarn for printed wiring board (PWB) applications. The low dielectric constant (Dk) and low dissipation factor (Df) properties of L-Glass fibre are suitable for designs requiring increased signal speeds and better signal integrity than traditional E-Glass/epoxy substrate materials.

Scott Northrup, director of new business development at AGY, said: 'Substrate materials that provide low dielectric constant and low dissipation factor properties have become an essential element of high-speed digital systems such as mobile communication base stations, high-end routers and servers, and high-speed storage networks.

'As these systems move to higher processing speeds, substrates with low-loss properties are needed to ensure the speed and integrity of the signals,' he added. Low-loss laminates for high-speed applications have traditionally been produced in one of two ways. In one method, a higher performing epoxy resin system is used in conjunction with E-Glass. This approach limits the achievable Dk and Df properties.

The second method combines very low Dk/Df resins, such as PTFE, with ceramic filler and a much lower E-Glass content. While these systems can achieve much lower Df/Dk properties, they suffer from high material and processing costs. The low glass loading also reduces the dimensional stability of the laminate.

The use of L-Glass fibre overcomes these limitations by allowing epoxy resin systems to achieve much lower Dk/Df properties, and the PTFE-based systems to use a higher glass loading. At 10GHz L-Glass fibre has a dielectric constant of 4.86 and a dissipation factor of 0.0050, whereas E-Glass has a dielectric constant of 6.81 and a dissipation factor of 0.0060 at 10GHz. The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of L-Glass fibre is 3.9ppm/C compared to 5.4ppm/C for E-Glass.

This makes L-Glass fibre a suitable material for use in IC packaging, where CTE mismatches with silicon are magnified due to the thermal environment and can cause defects. AGY's L-Glass fibres will be available in a variety of yarn counts, that will allow production of low-loss fabrics analogous to styles 106, 1080, 2113/2313 and 2116. Additional yarn counts can be produced as needed to meet market demands.
IFM Houses Latest Laser Sensors In M18 Enclosure

IFM Electronic has brought out a standard M18 housing for its latest laser sensors. These sensors can detect objects as small as 0.5mm, while the through-beam type can see as far as 60m.

They are equipped with Class 1 lasers (to IEC 60825-1), which is the safest form of laser light and doesn't need special labels. The visible light spot and the pushbutton setting method allow the sensitivity and function to be quickly set.

The range covers powerful through-beam systems, retro-reflective types and background-suppressed diffuse to suit demanding applications in automated assembly. All of IFM Electronic's M18 sensors, lasers and standards feature a robust stainless-steel housing and standard M12 connector.
Simerics Enhances CFD Simulation Software

Simerics has announced the release of Pumplinx Version 2.4. Pumplinx is a CFD simulation tool created especially for designers of pumps, motors, compressors, propellers and other fluid devices with rotating or sliding components. Starting with a 3D CAD design, Pumplinx enables the engineer to create a virtual test article and generate flow visualisation and engineering output as accurate as a full scale hardware test at a fraction of the time and cost, claims Simerics.

Pumplinx provides automated grid generation, a robust and accurate cavitation model, and same-day turnaround. It can be used to improve efficiency, minimise cavitation, control pressure ripple and reduce noise, added Simerics. The code is continually being developed to add new capability and templates for modelling a wide range of equipment.

New features in Pumplinx v2.4 include: bent axis piston pump template; cavitation damage model; 1D models for spool valves and pressure relief valves; orifice, filter and P-Q curve boundary conditions; lagrangian particle module for predicting the motion of liquid droplets and solid particles in a flow field; user expressions and tables for setting physical properties and boundary conditions; and animated streamlines for flow visualisation.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thermal Printer Is Compact & Efficient

Brady has launched the BBP11, a small and efficient thermal printer that combine good printing quality with high-speed output. This user-friendly machine prints labels, tapes, cable markers and heat-shrink sleeves and comes in a compact, space-saving design.

The BBP11 starter model is an ideal printer for identification in a range of industrial environments including manufacturing, electrical, datacomms, electronics and laboratory. The printer is also compatible with a range of printable materials such as polyesters, self-laminating, EPREP, vinyl, cloth and permasleeves. The BBP11 is a natural choice for printing text, logos and barcodes (1D and 2D) and is ideal for wire identification and cable marking.

The BBP11's dual-walled construction makes it solid and hard-wearing, while the good print resolution (300dpi) ensures high-quality, accurate results with minimal loss of material during start-up. Supplied complete with free ready-to-use software, the standard Ethernet port and three communications ports (USB, LPT and serial) ensure easy integration into any business application, and the user-friendly design allows trouble-free ribbon and material loading.

With a speed of up to 5in/s, single-button operation, downtime is minimised to provide an optimum value-for-money, quality printing solution in a durable, reliable and affordable package.
Araldite 2000 Plus Adhesives Get New Additions

Huntsman Advanced Materials has announced additions to the Araldite 2000 Plus range, including polyurethane adhesives and a methacrylate adhesive that requires minimal surface treatment. Araldite 2028 polyurethane adhesive is transparent and UV stable, as well as flexible and fast curing. The adhesive bonds a wide variety of plastics including polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and polycarbonate (PC) and is tailor-made for sign bonding and seismic cables as well as general industrial applications.

Araldite 2029 polyurethane adhesive has good gap-filling properties and high flexibility. The adhesive bonds copper and brass to composite and metals. Suitable for larger components where there is a need for longer open time, it is designed for the transport market as well as for multipurpose systems for thermoplastic and composite bonding and the general industrial market. Araldite 2045 polyurethane adhesive is ideal for making smaller sub-assembly plastic components at speed and cost-efficiently.

Specially formulated for bonding plastics including polycarbonate, ABS and polyamides, it has good gap-filling properties. Only a minimal surface preparation is required, and with a 'within the hour' curing time, small component parts can be quickly produced and made ready for the next stage of the assembly process. Araldite 2048 methacrylate is a multi-purpose adhesive for thermoplastic and composite bonding developed to minimise the amount of surface pre-treatment required on imperfect surfaces.

It has a good ratio between pot life and time to manipulate the bonded parts. It forms tough and flexible bonds with high peel strength, making it ideal in environments such as on boats and in the road and rail transport sectors.
Infrared Sensors Measure Metal Temperatures

Visitors to the Micro-Epsilon stand at Maintec this year saw a demonstration of the Thermometer CT laser range of infrared non-contact temperature sensors. These sensors are suitable for measuring the temperature of metals, ceramics, composites and secondary metal processing application, from 50C up to 1,800C. The Micro-Epsilon Thermometer CT laser M3 is an infrared, inline (fixed) temperature sensor that measures at a short wavelength of 2.3um for all temperature measurements between 50C and 600C.

With a start temperature of 50C, the Thermometer CT laser M3 is for end users that need to measure the temperature of metals, ceramics and composites, while processing at room temperature. The short wavelength enables measurements to be taken through glass or transparent plastic windows, a common task in the latest laser welding or lighting systems. The sensor's precision double laser sighting, in combination with an optical resolution of 100:1 and minimum spot size of 0.7mm, results in a sensor that is suitable for measuring in the metal processing and metal components industry at temperatures up to 600C.

The double laser sighting system has two laser beams, which precisely follow the infrared optical path, marking at any distance the real spot size. Most common pyrometers use a central laser beam, through-lens sighting system or video sighting, which simply mark the centre and estimate the spot size. Fast signal processing and quantum detector enable fast response times of 1ms. For higher process temperatures from 250C up to 1,800C, Micro-Epsilon offers Thermometer CT laser M1/M2 temperature sensors, which can be used to measure the temperature of metals, ceramics and composites.

Like the M3, the M1/M2 sensors have double precision laser sighting, but offer a 300:1 optical resolution and a minimum spot size of 0.45mm. Sensor response times are from 1ms. The Thermometer CT laser M1/M2 sensors can be used in ambient temperatures up to 85C without any cooling required and has an automatic laser switch off at 50C. The sensor measures at very short wavelengths (1.0-1.6um), which minimises temperature measurement errors on surfaces with either low or unknown emissivity.

A range of accessories and optional extras are available for the CT laser range, which protect the sensor in harsh operating environments. These include air purging accessories, K or J type thermocouple outputs, plus a range of integrated digital communications interfaces, including Profibus DP, CANopen, USB, RS232, RS485 and Ethernet.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Philips & Phase-out Of Incandescent Lighting

Royal Philips Electronics is to provide professional customers with a full range of product and system solutions, support and guidance to help them switch to energy-efficient lighting. The phase-out of incandescent lighting within the European Union commences on September 1 this year. The phase-out is expected to make a significant contribution to reducing energy use and carbon emissions.

Philips calculates that for example the simple switch to energy-efficient lighting in homes in Europe could save EUR 10 billion per year in energy costs - equivalent to 25 million tonnes of CO2. To enable professional customers to make a quick and efficient switch to energy-saving technologies in compliance with the new legislation, Philips is to immediately commence initiatives to help customers manage the transition throughout the entire value chain.

The company will be increasing manufacturing capacity of its broad range of alternative solutions in order to meet all its professional customers' needs lighting needs - from general purpose lighting to ambiance creation, while delivering all the energy saving benefits of alternative lighting solutions such as LED, halogen and high quality compact fluorescent (CFLi) products.

"As part of its commitment to being the greenest lighting company in the world, Philips will be making additional efforts to ensure its customers can comply with the phase-out of incandescent lamps before the legislation comes into effect," says Garrett Forde, CEO of commercial activities in Europe, Middle East and Africa. "We can today deliver all alternatives to incandescent lighting to our professional partners in anticipation of the forthcoming legislation". Range of energy-efficient product solutions.

Philips believes the lighting industry can be an excellent partner to businesses and institutional lighting consumers to help them lower their costs and carbon emissions with simple but effective upgrades to their lighting. For example, by up-lamping an average hotel could save around EUR 40 per year per room - and the equivalent of 42,500kg of CO2 or 22,250 trees - by having its lighting simply upgraded to energy-efficient systems.

Philips offers customers a broad portfolio of energy-efficient lighting solutions, from lamps and luminaries to electronics and controls - all capable of lowering both operational costs and CO2 emissions: * LED - Philips offers a portfolio of sustainable LED products for business customers, such as its new flagship product, the MasterLed. The MasterLed is an ultra-efficient, fully dimmable LED lamp for direct replacement of conventional incandescent lamps and can make energy savings of up to 80%, and has a lifetime of 45,000 hours. The lamp is available in a choice of warm or cool white from 2700 to 4200K. The MasterLed GU.

10, GU 5,3 and NR63 are especially designed for accent lighting and are perfectly suited for 24-hour usage applications such as hotels or corridors where maximum and constant efficiency is required. * CFLi - Over the past few years the performance of energy saving lighting solutions has increased dramatically. Traditional first generation energy savers cannot be compared to the current generation of energy efficient lighting solutions (like the Master PLE, Master PLE Ambience and Master PLE Globe). Furthermore Philips has developed energy-efficient lamps that are dimmable. Finally, the shape and design of the latest generation of energy savers has improved and can easily be retrofitted to any luminaire.

* Halogen - Philips' lighting product portfolio includes the world's most energy-efficient halogen solutions, including the EcoClassic. These lamps are designed to deliver the very best in light quality, ambience and atmosphere, while at the same time delivering energy savings of up to 30%. In addition, the EcoClassic range operates on all common dimmers, allowing users to control the light level and to create the required atmosphere. The importance of good lighting design.

Philips believes that by taking into consideration the application and specific characteristics of energy-efficient lighting technologies such as LED, CFLi and halogen, it is possible to achieve equivalent levels of lighting quality as with conventional light sources, but with reduced energy consumption. To maximize the energy-saving potential of these technologies, Philips recommends the application of good lighting design, and the involvement of professional lighting designers.

These can be found through organisations as the PLDA (Professional Lighting Designer's Association) and the IALD (international Association of Lighting Designers), whose members can, through the design process, advise on optimum energy efficiency without compromising on lighting quality.
Dorcom Distributorship For Tador Technologies

Dorcom announce that they have now been awarded UK distributorship for all the Tador Technologies Products, including the C-Gate. The C-Gate is for remote control of any Entry/Access or electrically operated device.

Features include:.

- Easily connects to an existing automatic entry system.

- No distance limitations, unlike a normal remote control.

- Stores up to 1600 Regular User and 400 Special User Timed Access telephone numbers.

Will release the lock on recognising the number, the call does not incur a call charge.

- Operates on a multi-band GSM Network.

- Real time clock operation.

- Easy installation, programming and operation.

Plug and play.

- Can store up to 1000 logs in database.

- Small and compact: 98 x 82 x 30mm (H x W x D).

- Wireless controlled PC application, via modem or SMS.

- Operating voltage: 5- 30 V DC 1.5A.

The C-Gate is a remotely controlled device that will open an automatic gate or door using any mobile phone. As the device uses the mobile network, this allows the release of the door or gate from any distance .To gain access, the user simply calls the C-Gate unit from their mobile phone, the unit will then recognise the pre stored number and release the lock/gate, or operate any electrically operated device.
TPS Security Seminar At Passenger Terminal Expo

Darius Aibara, an Associate Director with TPS's Security & Explosion Effects team, will feature as one of the keynote speakers at 2009's Passenger Terminal Expo, to be held at London's ExCel centre. The event - one of the most highly regarded conferences in the industry calendar - will see Aibara provide expert insight on how to incorporate counter-terrorist requirements into airport terminal design by examining the gap in provisions currently made in airport design and security.

Recent events in the UK such as the Glasgow Airport attack, coupled with the ongoing general worldwide terrorist threat, have made this one of the hottest topics amongst airport operators, security managers, designers and other professionals involved in today's commercial aviation and aviation security industry. The TPS seminar features in the afternoon session on day one, March 24th, of the three-day annual event, as part of a conference stream focusing specifically on Aviation Security and Airport Safety "Sometimes security is considered as a secondary issue rather than a central driver in airport terminal design," Aibara explained.

"The session will emphasise that in order to protect public areas and buildings against terrorist attack, security issues must be in the forefront of any decision-makers' minds when constructing new airports or terminals". Drawing on examples from some of their most recent airport terminal projects, TPS (part of Carillion plc) will be shedding light on how practical means of protecting airport terminals, staff and passengers from terrorist attack can be employed without necessarily turning terminals into fortresses or bunkers.

Potential terrorist threats also will be discussed, along with the UK Department for Transport's aviation security requirements and how these are implemented in the design of terminal structures, facades, interiors and associated infrastructure such as car parks and public transport hubs. This will be illustrated with actual examples and video footage of live blast tests.

TPS' Security and Explosion Effects division offers an unparalleled level of expertise in the protection of assets against terrorist attack, particularly with respect to airport terminal design. Over the last 15 years TPS has been involved in the blast enhancement of all five terminals at London Heathrow Airport, as well as at Gatwick, Stansted and Edinburgh airports, and at other UK and overseas terminal developments.

Darius Aibara has more than 23 years' experience in the design and construction of buildings and civil engineering structures. His recent responsibilities include the design management and day-to-day organisation of the structural and security design of a large UK Government communications headquarters, as well as specialist design of blast -enhanced structures for the UK Government, Armed Forces and a number of commercial clients.
Hager Energy Saving Stair Case Time Lag Switches

Hager launch new range of staircase time lag switches that offers a simple and flexible energy saving solution. The switches are easy to fit or retrofit onto a DIN rail and can be used with any wall switches.

The basic time lag switch allows the end user to switch on the lighting for an adjustable amount of time between 30 seconds and 10 minutes. After that time period the lights will switch off automatically. The device also has a manual override. A second switch has additional functionality. Like the basic version it will switch the lights off automatically after an adjustable time.

It also has three other modes. A pre-warning mode provides a signal with the lights 'blinking' on and off before the end of the lighting period. The double delay mode allows the end user to press the switch for more than three seconds to provide a time delay of an hour. Finally there is a double delay and pre-warning mode, which can provide the time delay of an hour and pre-warns the end user before the lighting is turned off.

Says Steve Dyson, product manager for Hager: "There is a huge emphasis on energy saving solutions in the market". "This range of staircase time lag switches is just one of several new products that will help the contractor meet this demand within the existing electrical distribution system.".

Friday, March 20, 2009

Renold Couplings Highlights Folly Of Fuse Theory

Fuse theory, a myth related to couplings, is costing industry a fortune, according to Paul Shuffleton, managing director of Renold Hi-Tec Couplings. According to fuse theory, rubber-in-shear type flexible couplings protect diesel-driven generator sets by failing or acting like a fuse when there is a potentially damaging short circuit. This is a myth, because the majority of rubber-in-shear couplings fail through fatigue rather than because of a short circuit.

This is also the main reason for failing rubber blocks. Rubber-in-shear couplings consist of a rubber element fused in-between two metal hubs. One hub drives the other through the rubber, the flexing of which protects against shock and vibration. The coupling is only as strong as the rubber element, so if the rubber fails then the coupling fails too. When this happens on a diesel-driven generator set, some engineers believe there has been a short circuit and that the relatively inexpensive coupling has acted like a fuse and protected the expensive diesel engine.

In reality all that has happened is that fatigue has caused the coupling to fail. Rubber-in-shear couplings can quickly fail on applications like these ones. Premature fatigue failure of rubber-in-shear couplings is a virtual certainty when used in conjunction with diesel engines. They do not act as fuses, they just fail. The rubber element in a rubber-in-shear coupling is made up of lots of long-chain molecules that are distributed randomly in the rubber when the coupling is new. When the drive-hub turns, the rubber element twists slightly and turns the driven hub, which causes the long-chain molecules to quickly orientate to the direction of twist.

When the coupling is subjected to the diesel engine's torque fluctuations, or worse, torque reversals, the long chains become tangled in their attempt to re-orientate themselves in the opposite direction. This causes a high degree of stress that will eventually result in rapid fatigue failure. The solution is to fit a different type of flexible coupling, such as a rubber-in-compression coupling, which protects the system from shock and vibration. A rubber-in-compression coupling will operate for up to ten years without maintenance or problems with premature fatigue failure.
Keyence Launches CV-5000 Machine Vision System

Keyence UK has announced the launch of the CV-5000 series machine vision system, which has a range of camera options available. These include a 310,000 pixel (4.7ms transfer speed), two-million pixel (29.2ms transfer speed) and a five-million pixel camera that transfers ultra-high-definition 2,432 x 2,050 pixel images in 61.2ms (16.3 transfers/sec). Inspection tool upgrades include a real-time shade-correction image filter, profile defect detection for irregular shapes, and an expanded colour extraction engine.

Complete lighting control enables simultaneous use of up to eight LED light sources without separate wiring or PLC programming. The CV-5000 machine vision system includes: a range of high-speed colour and monochrome cameras; expandable controller architecture; ultra-high-speed processing; new colour extraction engine, ACE II; defect detection solutions; statistical processing; communication software; and multiple interface options. Users can select the optimum camera for their application from an extensive line-up of five-million pixel, two-million pixel, and ultra-compact cameras.

Each camera type is available in colour or monochrome models. The CV-5000 series can simultaneously run up to four different camera types, making multi-camera applications more cost-efficient. This architecture allows users to increase the flexibility of their systems using expansion units, which includes the camera expansion unit and the light control expansion unit. By limiting the functionality to the essentials, users can meet their requirements, reduce costs, and still maintain the flexibility to upgrade in the future. The CV-5000 series models are driven by a high-speed colour image-processing engine.

The high-speed RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) CPU is supplemented by two DSPs (Digital Signal Processors) designed specifically for image processing. All CV-5000 series models use four processors. The CV-5000 series models are equipped with a new colour extraction engine. The ACE II (Advanced Colour extraction Engine II) uses the HSB colour model (closest colour model to the human sensory system) to attain high colour-extraction performance that stabilises previously unstable colour-processing schemes. CV-5000 series models also feature 'fine colour processing' to extract colour information exactly the way the camera captures it.

This technology broadens the range of colour-processing applications previously accomplished by machine vision systems. Several algorithms have been added to detect foreign objects or burrs on irregularly shaped profiles. These algorithms also filter out glare or other background noise so that only the flaws are emphasised. The Statistical Processing Function enables the user to store up to 20,000 points of measurement data in the internal memory of the unit and easily check the maximum value, minimum value, average value, standard deviation, NG count, and yield, all without having to connect to an external PC.

This function also enables the user to display trend graphs and histograms and make on-the-fly changes to limits based on the results of the gathered data. Up to 1,024 previously captured images can also be accessed directly on the graph. The five-million pixel, high-speed camera transfers ultra-high-definition, five megapixel images (2,432 x 2,050 pixels) in 61.2ms (16.3 times/sec). High-speed production lines can now harness the benefits of high-precision image processing. The CV-5000 series accepts up to four five-million-pixel cameras and transfers the images simultaneously, enabling high-definition inspections of up to 20-million pixels.

The CV-5000 series allows simultaneous use of several different cameras selectable from a line-up of 14 different models. Users can select and combine the cameras best suited to the detection task, such as using a monochrome camera on camera one and a colour camera on camera two. Up to four cameras can be connected by adding the camera expansion unit. The system runs all four cameras simultaneously (acquisition and processing), including the data-intensive five-million pixel colour camera. The multi-camera system provides users with a flexible upgrade path to cope with future additions or changes in their inspection needs. The Trend Edge Stain tool detects edges at user-specified distances within the inspection area, and outputs the max, min, and average of all the data from each measured point.

Previously, this required multiple windows and calculation settings, but now the same inspection can be done by configuring a single inspection setting. The measurements obtained can also be used to draw approximated lines and virtual circles. CV-H5N is dedicated data acquisition software for CV-5001/5501/5701 with optional PC Simulator function Measurement values collected on the CV controller can be output via RS232, Ethernet, or USB. The acquired data can be simultaneously displayed and saved onto an external hard drive. Captured images that are transferred to a PC can be sorted by their OK/NG status based on the measurement results.

The images are then displayed in real time and saved to a specified folder. Programs created on the CV controller can be easily transferred and saved on a PC. If the contents of the controller get erased, the saved files can be quickly reloaded to the vision system, reducing downtime. If record-keeping is essential, all program properties and settings can be output to an Excel spreadsheet and saved for future reference. A time-based data log can be set to collect data from various shifts or product runs.

Specific pieces of measurement data can also be tied to the corresponding image that was saved on the PC for easy reference. Data can also be output to a pre-existing Excel spreadsheet, making the CV data simple to integrate into existing reports. There are two available slots for SD cards. With a total capacity of 8GB, a large amount of configuration files and failed screen data can be saved at high speeds USB 2.0 allows for quick transfer of image data and settings from a PC. No setup necessary as it is ready-to-use on site.

This connector is for the illumination control expansion unit CA-DC20E. The camera cable connection is recessed to minimise dead space when mounted inside control cabinets. RS-232C communication enables a PLC link with PLCs made by other manufacturers. Communicates directly with PLC data memory without additional ladder programs. EIP communication is enabled through the Ethernet port so that data can easily be sent to Rockwell PLCs, or other EIP devices.
Rockwell System Digitally Blends CPG Materials

Rockwell Automation has introduced a digital blending solution that manages materials in blending processes and controls multiple variables to provide consistent product quality. Customer demand for product variety, variance in attributes and characteristics of raw materials and manual production processes are some of the challenges faced by the CPG industry.

The Rockwell Automation digital blending solution, which is delivered on the Logix Control Platform and the Factorytalk software suite, helps to alleviate these problems to make CPG factories more flexible and efficient.It controls the metering of ingredients based on volume or material characteristics.

This approach helps manufacturers achieve product consistency more quickly with less process equipment, product rework and scrap. The solution uses Rockwell Automation standards and technologies, allowing for quicker start-up and consistency across multiple applications or locations and common training and support.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Stannah Lift Group Is a RoSPA Award Winner

RoSPA Awards Manager said that Stannah Lifts Group of Companies has shown a commitment to protecting the health and well-being of its employees and others. The Stannah Lifts Group of Companies, whose head office is in Andover, Hampshire, is celebrating winning one of the prestigious Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Occupational Health and Safety Awards in 2009.

The Gold award will be presented at a ceremony at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel, at the National Exhibition Centre, on Tuesday 12 May. The ceremony will take place alongside Safety and Health Expo 2009 - Europe's leading annual health and safety exhibition. David Rawlins, RoSPA Awards Manager, said: "Stannah Lifts Group of Companies has shown a commitment to protecting the health and well-being of its employees and others".

"Entering the RoSPA Awards reinforces the message that good health and safety is good for business and clearly demonstrates an organisation's dedication to improving performance in this crucial area". Phil Beresford CMIOSH, AIEMA, Stannah Group Health and Safety Manager said: "Stannah is absolutely thrilled to be awarded a GOLD standard at the first time of entering the scheme". "Health and safety is our number one priority and has always been at the very core of our business - for both our staff and the thousands of people who rely on our lift products every day". "We will continue to develop our processes to exceed our Gold standard".

The RoSPA Awards are not just about reducing the number of accidents and cases of ill-health at work; they help to ensure that organisations have good health and safety management systems in place. The majority of awards are non-competitive and mark achievement which is graded at merit, bronze, silver and gold levels. Organisations maintaining high standards can win gold medals, President's Awards and Orders of Distinction.
'Designer' Oak Floors Join Kahrs Linnea Collection

At just 7mm thick, Kahrs Linnea range provides an eco-friendly real wood-flooring option that's both durable and easy to install. Kahrs has introduced seven new brushed and stained oak floors to its popular Linnea Narrow Collection. All of the new products feature a tactile brushed surface and stained matt lacquer prefinish, whilst Kahrs Woodloca joint gives fast and gap-free installation throughout the floor's lifetime.

All Linnea products are offered with a 12-year wear surface guarantee. New floors to the Linnea range include white-stained Oak Blanc, Oak Cloud and Biscuit, mid-tone Oak Honey and dark-toned Oak Amber, Coal and Coffee. Each board features Kahrs multi-layer construction, with a wood veneer surface layer, high performance HDF core layer and wood veneer bottom layer.

As well as numerous Oak flooring options, the Linnea range also offers floors crafted from Ash, Beech, Birch, Cherry, Hard Maple, Jatoba and Walnut. All species, apart from Beech and Hard Maple, are suitable for installation with underfloor heating.

Roofmate LG-A Supports Code And BREEAM Targets

Roofers looking for easy wins when it comes to energy efficiency have a new insulation product to turn to Roofmate LG-A from Dow Building Solutions. New parapet insulation extends choice for roofers. The Styrofoam product is ideally suited to parapet insulation, and comes with a 10mm modified concrete topping to minimise cost and installation time.

It also complements the increasingly popular Roofmate SL-A insulation boards, designed for inverted warm roofs. Dow's A-foam range uses recycled CO2 as a blowing agent, resulting in a Global Warning Potential (GWP) of less than five - new Roofmate LG-A qualifies for Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM insulation specification credits. "Providing Roofmate LG in our environmentally-advanced A-foam format combines the proven benefits of the inverted roof system with an insulation product for parapets that's better for the environment," explained Richard Powell, UK Roofing Manager for Dow Building Solutions.

"It extends our roofing insulation range even further, whilst maintaining the well-known qualities of Styrofoam - low water absorption, ease of installation and of course superior insulating performance". Roofmate LG-A provides an efficient method of insulating parapets and preventing them from becoming a 'cold-sink', drawing heat from inside the building. They lock together to provide a continuous insulation layer and reduced wind-lift effects.

The boards are light enough for one man to install - even in wet weather - and they can easily be added to existing waterproofing layers. The product - which can also be used for lightweight inverted roofs - will initially be available in a thickness of 80mm plus 10mm mortar topping, with board lengths of 1,250mm and width of 600mm.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


SKF To Showcase MCA Handheld Device

SKF will display its Machine Condition Advisor (MCA) handheld device at this year's Maintec industrial maintenance and asset management exhibition on 17-19 March at the NEC in Birmingham. The MCA is claimed to be an easy-to-use, ergonomically designed, handheld device, designed to simplify machine maintenance and prevent costly failures.

Putting the benefits of machine monitoring within reach of any maintenance and operations personnel, the MCA simultaneously measures vibration signals and temperature to quickly and accurately assess the condition of essential rotating equipment, such as pumps, fans, motors, compressors, cranes and conveyors. Although it is small enough to fit in the pocket or clip to a work belt, the MCA features powerful signal processing and advanced technology, making the device suitable for novice and expert users alike.

Users simply turn the unit on, then press the sensor tip against the part of the machine (usually the bearing) to be measured. Once the readings - displayed on an integral bright backlit LCD - stabilise, the user presses a button to 'hold' the values, which can then be read and recorded. The MCA measures velocity vibration signals from the machine and automatically compares them to pre-programmed ISO guidelines, while at the same time applying the SKF Enveloped Acceleration technique to compare readings with established bearing vibration guidelines.

If measurements exceed these guidelines, the unit's display shows an 'Alert' or 'Danger' alarm to indicate potential bearing damage. Simultaneous with the vibration measurement, the MCA's infrared temperature sensor also checks bearing temperatures for abnormal heat loads that could indicate lubrication problems. Powered by an environmentally friendly rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the MCA measures vibration signals from 10Hz to 1,000Hz and temperatures from -20C to +200C.

Displays can be switched between metric or English units and the rugged device is rated IP 54 for use in harsh operating environments. An optional external vibration sensor fitted with a magnet is also available for use in tight spaces or on hard-to-reach surfaces.
Borealis To Exhibit Materials & Components

Borealis will showcase advanced aesthetics, organoleptics, faster production and energy and weight-reducing advantages at Plast '09 (Pavilion 20, Stand B24) on 24-28 March. During the tri-annual event in Milan, Borealis, a provider of value-creating plastics solutions, will demonstrate the performance and processing benefits offered by the latest film and moulding grade additions to its ranges of polyolefins for the pharmaceutical, food-packaging and white-goods industries.

Among the materials making their tradeshow debut will be Borpure high-density polyethylene (HDPE) grades MB6561, MB6562 and MB7541 for the caps and closures market. In addition to fulfilling packaging-industry demands for increased cycle speeds and outstanding food-and-drink preservation through retention of natural odour and taste, the Borpure HDPE materials are claimed to maintain high-level environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR) and a stiffness/impact balance that allows lower weight finished caps to be produced.

For the white-goods sector, Borealis will unveil the first polypropylene (PP) capable of matching the glossy aesthetics of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic polymers - the traditional material of choice for control panels, front draws and baseboards found on washing machines, dishwashers and spin dryers. The Borcom BG055AI offers a six per cent reduction in cycle time and lower machine weight, benefiting the environment and manufacturing costs through reduced energy consumption.

Film converters can look forward to a new addition to the Bormed family for PP cast films. Bormed RE806CF is claimed to offer purity and very high transparency, even after sterilisation, making it suitable for the food- and medical-packaging markets. Moulding products complete the total Bormed product range. The grades will be showcased alongside other PP and PE solutions for the packaging sector.

These include Borealis's Blow Fill and Seal (BFS) solutions for pharmaceutical bottles and ampoules that have recently been relaunched owing to the strong customer demand for continued availability. These also include Borclear RB707CF, while Borpact grades such as BC918CF show superior softness, optical properties and easy-seal benefits for transparent packaging films, MAP trays, stand-up pouches and label films.

There will also be samples of Borstar grade RJ900MO PP for thin-wall containers. Lorenzo Delorenzi, executive vice-president of polyolefins at Borealis, said: 'Borealis's commitment to enhancing the capability of its PP and PE product portfolio is delivering customer-oriented solutions that bring a step change in manufacturing possibilities and add real value where it is most needed.'.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Engineering Supplies Publishes Redesigned Website

Engineering Supplies has relaunched its website that includes thousands of products now available to purchase online. The site also includes search facilities to find and compare products quickly and effortlessly. Sections for different products are accompanied by guides for selecting appropriate items.

In-depth technical product information is available for engineers of all abilities and as an aid for buyers. Users can also sell the company old scrap carbide (with free collection). The company is also adding free technical download areas, technical forums and free job advertising for customers.
Motion Controllers Include Ethernet/IP Option

Aerotech's Soloist and Ensemble series advanced motion controllers now include an ODVA-certified Ethernet/IP fieldbus option to allow direct programming from Allen Bradley PLCs using RSLogix. Register-to-register and ASCII interface programming is available to bring real-time I/O and message exchange with device configuration and data collection over the Ethernet/IP open industrial network standard for integrated machine automation and motion control solutions.

Ethernet/IP is built on a standard Ethernet TCP/IP network and uses the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) of Devicenet. Aerotech's Soloist and Ensemble motion controllers are DSP equipped multitasking intelligent drives that can be configured for linear and rotary, brushed and brushless servo motors as well as open-loop stepper motors. They are equally suited for use with Aerotech's wide range of medium to ultra-high precision positioning systems or as stand-alone motion control and drive solutions for OEM applications such as packaging and processing machinery or robotics.

The single-axis Soloist combines a power supply, amplifier, position and I/O controller in a single package, while the multi-axis Ensemble is available as the Epaq - a motion controller with integral drives and power supply for up to six axes in desktop or rack mount configuration - or as the CP/MP/CL distributed network of individual panel-mounted units. The Ensemble Epaq can handle up to 10 tightly synchronised servo or stepper axes with fully deterministic real-time Ethernet networking for microsecond level motion interpolation and I/O handling.

Through all ranges, peak current is up to 30A as standard and up to 150A on request. Both Soloist and Ensemble feature a GUI for set-up, autotuning, programming, diagnostics and debugging with point-to-point motion, linear and circular interpolation, electronic gearing with high-speed position latching and velocity profiling.

Features include PSO (position synchronised output) for high-speed synchronisation of a single or combined axis position with an output to precisely control an external source such as the firing and power control for a laser. Both solutions also feature axis calibration and backlash compensation allowing higher levels of precision and performance when used with Aerotech's positioning mechanics. A wide choice of programming languages includes Aerotech's Aerobasic, Microsoft .Net, C++, Labview over Ethernet, USB from Windows and many more.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Microsoft Joins Robobusiness As Keynote Sponsor

Robotics Trends and EH Events have announced that Microsoft has joined the Robobusiness Conference and Exposition as a breakfast keynote sponsor. Tandy Trower, a general manager and founder of the robotics initiative at Microsoft, will deliver the keynote session on the first morning of the 6th Annual Robobusiness Conference and Exposition, which takes place on 15-16 April 2009 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

Robobusiness is an international business development event for the personal, service and mobile robotics industry. Tandy Trower's presentation, 'Personal Robotics: Getting Some Perspective', will focus specifically on the most compelling opportunities within the personal robotics market. Trower said: 'There have been many opportunistic projections about the personal robotics market and, while progress is being made, there has been very limited delivery of actual products.

'Robobusiness provides a great opportunity for the international robotics and business communities to discuss the most important and compelling robotics markets and opportunities and the technical and business challenges that must be overcome to bring systems to market.' The Robobusiness Conference and Exposition features companies with emerging robotics and intelligent systems technologies.
Stealth Introduces Model TT-840 LCD Monitor

Stealth Computer Corporation, an ISO 9001 manufacturer of industrial rugged computers and peripherals, has released the Model TT-840 LCD monitor. The TT-840 is a rugged, environmentally sealed LCD monitor, which operates in extreme temperatures from -20C to +60C, making it suitable for outdoor and intense weather conditions.

Stealth's TT-840 is an 8.4in (21.3cm) sunlight-readable LCD encapsulated in a rugged aluminium enclosure that has been sealed to IP68/NEMA 6P specifications. The high-performance LCD is designed to be totally watertight, surviving liquid, dust and dirt intrusion.

Ed Boutilier, Stealth's chief executive officer, said: 'By capitalising on the latest in LED [light-emitting diode] backlight technology, the Stealth TT-840 rugged LCD features a vivid-sunlight-readable display with up to 1,000 nits of brightness and a 600:1 contrast ratio, making it ideal for outdoor or high-ambient light conditions.' The LED backlights offer low power consumption, long-life and increased vibration and shock protection.

Stealth's TT-840 rugged display is shipped standard with infrared touch-screen technology, which provides distinct advantages over other touch-screen technologies. Claimed benefits include: accurate touch positioning; increased optical transmissivity; superior shock and vibration specifications; no drift calibration; and the ability to operate in wet environments with or without gloves.

The monitor operates with a 12VDC to 36VDC power input, making it suitable for DC-powered applications, which are typically found in mobile applications. Power, video and USB connections are provided through IP68 waterproof connectors directly on the unit. Various mounting options are available by using the industry-standard VESA and RAM mounting patterns.

The Stealth TT-840 harsh-environment LCD is said to be suited to plant floor, marine, transportation, oil and gas, mining and outdoor applications.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sinusoidal Motors Include Temperature Sensor

Bonfiglioli has released a range of brushless, sinusoidal motors designed for three phase, 200V AC and 330V AC power supplies. All models are equipped with a thermistor type temperature sensor and IP 65 push-pull connectors (IP 67 optional) conforming to EMC requirements. The range consists of two series of motors, one designated BTD, and the other BCR.

The difference between the two series lies in the extension of their speed and torque ranges, as well as their overall efficiency. This is achieved by two different technologies: standard wound stator for BCR, and advance pole wound for the BCD. Each series includes a number of different mechanical sizes, corresponding to different flange dimensions.

Each flange size is available with motors of different lengths, capable of developing different levels of torque. BTD and BCR series servo motors can only be controlled in speed and/or torque by a suitable electronic servo drive. These drives are available from the Bonfiglioli Vectron's Active Cube Series. The company said when these are combined with Bonfiglioli servo gearboxes or Bonfiglioli gearboxes, they guarantee excellent performance.

An optional electromechanical parking brake is available for all models. Brake operation is controlled entirely by the controller. The extremely small size of these motors ensures exceptional dynamics and low temperature operation. Main characteristics include: stall torque of 0.2 to 115Nm; rated speeds of 2,000, 3,000, 4,500rpm; and inertia from 0.2 to 1Nm.
Absopulse Expands Rugged Converter Range

The PDC 500 from Absopulse Electronics is a recent addition to its line of rugged DC/DC converters. This unit is encapsulated in a thermally conductive MIL-spec silicon rubber compound for immunity to shock, vibration and moisture and is suitable for operation in transportation, oil and gas, mining, industrial automation, utility and other extreme environments.

It operates in a -40C to 60C cold plate temperature range, with extended temperature ranges available on request. The PDC 500 is designed to meet IEC 61373 Categories 1 A and B shock and vibration standards. Absopulse also offers a 500W encapsulated converter that complies with EN 50155 for electronic equipment used on railway rolling stock. This 500W converter utilises a push-pull topology to deliver 12V, 24V, 48V or 110V DC and it operates from 24V, 48V or 125V DC supply voltages. At 125V DC input, the unit can provide up to 600W output power.

Other input and output options are available on request. The PDC 500 is filtered to meet EN 55022 Class A EMI with wide margins. It is also designed to meet EN 60950 and related standards. The unit features inrush current limiting and surge and reverse polarity protection on the input. Output protection includes current limiting with short-circuit protection and thermal shutdown with self-resetting. Combined line and load regulation are +/-1 per cent from no load to full load and efficiency is a minimum of 82 per cent.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Liebherr Uses Steinmeyer Ballscrew In Sukhoi Jet

Liebherr-Aerospace has specified a Steinmeyer ballscrew for the horizontal stabiliser trim actuator of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, which will be introduced at the Paris Air Show in June. Liebherr-Aerospace, from Lindenberg, Germany, is responsible for the fly-by-wire flight control system of the Sukhoi Superjet 100.

The jet, produced by Russian aerospace firm Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company, will contain between 75 and 95 seats. An aeroplane must be in balance longitudinally to fly. This means that the net effect of all the forces acting on the aeroplane must not produce an overall pitching moment about the centre of gravity. Without a horizontal stabiliser there would be only one combination of speed and centre-of-gravity position where this requirement was met.

The horizontal stabiliser provides a balancing force to maintain equilibrium for different speeds and centre-of-gravity positions. The ballscrew is part of an actuator that moves the horizontal tail surface of the plane up and down to accommodate the changing centre of gravity. The ability to withstand stress is an important factor in the design of flight-critical components. All structural parts must be tested under maximum stress levels. For that purpose, design engineers at Steinmeyer simulated different load scenarios.

An example is the runaway check. During a runaway, a malfunction of an electronic or electrical part causes the actuator to run against its end stop at full speed and full motor torque. Another scenario could be a gear box jamming, leaving all parts locked under inertia. The components of the actuator must withstand these load conditions without causing the actuator to fail.

Should the actuator be damaged during flight, or should wear to the mechanical parts exceed certain limits, a sensor triggers an alarm. The part can then be identified and replaced during an inspection, rather than operating the aircraft with the help of the backup system for any length of time. Solidworks software was used to model all parts of the horizontal stabiliser trim actuator in 3D.

Various load conditions for all structural parts were analysed with finite element method (FEM) stress analysis and the design adjusted accordingly where necessary, especially where safety was concerned. Every time the design was changed, tests were carried out under a range of load conditions. The ballscrew in the actuator has a special fail-safe feature that triggers an alarm if the load limit is exceeded only once. The design was only finalised when the achieved safety margin was satisfactory. The ballscrew operates 60,000 flight cycles safely and accurately. It is made from Cronidur30 steel, a stainless steel developed for aerospace applications.

To make the component fit for the flight-critical application, special care had to be taken during the manufacturing process, which involves the grinding of the steel parts and can lead to grinder burn with dangerous consequences. Grinder burn is caused by excessive heat generation during the grinding of hardened steel parts. This induces tensile stresses into the material, which can lead to micro cracks and subsequent part-failure. Although sometimes a blackened surface is an obvious sign of grinder burn being present, there is often no visible sign.

Conventional tests for the detection of grinder burn destroy the part. Steinmeyer, in cooperation with Liebherr-Aerospace Lindenberg, has developed a non-destructive method to detect grinder burn using the Barkhausen effect. It involves sending an alternating magnetic field through the part. Changes in the magnetic noise indicate stress conditions in the material. To interpret the results correctly, each new part and the slightest design change needed a new calibration sensor.

This is a complicated and time-consuming process, but, once calibrated, the Barkhausen noise inspection allows complete, reliable and quick scanning of each ballscrew. The horizontal stabiliser trim actuator is only one aerospace application for Steinmeyer ballscrews. The company has set up an aerospace division with its own dedicated design engineers, assembly and inspection staff. Work on a number of prototypes, to be used in civil and military aerospace applications, is currently under way.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009



400 Amp 2300-7200 Volts (Medium Voltage) The HCV-5HA, the first vacuum contactor produced in Houston, Texas, was also the first Toshiba vacuum contactor to incorporate an electronic drive unit to power the operating coils. This solid state design eliminated the economizing resistors and improved the reliability of the coil circuit. The contactor is available in either electrically maintained or latched type version. The compact size and high performance, as well as being available in a drawout design, has helped many OEMs and end-users replace old air-break contactors and breakers.

Toshiba Offers Superior Features

  • Environment Resistant: Ideal for use in high dust areas. Switching arc is contained within the vacuum bottle, shielding the main contacts.

  • Reduced Maintenance: Vacuum bottle contacts have long life with virtually no maintenance required.

  • No External Surge Protection: Special main contact materials minimize chopping current. No surge suppresser required.

  • Designed for Safety: High voltage and low voltage parts are totally separated by an insulated barrier (non-flammable molded frame).

  • Electronic Control Drive Unit: All contactors include electronic control of the operating coil which offers a wide control voltage of 100-240Vac & 100-250Vdc, anti-chopping feature and reduce power consuption.

  • New CV-10H (13.8/15kV) Contactor: This contactor replaces the CV4X2L but is now rated 320 inductive & 450 thermal amperes, and is now also available in a latched type version.

  • Designed for Longer Wear: Unique vertical magnetic arc dispersion system, USA patent (HCV-1KAU, HCV-6KAU & HCV-6KA(L)U).

  • Compact and Lightweight: Smaller than air break contactors of equivalent electrical performance.

  • Conformity to International Standards: Conforms to international industrial standards such as UL, CSA, AS, BS, NEMA, and IEC. Consult factory on each series.

  • Higher Interrupting Performance: Afford a wide margin of protective coordination with any type of power fuse resulting in increased electrical safety and reliability.
Theorem Updates The Multi-CAD

Theorem's Multi-CAD V5 product removes the cost and complexity of working with CATIA V5 data and non-CATIA data on a single project. Allowing the operator to access the data seamlessly from within CATIA eliminates the translation bottlenecks that add costs to product designs. It also removes the need to import data from UGNX and/or Pro/E into CATIA.

Multi-CAD reduces design costs by enabling the CATIA V5 user to incorporate non-CATIA V5 parts and assemblies, simply, within the CATIA V5 environment. This approach contrasts favourably with the traditional time-intensive and costly process of translating non-CATIA V5 data to CATIA V5 using a standard such as STEP AP203, or a direct database translator.

A major drawback with the above processes is recognising when a design change takes place in non-CATIA V5 data and managing the process of updating the CATIA V5 representation to take into account the changes once the initial translation process is completed. A further issue is that the designer has no control over when the data is translated, if it is carried out as a separate process.

Theorem's Multi-CAD V5 solution overcomes these problems, enabling CATIA V5 users to incorporate non-CATIA V5 parts and assemblies within the CATIA V5 environment, without external translators. Working within CATIA V5, the user simply selects the 'insert' tab at the top of the CATIA screen and moves to the 'existing component' selector on the ensuing drop-down menu. However, rather than selecting an existing CATIA design, the user selects a non-CATIA V5 part or assembly; this then appears on the CATIA V5 design tree.

What has happened is that the 'insert existing component' command has selected the non-CATIA V5 part/assembly and has run the Theorem Multi-CAD V5 application, which has drawn the data into the CATIA design tree. Multi-CAD V5 is more secure than a traditional translate and import process, in which there is never a link between source and translated files. This separation between CATIA V5 and imported, non-CATIA V5 data, when employing external translators, has always been a major problem for users, in that any changes to the non-CATIA V5 data would not be updated in the CATIA V5 design.

However, with Theorem's Multi-CAD product, CATIA V5 maintains and manages the links with the original files. Consequently, if there are changes within the non-CATIA V5 components or assemblies, these will be automatically reflected in CATIA V5 itself.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Lambda Unveils Fibre-To-Fibre Optical Isolators

Lambda Photometrics has announced a line of fibre-to-fibre optical isolators from Optics for Research (OFR). They are designed for use in super-luminescent light-emitting diode (SLED or SLD) applications. These isolators provide high isolation and low insertion loss over broad bandwidths and are available for common SLED wavelength ranges in the 750nm to 900nm region.

These isolators use OFR's proven IO-F series optical engine, and two platforms are available for single- or dual-chip SLED requirements. For single-chip SLED applications, the IO-F-SL1 fibre isolator provides high performance over a spectral bandwidth of 70nm. For dual-chip SLED systems, the IO-F-BB-SL2 provides coverage over a 100nm bandwidth.

Isolation at the centre wavelength typically exceeds 35dB, and is maintained to at least 20dB at the bandwidth FWHM points for both models. Optical power handling capability is 3W in the forward and reverse directions, and the compact packages are supplied with 1m SM800 fibre pigtails.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Added Functionality For GigE uEye Cameras

Stemmer Imaging has announced that the GigE uEye high-end (HE) industrial cameras from IDS now have added functionality. The GigE uEye HE industrial camera range is said to be suitable for sophisticated, complex machine vision and image-processing applications.

The range features 18 models, including both monochrome and colour versions, with resolutions from VGA (640 x 480 pixels) through WVGA (CCIR/PAL), XGA, SXGA, UXGA to QSXGA (2560 x 1920 pixels). The introduction of the uEye 3.30 driver provides increased support for many hardware and software features for this range of cameras. The driver provides support for both Windows Vista and the onboard serial interface.

The camera's RS232 interface, seen from the PC as a standard COM port, enables control of peripheral devices such as a lens, a pan/tilt unit or a lighting controller. The driver also provides enhanced support for Genicam, with optimised internal image acquisition and the facility for image processing in the HE camera hardware to allow, for example, in-camera conversion from raw Bayer format to RGB and YUV formats.

In addition, there are now new pixel formats, customisable hardware LUT, additional sub-sampling and binning modes (which can achieve up to 50 per cent higher frame rates), display of sensor test images and new API functions.

A new RGBY format allows the simultaneous transmission of both an RGB and a monochrome image. All HE models are claimed to offer back-focus adjustment on the lens mount allowing precision alignment for C-mount zoom optics. The cameras' symmetrical housing allows mounting at 90/180 degrees, without the need for new holders.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


IFM Releases Efector Valvis

Reliable feedback of rising stem valve position is made easier with the Efector Valvis from IFM Electronic. Efector Valvis is designed for feedback on rising stem valves with a stroke of up to 80mm.Using Efector Valvis means that complex mounting of several individual position sensors on the valve piston is no longer required.

Simple programming by pushing a button replaces mechanical adjustment to the respective valve positions. The Efector Valvis system operates on the inductive principle. The sensor signals up to three valve positions to the control system: valve open, valve closed and any position in between, for example, seat lift.

Three-colour LEDs indicate the switching output. Rising stem valves differ, so a range of adapters for types including Alfa Laval Sudmo, Gemu and Georg Fischer is available from IFM Electronic.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Torqueleader Helps Morgan Achieve ISO Approval

At the end of 2008, Morgan Motor Company gained ISO 9001 approval assisted through the installation of a Torqueleader supplied torque analyser. Morgan currently has an 18 month order book. All cars are made to order with 90 per cent being exported - many to Europe, especially Germany and France.

At present they are making around 650 cars a year and have seven different models, prices ranging from roughly GBP25 - GBP100k. The classic cars have a wooden body fixed to steel chassis, the body panels are aluminium and the Aero 8 and Aeromax are fixed to a bonded aluminium chassis. The smaller engines starting at 1.6 litre from Ford up to the larger 4.8 litre V8 engines from BMW are in the Aero 8 and Aeromax models.


The 2009 edition of ABB's Drives & Motors catalog is now available for end-users, system integrators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The 48-page catalogue is free and provides technical details of ABB's range of low-voltage AC drives from 0.18-2,800kW and motors from 0.06 to 710kW. It also presents ABB's range of DC and medium-voltage AC drives.

Easy-to-use tables give ordering data, dimensions, options and electrical details for most products, together with prices for 2009. New products for 2009 include an IP66-rated ABB general machinery drive. From 0.37-7.5kW the drive is suitable for screws, mixers, pumps, fans and conveyors in places where the machinery is exposed to dust, moisture and high-pressure washing such as the food and drinks sector.

The ABB standard drive range and the ABB industrial drive range have also seen their power range boosted and are now available up to 160kW. Supporting software includes integration and programming tools, start-up and maintenance tools, as well as engineering and energy-saving tools. Web links tell readers where to download the different packages. As well as product details, the 2009 brochure outlines the services available to support drives customers.

Drivesactive provides 24/7 support, while Drivesactive+ is a lifecycle management programme for critical equipment. Drivesadvantage completes the service portfolio with installation, start-up and after-sales support. The catalogue also includes details of the ABB Drives Alliance and Motor Service Partners located throughout the UK. The partners stock a range of ABB drives and motors, many available off-the-shelf or available for delivery at short notice.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Storch Magnetics Unveils Power Matrix Chuck

Storch Magnetics has introduced the Power Matrix electromagnetic chuck, which is claimed to offer up to 132 tons of holding force per square foot for all types of machining applications. Storch Magnetics is an Eclipse Magnetics-authorised reseller. With extreme holding force, these chucks are claimed to allow milling on five faces for high metal removal rates while eliminating vises and h-clamps for faster part setup.

Power Matrix chucks are designed to offer multi-point clamping for round, stepped and shaped parts. Parts can be mounted directly to the chuck's face or, for odd-shaped ones, steel mounting blocks can be used that allow the magnetism to flow through them for positive part holding. By eliminating part movement, these chucks are said to allow high metal removal rates, better part quality and a reduction in cutting chatter and vibration for longer tool life.

Greater production is also achieved, since multiple parts can be mounted on the chuck for high-volume machining. The chucks are always excited without electricity, which means that they offer a failsafe design. Exciting electricity only changes the chuck's permanent internal magnetic field to an external one for part hold-down. Once the magnetic field is changed, the electric connection can be removed and the part will remain stationary.

Storch's Power Matrix chuck uses a pole-style, matrix-format modular design and the individual poles that make up the chuck are cube shaped. Each pole's top face is the working area, while the other five sides are clad with magnetic material for holding power.

Power Matrix offers standard sizes available from 400mm in length, 250mm in width and 68mm in height up to 1,000mm in length, 600mm in width and 68mm in height. Specials are also available, such as for tombstone applications. They are available with either a detachable cable or a hardwired version.
Safety Device Indicates Power Conditions

The Universal Power Alert (UPA) from Marsh Bellofram Europe provides a visual external indication of live power or stored energy conditions existing within an electrical enclosure. This safety device helps prevent arc flash and possible electrocution for operating and maintenance personnel, by pre-verifying that full electrical isolation conditions exist before the access door or cover is opened to any enclosure containing electrical power devices.

The permanently installed UPA 130 unit supplements conventional voltmeter testing and helps maintain compliance with the National Fire Protection Association NFPA 70E safety standard, which addresses the issues of safe electrical work practices for workers. These power alerts are suitable for use on single and three-phase power supplies, with typical applications including motor control centres (MCC) and MCC buckets, high-energy panels or panels with multiple power sources, circuit breaker disconnect boxes, isolation switches, and other frequently accessed electrical panels used throughout industry and supply utilities.

The UPA 130 uses standard pushbutton or conduit knockouts for mounting and is permanently wired to the circuit breaker or otherwise potentially hazardous live power supply that is indicated with flashing LEDs. A low-profile mounting option is also now available, which is used with an external protective bezel. This effectively reduces the front-of-panel projection, providing greater protection against possible vandal attack or accidental impact damage.

The product is also fully encapsulated and provided with redundant circuitry to ensure that the primary electronic functions of power source identification and indication are maintained. The power range covered is 40 to 750V AC at 50/60/40Hz for both single and three phase supplies, with both line-to-line and line-to-GND conditions being separately identified. The presence of DC voltage and stored energy in the range 30 to 1,000V DC is also incorporated.

LED indicators are illuminated and flash at rates varying from 1.5 to nine times per second, with the faster rates indicating higher voltages. Two LEDs are used to identity which phase (L1, L2 or L3) is live or grounded (GND), with + or - LEDs illuminated to indicate DC voltage or stored energy being present.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Wolfram Research Offers Consulting Service

Wolfram Research has launched a consulting service called Wolfram Solutions, which is said to provide solutions for business problems and technical computing needs. With technical skill, vertical industry prowess, deep management experience and focus on customer priorities and goals, Wolfram Solutions is claimed to deliver the power of technical computing to help improve efficiency, quality and results and to spearhead innovation.

Wolfram Solutions consultants are said to be experienced in modelling, simulation, data analysis, image processing, high-performance computing, parallel computing, delivering technical computing over the web and other technical computing fields. According to the company, which manufactures Mathematica, its experts offer performance tuning and enhancements for existing software, while also conducting research, development and deployment for new software. For one customer, Dolphin Measurement Systems, Wolfram Solutions migrated an existing systems code that took one second to run into Mathematica code with a run time of 0.01 seconds.

From there, it automatically generated and compiled embedded C code, which runs 150 times per second. Wolfram Solutions offers consultants on an ad-hoc, by-the-hour basis for expertise or energy for a few days at a time to take on specific deliverables under customer direction or to manage and conduct an entire multi-month project.


Trans-Coil H5 Filters actively monitors the load current, reacting to changes in load almost instantaneously, while returning the true power factor to near unity. This dual duty product accomplishes both objectives immediately upon installation without the need for a special commissioning process. The filter’s ability to adjust to a dynamic load also means that an expensive harmonic study is not necessary prior to the installation of an H5. The ease of installation plus the superior performance of this filter makes the H5 the ultimate choice in harmonic mitigation solutions.


  • TDD Reduction to 5% or better at Full Load - Power Factor Correction to less than or equal to .98 lagging

  • Power Factor Improved to near Unity

  • Response time of less than 8 ms to step load changes

  • Additional filters can be added to increase correction capability

  • Units can be paralleled without any calibration

  • Self-Commissioning Installation

  • Modular design

  • Harmonic Cancellation to the 50th harmonic