Monday, April 27, 2009


RDP Electronics has announced that its Model 13 compression load cell can handle a 1,000lb load and measures just 19mm in diameter and 6.5mm high. The larger model - Model 53 - at 36mm diameter and 25mm us rated for a maximum 30,000lbs.

Utilising stainless-steel construction, both versions are physically robust, compact and well-suited for measuring large loads in applications were space is limited. Models D and TH offer the additional benefit of through-hole mounting.



PBC Linear has announced the release of its Profile Rail Technology (PRT), which will consist of application-specific caged and non-caged runner blocks with a lubrication system. The company said the technology offers longer life, ability for higher load capacities, and corrosion-resistant chrome rail finishing for tolerating harsh environments. Backed by a reservoir lubrication system to ensure longer life and smooth, quiet operation, PRT's runner blocks aim to provide reliable linear motion without further lubrication.

As the ball bearings circulate, they are lubricated by end-cap reservoirs, providing a protective lubrication film in the ball tracks, facilitating a long-lasting system. The new caged-type runner blocks have additional built-in oil reservoirs at every cage ball pocket, which extends or eliminates the time between lubrication cycles. Caged runner blocks also provide up to 19 per cent more load capacity and reduce noise and vibration by 84 per cent more than competing technologies.

To keep dirt out and extend life, all PBC linear runner blocks incorporate a standard double-row sealing system. Runner blocks are available in wide and narrow, low and high combinations, in addition to short, long, and extra-long configurations. The rails and runner blocks are outfitted with corrosion-resistant black oxide, chrome or black chrome rail finishes.


Lee Springs has added beryllium copper battery springs, Redux wave springs, constant force springs and more sizes of Lite Pressure compression springs to its latest catalogue. The 172-page catalogue is due to be released in May 2009 and contains more than 16,500 different types of spring, including compression, extension, torsion and Belleville spring washers, plus engineers spring-selection kits. Battery springs provide fast, efficient and reliable contacts.

Beryllium copper, one of the hardest, strongest and most hard wearing copper alloys, improves the physical properties of the springs while a silver coating enhances electrical and thermal conductivity performance and makes soldering easier. These high-performance battery springs will appeal to engineers who are developing devices where high endurance and ruggedness are key requirements.

The springs supplement an existing range manufactured from nickel-coated music wire to match the nickel-plated containers used for most alkaline batteries. All the battery springs come in four mounting configurations - interior, exterior, adjustable, double - and are designed to adjust to varying battery lengths and provide secure, low contact resistance and dependable connections. Custom designs can also be produced. More than 200 new sizes of Redux wave springs have also been included and extend the maximum hole diameter in which they will operate to 44.45mm (1.75in).

Wave springs perform a similar function to compression springs but they take up to approximately 50 per cent less compressed height. Manufactured in stainless-steel type 17-7 PH, these springs offer optimum performance in static or slightly dynamic applications where space is critical or where radial and axial tolerances are tight. Manufactured from high-yield 301 stainless-steel strip, constant force springs exert a near-constant restraining force. The springs are usually tightly coiled on a drum and either the free end or the drum can be attached to the load.

Four life-cycle ranges are offered covering loads from 1.02-73.42N (0.23 to 16.50lb). Typical applications include counterbalance springs, car seatbelt and cable retractor mechanisms. 200 more sizes of the company's Lite Pressure compression springs in type 316 stainless steel have also been added. Designed to meet demands for compression springs combining low spring rates with large diameters, these high-index springs deliver 7-35kPa pressure at 80 per cent deflection.

Typical applications include valves, pistons, syringes, motor brushes, dispensers, contacts and toys. Lee Spring's custom spring design and manufacturing service has also been strengthened with a dedicated e-mail and technical team in place to handle the provision of tailored solutions.


Aerotech has launched a range of precision worm-drive rotary stages featuring large through-apertures and a preload system that provides a high level of accuracy with minimal wear. The AGR series covers five models with internal diameter from 50-200mm and is available with continuous 360deg travel, or with a mechanically limited travel range (down to 5deg).

Axial load capacity is up to 570kg and rated speed to 30rpm; and the range includes optional directly mounted encoders for best performance repeatability and negligible levels of hysteresis and backlash. Typical specifications across the AGR series include a 120 arc-sec positional accuracy without encoder fitted and 20 arc-sec when the servomotor mounted encoder option is used. Corresponding without- and with- encoder specifications for bidirectional repeatability are 30 arc-sec and 8 arc-sec.

Stage resolution, with a 2500 line servomotor mounted encoder fitted on the largest stage, is 2.1 arc-sec - while the same size stage with a directly mounted 40000 lines per revolution encoder achieves 32.4 arc-sec. Aimed at general-purpose rotary positioning applications in research, industrial production and manufacturing test applications, the AGR series has been designed to accommodate the through-aperture mounting of additional equipment and services such as lenses, mirrors, slip rings or cable assemblies on high-precision positioning systems.

The main housing and table top are manufactured from a lightweight aluminium alloy, which ensures maximum structural stiffness and a reduced mass for multi-axis set-ups and other weight-critical applications. The AGR series also benefits from a larger dual pre-loaded angular contact bearing-set to provide the high load handling required for offset and awkward payloads, while maintaining the minimal error motion performance required for high-precision positioning.

Other AGR series options include a choice of Aerotech's high-performance brushless servomotors or stepper motors in various orientations with rear-shaft mounted encoders and brakes. A labyrinth sealing kit is also available for stage sealing in arduous machining environments, and vacuum-compatible versions are available for levels down to 10-6 torr.


Atlas Copco Compressors says it is furthering in-depth understanding of compressed air through its 'lunch and learn' series of events. The events are aimed at engineers, technicians and energy managers and allow them to gain insight into every aspect of a compressed-air system, such as energy saving techniques.

A recent lunch and learn event took place at the Sellafield Visitor Centre in Cumbria, and saw almost 50 process and site services engineers from British Nuclear Fuels attend. Delegates on this occasion were introduced to the benefits of compressed-air system energy audits and leak detection, the savings made possible with variable speed drive equipment, the contribution of optimised control systems, and the utility of on-site nitrogen generation.


WEG has announced that its HV electric motors, inverters and generators have been utilised in the P-53 floating platform unit (FPU) deployed by Petrobras off the coast of Brazil. The company said the FPU relies on WEG's products for its continuous reliable operation in the worst of environmental conditions. The platform uses WEG medium- and high-voltage motors to drive water-injection pumps to pump water into the oil well; this in order to maintain high levels of extraction and avoid internal low-pressure conditions.

WEG motors also drive the pumps used for oil production outflow from the platform, and those responsible for cooling systems on the platform. The compression modules used on P-53 are supplied by DRVA, a consortium of Dresser-Rand and Vetco Aibel. These units also depend on three WEG 13,500kW, four-pole, 6600V, synchronous motors driven by frequency inverters. The motors and inverters were supplied as integrated systems by WEG to Dresser-Rand in the US, and to the oil and gas market in general.

The supply of three compression module motors to P-53 follows the success of three identical WEG motors that are already in operation on the Petrobras P-54 platform. These drive Dresser-Rand compressors, exporting the gas extracted from Module Two of Roncador field, in the Campos Basin in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The P-54 project is targeted to provide production of 180,000 barrels of oil, and six million cubic metres of gas per day- the same amount projected for P-53 when it is in full production.

On both platforms, motors supplied by WEG are playing a key role in helping to achieve these targets. In addition to HV motors, WEG has also supplied P-53 with four 28.75MVA WEG generators driven by generation module turbines; a 42-column load centre of 4000A - 65kA (resistant to internal electric arc); and a 49 removable-column MCC.

Specially designed for offshore application, the low-voltage panels will be installed on electric modules P-08 and P-06, all of which have been tested and approved, and are Bureau Veritas certified.


A Jiskoot Jetmix and Viscosity Trim fuel-oil blender system installed at a fishing port in Namibia has delivered savings and a competitive advantage by reducing blended product costs. The fuel-oil blender has an integrated control system and a performance guarantee giving +/-1 per cent viscosity of the target recipe.

This skid-mounted system, supplied by the Cameron Jiskoot Quality Systems business unit, was designed to blend in-line heavy fuel oil with gas oil to produce 10m3/h of 70cSt fuel oil that can be pumped directly to the waiting ships at the jetty. It will also provide a representative Marpol-compliant sample as the blend progresses, as well as a representative sample of the incoming feedstocks.

The system blends the two feedstocks to ensure a fully homogenous result with guaranteed accuracy and repeatability of viscosity measurement to ensure that it does not exceed the maximum design viscosity at the reference temperature.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


A supplier of nano-positioning systems for atomic force microscopy (AFM) is using non-contact capacitive displacement sensors from Micro-Epsilon to measure the travel distance of test items. Based in Munich, Attocube Systems specialises in the development, manufacture and distribution of nano-positioning systems. Founded in 2001, the company is a spin-off from the Center for Nanoscience in Munich, Germany.

The company's core competence is in ultra-high precision spatial positioning of objects - a prerequisite for most nanotechnology applications. Attocube's technology enables the positioning and scanning of objects with atomic resolution, but with travel distances in the centimetre range. Attocube has developed systems for a variety of extreme environments, including UHV applications, low temperatures and high magnetic fields.

Atomic force microscopes are used to image, measure and manipulate matter at the nano scale. The information is gathered by 'feeling' the surface with a mechanical probe. Piezoelectric elements that facilitate very small but accurate and precise movements on command enable very precise scanning of surfaces. Attocube is using two custom-designed CapaNCDT 6300 CSH1FL capacitive displacement sensors from Micro-Epsilon to measure the travel displacement of test items that need to be moved in the nanometre range, enabling surface topography data to be obtained.

Attocube has developed special actuator motors that are used to position the head of the microscope for these precise positioning tasks. The system uses a piezo-ceramic positioning unit, enabling movement of the X, Y and Z axis. The two sensors measure the positioning range, which is 1.2mm x 1.2mm. The complete head of the microscope is cooled using liquid helium to 4K above the absolute zero point of -273C. The traversing units operate at an ambient temperature of 4K in an ultra-high vacuum and under very strong magnetic fields.

In order to measure the X and Y-axis movements, Attocube has integrated two Micro-Epsilon CapaNCDT 6300 sensors with its actuator motors, positioned inside the head of the microscope. With a measuring range of 1mm, the sensors have a precision of less than 5nm and operate without contact. 'The extremely low ambient temperature and ultra-high vacuum were particular challenges here,' said Chris Jones, managing director at Micro-Epsilon (UK).

'In ultra-high vacuums, you tend to get degassing of sensor materials and components, both within the sensor itself and the cable. 'The solution had to operate without contamination in this environment and also experience no loss in signal quality when passing sensor signals through an ultra-high vacuum bulkhead connector,' he added. Because the sensors are expected to perform just as well at - 269C as they are at room temperature, Micro-Epsilon used special materials for the sensor and the cable, which due to their very low thermal expansion properties, provide very stable sensor measurements.

A complete sensor solution with vacuum bulkhead was delivered to the customer that required no modifications. The cable supplied was a triaxial design and the temperature stability of the complete system is 11ppm/C. 'We also had a very tight space envelope to work in and so we had to modify the sensor geometry to suit the installation,' said Jones. 'We also developed our own in-house low temperature test chamber that enables us to calibrate and test our sensors for these types of extreme application down to -200C.'.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Features

• 2.5" Opto-ASIC Encoder with a Low Profile (2.0”)
• Bore Sizes Ranging From 0.625” to 1.125”
• Single Replacement Solution For 2.0" to 3.5" Encoders
• Resolutions to 10,000 CPR; Frequencies to 1 MHz
• Versatile Flexible Mounting Options
• RoHS Compliant

Introducing the next generation of high performance encoders - the Model 25T. As contemporary as its appearance, the Model 25T features the largest thru-bore available in a 2.5” encoder, mounting directly on shafts as large as 1.125" (28 mm). With resolutions of up to 10,000 CPR, and Frequencies of up to 1MHz this industrial strength encoder is perfect for fast revving motors. The 25T features the next generation of Encoder Products Company's proprietary Opto-ASIC sensor which provides superior accuracy and precision counts. The injection molded housing, made from EPC's custom blend of nylon composites, is grooved with "cooling fins" and can take the extreme heat of the motion control industry. With sealing available of up to IP66 and many new rugged flexible mounting options, the Model 25T can perform in demanding industrial environments. This revolutionary new 2.5” encoder truly is unlike any other.

Common Applications
Motor-Mounted Feedback and Vector Control, Specialty Machines, Robotics, Web Process Control, Paper and Printing, High Power Motors

Model 25T/HSpecifications
Electrical
Input Voltage.............4.75 to 28 VDC max for temperatures up to 85° C 4.75 to 24 VDC max for temperatures between 85° and 105° C

Input Current............. 100 mA max with no output load

Output Format...........Incremental- Two square waves in quadrature with channel A leading B for clockwise shaft rotation, as viewed from the mounting face. See Waveform Diagram.

Output Types.............Open Collector- 20 mA max per channel Pull Up - Open Collector with 2.2K ohm resistor, 20 mA max per channel Push-Pull- 20 mA max per channel Line Driver- 20 mA max per channel (Meets RS 422 at 5 VDC supply)

Index..........................Once per revolution. 361 to 10,000 CPR: Gated to output A 1 to 360 CPR: Ungated See Waveform Diagram.

Max Frequency..........250 kHz for 1 to 2500 CPR 500 kHz for 2501 to 5000 CPR 1 MHz for 5001 to 10,000 CPR

CE Testing.................Emissions tested per EN61000-6-3:2001 as applicable. Immunity tested per EN6100-6-2: 2005 as applicable

Min. Edge Sep...........45° electrical min, 63° electrical or better typical

Rise Time..................Less than 1 microsecond

Accuracy....................Within 0.1° mechanical from one cycle to any other cycle, or 6 arc minutes.

Mechanical
Max Shaft Speed.......6000 RPM, 8000 RPM intermittent 4000 RPM for IP66 seal option

Bore Size...................0.250" through 1.125"6 mm through 28 mm

Bore Tolerance..........-0.0000"/+0.0008" User Shaft Tolerances

Radial Runout.......0.005" max

Axial Endplay.........±0.050" max

Starting Torque..........IP50 sealing: 1.0 oz-in typical IP66 sealing: 4.0 oz-in typical Note: Add 1.0 oz-in typical for -20° C operation

Moment of Inertia......7.6 x 10-4 oz-in-sec2

Max Acceleration.......1x105 rad/sec2

Electrical Conn..........6-, 7-, or 10-pin MS Style, 5- or 8-pin M12 (12 mm), 10-pin Bayonet or gland with 24 inches of cable (foil and braid shield, 24 AWG conductors)

Housing.....................Proprietary nylon composite

Mounting....................2.25" to 2.75" B.C. 3-point flex mount 3.50" to 5.90" B.C. (4.5" C-face) tether arm kit, 3.50" to 8.10" B.C. (8.5" C-face) tether arm kit and 2.72" to 3.42" B.C. (Block & Pin) tether arm kit. See mechanical drawing for dimensions

Weight........................8 oz typical

Environmental
Operating Temp.........-20° to 85° C for standard models -20° to 105° C for high temperature option

Storage Temp............-20° to +85° C

Humidity.....................98% RH non-condensing

Vibration.....................20 g @ 5 to 2000 Hz

Shock.........................80 g @ 11 ms duration

Sealing.......................IP50, IP66 with shaft seals at both ends


The use of the SMAC linear rotary actuator for a screwdriver has expanded to disc drive assembly. SMAC linear rotary actuators are programmable in variable positions and speeds, including SMAC's Soft-Land feature that allows for accurate pick-up of fragile components as well as a soft contact onto the thread.

Continuous real-time track of the screw position verifies success or failure of operation and monitoring of torque, including final torque out. SMAC linear rotary actuators speed up operation due to programmable accelerations, and have the ability to feedback the quality checks so that each operation can be quantitatively verified. These actuators can also be programmed to adjust as a single component.



Fluid Metering's Chloritrol valveless metering-system accurately injects liquid sodium and calcium hypochlorite for treating municipal drinking water. The Chloritrol system is a valveless duplex pump design. The primary pump injects liquid hypochlorite directly into the water main. The secondary pump removes out-gas bubbles from the system, preventing loss of prime.

The Chloritrol will self prime against pressures up to 125psi. Internal components are made of sapphire-hard ceramics, which provide long-term drift-free accuracy. Flow rate is controlled by FMI's Model V300 Variable Flow Controller, which accepts 4-20mA, 0-5V DC and 0-10 V DC signals from process sensors and instrumentation. Flow rate can be manually controlled.

The Chloritrol also features panel membrane switches and LED readout. The size of the system and its energy consumption are a fraction of that of conventional injection pumps. The Chloritrol is also suitable for adding sodium hypochlorite to municipal swimming pools, water parks, resorts, food-processing plants and waste-treatment applications. Fluid Metering will exhibit the Chloritrol at the ACE/AWWA Show in June.



Partex has unveiled the PKS range of stainless-steel markers for cable and component identification. The legend is embossed, making them far less likely to act as dirt traps: the concave part of the legend is at the back of the marker, and they remain legible even with substantial build-up. They can even be painted and still be perfectly legible.

Despite the clear benefits offered by stainless-steel markers, potential users are sometimes concerned that they will be harder to work with and take longer to install than conventional markers. In fact, the differences are small, and can be made even smaller by choosing the right product. For large projects, customised multi-character markers are a suitable option.

These are delivered with the complete legend already embossed and ready for immediate installation. Partex offers customised stainless-steel markers with two rows of characters, allowing even long legends to be accommodated on a single marker.

For smaller projects or when carrying out modifications on site, single-character markers with carrier strips allow the user to compose almost any legend on the spot. The Partex range includes stainless ties in a wide range of sizes, with a choice of roller-ball and ladder versions, and tools which tension the ties and automatically cut off the tail when the correct tension has been reached.



Parker-Origa is aiming to set new standards for air preparation equipment with the launch of the A15. This system is constructed from lightweight polymers instead of the traditional metal, reducing weight and simplifying assembly. The design also reduces the number of variants required to cover the full spectrum of applications, which lowers logistics costs.

Further features include a self-adjusting nano mist oiler, which provides fully automatic regulation of the oil volume according to the flow rate of the compressed air. This ensures that the optimum lubrication is always achieved. Functional safety is optimised through the incorporation of a manual or semi-automatic drain valve. The A15 is available in two versions: standard and heavy duty.

For air motors and other applications that use large amounts of lubrication, a replenishment system is available offering users an alternative to running on lubricant-free air. This will ensure a permanently optimised level of lubrication to maintain seal performance and extend working life. Constructing the A15 from high-tech polymers instead of the traditional metal means that it is up to 45 per cent lighter than conventional equipment.

The non-metal design also makes the A15 corrosion-free, enabling it to be used in harsh industrial environments, with aggressive synthetic oils or anti-freeze, and at temperatures down to -40C. The materials also facilitate the use of a universal container design across the range, reducing the number of product variants from the 12 that would previously have been required down to just two. The design of the nano mist oiler has also extended the maximum distance between oiler and equipment to 40m.


The Signum Supreme weighing scale has been developed for use in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food and chemical industries. It is suited for simple and demanding applications such as checkweighing, totalising and formulation. The Signum Supreme can withstand massive side shocks and can be cleaned using a water jet.

It delivers reliable and reproducible measurement results, even during varying setup conditions. This allows it to be easily integrated into the changing environmental conditions for industrial applications. It is available for use in Zone 2 and 22 hazardous areas, which includes ATEX conformity and certification in accordance with the latest industry standards.

The Signum Supreme has three application levels and different resolutions, weight ranges and ranges of interfaces to make individual configurations possible.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


PCL has introduced the APP203 1/2in composite impact wrench air tool. The APP203's composite housing has a strong yet lightweight finish, and its compact design provides a soft, ergonomic grip for prolonged use. It features low vibration, low noise and high performance, making it ideal for industrial and heavy-duty, repetitive work.

Suitable for light truck and automotive/industrial applications, the wrench has a handle exhaust to direct air away from the operator, a swivel air inlet to prevent hose twist, and a twin hammer mechanism for increased power and smooth balanced blows. The APP203 also has an energy-efficient motor for maximum performance and long life.

PCL's collection of impact wrenches is aimed at tradesmen who want a competitively priced, high-performance air tool, and ranges from general purpose wrenches in aluminium and composite to Prestige wrenches and the budget Lite range. The standard PCL range has been extended from 17 tools to a comprehensive collection of 40, including all the common air tools, from impact wrenches and ratchets to sanders and grinding tools.



Souriau's UTO range connector is designed for high-speed Ethernet connections in severe operating environments, and can be assembled in less than a minute. It allows the user to use a standard RJ45 cordset and does not require any specific tooling. It is designed for field installations in applications such as robotics, machines, automation systems, rail systems and industrial telecommunications, as well as onboard applications.

The UTO RJ45 connector is easy to assemble. The user takes any new or used cordset, breaks off the standard snap clip by hand and inserts it into the socket. The clip-based mounting system developed by Souriau will then mount and securely maintain the cable. Thanks to this system and unlike competing models, the UTO RJ45 comprises only three main parts that are easily handled by the assembly operator.

It is resistant to impact and vibration, and offers excellent temperature performance from -40C to 85C. It offers IP67 sealing, and is salt-mist-resistant (for 96 hours in the black anodised ring version) and UV-resistant. It is rated for 500 mating cycles, and is equipped with the Trim Trio locking mechanism: this is a one-third of a turn bayonet locking mechanism with a click lock motion that the user can feel and hear, guaranteeing a proper connection.

It is available in a square-flange receptacle version (with four screws) or a centre Jam nut receptacle version. It supports Ethernet 10 BaseT, 100 BaseTX, 1000 BaseT, Cat5e networks to TIA/EIA 568B standards and Class D to ISO/IEC 11801. The UTO range is compliant with the European RoHS environmental directive. The UTO socket is a part of the Trim Trio family. The range is very extensive, and designed around the same modular base. The connector cavities and contacts are common to all Trim Trio connectors. As a result, users retain full freedom to design their connector, whether it be signal, power or high-speed (coax cable or optical fibre).


Madgetech has announced the PRTemp1000D, a rugged differential pressure and temperature data logger. The device is ideal for monitoring and validating applications in geothermal, pneumatics and process control systems. The PRTemp1000D features dual 1/4in NPT connections, a stainless steel enclosure and up to one year of battery life.

It is available in 0-30, 0-100, 0-300 and 0-500 PSID, and the internal temperature sensor provides accurate temperature measurements without the need for a separate temperature data logger. At a one-minute reading rate, the PRTemp1000D can measure and record for up to 682 days. It is a direct replacement for strip chart loggers, and does not need to be read manually, improving and streamlining further processes.

To create custom reports, the PRTemp1000D is used in conjunction with Madgetech's data logger software, a free download from the company website. The software features export to Excel, statistics calculations, data annotation and digital calibration.



Magnetrol presents the first overfill-safe Eclipse Model 705 Guided Wave Radar (GWR) 7MG probe for dirty liquids, designed for heavy-duty use on hydrocarbons, with viscosity up to 10,000 cP. Once installed in the appropriate cage, the 7MG is a coaxial GWR probe with full mounting flexibility and mechanical overfill safety. The 7MG re-uses existing bypass cages, still-wells or bridles, making them the outer tube of a normal coaxial design.

The 7MG is adapted in design to meet the 2, 3 or 4in size of the cage it will be operating in. A special adaption piece assures the perfect impedance alignment with the characteristic impedance of the newly formed coax style GWR probe. Heavy-duty industries want fewer probe choices. These choices must provide safe solutions and reduce downtime during maintenance. The new Heavy-Duty Guided Wave Radar 7MG Probe meets this requirement.

The new offering includes heavy duty GWR probes that satisfy level, volume and interface measurement requirements with one single configuration, are designed to be used in clean and dirty liquids, and are mechanically overfill safe. Mechanical overfill safety allows measurement up to the process flange and guarantees no loss of signal by mechanical design instead of relying on software algorithms that some suppliers are forced to use.

10 years ago, the Magnetrol Eclipse 705 was the first two-wire loop-powered Guided Wave Radar transmitter (or device) on the market. Magnetrol has added new capabilities to Guided Wave Radar - a heavy-duty offering and the new caged 7MG probe.

The Eclipse 705 handles temperatures from -196 up to +430C, pressures from full vacuum up to 430 bar, liquefied gases with very low dielectrics up to water-based liquids, and saturated steam applications for high pressure steam drums, operating up to 155 bar.



Kavlico has introduced a suite of sensors designed to perform in a wide variety of hydraulic applications. Capable of operating for millions of pressure cycles, these low power consumption pressure sensors provide an accurate, reliable and stable signal over many years of operation in the harshest environments.

The high overpressure capability of Kavlico sensors for fluid power applications is designed to withstand the pressure fluctuations associated with these applications. These rugged devices have stainless steel housings and can be configured with a broad selection of process and electrical connectors to fit the specification criteria for each application.

Operating on 5V DC, the sensors provide a 0.5 to 4.5 linear amplified output proportional to pressure. Pressure ranges are available up to 6,000lb/in2. Typical pressure sensor applications include: on- and off-highway vehicle hydraulic systems; trenching machines; pressurised tools; adaptive suspension systems; material testing; lifts; cargo loading systems; transmissions; hydraulic applications for heavy equipment.

Kavlico sensors for hydraulic applications include the P4000 sealed high-pressure sensor and the P250/P251 sealed industrial pressure sensor.


Winco has expanded its offering with the addition of series GN 5339.5 solid stainless-steel triangular knobs. Available in metric and inch sizes, the triangular knobs were specially designed for use on machinery in the food industry and are RoHS compliant.

The smooth and enclosed areas, as well as the corner radii, comply with the requirements of hygiene standards. With their ergonomic design, the knobs also withstand a relatively high clamping torque.

The hand knob is offered in a matte, shot-blasted finish, with threaded and blind-bored holes for mounting. Other modifications, such as inch- or metric-tapped holes, blind- or through-bores, and cross- or set-screw holes, are available upon request.


The Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Saltillo manufacturing facility has achieved ISO 9001:2000 certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO 9001:2000 certification verifies that a facility has established and implemented a quality management system.

This refers to 'what the facility does to fulfil the customer's quality requirements, and applicable regulatory requirements, while aiming to enhance customer satisfaction, and achieve continual improvement of its performance in pursuit of these objectives'. The plant, which is part of Performance Plastics' Polymer Products business, manufactures bearings, fabrics and high-performance polymer products.

Upon opening the facility 10 months ago, company and plant management decided almost immediately to pursue certification. It took five months from that point to when the recommendation for certification was received in October 2008. All 135 employees worked to complete the many steps required to meet the relevant ISO standards (the plant has since added about 40 more employees).

These steps included establishing a plan; training internal auditors from all departments; training operators and salaried personnel; developing and executing quality control procedures; conducting internal audits and implementing corrective actions; and finally, the external audit, which was carried out by TUV SUD America de Mexico SA de CV.


Rieker has introduced a dual-axis micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) based inclinometer to the H4 series. The H4PD sensor provides duel-axis inclination sensing in a rugged, environmentally protected housing. This unit incorporates a MEMS sensing element referenced to gravity with integrated temperature compensation over the industrial operating range of -40C to +85C.

The Pulse Width Modulated (PWM) output is linear with respect to the input angle directly. Small dimensions and common footprint make it easy for field replacement. The housing footprint is designed for retrofitting in the field without re-drilling mounting holes (common placement of centre and slider flanges).

The H4PD has applications in levelling and tilt/slope monitoring; platform levelling equipment; material handling/process control equipment; aerial lifts; scissor lifts; boom lifts cranes; and Derricks lift equipment/vehicles.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Decentralised drives are also continuing to gain ground in the field of servo technology. In assembly and handling technology, products such as the Fluxxtorque 930 Servo Drives From Lenze are proving themselves as compact mechatronic units for positioning trays within a conveyor unit or transporting silicon wafers in the photovoltaic industry. In comparison with pneumatic systems, the travel profiles in servo technology are more dynamic and smoother. They also offer greater flexibility, as the software-based movements can easily be adjusted without costly reconfiguration work. This leads to productivity gains.

With the positioning control integrated in the fluxxtorque 930 Servo Drives, up to 100 motion functions can be processed and saved. The software’s fieldbus monitor allows all parameters of the fieldbus system to be monitored. This functionality enables easy commissioning and the implementation of complex control tasks.

The feedback allows a high degree of positioning accuracy with 4096 increments within one revolution, stopping the zero speed and a speed setting range >1:3000. Brakes are controlled and supplied directly via the fluxxtorque 930 Servo Drives. The servo inverter itself is fitted directly on the B bearing shield of the motors. With its high degree of protection (IP55), it can also be positioned as a standalone version in the direct vicinity on the chassis.

The special design of the motors means that no additional cooling measures are needed for the rated torque throughout the entire speed band. Worm, helical, bevel or planetary gearboxes from Lenze's modular range ensure suitable ratios and compact drive units. Typical uses of mechatronic drive solutions include applications in the field of robotics and handling technology, metering machines and foodstuffs/packaging machines.


Testing the seriously hazardous effects from vehicle seat and floor vibration is now much simpler with Bruel And Kjaer's new SEAT measurement software for its 4447 Human Vibration meter. With this major update the 4447 makes the assessment of health risks to humans - posed by exposure vibration at work - easier to calculate, as it can measures SEAT (Seat Effective Amplitude Transmissibility) factors to determine the ratio between the vibration levels measured on the seat - and on the floor - then display the SEAT factor.

This factor ensures the seat is constructed under specific operational conditions and the finished product complies with strict EU regulations for manufacturers, including EU Directive 2002/44/EC. Bruel and Kjaer's 4447 analyser is a portable system developed using input from several groups concerned about the effects of human vibration, so it is ideal for consultants working with measurements of - and risk evaluations caused by - exposure to occupational vibration, departments for occupational health, manufacturers of building machinery, freight vehicles and other machinery causing vibration, manufacturers of anti-vibration pads, seats and personal protection equipment.

The meter also offers a new logging capability, which records RMS, MTVV, Peak and VDV values at 1 second intervals, giving the tester a more detailed picture of the vibration exposure. Depending on the variant amount of data recorded, the 4447's memory stores several hours of logging data, providing information for a much longer working period, which can then be analysed via the Vibration Explorer PC software.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


The Amot XTS-W+ bearing condition monitor has extra operating features including fully integrated water-in-oil monitoring and automatic calibration. Developed to protect large two-stroke diesel engines in marine applications, the system's upgraded functions also include dual alarms and trending, standardised reporting functionality and compliance with the latest MAN Diesel specifications.

These new features and enhanced diagnostics are designed to improve engine protection through faster and easier fault finding, allowing engineers to assess the rate of bearing wear and make the necessary operational decisions to protect the engine and maximise running time. By providing advanced warning of bearing wear, serious and high-cost consequential damage to crank-shafts and connecting rod journals will be avoided.

The adoption of the Amot XTS-W+ bearing condition monitor can help ship owners prevent high-cost unplanned repairs and loss of revenue from unplanned downtime. XTS-W+ can also eliminate expensive open-up inspections.



Wago 2716 Series high-current PCB-mount terminal block features a lever-actuated termination design for tool-free termination of conductors 24 - 6 AWG. The integrated lever minimises operator strain and wiring times while reducing torque exerted on PCBs. To operate, simply lift the lever, insert a stripped conductor, then lower the lever.

The spring pressure cage clamp assures that terminations are maintenance free and gas tight, as well as resistant to vibration and temperature cycling. There are no screw torque requirements to be concerned with, making the 2716 an ideal PCB terminal block for field wired installations. Standard 2716 Series configurations include 10mm (55A/600V) or 15mm (65A/600V) pitch variants, ranging from two to eight-pole configurations.

Additional pole configurations, as well as a 20mm pitch variant, are available upon request. The 2716 Series PCB terminal block is available with or without a jumper slot. An integrated test port allows probe access with direct contact to the current bar for hands-free troubleshooting.


LG Motion has launched a catalogue covering a large part of its range of medium to high-precision positioning mechanics. With complete engineering specifications and dimensions for the Unislide, Bislide and Xslide dovetail-slide linear tables, plus rotary and vertical elevating stages, the 40-page catalogue provides detailed information for manual or motorised positioning applications in all areas of manufacturing and research.

The catalogue brings together these modular positioning elements as a complete range of simple yet flexible building blocks for single or multi-axis positioning systems. The Unislide series uses a leadscrew drive and low-friction dovetail bearing system and has been used in several applications across science and industry. The Bislide series has an extruded I-beam aluminium profile with dual 45deg opposing V ways offering high rigidity in all load directions.

The Xslide series is a more compact version of the Bislide utilising a similar bearing style for space-restricted installation. All these linear stages utilise low-friction bonded PTFE bearing pads on the moving carriage with fully adjustable pre-load. The stages are available with handwheel drives for manual positioning, or with stepper or servo motors for automated applications - together with a wide choice of motion controls and drives also available from LG Motion.

Throughout all ranges, the linear stages include precision leadscrews with a choice of 0.5mm, 1mm or 2mm pitch in two accuracy grades to match the customer's resolution and fine positioning requirements. A typical positioning repeatability for the top grade leadscrew is The catalogue also highlights stage option information including material finishes, protection covers and vacuum preparation plus details of stage customisation and special open frame designs. LG Motion's LGR rotary stages are also featured as manual and motorised designs in two ranges covering instrument and heavy-load applications up to 500kg. The precision worm-wheel mechanical system of both rotary stage types is designed to complement the accuracy and performance on the linear stages. To complete the offering, five vertical elevating stages are included with load rating to 25kg and accuracy to 0.02mm/100mm.



Minitec has released a 96-page catalogue featuring its range of conveyor components and systems. The conveyors catalogue highlights the range with photographic examples and dimensioned component drawings. It is designed as a reference guide for use with Minitec's online e-catalogue and Icad interactive design tools that allow visualisation, selection and download of individual components as 2D and 3D, CAD files for Autocad and other design programs.

The Minitec conveyor catalogue is available in hard copy or can be downloaded from the company's website as a fully indexed PDF for straightforward browsing and search. In addition to sections on Minitec's belt, roller and timing belt conveyor ranges, the catalogue also highlights the FMS flexible assembly system and RMS roller modular systems, which are now included after Minitec's recent acquisition of Profi-Team. These ranges cover turnkey workpiece and pallet transfer systems based on chain roller, belt or chain conveyors.

Also included is the Conveyor 48 range, which offers the build of selected conveyor systems in 48 hours from stocked parts and delivery to UK mainland customers within a few days. Each of the nine sections in the catalogue include 'request for offer' enquiry forms that cover the relevant information required for detailed proposals and also help customer's to work through requirements for more complex conveying systems with Minitec UK application engineers.


At the core of the Laser Lines Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) service is the Stratasys Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) technology. FDM is an additive manufacturing technology that produces strong accurate parts in functional thermoplastic materials. This technology is able to produce durable parts, offering a level of performance similar to injection-moulded components and providing an alternative to traditional manufacturing.

Direct Digital Manufacturing takes data from 3D CAD and turns it into a functional part to provide a fast economical method for producing low volume parts. As additive manufacturing can produce any shape required, the designer can concentrate on function without having to worry about how it can be made. What would have been a complex assembly can now be produced as one part.

Components can be produced as and when required eliminating the need for inventory or spares. As different versions of a part can be produced or re-produced at will, designs can be changed frequently at no additional cost. This method of manufacturing offers advantages for low-volume production. By using FDM parts, the design and assembly of the product can be simplified as traditional manufacturing constraints are removed.

There is no need to carry inventory as, on receipt of an order, the parts can be rapidly produced. Frequent design changes can be made at minimal cost making it easy to improve the instrument and incorporate higher specification components. Custom modifications become economically viable. As any version of any parts can be produced, there is no need to stock spares. Many companies manufacturing specialist low-volume products can use Direct Digital Manufacturing to produce better products at lower costs with shorter lead times and even offer tailor-made solutions, said Laser Lines.

FDM parts can also offer savings in the production of fabrication and assembly tools. These are traditionally made in metal and may require a number of parts to be produced and assembled. The cost is high and the lead times can be long. Additive manufacturing can produce tools in hours regardless of how complicated they are. A jig or fixture that may have required numerous parts can often be made in one piece. This flexibility makes it easier to design tools and build in functionality.

Following this route can also reduce documentation and simplify procurement. Once the design has been created in CAD, the manufacturer only needs to know that it is to be built on an FDM machine and what material to use. The tool can be built by anyone with access to an FDM machine and the result will always be the same. Companies can therefore shop around to find the best price and have the tools made close to where they are needed.

Because the process is clean and simple it is easy to bring the process in house. Laser Lines provides the equipment and also offers a service for building Direct Digitally Manufactured parts. A choice of materials is available including ABS, Polycarbonate, Polycarbonate/ABS blend, Polycarbonate ISO, Ultem 9085 and Polyphenylsulphone. Material specifications are available on request. A range of machines is available in-house with build sizes up to 406mm x 356mm x 406mm. Larger parts can be built by cutting the 3D data and bonding it post build.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

New 2.3 tonne Bobcat T110 compact tracked loader can easily be transported on a light trailer towed by mid-sized vehicles. At just 1.2 m wide and less than 2.3 m long without attachment, the new 2.3 tonne Bobcat T110 compact tracked loader will transform prospects for contractors, landscapers and a host of other users thanks to its ability to be transported on a light trailer towed by mid-sized vehicles.

The compactness and transportability of the new T110 compact tracked loader are matched by superb operator comfort and high performance in all types of weather and ground conditions. Not only can the T110 work the whole year round, the durability and serviceability of the machine ensure the same high performance year after year in arduous environments. The T110 should appeal to a wide variety of users in landscaping, equipment rental, forestry, flood defence work, residential and commercial construction, local authorities, agriculture, nurseries, recycling and many other areas.

Driven by a four cylinder, 31.2 kW Kubota V2403 naturally aspirated diesel engine running at 2200 rpm, the T110 offers a rated operating capacity of 505 kg (ISO 14397-1) and a tipping load of 1443 kg. At 101 dB(A), the bystander noise level is significantly lower than the 103 dB(A) required by the EU directive 2000/14/EC. Cushioned engine mounts ensure minimized vibrations. Equipped with 250 mm wide rubber tracks, the T110 has a low ground pressure of only 0.32 kg/cm (31.7 kPa).

The tracks provide superior traction and flotation on soft and wet surfaces as well as superior stability for work on slopes, maximising pushing force and lifting capacity and optimising work with heavier attachments. Capable of working throughout all four seasons, the T110 can travel easily over roads, pavements, and pedestrian walkways without causing damage. A hydraulic flow of 52.2 l/min on the T110 enables fast bucket rollback/dump and other workgroup functions, and also ensures the T110 is an excellent tool carrier for the more than 20 different attachments designed for use with this machine.

The T110 is equipped as standard with the quick-change Bob-Tach attachment mounting frame. A time and effort-saving option is the Power Bob-Tach system which allows the operator to change non-hydraulic attachments simply by flipping a switch, without leaving the cab. The operator cab is equipped as standard with a front door with windshield wiper and side windows, ensuring enhanced comfort when working in inclement conditions. The top and rear windows can easily be removed without tools.

A heated cab is available as an option. Equipped with integrated front and rear lights, the cab has a large front opening giving excellent visibility of the work area and attachments. The domed roof on the cab easily sheds rain water and offers good head clearance. In addition to good visibility, the use of dual tilt cylinders and the open design of the Bob-Tach quick-change attachment system facilitate easy entry and exit from the cab. The cushioned suspension seat is fully adjustable to the operator's weight and features the Bobcat Interlock Control System (BICS) for safety.

The rear-pivot seat bar is easy to pull down or push up and provides ample room for larger operators and more rest area for the arms. The loader steering levers provide for precise responsive movements. The state-of-the-art instrumentation in the cab provides the operator with a wealth of information. Arranged in two groups in convenient locations at the front of the cab, one in the top left hand corner and the other in the top right, the instrument panels and gauges are easy to read and use.

There is a choice of panels on the right hand side - a standard system or an optional deluxe instrument panel with additional features, including a security system with a keyless ignition package. The keyless system makes it possible to lock out certain functions, a useful feature in rental applications. The T110 is designed for durability and low maintenance with a well-built, robust frame and strong dual tilt cylinders, a closed undercarriage featuring a sturdy, keel-shaped belly pan and an automatic tensioner on the transmission belt drive.

The triple flange spring rollers for the tracks are made of steel and never need greasing. Track tension is easy to adjust with a standard grease gun. Thanks to the large swing open tailgate and transversely-mounted engine, the new T110 offers convenient one side servicing. The engine area is fully protected by a 6 mm thick steel tailgate. Hydraulic and hydrostatic components under the operator cab can be accessed quickly by removing two nuts at the front of the cab and tilting it back. QuickLook - New Bobcat T110 Compact Tracked Loader:.

* 4-cylinder 31.2 kW liquid-cooled naturally aspirated diesel engine.

* High engine power enables operators to push more, dig more and grade more.

* 505 kg rated operating capacity (ISO 14397-1).

* 1443 kg tipping load.

* 250 mm wide rubber tracks produce low 0.32 kg/cm (31.7 kPa) ground pressure.

* Track rollers: 4 triple flange spring rollers on each side - never need greasing.

* Ground contact length: 1299 mm.

* Ground clearance: 201 mm.

* Dump height: 1999 mm.

* Reach at maximum dump height: 579 mm.

* Travel speed 8.4 km/h.

* Auxiliary hydraulic flow: 52.2 l/min.

* Overall dimensions without bucket: 1199 mm wide x 1882 mm high x 2262 mm long.

* Overall dimensions with standard bucket: 1270 mm wide x 1882 mm high x 2972 mm long.

* Shipping weight: 2100 kg.

* Operating weight: 2379 kg.


Fire Fighting Enterprises announce that the new Multi Head FireRay 5000 will be on show at Stand E30 in Hall 3 of International Firex 2009. This innovation allows up to 4 beam detectors to be installed as one system, with only one control unit for all 4 heads. This can give potentially great savings to both time and cost for installation, wiring, and power supply.

On each day of the event the team from FFE will also be running several short presentations at the stand, introducing visitors both to the principles of beam detection in general and the latest technological developments in the field - namely the Multi Head FireRay 5000. All the features of the standard FireRay 5000 are incorporated, such as automatic, motorised alignment and optimisation, and now the Multi Head enables up to 4 beam heads to be spaced out or oriented to cover unorthodox-shaped areas.

Each beam will also often be used to cover a distance less than the maximum 100m, requiring the use of multiple heads for efficient area coverage. The development of the Multi Head builds on the success of the basic FireRay 5000, which is the first and only motorised beam detector to be certified by the LPCB (UK), UL (USA), and ULC (Canada), as well as NF (France), VdS (Germany), BOSEC (Belgium), SBSC (Sweden), and recently KFI (South Korea) and CNTC (China).



ITC Timber highlight new GoodWood products including decking, finger jointed flooring and wide board flooring. Maximise your living space with GoodWood Decking (Available in all states EXCEPT NSW and QLD). To complement the GoodWood range of appearance products, ITC is pleased to announce the availability of a new sustainable decking product manufactured from AFS certified re-growth hardwood.

The beautiful, natural timber lends itself to creating the best atmosphere for relaxing and entertaining outside. GoodWood Finger Jointed Flooring. ITC Timber is delighted to announce the introduction of finger jointed floor boards which are available in easy to install set lengths of 4.2 m, 4.8 m and 5.4 m, ideal for the tradesman or home renovator. Unique in the Australian marketplace, the boards, made from sustainable GoodWood Victorian Ash, are produced on the multi million dollar finger jointing line at ITC Timber's Heyfield operations in Victoria.

GoodWood Flooring - wide boards now available. With market trends leaning towards wide boards in flooring ITC Timber has kept up with market needs by diversifying the size range available to offer 160 x 21 mm boards in Tasmanian Oak hardwood sourced from AFS certified forests.


Range of cellular glass insulation products from Pittsburgh Corning has achieved BRE Green Guide Ratings of A+ and A. This provides specifiers with essential environmental impact information to help support the selection process. The Green Guide is part of BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) an accredited environmental rating scheme for buildings.

Manufactured from 68% recycled glass, Foamglas cellular glass insulation comprises millions of hermetically sealed glass cells. As its only solid constituent is glass, it is completely inert, un-affected by fire (Euroclass A1), and impervious to the effects of moisture and water. Offering further advantages, Foamglas will not degrade over time and once installed should never require replacement.

Pittsburgh Corning is also the only insulation manufacturer to offer specifiers a thermal performance guarantee as tests have proven Foamglas will not lose its K-Value for the entire life of the product. "Pittsburgh Corning pioneered the development of cellular glass insulation," explained Paul Jones, Director of Pittsburgh Corning UK and Eire.

"Its environmental impact is lower than many alternatives and it also has a Global Warming Potential of less than one". Paul also added: "We are delighted to have achieved such a high BRE rating which strengthens our other international environmental credentials.".


D-Tec, leader in CCTV camera-based video smoke detection, is a finalist in the Fire Excellence Awards, run in conjunction with the International Firex and Fire and Rescue exhibitions. The company has been shortlisted in the key Export Innovation category for its successful deployment of VSD, which analyses images to provide an early warning of fire, in a growing number of tunnel projects worldwide.

Applications of note undertaken by D-Tec and highlighted in its award submission include: the landmark Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, Italian road tunnels and the Sydney Harbour Tunnel. Said Ian Moore, Managing Director of D-Tec: "We are very pleased to have reached the final stage of the Fire Excellence Awards for our global tunnel projects". "The confined nature of tunnels presents a uniquely challenging environment where fire safety is concerned".

"Factors such as the length of tunnels, the difficulty of access, and the higher heat release rate from fire, make any delay even more critical than in other scenarios". "As a result, at D-Tec, we are seeing growing interest in the deployment of Video Smoke Detection with its proven ability to identify smoke rapidly (typically in seconds)". "There is also the added flexibility which comes with the availability of IP based solutions such as FireVu." The winners of the Fire Excellence Awards will be announced at a ceremony on the evening of Tuesday 12 May at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


SGS is due to host Project Risk Symposium 2009 on 17 June at the Gibson Hall in Bishopsgate, London. The event will focus solely on the issue of project risk and experts will share their views on how diverse risks can be managed effectively during the recession. The industry experts will cover financial, political, legal, technical, operational, environmental and social risks.

Milena Stoyanova, head of financial services at SGS, said: 'In this economic environment, we are seeing customers demand more and more transparency and greater understanding of the risks involved before entering into large-scale infrastructure, energy, mining, oil-and-gas or agricultural projects, whether it is from the investor or the sponsor side. 'Assessing the diverse nature of risk today goes far beyond a traditional financial assessment of the project.

'Investors and sponsors want to understand and prepare for everything from market and political to technical and environmental risk - and every single thing in between,' she added. The symposium will also address the subject of sustainability in project finance. The day will consist of a mix of panel discussions and speeches and will feature guest speakers from the financial, risk-management consulting and industry and regulatory worlds, complemented by SGS experts in the field of project risk management.


ESI Group, a supplier of digital simulation software for prototyping and manufacturing processes, has announced its active involvement in the SIMDAT automotive project. The SIMDAT project has introduced advanced grid technology in four different application sectors - automotive, aerospace, pharmaceutical and meteorological - in order to cover the full range of issues to be addressed in the design, development and production of complex products and services.

ESI's collaboration has mainly been in the automotive cluster of SIMDAT, addressing the challenges of virtual car development. The automotive activity has developed a range of technologies and integrated them into industrial prototypes and demonstrators to create improved product designs in less time and at reduced cost. To improve car safety beyond currently practised standard testing, project partners such as ESI have developed the SIMDAT crash-compatibility prototype.

ESI's Pam-Crash software has been used to perform a crash-compatibility scenario involving a car from Renault and one from Audi over the SIMDAT grid infrastructure. The performance of the prototype has shown that a secured collaboration between two car manufacturers is feasible. Although the crash-compatibility simulation involved assembling two car models, the services deployed onto the grid infrastructure ensured that each original equipment manufacturer (OEM) could access only the results pertaining to his or her own car.

This is made possible by the security model developed to ensure the protection of the intellectual-property rights (IPRs) of each collaborating party. Another technology deployed in the project is simulation process and data management (SPDM). Various SPDM systems have been involved in SIMDAT, such as VisualDSS: ESI's end-to-end decision support system.

Using this solution, ESI and other partners deployed a demonstrator that automates the collaboration between a car manufacturer and a meshing supplier through the integration of a grid meshing service into VisualDSS. The integration of grid technologies into ESI solutions is claimed to enable a secured collaboration between different third parties of a virtual organisation.


The Aspentech 2009 user conference, which is intended to highlight how customers use process optimisation to 'navigate uncertainty', is scheduled to be held on 4-7 May in Houston. BP, Dow Chemical, Fluor and Evonik Degussa, along with other process-industry customers, will share best-practice experiences at the event, which will take place at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott.

The theme of the conference highlights how Aspentech customers are using AspenONE to increase efficiency, reduce manufacturing costs and improve agility in a volatile global economy. The Aspentech conference will also focus on best practices for using software to optimise process manufacturing. It will bring together engineering and manufacturing professionals from a range of process-industry companies and across the Aspentech partner community.

James Hackett, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Anadarko, an independent oil-and-gas exploration and production company, will deliver the opening keynote speech at this year's conference. Hackett also serves as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Blair Wheeler, senior vice-president of marketing at Aspentech, said: 'Navigating these uncertain times profitably is a significant challenge for process manufacturers and puts even greater emphasis on the importance of achieving best-practice operations.

'The 2009 Aspentech user group meeting is filled with case studies and examples of how the best companies are using advanced software tools to optimise their manufacturing operations in response to challenging and volatile market conditions.'.


Tyco has introduced the SMT thru-board connector, which supplies power from the underside of an FR4 or aluminium-clad PC board, eliminating issues of dressing wires on the top side of LED boards. The two-position through six-position connector surface mounts on top of the board, passing through the board to present an underside interface.

The connector mates with standard Mini CT connectors. The inverted design allows simpler assembly and installation of solid-state LED lighting in architectural, residential and commercial applications. The Mini CT connector is rated for three amps per contact, on 24 AWG wire. A space-saving low-profile design and rounded corners minimise shadowing.

The connector fits through a hole or notch in the board. High-temperature materials allow the connector to be reflow soldered, while a flat-top surface provides compatibility with vacuum pickup. The connector uses surface-mount hold-downs to provide stability during mating and unmating. With UL listing and CSA certification, the connectors meet the requirements of UL 1977, File No E2847.


Carlo Gavazzi has launched a range of AC drives to deliver optimum speed control and improve efficiency in a range of industrial motor applications. The Variflex2 series comprises a basic and an advanced version, both offering a complete set of features as well as the options normally found on larger drives. The Variflex2 RVEF series is suitable for basic low-power motor-control applications, such as for pumps and fans that can be installed side by side, thus saving cabinet space.

The Variflex2 RVCF series is for more complex applications that require constant torque, including conveyors. According to the company, both versions offer simple installation with the option for DIN-rail or panel mounting and ease of use with comprehensive menus via software and push-button setup. The range of drives offers variable speeds from 0.20kW to 55.0kW, single-phase input of 110VAC/230VAC and up to three-phase 230VAC/480VAC.

The compact overall dimensions of the RVEF series fit in general-purpose motor-control applications from 0.20kW to 2.2 kW (0.25hp to 3.0hp). Available in two frame sizes, it is suitable for applications such as HVAC, chillers, water treatment and management, doors and barriers, pumping and oil stations. With six frame sizes, the RVCF is suitable for applications requiring a higher performance and power, ranging from 0.4kW to 55kW (0.5hp to 75hp), including conveyors for handling and sorting, construction, packaging and wrapping, bottling, lifts and elevators and plastic and rubber production.

Setup of the Variflex2 models can be further simplified with the use of Drivesoft: a PC software tool that enables the user to commission and store parameter settings that are also accessible via a keypad. RS232 or RS485 Modbus RTU/ASCII serial communications are available through an option card. To take advantage of the built-in PLC function, the user can also download a ladder diagram from a PC via the Windows-based downloadable software.

The Variflex2 series operates over the full -10C to +50C temperature range and is approved according to the related European and North American safety standards. It conforms to EMI radio standard and EMS immunity standard EN61800-3.

Monday, April 06, 2009


Dulux Trade has added a new convenient Quick Drying Exterior Gloss to its highly successful Weathershield portfolio of exterior trade paints. Weathershield Quick Drying Exterior Gloss is the first water based gloss finish for trim that combines all the attributes of water based technology without compromising on durability, giving similar durability to that of solvent based products. Weathershield Quick Drying Exterior Gloss from Dulux Trade.

When used as part of the Weathershield system it provides ultimate exterior protection for up to six years which in turn delivers long term cost savings by increasing maintenance cycles. The fully VOC 2010 compliant product demonstrates excellent opacity and gloss retention; algaecides and fungicides also help maintain a fresher look for longer, eliminating the need for frequent redecoration.

Painted areas will be touch dry in one hour and ready to recoat after four hours, reducing downtime to a minimum. The new formulation will be available in Pure Brilliant White and a further 620 tinted colours in sizes up to five litres. Matt Gray, Technical Training Consultant, from Dulux Trade commented: "We have invested in an extensive research and development programme to introduce this hard-working new product.

Weathershield Quick Drying Exterior Gloss delivers long term cost and time savings, as well as boasting the sustainability credentials of water-based products, such as reduced embodied carbon and minimal VOC's while providing the extreme durability solvent based products are famous for. "What's more, the product has great flow, which reduces the amount of visible brush marks, is very easy to apply, and has excellent sheen level for water based paint.".


Major names in carpeting and textiles already use the new Novacel 9357 solvent-free protective film. Novacel, world leader in surface protection, furthers its work in developing protective solutions for the carpeting and textiles market by introducing its Novacel 9357 range, an innovation demonstrating the company's determination to manufacture products that are more environmentally friendly.

Devoted to the protection of showroom carpeting (polypropylene or needle punched fibers), and more widely to textiles, this 30-um-thick, transparent, colorless polyethylene film is designed to resist substantial traffic and soiling during booth setup (trampling, passing pallets and other various devices, dirt or gravel dumping). The innovation stems from its new, solvent-free adhesive mass resulting from a more environmentally friendly manufacturing process.

Major names in carpeting and textiles already use this new product in industrial quantities, thus taking part in limiting solvent discharges into the atmosphere. An ideal aid to communication, the Novacel 9357 film can be printed with a logo, a trademark or any advertising message or technical advisory. As long as as the protective film has not been soiled during use, it can be safely incinerated or recycled.Similarly, all packaging and cores are recyclable and reusable too.

Such initiatives, implemented to reduce the environmental footprint, are an integral part of Novacel's sustainable development policy. Established in over 60 countries, Novacel develops, produces and markets self-adhesive films for temporary surface protection in the electronics, home appliances, automotive and building industries.

Novacel films can be applied on a great variety of surfaces such as stainless steel, pre-coated metals, aluminum, plastics, profiles and high-pressure laminates. At every stage of the transformation process (folding, stamping, profiling, etc.), as well as during handling, transport and fitting, the film acts as a protective barrier against outside aggression, preventing scratches, dirt, etc. Novacel is ISO 9001 and 14001 certified.


Pilkington's Group is committed to continued innovation and investment in improving sustainable performance of its wall and flooring material solutions. Sustainability Research. Pilkington's sustainability experts have conducted considerable research into the sustainability of wall and floor materials and this information has proven to be invaluable to clients that are involved in design and build of low -or zero carbon developments.

Pilkington's embodied carbon and energy studies and life cycle analysis covers a number of widely specified wall and flooring materials. These studies show that ceramic and porcelain tiles, natural stone, terrazzo and many other tiling products offer a highly sustainable and environmentally friendly solution. This is further supported by 'A' environmental profile rating for these materials in the UK Green Guide to Specification compiled by BRE (Building Research Organisation), the World's leading research organisation for sustainability across the built environment.

When the research expertise is combined with the company's green credentials customers can be reassured that the company's products and materials offer a valuable contribution to low and zero carbon developments and modern architecture. Pilkington's Green Credentials. At the two Manchester manufacturing facilities, the company has eliminated approximately 1,000 tonnes of Co2 by installing new energy efficient dust extractors, a building management system and by recovering and redirecting heat from ceramic tile Kilns to heat up several areas of the facility.

The Groups recycling initiatives during the manufacturing processes demonstrate the company's commitment to environmental protection. Further details of the environmental projects undertaken by the company can be found on their website. Sustainable Product Solutions for a Range of Applications. Pilkington's product solutions include ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, glass and metal wall and floor tiles and mosaics, commercial -, light and heavy industrial flooring solutions, Terrazzo flooring, access -, acoustic and hardwood flooring, swim tile products, external cladding and a range of complementary products.

The product solutions are specified around the World in industrial applications, offices, transport, education, healthcare, retail, residential and commercial environments. Recent projects with Pilkington's sustainable wall and flooring materials include Kingston Airport - Jamaica, Brisbane Shopping Centre, Liverpool Convention Centre and Wayfarers Arcade, Southport as well as public sector projects such as Liverpool Fire Station, many Building Schools for the Future projects and Ministry of Defence contracts to name a few.

Pilkington's product solutions feature many attributes that assist in backing up sustainability claims and includes features that can facilitate obtaining credits under the many environmental rating systems around the world; BREEAM, Estidama and LEED for example. Sustainable product attributes can be summarised as follows:.

* Products have significant recycled content.

* Products have very long life cycle and low replacement frequency.

* Many hard wall and floor materials assist with thermal comfort and have positive thermal mass.

* Tiling products are Class A1 fire rated, non-combustible and do not contribute to fire.

* Cleaning and maintenance instructions are available.

* Whole life costing and carbon footprint data is available.

* No toxic materials, or very little toxic materials are used during manufacture, installation and cleaning and maintenance.

* Hard surface finishes minimise dust and do not contribute to poor indoor air quality as much as soft materials.

* Products do not include VOCs or other environmentally volatile materials.

Additionally, many of the Group's products are manufactured at the Group's UK based facilities in Manchester and Poole, Dorset reducing transportation requirements within the UK and thus eliminating Co2 and other emissions arising from shipping of goods.


Anyone needing a replacement pump can now get all the information they need from pump manufacturer Wilo UK within twenty seconds of sending a text. Leading European pump manufacturer Wilo UK has launched a new service allowing an enquiry to be sent by text message to the Wilo SMS replacement service - simply by texting the old pump details to 07500 041411.

The appropriate replacement Wilo pump will be identified amazingly rapidly and the name and part number will be with the texter in a matter of seconds. In addition to the new Wilo pump that is right for the specific application, the text message sent back from Wilo will also contain the necessary technical data, the part number and information about any adaptors that might be required. This new service is available around the clock, 365 days a year.

The only cost to the user is the cost of a text message from his or her mobile phone service provider. The system can be used with any mobile phone and only the name or number of the defective pump type needs to be entered - the manufacturer data is not required. Incredibly, the new Wilo intelligent system program makes a query possible, even in the event of typing errors in a text or the need to send barely legible and possibly as a result, partially inaccurate information from a covered or soiled defective pump casing.

If some information is unclear or incomplete, suitable replacement pump types are listed and can still be selected. The database contains replacement information on all heating circulation pumps and glandless secondary hot water circulation pumps. Wilo's Kay Knight says this new tool is already making friends: "This is a really useful and impressive tool for our customers".

"What's simpler than 'bashing off' a text to Wilo with the information you can get from a pump you need to replace?. Twenty seconds later, all the information you need to ensure you replace it with the right new Wilo pump is there on your phone". "It couldn't be simpler!".


Distribution products from Moeller are at the heart of a new and flexible design for data centre power distribution units (PDUs), from electrical distribution expert, Stroud Switchgear. Data centres and computer suites continue to increase in complexity and in their importance to the user's business operations.

There is, therefore, growing pressure on architects, consultants and specifiers to find convenient, dependable and cost-effective methods of supplying power to these installations. The new PDUs from Stroud Switchgear have been produced specifically to address these requirements. In the past, there have been two main approaches to the production of data centre PDUs. The first is the use of standard distribution switchboards.

This approach is undoubtedly cost effective and, as the boards are standard products, delivery times are usually short. It is even possible to incorporate, without too much difficulty, some of the special requirements that relate to PDUs, including, for example, a shunt tripping arrangement on the incoming switch and locking facilities on the outgoing MCBs. Unfortunately, some of the other essential PDU requirements, such as an emergency power off (EPO) pushbutton and comprehensive surge protection provisions are much less easy to incorporate.

In addition, the metalwork of standard switchboard assemblies is often not entirely suitable for PDU applications. For example, various plinth options are often desirable so that the base of the unit can be accurately aligned with the false floors commonly used to facilitate cabling in data centres. To address the limitations of standard switchboards, many PDU suppliers have in the past turned to completely bespoke designs. Provided that they are well engineered, these can undoubtedly do all that is needed of them, but they too have shortcomings - because they rely on built-to-order metalwork, they are costly and delivery times are often protracted.

Seeking to provide a solution that would combine the versatility of a custom PDU with the low cost and fast delivery of a standard switchboard, the engineers at Stroud Switchgear decided to adopt a middle path - the use of standard enclosures fitted with off-the-shelf switchgear products configured specifically to meet the requirements of PDU applications. "We selected distribution products from Moeller as the basis of our new PDUs for several reasons," said John Amos, Electrical Sales Engineer of Stroud Switchgear.

"The products are compact yet easy to work with and they have an attractive appearance, which is important as PDUs are often installed in office locations." "Moeller also offers a range of products that covers all of our needs and which includes such key accessories as surge protection sets," he continued. "Further, the company's products have an excellent reputation for quality and reliability, as well as offering excellent value for money." A typical PDU produced by Stroud Switchgear on the basis of its new design comprises a 250 A Moeller N Series main incoming switch with shunt trip and surge protection, and two of the company's 72-way single-pole MCB distribution board, fitted with PLSM Type C breakers.

Provision is made for local or remote connection of an EPO pushbutton. All of the indicators and displays associated with the equipment are visible through a glazed door, allowing the status of the installation to be seen at a glance. The MCBs and surge protection devices are fitted behind an internal hinged door that can be opened only by authorised personnel. The equipment is arranged so that, when the internal door is open, it is easy to use thermal imaging equipment for routine maintenance checks on the PDU. "Our new PDUs have been very well received by customers," said John Amos.

"They are flexible enough for us to meet even the most demanding of PDU requirements without having to make compromises, yet they're very competitively priced and we can supply them on short deliveries". "Also, of course, thanks largely to our use of distribution products from Moeller, they offer the highest levels of safety and reliability." PDUs from Stroud Switchgear are available with a wide range of electrical and mechanical options.

They can be supplied with various types of incomer and MCB configuration to suit specific requirements and it is also possible to configure the system to include for L2 metering requirements. The paint finish colour can be customised to match, for example, existing office colour schemes, and plinths can be supplied for either standard installations or for use with suspended floors.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


A manufacturer of quality cutting tools has invested in a range of high-volume, auto pallet loaded, seven-axis CNC grinding machines from Anca to help deal with its increase in volume of business. A recent expansion has seen Fenn Tool relocate for the third time, to ensure that the company is able to keep pace with the burgeoning demand for its growing range of products.

Fenn Tool's new, Braintree, Essex-based head office and technical centre incorporates a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant. To help satisfy the volume of business from its established UK/Irish customer base, plus a growing export market, the company's new production facility incorporates a range of auto pallet loaded, seven-axis CNC grinding machines from Anca. The company's collection of Anca grinders includes two Anca RX7 machines that are capable of accommodating 500 tools on a pallet, ideal for use within Fenn Tool's advanced 'lights-out' production facility.

Company operations director, Martin Fenn, said: 'We have always chosen to acquire further Anca grinders due to their reliability, ease of use, the quality of the tools they produce and the excellent back-up we receive from Anca UK. 'Although our two Anca RX7's are relatively compact grinders, they have the power, strength and working envelope usually found in much larger machines. 'The reliable nature of our RX7 grinders, allows us to operate "lights-out" with great confidence.

'Although our Anca grinders are primarily involved in the high-volume manufacturing of our standard solid-carbide shank tooling, the machines' ease of programming and software flexibility enables us to use our grinders across a wide range of applications. 'Our Anca grinders allow us to offer relatively short lead-times and competitive pricing for tooling to suit a customer's specific requirements.

'Our customers have learned to expect excellent delivery times on both our standard and non-standard products that are able to accommodate a wide spectrum of materials, from aluminium though to the more demanding materials such as inconel and titanium,' he added. Equally efficient for single-tool and large-volume production, Anca's RX7 CNC grinder features a double-ended, bi-directional spindle and two wheel packs positioned at either end of the spindle, this configuration provides greater wheel selection and access to the workpiece.


Sensonics has introduced the Sentry G3 machinery protection monitor, a high-performance signal conditioning unit. The G3 monitor builds upon the established range of Sentry protection systems developed by Sensonics and is designed to be a flexible and feature-rich turbine supervisory system.

It provides a universal platform for the interfacing of various sensor types in compliance with the API 670 standard. Each of the units' four channels can be independently programmed to provide continuous monitoring and protection across a broad spectrum of measurement regimes, including vibration, expansion, temperature and speed. Sentry G3 utilises the latest DSP technology, so once a channel is set up and running, the resulting alarm relay and analogue output facilities are independent from the remaining module functionality, ensuring a scalable, high-integrity configuration.

The unit has an integral colour LCD display and drive facility that provides immediate viewing and access to the machines parameters. Several modes of display are available to suit specific applications, such as an alarm historian and parameter trending per channel. It also provides the necessary power source for the selected transducer, providing for two (ICP type) or three-wire accelerometer variants, +/-24V proximity probe systems, LVDTs and a range of speed and temperature sensors.

Each transducer signal is buffered and available via the front panel analogue connection arrangement, while a USB interface is provided for programming the unit and for storage of channel history and settings. The G3 system offers excellent channel density with up to 24 measurement channels in a 3U format.

Each channel can provide independent analogue outputs of current and voltage for DCS connection, in addition to an alarm relay. Further alarm relay expansion is possible through connection to digital outputs at the rear of the module. The system is designed for mounting in a custom 19in rack assembly, which also contains a dual redundant power supply option.


RTP has introduced a line of melt-processable fluoropolymer (MPFP) colour masterbatches for the wire and cable industry. These masterbatches are suitable for colouring complex MPFP resins used as plenum space jacketing materials. Available in 10 common wire and cable industry colour-coding formulations matched to Munsell and RAL standards, RTP's MPFP colour masterbatches are available in fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) resin systems, and are expandable to include other MPFP resins as needed.

Standard colours, using RoHS-compliant pigments, are available worldwide. RTP's MPFP colour masterbatches make colour-coding wire and cable jacketing materials easy for processors to use, with 3 per cent let-down ratios and excellent dispersion. They maintain the inherent flame retardancy and low smoke emissions that allow fluoropolymers to be used as a jacketing material for plenum spaces. Additionally, custom colour matches and engineered compounds using MPFP resins are available.


GKS's metrology lab for the Detroit area has registered for the export and temporary import of items regulated by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). GKS went through an in-depth process to establish and implement an ITAR control programme at its Plymouth, Michigan facility.

It is now eligible to perform metrology and reverse engineering services on defence articles that appear on the United States Munitions List. ITAR regulations are administered and enforced by the US Department of State, and are meant to advance national strategic objectives and foreign policy by using the ITAR trade controls. GKS's Plymouth, Michigan lab is also accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). The accreditation encompasses and surpasses ISO 17025 standards.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Acromag has introduced the 967EN and 968EN Busworks Ethernet I/O modules with distributed I/O and SCADA. These models provide an eight-channel interface for differential analogue voltage or current input signals. Each model is available in industrial and commercial-grade versions, which reduces the cost of applications that do not need wide operating-temperature ratings, advanced signal processing or hazardous-location safety approvals.

The units feature a signal integrator/totaliser function, peer-to-peer messaging and -40 to +70C capability. They are designed to meet UL/cUL Zone 2 Class 1 Division 2 ABCD requirements. All units provide 16-bit A/D conversion of sensor inputs for Modbus TCI/IP control network communication. Two models, each with eight differential analogue inputs, support a variety of I/O ranges.

The 967EN accepts DC current with +/-20mA, 0-20mA or 4-20mA input ranges. The 968EN accepts +/-5V or +/-10V ranges. Fast scanning updates all eight-channels in less than 10mS. Dual-format data registers support 16-bit integers and 32-bit floating-point formats. IEEE-754 32-bit floating point scaling registers are configurable on a per-channel basis. A sample averaging function is also configurable. On industrial-grade units, an integration function can totalise inputs with non-volatile counter registers on all channels.

Surge protection and three-way 1500V isolation between I/O, power and network circuits increase reliability. Common applications involve monitoring temperature, pressure, flow and level instruments in process control, automation, remote data acquisition and supervisory management systems.

Acromag's i2o technology enables fast peer-to-peer communication between 967/968EN input modules and corresponding Busworks output modules over any Ethernet media without a PC or host controller in between. Updates are triggered by a per cent change or at set intervals (0.1 per cent, 100mS resolution). These input modules are easy to use.

No software is required as the units can be configured using any web browser to set operating parameters on embedded configuration menus. An auto-copy function lets users rapidly apply a saved configuration to multiple units. The automatic-calibration function uses built-in precision sources; on-demand self-test capability verifies the calibration. Front-panel LEDs provide a visible confirmation of proper operation.


JAI has added the BM-141GE (monochrome) and the BB-141GE (Bayer colour) 1.4 megapixel cameras to its C3 Basic series. These cameras, which feature a GigE Vision interface, are particularly suited to the changing lighting conditions of outdoor applications. The megapixel resolution of these cameras provides outstanding image quality. The BM-141GE and BB-141GE are based on Sony's ICX-285 2/3in progressive scan CCD (1392 x 1040 pixels), providing excellent sensitivity and spectral response.

This sensor uses its 6.45um pixel size and improved microlens technology to provide higher overall sensitivity (as low as 0.03 lux) with low smear characteristics. It also features extended spectral response in the near-IR region, offering roughly four-times the sensitivity of conventional sensors at a 945nm wavelength. The BM-141GE and BB-141GE combine sophisticated circuit design and thermal-management techniques to deliver a signal-to-noise ratio of greater than 58 dB, producing high-quality images even in night-time illuminated situations.

Both cameras feature an Automatic Exposure Function that simultaneously controls gain, shutter and lens iris to maintain optimum exposure levels across a range of changing lighting conditions, which often occur in outdoor surveillance/security and traffic applications. The BM/BB-141GE cameras offer pre-set shutter speeds of up to 1/10,000 a second.

They feature programmable exposures as short as 63us for capturing fast-moving objects. The trigger modes provided include reset continuous triggering (RCT), which enables the camera to operate in continuous mode while awaiting a trigger signal. This allows triggering to be used without sacrificing the cameras' auto-exposure capabilities. The decimation readout feature makes it possible to thin-out the number of lines read out from the CCD chip to obtain a draft-mode image.

This draft mode is particularly useful in traffic and security applications characterised by idle time between events. During the idle time, the camera runs in draft mode (with reduced image-size) which frees up data-transmission bandwidth and saves computing power.

Other features, such as sequence trigger mode, fixed/variable partial scanning, pre-processing, a fast pixel clock frequency (58MHz), 30 frames/sec and NIR-capabilities, make these cameras useful for machine-vision applications such as food sorting and medical applications (life science and spectroscopy identifying or investigating sample composition of human tissue).

The JAI GigE Vision Camera Software package contains all SDK components required for easily integrating the cameras into vision applications. The SDK also contains a JAI control tool and an efficient filter driver.
Festo To Exhibit Controllers And Actuators

At IWEX 2009, Festo will be demonstrating how its latest modular controllers and actuators enable system designers to use a blend of electrical and pneumatic technology to help minimise costs.

The latest additions to Festo's CPX series of multifunctional electrical terminals will be on show, including: an Ethercat real-time Ethernet communications module; a series of digital and analogue I/O modules; and an intelligent control module known as the CPX-CMXX, which provides a PLC-compatible interface for multidimensional axis control. Festo will also be launching a quarter-turn pneumatic actuator at IWEX 2009.

The actuator uses rack-and-pinion drive technology and incorporates features such as adjustable end positions, which makes it suitable for use with butterfly valves.
Rockwell Bases Fluid Router On Process Controller

Rockwell Automation has introduced a repeatable fluid-routing solution delivered on a process-controller platform. It is a configurable system that gives consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers a method of transferring fluids from one destination to the next. Mike Jamieson, global director - consumer packaged goods - Rockwell Automation, said: 'The fluid-routing solution helps simplify the fluid-routing process by using pre-developed modules to define and control routing paths.

'This helps to reduce system life-cycle costs and improve scalability.' The Rockwell Automation fluid-routing solution is delivered on the Logix Control Platform and the Factorytalk integrated production and performance software suite. It applies standard control technology and reusable engineering that can be easily deployed in most production environments - from simple, partially automated facilities to complex, fully-automated piping networks.

The fluid-routing solution is available with: static routing with pre-defined paths; static routing with business rules; and dynamic routing, in which the system selects the best path based on the availability of devices, process piping and defined cost or performance criteria.

The fluid-routing solution is ideal for process plants that have: multiple paths and simultaneous material movement; frequent process changes, conversions or piping modifications; routing path-selection based on product sequencing, material compatibility or time since the path was last used; and extensive cleaning requirements.