Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Robotics lock the door!

METAL LS is a Bulgarian manufacturer of door locking systems, door and window handles and building hardware. They started planning the new automated assembly of door locks in 2019. The robotic systems that the company already used for other applications were too large for the planned production site, so the new solutions needed to be as compact and precise as possible, in addition to being state of the art. 

Door and security locks are precision parts with standard dimensions and components stipulated in DIN standards. Therefore, quality and precision were especially important deciding factors for METAL LS. In addition, the robots needed to achieve high productivity, assembling between 10 and 14 locks per minute. The company also needed a high level of flexibility from the solution and the possibility of retooling so that they could reuse the same system to produce different types of lock in the future.

Following a comparison of various manufacturers and products, METAL LS opted for a robot system from Delta. It was the only manufacturer to offer a complete solution including programmable logic controllers (PLC), a human-machine interface (HMI), servo systems and robotic arms with Machine Vision.

Jason Wu, Field Application Engineer at Industrial Automation Business Group, Delta Electronics EMEA region, is very happy with the successful collaboration: “With our broad portfolio of IA products, we are able to offer our customers powerful full-range solutions from a single source. Our teams of experts will support clients in implementing the specific project requirements, no matter whether the clients are in the food, drinks, packaging, electronics or automotive industry.”

For implementation of this project, METAL LS and Delta collaborated to develop a custom workstation for assembly of the mechanical door lock components. The main part of the system comprises a rotation table, on which seven six-axis DRV90L7 articulated robots are installed. The robots are capable of extremely precise, quick movements and feature a hollow wrist that allows them to be easily combined with the correct tool for each production step. The DOP-115MX HMI is used to visualise all processes and enables the user to select various receipts for different locks via a touch screen. It also displays system information and alerts or alarms. The AS300-series (AS324MT-A) PLC monitors the assembly line, controls the ASDA B2 servo drive and communicates with the servo drive on the rotating platform. Two DMV2000 Machine Vision image processing systems equipped with cameras are installed to localise components on the conveyor and send accurate signals to the robot allowing it to pick up and assemble the parts. The AC servo system comprising ASDA-A2 and ASDA-B2 drives as well as ECMA motors ensure that the robot arms are positioned precisely and that high productivity can be maintained.

A few adjustments to the parameter settings were sufficient to quickly overcome initial communication problems between the PLC, robot and the Machine Vision system. The careful preparation and system configuration carried out by the Delta team also ensured that all of the Delta industrial automation (IA) products were soon integrated into the production processes.

All stakeholders are extremely happy with the progress made in the project. Alongside the quality of the compact robotic system, METAL LS is particularly happy with the sound advice and customer service it has received from Delta. With many different production sites and teams throughout Europe, Delta is able to provide all of its customers with the support they need, when they need it. The project was kicked off when the Field Application Engineering (FAE) team arrived on site to support construction of the assembly system together with Mechatronics, Delta’s Bulgarian partner. The assembly system is still undergoing tests, but initial results are already showing improved productivity and performance.

@DeltaEMEA @mepaxIntPR #Robotics #Manufacturing 

Pressure and vacuum switches.

PVL has announced the availability of a new series of pressure and vacuum switches with integrated EUROSWITCH S.p.A. connectors.

Steve Moorey, MD of PVL, says, “This new series of sensors can not only be supplied with a wide range of integrated EUROSWITCH connectors to suit many applications but can be readjusted on site during commissioning or if system requirements later change, even when potted for protection from the environment.”

These new products not only offer a wide range of integrated connector options but also provide the opportunity to be adjusted or recalibrated even with the connector mounted and potted for rugged weatherproofing. This allows adjustments to be made at the final stage of the production process or directly at the customer's site during system commissioning.

This innovative system has been developed in-house in Euroswitch laboratories and is designed to allow a fast, accurate and efficient installation of the connector chosen for the sensor. Currently these sensors can be equipped with Deutsch DT04-2P, AMP Superseal and M12x1 connector or AMPJunior Timer and bayonet according to DIN 72585, offering protection levels between IP67 and IP69k.

In common with all Euroswitch products, these pressure switches and vacuum switches are available with numerous body, diaphragm, process connection and wiring variants.

They are particularly suitable for "hard" applications, where they are exposed to moisture, water ingress, dust and mud, for example, in hydraulics, pneumatics, earthmoving, agricultural machinery or public works, as well as numerous other sectors.

@pvllimited @Euroswitch_NA @proactivefleet #Pauto 

Compact computing system.

A new rugged, compact computing system from AAEON is now available from Review Display Systems. The BOXER-6643-TGU is powered by 11th Generation Intel Core U processors which enable the system to deliver enhanced performance, wide temperature range operation, 5G support and other innovative technologies to support embedded controller and industrial IoT applications in challenging industrial environments.

Peter Marchant
, embedded division manager, RDS said, “The BOXER-6643-TGU delivers cost-effective performance, offering the latest Intel embedded processors, in a computing platform that features compact, rugged construction and meets the processing needs and support requirements of many industrial applications.”

With up to 64GB of memory and integrated Intel Iris Xe embedded graphics GPU, the BOXER-6643-TGU enables users to fully utilise its processing capabilities to support industrial AI and Edge Computing applications. Dual HDMI ports, allow the system to support 4K high-definition video on two independent displays, ideal for digital signage applications.

Data intensive applications are ably supported with the BOXER-6643-TGU I/O specification. Featuring two LAN ports, 2.5Gbps and 1.0 Gbps, the system supports high-speed communication for real-time processing and control. The system also features expansion slots for wireless networks, including Wi-Fi, 4G and 5G mobile network communication. Other I/O features include four USB3.2 Gen 2 slots, dual COM ports and 8-channel DIO.

The BOXER-6643-TGU offers a range of storage options including mSATA and NVMe, as well as a SATA III port connected directly to the board. A 2.5" SATA drive is easy to install and maintain, with a slide out tray located on the side of the system. Additionally, two easy-access panels on the bottom of the system allow users to add or upgrade expansion cards and memory modules.

Designed to be used anywhere, the BOXER-6643-TGU features a compact mechanical form factor, rugged construction, and an operating temperature range of -20°C to 60°C. implementing a cable-free design, the system is also suitable for high-vibration environments while the fan-less design ensures dust and contaminant free operation.

@ReviewDisplayUS @AAEONEurope @AAEON #PAuto #Display #IIoT

16 Protocol Conformance Test - a first.

The Conformance Agreement Group (CAG) operated by Global Certification forum (GCF) has approved the industry first Release 16 Protocol Conformance tests for 5G New Radio (NR) at the CAG#68 meetings held in October 2021.

Product Outline

The 5G NR Mobile Device Test Platform ME7834NR is registered with both the GCF and PTCRB as Test Platform 251.
The ME7834NR is a test platform for 3GPP-based Protocol Conformance Test (PCT) and Carrier Acceptance Testing (CAT) of mobile devices incorporating Multiple Radio Access Technologies. It supports 5G NR in both Standalone and Non-Standalone mode in addition to LTE, LTE-Advanced, LTE-A Pro, and W-CDMA.
When combined with Anritsu’s OTA RF chamber MA8171A and RF converters, the ME7834NR covers the sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G NR frequency bands.

This industry-first achievement has been verified on the Anritsu 5G NR Mobile Device Test Platform ME7834NR.

Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 16 specifications for 5G NR includes features which will greatly expand the reach of 5G NR to new industry verticals beyond traditional smartphone and enhanced mobile broadband applications (eMBB). At a broad level Release 16 introduces enhancements in coverage, power, mobility, reliability and ease in network planning and optimisation.

The conformance tests are defined by 3GPP in TS 38.523-1 and have earlier been verified by Anritsu at 3GPP RAN WG5 (Radio Access Network Working Group 5). These tests have also been submitted to PTCRB (PCS Type Certification Review Board) PVG (PTCRB Validation group) for approval in the upcoming meetings.

@AnritsuEMEA @Anritsu @NapierPR #5G #Communications

Digital humidity sensor for industry.

Digital humidity sensor designed for conducting measurements under harsh conditions in industrial applications.

Sensirion is expanding its series of fourth-generation humidity sensors to include its SHT4xI-Digital sensor platform, which has been designed specifically for challenging industrial applications. The series consists of two accuracy versions SHT40I and SHT41I, which offer 5 V supply voltage, outstanding reliability and increased ESD protection.

SHT4xI-Digital is based on Sensirion's proven CMOSens(R) Technology, which ensures maximum reliability, as demonstrated by extensive accelerated lifetime tests such as 85 C/85% RH for 1,000 hours. The sensor enables seamless integration with its wide operating voltage range, small size and robust housing. Based on its features and Sensirion's advanced humidity sensing expertise, the SHT4xI-Digital is the perfect product for conducting measurements under harsh conditions in industrial applications. Like the SHT4x series, the sensors offer industry-leading accuracy specifications and unmatched cost-effectiveness. Sensirion's CMOSens(R) Technology provides a complete sensor system on a single chip, with a fully calibrated digital I2C fast mode plus interface. The sensor platform covers operating ranges from 0 to 100% RH and from -40 C to 125 C with a supply voltage extending from 2.3 to 5.5 V.

"The SHT4xI-Digital humidity and temperature sensor platform is our response to challenging industrial requirements; it enables reliable measurements in harsh and unfavorable environments. The sensor platform's robustness and extended supply voltage range allow long-term stability during operation in industrial applications. We are making a lasting contribution to our customers' project-related success by drawing on our many years of humidity sensing expertise and optimizing our sensors to suit specific market conditions", said Maximilian Eichberger, Director Product Management Humidity and Temperature Sensors at Sensirion.

@sensirion #Pauto 

Monday, 6 December 2021

Shaft selector tool.

A real-time special machining configuration capability has been added by Thomson Industries to its online shaft selector tool. The new functionality enables customers to reduce the time spent in customising round rail shafting for their application needs to mere minutes instead of hours or even days.
The new add-on to the Thomson shaft selector tool allows users to more quickly create and procure a special-machined shafting solution that meets their exact application needs.

“This tool is especially useful to the job shop or machine builders often looking for smaller quantities quickly,” said Markus Brändle, Product Line Manager – Linear Bearings & Guides at Thomson. “They might be redesigning a piece of equipment or entering an early prototype phase. They save time by eliminating the back-and-forth questions that are typically necessary for custom work and could save money by seeing in real time the pricing impact of over-specifying.”

Typically, a customer uses the Thomson shaft selector to specify materials, size or other standard characteristics for their round rails, but if they needed any special machining such as threads, reductions, ring grooves or radial holes, they would have to submit a drawing or configure the shaft in a one-on-one session with a sales engineer.

With the online tool’s new add-on feature, customers can configure their shaft’s special machining themselves, interacting with a 2D drawing that updates in real time to reflect how configuration changes impact the design, pricing and lead time. It also avoids compatibility errors, such as spacing conflicts or a radial hole that is too large for the specified diameter, displaying only those options that fit your specified configurations.

Users access the special machining add-on through the Thomson online shaft selector tool. Once they select the shaft type and material, the special machining link appears alongside the list of recommended part numbers. The configuration tool focuses on the most common customisation options available from Thomson, which can be selected for both ends as well as the middle of the shaft.

“With the tool add-on, customers produce a 2D drawing that features all of the pertinent dimensions and tolerances, which they can print out, share or download,” Markus added. “They also have the option to purchase the configured shaft right from the tool interface.”

For any special machining options not shown in the shaft selector tool, customers can work directly with a Thomson application engineer via phone, email or online chat to quickly configure an ideal solution.

@Thomson_Ind  #PAuto #Manufacturing

Friday, 3 December 2021

The right Edge Computer for AIoT.

The three phases in building an AI edge computing application—Data Collection, AI Model Training, and AI Inferencing—use different algorithms to perform different tasks

Due to the proliferation of Industrial IoT applications, a staggering number of industrial devices are connected to the Internet. According to an International Data Corporation report, this number is expected to reach 41.6 billion endpoints by 2025. What’s even more mind-boggling is how much data each device produces. A Harvard Business Review study has concluded that “less than half of an organization’s structured data is actively used in making decisions and less than 1% of its unstructured data is analyzed or used at all”. Consequently, businesses and industry experts are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) solutions for their IIoT applications to gain a holistic view and make smarter decisions more quickly.

Moxa UC-2100 Series

The Moxa UC-2100 Series Arm-base computing platform is designed for embedded data acquisition and processing applications. It comes with up to two software selectable RS-232/422/485 full-signal serial ports and single or dual Ethernet ports. A variety of models are available for a wide range of interface requirements, such as single or dual serial and Ethernet ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and wireless connections. These versatile communication capabilities allow users to efficiently adapt the UC‑2100 for a variety of complex solutions.

The Cortex-A8 Arm-based processor has been optimized to provide a reliable and secure gateway for data acquisition and processing at field sites and is a useful communication platform for many other large-scale deployments. Models designed for wide temperature applications are available for use in extreme environments such as those found in the oil and gas industry. All models use the Moxa Industrial Linux platform, which provides optimized software features and long-term support.

The Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) refers to the adoption of AI technologies in IoT applications for the purposes of improving operational efficiency, human-machine interactions, and data analytics and management. For example, computer vision or AI-powered video analytics are being adopted by more businesses for classification and recognition capabilities in their applications. From data reading in remote monitoring and preventive maintenance, to identifying vehicles for controlling traffic light signals in intelligent transportation systems, computer vision and video analytics are unleashing greater productivity and efficiency for industrial applications.

In many real-world situations, especially highly distributed systems located in remote areas, constantly sending large amounts of raw data to a central server might not be possible. In order to reduce latency and storage costs, while increasing network availability, solution providers and application architects are moving AI and machine learning capabilities to the edge of the network to enable more powerful preprocessing capabilities directly in the field. Indeed, by connecting field devices to edge computers equipped with powerful local processors and AI, there is no longer a need to send all of the data to the cloud for analysis.

Choosing the Right Edge Computer Makes All the Difference
AIoT edge computing essentially enables AI inferencing in the field rather than sending raw data to the cloud for processing and analysis. In order to effectively run AI models and algorithms, industrial AIoT applications require a reliable hardware platform at the edge. When choosing an edge computing solution for AIoT, consider the processing requirements for different phases of the AI implementation and the environment in which the computers are deployed.

Processing Requirements
Since the three phases in building an AI edge computing application — Data Collection, AI Model Training, and AI Inferencing — use different algorithms to perform different tasks, each phase has its own set of processing requirements. Depending on the complexity of the data collected, the computing platforms used in data collection are usually based on Arm® Cortex® or Intel® Atom®/Core™ processors. AI model training requires advanced neural networks and resource-hungry machine learning or deep learning algorithms and hence are typically done using cloud-based services and tools. However, they must be deployed on edge computers that have a conversion tool to convert the trained model to run on specialized edge processors/accelerators, such as Intel® OpenVINO™ or NVIDIA® CUDA®. AI inferencing includes several different edge computing levels, each with its own set of requirements.

Environmental Considerations
Another consideration is the physical location where the application will be implemented. Industrial applications deployed outdoors or in harsh environments — such as smart city, oil and gas, mining, power, or outdoor patrol robots — should have a wide operating temperature range and appropriate heat dissipation mechanisms to ensure reliability in blistering hot or freezing cold weather conditions.

Certain applications also require industry-specific certifications or approvals, such as fanless design, explosion proof construction, and vibration resistance. And since many real-world applications are deployed in space-limited cabinets and subject to size limitations, small form factor edge computers are preferred. Moreover, highly distributed industrial applications in remote sites may also require communications over a reliable cellular or Wi-Fi connection. Another consideration is that redundant wireless connectivity with dual SIM support may also be needed to ensure that data can be transferred if one cellular network signal is weak or goes down.

@MoxaInc @OConnell_PR #Pauto #IIoT