Monday, 25 September 2023

"No warehouse left behind!"

The launch of the new “Movu Robotics” brand has been announced by the stow Group. This has been developed to strengthen its “Robotics” business unit and to meet increasing customer demand for Automation and Robotics solutions. The new brand replaces the name “stow Robotics”.

Movu Robotics is a new and dynamic warehouse automation brand that stands out by bringing easier Logistics automation solutions to the world’s warehouses and ensuring that, when it comes to opportunities for automation, no warehouse is left behind. Movu is based in new headquarters located in Lokeren, near Antwerp (B) that, under a single roof, includes engineering, R&D, production, and a state-of-the-art Experience Centre where the latest technologies can be demonstrated live in operation to customers and partners.

stow Group itself is a highly successful company with 40 years’ experience as a supplier of logistics and materials handling solutions, and a product DNA based on racking. As customer and market demand for automated solutions increases – driven by labour shortages, the need to increase profitability, efficiency, flexibility, accuracy as well as shortening lead times – stow has been delivering innovative solutions to meet these challenges.

stow Robotics was established in 2021 as part of the stow Group and has developed a comprehensive and competitive portfolio of automation and robotics solutions for pallets, bins and items that provides a more energy efficient and practical alternative to stacker crane based solutions. This comprises Movu atlas, one of the leading pallet shuttle systems in the market; Movu escala, an innovative ramp shuttle solution for bins; Movu ifollow, a collaborative Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) system for pallets and additional load carriers and the new picking robot Movu eligo.

Despite all their advantages, automated technologies and robotics are perceived by many customers as being complex, expensive, resource intensive with long lead time for installation. Movu Robotics addresses this issue by bringing easier automation to the world’s warehouses.

No warehouse left behind.
For projects in the main vertical markets, especially in e-commerce, FMCG and cold storage in Europe and North America, Movu Robotics will deliver simple, standardised plug and play solutions that require less engineering and grant short lead times for execution, allowing customers to keep their operations running.

Jos de Vuyst
Jos de Vuyst, CEO of stow Group commented: “Faced with challenges of labour shortages, cost increases, storage density, growing volumes and improving accuracy, companies are turning to robotics and automation for solutions. Movu Robotics offers an integrated ecosystem of standardised and scalable automation technology that speeds roll out and reduces risk for all kinds of customers. We want to democratise materials handling through bringing the opportunities of easier automation and robotics to warehouses that would otherwise find them hard to attain. Expecting the global material handling equipment market to reach USD 350 billion and understanding the key driver AS/RS systems and Robotics for this, we are optimistic that Movu Robotics will become an essential player.”

Stefan Pieters, CEO of Movu Robotics, commented: “Smart enough to make any operation feel simple and easy, Movu robots help to take a load off the customers’ minds as well as their shelves. Our solutions are designed to make warehouse automation and robotics not only more accessible, but also more scalable.

Stefan Pieters

They will enable any warehouse around the world – big or small, regular or awkwardly shaped – to be upgraded and become more productive, more efficient and more successful. This is the philosophy behind our brand claim: ‘Movu – No warehouse left behind’.”

Group structure. stow Group now has two independent brands under its roof: stow Racking and Movu Robotics. While both of these brands retain their independence, they strongly impact each other in terms of expertise, know how, technology, and global resources.

All products, business activities and operations of stow Group in the field of Robotics and Automation, including R&D, production, sales and finance, will be grouped as an independent and stand-alone business unit under the Movu Robotics brand in the new headquarters in Lokeren. This includes the operations of the ifollow business, which is now the brand name of the Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) offered by Movu.

The management team will be led by Jos de Vuyst, CEO of stow Group and Stefan Pieters, CEO of Movu Robotics. Both stow Group and Movu Robotics are driven by a strong team of board members, comprising experience from the Logistics Industry and from other sectors.

Movu Robotics technologies. Unlike many automation companies that have a single product, the new Movu Robotics brand includes a range of key technologies: Movu atlas pallet shuttles, Movu escala bin shuttles and Movu ifollow Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) for pallets and roll cages that work either stand-alone or as collaborative robots. Joining these is the new Movu eligo picking robot, which is offered as a picking workstation for escala.

Movu Robotics provides solutions for easier automation that can make better use of every corner of the warehouse – irrespective of the customers’ storage space or what they are storing, conveying, picking or handling. Customers gain the key advantage of seamless integrated racking and robotics solutions – for example, the Movu atlas shuttle system working with Movu ifollow mobile robots, or Movu eligo acting as a workstation for Movu escala. A key benefit is that a customer talks to a single face representing a single partner, providing efficient project management and reliable lead times. They will also receive efficient project commissioning for a safe and resilient supply chain that assists in delivering high service levels to their customers.

Autonomous sub-systems for minimal TCO.
Technologies in the Movu Robotics product portfolio can be integrated into a single autonomous sub-system as a solution, with components including racking, shuttles or AMRs, software, wi-fi and commissioning. This enables easy installation, adaptability to new business needs through simple integration of new applications and a minimal Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) approach. This makes upgrading warehouses easier, not only for existing users of logistics automation who want to upgrade their systems with plug and play robotics and automation, but also those yet to adopt automation but who urgently want to take the first step.

Standardisation and simplification, which is an essential part of Movu Robotics, results in shorter lead times and lower engineering costs, producing higher profitability. To maximise flexibility, Movu Robotics systems are modular in design, acting as a set of building blocks to minimise complexity and cost of upgrading. This makes the systems highly scalable – installations can start small and then expand or, if needed, they can downsize just as easily. Modularity also enables a fast roll out for projects.

For not leaving any warehouse behind, Movu Robotics will target the market with a dual strategy: providing end users with a direct channel, for which Movu relies on a network of sales offices in main territories. Its portfolio of simple, standardised, scalable, and flexible systems provide opportunities for SMEs with as few as 5000 pallet locations to automate, to address challenges such as labour shortages and cost efficiency – a huge growth area. The other part of this strategy is the indirect channel where Movu can supply a fully functional storage sub-system from its portfolio to a systems integrator for integration into a complete project.

All of this is supported by a global network in customer service and stow’s 40 years’ industry experience.

Movu Robotics is working to improve existing technology for the customer, with innovation, R&D and entrepreneurial thinking being an integral part of the dynamic business unit. The next product launch is planned for 2024, to further expand the portfolio.

@stow_Group #Automation #Robotics #PAuto

Cameras in a storm.

Water and sewerage companies are installing Meteor MRC remote cameras at an increasing number of wastewater discharge and storm overflow locations; primarily to check the veracity of event duration monitors (EDMs), but also to avoid unnecessary site visits, save costs, lower the carbon footprint of operations, and help identify the sources of pollution.

The British government has instructed all water and sewerage companies (WaSCs) operating in England, to install monitors on every storm overflow by the end of 2023. These EDMs must provide information on the frequency and duration of storm overflow spills.

Their Environment Agency’s EDM data for 2022 (1) showed that the ten WaSCs in England have 14,580 storm overflows, and that 91% of these were fitted with EDMs. On average, each overflow spilled 23 times for an average of 5.8 hours.

“Where frequent spills are being reported, or when a WaSC suspects that an EDM is reporting falsely, a site visit may be required, so we are experiencing a heavy demand for rugged, low-cost cameras that are able to deliver reliable high-quality images of discharges to verify the EDM data without, necessarily, having to make a site visit,” explains Matt Dibbs, MD at Meteor Communications.

Meteor’s MRC cameras have been designed to operate unattended in remote locations where normal power and communications may not be available. The MRC cameras require just a small battery and a solar panel for year-round operation, and there are currently around 2,500 MRC cameras in use around the country.

Matt says: “One of the most popular features of the MRC cameras for discharge points, is the facility to attach a robust, reliable water level sensor so that the cameras can be automatically prompted to collect images when water levels rise.

“With the benefit of MRC remote cameras, WaSCs have ‘eyes in the field’ to improve the reliability of EDM data and avoid the over-reporting of spills, whilst reducing the number of site visits - saving time, and lowering both costs and carbon footprint.”

(1)Environment Agency EDM data 2022. 

 @MeteorComms @EnvAgency @_Enviro_News #Environmental #Water #Britain

Future proof cyber protection.

In this article, James P. Chiang of Moxa, examine, key challenges faced by two smart manufacturing applications: (1) interconnecting new devices on a large scale for real-time facility monitoring and (2) integrating multiple networks for optimal management. In addition, the article has practical recommendations for how to protect these types of operations from cyber threats.

In 2022, the manufacturing sector recorded more cyberattacks than any other major industry worldwide. The main reason for this phenomenon is the dissolution of the air gap between industrial control systems (ICS) and the Internet, also known as Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) convergence, which exposes OT infrastructure to new cyber threats. However, modern manufacturing cannot quarantine itself from the outside world if it wants to remain competitive.

A new threat targeting smart manufacturing systems.
The rise of smart manufacturing, or Industry 4.0, has seen a growing number of cyber threats in the industrial sector as an unintended consequence of OT/IT convergence. While merging OT and IT infrastructure achieves better efficiency and value creation, it also exposes traditionally isolated OT systems. Combining an ever-expanding threat landscape with manufacturing organizations’ extremely low tolerance for downtime makes this a high-profile target for cyberattacks.

A deeper look at the types of industrial applications that have been targeted reveals some common challenges but also some clear areas for improvement. Let’s look at two practical examples of industrial applications, how cyber threats can affect them, and how to mitigate their vulnerability to cybersecurity risks.

Application 1:

Real-time facility monitoring and control systems.

Applications enabling real-time monitoring and control for large-scale industrial networks are increasingly susceptible to cyber threats. These applications generally require deploying many connected devices on a large scale to collect, send, and analyze large amounts of data from the field at the control center.

Consider the following cybersecurity concerns:
Hundreds of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and sensors at the edge need to be connected to collect data about manufacturing facility conditions and to optimize energy usage. Each of these devices is a new node that could potentially fall prey to cybersecurity attacks such as unauthorized access or malware attacks.
Vulnerabilities are amplified when these networks expand and aggregate large numbers of edge devices into the distribution layer. If the network is not properly segmented, the whole network is vulnerable when just a single node is compromised.

For these applications, operators should consider a defense-in-depth approach. This involves selecting secure devices, building robust network defense layers, and identifying network statuses to ensure network security and availability. Selecting security-hardened devices that have passed international security certifications, or have security functions based on internationally recognized standards, such as IEC 62443 and NERC CIP, can provide solid building blocks when adding new network nodes. Segmentation and threat prevention also provide another layer of protection to guard against attacks and help prevent unwanted intrusions and threats from propagating to other network nodes. Last but not least, constantly monitoring the security status of your network nodes allows you to stay aware of and respond to any issues or abnormalities.

Application 2:

Industrial machine integration.

Another manufacturing application vulnerable to cybersecurity threats is the integration of industrial machinery into networks for optimized management. Traditionally, industrial engineers would build a closed network environment and use similar patterns to assign IP addresses to machines.

The Moxa EDS-4000/G4000 Series is the world’s first IEC 62443-4-2 certified Ethernet switch due to the built-in hardened security that was developed by following the stringent software development lifecycle described in the standard. Along with Moxa’s extensive network security portfolio, Moxa helps create a secure network foundation to safeguard and futureproof industrial operations

Nevertheless, connecting industrial networks to the Internet is necessary in order to enable remote control and administration of industrial machinery. When these traditionally isolated machines need to be connected to a centralized management system, using the same pattern to generate IP addresses for all machines can result in IP conflicts and may cause network downtime. All machines will need their IP to be reconfigured, a time-consuming task that can easily result in security vulnerabilities. Furthermore, when they are connected over an Internet-enabled public network, they are exposed to all types of new cyber threats. Predictable IP addresses in particular quickly become a target for cyberattacks.

Simplified management and enhanced security can go a long way in addressing these vulnerabilities. For example, system integrators could take advantage of network address translation (NAT) technology to protect IP addresses from prying eyes and streamline device integration. More recent hardware solutions also offer embedded intelligent threat prevention mechanisms that automatically block data coming from unauthorized IP addresses. Combined, these tools provide another robust layer of protection for machine networks.

Overcome OT networking hurdles and transition to a smart digital future.
As you converge your OT and IT networks on the path to digitalization, network security must evolve to face emerging new cyber threats. Regularly monitoring network infrastructure and keeping protection mechanisms up to date are vital parts of a dynamic security policy to protect connected systems and reduce costly downtime. It can be challenging for OT engineers to maintain their systems' intelligence and security at the same time, however, because they may have little training or expertise in the most recent IT.

To defend against cyber threats, it is crucial for system integrators and industrial operators to futureproof their manufacturing networks with integrated industrial networking solutions and employ a defense-in-depth approach designed for OT engineers. 

• Learn more about how to strengthen the defense of manufacturing facilities by downloading this Application Note from Moxa.

@Moxa_Europe @OConnellPR #PAuto #Cybersecurity

Friday, 22 September 2023

Dual thermal-visible camera for mobile devices.

The FLIR ONE Edge, the wireless dual thermal and visible camera system for mobile devices has been announced. Purpose-built for applications across remediation, automotive, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing, the new model offers the same detachable form factor as the FLIR ONE Edge Pro with Bluetooth and wireless connectivity, but with features tailored to the needs of consumers, small businesses, and enterprise volume purchases.

“Bringing the FLIR ONE Edge to market opens new doors for thermal imaging to experienced prosumers and new-to-thermal consumers, using the detachable form factor they’ve been missing,” said Chris Bainter, vice president of business development, Teledyne FLIR. “DIYers to professional tradespersons to enterprises now have a future-proofed option that works with both iOS and Android mobile devices, along with guided inspection apps and free cloud storage, to make thermal inspection more effective and convenient.”

The FLIR ONE Edge connects to a smart device through the FLIR ONE app available on Google Play and the Apple App Store, allowing users to identify thermal hot or cold spots that could indicate faults and developing issues. Similar to the FLIR ONE Edge Pro, FLIR ONE Edge provides superior context and clarity for everyday decision support through Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging (MSX®), a patented image enhancement feature that overlays visible edge detail on the thermal image without sacrificing any thermal details.

Reporting and customization made easy.
To support thermographers both new and experienced, the FLIR ONE Edge is compatible with a rich set of software tools from Teledyne FLIR. FLIR Ignite™ cloud connectivity enables easy sharing, backup, web editing, and reporting with a free 1 GB of storage or annual subscriptions starting at 10 GB of storage and up starting at $30 USD per year. In October, Teledyne FLIR will add guided inspection apps for iOS and Android users that will enable thermographers of all experience levels to easily find hidden problems in their respective homes, vehicles, and more. The goal of these apps is to simplify camera use by providing step-by-step instructions for inspections and advice on how to interpret resulting images.

The FLIR ONE Edge is also compatible with third-party apps developed through the FLIR mobile SDK available on Google Play and the Apple App Store, including those that support construction, shipping, home insulation, dental, metal working, and more.

Individuals to large organizations can create custom, proprietary applications to realize the full benefits of scaling thermography within existing systems or to simplify and improve workflows*. 

Hardworking features at an affordable price.
The evolutionary hardware design of the FLIR ONE Edge eliminates the need for cables or connectors to plug into the device, offering an operating-system-agnostic thermal imager, including compatibility with the iPhone 15. MSX enhances the radiometric 80 × 60 resolution Lepton® thermal camera paired with a 640 × 480 resolution visible camera, creating a crisp and easily interpretable image. The design is also inherently rugged and versatile with an IP54 rating and a drop-test rating of up to 2 m (6.6 ft), while the ergonomic form factor gives users the option to easily hold It with one hand, attach it to a companion mobile device, or rest it on a ledge for remote hands-free monitoring.

The FLIR ONE Edge is available today to buy globally at an MSRP of $349.99 USD from Teledyne FLIR and its authorized dealers. To learn more or to purchase, visit .

* This is a complete list of existing, approved third-party applications

@flir @mepaxIntPR #TandM #PAuto

Small packed with power.

The onsemi AR220 is now available from IDS with uEye+ XCP cameras

With the rolling shutter sensor onsemi AR2020, IDS Imaging Development Systems adds the technical successor of the onsemi AR1820 to its portfolio – making the company the first manufacturer in the industrial camera market to do so. With 20 MP, the sensor provides an impressive 5K UHD resolution that makes even the smallest details reliably visible. This benefits applications such as surface inspection and quality control as well as laboratory analyses. The sensor is now available in combination with the compact uEye+ XCP cameras.

The product line is characterised by its compact design with a closed housing (29 x 29 x 17 mm) and a convenient USB3 interface. This series is part of the low-cost product range from IDS, which also includes the uEye+ XLS board-level cameras. Integration of the new sensor into the tiny uEye+ XLS models (29 x 29 x 7 mm) is already in preparation.

IDS offers the onsemi AR2020 in colour and as a monochrome variant. The latter is suitable for low-light applications and microscopy, which often require the highest possible sensitivity. Compared to the onsemi AR1820, the new sensor has a larger diagonal and therefore a higher resolution (5136 x 3856 pixels). With a frame rate of 15 fps, many demanding applications (such as quality control) can be realised. In FHD mode with 1920 x 1080 pixels, live videos with 27 fps are possible. Due to the larger pixels (1.4 μm), users also have more leeway when choosing the appropriate lens. This enables a favourable system price.

@IDS_Imaging @mepaxIntPR #PAuto

Thursday, 21 September 2023

Setting new standards in innovation in the analytical space.

The mixed-model production line increases the output by 100 percent and reduces lead times by more than 30 percent.

ABB has partnered with Porsche Consulting, a leading management consultancy and a subsidiary of the sports car manufacturer, to reshape the landscape of analyzer manufacturing, solidifying ABB’s position at the forefront of the analyzer market.

The collaboration drives the deployment of a mixed-model production line for ABB’s process and laboratory analyzers manufactured in Canada, leveraging best practices from the automotive industry. The new production line offers optimized logistics, quality control and operations management, leading to 100 percent increase in output within the same floor space, and more than 30 percent decrease in lead times.

The production floor of the ABB factory in Quebec City, Canada

During the project, every aspect of the manufacturing process – from the production line setup and logistics to quality control methods and operations management principles – was examined and reimagined. In addition, change management approaches were introduced to prepare the factory staff for addressing the market's evolving needs, such as enhancing manufacturing and planning methods with test automation, live operations KPIs, and decoupling manufacturing subassembly product lines.

"Porsche Consulting helped us rethink our manufacturing systems. We wanted to be closer to the customers with better lead times and better reactivity, and to offer customers better visibility of the status of products during manufacturing,” said Marc Corriveau, Head of Global Operations, Analytical Busines Line, ABB. “The smart, digital and lean manufacturing process pioneered through this collaboration will shape the future of analyzer production, meeting the ever-evolving demands of the market and enabling us to maintain unmatched quality and service for our customers.”

Since the delivery of the first units in the spring of 2023, production has ramped up to double capacity, a testament to the efficiency and success of the innovative approach. Furthermore, the reduction in lead times has empowered ABB to respond swiftly to dynamic market demands.

The collaboration marks the latest chapter in a long-standing partnership between ABB and Porsche Consulting, which has encompassed diverse projects from strategic visioning to pragmatic operational transformations.

@ABBgroupnews @ABBMeasurement @abb_automation @PorscheConIta @AdmiralPR #PAuto #Canada

Visible wavelength and optical spectrum analysers.

The AQ6373E visible wavelength and AQ6374E wide range optical spectrum analyzers has been released by Yokogawa Test & Measurement. Designed as successors to the AQ6373B and AQ6374, which feature high resolution and close-in dynamic range, the new analyzers offer the same high level of performance as well as features that improve operability to meet a variety of optical spectrum measurement needs in both R&D and production settings.

Development Background.
Leveraging the technologies and expertise that it has acquired over the past 40 plus years in this field, Yokogawa has designed the AQ6373E and AQ6374E to meet the growing need to test new optical devices and components in the visible to near-infrared wavelength bands for medical, biological, and material processing applications. The new models improve usability while inheriting the high wavelength resolution and wide close-in dynamic range of the current AQ6373B and AQ6374 models, which have been highly evaluated as laser spectrum measuring instruments.

Both the AQ6373E and AQ6374E meet the CE marking requirements.

In the medical and bio fields, light-emitting devices are being increasingly used due to their accuracy and non-invasiveness, which in turn demands precision measurement during development. For the manufacturing of semiconductors, the characterization and quality testing of lasers used in the production process also requires measurement by a high-performance optical spectrum analyzer. Meanwhile, given the widespread use of tablets and smartphones, users have come to expect a touch-based and intuitive interface that enables even those who are not familiar with the various settings and functions of optical spectrum analyzers to easily perform optical spectrum tests. The Yokogawa AQ6373E and AQ6374E fit the bill.

Main Features.
The AQ6373E optical spectrum covers the same wavelength range between 350 nm and 1200 nm as the current AQ6373B. In addition to a standard performance model, the lineup now includes a high-resolution model optimized for laser evaluation applications and a limited model designed for production testing applications.

The AQ6374E optical spectrum analyzer can be used not only for the evaluation of light-emitting devices such as lasers but also for the characterization of optical fibers. It offers the high optical performance of the previous AQ6374 model, providing the industry's only wide measurement wavelength range (350 - 1750 nm).

The new optical spectrum analyzers both feature improved usability, including an APP mode designed to speed up customers' R&D and production testing tasks. APP mode provides a device under test (DUT) specific user interface that navigates the user from configuration setting to the output of test results, so that even customers who are unfamiliar with optical spectrum analyzers can use them easily. They are also equipped with a large LCD touch panel, making operation even easier and more intuitive.

@Yokogawa, @Yokogawa_EU, @Yokogawa_Europe  @NapierPR #Automation #TandM

Wednesday, 20 September 2023

Robots for production flexability.

Ultra-precise robots, high-performance connectors and innovative couplings combine to enable a unique assembly concept says Ralf Högel.

In its factory in Weil am Rhein (D), Stäubli Electrical Connectors is showing how unprecedented flexibility can be achieved in series production. The company has introduced a pioneering system here, in which mobile assembly modules equipped with robots can be docked onto the production line in less than a minute. And it doesn’t stop there.

It takes a high degree of creativity and expertise to be confident of realizing an assembly line like the one that has been in operation at Stäubli Electrical Connectors since the third quarter of 2022. To understand what the Stäubli team and the plant manufacturer involved have achieved, it is necessary to look at the range of tasks performed on the assembly line, where sockets and plugs are fitted with a MULTILAM in a multitude of variants.

Stäubli’s patented MULTILAM contact technology boasts unrivaled electrical and mechanical properties and exemplifies the highest standards of quality and reliability in electrical connector manufacturing. In a production context, this means robot-supported zero-defect precision assembly in the tolerance range of 20 to 30 mm, with widely fluctuating batch sizes of 20,000 to 2,000,000 units. Further, when demand and workloads are high, the system can be expanded, and a specific item can be assembled simultaneously on two parallel production lines.

Mobile assembly modules with integrated robots.
Identifying suitable robots for this high-precision assembly was relatively easy for Stäubli, as the most accurate machines on the market are made by the company itself. Five of them (four six-axis TX2-40s and one TS2-40 SCARA) now work in the assembly plant at Weil am Rhein. There was initial skepticism about the feasibility of docking a mobile assembly module plus robot, together with all its complex peripherals, onto the line within a one-minute time limit and starting production without having to first calibrate the robot or make other adjustments.

"Not possible," said many. 

"Oh yes it is," said Stäubli, and then provided the proof. John Dallapiccola, Managing Director Stäubli Electrical Connectors Weil am Rhein (right), describes how the squaring of the circle became possible: “The concept of this unique system is based on the utilization of synergy effects within the Stäubli Group. We have our own precision robots and innovative interface solutions, which in this case were key to the realization of the plant. And, of course, we had a brilliant idea.”

Connector technology and precision couplings: the key to realizing this advanced concept.
What Dallapiccola means becomes clear on closer inspection. The decisive factor for the realization of this concept was the ability to dock the mobile modules onto the line with precision down to the hundredth of a millimeter. The time factor played an additional decisive role. The specification was to position the module manually, center it automatically, lock it in place and set it to work. Production start-up was to be within 30 seconds.

During this short period, the energy and compressed air supply must start flowing to all components of the module. The robot, parts feed, separation and image processing, power, signaling and pneumatic connections of each component must be connected reliably and simultaneously. This is where the CombiTac modular connector from Stäubli Electrical Connectors comes into play. Hovering next to both the assembly station and the mobile module, the CombiTac automatically connects all power and media circuits in sync with the docking process. High-precision mechanical guides and a pneumatically actuated quick coupling supplied by Stäubli Fluid Connectors ensure that the mobile module is correctly positioned on the assembly line.

Four- and six-axis robots mounted on mobile modules.
In the current expansion stage, the complete assembly line consists of no fewer than 12 modules linked to each other by means of a Beckhoff XTS linear transport system. Four more modules are to be added later. There are currently 20 magnetically driven movers in operation on the transfer system, which move along a route consisting of fully integrated motor modules. An industrial PC with TwinCAT automation software enables independent control of the movers with individual motion profiles. The degree of precision – one hundredth of a millimeter – is yet another remarkable feature of the system.

Fixtures specific to different parts are located on the movers, which the first two Stäubli six-axis robots on modules 1 and 2 equip with a MULTILAM and, depending on the variant to be produced, with a plug or a socket. “Gripping and positioning these miniscule components with dimensions in the millimeter range requires the highest precision from the two TX2-40s mounted on their mobile modules, and it also has to be done with maximum dynamics,” says Production Manager Sebastian Wiech. “The six-axis machines perform this demanding task with aplomb.” Asyrill vibration platforms with image processing systems suspended above them ensure process-reliable parts supply as well as the transmission of gripper positions to the robots.

The components then reach the processing station, where the MULTILAM is married to the socket or plug. Depending on the variant, further work steps follow. If, for example, a socket ring has to be fitted, this task is performed by an ultra-compact Stäubli TS2-40 SCARA. The four-axis machine is impressive not only for its small footprint, but above all for its impressive precision and dynamics.

One hundred percent quality control.

Jan Schwarzwälder
Stäubli connectors are among the best of their kind in the world, so, as you would expect from this manufacturer, every connector undergoes one hundred percent quality control. Supply Chain Manager Jan Schwarzwälder: “Ensuring product quality is one of the most important tasks performed by this production line. To this end, we integrate quality assurance into several sub-steps. We fully document the quality produced, of course, and can guarantee traceability on an individual part basis.”

In the process, each connector goes through a mating force test, in which the specified tolerances must be adhered to precisely. Missing or duplicate MULTILAM components would be immediately detected by the system.

At the end of the line, a camera-based final inspection takes place. Sebastian Wiech: “To keep cycle times to a minimum, we have equipped the station where the pass/fail parts inspection takes place with two modules. A camera system measures the inner diameter and checks the number of pins on the MULTILAM.” The handling of completed parts at this station is the task of another Stäubli TX2-60. With its high dynamics, the six-axis machine ensures compliance with the specified cycle time.

Short changeover times thanks to synergy effects.
The changeover processes on the line are also optimized down to the last detail. Jan Schwarzwälder: “Depending on the complexity of the end product, the changeover time varies from two to a maximum of 20 minutes. We owe these short changeover times not least to the MPS 025 robotic tool changer from Stäubli Fluid Connectors, which operates with a precision of ±1.5 µm and eliminates the need for time-consuming manual changes.”

Currently, the system is running seven product variants, the so-called high-runners for use in e mobility and welding automation. Further variants will follow. Likewise, the integration of a fully automated packaging line is planned, which will further expand the plant’s scope of delivery.

“That’s the beauty of this pioneering system,” says John Dallapiccola with justifiable pride. “Thanks to its immense flexibility, we are no longer subject to any restrictions. We can produce any number of variants and integrate further processes as required. The synergy effects of Stäubli’s Robotics, Fluid and Electrical Connectors business units have played a major role in the realization of this unique assembly plant.”

@PresseBox #Stäubli #Manufacturing #Robotics

Upgrade gives better performance and faster updatability.

Almirall, the specialist in medical dermatology, has upgraded Körber's Werum PAS-X MES Manufacturing Execution System at its plant in Reinbek (D). Almirall is a leading supplier of prescription and over-the-counter dermatics and uses PAS-X MES for the manufacturing of the Optiderm® and Tannosynt® product lines, among others.

The existing PAS-X MES system was getting on in years and had customer-specific adaptations that needed a great deal of effort to maintain. That is why Almirall wanted to revamp and, at the same time, create a single version that could also be rolled out to all other sites.

“Werum PAS-X MES is at the heart of our manufacturing operations, managing the execution of our manufacturing orders digitally and in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice requirements,” says Kai Sauerbier, Pharma Operations Senior Director at Almirall. “We now have a new version that runs faster and with enhanced performance, thus increasing our production throughput. Next, we want to make improvements to the master batch records and make good use of the new software features to meet the increasing demand for quality and efficiency.”

“Implementing an upgrade across ten versions is always a major technical challenge. However, thanks to the intensive collaboration with Körber's software team, we were able to successfully bring our system up to the new standard,” adds Martin Jakobs, Business Process Manager at Almirall.

The pharmaceutical company now benefits from faster processes, elimination of safety gaps and improved future upgradability. PAS-X MES is used as a full-scope MES in the entire manufacturing process – from weighing to mass production and packaging. It integrates the in-house Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). The underlying Oracle database has also been upgraded to a new version.

Almirall has also introduced the latest PAS-X MES version – including warehouse management and the replacement of the legacy manufacturing execution system – at its highly automated plant in Sant Andreu (ES).

@KoerberPharma @WerumKarriere #Almirall #PAuto #Pharma

Chair of body promoting standard for industrial device management.

André Uhl, vice president of technology and architecture for Schneider Electric’s Industrial Automation Business, has received a unanimous vote to serve as the Chairman of the FDT Board of Directors.

André Uhl
The Chairman's primary role is to ensure that the Board of Directors effectively sets and implements the organization’s strategy and governance of the standard. The IEC 62453 standard directly benefits global manufacturing industries with a unified environment for industrial device management supporting brownfield, greenfield and new smart manufacturing initiatives in the process, hybrid, and discrete markets.

Mr. Uhl replaced Lee Lane from Rockwell Automation as chairman due to his departure to a new role. Other board members include Shinji Oda, Yokogawa; Ed Silva, Flowserve Corporation; Rolf Birkhofer, Endress+Hauser; Paul Brooks, Rockwell Automation and Michael Kessler, PACTware.

FDT Group Managing Director Steve Biegacki congratulated André Uhl on his new post. “We appreciate the service Lee Lane provided to our organization. André’s industry expertise in technology and standards supporting the process and factory markets will guide the FDT organization and roadmap focused on promoting open integration and harmonized device management, driving future innovation field to cloud.”

Mr. Uhl has over 20 years of industry experience managing Research & Development (R&D) centers for industrial and motion control applications and automation solutions for flagship products in the process, hybrid, and machine builder markets. Currently serving as vice president of technology and architecture for Schneider Electric’s Industrial Automation Business, André has served as a member of the FDT Board since 2016 and presently sits on the ODVA Board and OPC Foundation Unified Architecture Field Xchange (UAFX) steering committee shaping the future of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). His dedication to working across the industrial automation ecosystem demonstrates clear leadership and support for the executive strategy of the organization that provides governance over the open FDT standard.

“I’m thrilled to lead the FDT community focused on eliminating intelligent device management barriers for industrial automation markets,” said André Uhl. “I’m passionate about open technology innovation and FDT’s vision to transform manufacturing excellence by collaborating and expanding access to these technologies enterprise-wide on a data-centric platform critical in supporting the modern, connected industrial world.”

@FDTGroup @SchneiderElec #PAuto #Standards

Expansion shows commitment to large scale remote access technologies.

Westermo formally opened its new site in Westland Park, Dublin (IRL) recently.  Plans for continued growth in Ireland, expanding capacity and adding a range highly skilled engineering, research, and supply chain positions, along with a broad range of additional support roles were announced.

This expansion of Westermo’s R&D and technology centre in Dublin includes plans to hire 50 new employees over the next three years and will be supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.

LtoR: Mary Buckley, Executive Director of IDA Ireland, Declan Carew, MD at Westermo Ireland, Jenny Sjödahl, Westermo CEO and Minister Dara Calleary T.D.
Having previously operated as Virtual Access, which was acquired by Westermo in 2019, the Dublin team have been designing, developing, and manufacturing in Ireland since 1996 and have consistently demonstrated their capacity to innovate and deliver industry leading solutions. With solutions that are engineered with tools for remote provisioning, management, and control – Westermo ensures that networks are more sustainably commissioned and operated over extended lifespans for minimal environmental impact.

The Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company regulation, Dara Calleary TD said: “I am delighted to hear that Westermo have announced plans to expand their presence in Ireland creating 50 new engineering and supply chain roles in Dublin. It is encouraging to see a globally recognised technology company further invest and grow in Ireland. The announcement again underscores Ireland’s position as a global hub for the world’s leading tech companies. Our skilled workforce is highly sought after, and this announcement ensures they will again play a huge part in advancements in the software and technology space. Best of luck to all the team at Westermo.”

"This investment is a critical part of Westermo’s investment commitment to the market for large-scale remote access technologies where quality and reliability capabilities are so essential," said Westermo CEO, Jenny Sjödahl. "The closeness of our development-and deployment-teams in Dublin demonstrates how deep technical expertise and support is such a great foundation to securing strategic long term framework agreements in critical infrastructure markets right across the globe’’.

“As a leader in our segment, we are proud to invest in technologies that play a key role in important societal infrastructure such as trains, railways, energy production and electricity distribution. There is a wealth of talent in Ireland, and we are excited to be able to invest in the engineers of the future.” 

Mary Buckley, Executive Director of Ireland's Industrial Development Authority (IDA) added: “The expansion of Westermo to grow their R&D and Supply Chain teams here is most welcome and Ireland is an ideal location in terms of availability of talent. Westermo’s focus on minimal environmental impact through sustainably operated networks is a great development in the area of green energy. I wish the team continued success here.’

See also Remote substation connectivity. (18/9/2023) 

 @WestermoUK @westermo @DeptEnterprise @IDAIRELAND @daracalleary@HHC_Lewis #PAuto #Power #Ireland

Tuesday, 19 September 2023

Pyrometer saves costs in iron foundry.

One of the leading foundries in Germany, Hundhausen Casting GmbH – a member of the Beinbauer group – specialises in the production of cast iron parts with nodular graphite. Its high-quality products and first-class service are designed to meet the demands of renowned customers from the automotive, mechanical engineering, railway technology, and hydraulics sectors.

The company was looking for a reliable temperature measurement solution to be installed at its Schwerte foundry to support high product quality while reducing lifetime costs. The automated mould tapping processes used at the foundry require accurate, consistent measurement of the temperature of each part tapped in moulds to ensure continuous quality control of the process and documentation for each casting part produced (reformatted).

Dipping thermocouples traditionally used for these measurements contributed significantly to ongoing operational costs, and do not take into account temperature variations during tapping, or time differences between the thermocouple measurements and the tapping. The thermocouple readings were accepted for several taps over longer time periods, not detecting any temperature differences during this time interval.

Additionally, the company was seeking a way to capture the continuous data that would allow it to optimise the automated process and further improve quality.

To address the needs of the Schwerte foundry, AMETEK Land supplied the SPOT+ MM Application Pyrometer, a smart, non-contact infrared thermometer specifically designed to measure liquid metal temperature in foundry tapping applications.*

With an intelligent integrated Meltmaster (MM) application mode and optimized signal processing functions, it provides a single-sensor solution for liquid metal and tapping stream temperature measurements, overcoming the challenges caused by the continuous surface and condition changes common to those applications.

The SPOT+ MM is easily integrated into new and existing process control systems, enabling the operator to monitor and control the tapping process in real time. Analog and digital communications can be used, including worldwide leading and essential cybersecurity features. By using the SPOT+ MM application pyrometer at their Schwerte foundry, Hundhausen saw a rapid return on investment.

Jonas Störmer, Electrical Engineer at Hundhausen Casting GmbH, said: “By purchasing the SPOT+ MM pyrometer, the liquid iron temperature measurements using dipping thermocouples can be mostly omitted, which results in cost savings.

“In addition, we now receive continuous casting temperatures in our casting process, building the basis for process optimisation and quality improvements.”

The Case study (pdf) maybe viewed and downloaded here!

@landinst @codacomms #PAuto

Stepper and servo drive are one!

Machine builders no longer need to choose between a stepper or servo drive.

Festo's new extra low voltage servo drive is capable of open or closed loop positioning, which effectively bridges the gap between stepper and servo drives. This means the user can tailor the CMMT-ST to suit the needs of the application and reap the benefits of both control formats.

Electric Drives Product Marketing Manager, Josh Roberts says: “The high dynamics and controllability of servo control loops can be useful in many applications, but there can be other times where the pulse, lock and stay characteristics of a stepper are the better choice. Our new CMMT-ST offers an opportunity for automation machine builders to access the best of both worlds and comes with free software for ease of programming.”

The CMMT-ST drops below the power class (300 W nominal) of the Festo CMMT-AS standard range of servo drives but shares the same control integration and function blocks, which means significant cost reductions can be achieved by combining the two types of drives within one system.

Termed ‘extra-low’ voltage because they work at 24 or 48VDC, this new generation of controllers has a raft of new features that sets them apart from previous Festo devices and from the competition. For example, the CMMT-ST has a micro-controller which is three times more powerful than previous models. This creates performance user advantages such as multi-protocol fieldbus compatibility, field weakening, energy management, auto-tuning and U/f open loop control. It also features an integrated webserver, which is an advanced feature for a low-cost device. This enables the easy transfer of data to and from the servo drive for fast, simple set-up, diagnostics and file transfers.

Within the CMMT-ST servo drive is the capability to communicate instantly to more than 75% of major fieldbus systems (including PROFINET, EtherCAT, EtherNet IP and Modbus), either through simple DIP switch settings, software set-up or auto-recognition. This means no changes to electrical designs, cabinet layout or wiring when swapping between control architectures, which is a time-consuming and expensive exercise for special purpose machine builders adapting to end-user specifications. It also means less stocked or service parts and less parts for installers and service technicians to become familiar with.

Field weakening sounds counter intuitive for a user benefit; however, it enables the connected motors to achieve higher maximum speeds or torques. For example, at low torques the maximum speed increases from 1,600 to 2,300 rpm - an increase of 44%. Therefore, there is the opportunity to select a smaller, lower cost motor to perform the same task.

Mechanically the CMMT-ST very efficiently packages advanced electronics within a robust enclosure with good EMC protection. An earthing fin shields the encoder feedback cabling, protecting the drive within ‘noisy’ environments on industrial machinery. Connectivity for braking resistors enables efficient energy management, soaking up the energy spikes and increasing the drive’s peak performance characteristics. A further energy saving option is to use the DC link sharing energy peaks between different drives within a system. For a compact drive which is only 144mm high, 88mm deep and 27mm wide it can manage an impressive nominal current of 8A and up to 20A peak for limited durations (3 sec. max.) for maximum acceleration or de-acceleration peaks within a positioning cycle.

Josh Roberts concludes: “With a list price of under £500 and free of charge programming software, the CMMT-ST offers big savings for machine builders and users; particularly in applications where the drives are currently over-specified to combat the compatibility and control issues usually associated with mixing drives within a single control system. The CMMT family of pure servo drives (AS) and open/closed loop extra-low servo drives (ST) is an ideal combination that overcomes these challenges.”

@FestoGB @festo_global @Publitek #Automation #PAuto #Manufacturing

Accelerating factory automation capabilities.

Expands factory automation offering and enhances exposure to key growth opportunities in discrete and hybrid markets.

Emerson has acquired Afag Holding AG (“Afag”), an innovative leader in electric linear motion, feeding and handling automation solutions. The electric linear motion segment expands Emerson’s served market by more than $9 billion and is expected to grow mid-single digits annually, supporting Emerson’s long-term, profitable organic growth.

“Afag brings exciting technology that will enable Emerson to accelerate growth in our existing $900 million factory automation business,” said Ram Krishnan, chief operating officer of Emerson. “As discrete and hybrid customers continue to accelerate electrification across their manufacturing processes, Afag’s technology is ideally suited to provide improved energy efficiency and performance gains.”

Afag, headquartered in Zell, (CH), brings state-of-the-art technology and innovation to Emerson. The acquisition enhances Emerson’s capabilities in factory automation and creates a leading motion portfolio that combines Afag’s electric linear motion solutions with Emerson’s pneumatic motion technology. Afag serves customers in markets that include battery manufacturing, automotive, packaging, medical, life sciences and electronics.

@EmersonExchange @Emerson_News @EMR_Automation @mepaxIntPR #PAuto

High-definition oscilloscopes.

Yokogawa Test & Measurement Corporation has released the DLM5000HD series high-definition oscilloscopes. Positioned as a high-performance version of the DLM5000 series, the DLM5000HD series expands Yokogawa’s oscilloscope lineup with 500 MHz and 350 MHz frequency bandwidth models that deliver higher resolution for more accurate waveform analysis, and come with features that improve usability and enable easier setup.

Development Background.
Yokogawa’s DLM4000 series of eight-channel mixed signal oscilloscopes released in 2012 and the successor DLM5000 series launched in 2020 have proven popular with developers of electronic and mechatronic devices. However, given the growing emphasis in recent years on measures that will help to decarbonize society, there is an increased need to make motors, inverters, and clean energy-related products such as solar power generation devices more energy efficient. This need is particularly acute in the power electronics industry, where the increase in applications for and production of next-generation power devices utilizing silicon-carbide (SiC) technology is driving the need for ever greater measurement precision. With its support of multi-channel measurement and its improved resolution on the vertical axis, the DLM5000HD series meets these needs.

Main Features.
The DLM5000HD series consists of two 8-channel models (500 MHz DLM5058HD and 350 MHz DLM5058HD) and two 4-channel models (500 MHz DLM5054HD and 350 MHz DLM5034HD).

The DLM5000HD series offers 12 bit vertical resolution that is 16 times higher than that of the existing DLM5000 series, for greater accuracy in waveform observation. This is particularly beneficial for developers of next-generation inverters, enabling the accurate observation of minute changes in high-speed signals. This allows the detection of phenomena that can cause unexpected anomolies.

Another useful feature of the DLM5000HD series is that the time-saving serial bus analysis auto-setup function, which automatically sets the optimal bit rate and threshold level, can now also be used with previously captured waveforms. This means that auto-setup can even be used for low-frequency signals, improving the efficiency of in-vehicle bus development and evaluation work.

The DLM5000HD series is able to store up to 1 billion points of acquired data, which is twice that of the DLM5000 series.This allows users to store history data on up to 200,000 captured waveforms as history waveforms*. In addition to doubling the number of waveforms that can be searched and compared using the long memory, this means a single device can measure the behaviour of braking systems and other apparatuses that needs to be captured at a high sampling rate for several milliseconds, improving the efficiency of evaluation and analysis work.

As with the DLM5000 series, measurements can be captured with up to 16 analog channels and 64 bits of logic (eight 8-bit logic channels) by using the dual-unit synchronous measurement (DLMsync) function to operate two 8-channel units. This allows the simultaneous measurement of both analog and logic signals to, for example, analyze numerous power-on sequences while debugging an electronic control unit.

* Waveforms that are automatically recorded in internal storage

Major Target Markets.
- Car electronics
- Power electronics such as electronic devices, inverters, and power generation devices
- Electronics such as household appliances and air conditioners

- Design and assessment of electric and electronic circuits
- Development and debugging of semiconductors, electronic devices, and embedded firmware
- Simultaneous measurement of analog signals and bus signals based on the CAN, CAN FD, and other in-vehicle standards
- Analysis of power and confirmation of the operation of power electronics
- Simultaneous measurement and assessment of high-speed signals and signals that fluctuate very little (for example, communication signals and mechatronics signals)

@Yokogawa, @Yokogawa_EU, @Yokogawa_Europe  @NapierPR #Automotive #TandM

Third Generation VST.

Enables fast, high-performance, and versatile RF measurements for testing next-generation aerospace, defense, and wireless products.

New options and extended capabilities for NI's third generation PXI Vector Signal Transceiver (VST), the PXIe-5842 have been announced. Combined with NI’s software ecosystem, the PXIe-5842 is a versatile tool that can be used to test and validate products in aerospace and defense applications while supporting traditional RF capabilities such as spectrum analysis, signal analysis, and signal generation.

Demand for increased RF bandwidth, frequency agility, dynamic range, and digital data movement is pushing traditional instrumentation beyond its current capabilities. NI’s VST3, the PXIe-5842, is accelerating the development of the next generation of digitally integrated active Electronically Scanned Arrays (ESA) for radar, SatCom, and electronic warfare applications as well as commercial wireless applications such as Wi-Fi 7, 6G, Ultra-wideband (UWB) and Bluetooth.

The PXIe-5842 delivers precise control over signal parameters and real-time analysis with its extended frequency coverage from 30 MHz to 26.5 GHz. Enhancements also include up to 2 GHz of instantaneous RF bandwidth and upgraded Local Oscillator (LO) offset mode with improved average noise density. This version now enables digital and analog pulse modulation capabilities, and its 16-lane high-speed serial interface enables low-latency digital I/Q data streaming at rates up to the full 2 GHz IBW of the instrument, with futureproofing to 4GHz. When combined with PXI-based FPGA co-processors from NI, the third generation VST can emulate RF environments or other RF devices for system level tests. These new capabilities build upon the flexibility and versatility of the PXIe-5842, are useful for generic RF testing and are particularly suitable for aerospace and defense applications.

“Next generation radar, electronic warfare, and communications technologies require radically different methods than the status quo for validation and test on tight schedules,” said Luke Schreier, VP and GM of NI’s Aerospace, Defense and Government Business. “The performance we have unlocked in this third-generation vector signal transceiver is critical to future-proofing your test capability, exploiting the insight that comes from rich test data, and architecting a truly software-centric approach to electromagnetic spectrum operations. It is the culmination of decades worth of investment in PXI, RF technology, and software from NI designed to maximize your product’s performance through test.”

The capability expansions announced today are a testament to the PXIe-5842's versatility that also provides customers with the ability to build the next generation of wireless products. The PXIe-5842 delivers the performance necessary to support lab design and validation applications and incorporates the fast measurement speed and small form factor required to scale into production test applications. Additional Key Features Include:

  • Analysis- and Generation-only options
  • Baseband conditioning modes optimized for Wide Bandwidth or High Dynamic Range
  • Excellent phase noise performance
  • Best in class EVM measurements
  • High bandwidth digital RF data movement through high-speed digital serial links enable real-time, closed-loop signal processing as well as high bandwidth record to disk applications.
  • PXI modularity and scalability with excellent synchronization, allowing up to four PXIe-5842 modules in one 18-slot PXIe chassis
  • Same SW environment as other NI RF instrumentation, optimized for interactive and automated use cases.

@NIglobal @niukie @jkisoftware @Publitek #TandM #Automation

A golden opportunity!

Installation engineers in the datacomms industry will now be able to take advantage of a special limited offer .

Called ‘Bundle and save. Discover the Gold difference, Fluke's discount and re-calibration programme runs from 1 September to 15 December 2023. In celebration of the modular Versiv’s 10th anniversary, customers will be able to save up to £4000/€4,400, without having to negotiate trade-in prices, on devices that are essential to the cable certification process.

Fluke Networks boasts overwhelming market dominance in copper testing technology and is recognised as a major player in fibre testing, with its user-friendly and intuitive instrumentation well-established within the sector. The ‘bundle and save’ discounts with Gold support relate to seven of the company’s best-selling models – the DSX-602-PRO, DSX2-5000 and DSX2-8000 for copper cables, the CFP2-100-Q and OFP2-100-Q for fibre and the combined kits DSX2-5000QI and DSX2-8000QI.

Whether working in small datacomms network installation businesses, in offices and university campuses or in organisations with hundreds of staff operating large data centres, engineers will now find it easier than ever to check and certify that network cables are running as required according to industry standards, including being capable of carrying the correct amount of data at the speed stated. Standards include ISO/IEC Class C and D, E, EA, F, FA and I/II certification per ISO/IEC.

Continually being updated and enhanced, the future-ready Versiv range is designed to support copper certification, fibre optic loss and OTDR (optical time domain reflectometer) testing as well as fibre end-face inspection. Test results are analysed and reports generated via Fluke Networks’ integrated LinkWare Live management software which to date has helped users upload more than 100 million test results.

Professional engineers using Versiv equipment will want to prove to customers that their network works correctly and there are no performance shortfalls. To achieve maximum customer confidence, all devices will need to have been regularly calibrated.

Recognising that such advanced equipment represents a major investment, Fluke Networks understands that engineers will be eager to minimise downtime in its use and achieve the best return on their investment. That’s why the Gold service support package not only offers an annual calibration service but also provides users with replacement tools on free loan while theirs are being worked on.

As well as eliminating ad hoc service and support charges for testers themselves, the support package covers maintenance and repair of costly current link adapters where necessary. Without Fluke Networks’ Gold support, engineers would be faced with considerable repair overheads as well as the added expense of device rental.

 “Anyone working in the datacomms industry who is responsible for either installing or maintaining network cables will want to show that they have been checked correctly and are operating according to the relevant standards. That’s why it’s important for engineers to have their testing equipment professionally calibrated while taking advantage of an easy-to-use, reliable loan service that ensures they can continue to do their work with minimum disruption,” says Nigel Hedges, Application and Technology Specialist at Fluke Networks. “'Fluke Networks’ ‘Bundle and save’ package is designed to give datacomms network engineers the industry’s best equipment discounts combined with genuine peace of mind in the knowledge that they will not have to face any untoward costs. There is simply nothing like it on the market today.”

@FlukeCorp @NapierPR #TandM #PAuto #Telecoms

Stepper drive.

Kollmorgen has introduced the P80360 stepper drive, the newest addition to the company’s flagship P8000 stepper platform.

“The newest drive in our P8000 series is a game-changer for engineers looking to achieve the greatest precision and control in a stepper system,” said Ross McMillan, vice president of engineering at Kollmorgen. “We’ll be introducing even more stepper drives with exciting feature sets in the near future, so stay tuned."

Like other drives in the series, the P80360 incorporates innovative stepless control technology to deliver smooth, quiet motion and optimal performance across the full speed range. Additionally, the P80360 stepper drive offers closed-loop position control and is fully programmable, enabling servo-like versatility, precision and repeatability in a stepper drive.

In addition to open-loop stall detection, the P80360 drive offers the ability to track load position via encoder feedback and automatically correct for any overshoot or undershoot errors. Closed-loop position control is useful, for example, in systems where gearing, couplings or heavy loads result in compliance that can cause motor missteps. By correcting for these position errors, the P80360 actively minimizes the risk of scrap or equipment damage. This feature has the added benefit of improving efficiency, so the motor doesn’t consume as much electricity and runs cooler.

The P80360 drive is fully programmable via an intuitive graphical user interface and programming language, available within the Kollmorgen Space software package offered as a free download on the Kollmorgen website. Using these tools, engineers can create simple point-to-point movements as well as linked motion sequences with ease. The versatility and functionality of the P80360 programming software eliminates the need for an external PLC or indexer to perform single-axis motion control, reducing overall system cost.

Kollmorgen Space software also includes a Motor Wizard that enables users with Kollmorgen motors to get their machines up and running faster, requiring only input of the initial profile velocities and acceleration times.

All P8000 series drives are backed by Kollmorgen’s world-class support and expertise, from motor and drive selection and sizing to assistance with setup and troubleshooting. All drives feature CE, RoHS and REACH certifications.

The P80360 stepper drive can be used with all stepper motors with phase current up to 3.0 Arms. It is ideal for labelers, indexing tables, CNC machines, XYZ gantry systems such as 3D printers, packaging, medical lab equipment, pumps and many other applications requiring simple point-to-point movements as well as linked motion sequences.

@AboutKollmorgen @mepaxIntPR #PAuto