Invisible links revolutionize industrial
Most networks are wired systems based on dozens of proprietary
protocols and, more recently, on Ethernet. These networks are used for
monitoring and control in both open-loop and closed-loop control
systems. Sensors monitor the physical states of the process. Control
signals initiate or control the various parameters of the system. In
most cases, the sensor and control points are far from the control
system, usually meaning long cables and all their attendant issues. A
recent article from our sister publication Electronic Design
gives some insights on how wireless networking can throw the cost of
wiring out the factory window.
Read the full story
Jean M. Hoffman
How to calculate the lifespan of a
linear motion system
A fundamental question engineers face when designing a motion system
is determining how long it will last. Movement in linear-motion systems
creates stresses between rolling elements and their corresponding
contact surfaces. Over time, these stresses can lead to subsurface
metal-fatigue cracks that eventually propagate to the surface and cause
metal flaking, or spalling. Two recent articles can help designers
predict linear-motion system life whether it's loaded centrally or
Component-life theory comes down to earth
Eccentric loading shouldn’t mean shorter life
Wondering about Wireless?
SureCross Wireless Developer's Evaluation Kit includes a Gateway, one
Node transceiver and all the educational literature you need to start
testing your applications on-site where your specific range and response
time requirements can be examined. The kit is completely self-contained
and ready to use, complete with battery boxes with test buttons and
indicator lights to simulate inputs and outputs. The kit also includes
technical educational content to get you up to speed with the technology
behind SureCross Wireless. Only $295!
Designing with flexible flat cable
Silicone flat cables deliver high performance in tough applications.
Most engineers think of flat cable as inexpensive wiring that runs
between computer peripherals. But not all flat cable is created equal. A
special category of flat cable excels in uses where space efficiency
isn’t the only consideration. What’s called Extruded Silicone cable
is designed specifically for motion control and automation where
flexibility, strength, and space economy carries a premium.
Read the full story
Linear position sensors
Temposonics magnetostrictive sensors generate up to 20 simultaneous
position outputs along a given sensing element and can replace a
traditional array of proximity sensors. They provide multiple-axis
feedback along the same plane of motion and are candidates for
multiple-magnet applications because they are capable of stroke ranges
greater than 5,000 mm, but can also provide resolution as small as one
micron. Magnetostrictive position sensors are sonic-wave sensing devices
that use a high-resolution clock to determine accurate absolute position
between a fixed reference point and a moving magnet. One return signal
is created for each magnet, so an additional return signal gets
generated for each added magnet from the single interrogation pulse. The
fieldbus-based sensors let technicians store set-ups and recall them
directly at the PLC/HMI for fast set-up times.
Corp., Sensors Div.
Servo performance at a stepper
The CMMS-ST single-axis position controller combined with the
EMMS-ST stepper motor offers an easy to use, comprehensive and
economical package for single and multi-axis handling with loads of up
to 20 kg. The two-phase hybrid stepper motor has a holding torque from
0.5 to 9.3 Nm with options for an integrated brake and incremental
encoder feedback, and external gearbox options of 3:1 and 5:1. The
CMMS-ST controller eliminates resonance, heating, and loss of step
— performance issues inherent in conventional stepper motors. In
closed loop mode it provides true servo performance and not simply
end-position correction. It features compact position controller with
integrated power stage, Integrated braking resistor and mains filer,
and SD/MMC memory card for storing and loading parameter settings. It
also has 63 configurable positions, 8 positioning profiles with
sequencing capability and positioning profile overlapping, position,
velocity and torque control, network interfaces for Profibus and
DeviceNet (optional modules), integrated CANopen interface, and
easy-to-use configuration software (Festo configuration Tool).
Configurable hubs for timing pulleys
A family of timing pulleys now features configurable hubs to suit
most shaft hole and flange requirements. Dimensions for the shaft hole
and overall hub diameter are configurable in increments of 1 mm, while
the hub shoulder height can be adjusted in 0.5-mm increments. The timing
pulleys come in several aluminum grades with clear anodize, electroless
nickel plating, or hard anodized surface treatment. 1045 carbon steel
and low carbon steel versions are also available with black oxide or
electroless nickel plating. This entire line of timing pulleys is RoHS
compliant. Selection software for choosing compatible timing belts is
also offered at the company’s Web site.
EPOS2 positioning controllers are candidates for applications that
need decentralized drive intelligence. The modular digital controllers
are based on CANopen standard. They cover a 1 to 700 W performance
range, have a 32-bit digital signal processor, and can efficiently carry
out complex mathematical algorithms. Potential-separated digital inputs
and outputs protect against electromagnetic interference. And
controllers can synchronously run a path specified through interpolation
points dynamically. With a suitable master, coordinated multi-axis
movements and any profile can be carried out in a single-axis system.
Controllers can operate in position, speed and current control mode, and
can be configured to operate with both dc and ac motors, depending on
software commands. A variety of operating modes lets them be used
flexibly in drive systems in automation technology and mechatronics.
Comprehensive documentation and software are included.
Key fob secures packaging lines
Key fobs secure access to packaging line control panels. The fobs
have numerous levels of security and can limit access to displays, data
entry, and controls. Monitoring and system operations can be configured
on a machine-by-machine basis and customized to the requirements of
different production environments. The fobs meet the demands of current
regulatory requirements and can be carried on a key ring then touched to
a magnetic reader to gain access to control panel interface.
Bosch Packaging Technology company
The ZX-GT laser detects edges and measures diameters of objects
while it calculates positions precisely on all kind of materials
including those that are transparent or have reflective surfaces. The
laser is based on CCD technology and has an accuracy of 10 μm, a
sensing distance of over 500 mm, a line width of 28 mm, and a sampling
speed of 0.5 msec.
Mini cables for machine-vision
A range of flexible cables for camera-to-framegrabber connections
mate to industry standard MDR 26-position cameras. They can be used in
machine vision where the full bandwidth provided by 3M Camera Link cable
assemblies aren’t needed. They operate in multiple flex cycle
operations. They include a standard-version, with straight exit
thumbscrew backshells, a cable extension or bulkhead (male-female)
option, and an overmolded, right-angle cable drop version for space
Electronic Solutions Div.
Industrial vision for cylindrical-container
OmniView technology is a high-speed, industrial-vision system for
inspection of randomly oriented cylindrical containers, such as pill
bottles or cams. It uses four cameras for a 360° view of all surface
features. It reads bar codes, verifies text, inspects graphics, and
measures features at 1,200 ppm. Images from multiple cameras create one
seamless and undistorted "unwrapped" image (without stopping or rotating
the object) to which optical character recognition (OCR), bar-code
reading, and other machine-vision software tools can be applied. Typical
tasks include deflection of damaged products, detecting date-codes,
confirming package and product match, preventing packaging mix ups,
detecting wrong or mislabeled products, reading 1D bar codes and 2D
matrix codes, verification of allergen statements, assessing print
quality, checking for torn or missing labels, and inspecting package
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What happens when a microcontroller turns on a power FET, sending a
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the rotor shaft, advancing a timing belt that drives a pair of nip rolls
suspended on bearings in a web-processing operation on a form, fill, and
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central California? And how can you be sure that the encoders, prox
sensors, and other feedback devices you plan to use will accurately see
and report every relevant motion, machine state, and process condition?
And will the signals get through the networks fast enough, without being
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Wireless Sensor Networks
A Surveer of Design Options
Sponsored by Winland Electronics Inc.
DATE: April 30th, 2008
TIME: 2:00pm ET/11am PT
Developing a wireless sensor network can be an awesome challenge or a
simple matter of picking the right module, depending on who you ask.
Off-the-shelf solutions have certain advantages, but may not be the best
overall solution to your problem. Home grown or custom solutions can be
designed to overcome specific challenges, so they can be critical for
certain projects. Learn more about the technical pros & cons of both
options in this live course.
Click here to register!
Discovering Direct Metal Laser Sintering for Faster Rapid Prototyping
Sponsored by Morris Technologies
DATE: May 7th, 2008
TIME: 2:00pm ET/11am PT
Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is an additive technology that can
turn 3-D CAD designs with complex geometries into production-quality
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During this webinar, our experts will share how DMLS is shattering the
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Prox sensors for
Q20 sensors from Banner Engineering Corp. are part of the
World-Beam family of photoelectric sensors. Sensors come in IP67-sealed
housings with industry-standard 25.4 mm mounting and are available in an
array of models and modes, including opposed (10 and 15 m), polarized (4
m) and non-polarized (6 m) retroreflective, and diffuse (250, 800, and
1,500 mm) models. The Q20 also features an advanced ASIC design that
minimizes crosstalk, EMI/RFI noise immunity, and a visible red sensing
beam for easy alignment or an infrared sensing beam, depending on model.
All models feature bright LED indicators for 360° visibility of
operating status. The sensor’s strong, over-molded plastic housing
provides a washdown rating of up to 1,200 psi.
New Elau subsidiary
upgraded its Swiss sales office to the ELAU (Schweiz) AG Switzerland
Ribbon cutting ceremony for
Hirschmann Automation and Control Inc. recently
opened a new facility in Chambersburg, Pa. The new 35,000 ft2
facility features warehouse space along with a state-of-the art training
and conference center. The facility houses Hirschmann’s three
divisions: ECS (electronic control systems), INET (industrial
networking), and ICON (industrial connectors).
Adept Technology Inc. heads to
Inc. a provider of intelligent vision-guided robotics and global
robotics services signed Han Shin Power Tech Co., Ltd. as an exclusive
dealer for Korea. Han Shin will handle Adept's robotics, controls,
vision and software products.
Manufacturing software for
has produced an operations execution system called FlexNet for folding
paper, PET, metal, and glass packaging. Apriso FlexNet for Packaging
Manufacturers provides real-time control of manufacturing operations
across the supply chain network, says Apriso. FlexNet software can also
be used by packaging manufacturers in all areas of operations
management, including quality, inventory, supply chain logistics, and
The new CD couplings feature zero backlash precision and high torsional
stiffness required in today's demanding servo motor applications with
high reverse loads and positioning requirements. Newly improved CD
couplings are designed with new clamp style hubs for increased torque
capacity on shafts without using keyways. Now you can select and
configure the exact CD® coupling solution for your coupling
application with 3D Partstream, the configurable 3D CAD downloads at
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