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April 25, 2008


Invisible links revolutionize industrial communications
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

Articles

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 off-axis.
Component-life theory comes down to earth
Eccentric loading shouldn’t mean shorter life

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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

Ten things to consider when choosing vision software
If designing a machine vision system is new territory for your engineering team, a white paper from National Instruments, gives the low down on the top ten points to consider when choosing vision software.
Read the full story

New Products

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.
MTS Systems Corp., Sensors Div.

Servo performance at a stepper price
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).
Festo

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.
Misumi USA

Positioning controllers
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.
Maxon Motor

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.
Doboy, a Bosch Packaging Technology company

Laser micrometer
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.
Omron Industrial Automation

Mini cables for machine-vision cameras
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 constrained applications.
3M Electronic Solutions Div.

Industrial vision for cylindrical-container inspection
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 graphics.
Cognex Corp.

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Rev up your interdisciplinary design skills

What happens when a microcontroller turns on a power FET, sending a current pulse to a motor coil that develops a magnetic field which turns 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 seal machine installed on a potato chip line at a Frito Lay plant in 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 corrupted, giving the controllers time to execute their algorithms as intended? It's a lot to think about, and it only scratches the surface of what many engineers grapple with today. If you happen to be one of them, then the place for you — where you can find answers and meet others with similar concerns — is www.Mechatronic-Design.com.

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Experience National Instruments Technologies From the Comfort of Your Own Computer!
With more than 200 on-demand webcasts, videos, interactive tutorials and demos available for users of any experience level, it is easier than ever to learn about the newest products and features available from National Instruments.
Begin your search here with a collection of webcasts specifically chosen for design and automation engineers.

CAD Library offers advanced CAD Resources
The Machine Design CAD Library, includes millions of configurable 2D and 3D CAD models of components and assemblies downloadable for easy use in new and existing designs. Our models are in native CAD formats. No translation required!

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UPCOMING IN-PERSON EVENTS
Design-2-Part Shows are America's longest running and most trusted events for sourcing custom parts and services. Ten shows covering the country offer OEMs, engineers and purchasing personnel the opportunity to meet job shops and contract manufacturers face-to-face.

UPCOMING WEBCASTS

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 & Manufacturing
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 metal parts in hours. Applications are wide ranging and include inserts for plastic injection molding and die casting, as well as direct parts for a variety of applications and industries including aerospace, automotive, medical, electronics and many others.
During this webinar, our experts will share how DMLS is shattering the traditional limitations of part design, rapid prototyping, and manufacturing.

Click here to register!




2008 Online Manufacturing WebExpo & Conference
Presented by New Equipment Digest and Machine Design
DATE: May 21st, 2008
TIME: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm ET

The Online Manufacturing WebExpo and Conference brings you and your management team the advantages of a traditional trade show without any of the travel cost! Participate in a webcast, visit a trade show booth and pick up valuable literature - all from the comfort of your office.

Webcasts:
This all day online event will feature a series of "LIVE" Webcasts covering a broad range of manufacturing-related topics. Tune in to any or all of the Webcasts. Ask questions during the broadcast, hear what your peers are asking too. Register today for the series featuring Parker Hannifin - Tube Fittings Division, AutomationDirect and Bimba Manufacturing.

Trade Show:
Visit company booths at the virtual exhibition hall where you can learn about new products, subscribe to newsletters, download white papers or literature from Sealevel Systems, AutomationDirect, Bimba Manufacturing, EFD, FactoryMation, Parker Hannifin - Tube Fittings Division and Strong Hold Products.

Stay for an hour or stay all day - you decide. Without burdensome travel costs, you can invite your whole management team to view a Webcast or review product features at company booths.

People who should attend: All types of Engineers, Plant Managers, Facilities Managers, Maintenance, Plant Operations, Analysts, Research and Design, VP of Operation, Managers, Directors, CEO, President, and Safety Directors.

To register for this free event, visit www.newequipment.com/webexpo




ARCHIVED WEBCASTS AVAILABLE FOR FREE VIEWING


Click Here for a list of archived Machine Design webcasts.

Industry Update

Prox sensors for washdown
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
Elau AG upgraded its Swiss sales office to the ELAU (Schweiz) AG Switzerland subsidiary.

Ribbon cutting ceremony for Hirschmann
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 Korea
Adept Technology 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 packagers
Apriso 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 maintenance.

Featured Links


ZERO-MAX
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 www.zero-max.com

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Contact Information
Editorial questions:   Jean Hoffman 303-998-9227
Advertising/sponsorship opportunities:   Virginia Goulding 216-931-9893

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