Tuesday, June 20, 2017

NEXCOM NEIO I/O Modules Ensure EtherCAT Compatibility for Networked Control Systems

NEXCOM International Co., Ltd. (Taiwan) – NEXCOM has completed its EtherCAT Solution with the NEIO series of EtherCAT slave I/O modules to offer a truly open architecture to build Industry 4.0-ready control systems. Featuring high speed EtherCAT communication, high compatibility, and high I/O density, the NEIO series provides ease of install and cost advantages for machine control and robotic control applications.

The NEIO series brings the characteristic short cycle time of EtherCAT communication to automation control. To achieve the full potentials of high speed real-time EtherCAT, the NEIO has been designed by the IEC 61131-2 standards, tested with the EtherCAT Conformance Test Tool (CTT), and offered with ESI files to ensure performance compliance and interoperability with 3rd party EtherCAT devices. Coming with a high density of 32 channels and both sink and source types, the NEIO series enables worldwide system integrators to satisfy the I/O requirements of machine control and robotic control by aggregating all sensors, switches, and drives to one or two NEIO EtherCAT slave I/O modules.

With the newly released NEIO series, NEXCOM EtherCAT solution propels the development of Industry 4.0-ready control systems with EtherCAT Master controllers, EtherCAT slave I/O modules, and 3rd party slave drives. System integrators can rely on NEXCOM EtherCAT solution to devise a distributed system schema to consolidate motion coordination, multi-axis synchronization, auxiliary functions, and safety protection onto industrial machines and robots.

Main Features:
  • EtherCAT communication tested with EtherCAT CTT and designed by IEC 61131-2 standards
  • High density of 32 channels with sink and source types
  • Detachable screw terminals for quick replacement
  • Screw terminal with covers to prevent short circuits
  • LED indicators per channel for module status and I/O information
  • Multiple mounting methods DIN-rail mounting and wall mounting

For more information about the New NEIO series of EtherCAT slave I/O from NEXCOM International Co., Ltd. click here.

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Adaptsys Device Programming System boosts productivity and flexibility for Action Circuits (UK) Limited

Adaptsys Limited (UK) - An advanced automated programming system supplied by Adaptsys is boosting productivity and enhancing the flexibility of the device programming service offered by Action Circuits, one of the largest European providers of electronic device programming and reeling services. The BPM 3900 Universal Automated Programming System is the first of its type to be installed in Europe, and combines a programming speed of 100 Mbyte/s with the largest memory support in the industry: 256 Gbyte.

Action Circuits (UK) Ltd., based in Luton, Bedfordshire, was formed in 1987, and has been specialising in device programming and reeling services since 1990. The company is continually investing in the latest hardware, and the decision to purchase a state-of-the-art automated programming system resulted from the changing landscape of the market for surface-mount programmable devices. Not only were production volumes increasing and devices shrinking, but the range and diversity of the programmable devices themselves was growing.

“The increased throughput of small footprint devices coupled with the range of technologies and packaging types has increased dramatically”, says Martin Harvey, Commercial Director of Action Circuits (UK) Ltd.: “To be able to support all these devices with a single machine gives us several advantages - particularly a reduction in the number of systems, sites and sockets we require, which in turn saves money, simplifies our processes, reduces the need for training on different systems and cuts the size and space requirements.”

Action Circuits was already familiar with Adaptsys and the BPM Microsystems range of programmers: “We have considerable experience of the company’s technology and products, and the product they were offering meant that we could incorporate it seamlessly into our existing processes and work flows. In addition, they are always open to suggestions for improvements within their product range and subsequent software updates”, says Martin Harvey.

Programming speed is very important and the fact that the BPM 3900 offers the highest speed of any universal programmer on the market ensures that the programming process is efficient and that Action Circuits can turn orders around more quickly. The system incorporates a new feature known as WhisperTeach with Auto-Z, which reduces set-up time for precision placement of the industry’s smallest chip scale packages and removes reliance on the operator.

The company was also able to use existing peripherals such as device feeders and programming sockets from existing handling platforms on new programming products, and could preserve the intellectual property created from working with other BPM Microsystems products.

“To summarise, the key reason we chose this product was that no other automated programmer on the market offered the same universal support for all the device types that we needed to programme as well as the speed we needed”, says Martin Harvey. “It provides us with a constant and stable programming and SMT handling solution with the flexibility and high quality that is expected by, and delivered to, our own customers.”

About Adaptsys:
Adaptsys is an innovative system solutions company that supplies the electronics and precision mechanical manufacturing industries. For 10 years, Adaptsys has distributed for the world's leading names in device programmers, tape & reel and carrier tape. Adaptsys also offers a range of its own products, including custom tape and integrated programming systems. The company’s customers rely on its industry knowledge and technical support capabilities to help in finding solutions to their current and future production needs.

For more information about the Device Programming System from Adaptsys Limited click here.

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Ten times more service life for Linear Guides in Robotic Welding Applications

NSK Europe (Germany) - A manufacturer of sheet metal assemblies recently sought a solution to short lifespan issues with the drive and guide elements on its automated welding systems. In fact, the linear guides for a robotic welding gun on one particular production line had to be replaced every two or three months. Due to the cost of replacement parts and maintenance time, as well as equipment downtime, the company asked NSK to investigate and provide a proposal to address the problem.

NSK discovered that weld spatter and fumes were adversely impacting the operating life of the guide elements. The company therefore suggested replacing the existing guides with its NH series linear guides in combination with protectors and K1 maintenance-free lubrication units.

Capable of providing long-lifetime performance in automated welding applications, the protectors effectively shield the sealing lip and prevent contamination from reaching the guide interior. An effect of the use of protectors is increased contact pressure between the rail surface and the seal. In this application, NSK also recommended the use of its K1 lubrication units, which allow the sealing lip to move at low friction over a film of oil. The K1 comprises a synthetic base material that holds the lubricant in its pores and extrudes it continuously, thus delivering maintenance-free operation.

For additional protection, the surfaces of the linear guides were plated with black chrome to prevent the permanent adhesion of weld spatter. Spatter adheres only lightly to the plated surfaces and gets dislodged when contact is made with a protector.

NSK’s NH series linear guide solution has solved the customer’s problem to its complete satisfaction. The C-type weld guns have been in operation for over three years without any failures. To date, this means that service life has been multiplied by a factor of 10.

NSK’s K1 lubrication units and protectors significantly increase the service life of linear guides

Black chrome plating helps prevent weld spatter from becoming permanently attached to the linear guides

For more information about the Linear Guides from NSK Europe click here.

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Pepperl+Fuchs' Incremental Rotary Encoders with New BlueBeam Technology

Pepperl+Fuchs GmbH (Germany) – Blue Emitter LEDs Ensure Increased Efficiency when Generating Signalss.

The new BlueBeam technology for incremental rotary encoders with optical sensing principle increases efficiency when generating signals. Specially developed blue emitter LEDs, combined with modern and more finely structured sensing chips, allow a more energetic penetration depth of the blue light in the chip. The result is a higher resolution, a significantly improved signal amplitude, and a considerably improved signal quality. With the new ENI58IL rotary encoders, Pepperl+Fuchs provides perfect standard solutions up to the highest rotational speeds, wherever requirements for dynamics are increasing, while also providing performance features that have so far only been possible in high-performance systems.

The new ENI58IL with BlueBeam technology:
The new BlueBeam technology for incremental rotary encoders with optical sensing principle is a spectacular innovation. BlueBeam is essentially specially developed blue-light LEDs, which Pepperl+Fuchs uses for the first time in the new ENI58IL incremental rotary encoders, thereby offering performance features that have so far only been possible in high-performance special solutions.

The blue light from the new emitter LEDs exhibits a decreased diffraction compared to a longer-wave infrared light of the same gap width and can therefore depict sharper images. Combined with modern sensing chips, which have finer and thinner structures, the penetration depth of the blue light into the chip is shorter or more energy rich. This increases the efficiency factor of the light source so significantly that the sensing chip can generate much sharper contours. The result is a higher resolution, a significantly improved signal amplitude, and considerably reduced edge jitter.

This means, for example, that the tolerances of the phase position A to B are reduced to well below 10 %, which is more than double the signal quality compared to values that are otherwise common on the market and achievable with infrared technology. The more reliable scan rate also results in a considerably higher resolution. In this way, the new BlueBeam technology in the ENI58IL rotary encoders guarantees absolute accuracy, even in the highest speed ranges of up to 12,000 rpm. The maximum output frequency of the ENI58IL is a remarkable 400 kHz—up to 50% higher than standard rotary encoder variants.

The highly precise BlueBeam technology offers the highest signal quality of incremental rotary encoders that are available on the market. In applications, this helps to reduce the tolerances and to improve the efficiency factor.

For more information about the New Incremental Rotary Encoders with BlueBeam Technology from Pepperl+Fuchs click here.

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What is a load Cell? And how does it work?

HBM - Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH (Germany) – By Stefan Schmidt, Product Manager for bending beam rocker pin load cells and weighing modules at HBM.

Design and function of a load cell:
Load cells are used to measure weight. They are an integral part of our daily life. "In your car or at the cheese counter in the supermarket – we encounter load cells everywhere," says HBM Product Manager Stefan Schmidt. Of course they are usually not immediately recognizable, because they are hidden in the inner workings of instruments.

Load cells generally consist of a spring element on which strain gauges have been placed. The spring element is usually made of steel or aluminum. That means it is very sturdy, but also minimally elastic. As the name "spring element" suggests, the steel is slightly deformed under load, but then returns to its starting position, responding elastically to every load. These extremely small changes can be acquired with strain gauges. Then finally the deformation of the strain gauge is interpreted by analysis electronics to determine the weight.

To understand this last point, let us consider strain gauges in more detail: They are electrical conductors firmly attached to a film in a meandering pattern. When this film is pulled, it – and the conductors – get longer. When it is contracted, it gets shorter. This causes the resistance in the electrical conductors to change. The strain can be determined on this basis, as resistance increases with strain and diminishes with contraction.

The strain gauges are firmly attached to the spring element, and therefore undergo the same movements it does. These strain gauges are arranged in what is called a bridge circuit, or more precisely a Wheatstone bridge circuit (see diagram). This means that four SGs are connected "in a ring" and the measuring grid of the force being measured is aligned accordingly.

If an object is placed on the load cell or suspended from it, the object's weight can be determined. The intended load for a load cell is always aligned in the direction of the center of the earth, in other words in the direction of gravity. Only that force component of the load should be acquired. That is not the case for force sensors, which are similar in design, and are also frequently specified as "load cells": They are usually designed to acquire loads that occur in all directions. The direction of the earth's gravitational force is not relevant to how they are installed.

The diagram shows what a possible Wheatstone bridge circuit looks like: Here, four strain gauges are connected "in a ring".

Types of load cells:
There are different types of load cells for different applications. Commonly used ones include:
  • Single point load cells: a load cell is located under a platform that is loaded with a weight from above
  • Bending beam load cells: several load cells are positioned under a steel structure and are loaded with a weight from above
  • Compressive force load cells: several high-capacity load cells are positioned under a steel structure that is loaded with a weight from above
  • Tensile load cells: a weight is suspended from one or more load cells
Many load cells also feature special properties such as a special design or material properties. That may be important depending on the application, for example if systems need to be thoroughly cleaned every day. Some load cells can withstand this type of stress without difficulty, others cannot.

Load cells can also be categorized based on the type of signal transmission: Digital load cells have built-in electronics used to process the measurement results and present them in prepared format. For analog load cells, an additional device – a measuring amplifier – is required.

Four strain gauges are positioned on the load cells below at the point where the greatest deformation occurs when force is applied. The arrow is pointing the direction of force application.

Compressive force load cell.

Bending beam load cell.

Single point load cell.

Tensile load cell.

Environmental effects on load cells:
One special feature of load cells is that the environment in which they are used plays a decisive role – in a number of ways.

Ambient temperatures:
Every material changes with temperature, expanding in response to heat and contracting in response to cold. Of course the same applies to load cells and their strain gauges. This also changes the electrical resistance of the conductor. Yet load cells must measure the correct weight everywhere in the world, regardless of the ambient temperature. To achieve this, a sophisticated temperature compensation mechanism is built into every HBM load cell.

Load cells must be able to withstand various effects. "Consider a truck scale: These scales are exposed to the elements: rain, dirt or heat – they have to be able to withstand outdoor ambient conditions. And we are talking world-wide: A truck scale in Siberia, for example, is exposed to different effects than one in South Africa. But they do have one thing in common: They must be designed for environments with severe weather and must therefore be correspondingly rugged," says Stefan Schmidt.

A truck scale fitted with HBM load cells.

Application of force in other directions ("parasitic forces"):
Depending on the technical environment in which a load cell is installed – for example in a system for weighing containers or in a weighing cell under a conveyor belt – other loads in addition to the weight may occur. "Parasitic forces" are forces acting on the load cell not only in the desired principal direction, but also from the side, from below or in some other way. The load cell was not developed for this purpose and the measurement results may be inaccurate or simply wrong. Care must therefore be taken during installation to ensure that there are no parasitic forces, or as few as possible. HBM load cell fittings and weighing modules help users minimize these parasitic forces and achieve precise measurement results.

Using load cells:
Of course load cells are often installed in scales. But there are also many other applications. Think of bottling plants or systems for filling bottles and cans by weight – with a load cell under every one. Or sorting systems for distributing candies or potatoes into bags so that they all have the same weight at the end of the process.

"It's astonishing how many applications require load measurements." - Stefan Schmidt.

And there are also unusual uses for load cells, as Schmidt points out: "For example, our PW15iA single point load cell is used in the development of high-performance triathlon apparel and swim wear: It measures the water resistance of suits for world class swimmers."

As part of its current research to demonstrate the effect of water resistance on various suits for world class swimmers, Huub Ltd. is introducing its new M16 system for measuring water resistance to the market. The system uses load cells type PW15iA from HBM.

Accuracy of load cells:
No matter what application a load cell is used in, accuracy plays an extremely important role. Load cells are available with different maximum capacities (the maximum capacity designates the maximum intended load) and accuracy classes. Strain gauge technology is primarily used to achieve classes C and D. Strain gauge load cells with electronic correction are used in some weighers in higher accuracy classes.

"Weight plays a leading role in industry because goods are sold primarily by weight." - Stefan Schmidt.

Because of this, weighing is strictly regulated. Use of different scales is permitted depending on the goods: For goods with low value (such as sand or gravel), the weigher does not need to be extremely precise – accuracy class D is sufficient. For pharmaceutical products, on the other hand, the highest accuracy classes A or B are required. The most common consumer goods such as meat, fruit and vegetables are weighed with accuracy class C, which already places high requirements on the accuracy of the weighing system that is used. But accuracy class C is also required in mechanical engineering or for building materials scale.

The strict rules and standards for weighing continually present new challenges to load cell developers. For load cells in the higher OIML accuracy class, a deviation in accuracy of only a few ppm (parts per million) of the measuring range of the load cell is permitted.

"It's impressive how accurately you can measure with a piece of steel and a strain gauge glued onto it," notes Stefan Schmidt. "But it can't be done without the necessary know-how. In recent years HBM has systematically achieved to increase the accuracy reached by many load cells. A continuing development process that never ends."

Adjustment, calibration and legal verification:
To ensure that a load cell works on site the way it actually should, it is usually not only adjusted and calibrated in the factory, but also verified at the installation location. Calibration and legal verification are processes in which the load cell is loaded with known weights for control purposes. If a kilo is resting on the load cell or weigher, then depending on the accuracy class, the indicated weight should also be one kilo, not 857 grams, for example. In this way, undesirable effects such as parasitic forces can also be detected.

Trends in load cell technology:
Load cells based on strain gauges can be used for a wide variety of applications and feature high accuracy. This precision can only be achieved with the appropriate know-how, which is based in turn on experience. HBM looks back on over 65 years of experience in the development of load cells and is continually working on new solutions to meet the requirements of tomorrow.

"Ten years ago customers often asked us what would come after strain gauge technology, since this proven technology was now being fully exploited. Of course we asked ourselves the same question," continues Stefan Schmidt. "But we determined in the course of our examinations that strain gauge technology is far from being fully exploited and there are still countless other possibilities for decisively improving our sensors and with them our customer's products." More precise, more rugged, faster, more intelligent – thus there is no foreseeable end to the technological development of load cells.

Stefan Schmidt, Product Manager for bending beam rocker pin load cells and weighing modules at HBM.

For more information about the Load Cell from HBM click here.

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Fischer Connectors joins SolarStratos as Official Partner

Fischer Connectors SA (Switzerland) – Fischer Connectors will provide mission-critical connectivity to enable the solar-powered plane to reach the edge of space.

The Fischer Connectors Group, based in St-Prex, Switzerland, joins the SolarStratos project as Official Partner to provide mission-critical connectivity to the solar-powered HB-SXA plane. This first manned solar plane to penetrate the stratosphere aims to demonstrate the potential of solar energy, and explore new territories for the future of aviation.

The plane:
SolarStratos HB-SXA is propelled solely by solar energy, backed by a Li-ion battery. It will be the first piloted solar-powered aircraft to enter the stratosphere, and the first solar-powered twin-seater commercial aircraft in history. Designed and built in 2016 in Switzerland, SolarStratos took its maiden flight in Payerne, Switzerland on May 5th this year. With a wingspan of 24.8 m and a length of 8.5 m, it weighs just 350 kg. The project is led by SolarStratos’ founder and pilot Raphaël Domjan, supported by an international team of experienced professionals and partners including engineers, a former astronaut, pilots, meteorologists and doctors.

The mission:
SolarStratos’ mission aims to demonstrate the potential of renewable energy, looking ahead to the commercialization of manned and unmanned solar-powered aerial vehicles. The next steps are:
  • 2018 – Preparation of the plane for the stratospheric flight; first flights with space suit
  • 2019 – Record flight in the stratosphere
  • From 2020 – Beginning of the commercial phase
SolarStratos’ first international “stopover” will be from June 15th-22nd in Montreal, Canada, where it will be the guest star of the Northern Solar Festival and the 12th Metropolis World Congress.

The challenges:
In the hostile environment on the edge of space, the human and technical challenges are daunting. The pilot and aircraft will be subjected to temperatures down to 70°C below zero and cosmic radiation. All technology on board has to withstand extreme environments and be totally reliable.

The connectivity partner:
Fischer Connectors’ electrical and optical connectivity solutions have been selected by SolarStratos for their:
  • track record of high reliability in extreme environments
  • optimal ratio of light weight and high performance
  • ability to transmit large volumes of data fast over long distances
  • wide range of standard and customized rugged connectors and cable assembly solutions
  • Swiss-made technology and footprint

Fischer Connectors’ engineers are partnering closely with the SolarStratos team to design and deliver the ideal solutions to ensure the mission’s success. Stéphane Rohrbach, Engineering Director of Fischer Connectors, is enthusiastic: “Our R&D will provide the interconnect solutions dedicated to the transmission of images from onboard cameras or further control data. We look forward to putting our expertise and know-how at the service of this brand-new technological project.”

SolarStratos’ founder and pilot Raphaël Domjan also stresses how important it is to count on full connectivity solutions: “We are pleased to find in our new partner a provider capable of developing connectors as well as the cable assemblies that are needed to continually transmit mission-critical data. Faultless connectivity between the pilot and our team, as well as with supporters and the general public worldwide, will be crucial to ensuring the success and impact of this historical Swiss and global adventure.”

Raphaël Domjan

Fischer Connectors and SolarStratos have much in common. Both are pioneers in innovation with a passion for going beyond what’s considered possible and pushing back the limits of human understanding. As Jonathan Brossard, CEO of Fischer Connectors, explains: “We’re both Swiss and global, collaborating with many partners locally and globally, and harnessing Swiss high-performance technology and our passion for renewables to re-invent the aviation of the future. Protecting the environment and using solar energy lie at the heart of our strategy. We consider ourselves more than partners to SolarStratos – we’re devoted fans!”

Jonathan Brossard

For more information about the Connectivity Solutions from Fischer Connectors click here.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

New M-LB-5000 Surge Protection System from Pepperl+Fuchs

Pepperl+Fuchs GmbH (Germany) – Diagnostics and modularity with an installation width of just 6.2 mm: These features are combined in the new M-LB-5000 surge protection system from Pepperl+Fuchs. By offering these features, the single-channel modules support increased plant availability and optimize total operating costs.

M-LB-5000 surge protection system: protection modules with diagnostics and traffic-light display as well as a separate control interface

The patented diagnostics of the M-LB-5000 with its intuitive and easy-to-read traffic-light display minimizes testing costs in accordance with EN 62305-3 and allows condition monitoring. The green light on the protection module indicates that there is full protection and sufficient operating reserve. The yellow LED indicates that the protection module has reached 90 % of its lifecycle, but the signal circuit is still protected. The protection module should be replaced when maintenance is next performed. If the indicator is red, the protection module is permanently damaged and protection has been lost. The protection module should be replaced immediately to prevent damage during the next overvoltage condition.

This setup ensures that the protection modules are always replaced at the ideal time. This improves the availability of the surge protection, and therefore of the system as a whole, and at the same time minimizes maintenance costs. The status of the protection modules can be integrated into the control level via the signaling contacts of the function modules and via the Power Rail.

The modular system allows easy commissioning and maintenance using a loop-disconnect function as well as uninterrupted protection module replacement during operation.

When you pull the protection module, the relevant signal circuit remains interconnected via the base module mounted on the DIN mounting rail. The disconnection process does not lead to any signal interruption, meaning that a protection module can be replaced without impairing plant operation.

If the protection module is plugged in at an angle of 180 degrees, the signal circuit will be broken via the integrated isolating function. This simplifies maintenance work as well as loop checks and allows insulation tests to be performed during commissioning or repeated testing.

At 6.2 mm, the small width of the protection modules saves space in the switch cabinet. Disconnect terminal blocks can be avoided: During retrofitting, existing common disconnect terminal blocks can be replaced regardless of space requirements.

For more information about the New M-LB-5000 Surge Protection System from Pepperl+Fuchs click here.

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Antenova launches the New Grandis Antenna

Antenova Ltd. (UK) - Antenova launches Grandis - a smaller antenna covering the 863-870MHz / 902-928MHz ISM bands for the growing LPWAN market, IoT and smart cities.

Antenova Ltd, manufacturer of antennas and RF antenna modules for M2M and the Internet of Things, is announcing a new antenna, Grandis, part number SR42I010. It is an SMD antenna that is physically smaller yet provides enhanced performance in the 863-870 MHz and 902-928MHz bands. It directly targets the growing number of M2M and IoT applications using the LPWAN protocols.

With Grandis, Antenova has reduced the footprint of the LPWAN antenna to 12.0 x 11.0 x 1.6mm, while also enhancing the antenna’s performance. Grandis is a low-profile antenna which uses a ground plane to radiate, and is designed to be placed in the corner of the PCB.

Antenova endeavours to give PCB designers the benefit of flexibility in the positioning of the antenna within a design, so the Grandis antenna is supplied is two versions, Left and Right, to give designers a choice of locations for the antenna on a PCB.

LPWAN is an increasingly popular choice for IoT and smart city applications because it uses less power, which means that the batteries within individual devices will have an extended life. Antenova’s Grandis antenna covers the newer LPWAN standards for connected devices in IoT and smart cities: LoRa, SigFox and Weightless-P.

Grandis is suitable for all applications in the 863-870 MHz and 902-928MHz bands, so it could be used in industrial, scientific and medical applications, smart metering, network devices, manufacturing automation, agricultural and environmental monitoring and consumer tracking, worldwide.

Says Antenova’s CEO Colin Newman: “The market for LPWAN connections is expanding and we are aware of a large number of customer applications that need a small antenna with strong performance. This antenna meets those requirements very well.”

For more information about the New Grandis Antennas from Antenova click here.

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ARBOR Releases New Industrial Panel PCs with Intel® 6th Gen Skylake Platform

ARBOR Technology Corp. (Taiwan) – ARBOR Technology, a leading provider of embedded computing solutions, is pleased to announce the newly launched ARBOR ASLAN-W9xxC Series, an expansion to its acclaimed ASLAN series industrial Panel PC. The ASLAN-W9xxC Series is powered by a 2.4GHz Intel® Core i5-6300U™ processor, and supports 4GB DDR4 SO-DIMM system memory. Based on Intel’s 6th Gen Skylake Core processor platform, the series provides low power consumption and plenty of performance for demanding applications and multitasking.

The standard ASLAN-W9xxC models come with 16:9 aspect ratio widescreen displays ranging in size from 10.1 inch to 21.5 inch. In addition, a 17” 4:3 aspect ratio model (ASLAN-917R) and a 21.5-inch full IP65 stainless model (ASLAN-W922C-IP) are also available, extending the series’ range of industrial applications. Differentiated in terms of display size, I/O interface and mechanical chassis, all ASLAN units have USB, RJ-45 and COM ports, and provide mini PCIe expansion slots and SMA antenna holes for optional wireless connectivity.

The ASLAN series is well-suited for industrial automation, building automation, process control and custom HMI applications. Thanks to its stainless steel chassis and waterproof connectors, the ASLAN-W922C-IP model is ideal for deployments in chemical and food industries where ease of cleaning and disinfection as well as toughness and durability are major prerequisites.

The new ASLAN series Panel PCs support panel mounting and/or VESA-100 mounting installation. All carry CE and FCC Class A declarations of conformity, certifying compliance with the highest standards in safety, protection and security.

For more information about the New ASLAN-W9xxC Panel PCs from ARBOR Technology Corp. click here.

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Sierra Wireless supports the new Google Cloud IoT Core to simplify the adoption of IoT solutions in the enterprise

Sierra Wireless (Canada) – Google Cloud Leverages Sierra Wireless’ device-to-cloud IoT expertise to help more customers realize the value of connected devices.

Sierra Wireless, a leading provider of fully integrated device-to-cloud solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced support for Google Cloud IoT Core, a fully managed service that allows users to easily and securely connect and manage devices at global scale.

Cloud IoT Core, together with other Google Cloud services, such as Pub/Sub, Dataflow, Bigtable, BigQuery, and Data Studio, provide a complete solution for collecting, processing, analyzing, and visualizing IoT data in real time to support improved operational efficiency.

Sierra Wireless’ device-to-cloud solution, which includes embedded wireless modules, gateways, and cloud and connectivity services, links businesses to their operational data. The solution provides intelligence at the edge, secured device provisioning and managed services, such as device monitoring and software updates. Sierra Wireless has been working with Google since 2015 to enable Pub/Sub integration of its AirVantage® IoT Platform with Google Cloud services. Now, with support for Google Cloud IoT Core, Sierra Wireless customers have more options to access the entire Google ecosystem out of the box.

Key features of the new Cloud IoT Core solution:
  • End-to-end security - Enable end-to-end security using certificate-based authentication and TLS; devices running Android Things or ones supporting the Cloud IoT Core security requirements can deliver full stack security.
  • Out-of-box data Insights - Use downstream analytic systems by integrating with Google Big Data Analytics and ML services.
  • Serverless infrastructure: Scale instantly without limits using horizontal scaling on Google’s serverless platform.
  • Role-level data control - Apply IAM roles to devices to control access to devices and data.
  • Automatic device deployment - Use REST APIs to automatically manage the registration, deployment and operation of devices at scale.
“Real-time, reliable and actionable processing of information is a complex but critical element of IoT,” said Philippe Guillemette, CTO, Sierra Wireless. “Sierra Wireless’ experience in helping customers deploy more than one hundred million cloud-connected edge devices coupled with Google’s Cloud IoT Core dramatically reduces this complexity for businesses of any size.”

“Cloud IoT Core was designed to simplify digital transformation by helping customers to leverage Google Cloud’s data analytics and machine learning capabilities and act on insights, in real time, from operational data that was previously inaccessible,” said Adam Massey, Director, Strategic Technology Partners at Google Cloud. “By working with industry leaders like Sierra Wireless, we are expanding the surface of innovation to help more customers realize the value of connected devices for their businesses.”

For more information about the Device-to-Cloud Solutions from Sierra Wireless click here.

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DFI Tech Announces New 7th Generation Intel Atom SoC Motherboards

DFI Tech (USA) – DFI Tech, a provider of embedded computing solutions and board products, has released new motherboards using the latest generation low-power System-on-Chip (SoC) processors from Intel®.

The first in the series of 7th Generation Atom™ motherboards is the AL171 Mini-ITX. The board features a Thermal Design Power (TDP) listing of 12W, while providing quad core 2.0 GHz performance on the Atom E3900 Series SoC.

It has 1x PCIe x1 (Gen 2) lanes and 1 x M.2 and 1 x Full-size Mini PCIe (PCIe/USB) expansion options. Additionally, 1 x SIM socket expansion is available upon request.

The AL171 has a wealth of I/O available, including 6 COM, 2 LAN, 9 USB and 8-bit Digital I/O. The board has up to 16GB of DDR3L SODIMM memory and display ports of 1 HDMI, 1 DP++, and 1 LVDS/eDP.

DFI Tech provides motherboards in Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX, and EATX types.

The company also offers small form factor embedded computers, industrial expandable computer systems, Panel PCs, and more.

For more information about the Embedded Solutions from DFI Tech click here.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Technosoft presents the iPOS2401 Micro-Sized Motion Controller

Technosoft SA (Switzerland) - Micro motors now have the perfect motion controller to match their size.

Technosoft, the motion control company based in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, has released iPOS2401 MX, an intelligent drive with integrated motion controller offering an optimal solution for positioning applications where space is critical (19 x 46 x 8 mm).

Due to its innovative motor control architecture, iPOS2401 MX represents a universal control solution for a complete category of micromotors that usually do not require more than 1A of continuous current, even in dynamic regimes.

Brushed DC, brushless DC, stepper or linear motors can be controlled by the Technosoft microdrive that supports an incremental TTL encoder and digital Halls as position sensors. One drive for any motor technology brings a huge advantage in terms of reducing the stock diversity as well as the implementation time, due to a unique user interface for all axes. Besides the only 9-cm2 surface, another advantage is represented by the plug-in capability of the product that offers a large flexibility in terms of integration into the user's motherboard where the size, shape and connectors can be customized to respond exactly to the application requirements.

The iPOS2401 is designed for high-end applications, offering unmatched motion control performance for either stand-alone, single or multi-axis applications in CAN or (optionally) EtherCAT bus configurations where local programmability on the drive makes the difference.

For more information about the New iPOS2401 Micro-Sized Motion Controller from Technosoft SA click here.

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Rotech RF1-V+ helps Nash net bigger catch

Rotech (UK) - Fishing bait producer Nash Tackle is benefitting from a 50% increase in productivity after upgrading to Rotech’s new RF1-V+ dedicated pouch coder for late stage customisation of packs.

Essex-based Nash Tackle just about has the angling supplies market sewn up, keeping fishing tackle shops stocked with everything from bivvies and shelters to rods and reels. Baits are a major chunk of its business, with a portfolio that takes in hundreds of different boilies, pastes, stick mixes and pellets, formulated with patented performance ingredients and additives.

It is not just in the UK that Nash is held up by anglers as the market leader and innovator in carp bait products - Nashbait is exported to markets such as France, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands.

It was the growth of its export business, and the corresponding need to produce ingredient declarations and product descriptions in foreign language versions, that first prompted Nash Tackle to purchase an offline coding system from Hertfordshire feeding and coding specialist Rotech in 2012.

Prior to this, Nash had been using the same generic back-of-pack wording on its exported baits as it was using for the UK market. However, a crackdown by European labelling authorities meant this approach was no longer acceptable - fishing bait products had to carry a description and full list of ingredients in the relevant European language.

At the time, the RF1 offline coding system with vacuum pouch feeder and thermal transfer printhead was the best solution for Nashbaits - it made it possible for the company to overprint pre-made pouches with over 3,000 slightly different versions of back-of-pack information and bar codes, on demand - satisfying regulators without compromising production efficiency.

Five years have passed since Nash purchased this machine, and in that time Rotech has engineered a new coding system, the RF1-V+, that has taken pouch coding efficiency to the next level.

Nash Tackle’s business has also evolved and grown in that time; the company has moved into new state-of-the-art premises and added the Czech Republic, Belgium, Russia, Japan, Canada and the US to its list of export territories. These new markets all require their own language versions and increasing volumes meant the RF1 coder was working flat out to keep on top of orders.

During a visit to Nash Tackle, Rotech demonstrated its new RF1-V+ system, and it was immediately apparent that this overprinter, with its increased speed capabilities and extended printing area, was ideal for equipping Nash Tackle to keep pace with this growth.

The RF1-V+ is capable of coding up to 60 pouches per minute - 50% faster than its predecessor. Rotech has achieved this throughput improvement through design innovations including a shingling infeed and extended reservoir capacity.

“We have incorporated a shingling conveyor into the infeed, which in turn enables the hopper that supplies the system with unmarked pouches to be enlarged to hold up to 300 pouches at a time,” explains Richard Pether, director at Rotech.

The RF1 system supplied to Nash in 2012 used vacuum pick and place technology to pick a pouch from a stack, place it onto a conveyor for printing, and transfer the printed pouch neatly onto another stack for collection. The shingling conveyor makes the infeed of unmarked pouches more efficient, as it eliminates the time taken for a vacuum arm to dip down below the level of the conveyor, pick the pouch and lift it onto the coding conveyor. Pouches no longer have to be lifted from a stack below - they are presented at a level with the coding conveyor, so that all the vacuum arm has to do is lift each pouch, push it forward and release it onto the coding conveyor.

The addition of a shingling step also allows an operator to keep the reservoir of unmarked pouches replenished whilst the machine is running, enabling continuous operation until a batch has been printed.

“The pouches shingle out along the conveyor, which helps loading at the back end as well as picking off the front end,” explains Richard.

It also means that the hopper can be considerably larger than on a stack-to-stack system, on which the speed is limited by the number of pouches that can stacked in the hopper without overflowing. The larger capacity hopper translates to faster speeds, owing to less downtime for restocking the system.

Besides boosting productivity, the new coding system has given Nash Tackle extended text printing capabilities, through a wider 6” thermal transfer printhead.

“With the wider format printer we can fit another word or two per line. This may not sound like much, but it means that we can fit up to six language versions on a pouch without losing out on valuable marketing space,” says Gary Bayes, operations director at Nash Tackle.

Nash buys in pre-made branded pouches that are non-product specific and have a blank area on the back for printing ingredient lists, bar codes, date codes and batch codes. Nash prints labels with the product name and code in-house on a desktop printer and applies them to the pouches, before passing the pouches through the RF1-V+ to print back-of-pack information, bar codes, date codes and batch codes.

Each week, the coder runs off around 8,000 pouches, ranging in size from 200g up to 5kg. These are fed into the coding system in batches of 100 and within just a couple of minutes, each pack in the batch is accurately and clearly printed.

The efficiency and variable printing capabilities of the RF1-V+ also supports Nash’s latest venture - extending its offering to include personalised pack and contract manufacturing services.

“If a retail chain wants packs printed with their branding, carrying ingredient and nutrient information in specific languages, we can do that - efficiently and economically - thanks to the new RF1-V+,” says Gary. “Without this coder we wouldn’t have been able to grow our business in the way we have. The flexibility to print variable information on demand has given us the edge over other companies who struggle to keep abreast of changing legislative requirements and has enabled us to court bigger chains for whom legal compliance is a high priority.”

For more information about the Packaging Solutions from Rotech click here.

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EFCO Introduces Compact Industrial PC Series Offering Broad Industrial Interface Support

EFCO (Taiwan) - EFCO, a world-class supplier of industrial PC, gaming and EMS solutions, today introduced its SmartAIO U7-300 Series that offer broad industrial interface support. Based on the latest Intel® Atom™ processors and highly-integrated Qseven CPU modules, the new EFCO SmartAIO computers are extremely compact measuring just 138 x 100 x 57 mm (5.43 x 3.93 x 2.24 inches). EFCO designed its SmartAIO Series for maximum network interoperability offering essential gateway connectivity for today’s Internet-of-Things (IoT)-ready automation applications.

Meeting the broad I/O needs of factory automation including Industrial IoT/4.0, and applications in the transportation, food and digital signage industries, the series’ extended application-specific interface support includes 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports, 4x USB (2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0), 1x HDMI, 2x RS-232, 2xRS-232/422/485, 8-bit Isolation GPI, 8-bit Isolation GPO and Audio (1x Line-out, 1x MIC-in). In addition, EFCO can provide customized I/O modules enabling OEMs to reduce development time and costs and meet shorter customer delivery schedules.

The SmartAIO U7-300 offers wide input voltage (+9 V – +32 V) matching a diverse range of power requirements and supports industrial temperature operation from 0 ° C to + 60 ° C. The latest industrial PCs from EFCO are also equipped with slots for half and full-size PCI Express mini cards that can be used to support wireless functionality such as 3G/4G LTE and Bluetooth. Optional operating systems including Microsoft Windows 8 / Windows 8 embedded, Windows 7 / Windows 7 Embedded Compact or Linux are available. The new PC series complies with the FCC regulations (Class A), and bears the CE mark ensuring they meet EU safety, health and environmental protection requirements.

The new EFCO SmartAIO industrial computers will be available second quarter 2017.

For more information about the New SmartAIO U7-300 Compact Industrial PC from EFCO click here.

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Mountz, Inc. Certifies to New ISO 9001:2015 Standard

Mountz, Inc. (USA) - Mountz Inc., the expert in torque and fastening solutions, announced today that it has successfully made the transition from ISO9001-2008 to the new ISO9001-2015 standard. The transition to the newest ISO9001 standard included several updates to the Mountz quality management system. The San Jose, CA site is registered under Certificate No: CERT-951001038 issued on March 30, 2017.

“The Mountz quality team spent the last year providing organizational guidance for updating our quality management system to the new standard,” said Brad Mountz, President & CEO. “This ISO certification is a testament to our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement with our quality processes."

All ISO standards are reviewed every five years to establish if a revision is required to keep it current and relevant to the dynamic and globally interconnected world. In September 2015, the International Organization for Standardization released a new revision of the ISO 9001 standard, giving ISO 9001:2008 certified organizations three years to transition. Key changes to the ISO standards include an emphasis on leadership, a focus on risk management and help ensure accountability at all levels of an organization.

With over 1 million certificates issued worldwide, ISO 9001 is the world’s most popular management system standard. The standard helps organizations demonstrate that they can offer products and services of consistently good quality to their customers. The revised standard ensures that quality management for any organization is now completely integrated and aligned with all business strategies within an organization. To achieve certification, Mountz, Inc. partnered with TUV SUD America Inc., an independent third party.

About Mountz, Inc.:
As your torque expert, Mountz, Inc. is 100% focused on torque products and solutions. Since 1965, Mountz Inc. has proven its in-depth knowledge of torque and torque solutions by consistently developing, producing, marketing and servicing highly sophisticated, cutting-edge tools. Mountz Inc. is known to the industry as the premier torque tool supplier. Mountz tools comply with ISO6789:2003 and are constructed from high quality materials, engineered for superior reliability and safety and backed by an industry leading warranty. Look for the Mountz hexagon logo - it's a stamp for quality tools, service and knowledge in the field of torque control.

For more information about the Automation Products from Mountz, Inc. click here.

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