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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Ishida delivers total solution for Crisp Packing



Ishida Europe Ltd. (Czech Republic) – Ishida installed a complete potato crisp packing line at leading Czech manufacturer Petr Hobža, at its factory in Strážnice in the Czech Republic.

The fully integrated line comprises a 16-head Ishida CCW-RS-216B multihead weigher, and two Astro bagmakers, TSC-RS seal testers and DACS-G checkweighers incorporating Ishida’s unique IDCS data capture and production monitoring software.



The 16 head multihead weigher is operating in twin mode, with eight weigh and booster hoppers feeding each of the two Astro bagmakers. Handling two bag sizes of 60g and 175g, the line is achieving speeds of 180 and 110 packs per minute respectively, delivering pinpoint accuracy to within 0.1g of the target weight, with overall efficiency levels close to 100%.

While ensuring effective quality control monitoring for the integrity of each sealed bag, the Ishida seal tester also provides valuable feedback for the overall production of the potato crisps. A sudden difference in the amount of seal rejects may indicate that the tube size of the batch of potatoes has changed producing larger potato chips that can directly impact on the performance of a packaging system, and action can be taken immediately to adjust production accordingly.



This high level of monitoring is further supported by the Ishida Data Capture System (IDCS) which records and analyses data from every pack that goes across each checkweigher to provide fully customisable real-time production information and displays the line’s Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) in terms of availability, performance and quality.

The installed Ishida multihead weigher and bagmaker combination has been specifically designed for snacks applications. As well as the proven high accuracy of Ishida’s multihead weighing technology, the Astro bagmaker features servo-motors and software controlled variable seal time, jaw temperature and pressure for the effective sealing of each pack. In particular, stripping plates clear the seal area before sealing which ensures the highest pack quality, while servo driven and vacuum assisted pull down belts enable accurate and consistent bag lengths to optimise film use and pack presentation.



A user-friendly colour touch screen allows easy operation, self-diagnostics and simple and rapid transfers between bag types and film, all of which help to minimise the system’s downtime.

Ishida was always the first choice supplier for Petr Hobža.

“Ishida’s reputation for world-class snacks packing solutions is well established,” explains director Petr Hobža.

“The accuracy of the equipment alone fully justifies this. Practically zero giveaway is an essential requirement in an operation such as ours, where we are producing some 25 million packs every year.”



The reliability of the equipment is another important factor for a line that is in operation 16 hours a day, five days a week, while the local support provided by Ishida is a further significant advantage.

“Having a single supplier for the entire line who can respond quickly means that in the event of a problem, the issue can be speedily sorted so that the line is up and running again,” explains Petr. “It also means that we do not have to keep lots of spare parts on site as these can be supplied only if they are needed.”

The Strážnice factory produces around 600kg of crisps every hour, the equivalent of 10,000 60g bags, in a variety of flavours including salt, garlic, bacon, and pepper and salt. Changeovers between flavours is simple using the easy-to-use remote control unit on the weigher where all pre-set information is stored, while all parts of the weigher are easy to remove and replace for rapid cleaning.

As well as the complete line, Petr Hobža is operating a second Ishida CCW-216/Astro combination system and this line will also become fully integrated with the arrival of a further two seal testers and checkweighers later this year.

“As part of automating our processes, it is essential that we can ensure that every bag is accurately weighed and correctly sealed,” points out Petr.

“We are a family-run business and any investment has to come out of the income we generate,” he continues.

“That is why we select equipment such as Ishida’s which will deliver the best performance and the fastest return on investment and which will ensure we continue to achieve the high standards that have characterised our success to date.”

Video:



For more information about the Multihead Weighers from Ishida Europe click here.


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Granite Devices’ New Miniature 700W Servo Motor Drive with Integrated Motion Controller



Granite Devices (Finland) - Granite Devices Inc, a Finnish servo drive manufacturer has released a new industrial servo motor drive contributing high degree of time and cost saving features to the machine automation market. A “swiss knife of motion control” IONI starts a new era of servo drives by bringing snap-on installation, built-in SIL2 safety functions and unforeseen compactness in 700 W class in just 70 x 37 x 7 mm form factor.

IONI implements industry standard, torque, velocity and position controls for AC, brushless DC, brushed DC, linear servo motors and stepping motors between 2 W and 700 W power. An improved high dynamic range torque control allows seamlessly to connect a record breaking range of motor variants to a single drive type.



The real beauty of IONI is the the ability to perform multi-axis synchronous motion control out of non-realtime host, such as Windows PC with USB or Ethernet connection. This has been achieved by the means of hardware side trajectory buffering and distributed clock synchronization. Customer’s motion control software just fills drives’ trajectory buffers to perform silky smooth multi-axis motion.

Under the hood, IONI packs an unforeseen level of connectivity. IONI Pro drive model holds all-inclusive support for incremental and sin/cos encoders as a standard feature. Drive connects directly to the fully open C/C++/C# programmable SimpleMotion bus as well as traditional digital pulse train and analog controllers.

IONICUBE and IONICUBE 1X motherboards are offered alongside with IONI drives for customers to build 1-4 axis solutions or larger motion control systems by chaining the motherboards. IONICUBE motherboard schematics are also offered in open source fashion for customers to build their own purpose-built motherboards.

“IONI has proven such swiss knife of motion control approach feasible by using today’s latest technologies” says company’s product architect Timo Piiroinen. IONI is available worldwide directly through Granite Devices web shop immediately from the stock.



Price and availability information:
The IONI product line is now in production with three IONI model variants, IONI Standard, IONI Pro and the high current variant IONI Pro HC. The list prices for IONI models are 149€ for IONI Standard, 179€ for IONI Pro and 199€ for IONI Pro HC for orders of 1 unit. The Motherboard prices are 149€ for IONICUBE and 74,5€ for IONICUBE 1X.

About Granite Devices:
Granite Devices Inc is an original Finnish servo drive designer and manufacturer located in the heart of Tampere city. Granite Devices specializes on cost and time efficient OEM motion control solutions and provides direct engineer grade support for its products.

For more information about the New IONI Miniature 700W Servo Motor Drive with Integrated Motion Controller from Granite Devices click here.


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New PW15iA Digital Load Cell from HBM



HBM - Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH (Germany) - The “All-Rounder” for Automated Applications.
  • New digital load cell that comes in commonly-used standard dimensions
  • Integrated weighing function for checkweighing, filling, and batching
  • Highest possible degree of protection, IP68/IP69K

HBM Test and Measurement has launched the new PW15iA digital load cell, a practical multi-functional product for use, for example, in packaging machinery. Due to its commonly-used standard dimensions, the highest possible degree of protection, IP68/69K, and a wide range of digital special functions, the load cell is quickly ready for use, even in existing structures.

The PW15iA digital load cell is mainly used in packaging machinery. Since the load cell comes with many additional functions (e.g. checkweighing, filling, and batching), there is no need to develop them separately for the packaging machinery. This significantly reduces development time for the machine manufacturer.

The PW15iA’s dimensions and bolt spacing correspond to those of the “SP4M footprint” industry standard. This enables the load cell to be quickly integrated into existing systems, without any additional construction effort. The PW15iA is made of stainless steel and has the highest possible degree of protection, IP68/IP69K. Thus, the load cell withstands industrial cleaning and is corrosion-resistant.

The combination of the highest possible degree of protection, compatibility with industry-standard dimensions, and useful weighing functions allows the use of PW15iA load cells in many different applications, well beyond the field of packaging machinery—ranging from automated batching to underwater force measurement.

For more information about the New PW15iA Digital Load Cell from HBM click here.


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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Global equine feed supplier boosts bagging efficiency by 15% with Pacepacker’s FastPac



Pacepacker Services Ltd. (UK) - Upgrading an automated bagging line has led to one of the UK’s leading animal feedstuffs manufacturer, I’Anson Bros Ltd, achieving a 15% increase in output. With significant volumes being packed each day, the innovative new FastPac Sack Placer, installed by Pacepacker Services, has significantly improved line efficiency with the ability to handle a new range of sacks.

I’Anson’s North Yorkshire automated production plant manufactures and annually packs tens of thousands of tonnes per year, including micronized ingredients and feed for horses. For several years the company has been steadily introducing new bagging and palletising lines to achieve premium pack presentation to its portfolio of products. Packed into four different bag sizes, weighing between 15-25 kilos, I’Anson products are sold to over 30 countries worldwide.

Seeking to improve the bagging efficiency of its patented product Speedi-Beet™, I’Anson approached longstanding supplier of automation equipment Pacepacker. The company’s recent addition to its sack placer portfolio - the new FastPac range of bagging solutions - provided the ideal solution.

While traditionally packed within paper sacks, I’Anson observed that demand among customers was increasing for the high fibre ingredient to be packed in laminated woven propylene bags, as these offer enhanced durability to reduce produce waste and better graphics. However, bagging produce using this plastic material was causing a production bottleneck. Brian Hobbins, Production manager at I’Anson explains: “Plastic sacks can be tricky to handle as they are either too slippery or contain static. Previously, this often resulted in more than one bag being picked up at the same time, so our operatives frequently needed to intervene. Having one worker permanently manning the line, manually lifting the bags when they became stuck was causing significant machine downtime and consequently impacting our productivity.”

Capable of running at 17 bags per minute, Pacepacker’s new FastPac sack placer is up to 20% faster than its previous models. Although the speed increase had large appeal, it was also the system’s ability to handle an unprecedented range of sacks.

Benefiting from the integration of mechanical grippers along with the conventional suction grippers found in most sack placers, Pacepacker’s FastPac sack placer counteracts the issue of bags sticking together by picking bags up by the bottom and peeling them off the stack, rather than picking up the top of the bag. When the bag is picked from the pile by the sack placer it is immediately held in place on a sack clamp for filling.

I’Anson’s new FastPac sack placer was installed alongside Pacepacker’s flagship Total Bag Control System (TBC). Once the sack is placed onto the clamp by the sack placer the TBC takes over. Using motorised grip arms, the TBC transports each filled sack of Speedi-Beet™ to be stitched. The sacks are then stacked onto pallets using a robotic palletiser.

“Since installation we haven’t looked back.” Brian comments, “We no longer need to intervene, which allows our operators to focus on other key areas within the production line. Pacepacker has been instrumental in keeping us abreast of new technology and upgrading our systems over the years which in turn allows us to continue meeting our customer’s evolving needs.”


Working in tandem with Pacepacker’s flagship TBC the entire line has increased efficiency by 15% for I’Anson.

For more information about the FastPac System from Pacepacker Services Ltd. click here.


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Pewatron AG has acquired the Oven Humidity Sensor (OHS Sensor) business from 3S Sensor Service



PEWATRON AG (Germany) - After a long-standing partnership, Pewatron has taken over all aspects of the production and sale of the OHS sensor from 3S Sensor Service Schmidt as of January 1, 2017, thus enhancing the company’s sensor range with another high-quality product.

3S Sensor Service Schmidt and Pewatron AG have been working together for more than 20 years on the development and production of the 3S oven humidity sensor (OHS). Pewatron previously supplied the zirconium sensor head and sensor electronics and is now responsible for all matters relating to production and sale of the product; since January 1, 2017, it has thus also handled all customer orders, supplier orders and the sensor service.

Pewatron has both extensive knowledge of the technology used in humidity sensors and access to all relevant markets. The seamless transition of the OHS business to Pewatron allows the company to offer its customers another sophisticated sensor product along with the corresponding advisory services. The founder and current owner of 3S, Elmar Schmidt, actively supported the transition process and is now on hand as an advisor to Pewatron, ensuring customers and suppliers continue to benefit from his profound industry and subject-area expertise.

Pewatron can look back on a successful first three months of collaboration with both new and existing OHS sensor customers. “The feedback shows that our commitment to high-quality, reliable OHS sensors is highly valued and we can count on the trust of our customers,” says Peter Felder, International Key Account Manager at Pewatron.



For more information about the Sensors from PEWATRON click here.


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New Metal Detection System from Fortress Technology



Fortress Technology Inc. (Canada) - Metal detection innovation on a roll.

Catering to the textiles and paper markets, Fortress Technology has developed a highly innovative modular metal detection system. Designed to inspect wide products that are rolled or sheeted, such as fabrics, carpets or paper, the company’s latest Stealth modular version is uniquely divided into ‘Multiscan’ sections to assist operatives in retrieving any metal contaminants.

Explaining the rationale for inspecting textiles and paper, Fortress Technology’s European Sales Director Phil Brown says: “Metal detection is very much about quality assurance and is now an integral part of the textile and apparel production process. For garment and fabric manufacturers, metal detectors may look for broken needle fragments or other ferrous contaminants that could damage expensive textile cutting and processing machinery.”

In carpet manufacturing, large shearing machines are used to trim and create a uniformed pile height. These razor-like blades are extremely expensive to replace, as they are the width of the carpet, usually four metres or more. If a metal pin is protruding from the carpet during this trimming process, you risk damaging the shearing blade. Even the smallest nick in the blade can create a groove running through the entire carpet roll, making it defective. In addition to being expensive to replace, few carpet manufacturers hold these blades in stock resulting in extensive machine downtime while waiting for a replacement.

Roll metal detectors are also increasingly commonplace in the lumber, pulp and paper industries, inspecting for tramp metal, predominantly iron, which tends to be introduced through either contaminated wood chips or other wood products entering the plant. “In secondary mills that recycle wastepaper, removing smaller metal fragments, such as staples and paperclips, is equally vital,” emphasises Phil. “The reason is a lot of recycled pulp paper can used by the electronic sector in components, such as microchips.”

Equally, large paper manufacturers use this system to ensure metal fragments don’t damage machinery that cuts the wider rolls into smaller, more conveniently sized rolls. Like other textile products, wallpaper manufacturers might use this system to ensure metal fragments don’t damage pattern continuity and to ensure quality finishes are not compromised.

The revolutionary modular surface metal detector system from Fortress marks another ‘blue sky’ moment for the company, enabling the detection of ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel contaminants as small as 1mm in size for roll/web applications. Designed with a quick connect function, using a unique rail system, each module can be independently placed, repositioned, removed and replaced, even while a web is present. What’s more, the sensitivity for each module can be adjusted, with each featuring its own reject output.

Detector modules, along with the rail mount system, are custom built to suit each application. This means that the overall width of each system is unrestricted. The use of a rail mount system also counteracts vibration caused by plant machinery, which can affect metal detection sensitivity.

Manufactured to suit high temperature, high humidity environments, and high speed processes makes this versatile and robust system an ideal solution for paper and textile manufacturers.

This Stealth system uses digital signal processing technology to achieve enhanced metal detection sensitivity. As with all Fortress metal detectors, the Stealth Modular Metal Detector can be upgraded with the latest technology, meeting the company’s valued Never Obsolete commitment. Parts and service are available for the lifetime of the detector. As well as textiles, paper and carpet applications, the modular system is ideal for inspecting non-woven fabrics used in home furnishings, by the automotive sector and in packaging, in addition to board, plastics, rubber and sheeted wood.


Paper and textile manufacturers use roll metal detectors to ensure metal fragments don’t damage machinery.


The ‘multiscan’ sections of the Fortress Stealth Modular Surface Metal Detector can be independently placed, repositioned, removed and replaced, even while a web is present.


Detector modules, along with the rail mount system, are custom built to suit each application so any width can be catered for.


Even a small nick to a shearing blade caused by a metal pin can result in a defective carpet and cause considerable machine downtime.

For more information about the New Metal Detection System from Fortress Technology Inc. click here.


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IDEC Releases Line of Stepper Motion Control Products



IDEC Corporation (USA) - AMCI by IDEC motion control products integrate closely with IDEC PLCs to provide a simple yet powerful way to control single- and multi-axis motion.

IDEC Corporation introduces a line of motion control stepper products in conjunction with Advanced Micro Controls Inc. (AMCI), an established developer of motion control systems. This AMCI by IDEC product line includes controllers, stepper motors, an integrated controller/drive, an integrated drive/stepper motor, and an integrated controller/drive/stepper motor. When combined with an IDEC FC6A PLC and its embedded motion control macro instructions, these products allow users to quickly and simply implement single- and multi-axis motion control in a wide range of industries and applications.

Many industrial applications require motion control, but users are often frustrated by the complexity and high cost of implementation, particularly with servo systems. IDEC and AMCI have partnered to address this issue by offering a simple yet highly capable stepper motion control system. Macro instructions embedded in the PLC WindLDR programming software can be configured with drag and drop commands to perform control of up to 12 axes.

The integrated controller/drive and drive/stepper motor units save space and money, and simplify installation, by combining multiple components into a single unit. The integrated controller/drive/stepper motor units offer the ultimate in space saving, cost effectiveness and system simplification.

All AMCI by IDEC products provide users with AMCI’s expertise in motion control combined with IDEC’s service, support and extensive distribution network. Motion control macro instructions embedded in IDEC’s FC6A PLC reduce design and programming time, allowing quick implementation in a wide variety of applications. Because all the components and the software modules are provided by IDEC and AMCI in close partnership, users are assured of correct operation right out of the box, with no need to perform integration among the components.

As compared to more complex servo motion control systems, steppers are a simpler technology, and require no tuning or adjustment. They also have excellent torque at low speeds, don’t require position feedback, and have very low maintenance requirements. These characteristics make them a great fit in a variety of industries including medical/pharmaceutical, printing, packaging, material handling and semiconductor.

Linear applications within these and other industries include conveyers, rail positioning, pushing applications/part eject, X-Y tables and filling stations. Rotary applications within these and other industries include indexing tables, material feed, cut-to-length, labelers and winding.

AMCI by IDEC’s iANF2E (2-axis) controllers can accept encoder feedback to provide stall detection and move verification. Each controller includes six discrete inputs for move conditioning and other functions, and four discrete outputs to indicate status and provide diagnostics. Each controller has a full complement of motion profiles, which can be selected by an IDEC MicroSmart FC6A PLC connected to the controller via an Ethernet-based Modbus TCP communications link. Up to six controllers can be connected to the PLC to control up to 12 axes of motion.

AMCI by IDEC’s iSM2340 NEMA 23 stepper motor comes in standard frame sizes with output torque of 130 or 240 oz-in.

AMCI by IDEC’s iANG1E integrated controller/drive unit can control one to six axes of motion, and it combines all the features of AMCI’s 1-axis controller and a 4.0A stepper drive into a single unit.

AMCI by IDEC’s iSMD23 integrated drive/stepper motor unit provides up to 240 oz-in of torque, and can be paired with the iANF2E to provide a complete solution. The unit can also be controlled by the PLC.

AMCI by IDEC’s iSMD23E integrated controller/drive/stepper motor unit provides all-in-one motion control with all the features of AMCI’s 1-axis controller, drive and stepper motor. No heat sinks are required due to its thermally efficient design. The integrated unit can operate over a wide range of input power, from 24-48Vdc.

IDEC offers free tech support for this entire line of line of motion control products, with no service or support contract required.

For more information about the New Stepper Motion Control Products from IDEC Corporation click here.


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Pixus Offers New Development Embedded Chassis Platform with Removable Sidewalls



Pixus Technologies (Canada) - Pixus Technologies, a provider of embedded computing and enclosure solutions, now offers a development enclosure for 3U, 6U, or custom sized boards with sidewalls that can be removed. This feature allows a system to be enclosed for thermal testing and the walls to be taken out for ease of access to boards inside the chassis.

The VPXD1000R holds up to eight backplane slots at a 1.0” pitch. Pixus offers 3U and 6U backplanes in OpenVPX, CompactPCI Serial, VME64x, and legacy CompactPCI and VME designs. The card guides can be adjusted in .2” increments to accept various slot pitches. Further, Pixus offers removable conduction-cooled card guides. This allows IEEE 1101.2 conduction-cooled modules to be tested next to other air-cooled cards inside the same enclosure.

The Pixus development enclosure has removable sidewalls for both front pluggable cards and the optional Rear Transition Module (RTM) section. The unit has standard 600W or 1200W modular power supplies for a wide range of voltages and amperage levels commonly used in OpenVPX and other architectures. Customized versions or VITA 62 PSUs are also available. Pixus offers power interface boards per PICMG 2.11 and VITA 62 to accept various pluggable power supplies. The VPXD1000R also features an adjustable fan speed dial.

Pixus offers desktop, rackmount, and rugged SFF embedded enclosure systems for Eurocard-based, xTCA, and customized solutions. The company also provides components for embedded subracks and boards, as well as electronics cases for instrumentation.

About Pixus Technologies:
Leveraging over 20 years of innovative standard products, the Pixus team is comprised of industry experts in electronics packaging. Founded in 2009 by senior management from Kaparel Corporation, a Rittal company, Pixus Technologies' embedded backplanes and systems are focused primarily on ATCA, OpenVPX, MicroTCA, and custom designs. Pixus also has an extensive offering of VME-based and cPCI-based solutions. In May 2011, Pixus Technologies became the sole authorized North and South American supplier of the electronic packaging products previously offered by Kaparel Corporation and Rittal.

For more information about the New Development Embedded Chassis Platform from Pixus Technologies click here.


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Emerson releases Plantweb Insight Software Applications



Emerson Automation Solutions (USA) - Emerson’s Plantweb™ Insight applications deliver fast ROI and provide a low-barrier entry point to the Industrial Internet of Things.

The application portfolio offers easy-to-deploy, asset- and problem-focused insight to drive operational excellence.

When it comes to achieving operational excellence, information is power, but only if it’s the right information in the right hands. Thanks to the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT), modern-day plants can generate more data than ever before but often lack the analytics and expertise needed to transform that data into truly actionable information – information that plant personnel can use to dramatically improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of assets, people and processes.

Emerson’s Plantweb Insight applications, which leverage Emerson’s Pervasive Sensing™ strategies, help users instantly make sense of plant data to drive overall enterprise profitability.

It’s a single, lightweight, easy-to-install browser accessible package that automatically and strategically interprets plant data through a scalable suite of applications.

Pervasive Sensing uses the power of advanced sensing technologies to provide continuous, dependable, real-time data that powers Plantweb Insight applications to support customers’ operational excellence programs in key performance areas such as reliability, safety, production, and energy and emissions management.

Plantweb Insight features a user-friendly, intuitive interface accessible on any device with access to a web browser (desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones). Prebuilt analytics require minimal configuration, and its flexible software is operating system independent, easily installing and integrating with existing infrastructures.

Using Plantweb Insight, users can improve asset reliability and energy usage by identifying abnormal situations and inefficiencies, recognizing optimum maintenance times, and tracking asset health to identify and prevent failures before they occur. They also can avoid potential safety incidents and ensure regulatory compliance, reducing fines and environmental impact though the relevant-time identification of leaks and other hazards.

The power of Plantweb Insight resides in its collection of easy-to-deploy applications, each containing the embedded domain expertise and analytics that enable existing resources to immediately identify and resolve asset issues that historically were addressed by periodic, manual rounds or unexpected failures. These applications are designed to help users realize the most from Pervasive Sensing strategies at their sites.

More than a 20 total applications are scheduled for release, with each dedicated to a single, specific asset class. The first four applications are available now and future applications will be released at a rate of two per quarter.

Plantweb Insight is currently available with applications for steam traps, pumps, heat exchangers and pressure gauges. Future applications include:
  • Air-Cooled Heat Exchanger Insight
  • Asset/Location Insight
  • Cooling Tower Insight
  • Corrosion Insight
  • Electrical Equipment Insight
  • Hydrocarbon Leak Insight
  • Mass Flow Insight
  • Power Module Insight
  • Pressure Relief Device Insight
  • Safety Shower Insight
  • Network Management Insight
Steam Trap Insight:
Steam Trap Insight instantly identifies steam trap failures using wireless acoustic transmitters to remotely monitor steam traps, even in hard-to-reach locations. Up-to-the minute visibility of all steam traps allows manual rounds to be eliminated and dramatically reduces energy waste.

Steam trap leaks can account for 5 to10 percent of total energy costs for a plant. In steam systems that have not been maintained for three to five years, as many as 15 to 30 percent of installed steam traps may have failed without maintenance personnel being aware. Plants employing Steam Trap Insight are estimated to achieve an annual savings of a half-million dollars and a return on investment in just seven months. One such plant, Denka Chemicals Singapore, realized a 7 percent reduction in steam demand after identifying 24 steam traps as having failed and an additional two to three failures per month as well as flank leaks and bypass valve passing. They are now monitoring nearly 150 steam traps.

Pump Insight:
Pump Insight provides predictive health monitoring aimed at identifying and diagnosing the underlying problems that lead to pump deterioration and failure. Through monitoring and analysis of temperature, vibration, level, pressure and flow,, wireless, relevant-time insight into cavitation and pump health is generated and visually provided to plant personnel This early detection of potential pump failures enables corrective measures to be enacted before plant performance is adversely impacted or safety and environmental issues occur, potentially saving time, money and lives. Analysis of a 250,000 barrel-per-day refinery shows plants using Pump Insight can achieve more than a half-million dollars in annual savings

Heat Exchanger Insight:
Heat Exchanger Insight utilizes temperature, flow and differential pressure data to provide relevant-time information about exchanger fouling, heat duty and overall health. Predictive health monitoring allows users to recognize and plan heat exchanger cleaning and maintenance schedules. This early detection allows for proactive actions resulting in dramatic energy savings and operational improvements. Analysis of a 250,000 barrel-per-day refinery shows upwards of two and a half million dollars in annual savings.

Pressure Gauge Insight:
Working in tandem with Emerson’s Rosemount® Wireless Pressure Gauge, this application visually delivers safer and more reliable readings, enabling remote collection of field data as frequently as once per minute. Accurate, wireless readings keep operators updated on changing field conditions remotely – reducing manual operator rounds and improving safety by keeping personnel out of hazardous areas and safeguarding against catastrophic events.

The gauge itself – the industry’s first WirelessHART® pressure gauge – utilizes field-proven piezoresistive sensor technology to deliver reliable pressure readings. It provides up to 150 times overpressure protection compared to traditional gauges and two layers of process isolation for a safer field environment. The gauge, which has a 10-year life, also reduces maintenance costs and time by eliminating common weak points found in mechanical gauges through the removal of components that inhibit the device from displaying pressure.

About Plantweb:
Emerson’s Plantweb™ digital ecosystem is a next-generation Industrial IoT portfolio that extends the power of automation beyond process control to the entire enterprise to enable Top Quartile performance. The ecosystem supports Emerson’s Operational Certainty program, which is designed to help companies improve earnings as much as 15 percent.

It meets four critical needs to do this: real-time operating data across the business, secure transport of that data where it is needed, robust and scalable software applications to convert that data into actionable insights, and the domain expertise to make decisions and drive outcomes. Flexible, integrated and scalable, the Plantweb digital ecosystem features robust, real-time visibility from Pervasive Sensing™ technologies, protected by Secure First Mile™ connectivity. Applications including Plantweb Insight, Plantweb Advisor and the AMS ARES™ Platform provide embedded domain expertise across the enterprise. Emerson Connected Services offer secure cloud-based access to experts and analytics for real-time asset monitoring and performance optimization with no-to-low capital investment.

For more information about the New Plantweb™ Insight Applications from Emerson Automation Solutions click here.


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Friday, April 28, 2017

Endress+Hauser adds Advanced Diagnostics to Level Transmitters



Endress+Hauser AG (Switzerland) - The addition of Heartbeat Technology™ to the Micropilot FMR5X and FMP5X Levelflex families of level transmitters provides automatic monitoring, diagnostics and verification functions, cutting maintenance costs and eliminating unnecessary calibrations.

Endress+Hauser adds Heartbeat Technology to its Micropilot FMR5X free-space radar and FMP5X Levelflex guided radar level transmitters.

Heartbeat Technology is an on-board diagnostics and instrument verification system that continuously monitors the status of mechanical, electromechanical and electronic components in the sensor, and sends alerts when it detects a problem. Alerts are sent in accordance with NAMUR recommendation NE 107 and are displayed at the device. Alerts include “Out of specification,” “Maintenance required,” “Device failure” and “Device OK.” The built-in diagnostics can detect process problems, such as build-up or foam before failure occurs.

Heartbeat Technology is also able to perform device verification in accordance with requirements of the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, oil & gas, chemical and other industries. Such requirements call for level instruments to be removed and calibrated unless in-situ verification proves the device is operating properly.

During verification, Heartbeat Technology compares internal components with their reference values, thereby determining the device status. Verification produces a pass or fail statement, depending on whether the assessment is positive or negative, and generates a verification report in compliance with quality, safety and regulatory requirements, and meeting the needs of agency auditors.

Verification information, reports, diagnostics alerts and instrument data can be viewed at the control and monitoring system, or via a web browser running on a PC, tablet or smartphone.

Heartbeat Technology reduces the need for calibrations requiring the removal of instruments from the process; reduces the need for maintenance personnel to perform on-site instrument checks; immediately alerts operators when an instrument requires service; and provides diagnostics functions to describe problems so technicians know what they are dealing with before they go to the field.

FMR5X and FMPX Level Transmitters:
The Micropilot FMR5X series of free-space radar level transmitters provide accuracy up to ±2mm for level measurement of liquids and ±4mm for bulk solids products in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, oil & gas, chemical and other industries. Multiple FMR5X transmitters can be installed in the same tank without interference among them because the transmitter pulses are statistically coded.

FMR5X instruments can be used to measure level or volume with a built-in 32-point strapping table. The liquids can be measured in metal or plastic tanks, stilling wells, bypass chambers or other vessels up to 131 feet high with standard units, or 197 feet with an enhanced dynamics option. The instrument can also be used to detect minimum or maximum levels to prevent overfilling or empty tanks, in addition to continuous monitoring of the level.

Levelflex guided radar level transmitters are used for continuous level measurement of liquids, pastes and slurries but also for interface measurement. The measurement is not affected by changing media, temperature changes, gas blankets or vapors.

Micropilot FMR5X and Levelflex FMP5X transmitters can be loop powered by 4-20mA in a two-wire arrangement, or separately powered in a four-wire configuration. Digital communication options include HART, Profibus PA and Foundation Fieldbus. Optionally, the transmitters are available with two independent, configurable 4-20mA outputs.

For more information about the New Heartbeat Technology™ and Products from Endress+Hauser click here.


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Phoenix Contact’s New Device Connectors with K-, L-, M-coding



Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) - The new M12 device connectors in K, L, and M coding from Phoenix Contact round off the extensive M12 Power connector series and enable the transmission of high direct and alternating currents in confined spaces.

The K-coded circular connectors are designed for AC applications with five contacts (4+PE) and transmit up to 630 V/16 A. The L-coded connectors are available in two designs with five contacts (4+FE) as well as in a four-pos. version. Both designs transmit up to 63 V/16 A DC and are available in the PROFINET-specified version. The M-coded connectors transmit a maximum of 630 V/8 A AC with six contacts (5+PE).

The power connectors are available in pin and socket versions with 20 cm litz wires or as a one-piece or two-piece flush-type connector for direct PCB assembly using wave or reflow soldering. Like the existing S- and T-codings, the new codings are also described in the 61076-2-111 standard. Users are therefore provided with an extensive range of connectors for compact and future-proof power transmission.

For more information about the New Device Connectors from Phoenix Contact click here.


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