Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Camouflaged development mule for the New bus-compatible SIKO AP05 Position Indicators sighted



SIKO GmbH (Germany) - The new AP05 - seen here still as a camouflaged development mule - is the most compact of all bus-compatible position indicators from SIKO. As the successor to the AP04 (the best-selling bus-compatible position indicator worldwide), the AP05 offers the same space-saving attachment dimensions, as well as being attachment-compatible. The user now experiences maximal ergonomics in order to quickly and intuitively reaching the target position. A significant new element of the AP05 - an inverted, backlit LCD display - has been integrated for this reason. The lighting ensures that the values for the target and actual position are ideally legible, even in low light conditions.

Intuitive operation:
Along with the LCD directional arrow, the AP05 position indicator also offers intuitive user guidance via the right and left status LEDs, both integrated into the case and in two colors. These not only signal positional status (InPos or OutPos) but also simultaneously indicate the required rotational direction. Operation is as easy as child’s play!

Increased robustness in comparison with predecessor:
The AP05’s mechanical robustness has also been significantly improved with the help of a carbon-fiber-reinforced case and protective cover for the display. Thus the indicator is also usable in areas where mechanical strain on the connector plug and case or impacts to the display can’t be ruled out. Because the connector plug is also available with an optional cable outlet, the position indicator can be flexibly deployed in very constrained spaces.

Flexible network integration:
The bus-compatible AP05 position indicator can be equipped with either an RS485 or a CAN interface. The network integration is also fully compatible with the AP04 predecessor, as well as with further bus-compatible SIKO position indicators in the current generation – AP10, AP10S, and AP10T. With the use of additional interface converters, the AP05 can be integrated into a wide range of fieldbus and Ethernet networks. A few of these particularly worth mentioning are Profibus-DP, Profinet IO, Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, and Powerlink.

As with all SIKO position indicators, the AP05 also features a hollow shaft, guaranteeing the easiest assembly possible for standard adjustable axles. Despite its ultra-compact design, it can accommodate spindle shafts up to 20mm in diameter. With regard to the size and clearance of the torque reaction support, it also features attachment compatibility with not only the AP04 but also with the DA04 mechanical position indicator. Thus the machine’s frame can be switched from manual adjustment with mechanical position indicator to monitored format adjustment with the AP05 - no changes necessary. Due to the high degree of protection afforded by IP65 and the use of stainless steel, the AP05 is also suited to applications in the fields of food production, drinks manufacturing, or pharmaceuticals.

Premiere at FachPack 2016:
SIKO will introduce its new AP05 position indicator to the public for the first time - without camouflage - at FachPack 2016, Hall 1, Stand 401.

Profile:
  • Position indicator with fieldbus interface
  • Optimized two-line LCD with backlighting
  • Target and actual value display with integrated comparison
  • Positioning status and rotational direction display by means of 2 red/green LEDs
  • Hollow shaft with 20 mm diameter and stainless steel clamp ring
  • Increased impact resistance thanks to protective glass for the display
  • Highly robust thanks to carbon-fiber-reinforced case
  • Protection rating up to IP65
  • Connector plug with optional cable outlet
  • Integrated magnetic absolute value transmitter

For more information about the New AP05 Position Indicators from SIKO GmbH click here.


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How to Monitor CO / CO2 / Temperature / Humidity / Dew Point with DL-300 Data Loggers



ICP DAS USA (USA) – The DL-300 series are ICP DAS USA’s brand new product line that accurately measures and log concentration data of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), temperature, humidity, and dew points in the air. It is designed for both industrial and consumer use for factory automation, greenhouse automation, home automation, and building automation. Data can be monitored via wire or wirelessly. With the free Android and iOS app developed by ICP DAS USA, users can also monitor the real time air quality on their smart phones. The module can be powered by Ethernet, so that it does not need power supplies.

Temperature/CO/CO2 monitoring and control is very important in different areas such as warehouse, laboratories, food and beverage industries, as well as commercial and residential buildings. DL-300 has many functions that enable users to access data easily. It supports both Modbus RTU/TCP and DCON protocol, which makes it easy to integrate with other I/O and SCADA software. A simple SCADA station can collect data from each DL module and analyze data in the host PC in real time.

For DL-302 and DL-303, NDIR sensor (Non-Dispersion Infrared) is built-in to ensure the most accurate measurement of carbon dioxide level. The CO2 molecules absorb light at 4.26um wavelength which is the range of Infrared.

NDIR sensors can accurately detect the range of CO2 concentration. In addition, DL-300 modules are maintenance-free because of the built-in automatic baseline correction algorithm. Baseline correction algorithm can correct the CO2 level when it drops below the minimum concentration level.

Users have the option to disable baseline correction if background CO2 concentration is high all the times such as at greenhouses, hospitals, and other 24-hour operation locations.

DL-300 data loggers provide wide range of options to export data and monitor real-time data. It supports M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) MQTT protocol so that data can be viewed in multiple devices at the same time. DL-300 has Android and iOS apps that can be downloaded from Apple App Store and Google Play for free. The app can search for the DL-300 modules in the same network and connect to it. After that all real-time data will be displayed on the phone. Real-time data can also be seen on the build-in module screen. It contains graphic to show the exact concentration of CO/CO2 and the risk for human body. Temperature, humidity and dew point will also be displayed on the same screen. In addition, all configurations can be done through the touch screen without connecting to PC. The configuration includes Ethernet address setting, alarm, messages, date and time, and other data log setting.

ICP DAS USA provides free DL-300 utility software for PC to easily configure the module, monitor real time data, and log and export data for analysis.

DL-300 modules also have built-in alarm relay output that can trigger alarms when the concentration of CO/CO2/ Temperature/Humidity/Dew Point is too high or too low. User can enable/disable the alarm functions and set the specific level from utility or build-in touchscreen. When the alarm is activated, the alarm LED indicator on the front of the module will flash, build-in buzzer will sound. The relay output can be used to connect to external alarm light/sound and external devices. The alarm setting can also be configurated from utility. Utility can display the alarm log, data log. Data can be exported to excel spread sheet CSV file for analysis.

For more information about the New DL-300 Data Loggers from ICP DAS USA click here.


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Iwis Group’s New Chain Condition Monitoring system for smart chain monitoring



Iwis Group (Germany) - iwis presents the new Chain Condition Monitoring system for measuring chain elongation. The CCM system for continuous chain monitoring measures the wear elongation of chains in operation and warns the maintenance staff in time if the chain needs to be replaced. During this year’s Hannover Fair, the new CCM system received the "Best of 2016” award for the category of “Production, technology and engineering”.

The CCM system is compact and can be easily integrated into most chain applications with a simple retrofit procedure. Commissioning takes place according to the plug-and-play principle without calibration and contactless measurement that does not affect the chain drive performance. The wear status can be read on the LED display in graduations of 0.5 percent increments and also presented onto a laptop interface via USB cable and simple software.

Variable speeds and changeable directions are no problem for the CCM system which consists of corrosion-resistant materials and wear-resistant chain guide material. It is IP67 compliant and can be used at temperatures from 0 °C to 70 °C with special designs possible for abrasive applications. The CCM system can be used for most chain sizes including Simplex, Duplex and Triplex chains, since only one strand of the chain is detected by each device. Applications for chains with attachments on both sides or extended pins require special inspection by iwis.

"With the new CCM system, we have implemented Predictive Maintenance, a key subject of Industry 4.0: The system enables predictive action by the service staff in chain applications with smart data analyses," explains Florian Madlener. The engineer is working in the Engineering and Design department at iwis’ headquarters in Munich and is a key developer of the system. "The most valuable customer benefit is that the maintenance staff can react in time. This prevents long downtimes of plants and machines, danger to promised delivery times and interruptions of the logistics chain – all of this helps to avoid financial loss from production failure. Additionally, the system also serves permanent monitoring of highly precise chain applications."

iwis provides a full product range for all drive and conveying applications, which also includes precision and high-performance roller chains, conveyor chains, maintenance-free and corrosion-resistant chains, power and free conveyor chains, special-purpose conveyor chains, flyer chains, flat-top chains and modular belts for industrial applications, chains and accessories for agricultural machinery, and timing drives for the automotive industry.

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About iwis Group:
With headquarters in Munich, Germany, the iwis Group is a leading supplier of precision chain systems for power transmission and conveying applications. The iwis Group comprises three divisions:
  • iwis motorsysteme GmbH & Co KG, providing engine timing systems for the automotive industry.
  • iwis antriebssysteme GmbH & Co KG, supplying a wide range of precision roller and conveyor chains for industrial applications, including machine engineering, material handling systems, and the packaging, printing and food industries.
  • iwis antriebssysteme GmbH, formerly known as Flexon GmbH, specialising in roller, conveyor, special-purpose and flat top chains, modular belts, chains for agricultural machinery, sprockets and accessories.
Established in 1916, iwis is a family-run business which today employs more than 1000 people. In addition to production sites in Germany (Munich, Landsberg, Wilnsdorf and Sontra) and in the Czech Republic, in China and in the USA, iwis has subsidiaries in various countries in Europe and overseas, including Canada, England, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, South Africa and Switzerland. Altogether, the iwis Group has 45 business locations throughout the world.

For more information about the New Chain Condition Monitoring from Iwis Group click here.


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Moxa Introduces a RISC-Based High Performance Wireless Computing Platform for IIoT Applications



Moxa (Taiwan) - Moxa’s newly launched UC-8410A series is a welcome addition to its family of RISC-based industrial computing solutions designed for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications. The UC-8410A series comes with 8 RS-232/422/485 serial ports, 3 Ethernet ports, 4 digital input channels, 4 digital output channels, 1 mSATA slot, and 2 USB 2.0 hosts.

Powerful Computing, without the Heat:
The UC-8410A computer uses the Freescale Cortex-A7 dual-core 1 GHz RISC CPU. This powerful computing engine supports several useful communications functions, without generating too much heat. The built-in 1 GB SD card and 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM give you enough memory to run your application software, and the mSATA slot provides the flexibility of adding additional data storage.

Communication Ready:
The UC-8410A computers come with a variety of communication interfaces, including serial ports, Ethernet ports, a wireless communication slot, and digital input/output channels, making them ideal as communication platforms for industrial applications that require devices to communicate over a network.

Easy Development:
The UC-8410A computers come with Linux Debian 8 pre-installed, providing an open software operating system for software program development. This makes the UC-8410A computers optimal solutions for use with industrial applications, but at minimal cost and effort.

Wide Temperature Models to Withstand Harsh Environments:
In addition to the standard temperature model, the UC-8410A series also includes a -40 to 75°C wide temperature model for harsh industrial environments.

For more information about the New UC-8410A Industrial Computer from Moxa click here.


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Invertek's Variable Frequency Drives help keep racehorses on track to success



Invertek Drives Ltd. (UK) - As racehorses and show jumpers continue to command huge prices and stakes, it’s essential they are in tiptop shape and this is where Invertek’s Optidrive P2 has helped an Irish-based company specialising in selling equine water treadmills.

AquaEquine Treadmill Ltd, based in Carlow, Ireland, offers this special service for horses which combines the benefits of hydrotherapy with walking on a treadmill, helping them to recover more quickly from injury.

The treadmills are installed worldwide, including two at Ireland’s top stud farms and premier horse trainers, and also in the UK under Nicky Henderson, who is based in Berkshire.

Invertek Drives Ireland were able to help by recommending the company install an Optidrive P2 to the treadmill which features both a soft start and soft stop facility and so ensures a perfectly smooth ride for all of the horses.

Tommy Tighe, sales partner at Invertek Drives Ireland, said: “We installed an Invertek ODP-2-34075-3F4N-TN to drive a 7.5Kw submersible motor, this controls the walking pace for the animal and the P2 also has a unique Optitools Studio PLC Program installed.

“This was created by Stephen Tighe, Invertek Ireland’s product support engineer. The very smooth start, optimised torque control and OLED OptiPad gives the machine and operator ultimate control when these very expensive racehorses are being walked," he added.

The treadmill was invented in 2014 by Ireland’s leading Equine Chiropractor Rory Dean who is also director of Aqua Equine Treadmill Ltd.

Rory said: “I am confident that my invention will, in time, replace most of the equine swimming pools and spas and I already have many orders for the AquaEquine Treadmill from trainers and veterinary centres in Europe, USA and the Middle East.

“The P2 with Optitools Studio PLC program now makes my machine very robust, easy to install as well as to use and I am expecting many more happy customers in the future,” he added.

IP66 wall units come with the P2 which ensures it is completely waterproof and ideal for use in these treadmills where hydrotherapy is an essential part of the treatment.

Tommy Tighe, sales partner at Invertek Drives Ireland, said: “I am delighted the Optidrive P2 provides a safe and controlled environment for these horses and ensures they can recover quickly after suffering injuries.

“The Optidrive P2 is ideal in such situations with its closed loop speed and torque control ensuring consistency and total control for the user and also reduces mechanical wear and tear which is a vital feature in all conveyor belt applications, especially when they are running underwater like this one. The drive is also simple to install and easy to maintain,” he added.



For more information about the Optidrive P2 from Invertek Drives Ltd. click here.


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NEXCOM EtherCAT Master Controllers Bring Advanced Control to Industrial Machines



NEXCOM International Co., Ltd. (Taiwan) - NEXCOM EtherCAT Master controllers, NET 101-ECM and NET 200-ECM, gear industrial machines and equipment for real-time precise motion control. Marching into the Industry 4.0 era, NEXCOM has built EtherCAT control, M2M communication, and network connectivity into the NET 101-ECM and NET 200-ECM. Combining easy-to-integrate software and hardware designs, the NET controllers reduce development efforts for machine makers, hastening the rollout of next generation industrial machines which can coordinate with other industrial systems and connect to the cloud.

Aimed at industrial machines, the NET 101-ECM and NET 200-ECM are PC-based EtherCAT Master controllers powered by dual-core Intel® Atom™ processor E3826 and quad-core Intel® Celeron® processor J1900 respectively. Featuring solid computing power and a short cycle time of as short as 250 microseconds, the NET controllers can conduct real-time, precise control and synchronization over up to 10 axes and 250 I/O points. Machinery like bonding machines, packaging machines, and spiral spring coilers are some industrial equipment that can benefit from the NET 101-ECM and NET 200-ECM.

To provide high flexibility in system configuration, the NET 101-ECM and NET 200-ECM are designed with EtherCAT Master which can communicate with EtherCAT slave devices from any third-party suppliers. For control of non-EtherCAT devices, the NET controllers offer up to two mini-PCIe slots for optional add-on fieldbus modules. Machine makers can flexibly integrate, such as Modbus RTU hand wheels, PROFIBUS rotary encoders, and other devices onto the NET controllers.

Furthermore, the NET controllers are equipped with network connectivity to seamlessly connect industrial machines to a public or private cloud. The NET 101-ECM and NET 200-ECM support wired LAN by default and Wi-Fi/3G/LTE connections through expansion.

To shorten the development time of industrial machines, the NET controllers are pre-installed with a programming tool, NexECM. NexECM can detect EtherCAT slaves connected to the NET controllers, speed up building of machine functions with pre-written functional APIs, and support programming with widely used C/C++ languages, saving a significant amount of time for machine makers.

The NET controllers are also designed with space-saving and easy-to-mount features to facilitate system integration. With its compact size, front-accessible I/Os, and DIN rail kit, the NET controllers can be mounted on a DIN rail along with circuit breakers, terminal blocks, and other control components, allowing machine makers to install and arrange control cabinet components swiftly.

For more information about the EtherCAT Master Controllers from NEXCOM International Co., Ltd. click here.


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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The New ArcWorld 2000 from Yaskawa Motoman Offers Flexible Approach to Configuring a Robotic Welding System



Yaskawa Motoman Robotics (USA) - The new ArcWorld® 2000 welding workcell is a modular solution specifically designed for robotic welding of large workpieces. This powerful, flexible, pre-engineered solution is perfect for low- to medium-volume manufacturers with a medium to high mix of parts. Able to handle parts up to 5 meters in width and payloads up to 6,300 kg, the ArcWorld 2000 is ideal for labor intensive jobs involving large parts or heavy deposition welding. The workcell is configured with one or two six-axis Yaskawa welding robots directed by the DX200 controller with menu-driven arc welding application software, an integrated welding package (power source, wire feeder and welding torch), positioner(s), operator interface and safety barriers.

The ArcWorld 2000 scales easily from a single-station layout with a reduced floorspace footprint to a two-robot dual station configuration that makes it easily adaptable to changing production demands. Two station layouts can be configured with a “blank station,” allowing end user supplied equipment to be installed, and each station can have a different positioner. In dual robot installations, the second robot controller can be a reduced cost, dual-robot control type module (DRC).

Multiple positioner and robot options combine to deliver a modular solution for manufacturers of heavy transportation, agriculture and construction equipment. For maximum welding reach, the ArcWorld 2000 can be configured with two Yaskawa MA3120 robots. Additional welding robot options include the MA1440 and MA2010 models.

The ArcWorld 2000 takes advantage of the DX200 controller’s Functional Safety Unit (FSU) features as part of the total safety environment, which allows continuous station welding during part loading/unloading. Access to positions at either station is protected by light curtains. Peripherals such as torch cleaners or tip-changing stations are installed in a fenced center zone to allow operator access to stations while robot maintenance functions are performed. Cable management is accomplished via a fence mounted wire way that provides protection while safely keeping cables off of the floor, eliminating trip hazards.

A MotoMount™ fixture mounting system can be included to eliminate the need for laser or transit alignment procedures, allowing for fast positioner setup and improved equipment life.

For more information about the New ArcWorld 2000 Welding Workcell from Yaskawa Motoman Robotics click here.


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SCAIME introduced eNod4-F a Continuous Weighing Controller for Loss-in-Weight Feeders



Scaime S.A.S. (France) - SCAIME introduce eNod4-F, a weighing controller dedicated to continuous dosing applications. This controller offers advanced weighing functions and connectivity to the main PLCs of the market. Based on a modular and scalable concept, it can be used as a stand-alone weighing system or be integrated into the most complex automated systems.

eNod4-F allows building a complete gravimetric loss-in-weight feeding system. It continuously calculates the flow rate and totalized weight.

eNod4-F also provides a steady and accurate flow rate thanks to an integrated self-tuning PID regulator combined with a smart management of gravimetric phases of feeding and volumetric phases of tank reloading.

eNod4 offers full connectivity to Modbus-RTU, Modbus TCP, CANopen, PROFIBUS-DP, PROFINET, EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT networks. It can be optionally combined with touch screens of the eNodTouch range. Available in several sizes, these HMI can be used to configure from 1 to 6 eNod4 and allow the use of eNod4 without PLC.



eNod4 is provided with eNodView software for its implementation and configuration. This tool also offers advanced functions of signal acquisition and simulation allowing mechanical disturbances analysis, digital filtering optimization and PID parameters adjustment.

With this new weighing controller, SCAIME expands its offer dedicated to machine manufacturers and engineering companies. The eNod4 range is now able to handle the applications of weight level monitoring (Model T), checkweighing and grading (Model C), gravimetric filling (Model D), belt weighing (model B) or continuous dosing (model F ), covering all weighing needs of the supply chain.

For more information about New eNod4-F a Continuous Weighing Controller from Scaime click here.


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NuTec Launches the TrayTender 2100



NuTec Tooling Systems, Inc. (USA) - The TrayTender 2100 is a custom automated system that can be efficiently used as either a tray loader or tray un-loader. The TrayTender 2100 and its unique base lighting, is the latest installment of NuTec Tooling’s TrayTender product family.



The TrayTender 2100 contains a number of new features such as:
  • 6-axis robot with customized end of arm tooling – Provides precise material handling
  • Optimized control system with intuitive graphical HMI, enhanced control features and optional remote HMI pendant
  • Up-stack exit trays create a smaller overall footprint
  • Hidden wiring and pneumatic lines within the machine frame provide a “clean” appearance
  • Multi-color LED Lighting – work area, signal lighting on the floor
  • Conveyor without legs – creates a cleaner look and ease of cleaning on the floor
Like the original TrayTender, the 2100 is designed for use with plastics injection mold presses, machining centers, assembly automation, and other process equipment. The system incorporates a vertical carousel magazine in the rear of the module, designed to allow for manual loading of individual trays.

Video:



About NuTec:
NuTec Tooling Systems, Inc. is a solutions oriented provider and designer of factory automation solutions and industrial robotics for contract manufacturers and manufacturers of complex components. NuTec specializes in factory automation solutions for industries such as: medical, small electronics/devices, electro-mechanical automation, energy storage, consumer products, and more.

For more information about the New TrayTender 2100 Automated System from NuTec Tooling Systems click here.


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Yamaichi Electronics’ New CFP2 transmits 56Gbps per Channel



Yamaichi Electronics Co., Ltd. (Japan) - Yamaichi Electronics is a market leader for CFP high-speed connectors for hot-pluggable optical transceiver form factors to enable 100Gbps applications.

As a result Yamaichi Electronics has developed a new CFP2 56Gbps host and plug connector system. It is mainly used for Analogue Coherent Optics Modules or CFP2 modules requiring reliable high-speed performance. This connector system is able to support applications using 25Gbps x 10 channels or 50Gbps x 4 channels etc.

Yamaichi Electronics is listed as an official supplier reviewing company within CFP Multi-Source Agreement (MSA). Yamaichi already launched a complete range of CFP, CFP2, CFP4 and CFP8 connector systems all following to MSA specification, and supporting major customers’ 100G components. This new CFP2 56Gbps connector is also fully designed in accordance with the MSA specification.

Comparing to general CFP2 28Gbps connectors, both insertion loss and return loss of the CFP2 56G connector are better by approximately 2db. At 28GHz, the insertion loss of CFP2 28Gbps connector is -4.5dB whereas the CFP2 56Gbps connector has only -2dB. S-parameter and all measurement reports such as insertion loss, return loss, and cross talk can be provided on request.

Mechanical features are compatible with the CFP2 28Gbps connector. Therefore the CFP2 28Gbps and 56Gbps connectors are mating-compatible. The mechanical kit of CFP2 28Gbps includes cage, connector cover, heatsink, and clip. They are applicable to be used with the CFP2 56Gbps connector.

After launching this connector, Yamaichi Electronics is now preparing to bring the CFP8 connector system for 400G applications to the market.

About Yamaichi Electronics:
Yamaichi Electronics is a market leader for Test & Burn-In sockets, connectors and connection systems. Their reliability and functional dependability are absolutely essential for the success of the overall project. Yamaichi Electronics established themselves on the world market very quickly as a manufacturer of high-quality, reliable components for demanding applications in various markets and applications: semiconductor, industrial automation, automotive, data networking, measurement & testing, medical, mobile computing, embedded computing, and others.

For more information about the New CFP2 56Gbps Host and Plug Connector System from Yamaichi Electronics click here.


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Monday, June 27, 2016

Robotic Pharmaceutical Unit Pick Workcell Introduced by Yaskawa Motoman, R/X Automation Solutions and Universal Robotics



Yaskawa Motoman Robotics (USA) - The newly introduced RX Unit Pick Workcell is a fully automated robotic pharmacy order fulfillment system capable of handling thousands of different kinds of pre-packaged medicine with 100% verification for mail order delivery direct to customers or to central fill locations.

Developed jointly by the Motoman Robotics Division of Yaskawa America, Inc. (Yaskawa Motoman), R/X Automation Solutions (RXAS) and Universal Robotics (Universal), the RX Unit Pick Workcell recognizes each item, verifies the unique National Drug Code (NDC) and prepares it for automatic patient labeling. Its compact design enables it to be integrated into existing order fulfillment processes either as a stand-alone solution or added to other RXAS automation equipment.

Key design criteria included 100% verification of all drugs and the flexibility to recognize thousands of items at high throughput rates. The final result blended RXAS's decade of expertise in pharmaceuticals with a high-speed Motoman® MH12 robot and Universal's Neocortex® artificial intelligence with 3D vision, resulting in a highly flexible, automated drug-handling solution.

The pharmaceutical industry is faced with reducing both delivery costs and response time, often while facing a shortage of skilled laborers, while prescription drug fulfillment volume continues to increase. The RX Unit Workcell addresses these needs, providing a compact footprint for small pharmaceutical RX fulfillment operations and a modular design for large facilities.

"Delivering a robotic workcell that is capable of handling a wide range of unit-of-use drug items while guaranteeing 100% NDC verification is unprecedented," stated Tim Chambers, president of RXAS. "Since the workcell easily fits in existing floor layouts, it will quickly revolutionize how the 1.3 billion pre-packaged annual prescriptions1 are delivered in the United States. Designed for high volume mail order and central fill pharmacy applications, accuracy and throughput are increased over current fulfillment methods, with a pay back in one year, even for small volume pharmaceutical operations."

The RX Unit Pick Workcell utilizes Neocortex, Universal's machine learning-based 3D vision, to recognize and identify thousands of different kinds of medicine packaged in bottles, tubes of ointment, small cartons or odd-shaped plastic containers. The workcell reads each unique NDC, orients the item and identifies a safe labeling zone for adhering a patient label.

"100% validation at high speed with unlimited items is a major breakthrough in materials handling," explains David Peters, CEO, Universal Robotics. "This workcell is an example of the extreme performance capabilities of Neocortex. It has advanced random bin picking through the use of artificial intelligence to provide absolute drug safety to the customer."

"This strategic partnership applies our expertise from clinical laboratory robotics to the robotic fulfillment of prescription drugs," stated Roger Christian, divisional leader of new market development for Yaskawa Motoman. We anticipate a healthy market response as we provide efficient solutions to the area of automation in prescription order fulfillment."

Video:



About Yaskawa Motoman:
Founded in 1989, the Motoman Robotics Division of Yaskawa America, Inc. is a leading robotics company in the Americas. With over 300,000 Motoman® robots installed globally, Yaskawa provides automation products and solutions for virtually every industry and robotic application; including arc welding, assembly, coating, dispensing, material handling, material cutting, material removal, packaging, palletizing and spot welding.

About R/X Automation Solutions Inc.:
R/X Automation Solutions Inc. provides pharmaceutical and health care customers with cutting edge technology to improve operational efficiency, increase production accuracy and decrease total cost of operation of production.

About Universal Robotics:
Universal Robotics is an artificial intelligence software engineering company that uses sensor input to allow machines to see, react, and learn with human-like flexibility.

For more information about the Robots from Yaskawa Motoman Robotics click here.


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Sprint Electric’s Regenerative DC Motor Control for heavy industry applications



Sprint Electric Ltd. (UK) - Sprint Electric presents its extended range of digital DC drives up to 2250 Amps. The drives of the PLX range are ideal for controlling DC motors used in heavy industry applications such as metal working, steel mills, mining, or the cement, rubber and plastics industries. PLX drives are able to regenerate energy back to the mains supply under braking without the need for expensive, complex intermediate storage, resistive dumping or additional power bridges. Available in current ratings up to 2250 Amps at supply voltages up to 690 VAC, the motor controllers are compact, powerful, flexible, and easy to program thanks to the drive.web control technology.

DC drives of the PLX range are available as two quadrant or regenerative four quadrant types. The four quadrant model uses two thyristor bridges to enable it to motor and brake in both directions of rotation. This allows it to reverse the torque to slow the load very gently or almost instantaneously, regenerating energy at the same time. Unlike an AC drive, it is able to generate full torque at zero speed, enabling the load to be held stationary in complete safety without the need for mechanical brakes, an especially useful feature for winders and hoists. This ability means DC is also ideal for applications such as mixers, extruders and rollers that require high starting torques and accurate control at low or zero speed, as well as for paper machines, wire drawing and machining.

All models ranging from 650 to 2250 Amps (980 KW/1320 HP) are offered with two AC busbar position options, either top entry or bottom entry. The two options make it easier to use the existing cabling in retrofit installations, or gives the choice of wiring options for new design. The PLX range is available as high voltage (690V AC) or standard voltage (480V AC) models. A 690V AC supply allows the use of 750V DC armature motors. Compared to the standard voltage this provides an increase in shaft power, up to 1500 KW/2000 HP for the 2250A model, that is 50 percent more power delivered without an increased cable size.

Thanks to the control technology drive.web, the drives can be controlled over the Ethernet without the need for a PLC or supervisory computer. The control system includes graphical configuration tools that provide diagnostics and configurability of all drives on the network, either locally or remotely via the Internet. The graphical tools allow the full configuration of the drives, provide service diagnostics, full documentation and an operator interface for local control. Software functions and fieldbus communications options include Profibus, DeviceNet, CC-Link, EtherNet/IP, Modbus and CANopen.

Sprint Electric offers a wide range of DC motor control, with over 150 models covering both 1 phase and 3 phase, regenerative and non-regenerative DC motor applications, together with field controllers, digital slip ring motor controllers and thyristor stack controllers. Sprint Electric's full range of products include analogue DC drives from 2 up to 330 Amps, digital DC drives from 12 up to 2250 Amps and digital slip ring motor controllers from 12 to 1680 Amps. Whether in retrofits or original equipment, DC drives from Sprint Electric are being used in many different applications including metal processing, the pulp and paper industry, rubber and plastic processing, lifting equipment, food processing, leisure industries and many more.

For more information about the DC Motor Control from Sprint Electric click here.


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Open Innovation Platform Helps Shape the Landscape of IoT Applications



NEXCOM International Co., Ltd. (Taiwan) - The Internet of Things (IoT) inspired numerous application concepts, but very few were put into effective practice. The main culprit of this is due to the vast amount of different protocol standards scattered across the industry, creating communication barriers that greatly delay the development of IoT. Only by adopting an attitude towards open innovation can the protocol barriers be overcome.

Early IoT applications were developed in silos. Businesses across different industries worked towards their own interest and goals; even businesses within the same industry operated within their own circle with their own preference of the type of industrial protocols and architecture to employ for IoT solutions. The lack of a horizontal collaboration platform gave rise to obstacles against technology exchange.

Alex Perng, General Manager of NEXCOM's IoT Business Unit, points out that to push growth of IoT application development, developers need to collaborate with other field experts and proceed collectively, rather than individually. The ability to overcome industry barriers and share disparate resources horizontally from different sectors such as energy, petrochemical, transportation, lighting and building management, will enable the birth of more application possibilities.

In order to unify disparate systems and communication standards, a complete system overhaul is required. But without a collaboration platform where hands-on experience and knowledge can be stored, copied and shared among different field experts, a great amount of effort is needed for the redesign. This creates higher barriers to entry for IoT application development. As such, many potential innovations have been buried away. In addition, since most current devices have yet to provide the connectivity envisioned by IoT, the development of IoT applications has been slow to come.

Cross-Platform and Cross-Protocol Technology in IoT: Not Exactly Rocket Science:
Perng believes that the key to clearing the obstacle for IoT application development is open innovation. Open innovation provides a pool of technology platforms, hardware components and software tools readily at disposal, allowing developers to quickly gather the resources required to bring their creative designs into fruition with the least amount of effort. More importantly, these resource tools are based on a unified standard as opposed to being industry-specific, and therefore are not bound to any proprietary protocol. Developers can rest assured that their products will not become orphaned.

Fortunately, a few disruptive technology trends beneficial to the open innovation are on the rise, and the first of which is cross-platform IoT technology.

As mentioned previously, due to the silo mentality and exclusive nature of early industry development, many industry-specific technologies were introduced. As a result, to overcome integration barriers and synchronize the different technologies across different fields, extra programming, such as using C, Java, PHP and SQL, was required. However, this was often a time-consuming process. In contrast, new open source tools such as Node-RED allow developers to develop applications in a browser with simple drag-and-drop actions and flowchart-like visuals. Additional programming is no longer needed to connect edge devices with cloud service platforms, effectively bridging the last mile connection of IoT applications.

As cross-platform and cross-protocol technology gradually replace early proprietary solutions, not only this will accelerate cross-industry knowledge exchange, but also bring in new technology and perspective from different industries, instigating a new wave of disruptive innovation.

Unified Standard and Open Source Tools: Creative Fuels to Innovations:
The second trend is the technological breakthrough of open platforms. Currently, there are hundred thousands of network protocols contending for the position as the mainstream IoT protocol. Any protocol incompatibility will prevent cross-industry knowledge exchange. As a result, protocol integration is inevitable. Furthermore, through open source code and emerging open innovation communities like GitHub, Intel Developer Zone and even NEXCOM's All IoT Cloud (www.alliotcloud.com), developers can quickly acquire IoT-relevant tools and resources, interact and exchange knowledge with experts across different fields, and leverage collective wisdom to overcome any IoT development obstacle previously encountered.

Another trend worth noting is the IoT progression to a unified standard. An example of this is the formation of the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF). The OCF has created a unified and open standard to provide innovators and entrepreneurs infinite business opportunities, and to attract more people to join the ranks of IoT application development. In addition, with a unified standard and open source tools being made publicly available, the open innovation platform can enable more makers, system integrators and startups alike to swiftly enter the world of IoT.

Take NEXCOM's All IoT Cloud for example, which is based on the creative ideas of open innovation. It aims to serve as an online IoT marketplace that provides various kinds of open source tools free to download, offering participants an easy way to acquire the needed tool kits for development, and ultimately becoming a B2B and O2O marketplace for IoT supply chain.

To download the “Open Innovation Platform Helps Shape the Landscape of IoT Applications” White Paper from NEXCOM International Co., Ltd. click here.


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New Compact Amplifier from Mantracourt is both Intelligent and Easy to Use



Mantracourt Electronics Ltd (UK) - Mantracourt, a leader in high precision measurement electronics, announces the launch of the LCD20 load cell, DIN rail signal amplifier specifically designed for automation and industrial process control. This new intelligent strain gauge bridge amplifier is a compact, stackable microprocessor based unit and is complemented by Mantracourt’s LC Toolkit software that provides intuitive set-up and logical calibration and control.

This new amplifier has been designed with a host of features and benefits that offer increased reliability and accuracy, greater flexibility, while saving on costs. The LCD20 has standard analogue outputs of 4-20mA and 0-10V, with two digital inputs and has a specification to match most load cells, pressure or strain gauges over a wide range of sensitivities. Two set point relays allow users to set individual thresholds, so providing controls and alarms without the cost of additional instrumentation. Superior accuracy is assured through 10 point linearization to desired engineering units. For greater accuracy, design engineers at Mantracourt have developed the LCD20 to support 6 wire input to compensate for any barrier or cable losses.

The LCD20 is easy to set up through either a PC or digital, handheld programmer. Configurations can then be saved to a file that can be sent to end users via email in the event of loss or outage. For added security, lockable features can prevent accidental or malicious end-user changes to the configuration.

To complement the LCD20, Mantracourt offers its free LC Toolkit software. This software for Windows enables users to configure the LCD20 via an intuitive and icon-based navigation system. With simple to follow instructions and highlighted interactive elements, users can configure, save and restore settings, calibrate input and output and log data to a CSV file. There is also real time graphical representation of sensor output.

Speaking about the new amplifier, Jonathan Purdue, Sales Manager at Mantracourt says: “This is a valuable, new addition to our amplifier range. As well as being easy to configure and use, its compact and stackable design means it is extremely flexible and can be easily installed in small environmentally protected enclosures.”

For more information about the New LCD20 Load Cell DIN Rail Signal Amplifier from Mantracourt click here.


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Hardy Doubles Speed of HI 6500-XP Extreme Weight Processor to Provide Manufacturers with Exceptionally Stable Weight Readings and Tighter Feed Control



Hardy Process Solutions (USA) - Hardy Process Solutions has again doubled the speed of their EtherNet/IP® enabled HI 6500-XP Extreme Weight Processor by increasing the update rate from 300 to 660 updates per second, providing a PLC with a new weight reading every 1.5 milliseconds (previously 3.3 milliseconds).

“The higher update rate allows this weight processor to provide extremely stable weight readings much faster to a PLC, resulting in tighter feed control limits and under almost any adverse weighing condition.” says Tim Norman, product manager, instrumentation for Hardy Process Solutions.

“It’s ideal for high speed filling, dispensing and check weighing, where materials are often fed and weighed in motion at high speeds. Material motion and machine vibration causes many weighing instruments to have lengthy settling times and/or read inaccurately. The faster update rate (CPU clock speed) of the HI 6500-XP effectively mitigates the effects of in-motion weighing, providing a much faster settling time, better stability and tighter control.”

Many weight controllers and processors execute the A/D conversion at one frequency, an then process the weight readings and communications at a much slower rate typically 20 to 50Hz, only providing the PLC with an update every 20 to 50 milliseconds. The HI 6500-XP is different, representing the state-of-the-art in weight processing uniformity and speed. A/D conversion, weight processing and the communications port ALL update at 660Hz, providing a new weight reading locally (at the Instrument) and remotely (in the PLC) every 1.5 milliseconds. This helps manufacturers achieve better product quality and improves raw material yields. The HI 6500-XP is a perfect fit for applications where speed and accuracy are paramount to control and quality, such as batching, blending, filling, dispensing and check weighing.

The HI 6500-XP has the best price/performance ratio available, allowing manufacturers to save money without compromising speed, accuracy or stability.

A Set-Up Wizard, Rockwell Add-On Profile and an HMI Faceplate/AOIs make the HI 6500-XP exceptionally EASY to install and configure. Hardy’s exclusive C2® cloud-based calibration allows for automatic system calibration without test weights, saving hours of start-up and maintenance time. Hardy’s Integrated Technician® allows for quick troubleshooting of all system components. Hardy’s patent-pending WAVERSAVER+® technology suppresses the effect of mechanical vibration, reduces scale settling time and increases the speed of stable gross and net weight readings. With an embedded web server, the instrument can be accessed on the cloud from a computer browser anywhere in the world.

Key features of the HI 6500-XP Extreme Processor Series include:
  • High Speed: 660 updates/second of processed (stable) weight
  • High Resolution: 1:30,000 even when exposed to mechanical vibration
  • Supports CLASS 1 (scheduled) EtherNet/IP data transfer
  • Set-Up Wizard, Rockwell Add-On Profile and HMI Faceplate/AOIs for fast, easy installation
  • Power Efficient: uses a maximum of only 7 watts
  • Communications include EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP & RTU, Profibus-DP and Analog 4-20mA
  • UL, CUL and CE compliant

For more information about the HI 6500-XP Extreme Weight Processor from Hardy Process Solutions click here.


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