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."

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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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Monday, June 13, 2016

Hesch’s New Innovative Filter Control at the Cutting Edge



Hesch Industrie-Elektronik GmbH (Germany) – The modular HE 5732 filter control unit is ideally suited for use in mid-sized to large industrial plants.

HESCH already put the first control unit for dust collection systems on the market in 1979. Now the innovative company has developed a new solution that is based on many years of experience and on the suggestions and wishes of customers and users: the HE 5732 filter control unit for cleaning of industrial filtration systems with fan control.

HESCH has been known for the development and construction of control systems for industrial vacuuming, dust extraction and filter systems for many years.

The company provides a high level of vertical integration and a wide range of successful and well-known industry standards.

Modular design ensures flexibility:
Since customer satisfaction is the top priority at HESCH, the company has taken the wishes of users into account in the development of HE 5732 Filter Control. While the predecessor models generally accommodated all control modules in one housing, these modules have been divided into three functional modules in HE 5732. They include a remote control panel that can be installed separately as well as a control, power and sensor module. For plants requiring more control, the system can be equipped with up to 10 valve expansion units. The modular design provides the constructive advantage that all three control components can be flexibly installed in any facility.

User-friendly with advanced features:
The HE 5732 control unit offers many practical innovations such as an integrated start/stop function for fan motors. This means they no longer must be controlled via a separate control unit. An optional second Delta-p module allows the filter control to record and monitor vacuum, volume flow and police filter conditions. The filter control not only allows electrical valve functions, but also mechanical/pneumatic valve functions to be monitored. In addition, the control unit has a setpoint output for inverter-controlled systems.

Triboelectric emission monitors can also be directly integrated. These monitor residual dust particles and can detect dust contamination and breaks in filters in an installation early on. The user-friendly parameterization options of the modern control unit are also impressive. The parameters can be either input via the language-independent control panel or by using the parameterization software solution "Easy Tool Controls" for Windows PC with USB connection.

Well-thought-out concept saves time and money:
Overall, the new HE 5732 filter control unit offers plant engineers significantly greater design flexibility, reduced installation times and reduced wiring costs. The user also benefits from the simple and user-friendly operation of the unit.

For more information about the New HE 5732 Filter Controller from Hesch Industrie-Elektronik GmbH click here.


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PcVue introduces Proximity-Based Contextual Mobility for SCADA



ARC Informatique (France) - PcVue® is ARC Informatique’s core product, the company is an independent provider in HMI/SCADA software. It has been contributing to the evolution of the automation industry for 30 years by providing a flexible solution for supervising building management systems, industrial processes, utilities, and infrastructure. The BTL listed PcVue Solutions are now entering an uncharted market to provide an innovative mobile offering for SCADA in intelligent buildings.

Proximity-based services enabled by micro-geolocation for Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS) are growing quickly. The IPS technology market alone is estimated to reach $5 billion in revenues by 2017 and to represent over 200,000 installations of infrastructure equipment, including Wi-Fi hotspots, Bluetooth antennas, and more than 800 million branded applications downloads.

This technology has made possible the practical deployment of contextual Human Machine Interfaces (HMI). Contextual HMI creates the opportunity for new more efficient work processes for those who rely on Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Building Management Systems (BMS) to perform their job.

Remote access to supervisory systems have typically been accomplished by using internet browsers on laptops. With the increasing adoption of smart mobile devices, technology such as Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) has been adopted as an alternative for mobile HMI.

Navigating an HMI designed for a workstation while using a much smaller mobile device can prove difficult given the reduced screen size and mechanism for managing the mouse. A mobility infrastructure eliminates this problem via the presentation of information and controls in the context of role and place. It provides a dynamic HMI that changes as the worker moves through workplace zones automatically adjusting for job responsibility. In a plant scenario, such a system is aware which floor a worker is on and automatically sends the status and controls of equipment in that worker’s proximity. It is a very pro-active approach that is recognized to improve the efficiency of commissioning, operation and maintenance of automation systems.



For safety, it is critical that the Mobility Server knows the current location of workers. With the ready availability of geolocation signals, IPS indoors and GPS outdoors, it is possible to track location by simply archiving the device’s position over time. Safety and dispatch tracking are natural functions of the Mobility Server which relies on position in order to create contextual HMI. PcVue Solutions are reinventing mobility architectures with smart mobile devices using proximity services in innovative ways to benefit SCADA and Intelligent Building projects throughout the world.

For more information about the PcVue SCADA Solution from ARC Informatique click here.


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Kontron Delivers First Cobalt 901-based HM200 Satellite Modem to Hughes Network Systems



Kontron AG (Germany) – Kontron and Hughes: best-in-class embedded computing and airborne SATCOM Systems.

Kontron, a global market leader of Embedded Computing Technology (ECT), announced that it has shipped Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) the first HM200 modem packaged in an enclosure based on Kontron’s COBALT 901 rugged embedded platform. The compact, low-power Comms-On-The-Move (COTM) SATCOM modem solution is now available from Hughes for a wide range of deployed defense or commercial environments.

Working closely with Hughes, Kontron engineers customized the COBALT 901 chassis to accommodate the HM200 board subsystem, and the front panel was modified to provide specialized antenna connectors. The result is a small, lightweight, Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS), and Beyond-Line-Of-Sight (BLOS) SATCOM solution that is ideal for a large variety of airborne applications. The new package demonstrates the flexibility of the COBALT-series platforms. The standard COBALT 901 offers an Intel® Core™ i7 dual-core processor/carrier board combination with a 28V power supply chain providing aviation-grade filtering and power hold-up capabilities, and a substantial array of front-panel I/O.

“Kontron’s COBALT system brings to Hughes a scalable integrated building block architecture for rugged airborne applications that can be readily installed in a wide range of manned and unmanned, fixed or rotary wing platforms.” said Wayne Marhefka, Senior Director, Business Development, Hughes Defense and Intelligence Systems. “Leveraging the COBALT platform enables us to design solutions for long term flexibility, meeting the extensive scope of today’s I/O and network communications requirements.”

“We highly value our partnership with Hughes,” said Gary Eaton, Global Head of Business Line Defense at Kontron. ”Their leadership position aligns well with Kontron’s priorities in serving this growing and evolving arena. Our goal is to provide Hughes with a competitive advantage, enabling the development of sophisticated systems reducing long-term costs and development resources for their customers.

For more information about the COBALT 901 rugged embedded platform from Kontron AG click here.

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Industrial Internet of Things Case study - Drives commissioning from anywhere



HMS Industrial Networks (UK) - When Newton Tesla sets up new variable speed drives for their customers, they can do configuration, re-programming and monitoring from any location. By connecting a Netbiter gateway to their drives systems, they can offer their customers immediate assistance and do remote commissioning during the critical start-up period.

Newton Tesla drives control and Netbiter:
Newton Tesla is one of Britain’s leading experts in variable speed drives and a supplier of advanced automation systems to factories and plants across the world. Specializing in Mitsubishi products, they have been working with drives and inverters since 1987.

When commissioning an automation system, it is often hard to solve everything in one go. Usually, there are certain processes you have to wait for or other systems that need to be installed before everything is 100% finished. That means that you often have to go back to the site several times resulting in expensive and time-consuming service trips.

Another issue is physical access. George Newton, Managing Director at Newton Tesla and drive system expert explains: “At some sites, we need special permits or have limited access to our drives. For example, we recently built a system for a silver and platinum processing plant in America. Security was so tight that our mechanical commissioning engineer could not take any tools, mobile phone or even his laptop into the area. This makes on-site commissioning a challenge.”

To get access to their drives systems remotely, Newton Tesla had been looking for a remote management system for some time, but no system had quite lived up to their demands.

George Newton continues: “I always had the fear that a remote management system would be complex — that it would be hard to establish a connection and, above all, that the connection would be unstable which could really be a problem if you are programming a PLC. But when we found Netbiter, it was surprisingly easy.”

How it works:
When Newton Tesla delivers a new drives system, they connect a Netbiter EC350 gateway to their Mitsubishi PLC which controls the drives. The Netbiter communicates via the cellular network and sends data from the PLC to the cloud-based Netbiter Argos service. By logging into www.netbiter.net, Newton Tesla can see data such as operating frequency, running hours, energy consumption and much more.

By using the function called “Remote Access” they can also use the gateway to establish a secure data tunnel to the PLC, through which they can debug, program and commission the drives system. They simply open the tunnel, and can then access their Mitsubishi PLC, just as if they were connected on site.

Connection stability important:
When programming a PLC, you do not want the connection to go down as it can corrupt your programming and cause the system to malfunction. So naturally, connection stability was a main concern for Newton Tesla. “The Netbiter connection is really robust which is very important for us,” says George Newton. “In fact, I have so much confidence in the connection that I even operate our drives remotely. On a recent project, I moved a crane to a specific position from the office, being confident that the connection wouldn’t be interrupted.”

Quick return-on-investment:
The first time Newton Tesla used Netbiter in a customer project, was when they shipped a system to a customer in Phoenix, Arizona. After the initial set-up on site, they could handle the rest of the commissioning remotely from the office in Warrington, UK. “Naturally, the Netbiter quickly paid for itself on the Arizona project, but the return-on-investment is quick even if the customer only is a few kilometers away,” says George Newton. “If you calculate the costs for a service engineer to get all the gear ready, take the car to a customer and connect everything on site, you quickly realize that even a short service trip is costly.”

Nowadays, Newton Tesla always equip their systems with a Netbiter EC350 gateway. Since the Netbiter itself is quite easy to connect, this process can be done by someone who isn’t a PLC programmer, giving the PLC programmer more time to focus on the system itself. “Netbiter has given us the convenience of not having to travel to the site every time we need to adjust a system. It has given our offering an edge since we can spare our customers expensive service trips and offer faster support and commissioning,” finishes George Newton.


Remote commissioning of a crane.

For more information about the Netbiter Solutions from HMS Industrial Networks click here.


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Control Techniques introduces New High Power Modular Drives



Emerson Industrial Automation (USA) - Control Techniques, an Emerson business, has extended its range of high power modular drives. Both its Unidrive M and Powerdrive F300 variable speed drive ranges are now available in the larger frame size 11, providing a flexible method of building compact, reliable high-power solutions.

Paralleled together, Unidrive M can control asynchronous and permanent magnet motors in systems up to 2.8 MW (4,200 hp). The new frame 11 is a 250 kW (400 hp) module that allows system builders to create high power solutions with the smallest number of components, keeping both footprint and costs to a minimum.

Unidrive M differentiates itself on performance with extremely fast current control algorithms and high switching frequencies. Active Front End (AFE) solutions deliver unparalleled torque precision and power quality.

The Unidrive M modules can be paralleled into a wide range of flexible solutions to solve all system needs including Active Front End and multi-pulse rectifier configurations. They can be controlled by Control Techniques’ Unidrive M600, M700, M701 and M702 controllers.

Control Techniques also offers a full range of high powered drive products tailor-made for fan, pump and compressor applications from 90 kW to 2.8 MW. The Powerdrive F300 series also features a modular design and can control permanent magnet or standard AC induction motors. This modular approach to building high power systems also provides the flow industry with flexibility while keeping complexity low.

For more information about the New Drives from Emerson Industrial Automation click here.


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JLT Mobile Computers Selected by Exolgan, the Leading Port Terminal in Argentina



JLT Mobile Computers (Argentina) - JLT Mobile Computers, developer and manufacturer of reliable computers for demanding environments, has completed the delivery of more than eighty VERSO 12 Navis-validated computers to Exolgan, the main port operator in Argentina and member of Global PSA, one of the leading global port groups with ports across Asia, Europe and the Americas. The delivery marks the fulfilment of an order won in the first quarter of 2016 thanks to product performance and ruggedness, and JLT’s ability to adapt the complete solutions to the customer’s specific needs.

Access to reliable IT technology is critical in a marine port and terminal environment, as business is won and retained based on up-time and the efficiency with which containers are moved between ship and shore, and on to their final destination.

Equipped with high-performance Intel® Core™ i-Series processor and 64-bit operating system, the VERSO 12 computer is the latest generation of high-performance vehicle-mounted PCs from JLT that are developed from the ground up for use in the harshest environments and for business-critical functions. To meet Exolgan’s specific requirements, the VERSO 12 computer was custom configured with GPS for container tracking and WiFi dual diversity external antennas to ensure reliable connectivity in the port yard.

Another important factor for Exolgan’s decision in favor of the VERSO 12 computer was the ability to do self-maintenance as it speeds up turnaround times and reduces costs due to export and import regulations. JLT provides technical training and support as well as spare parts to facilitate this setup.

The VERSO 12 computer is also fully validated under the Navis Ready program, which gave Exolgan extra confidence that the JLT solution would integrate smoothly with the Navis Terminal Operating System (TOS) run by the terminal.

Navis Ready is a validation program, open to vendors of hardware technologies intended for use within a container terminal operating environment. The VERSO 12, together with all other JLT VERSO computers, passed the standard tests for Vehicle Mounted Terminals (VMTs). The validation focused on the ECN4 business flows in a container terminal, which included tests for JLT’s VMTs and ECN4 end-to-end CHE flows. Copies of the validation reports are available on request.

“The high performance of the JLT VERSO 12 computer and the official Navis validation give us confidence that our investment will enable us to support today’s as well as future needs with the same hardware,” explained Enrique Torlaschi, ITL – Exolgan – Corporate IT Manager. “Another important factor in protecting our investment is fast and cost-effective service and maintenance, which JLT was able to provide in cooperation with our own technical team.”

For more information about the Computers from JLT Mobile Computers click here.


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New 16mm Athlonix DC Miniature Motor from Portescap Features Energy Efficient Coreless Design



Portescap (USA) - Portescap introduces the next frame size in the DCP range of Athlonix™ high power density brush DC mini motors. Athlonix DCP motors offer an optimized price-to-performance solution ideal for a broad spectrum of applications. Available in a 16 mm diameter, the new 16DCP motor features an energy efficient coreless design with an optimized self-supporting coil and magnetic circuit, which ensures optimum price-to-performance is delivered.

Athlonix 16DCP motors are available in 2 variations, precious metal commutation and graphite commutation, both featuring an Alnico magnet inside. The unique constant force spring design for carbon brush ensures consistent performance. An REE (Restriction of Electro Erosion) coil is an available option, which ensures extended life of the motor and provides an environment of intrinsic safety especially at high speed conditions.

With maximum continuous torque up to 2.63 mNm and higher stall torque than similar motors, Athlonix 16DCP motors are ideally suited for use in applications such as medical & industrial pumps, gas analyzers, security & access, power tools, mesotherapy guns and tattoo machines.

“Athlonix motors are powered by a proprietary self-supporting coil resulting into maximized magnetic flux and ampere-turns for a given diameter” says Sunil Kumar, Brush DC Product Line Manager at Portescap. “In contrast, typical self-supporting coils have inherent ampere-turns limitations that affect the magnetic flux density in the magnetic circuit, which further limits power output and endurance of the motor,” he says.

Component standardization and design modularity ensures quick customization capability for samples across various applications. “Due to lower motor regulation factor compared to comparable motors available in the market, our new 16DCP has higher load carrying capacity at minimum reduction in speed leading to more uniform power” says Sunil Kumar.

Athlonix motors are available with encoders and gearheads of various sizes and ratios. They are manufactured in an ISO certified facility and are RoHS compliant.

About Portescap:
Portescap offers the broadest miniature and specialty motor products in the industry, encompassing coreless brush DC, brushless DC, stepper can stack, gearheads, digital linear actuators, and disc magnet technologies. Portescap products have been serving diverse motion control needs in wide spectrum of medical and industrial applications - medical, life science, instrumentation, automation, aerospace and commercial applications, for more than 70 years.

Portescap has manufacturing centers in the United States, St. Kitts, and India, and utilizes a Global Product Development network with research and development centers in the United States, China, India, and Switzerland.

For more information about the New Athlonix 16DCP Motors from Portescap click here.


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NEXCOM's New Industrial Panel PCs Unify Machine Design with Flexible Touchscreen Options



NEXCOM International Co., Ltd. (Taiwan) - NEXCOM has revamped its industrial panel PCs with IPPC A1770 series to brace the advent of precision manufacturing. Targeted at advanced machine control, the fanless IPPC A1770 series delivers computing and graphics improvements with Intel® Core™ processor and adds options of touch technologies and I/O interfaces. With overall performance boosts and flexible configurations, the IPPC A1770 series helps machine builders diverse machine control and human machine interface (HMI) offerings while keeping the appearance design unified.

The fanless IPPC A1770 series is designed for advanced machine control with 3D-intensive HMI applications used in heavy industries. Built with a choice of Intel® Core™ i5-4590T, i3-4350T, Pentium® G3320TE, and Celeron® G1820TE processor, the IPPC A1770 panel PCs are packed with up to four computing cores and outstanding 2D and 3D rendering capabilities. On industrial machines, the IPPC A1770 series can be programmed to execute look-ahead, adaptive speed algorithms, and other advanced machine control for multi-axis, high-speed, high-accuracy machining. As for machine HMIs, the panel PC series can run 3D machining animations, toolpath simulations, and work orders on its 4:3 17-inch touchscreen, helping operators monitor machining status.

Moreover, the IPPC A1770 series supports function expansion with a variety of interfaces including PCI, PCIe, and mini-PCIe. For instance, two mini-PCIe slots are provided along with a wide selection of add-on modules, which includes fieldbus modules for industrial automation control, Wi-Fi/3G/LTE modules for internet connection, fast-write NVRAM modules for emergency data storage, mSATA modules for storage expansion, and I/O modules for extra LAN and COM connections. Additionally, a waterproof front USB is meant to facilitate machine file upload on site and can be disabled after a file transfer to avoid unauthorized copying and virus infection, while an internal USB is intended for software license dongles and to provide theft protection.

Designed for harsh operating environments, the IPPC A1770 series is encased in a metal housing and comes with an option of a projected captive (P-cap) or resistive touch panel which is flush with the IP66-compliant aluminum front bezel. Both AC and DC power inputs are supported for different power input design.

For more information about the New PPC A1770 Series of Panel PCs from NEXCOM International Co., Ltd. click here.


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Fischer Rugged Flash Drive now five times faster with USB 3.0



Fischer Connectors SA (Switzerland) - Fischer Connectors, the worldwide innovator in push-pull circular connectors and cable assembly solutions, today launched the USB 3.0 version of its ultra-portable, miniature, lightweight and extremely tough Fischer Rugged Flash Drive. This memory stick has been specially designed for the safe transportation and storage of sensitive data in harsh environments.

The USB 3.0 Fischer Rugged Flash Drive is even faster, smaller and more user-friendly than the USB 2.0 product introduced to the market in 2011. The read speed is now up to five times faster; standard memory sizes are 32, 64 or 128 GB; the body is shorter; and, in order to guarantee secure access, it is now available not only with the Fischer UltiMateTM Series interface, but also with the Fischer MiniMaxTM Series interface. The activity LED is a further feature of the new product to improve usability.

Miniature – the size of a key ring – and lightweight, the Fischer Rugged Flash Drive has proven to be the durable solution for people on the go who need to download and securely transfer confidential data, images or videos from devices used in extreme environmental conditions or in hard-to-reach areas. It is perfectly adapted for applications where data security and confidentiality are critical, such as the defense and security, financial, medical, industrial, energy, underwater, motor and extreme sport sectors, e.g. for civil or military UAVs, ROVs, test & measure equipment or rugged computers.

Main technical specifications:
  • IP68 sealed even unmated
  • Unique Fischer UltiMate (size 07) and MiniMax (size 08) interfaces
  • Up to 100 MB/s read speed
  • High speed USB 3.0
  • Memory sizes: 32, 64, 128 GB
  • Resists corrosion, vibration, shock and extreme temperatures
Safe AND secure:
The Fischer Rugged Flash Drive is both safe and secure. Its rugged casing provides full protection against extreme environmental conditions. The flash drive is waterproof down to 120 meters and is resistant to extreme operating temperatures (-40°C to +85°C). Thanks to the unique proprietary Fischer Connectors’ circular connector interface combined with a durable encapsulation technique, it guarantees data security in case of loss or theft.

“Performance and flexibility”
“At times when privacy and confidentiality are of paramount importance, you need the right product to protect your critical information against the elements and the potential risk of loss or theft,” explains Wim Vanheertum, Product Manager at Fischer Connectors. “Technology moves fast, and both performance and flexibility are required when designing high-speed applications using video. The new Rugged Flash Drive increases data transfer speed by five, and its flexible modular design, which includes a large selection of body styles, sizes, contact configurations and memory capacities, offers high customization.”

Showcased as world premiere at Eurosatory tradeshow:
The new Fischer Rugged Flash Drive is showcased for the first time, along with the company’s new electrical and optical connectivity solutions, at the Eurosatory tradeshow in Paris from 13 to 17 June 2016, at Fischer Connectors’ booth no. G 497, Hall 6. The Fischer Rugged Flash Drive will be commercially available in July.

For more information about the New Fischer Rugged Flash Drive from Fischer Connectors click here.


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Friday, June 3, 2016

Optical Rotary Torque Sensors suitable for low torque and high band width measurements



Sensor Technology Ltd. (UK) - Sensor Technology has set new benchmark performance standards for optical rotary torque transducers, with the launch of the digital ORT 230/240 series. These new optical rotary torque sensors are ideal for applications when the demand is for low torque and/or high bandwidth, providing precise, dynamic measurement of rotary and static torque of less than 100Nm and for bandwidths of up to 50kHz.

The new ORT 230/240 devices replace Sensor Technology's E200 ORT series, benefiting from all-new electronics that deliver significant gains in resolution, frequency response, reduced sensor current consumption and faster digital data throughput.

The high speed capability comes from an inherently low inertia, since the electronics are not fixed to the shaft, while non-contact operation ensures a long and reliable life (backed up by Sensor Technology's lifetime warranty) with high accuracy. The optical operating principle also ensures excellent noise immunity.

TorqSense ORT 230 series sensors provide fixed voltage or current analogue outputs - one for torque and one for either speed or power. The TorqSense ORT 240 provides two user selectable voltage or current analogue outputs - one for torque and the other for either speed, power or peak torque - plus digital outputs including RS232, CANbus and USB for interfacing with modern instrumentation and laptops. The ORT 240 enables users to connect up to 10 transducers via USB, and transducer configuration software for making changes to transducer variables.

Features of both devices include self-diagnostics to report if the transducer's torque, speed ratings or calibration date have been exceeded, while inbuilt sensors monitor shaft temperature for better compensation and accuracy. The device also offers a simple 'sensor status' output.

Complementing these products is Sensor Technology's TorqView software, providing an easy-to-use advanced torque monitoring package for Windows PCs to assist with data display and recording. It offers real time chart plotting, and is compatible with both Matlab and Excel. Further, LabVIEW VIs are available for users to design their own process control applications, and DLLs are available for users who wish to write their own custom software.

These latest optical rotary torque sensors are an important extension to the Sensor Technology torque monitoring range, and offer an alternative solution when low torque or bandwidth requirements preclude the use of the more cost-efficient SAW-based TorqSense products.

Optical rotary torque sensors use a pair of gratings attached a short distance apart on a strain-sensitive shaft to modulate a light source. As torque is applied to the shaft, a slight twist results which changes the alignment of the gratings and thus varies the light transmitted through to a detector. The use of this technique results in a transducer which is able to detect torque bi-directionally, and which has a fast mechanical and electrical response, low inertia and complete freedom from brushes or complex electronics.

The absence of brush gear allows high-speed operation with a continuous rating up to 30,000rpm standard. Further increases in rpm are available depending upon shaft size. The torque shaft is of low compliance ½° maximum torsion deflection on the smaller transducers and ¼° maximum on the larger transducers at full-scale deflection. Any full scale torque can be specified within the range 10mNm to 100Nm.

For more information about the New ORT 230/240 Series of Optical Rotary Torque Transducers from Sensor Technology Ltd. click here.


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