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This Digital only branch off from our parent publication Engineering Update provides an in-depth look at the Automation side of engineering we distribute the magazine to over 23,000 readers monthly. With Automation being ever present for the Industrial Engineering Sector we provide the latest news and unbiased opinions throughout the UK’s market place.

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Panasonic launch new high sensitivity

micro camera head Panasonic Industrial Medical Vision has launched a new high sensitivity micro camera head, for the industrial and medical markets, capable of operating in low light conditions.


he new GP-KH232HA micro camera-head benefits from a 1/3 type Full HD single MOS sensor, which can operate at a minimum illumination of just 5 lx at F1.4. Required illumination comprises solely 2000 lx at F8. The compact camera (28mm x 27mm x 39mm) weighs only 48g and is suitable for a variety of applications in the medical, Pro AV, Industrial or Life Sciences field. The camera head has Full HD (1080/59.94p.50p) resolution. The CCU implies HDMI, RGB, SDI and S-Video outputs. Other key features include an electronic shutter, gain adjustment, electronic sensitivity enhancement, x2.5 electronic zoom as well as freeze, flip and mirror options for flexible imaging. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The GP-KH232HA remote camera head is available for the Panasonic IMV 1 MOS micro camera control units GP-KH232CUE as well as GPKH232CSE and cables range from 2m to 15m. With the full micro camera system, we have the option to address various markets such as industrial or medical,â&#x20AC;&#x153; said Patrick Linder, Industrial Medical Vision European Product Manager.

4 - Automation Update June 2015


Energy Efficient Machines A Practical Point of View Cutting the ever-increasing energy costs is surely the primary motivation of a manufacturing company for using energy efficient machines. Graham Traill, System Consultant at Murrelektronik takes a closer look at energy efficiency and how small changes can have a big effect for operators and machine builders. “Energy efficiency is a cutting-edge topic. The time of power guzzlers is over. “green competence” is required in machines and systems. By looking at the control system as a whole rather than a series of components, a number of simple but effective modifications can be made that contribute to energy efficiency and the overall results are surprising” In every automation solution the power supply system is the core of the control cabinet. It consists of a power supply, output circuit/s protection and distribution. There are switch mode power supplies available that are 95% energy efficient for example the Emparro range. Emparro is a new, high efficiency power supply unit, available with output voltages of 12V / 24V / 48V and currents of 5-20A. Typically an Emparro 3 phase PSU is 30% smaller than its conventional counterpart. As an example the 20 A variant is only 65mm wide. High efficiency also means that substantially less heat is dissipated in the control panel. All this beneficially affects the control panel design. Low heat dissipation means less thermal stress on all the control panel components increasing their life span and reducing maintenance costs. Panels can be made smaller with a reduced requirement for mechanical cooling thus lowering the capital cost of the panel and the valuable production space needed for it to stand. This means a reduction in the total cost for the machine builder and lower maintenance costs for the end user. Emparro power supplies feature two boost functions. Power boost and hyper boost. The power boost supplies

50% additional power for up to 5 seconds whist the hyper boost provides up to 400% more power for up to 20 ms. This means that devices requiring high input currents on start up can be supplied from a PSU sized to cater for the system running current rather than resorting to a larger power supply. Again saving panel space and system costs. High efficiency also means that the Emparro can operated at 20% overload in ambient temperatures of o up to 45 c. This allows for a continuous supply of 6 A for 5 A models, 12 A for 10 A models and 24 A for 20 A models. This feature is unique in the market. When reflecting upon energy in automation technology, often only the major key elements are taken into account such as power supply units, drive controls and motors. But who, so far, has thought about energy efficiency when it comes to the protection and distribution of 24V DC circuits? For example if we consider a typical application consisting of a power supply with circuit breakers (MCB) for secondary circuit protection. MCB’s require an unnecessary amount of energy due to the high resistance within the circuit breaker. When compared to the MICO range of electronic circuit protection the internal resistance of an MCB can be up to 40 times higher, depending on the current range. This means that energy consumption is higher with MCB’s due to losses in the form of heat. Circuit breakers in 24VDC/48VDC systems can only offer very limited protection or worse still no protection at all. For example they do not work with cable cross sections below 0.75mm²

and currents below 10A. Anyone wishing to protect against short circuits and overloads and improve their systems energy efficiency should switch to MICO electronic circuit protection. A special energy-efficiency feature has been designed in to the advanced MICO+ circuit protection modules. MICO+ offers a stand-by function. This feature allows for circuits not required continuously to be deactivated when not in use via a 24 V DC input and immediately switched on when required, while important components are continuously supplied by the same module. In the end, says Graham “it is often a culmination of small things that are not most obvious that bring the biggest savings. As they say ‘the devil is in the detail” Finally, it is worth mentioning that the benefits of this power supply concept can be realized in existing systems as size does not exclude retrofitting in to an existing control panel. Free engineering survey and proposal service Save machine build/automation system installation time and effort by booking a system survey for no cost! Receive a system proposal complete with costings, technical specifications and where appropriate schematic drawings. The proposal will detail our methodology, the benefits of the Murrelektronik approach and cost savings when compared to the current methods. Call 0161 728 3133 Automation Update - 5 June 2015


Increasing reliability for the

food processing industry nsd tupH surface protection provides cost effective drive protection

From its base in East Anglia, one of the UK’s major agricultural areas, Ambit Projects Limited design and manufacture high quality automation equipment for handling, preparing and processing all types of foodstuffs with machines that are tailored to individual customer needs. The Company has gained a high reputation in this fast moving industry for providing innovative solutions that increase capacity through improved performance, reduce processing bottlenecks, decrease downtime and enhance final product quality. NORD Drivesystems’ UK subsidiary have recently been working with Ambit Projects, supplying several drives that feature the industryunique surface protection system that the German drives manufacturer has developed for hostile and high hygiene environments. Designated NORD Severe Duty or nsd tupH, the drives were used for a major upgrade and line expansion of a celery cutting and packaging machine for a regular Ambit customer and one of Europe’s leading fresh produce growers and suppliers. These durable long-life aluminium IP69 rated gear motors replaced the previous drive suppliers’ units on the upgrade part of the machine, and were preferred for use across the additional processing line to solve a problem with paint peeling and corrosion due to the wet process environment. The machine processes freshly harvested celery; removing its root and flag then washing, inspecting and packaging the produce in a continuous operation. The constantly wet environment, regular washdown and foaming agents used on the machine had caused the old drives, although prepared with a high specification paint process, to split and peel over time with a danger that paint debris might contaminate the celery produce. This was particularly prevalent for conveyor drives close to the washing process where turbulent flushing water is used to remove soil and stones from the produce. Whilst trays and covers had been used to prevent such contamination and shield the drives from splashing water, Ambit Projects looked for an improved solution that would cost-effectively remove the need for further protection. NORD’s Severe Duty solution takes fully machined aluminium castings for both motor and gear unit components and applies an electro-chemical process which changes the surface properties of the aluminium to render it corrosion free. Unlike paint systems, 6 - Automation Update June 2015

Above: NORD Severe Duty or nsd tupH drives from NORD Drivesystems gives aluminium drives a smooth, permanently corrosion-resistant surface.

Left: The previous geared motor used by Ambit Projects (cover removed) – showing signs of aging with peeling paint and a corroded surface.

no coating is applied but the surface itself converted. The finished result is a stainless steel-like surface that is unaffected by blows or scratches and is up to seven times harder than the original aluminium - and up to 1000 times harder than paint. The treatment complies with FDA Title 21 CFR 175.300 and yields much reduced maintenance and a significantly extended life with an overall TCO that is extremely compelling. All NORD nsd tupH drives include food-grade stainless steel fixings and shafts, and the motor and gear unit housings also feature smooth surfaces where dirt and debris cannot gather in crevices and cause a contamination hazard as with many standard gear motor designs. Unlike stainless steel motor variants, which are much more costly, the aluminium motor housings do not affect the performance of the drive as no de-rating is necessary - allowing compact and lightweight high performance drive solutions. Paul Oakley, Ambit Projects’ Sales Director is delighted with the nsd tupH Severe Duty drives. “NORD’s nsd tupH drives have provided a real value for money solution in terms of extended protection and trouble-free reliability. This application demonstrates our commitment to working closely with our customers and suppliers with upgrades and capacity expansion initiatives that reflect the latest technology improvements - and we will certainly be using nsd tupH protection in other machines we develop.” As NORD Severe Duty or nsd tupH surface treatment drives are based on standard aluminium gear motors, they are available throughout the range from 21 Nm to over 3300 Nm in hollow and solid shaft designs with foot, face and flange mounting. NORD Clean Drive nsd tupH drives are available for even more demanding ambient conditions and are supplied to IP69K protection levels in packages complete with drive electronics up 22 kW.


MiniTec launches new mini-sized framing profile and matching component range

for smaller machines and structures


MiniTec’s new Profile System 30 – great for smaller structural frames and assembles

iniTec has launched its new Profile Series 30 range of aluminium profiles with matching modular elements and fittings based on a nominal sectional size of 30 x 30 mm that will suit smaller machine frames, consoles, panels, fixtures, and safety guards. Other application areas targeted are lightweight structural frames for equipment used in the food and medical industries where strict hygiene standards are important, and for organising component or tool storage in confined areas such as vehicle fit-outs. The new range also lowers the cost base for light-duty machine applications. The range includes eight new profiles with sectional sizes of 23 x 16, 23 x 30, 30 x 30 and 30 x 60 – with combinations of smooth sides and T slot profiles that maximises flexibility and aesthetic appearance. A new 30 mm version of MiniTec’s Powerlock rapid one-piece fastening system is part of the component range along with angle and adapter brackets, door hinges, panel sealing strips and many other modular construction pieces. An innovative multiconnector allows angled frames to be built in increments of 22.5 degrees whilst a modular roller-strip element provides a manual product conveying base that is ideally suited to smaller assembly and test workstations. Profile System 30 is supported with a new 28 page product brochure, available in PDF or hard copy, and Minitec’s online and offline CAD systems also includes all of the new extrusions and components - making design and parts listing straightforward. Automation Update - 7 June 2015

Editors Choice

EASIER OFFLINE CASE MARKING MINIMISES HUMAN ERROR The new RF-Box Feeder from Rotech enables the fast, efficient feeding of secondary packaging such as flat boxes and cartons into and out of labelling and coding systems. The box feeder complements Rotech’s range of offline marking systems for primary packaging, making the company the only handling specialist in the UK to provide offline marking solutions spanning the entire packaging line. The offline, stack-to-stack RF-Box Feeder enables users to pre-mark flat cases prior to erection and filling. Rates vary depending on the box length and chosen marking technology, but typically range from 50 to 150 boxes per minute. The ability to mark-up secondary packaging offline meets a growing need in today’s grocery market, where the emerging retail channels of discount, convenience and online will account for all the growth over the next 10 years as conventional supermarkets decline1. For many food operators, this shift is driving a rapid rise in the complexity of their logistics operations as demand grows for mixed cases and little-and-often deliveries to a wider range of locations. With this in mind, having a supply of boxes that are pre-marked with information about their contents and destination helps minimise the chance of human error as products reach the end of the packaging line. Rotech director Richard Pether explains: “Pre-labelled boxes tell operators what they need to do. If the box is already labelled ‘prawn sandwiches’ they know they should be filling it with prawn sandwiches, not ham. Each box can also be marked up with its destination or whatever code it needs to ensure products end up in the right place.” “Rotech’s existing RF range is already well established for offline marking operations in primary packaging,” he adds. “The new RF-Box Feeder is in response to a surge in demand we’ve recently received from secondary packers looking to adopt a flexible and cost-effective offline approach.” Offline coding speeds up overall operations by removing the need for a marking step within the packing line itself. This can be an important advantage in high-speed production environments, especially when handling perishable products with short use-by dates, such as chilled foods, for example. 8 - Automation Update

June 2015

The new RF-Box feeder handles boxes ranging from 200 x 200mm up to 700 x 400mm, with a minimum card thickness of 3mm.

Marking boxes while flat also offers the added advantage of enabling users to apply codes and labels that will cover two sides of the box once erect. This would be much more complicated and expensive to achieve once the box is assembled. “The cost savings will vary with each application, but the system will always be much simpler,” says Richard. Many of today’s food manufacturing facilities face an ever-expanding variety of products passing through multiple packing lines. In these situations, premarking boxes enables users to install only as many marking systems as they need to meet their capacity requirements, rather than having to install a separate system at the end of each line. For example, one early adopter of the RF-Box Feeder uses just two systems to mark up the boxes for 3.5 million packs of sandwiches each week. The RF-Box Feeder takes flat boxes from the bottom of a horizontal stack and feeds them through the user’s chosen marking system, stacking them again neatly on the other side. Two conveyors working at slightly different belt speeds optimise the gap between each box, so a photocell can trigger the marking system as each item approaches. This enables the RF-Box Feeder to achieve the optimum

The offline, stack-to-stack RF-Box Feeder enables users to pre-mark flat cases prior to erection and filling typically coding 50 to 150 boxes per minute.

throughput in terms of boxes per minute at the lowest possible belt speed. Rotech is a handling specialist with expert knowledge of the range of third-party marking systems available in today’s market. This means that the company is not tied to using its own marking technology and can help users choose the optimum system for each application, whether that’s an inkjet printer to code directly onto the box or a label printing and dispensing system, for example. Rotech’s handling expertise also means that the RF-Box Feeder is optimised to provide a compact, ergonomic solution. “The handling aspect of packaging systems is too often put together on an ad hoc basis and performs in a way that is not optimal. Our RF-Box Feeder is reliable, simple-to-operate and extremely cost-effective,” says Richard. “Again, just how big any savings will be will vary with each project.” The system dimensions are 2020 x 530 x 1575mm for the RF-Box Feeder alone (not including the marking system). It handles boxes ranging from 200 x 200mm up to 700 x 400mm, with a minimum card thickness of 3mm. Box size changeovers take a matter of moments.

Potato recall questions metal contamination prevention policy Recent high-profile product recalls highlight the question every food business should be asking when deciding to invest in metal detection inspection equipment - how much is your company’s reputation worth? Here, Sales Director Phil Brown, at award winning metal detector manufacturer Fortress Technology, discusses the impact and consequences.


etal contamination is a food safety issue that can have an incendiary effect on a food business’s reputation, as recent events demonstrate. On 12 May, the Food Standards Agency announced that Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Morrison’s were recalling products because of possible metal contamination. The culprit was a batch of potatoes from a single supplier that was used across a range of products, such as ready meals and potato salads. As well as generating the immediate expense of a mass product recall, the incident was widely reported - even hitting the national press. This kind of adverse publicity damages consumer trust and creates lost opportunities for all the businesses concerned. The supplier will certainly have had metal detection equipment in place, so how could this happen? The answer is that no system can entirely eliminate the risk of metal contamination. However, optimising metal detection systems can manage that risk more effectively and reduce it as far as is practical. Food operators should understand the factors that can leave them vulnerable, even if they already have metal detectors in place.

Material difference First, there’s the widespread use of stainless steels in the food industry. These are more difficult to detect than ferrous metals such as iron and steel or nonferrous metals such as copper or zinc. That’s because metal detectors work by spotting materials that create a magnetic or electrical disturbance as they pass through an electromagnetic field. Ferrous metals are both magnetic and good electrical conductors so they’re relatively easy to spot. Non-ferrous metals aren’t magnetic but they’re good conductors. Stainless steels are not magnetic and are also poor conductors, so they present an added challenge. In practice this means that in a sphere of stainless steel hidden in a dry product typically needs to be 50% larger than a ferrous sphere to generate a similar signal size. That disparity can rise up to 200 to 300% in wet products.

Shaping up

Size matters

Next there’s the question of orientation. The performance of metal detectors may be measured using spheres, but metal contamination may not be spherical. The most extreme example is a long, narrow wire, which may be easy to detect if it presents to the detector one way, but very tricky to spot if it arrives in a different orientation. It’s therefore important to optimise the performance of the detector to cope with the worst-case scenario. An improvement in sphere size from 3mm to 2.5mm may not sound like much but it can be the difference between success or failure when trying to spot an irregular fragment.

The performance of any metal detector improves as the aperture size shrinks, so users could optimise performance by using a number of smaller detectors positioned at critical control points throughout the process, rather than a single, big ‘catch-all’ detector at the end of the line. Of course, the downside to installing more metal detectors is extra cost.

Test and record

Businesses need to look at this from a risk assessment perspective. Think of it like fire insurance. No one intends to allow metal to contaminate their food products any more than they intend to burn down their factory, but that doesn’t stop them from investing in fire protection and insurance. In the same way, investing in metal detection reduces the risk of a company’s hard-won reputation for food safety going up in flames.

It’s also vital to check that any metal detection system will fail safe. So, for example, if a fault with the reject system means that a contaminant is detected but not rejected, the line should stop automatically until the situation is resolved. Both the detector performance and fail-safe capability should be tested regularly and full records kept to support traceability. Major retailers will typically have their own codes of practice that specify their testing and reporting requirements, but what happens in theory can be harder to implement in practice in a busy production environment – especially if the record keeping is manual.

Risk and reward When balancing up the risks and rewards of investing in optimised metal detectors systems, many users don’t perceive them as generating value for their business beyond the need to comply with customer demands, such as retailers’ codes of practice. However, shortterm thrift could be an expensive mistake in the longer term.

All Fortress systems come with a Never Obsolete pledge, which means that they have a guaranteed upgrade path for the duration of the equipment’s lifespan, however industry standards change over time. This ensures that food factories achieve an exceptional ROI, a low TCO (total cost of ownership) and benefit from high OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) – all of which reduces risk and improves reward gains.

Some metal detector equipment manufacturers – Fortress included – therefore integrate secure, automatic logging of all such information into their systems. This is something where a modest investment up front can lead to savings later on by narrowing the time window during which a problem can go undetected and reducing the amount of suspect products that must be discarded or Metal contaminants were found in a batch of potatoes used for ready meals recalled in case of an incident.

Automation Update - 9 June 2015

Pacepacker launches FastPac line for high speed, versatile bulk bagging PPMA Hall 5 Stand C50 Customer demand for faster, more-versatile bulk bagging has inspired Pacepacker Services to launch a new high-speed bagging line called FastPac. The company has chosen this year’s PPMA exhibition to unveil the first of the machines in the FastPac range – an upgraded sack placer that can help boost the number of bags packed per minute by up to 20%, offering a new top speed of 16-17 bpm. What’s more, the benefits of the newly enhanced FastPac sack placer don’t end there. It can also handle an unprecedented range of sacks, including those made from difficult-topick-up materials such as hessian and net. This follows a growth in demand for these bags, in particular from its European customers and UK exporters packing bags of produce, pulses, rice and coffee beans in bags weighing 25kg and over. The added versatility and speed makes the FastPac range ideal for bulk solids handling, food packers and contract packers alike. Sack placers take flat bags from a stack and position them ready to be held in place for filling. Most conventional machines rely on suction cups to pick up the bags, but that rules out the use of very porous bag materials such as hessian and net. The newly enhanced sack placer has an option for a system of mechanical grippers so it can handle porous materials in addition to paper and plastics. The FastPac range of sack placers also manoeuvre the sacks in a different way from most of the range, picking them up by the bottom and peeling them off the stack, rather than picking up the top of the bag. This ensures that bags which have a tendency to stick together can be handled more effectively. With this in mind, Pacepacker Services is also upgrading other bagging steps to optimise the overall speed of FastPac lines. For instance, the company can already offer an upgraded Total Bag Control (TBC) system to match the faster speed of the enhanced sack placers.

10 - Automation Update June 2015

TBCs receive the sacks from the sack placer, holding the top of the bag closed while feeding them into a belt feeder ready for sealing. Pacepacker TBCs use inverters to control the unit’s motors and match their speed precisely. Faster speeds and bigger throughputs make accurate weighing more essential than ever in order to reduce giveaway, so Pacepacker is also using the PPMA show to highlight its allegiance with Dutch weighing specialist PIM. The rewards associated with greater accuracy vary widely depending on the application. However, in one recent project, integrating a multihead weigher from PIM into a new Pacepacker potato packing line helped the client reduce giveaway from around 0.75kg to just 2-3g per sack. “Our new FastPac range opens up the possibility of automating many bulk bagging operations that have traditionally remained manual or required more expensive, nonstandard sacks to enable the use of suction cups.” Explains Paul Wilkinson, Pacepacker’s Business Development Manager. “The possibilities are interminable - from agricultural products that are netted, like seed potatoes, carrots and onions to those bagged in hessian such as rice and coffee. The PPMA Show provides the perfect platform to launch this new FastPac range.” The overall speed of each FastPac line will depend on the other steps in the packing process and the handling characteristics of the products being packed.

Targeting bulk handlers Pacepacker will launch the first in its new FastPac range, a GT Sack Placer, at the forthcoming PPMA Show



The recently announced new and comprehensive range of functional safety incremental encoders from USA sensor manufacturer BEI Sensors is available in the UK through its exclusive distributor Variohm EuroSensor.


he TÜV Rheinland certified range is suitable for use in the highest industrial safety related applications up to SIL3/PLe Cat. 4, and is designed to EN ISO 13849-1, IEC/EN 61 508, and IEC/EN 62061 safety standards. With Sine/Cosine analogue electronic output or a digital (TTL or HTL) electronic output, which is an industry-first for safety encoders, the range covers seven individual encoder models with a broad selection of options to suit a wide variety of applications. Options include resolutions up to 2500 PPR, 58 mm or 90 mm diameter aluminium housings and a selection of shaft or through shaft drives with cable or connector terminations. Stainless steel housings are available to suit harsh or wash-down environments and high ingress protection ratings are available up to IP69K for high pressure and high temperature wash-downs. Further innovative safety features include additional bearings on through-shaft models for extra support and positive shaft locks to prevent the encoder sliding on motor shafts, plus tether arms for safe mounting on the driving motors. Insulated secure sleeves have been introduced to protect against stray currents.

A 10-page White Paper - “What the new “Machinery Safety” regulation means for your company” - is available from Variohm to support automation engineers and system integrators who need to implement functional safety on their machines. Variohm EuroSensor designs, manufactures and sources a comprehensive range of sensor technologies for linear and rotary position, load, force, vibration and temperature - providing complete pre-sale and postsale application support for demanding measurement applications throughout industry, agriculture, construction, autosports and research. Automation Update - 11 June 2015

Video of the Week key product highlights from Hanover


ast month’s Hanover Show was the igus® launch pad for introducing 155 new products and line extensions to the industrial automation industry.

Machine builders and system integrators in the industrial automation industry, as well as medical and automotive industries, use corrugated tubes as an integral part of the energy supply system. During the Hanover Show igus® presented a new concept - the e-skin. In contrast to corrugated tube systems currently available, this easy-to-open hose is modular so it can be easily shortened or extended in the field. It is also self-supporting for short runs and is suitable for use in clean room environments. For added reinforcement of existing corrugated tube systems, the snap-on e-shell provides a more controlled movement path. With the new robolink® D generation of direct-drive articulated arms, made of plastic and aluminium, robot manufacturers and machine and equipment builders can develop 4-axis robots both quickly and easily without burning too deep a hole in the pocket.

12 - Automation Update June 2015

In addition, igus® presented one of the lightest linear guides in the world made entirely of plastic, which helps machine builders meet the growing industry demands for additional weight saving, noise reduction and stability. To watch Artur Peplinski, Leader International Group Development & Marketing, give a video tour of the igus® stand during Hanover Show, please follow: Visit igus® (stand B3) during The ABTT Theatre Show, Alexandra Palace, London, on 24th – 25th June. For more information on igus® products and to request free product samples, please contact igus on 01604 677240. For regular updates, follow us on, watch our videos at, connect with us at or visit our blog on

OEM offers dairy farmers 60 percent energy saving

using variable-speed drives Dairy farmers can save up to 60 percent on their milking parlour energy costs following OEM firm Milkflo Dairy System’s decision to offer ABB variable-speed drives (VSDs). The VSDs can be installed on any make of milking parlour and cut energy use by supplying only the vacuum pressure needed for the number of cows being milked. The cost of the drives can be offset by making use of government grants for the purchase of energy efficient equipment. Milkflo supplies and services milking and feeding systems for dairy farms throughout Cornwall, Devon and the South West. Managing Director George Berriman wanted to offer dairy farmers in the area an option to add VSDs to their milking parlour machinery to cut their energy use.

Milkflo Dairy System’s decision to offer ABB variable-speed drives can save dairy farmers up to 60 percent on their milking parlour energy costs

“Conventional systems have a motor driving a vacuum pump flat out, using an air pressure regulator to blow off excess vacuum pressure,” says Berriman. Berriman asked ABB authorised value provider, APDS, to test ABB drives on a typical milking parlour installation at its workshop in Redruth. APDS used a vacuum transducer to signal an ABB drive when the air pressure had changed through a number of valves, simulating a cow finishing its milking. Using its built-in PID function the VSD ramps down the motor to maintain the correct vacuum pressure. Alan Jones of APDS says: “In a real milking parlour, this would mean that with say, 30 cows being milked, the motors would be run at 80 percent speed. As cows finish milking the speed of the motor is ramped down accordingly so with 15 cows, it would be running at maybe 50 percent speed, to maintain a stable vacuum within the system. During the washing of the system after milking the system uses most vaccum and will run at almost 100 percent at times.

“We have already supplied and retrofitted around 30 drives to farmers’ milking parlours,” says Berriman. “These range from 3 kW to 30 kW. One drive can operate two motors, making it more cost-effective for farmers. For example, if their facility has two 7 kW pumps, one 15 kW drive can operate them both. “With this system, farmers can save up to 60 percent on their energy costs. This can lead to a significant monetary saving as some systems work from 12 to 15 hours a day.” Although the VSD-based pressure control is fully automatic, farmers can alter the pressure manually to maintain the health and comfort of particular cows. Installation of the VSDs on the milking parlours causes no disruption for the farmer as the work can be done between milking sessions. As many farms have a single phase supply, the VSDs can be converted to operate on single phase. A further benefit is that the use of the VSD causes less wear and tear on the milking parlour pumps.

“The ABB drive worked right out of the box. We simply finetuned the PID functions and it worked as expected.” Automation Update - 13 June 2015

Quantum Controls wins prestigious ABB Award

The Leading Distributor of Drives and Motors in the UK, Quantum Controls is today celebrating after picking up a major award by one of the world leaders in power and automation technologies ABB. This is a great achievement for Quantum Controls who has worked extremely hard to achieve this accolade from ABB as the company with the ‘Highest increase in percentage sales year-onyear from 2013 to 2014’. Quantum’s success is down to the company’s ability to deliver exceptional customer service to its thousands of business customers across the UK and distributes its drives and motors to organisations involved in the manufacturing of: Paper, Plastics, Glass, Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals, Nuclear and many other industries who rely on the quality and reliability of ABB’s market leading products and the added value delivered by Quantum Controls highly skilled engineering and support staff. Quantum are also an Official ABB Service partner providing all customers 24 hours a day 7 days a week direct telephone access to qualified engineers for expert advice and support in emergency situations. Managing Director of Quantum Controls Kevin Brown said “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award from ABB for the second time; this is a testament to our entire team’s dedication and hard work to service our clients and source new business, using the trusted name of ABB. What is more this accolade cements our standing as the UK’s leading supplier of ABB Drives and Motors” The award was presented to Kevin Brown by Neil Ritchie who is ABB’s head of Discrete Automation and Motion division in the UK, on the 30th March held at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry. About Quantum Controls Quantum Controls Ltd is owned by Managing Director Kevin Brown and was originally established in 1989. In 2009 Quantum celebrated 20 years as one of the UK’s leading drives and motors specialists and signaled the company’s expansion over that period to offer an extensive range of autorelated products, systems and services. Quantum’s expertise has been recognised by the world’s leading electrical and automation engineering companies ABB, who has appointed Quantum as one of only six exclusive UK partners for its motors and drives products. As an engineering house, Quantum Controls has built up a formidable and enviable reputation for finding innovative solutions for almost any engineering challenge. It is this level of innovation and expertise that has extended to other areas of the business. In 2000, the company created a hire drive service to meet the growing needs of companies wanting a temporary drive replacement if a breakdown were to occur or simply to test out the unit’s capability to existing systems before purchasing. Quantum Controls are now the world largest supplier of ABB Variable Speed Drives. For more information please contact Ian Chapman at Quantum Controls on +44 1661 835 868 or visit;

14 - Automation Update June 2015

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PPMA show 2015 announces return of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking as headline sponsor The PPMA Show, the UK’s premier free-to attend complete production line event for processing and packaging machinery, has announced that Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking will be returning as the headline sponsor for the 2015 show, highlighting the company’s confidence in UK manufacturing and in particular, Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking will once again have a dedicated stand at the show, where its team of specialists will be offering advice ranging from day-to-day banking requirements and funding for expansion to exporting. The team will also take to the show floor to discuss banking opportunities with some of the 300+ exhibitors in attendance, in what is expected to be the PPMA Show’s largest event in recent years, with exhibitor floor space already up by more than 15% compared to preparations for the 2014 show, this time last year. Last year Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking pledged to commit new lending facilities to the manufacturing sector by £1bn per annum every year until 2017. In addition to this, the banking group has also backed the Manufacturing Technology Centre’s new Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre in Coventry, which is due to open in September. It’s £1 million per annum commitment to the centre over the next five years will support around 1,000 new apprentices in high-value manufacturing roles and contribute towards addressing the sector’s skills gap in the UK. Speaking about returning as sponsors of the PPMA Show, David Atkinson, Head of Manufacturing for Lloyds Bank SME Commercial Banking, said: “One of the common challenges

16 - Automation Update June 2015

for the manufacturing sector is the perception, and availability, of finance. We know that the manufacturing industry has a unique set of banking needs. Whether it’s assisting with cash flow, financing growth to help firms enter new supply chains, improving efficiency, automating processes or helping to penetrate new markets, we have trained our dedicated managers through a Warwick University Accredited course at the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) to support manufacturing businesses. “With the sheer volume of PPMA members serving the industry, we knew that this would be the event to profile our support for the sector and raise awareness for the finance and support available to the UK’s manufacturing industries.” The Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking Manufacturing team is made up of 13 dedicated sector teams, who have the autonomy to make local lending decisions up to £1m – on a case-bycase basis.

Grant Collier, head of marketing for the PPMA Group, said: “We’re delighted to announce that Lloyds Bank will be returning as our headline sponsor at this year’s PPMA exhibition and PPMA Group Industry awards. The event offers a great opportunity for manufacturers looking for opportunities for financial support. We can’t wait to return to the NEC and introduce our members and nonmembers to the opportunities to work with the Lloyds Bank team.” To register your attendance at the show please visit: EUJune . For more information on the PPMA Show 2015, please visit or join the conversation on twitter (@PPMAshow #PPMA15) or the PPMA Show LinkedIn group.

Video of the Week direct drive robotic arms aLoigus® takes robotics automation to a new level with the introduction of its next generation robolink D; a direct drive joint kit that is available in three different sizes and can be combined to form customised and configurable 1- to 4-axis articulated robotic arms. Robolink D is intended for robot manufacturers, mechanical engineers and automation specialists, working in a variety of industries ranging from automotive production to medical technology.

Each low-cost joint kit comprises a PRT polymer slewing ring bearing, which is self-lubricating and therefore maintenance free, and worm gear, which is housed in plastic for added protection while ensuring weight is kept to a minimum. For direct drive of the joint, a NEMA motor with the appropriate cables can be integrated in the axis and equipped with an encoder to send angle signals back to the controller. A variety of different grippers is available optionally. Both the individual components and the preassembled system with construction diagrams are readily available. A fully-assembled robolink D system is available on request. To watch a demonstration of robolink D during the recent Hannover Messe, please follow: http://www. Visit igus® (stand B3) during The ABTT Theatre Show, Alexandra Palace, London, on 24th – 25th June. For more information on igus® products and to request free product samples, please contact igus on 01604 677240. For regular updates, follow us on, watch our videos at www., connect with us at www.igus. or visit our blog on

Automation Update - 17 June 2015

ABB’s new MotiFlex e180 three-phase servo drives with universal Ethernet capability available from Heason Technology Slinfold, UK – April 2015: ABB’s new MotiFlex e180 series high-power servo drives are available in the UK from Heason Technology. Combining flexible Ethernet capability, multiple feedback support and integrated STO safety, the versatile range includes nine new drives for linear and rotary servos or induction motors offering continuous power output to 90A and peak output to 120A. The e180 is easily adapted as part of a centralised control system or, with its built in advanced MINT motion programing capability, as a single axis intelligent stand-alone controller. With such application flexibility the e180 offers OEMs and machine builders a compelling high performance servo drive solution that will benefit applications for continuous and heavy-duty motion control and machinery drive tasks in demanding industries such as metal cutting/forming, textiles, plastics and packaging. The cabinet mounted MotiFlex e180 builds upon the success and upgrades the full range capability of ABB’s e100 and e150 series drives and motion controls. Four frame sizes cover nine drive-stage power ratings up to 120 A peak – each offering four individually selectable continuous/peak output level and time combinations that maximises available torque for dynamic acceleration. With up to 300 percent of rms current available for peak overload, this feature ensures increased productivity by means of faster cycle times as well as optimising drive performance for extended lifecycle and maximum reliability applications.. Allowing straightforward adaptation to a wide range of automation system architectures, the e180’s universal Ethernet communications capability extends to configurable EtherCAT and POWERLINK for real-time connectivity in addition to Modbus TCP, Ethernet/IP, or RAW Ethernet based systems. Drive feedback options are equally adaptable with dualencoder support covering several different serial encoders (EnDat, SSI, BISS, SmartAbs and Hiperface) as well as full support for resolvers and incremental encoders. A single power and feedback cable solution is available for Hiperface DSL encoders offering reduced cabling costs and commissioning times. With integrated dual channel support for Safe Torque Off (STO), the e180 meets the SIL2 PLe European machinery directive which eliminates the need to remove AC power from the machine under critical safety conditions for most applications, maximising machine uptime. On board IO includes six digital inputs, four digital outputs, two analogue inputs and one analogue output which may be configured in software for overtravel limits, pushbuttons or other machine functions. Also included are two high speed 1-microsecond fast inputs to capture position for advanced synchronisation in applications such as flying shear and product registration. The MotiFlex e180’s extensive integrated functionality and softwareselectable Ethernet communications capability allows these high performance servo drives to be employed in many different control system architectures with PLC or PAC controllers as well as ABB’s own NextMove e100 controllers. The built-in intelligence can provide local functionality and motion profiling that reduces the burden on the central controller. Alternately the e180 can be used as a stand-alone single axis motion controller utilising ABB’s MINT motion programming language to perform complex motion control tasks. Heason Technology represents a select number of leading global manufacturing partners, providing a comprehensive range of first-class motion control components that are combined with a full in-house designand-build service for complete motion system solutions. 18 - Automation Update June 2015


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Automation Update - June 2015  

Automation Update - June 2015