Page 1



October 2016

Ultrasonics - Powerful & Flexible Technology Welding | Joining | Cutting | Sealing | Cleaning

AUTOMATION UPDATE Editorial Assistant Ellen Tayler 01843 580 460 Publishing Director Tony Little 01843 580 460 Sales Director Tim Johnston 01843 448 443 Advertising Exec Jamie Simmons 01843 580 460

Automation Update is an engaging, editorially led publication & directory giving the reader news and updates on new products and services to our ever Progressing industry.

Publishing House Jet Digital Media Ltd The Forge Spratling Court Office Spratling Court Farm Manston, Kent CT12 5AN


5 Ways Predictive Maintenance Cuts Down On Costly Downtime Manufacturers are being encouraged to utilise data capture to improve their approach to maintenance. The industrial sector is undergoing massive transformation like never before. Sundeep Sanghavi co-founder of DataRPM looks deeper than preventative maintenance into the realm of predictive maintenance. According to a World Economic Forum study, if the first Industrial Revolution was driven by steam, the second by electricity, and the third by digitization, we are now in the midst of a fourth: one driven by data. In this “Industrial Internet of Things” (IIoT) era, an explosion of IoT-connected devices has created a new level of big data possibilities for enterprises of all types. In the search for how and where manufacturers can best reap the rewards of the IIoT, look no further than maintenance protocols.

Prevent or predict? For much of the modern manufacturing world, the prevalent approach to IT maintenance can be best described as “preventive” — performing maintenance on a schedule, even if machines don’t actually require updating or repair. According to a 2015 study, 85% of companies utilise this strategy. This is a non-optimal approach because scheduling maintenance leads to unnecessary labor (and, therefore, unnecessary costs). Additionally, a potential problem that goes undetected between scheduled maintenance can pose huge risks to the financial health of the company and the physical health of its workers. Currently, manufacturers tend to devote their technology toward creating and enforcing maintenance schedules — but now’s the time to begin evolving toward a predictive methodology.

04 - Automation Update October 2016

The biggest perks of predictive maintenance Using technology to drive a predictive maintenance approach, manufacturers can stream data from sensors mounted on their machines to uncover key usage and performance patterns in real time. This allows them to identify potential malfunctions in the making and avoid the hefty costs of unexpected breakdowns. As a whole, predictive maintenance offers manufacturers a tremendous opportunity to boost operational efficiency. The process can be easily automated through machine learning and cognitive data science, meaning there’s no need to hire an army of data experts or assign additional human capital to the cause. Here are five specific benefits manufacturers will see from a predictive maintenance approach: 1. Reduced wrench time: Since the turn of the millennium, American factories have spent trillions of dollars a year performing maintenance. A predictive approach would render a great portion of these costs unnecessary or completely avoidable. For example, manpower would no longer be wasted on routine machine diagnostics, and companies could avoid huge outlays purchasing and installing new machines to replace those that broke down between inspections.Human intervention will be required only for a necessary repair, and because the issue is caught before it results in a complete mechanical breakdown, the wrench time will be much shorter. 2. Less downtime: “Downtime” is a word manufacturers despise. About 5% of the average factory’s production is lost to downtime every year, costing the global manufacturing community roughly $647bn annually. However, with a

predictive, data-driven maintenance approach, companies are much less likely to be blindsided by equipment failure and face lengthy, costly periods of inactivity. As an example, robotics company FANUC partnered with Cisco to create a “zero downtime” program that ended up saving one auto manufacturer $40 million.IoT sensors can detect if a machine is beginning to break down and automatically order a new part. Then, the company can schedule the necessary repair or installation during a low-volume or after-hours window, minimizing lost productivity. 3. Improved safety: Manufacturers undoubtedly take pride in creating safe environments for their workers, but one study found that up to 30% of all manufacturing deaths occur during maintenance activity. A predictive approach to maintenance does wonders toward increasing workplace safety by preventing dangerous scenarios. Companies can set safety parameters and receive immediate notification when a machine shows preliminary signs of reaching that threshold. 4. Better inventory management of parts: By predicting what will fail, one can manage what parts he needs to order or have in his maintenance inventory. 5. Better field personnel management: By predicting what will fail, manufacturers can better plan what kind of expertise would be required to perform maintenance. Furthermore, they can better plan schedules, too (rather than when ad hoc failures occur). The lowered costs, higher productivity, and improved product quality made possible by predictive maintenance all lead to the ultimate benefit of happier customers. And further, employing this strategy arms companies with cuttingedge technologies empowered by cognitive data science that produce high-level business insights — unlocking countless opportunities for improvement and innovation. Preventive maintenance can only carry you so far; join the next revolution by embracing predictive maintenance.

Want to learn more about the latest trends in industry and how Industry 4.0 is changing global manufacturing? Then don’t forget to register for the Smart Factory Expo taking place in Birmingham, UK on 2-3 November, 2016.

In partnership with

2-3 November 2016 | The NEC, Birmingham TMSMARTFACTORYEXPO.COM

The smart factory is no longer the ‘factory of the future’ – it is the factory of TODAY. TM Smart Factory Expo is the only showcase event to focus solely on the very latest advances in Industry 4.0 in the UK.


1-3 NOVEMBER 2016

Supported by:

Automation Friendly

Ultrasonic Welding from Telsonic Ultrasonic welding continues to grow in popularity against radiant heat and hot air methods as a fast, clean and energy efficient way to weld and join components. Although this has generally been the case across many industry segments, historically there have been certain instances where the capital cost of the technology has been viewed as expensive when compared to alternative joining methods. This has been largely due to the traditional autonomous

The fact that each IPA Unit is easy to integrate with a simple

external generator for each welding point. Using fewer

plug cable connection, provides a true, plug in, automation

ultrasonic head configuration which requires a separate

generators and “switching” across multiple heads is a way

of reducing cost but with the penalty of increased cycle time.

Another cost consideration for machine builders and end users alike, was the need for a separate area to locate the array of individually housed generators required for these multi point

welding applications. Two product offerings from Telsonic, the Integrated Power Actuator (IPA) and MAG Series generators

have been designed specifically for the machine building and automation markets and now provide a highly flexible and

cost effective solution to a wide range of multi-point welding applications.

back-plate or clevis mounting, push-in air and single D

friendly approach to machine building. Strip down and

future reconfiguration of these freestanding modules is also much easier for the machine owner. Telsonic IPA Units are

already installed in many applications, where they are used

to manufacture of a wide range of component types. In some

instances, as many as 44 units have been incorporated within space efficient machines

that produce a LH and RH

automotive door panel each cycle.

(Multiple IPA Units - Used to ( Top Telsonic’s IPA Unit and Bottom an example

manufacture automotive door

of the MAG Series Generators )


Compact and Efficient Multi-

Like the IPA unit, Telsonic’s

fall into two distinct categories.

designed to be compact,

point welding applications often Either, an array of closely

positioned welds on smaller

sizes of component or multiple weld points spread across a

larger component such as a vehicle interior door trim panel. In

these instances, Telsonic’s IPA unit and MAG Series generator give machine builders and end users greater freedom when considering machine design and

concepts, with the added benefit of a significant reduction in machine control cost. The compact and

self contained nature of Telsonic’s IPA unit, with its integral actuator,

miniature generator and converter,

opens up a host of new possibilities in machine design. No longer

required are the high frequency

connectors and cables, external generator, sequencer, separate

electrical cabinet and the extensive

wiring associated with the traditional ultrasonic configuration.

MAG generators are

automation friendly and

highly flexible in the way in which they can be applied. The

small size of the generator, design optimised for integration, allow easy installation within a machines main electrical

cabinet. The MAG generators need only Mains, I/O, and HF

connections via quick connector plugs supplied by Telsonic,

eliminating the need for separate enclosures for each generator. This makes for a more cost effective machine and with the

option to mount the generators horizontally or vertically, has the added benefit of savings on valuable floor space where often separately housed generators are placed outside the main

cabinet. Where the IPA unit is targeted at lower power single point welds only, the MAG is focused towards both low and

high power applications where larger or “Mother – Daughter”

sonotrode arrangements are required to cover large weld areas or produce multiple close proximity welds. The MAG Series generator is available in 20, 30 and 35 kHz frequencies and in power ranges from 1200w to 4.8kW. The MAG Series is

complemented with a range of actuators including AC1900, AC750, AC450 and AC350.

Telsonic UK Limited | 01202 697 340 | |

Ultrasonic Technology from Telsonic

A Clean, Controllable, Flexible and Measurable Process Ultrasonic technology from Telsonic delivers tangible benefits for customers in a wide range of industry sectors. The flexibility of the process, combined with the ease of integration within manufacturing and process lines, has seen ultrasonics become the process of choice for a growing number of manufacturers.

n Automotive:

Plastic welding | Cutting & Trimming Metal Welding

n Medical, Pharmaceutical & Occupational Health:

Joining & Welding | Cut’n’Seal | Cleaning

n Electrical & Electronics:

Wire Splicing | Metal Welding | Cleaning

n Food & Packaging:

Cutting & Portioning | Plastic Welding Sealing | Cleaning

Telsonic UK Ltd

12a-15 Birch Copse Technology Road Poole Dorset BH17 7FH Tel: +44 (0)1202 697340



Expanded Han® 3A connector family allows up to 25% increase in cable diameters HARTING has introduced a new range of housing components which allow the company’s Han® 3A size connectors to be produced with larger diameters, enabling them to be used with cables up to 25% wider. As a result, customers will be able to use contact inserts with higher rated current and bigger crosssections – such as the Han® Q series. The new housing components feature a narrow external geometry overall, terminating in the cable holding area. The housings are fully compatible with all the existing contact inserts in the series, and also meet the requirements of protection classes IP65/67. The new Han® 3A hood is available in a plastic version with a bigger M25 thread, allowing alternative types of mounting including direct mounting on control cabinets. For the metal versions of the housings, coupling hoods are also available in the M25 option alongside the existing sleeve housings. As with the plastic housings, this allows the use of flying connections in addition to alternative types of mounting – for retrofits, for example. Other versions, such as the EMV electrically conductive unit and the M type for stricter corrosion requirements, are also available. With the availability of metal or plastic HARTING M25 screwed cable glands, HARTING can now supply the complete range of screw fittings for all customer applications over the cable clamp range from 9 to 18 mm. Please click here to download a copy of the Han® 3 A hood thermoplastic. Please click here to download a copy of the Han® 3A cable to cable hood. 08 - Automation Update October 2016

HARTING Automotive Providing the complete solution for the automotive production line.


MICA Networked Computer

Industrial Ethernet Switches

Increased efficiency of the automotive production line, with the complete solution from a single source: Production line track and trace with RFID for increased efficiency Complete plant-wide Unmanged Ethernet communications On-metal RFID tags for body and chassis tracking Full range of industrial connectivity across the production line MICA Industrial Computer offers an open network with customisation for application requirements For more information phone +44 (0) 1604 827500 or e-mail

Exhibition for INDUSTRIAL VISION and FACTORY AUTOMATION The VISION UK event is fast approaching – so make sure you come along with your colleagues and friends; challenge yourself to explore something new! VISION UK is dedicated to vision in the factory, on the production line, in the science field and includes applications, components, instruments and systems as well as all things that utilise cameras. Ultimately this is a key event for vision and technology.

Benefits of attending if you’re an engineer VISION UK provides you with the opportunity to meet top suppliers that can help design your systems. They can introduce you to technologies that can automate parts of your production line to benefit your role and improve the accuracy of your work. Meeting like-minded individuals within the same sector can open your eyes to a wealth of possibilities. The VISION UK event will bring top supplier companies, educational seminars and presentations together all under one roof. Vision/imaging technology, machine vision and factory automation will all feature in this October VISION UK event Vision UK is a place to solve your business problems, come and learn how to utilise vision in your factory; amongst the exhibitors there will be someone to answer any vision, sensing, remote sensing or light based technology questions and explain what techniques will be suitable for your application. The UKIVA (UK Industrial Vision Association) underpins Vision UK with a strong technical and application orientated programme “Industrial Vision Works! – techniques and the application of imaging technologies”. Learn how to adopt industrial vision solutions for your process – increase reliability and product quality at this day-long meeting.

10 - Automation Update October 2016

Clearview Imaging demonstrating advanced colour processing and sorting, with a 3CMOS linescan camera and high brightness and high uniformity line light.

Keynote Speakers There will be two keynote presentations. •

Jason Gow, Centre for Electronic Imaging, The Open University. His talk is titled: The Challenges Associated with Imaging Technology in Space’. Dr Stuart Green, an industrial technical manager and amateur astronomer’s talk is titled: ‘Machine Vision Cameras for Solar Imaging’

The keynote presentations will explore the functionality of imaging in space technology from different perspectives and reflects the increased interest in the space program in the UK following Major Tim Peake’s launch to the International Space Station in December 2105. Visit the event websites and register to attend. Also register to receive e-newsletter updates and to find out more about the VISION UK event.

More details

FREE TO ATTEND Industrial | Machine Vision | Factory Automation 12TH & 13TH OCTOBER 2016 · RICOH ARENA · COVENTRY


Presenting their seminar programme:

“Industrial Vision Works! - techniques and the application of imaging technologies” For more details, visit the website

The Technology of Light

Industrial | Machine Vision | Factory Automation

Vison UK is an integrated event within Photonex. Subscribe to receive newsletters




New cable tag for Outdoor Environments Brady’s new polyester cable identification tag has been developed to keep cables identified in outdoor environments. The new tag offers up to 10 year outdoor legibility and durability and is available in 7 colours.

Extremely durable The new B-7598 polyester cable identification tag is Brady’s answer to a growing need for a durable tag material that remains clearly legible in outdoor conditions. The new cable tag material is able to resist UV, heat, cold, dirt, rain and a range of chemicals when printed with Brady’s halogen-free R-6000 ink ribbon. B-7598 also resists tears and scratches without the use of an overlaminate. It is available in a variety of sizes and shapes, and in 7 colours, of which the white tag features up to 10 years outdoor durability.

Applications The B-7598 polyester tag is a general identification tag for cables exposed to extreme conditions. Common applications for this new cable tag material are the identification of multi-conductor cables, cables in mobile phone towers, datacom or telecom cables in general or cable identification applications that must be ultra-durable and extremely resistant. Use Brady’s durable cable ties to attach the tag to cables of various diameters for the best results.

Print on-site Brady’s IP or BP PR+ printer are able to print the B-7598 tag on demand at your facility or at location to quickly identify cables in remote infrastructure. Simply insert the polyester tag material in the printer, match the tag material colour with a halogen free print ribbon, and design your tag with the printer label wizard or LabelMark™ 6 label creation software. Print, and attach with cable ties to keep cables identified for up to 10 years. Request product specifications or a sample via

12 - Automation Update October 2016

PUWER Inspections

More than just a checklist • Pilz conducts a Risk Evaluation against PUWER in accordance with EN 12100-1 • Pilz PUWER Inspection includes an extra electrical assessment of your machinery • Pilz’s tailormade software solution used to conduct PUWER Inspections efficiently • Pilz PUWER Inspectors have on average over 20 years experience in machinery safety & automation

More than just a report A PUWER Inspection from Pilz can offer you more than just a report containing your results, we can; • Present our findings to you and your team in person • Deliver your inspection data in an Excel format for you to analyse and distribute amongst departments and teams • Offer you a complete safety services package including CE Marking, Safety Concept and Safety Validation Pilz Automation Technology Corby NN18 8TJ

01536 460766

Download a sample report from

A Full Hygienic Offer from Dixon It’s not every year a company can celebrate 100 years of business, so Dixon are proud to be one of those few. Founded in 1916 Dixon has grown to become a world leading manufacturer of hose fittings and related accessories for all industries. Over the last 30 years Dixon has significantly extended its range of Valves, Fittings and Couplings for the Hygienic markets through product development and acquisition. Dixon offers a full range of stainless steel hygienic fittings and valves for use in the food, dairy, beverage, brewery, cosmetic, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Of particular note is Dixon’s range of high quality process valves which include ball, butterfly, diaphragm, seat, sample, and mix-proof valves which can be actuated to customer specifications and fitted with a range of stocked accessories that includes limit switches, solenoids and positioners. Here in the UK, Dixon offers, specialised support and bespoke engineered solutions from concept, to design, through to installation. Dixon’s onsite manufacturing and engineering department means that new designs, animations and 3D 14 - Automation Update October 2016

modelling can rapidly be produced to support customer’s requirements. As a result, Dixon Europe are pleased to be launching a new product, the Dixon Hygienic Breakaway Check Valve, which is proving to be ‘the right connection’, potentially saving companies thousands. At a recent trade show, an engineer from a well-known UK dairy company explained how a milk tanker had driven away from the loading bay before disconnecting the delivery hose costing thousands in replacement piping and install cost. Dixon’s Hygienic Breakaway coupling is a solution to this problem. In such instance the coupling will break in two, separating the tanker from the loading bay. The 13kN break load bolts are the only items that will need replacing. The new Dixon Breakaway Check Valve is an innovative solution that is designed to eliminate product loss too. It incorporates the Breakaway

Coupling and a Hygienic Check Valve. It acts as a single unit that has a diverted breaking point which will break at a determined breakload. Then the check valve will close protecting the loading bay pipe system AND avoiding product spillage. Designed with hygienic processing in mind, you can be assured that the breakaway conforms to FDA standards and is CIP capable; but, without the intricate workings and associated cost of similar products on the market. Also available from Dixon’s inhouse production capabilities are full hygienic fabrications and custom made hose assemblies for the hygienic market. Our range includes but is not limited to San hygienic Rubber, Silicone, Metallic, PTFE lined, and general PVC suction and delivery hoses. This means that whatever hygienic special you require and whatever industry you serve to, Dixon can help.

"Hose, Valve and Connection Solutions". Through the use of Solidworks we can simulate and offer a wide range of Technical, Application and Engineering Services. Including: • Produce 2D drawings from supplied 3D models • Produce 3D models of complex assemblies to allow our customers to better visualise their end products • Generate 3D printed prototypes directly from CAD drawings • Render models, resulting in true-to-life representations

Dixon Group Europe Limited 350 Walton Summit Centre, Bamber Bridge, Preston PR5 8AS Telephone: +44 (0)1772 323529 Fax: +44 (0)1772 314664

We have the tools and capabilities that will enable Dixon Group Europe to help you realise your requirements.

For further information please contact us now on:

01772 323 529

“The Right Connection” For your hygienic process

Fittings, Tube & Adapters Manual & Actuated Valves Food & Beverage Hose Assemblies Bespoke Design and Fabrications

Tel: +44 (0)1772 323529 Email: for global service locations Automation Update - 15 October 2016

Avoid Product Recalls with Code Assurance and Packaging Verification from AutoCoding Systems : Booth E-10114 AutoCoding Systems Ltd, specialist in packaging line automation, will be demonstrating their world class code assurance and packaging verification solution at this year’s Pack Expo exhibition.

AutoCoding automatically sets up and controls coding and scanning equipment


isitors to our stand, E-10114, will be shown how to avoid the risk of product recalls due to mislabelling or incorrect coding. The AutoCoding system sets up and controls packaging line devices, including coding and labelling equipment, barcode scanners, checkweighing and metal detection equipment, irrespective of manufacturer.

Incorrectly coded, labelled or packaged goods can result in not only serious health risks, but severe financial losses, product and packaging waste, as well as the less tangible damage it may cause to a company’s reputation. With an AutoCoding solution you can be sure your coding, labelling and packaging will always be correct. Data relating to your products, customers and packaging line devices are stored in a central database. At the start of a production run, all relevant information is securely deployed to the line devices with minimal human intervention. Packaging lines are automatically set up reliably and quickly, job changeover times are reduced and the risk of human error is negligible. Visitors will also be able to see the latest version of the Loma TRACS Reporting Tool which monitors the performance of Loma/Lock checkweighers and metal detectors. Information relating to contaminant detection rates, weight and overfill data can be accessed, enabling inefficiencies to be identified quickly and appropriate action to be taken.

16 - Automation Update October 2016


“The PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows brings together the best of the processing and packaging industries looking for solutions to industry-wide issues,” says Jim Pittas, senior vice president, PMMI. “The associations in the Partner Program are a strong resource for these attendees and exhibitors, and have been a valuable asset to the PACK EXPO shows.”

Associations Welcomed to PACK EXPO International and Pharma EXPO 2016

There are currently 27 associations that will partner with PACK EXPO International 2016, four Pharma EXPO partner associations, and 11 International Pavilion Organizers.

Partner Program The Partner Program returns to PACK EXPO International

“The Partner Program provides a nice reciprocal marketing benefit for both IoPP and PMMI, whereby more people in the packaging industry can learn about IoPP’s excellent educational programs and IoPP members can stay on top of all the need-to-knows about PACK EXPO,” says Jim George, IoPP’s director of education. “The program is a win-win year in and year out, a huge mutual benefit that enables IoPP and PMMI to continue our robust partnership.”

and Pharma EXPO 2016 (Nov. 6–9; McCormick Place, Chicago) welcoming 31 associations and 11 international pavilion organizers committed to better serving their members and supporting the processing and packaging industries, reports PACK EXPO producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.

The organizations involved in the 2016 Partner Program include:

PACK EXPO Partners: • ABEIF — Brazilian Flexible Packaging Association • AIMCAL — Association of Internation Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators • ABRE — Brazilian Packaging Association • AMEC — ENVASGRAF • Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) • Japan Packaging Machinery Manufacturers • Contract Packaging Association (CPA) • Michigan State University Packaging Alumni Association (MSUPAA) • Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) • OMAC (The Organization for Machine Automation and Control) • Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) • OPC Foundation • Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA)

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

PAC, Packaging Consortium Independent Bakers Association (IBA) PLCopen In-Mold Decorating Association (IMDA) SNAC International Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association Instituto Argentino del Envase (IAE) Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC)/Green Blue International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) United Fresh Produce Association International Molded Fiber Association (IMFA) World Packaging Organisation (WPO) ISTA

PACK EXPO International and Pharma EXPO 2016 have over 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space, and are expected to attract 50,000 packaging and processing professionals and 2,300-plus exhibitors. Register for PACK EXPO and Pharma EXPO at

Pharma EXPO Partners: • Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council (HCPC) • Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) • PIP — Process Industry Practices • Virginia Bio

International Pavillion Organizers: • Adepta • Agencia Argentina de Inversiones y Cornercio Internacional • Asia Media Company Limited • NürnbergMesse • China Council for the Promotion of Int’l. Trade (CCPIT) • Switzerland Global Enterprise • China Food and Packaging Machinery Association • UCIMA — Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Association • INP — Brazilian Plastic Insitute / Think Plastic Brazil • VDMA — German Packaging Machinery Manufacturers • Italian Trade Commission

Automation Update - 17 October 2016

AC/DC Drives From Control Techniques Give Crane Overhaul Specialist A Lift A US-based specialist in the supply of complete electrical packages for oil rig cranes is using Control Techniques AC and DC drives as part of a landmark $500,000+ order involving the upgrade of 10 LeTourneau cranes. Three cranes have already been completed with no reported down-time in the first 18 months of operation, whereas prior to the upgrade, maintenance would be required on a weekly or even daily basis in some instances. The financial benefits for the oil rig operator are proving substantial. Headquartered in League City, Texas, JC’s Marine Oilfield Services was established in 1992. The company’s Power & Distribution Division specialises in a variety of motor control solutions that are customised to match the needs of oil rig cranes, as well as drilling barges, supply vessels and land rigs. When a Texas/Louisiana-based customer was seeking an electrical contractor to help upgrade the drive systems on 10 LeTourneau oilfield cranes, JC’s Marine Power & Distribution was in prime position to secure the order thanks to its technical support and AC/DC capabilities. As a long-standing advocate and user of drive technologies from Control Techniques, the company proposed the use of a Unidrive SP AC variable speed drive for the boom, and two Control Techniques Mentor MP series DC regenerative drives for the swing and hoist. “The technical advice offered by Control Techniques is one their best selling points,” stated John Costanza, President at ? JC’s Marine Oilfield Services. “Their technicians always address problems quickly and comprehensively, which means a lot to a business such as ours, and is certainly better than we have experienced elsewhere. We exclusively use Control Techniques drives on our projects, ranging from 75 to 750kW, both AC and DC.” Around 1600 LeTourneau cranes are currently in service on oil and gas rigs around the world. Although they were originally fitted with large motorgenerator sets, these do not offer variable speed, meaning there is total reliance on the skill of the boom operator to lower heavy loads. “By changing to a Control Techniques variable speed drive for the boom we can ensure complete control over the speed and rate at which the boom moves, so that loads up to 50 tons are ‘feathered’ rather than ‘banged’ to the ground,” said Mr Costanza.

18 - Automation Update October 2016

The boom motor drive system comprises an SP5402 Unidrive variable speed AC drive rated at 210 Amps continuous, while the hook motor drive system features a Mentor MP420A4R DC drive rated at 420 Amps continuous. A Mentor MP210A4R, rated at 210 Amps continuous, is fitted to the swing motor drive system. All of the drives are purposely sized for twice the normal power required, which means the system never runs at its maximum capacity. “I’ve been operating with the new system for 12 months and have not had one issue,” said Justin Hillard, LeTourneau crane operator on Atlantic 7 rig. “The controls are user friendly, very smooth and have a wide variable speed in hook, swing and boom. In my opinion the boom is the biggest operating improvement. With its variable speed you can ease into boom and keep the load stable and personnel safe on deck.” Jason also praised the increased safety afforded as a result of the new system: “The crane is also much quieter without the motor-generator sets running; you can hear what the crane is doing and what’s going on around you. I’ve also noticed that if you’re in a position where you cannot see the hook, you can actually hear the hook motor running and know how fast the hook is travelling. I highly recommend this system, it’s safer, smoother, quieter and virtually maintenance-free.” David Powers, fellow LeTourneau crane operator on Atlantic 7 rig, also likes the new control system, which carries a Certificate of Design Conformance from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS): “The new system gives the crane a better parameter of operation and is more responsive. Most importantly, these changes have made a much safer work environment.”

“Braking is automated, which promotes safety and takes responsibility away from the operator,” added Mr Costanza. “Also, there is better reliability as the load is not being ‘snatched’.” Further benefits delivered to the end user as a result of AC and DC drive technologies from Control Techniques include conformal coating on the PCBs, which helps impart protection in marine environments, while the large working temperature range is also advantageous. The project to complete the upgrade of the 10 LeTourneau cranes will continue through to the end of 2017. For more information, visit

Profile Technology

Conveyor Technology

Linear Motion

Factory Equipment

Flexible modular solutions from mk! Compatible standard modules from mk simplify your production and maximise efficiency. Technology from mk provides the ideal solution for plant and special machinery engineering.

mk Profile Systems Limited a company of the mk Technology Group

Unit 2·Wolds Farm Business Park Kinoulton Lane·Kinoulton·Nottinghamshire, NG12 3EQ Phone +44 (0)1949 823751·Fax +44 (0)1949 81270·


"For a first-time user, I had a great experience. I look forward to incorporating Unitronics on future jobs." Jeremy Charles Keene, Controls Manager at General Broach Company

In the picture – Packaging Machine controlled by Unitronics V1210™ and SAMBA 4.3™. Bimetec BV, Netherlands.


Vision1210™ Advanced PLC with an integrated HMI USB programming port

Unitronics is a pioneer in the manufacture and design of PLCs with integrated HMI and on-board I/Os - rugged PLC product lines that meet a diverse range of requirements. You program your entire application in a single, intuitive software environment, and benefit from premier technical support, both provided at no extra cost.

SD card


Supports up to 1000 I/Os

SNAP I/O Module (optional ) Digital, analog and temperature

RS232/RS485 Ethernet

Options for high-speed, temperature and weight measurement Variety of communication options Software & Support included at no extra cost!

I/O Expansion port

Epsom 2 Keys Business Village. Keys Park Road, Hednesford, Staffordshire, WS12 2HA Tel: +44(0) 1543 271899

Profile for Jet Digital Media Ltd

Automation Update - October 2016  

Automation Update - October 2016