Page 1

champions of profile assemblies fast. versatile. simple.

free samples, design advice & design tools » machine guards » workstations » conveyors » customised enclosures » sports shelters

T: 01256 365 605 E:

see our solutions at:

AUTOMATION UPDATE Editorial Assistant Ellen Tyler 01843 448 443 Publishing Director Tony Little 01843 448 443 Publication Manager Tim Johnston 01843 448 443 Advertising Exec Jamie Simmons 01843 448 443

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. 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.

Publishing House Jet Digital Media Ltd Court Farm Manston Kent CT12 5AN




ACOUSTIC ANALYSIS: This model simulates the acoustics inside a sedan and includes sound sources at the typical loudspeaker locations.

Multiphysics tools let you build simulations that accurately replicate the important characteristics of your designs. The key is the ability to include all physical effects that exist in the real world. To learn more about COMSOL Multiphysics, visit

Contact: +44 (0) 1223 451580

© Copyright 2013–2014 COMSOL

Editors Choice

ABB drive saves £2,000 a year energy costs for plastic moulder A plastic components manufacturer is saving nearly £2,000 a year in energy costs on one of its injection moulding (VSD).

The process – which has a 50 percent load and a 50 percent and on and off load values. . Speed control on this application is not controlled via internal load measurements to decide when the pump is

energy appraisal showed that the company could save a very compelling reason for installing drives.” from 7 kW to 3.7 kW, giving an annual saving of £1,963 a year. caps and closures and a wide variety of components for use in the pharmaceutical, retail, construction, automotive, aerospace, electrical and other industries.

for 40 weeks a year making a perfume display case and requires a long cooling time. During this time, the hydraulic

“...requires a long cooling time. During this time, the hydraulic motor is not doing any work but is still running at top speed, so this was an obvious choice for an energy saving project.” from the project. We have a compressor with a VSD and our new machines come equipped with servo drives so we

to improve performance while lowering environmental VSD control.”

4 - Automation Update September 2014

Editors Choice

Safety first when working with robots Ensuring worker safety should be the prime consideration in all robot applications, especially when humans and robots may need to share the same workspace. “Robot safety is an issue that transcends the requirements applications,” says Darren Whittall, technical manager at FANUC UK. “In addition to regulatory requirements, there is also a moral obligation to ensure that the workforce is properly protected. If overlooked, robot-related

package of software-based safety options integrated into FANUC’s R30iA and R30iB robot controllers, ensuring safe monitoring of robot position and speed. It allows safety zones to be quickly and easily designed, and removes the need for hardware such as limit switches and zone switches. FANUC’s safety technology is well-proven, being based on a design that has been employed for many years in its CNC products. The

and reputational implications too,” he warns.

BS EN ISO 13849-1.

Unlike more predictable automated operations, robots can produce powerful and rapid movements through a large operational space, and the path of a robot and/or its arm

of a software-based safety solution when compared to hardware-based solutions: “Having less hardware means that safety can be integrated more cost-effectively. Traditionally, it has been necessary to bolt a number of sensors onto a robot to determine where the robot and its arm are positioned within the cell at any time. This can cost several thousand pounds, depending on the application and the number of sensors needed. With a software-based solution these sensors are not required, reducing hardware costs, not to mention the physical time it takes to install the sensors.” Darren estimates that it is possible to achieve a 50% cost reduction for a small single robot system with multiple safety devices, just in terms of the hardware savings versus a software-based safety solution.

predict. Most robot-related accidents occur during non-routine operating conditions. For example, when an operator temporarily enters the robot’s working envelope to complete programming, maintenance, testing, setup, or adjustment tasks. Until recently, the only acceptable way to make a robot safe was to banish humans from the robot working area using physical guarding solutions. However, the development of software-enabled safety technology has changed this. Software-enabled safety is now becoming accepted practice. Dual Check Safety (DCS) Position & Speed Check software, for example, is a

DCS Position Check features ensure that the robot stays inside designated

safe areas, and the robot can be locked out of areas where it might cause a hazard. Position Check can identify multiple areas of the robot, including any attached end effectors. The safe zones can be modelled within the software using geometric shapes of up to eight vertical lines each. These areas can be adapted – enabled and disabled to change the areas that the robot is not allowed to enter – depending on the task it is undertaking and the The use of these adaptive zones allows for a more compact cell layout and allows humans and robots to safely share a common space in a controlled way. The DCS Speed Check functionality maximum robot speed. Speed can also event, in addition to ensuring that the robot holds a position when necessary. a cell which must not move while the operator is undertaking a loading procedure,” Darren explains. Another DCS option is the PL e the robot controller to manage the enabling/disabling of position and speed functions of other equipment in the designated area due to an external event – such as an operator stepping into a set zone. It supports the main Safety, EtherNet/IP Safety and PROFInet Safety. FANUC’s DCS offering also includes the optional Safety PMC (programmable machine control). An addition to the standard PMC, it allows the robot to control the entire cell, including the safety functionality, negating the need for additional dedicated safety hardware, such as a safety PLC. There are many features available within FANUC’s DCS Position & Speed Check to ensure worker safety in robot applications. In addition to achieving this in the most cost-effective way, it also has the potential to enhance productivity by allowing humans and robots to inhabit the same space in a controlled and safe manner.

Automation Update - 5 September 2014 5 - Automation Update


Automation with AUTOMATION equipment EQUIPMENT WITH PLENTYof OFget GET UP plenty upAND andGO go

When it comes to handling, moving and lifting bulky products, automation technology today can certainly pack some punch. Previously deemed too weighty, fragile and cumbersome to move between production lines, let alone sites, packing machinery is now designed with portability in mind giving manufacturers more versatility than ever before. Offering huge advantages over stationary systems, Pacepacker Services has seen a dramatic rise in the demand for bespoke and transportable bagging, pick and place and palletising solutions over the last 18 months. Contrary to popular belief, automation

Many of these developments are now possible due to a rise in and pick and place robotic options and choice of dozens of different end-effectors, making it much simpler to engineer a bespoke solution to improve product quality, reduce waste and boost throughput.

“The entire line was built into two interconnecting containers measuring 40 x 8 x 8ft”

county enables customers, who may have previously ruled production in their plants, often with a 12 to 18 month ROI.

the strongest, fastest and the most compact palletiser in its class. Ideal for restricted areas where headspace is at a premium, the making it lighter and more portable. Featuring a 185kg payload for palletising bags of sugar or shifting slabs of concrete, making it especially popular with agricultural, food, bulk solids and aggregate manufacturers. Of course, the ability to withstand harsh environments is equally important. Earsham Gravel tasked Pacepacker with creating a portable yet heavy-duty turnkey line, incorporating weighing, bagging and robot palletising technology that could be moved between quarries.

of potatoes each year, Pacepacker created a ‘plug-and-play’ moveable frame that is now easily transportable via a fork lift on manufacturers which have numerous packing operations across multiple or single sites. if you are packing numerous products of varying consistency. Space limitations can also be a barrier that hinders a move to the number of systems, they minimised the automation outlay by creating a single bespoke system that toggles between two account a limited footprint, we mounted a C21 Multi-Pile Sack able to use two separate weighing systems to keep the different product consistencies apart - completely eliminating the risk of moved, product recipes could be called up instantly and downtime eliminated and no matter which position the bagging system was

6 6 -- Automation Automation Update Update September 2014

to withstand the abrasive and wet quarry environment. Virtually location.

On 17th June, Pacepacker will demonstrate the latest pick and place robots at a free educational event. To book a place, contact: 01371 811544


BOS 5K global with new laser variants Photoelectric global sensors from the BOS 5K series by Balluff

Automation Update - 7 September 2014

Editors Choice

All-in-one laser displacement sensor

high performance for a low price

To meet the continuously rising demand for quality assurance, integrated measurement technology has become indispensable for industrial manufacturing. Laser measurement technology has due to its non-contact, fast and maintenance-free measurement process. This article describes the development trend in laser measurement technology and using a revolutionary all-in-one laser displacement sensor from Panasonic. Integrated measurement and quality-control technology play an important role in modern industrial manufacturing processes. To optimize these processes and improve product quality, in-line quality control has become indispensable, e.g. measuring parameters such as distance, thickness, diameter and surface contours. The advancement in laser measurement technology over the past two decades has changed the evolution of industrial measurement technology. A main advantage of laser measurement technology lies in its precision, which could only previously be obtained by tactile measurement systems. The triangulation principle of measurement is the oldest and still most commonly used method for optical distance measurement in industrial sensor technology. The advancement of the semi-conductor lasers led to the development of laser analog sensors suitable for use in industry, using visible red lasers and 8 - Automation Update September 2014

emitting power of less than 1 mW within the scope of laser protection class 1 or 2. These protection classes require no special protective measures for general use and paved for the safe and widespread use of laser sensors. The complex signal processing of modern laser measurement systems can meet the precision and speed required by automation technology. With the introduction of the HGC1000 series laser displacement sensors, Panasonic has set new standards for optically measuring distance in an extremely compact design. The series is characterized by high precision measurement response times down to 1.5mS. The all-in-one concept differentiates it from conventional laser measurement systems in this performance class. function keys present on device itself together with a built-in 4-digit display that also indicates measured distance in mm.

Both a digital output signal and an analogue voltage output signal of 0 5V are available for integration into the process. Additional I/O functions are also included for triggering the device, laser output control, set-point teaching and zero-point settings. The three models available from the

HG-C1000 series offer measurement ranges of 305 mm, 5015 mm and 10035 mm, with a typical beam size of 50m for the 30mm-type. They all feature a visible red-light semi-conductor laser, of laser category class 2, housed in sturdy aluminum housing, offering IP67 degree protection and outstanding temperature drift of only 0.03% F.S./째C. Its light and compact design cable) make a HG-C1000 laser displacement sensor well suited for mounting on moving parts. Thanks to the state-of-art manufacturing technology, the HG-C1000 series of laser displacement sensors offer exceptional value for money and their excellent performance opens up many new avenues in industrial automation. Typically they can be used in applications such as dynamic measurement control of material thickness and or contours of various components. More demanding applications, e.g. measurement during manufacturing processes of vehicle tyre production (black rubber) or metal surfaces of various colors can be performed that are typically found in the automotive industry.

For more information Click Here


the low investment for automation rookies Since June 2013, Pacepacker Services has been working closely as a technology partner with Festo solution for a food automation application, Pacepacker purchased Festo components to incorporate Because they are constructed from standard off-the-shelf products, such as belt-drive/ball screw axes, servo-motors, drives and standard grippers, the cost of a Cartesian solution “Cartesian systems allow manufacturers to enter the automation sector with a lower initial investment in both equipment and training,” says Paul Wilkinson, Pacepacker’s business development manager. “The cost of any system will greatly depend on the footprint, payload and speed required. The big question is: ‘What is the best solution for each enquiry we work on?’ as we have the widest range of pick and place solutions in the UK, we are able to make sure each integration is based on the technology and components required. Other providers may have fewer alternatives to offer and specify a system that is overpriced, excessively large and capable of high speeds not required. The lowest cost Cartesian system could be as little as £1,500 but could be as high as £50,000 if the footprint is very large and the payload high.” The Cartesian designed by Pacepacker can be re-programmed for a diverse range of tasks and differing packaging sizes, improving of movement as standard and is a good typical solution for most pick and place operations where packaged items are placed into distribution packaging, like cardboard boxes, cases, retail trays and trolleys,” explains Paul.

technology. “Serial kinematic robots are often moving very high masses for very little payload - the actual moving part of the robot weighs many times what it is actually moving. Parallel kinematic systems such as the Festo H and T handler offer high mass capability, whilst reducing the actual weight of the moving robot. Imagine using a smart car to transport a single person 500 miles then compare the energy used with a coach transporting the same person the same distance.” For manufacturers looking to invest in automated solutions, concerns over ROI are eliminated. Productivity is increased as Cartesian systems do not take breaks or holidays and do not get sick, ensuring the machine is running to its optimum output. Thirdly, because the initial investment in equipment is kept to a minimum, the payback period on a Cartesian can be much lower than other forms of automation. Fourthly, the spares needed to keep a Cartesian system running are both cost effective and simple to obtain as they are standard parts used in many applications, so the cost of ownership is therefore reduced. Finally, the quality of the output from a Cartesian can be guaranteed, ensuring scrap and wastage is reduced, increasing the return even more.

Additional axis can easily be added to create more complex solutions; “One advantage of the modular system is that you can fully mix and match the technologies. “If complex motions are needed in X and Y and only up and down movement in Z, then you can opt for two axes of electrical motion and a single Z axis in pneumatic, reducing the cost and increasing simplicity. Motion control can be provided via complex motion co-ordinators, allowing full interpolated path control, right down to point to point pick & place for the simplest and most cost effective solutions.” Buy-in from operators and machine setters can be better with Cartesian systems than with robots, as they do not feel threatened by complex technology and tend to work closer with management to be early adopters of automation projects. “Cartesian systems to solve complex and time consuming tasks. They use simple products and technology to automate lines without the need for complex robots and the operators can clearly see the advantages,” comments Nigel Dawson, product marketing manager at Festo. The equipment used is based upon fully standard and well known technology, making spares availability easier and reducing the need for high skills and training within maintenance departments.

Paul Wilkinson concludes: “The Cartesian range of systems that we integrate from Festo is just part of the jigsaw when it comes to implementing an effective pick and place solution. It gives us the ability to enhance our product offering from low tech, low speed through to high speed delta robots so that each installation has the most suitable solution.” Pacepacker’s pick and place robot portfolio incorporates the widest range of Cartesian, articulated arm and delta-style robots on the market.

Automation Update - 9 September 2014

Make Measurement Matter 2014 CSI Metrology: It would be a crime to miss it

The GTMA will once again host its popular Make Measurement Matter road show. This year the event will be held in the DW Stadium and Fitness Lounge at Wigan

Registration is now open at A key focus of the event will be over 40 of the top UK inspection and metrology companies that will be exhibiting, along with extensive networking opportunities in a relaxed environment. Demonstrating the very latest technology, these metrology companies are active participants in creating successful engineering solutions for the current and future demands of all industry sectors. Visitors will also Now in its eighth successful year, MMM 2014 is a focal point for a technology transfer from the science of measurement into the most demanding manufacturing environments.: “With keynote speakers from industry-leading ‘blue chip’ manufacturing companies and an interesting transfer of measurement technology into the Police service, MMM 2014 will provide an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the very latest measurement and inspection technologies and services available. This knowledge could provide a vital competitive edge,” says association chief executive, Julia Moore. Keynote Speakers include John Rusted, Humberside Police, Forensic Collision Investigation, and his presentation is: ‘The adaptation and adoption of HDS technology for use Programme Leader at the NPL, Phil Cooper, will present: Chief Metrologist and Chief Metrologist for Aerospace Supply Chain at Rolls-Royce, is presenting: ‘Development of Measurement and Inspection within the global Aerospace Supply Chain through generation of industry minimum standards, collaborative working and audit programmes’. One of the longest serving senior collision investigators within the Police service, John Rusted is a former chairman in road collision investigation and reconstruction at Humberside Police since 1985. As a consequence he has dealt with and reconstructed a great number of fatal investigating and reconstructing murders and manslaughters of the wider adoption of HDS technology within the UK’s collision investigation community. 10 - Automation Update September 2014

Oxford Materials choose LG Motion for spray deposition research rig project for energy storage application







Scientific & Research Aerospace & Defence Medical & Pharmaceutical Energy & Nuclear Process & Packaging Other Applications

LG Motion Ltd has recently supplied a three-axis XYZ gantry positioning and motion control system to the University of Oxford’s Department of Materials (Oxford Materials) for a very interesting research project using innovative spray deposition of this approach over existing manufacturing routes. The work is part of research that looks to develop new processing technologies that offer the potential for cost-effective scaling to the near-industrial, and then full industrial use. For this particular application, LG Motion was asked to provide a cost-competitive mechanical positioning and motion control system that would enable a scanned area of 300 mm x 300mm in the horizontal plane with a vertical axis to position the spray head over 200 mm. The research project, ‘Spray processed electrodes in new materials for energy storage applications’ is led by Professor Patrick Grant and explores layer-bylayer spray forming of electrodes for use as electrochemical ‘supercapacitors’ for future energy storage devices for mobile phones, computers and other devices that are increasingly required to be lighter, smaller and provide longer life than current technologies. The gantry, mounted on a machine frame fashioned from side with its moving carriage coupled to linear bearing guide and carriage on the other side of the gantry. These carriages together support the Y-axis XSlide with the Z-axis vertical stage simply mounted via an angle bracket. Throughout the mechanical set-up, standard bracketry and modular mounting make assembly easy and adaptable. The stepper motors are travel limit and datum switches ensure safe operation under full control. The mechanical system also includes a cable management system which is easily supported within the design using the MiniTec machine frame. Adaptability was also a key factor for the motion control system

To arrange a visit and meet the team call:

+ 44 (0) 1256 365600 LG Motion Limited Unit 1A Telford Road, Houndmills Estate, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6YU United Kingdom T // + 44 (0) 1256 365600 E //

competitive stepper motor controls for the job. The PMX-4ETSA is an advanced 4-axis motion controller and stepper drive with 10Mbps Ethernet communication that provides advanced features only found on more expensive motion controls. The Arcus PMX series allows the easy and straightforward outputs to synchronise the spray deposition process. The PMX also has the ability to include encoder feedback with a novel they wish to increase the system repeatability in the future. LG Motion worked closely with Oxford Materials during all phases of the project and delivered the complete system, prewired and fully tested for use on the project. Automation Update - 11 September 2014

Offshore wind farm in Liverpool Bay to use ABB cable ABB high-voltage AC cable system will help integrate more wind power into local power grid


258 MW

of electricity, enough to supply 240,000 households

Burbo Banks UK

submarine cable

underground cable

25 km

32 km



The submarine cable is 25 km long, which is the equivalent to 500 lengths of the Olympic size swimming pool in the Liverpool Aquatics Centre.

The length of the underground cable is approximately the length

12 - Automation Update September 2014

The specialist for materials and component testing!

Zwick Science Award 2014 Have you published an interesting scientific paper related to materials testing? Zwick rewards the most innovative use of a materials testing machine for ground-breaking research with 8,000 â‚Ź! More information: Zwick Testing Machines Ltd. Southern Avenue Leominster Herefordshire HR6 OQH United Kingdom Phone: ++44 1568-61 5201 E-Mail:

Tesco Packaging Manager to discuss supply chain and overcoming barriers to collaboration at PPMA Show 2014 30 September – 2nd October 2014, NEC, Birmingham

Tesco Packaging Manager, Paul Earnshaw has been added to the extensive list of seminar presenters at this year’s PPMA Show, joining the likes of supermarket ombudsman Christine Tacon and former Cabinet Minister Michael Portillo. He will discuss the particularly pertinent topic of how the supermarket giant views its packaging supply chain and some of the barriers it has faced when trying to collaborate with manufacturers and processors, as well as how the company is approaching future packaging projects. designed packaging to improve sustainability and product shelf life. Paul will also discuss how Tesco is looking to increase engagement with the packaging industry. Grant Collier, head of marketing for the PPMA Group, said: “Paul’s presentation will provide additional insight and expertise to what we believe is an already stellar lineup of seminar presenters at this year’s exhibition, that interest.” “We can’t wait to return to the NEC and welcome our members and non-members to join us and discover the latest industry trends all under one roof.” Now in its 27th year, the PPMA show has been recognised as the only UK event that attracts hundreds of machinery manufacturers and component suppliers across a wide range of industries including food, drink, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, dairy, snacks, construction and electronics. Run over three days (30th Sept – 2nd Oct 2014) at the NEC, Birmingham, this year will see the event return to the sole ownership and management of the PPMA group of trade associations. For more information on the PPMA Show 2014, please visit or join the conversation on twitter (@PPMAshow #PPMA14) or the PPMA Show LinkedIn group. You can also like us on Facebook by visiting the PPMA Show page.

14 - Automation Update September 2014



DIARY THESE DATES! 30 Sept – 2 Oct 2014, NEC, Birmingham “The complete production line event”


16 - Automation Update September 2014

Training Want to ensure reliable and trouble-free PROFIBUS installation? Then make sure that your engineering team is fully

Who should attend the course?


Automation Update - 17 September 2014

Coherent StingRay SD Structured Light Pattern Generating Laser In today’s world of expanding 3D vision systems, the camera and laser are equal partners in the accuracy, stability and repeatability of the measurements made and used by these applications. The requirements on the laser for uniformity, power, pointing and electrical stability are far above typical illumination system requirements. Having a source which produces very high power density, very thin measurement cross sections with a uniform return that does not mask the success of these demanding applications. The technology and advancement of these lasers has stayed the same for many years now, not giving the user the ability to leverage this portion of the system beyond its current technology. The Coherent StingRay SD laser platform is a re-vision of this technology, taking technology and best practices from leading edge applications in Bio instrumenta¬tion and Laser Measurement and Control. The Coherent StingRay SD laser incor¬porates state of the art electronics, optics and mechanics to laser source that re-sets the standard in Machine Vision.

More information is available from our website: 18 - Automation Update September 2014

“Alrad Imaging is pleased to announce the latest structured light pattern generating laser from Coherent.”

Introducing the new AMD FirePro™ W9100

The new AMD FirePro™ W9100 professional graphics card is designed for the most demanding workflows and delivers the ultimate 4K experience in next-generation workstations. Professional graphics cards such as AMD FirePro are a good choice for design engineers as they are tested, optimised and certified to work with all leading CAD/CAM/CAE applications.

• 16GB memory • 5.24 TFLOPS single precision • 2.62 TFLOGs of double precision • OpenCL 2.0 ready • Six Mini DisplayPort 1.2 outputs

Elmtec is a UK distributor for AMD FirePro professional graphics, contact us today for more information and where to buy.

AMD FirePro™ W9100



Profile for Jet Digital Media Ltd

Automation Update - September 2014  

Automation Update - September 2014