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February 2018


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February 2018

CONTENTS Editorial Assistant Jenna Burridge 01843 448 443

Publishing Director

Jodie Little 01843 448 443 jodie@jetdigitalmedia.co.uk

February 2018 Sponsored by


February 2018

Publication Manager

Tim Johnston 01843 448 443 tim@engineering-update.co.uk

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

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Editor’s Choice 24 Events Preview 2018

IO-LINK FOR INDUSTRY 4.0 APPLICATIONS Also featured this issue:


02/03/2017 13:24

Editor’s Choice

February 2018

Advanced Handling Moves to New Factory to Meet Growing Demand

Advanced Handling, a specialist manufacturer of bespoke manual handling solutions, has been operating from Market Deeping in Lincolnshire since first opening its doors in 1977. Its continued growth and its acquisition by the Sunnex Group in 2012, has led to a new beginning for the company on a much larger site in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. The UK manufacturer, a member of the Made in Britain campaign, specialises in the design and manufacture of bespoke manual handling equipment. This focus on the creation of unique innovative handling solutions, purpose-built to match customers’ exact requirements, will be able to develop and flourish in the state of the art manufacturing facilities at the new site. Advanced Handling’s new address is: Newcombe Way Orton Southgate Peterborough PE2 6SE The expansion will facilitate the increased UK production of a wider range of its complete portfolio of lifting and handling equipment. With a doubling of factory floor space and new, cutting edge manufacturing equipment, the company is looking forward to providing a faster, more streamlined service to its customers with reduced lead times.


Mike Prince, Managing Director, commented: ‘For 40 years we have been improving the workplace safety and operational efficiency in a diverse variety of UK industries. Now, with our new location and the increased UK manufacture of our products, we will be able to offer increased job opportunities. The main advantage to customers will be much faster lead times from order to delivery. We have plans in place to continue our growth.’ The new headquarters feature a large showroom area which will be open for customers to visit and get an ‘’Advanced Handling Experience’’. The showroom will provide the opportunity for customers to get “hands-on” with the full range of innovative products the company supplies, from its intuitive scissor lifts and stackers to lightweight lifting trolleys and impressive overhead lifting solutions. The company is actively encouraging customers to visit the new site to experience first-hand the superior quality and innovative

bespoke design for which Advanced Handling is renowned. ‘We want everyone to recognise that our speciality is in supplying modified and completely bespoke manual handling and lifting equipment. We take the time to create the perfect solution to fit the requirements of individual customers. Lifting equipment is rarely one size fits all.’ Mike added. The new site will formally open its doors in Spring and to further celebrate Advanced Handling’s 40th anniversary, there will be an official opening taking place on a date to be confirmed. This will include a tour of the new facility and other exciting activities. To register your interest please contact the office on 01778 345365 or visit the Advanced Handling stand at the MACH 2018 Exhibition in April at the NEC.

Editor’s Choice

February 2018

The revolutionary laser cutting technology making waves in the UK Having worked in the engineering industry for more than 20 years, Bradley McBain, managing director at metal fabrication equipment supplier, MBA Engineering, knows his stuff when it comes to laser cutting technology.


fter setting up the company in 2009, Bradley and his team of engineers initially specialised in servicing, refurbishing and selling second-hand Bystronic laser cutting systems. But underneath all this was a dedication to bring the latest, state-of-the-art laser cutting technology to the UK market. To say Bradley is passionate about technology is an understatement – he is constantly researching innovative developments within the industry to see if he can make new technologies available for MBA Engineering customers. When the opportunity arose to visit the Kimla factory Bradley seized it. It became very clear after seeing the machine in action that it stood out a mile. MBA Engineering had never seen anything like the Kimla fibre laser. Not only was Bradley impressed by the capabilities of the machines, but also how they were developed and manufactured. Kimla prides itself on providing cuttingedge fibre laser cutting machines that not only exceed client expectations in terms of performance, but also from a customer care perspective - an ethos echoed by MBA Engineering. MBA Engineering is passionate about positioning its customers at the heart of the business and strives to enable companies to perform to the best of their ability. Likewise, Kimla positions the customer at the heart of its business – it goes above and beyond to not only service a client’s needs, but surpass their requirements.


This shared dedication to enabling customers to operate at the top of their game led to MBA Engineering becoming the exclusive UK distributor of Kimla fibre lasers in the UK. “When it comes to the European market, Kimla has a renowned reputation for supplying state-of-theart waterjet, milling machines and fibre laser technology”, says Mr McBain. “This experience in designing and producing cutting-edge metal fabrication solutions means that Kimla’s fibre laser technology is not only more advanced that many of the competitor machines, but also much more cost-effective and efficient – it was a no brainer for us to bring the technology to the UK market.” Bradley is right when he says that Kimla is a viable contender to give more established laser cutting providers in the UK a run for their money – Kimla machines can provide substantial advantages in terms of performance, efficiency and cost when compared to other laser systems. The equipment’s innovative design makes it significantly smaller than other laser cutting machinery – meaning Kimla machines take up much less valuable floor space and are easier to install. The Kimla equipment can also cut to a 0.03mm accuracy, making them much more precise than competitor models, while performing 50% quicker than their counterparts – offering unparalleled acceleration and reduced cutting times. In 85% of cases, Kimla machines can be repaired remotely, rapidly reducing both machinery down time and monetary losses.

One of Kimla’s key selling points is the unique control systems featured across the range of laser cutting equipment. Bradley comments: “The majority of competitor laser cutting systems only allow the user to control the speed and position of the laser head – Kimla’s control systems are much more sophisticated. They allow users to edit, correct, make geometrical changes, alter distribution and generate a laser path, all while continuing to work. “The lasers also use precision control technology to reduce inaccuracies, even at very high speeds. This allows them to reach some of the fastest cutting speeds on the market – up to five metres per second – a figure that competitor laser cutting systems struggle to rival.” More information about Kimla and its fibre laser cutting technology is available at www.mba-eng.co.uk.

Editor’s Choice

February 2018

Plan your CPD for 2018 The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) delivers over 100 process safety training courses, worldwide, each year. All our courses are peer reviewed and designed to help you improve safety performance and reduce risk.

All courses can be delivered in-house

Courses coming up include: Fundamentals of Process Safety

Understand the fundamentals of process safety and its management www.icheme.org/process-safety-uk

Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) Learn the methodology and detailed application of LOPA www.icheme.org/lopa-uk

HAZOP Leadership and Management Explore best practice in HAZOP leadership and management www.icheme.org/hazop-leadership-uk

View our full range of process safety training courses: www.icheme.org/safety-training For more information contact courses@icheme.org

HAZOP Study for Team Leaders and Team Members Maximise your effectiveness in HAZOP study teams www.icheme.org/hazop-team-uk

Comprehensive Explosion Science Understand the phenomenon of explosions www.icheme.org/explosion-science IChe

m E









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22/01/2018 14:47

SICK Launches Fully-Programmable Stainless Steel Hygienic Encoders For Harsh Environments SICK has launched stainless steel versions of its fully-programmable DFS60 incremental encoders and AFM60 and AFS60 absolute encoders making them available for duties in hygienic and corrosive environments for the first time. The SICK DFS60 Inox, the AFM60 Inox and the AFS60 Inox programmable encoders feature a rugged stainless steel housing, flange and shaft. They deliver highresolution, precision performance in aggressive environments such as chemical washdown, salt and high humidity atmospheres with an operating temperature range from -30°C to +85°C. The SICK DFS60 Inox is a highresolution, 16-bit incremental encoder, the AFS60 Inox absolute single turn encoder has a high resolution of 18 bits, while the AFM60 Inox absolute multi-turn encoder has an even higher resolution of 30 bits. With a compact housing for easy mounting in tight spaces, each encoder is available with a square or round flange and solid or blind hollow shaft to match the application specifications.


Explains Darren Pratt, SICK’s UK Product Manager for encoders. “Highresolution programmable encoders have revolutionised encoder use and now all the advantages of precision and customisation are available in Inox models where high resistance is needed in aggressive or corrosive environments. The SICK DFS60 Inox incremental encoders are suitable for highprecision measurement of rotating shaft speed, angle and position for a wide variety of tasks including electric motor feedback, automated pick and place or robotic arm control. The AFM60 Inox and AFS60 Inox provide highly-accurate absolute positioning, eliminating the need for time consuming and costly axis referencing following a power cycle. Variants of the AFM60 and

AFS60 with combined absolute and incremental feedback are also available which enable perfect speed and absolute position-control from the same device. For more information on the SICK DFS60 Inox, AFS60 Inox and AFM60 Inox family of encoders contact Andrea Hornby on 01727 831121 or email andrea.hornby@sick.co.uk.

Distributor of Mean Well Power Supplies

Din Rail Power Supplies

Ecopac Power LTD

sales@ecopacpower.co.uk l www.ecopacpower.co.uk Sales: 01844 20 44 20 l Technical: 01844 20 44 30

Editor’s Choice

February 2018

Keeping machines running Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) bridges power failures with the UPS module Emparro ACCUcontrol

Few things are as irritating (or as expensive) as unplanned downtimes in plants and machines. The Murrelektronik UPS module Emparro ACCUcontrol extends the high-performance Emparro power supply system and keeps machines running by switching smoothly to battery operation in the event of a mains power failure. The investment in a UPS system frequently pays for itself the first time downtime is avoided. External lead batteries with a capacity of up to 40 Ah are connected to the UPS module to ensure prolonged outages. Depending on the application, a 20 A or a 40 A version are available. The module can be installed without tools, and the 20 A version takes up an extremely small amount of space in the cabinet, with a width of only 65 millimeters. Predictive maintenance – be alerted before the failure Emparro ACCUcontrol continuously monitors the internal resistance of the connected batteries. When a limit is exceeded, the device sends a warning over a signaling contact. The battery replacement can then be planned for the next scheduled service. This predictive information prevents


unplanned downtimes and avoids the need to arrange for service visits at short notice. Maximum lifetime Batteries like low temperatures. They supply more power and last longer under such conditions. Emparro ACCUcontrol therefore offers temperature-guided battery charging. This feature adapts the end-of-charge voltage to the ambient temperature, helping ensure that the battery achieves its maximum service life, even at higher ambient temperatures. Simple connection to IPCs Emparro ACCUcontrol can be easily connected to an industrial PC via Mini-USB.

UPS module or buffer module?


“The UPS Emparro ACCUcontrol module is the right solution when it comes to bridging a prolonged power failure and avoiding failures and downtime in production. Externally connected lead batteries can supply backup power for an hour or more. On the other hand, the buffer module Emparro Cap operates using ultracapacitors, it requires no maintenance at any time and it is the right solution in cases when sufficient power has to be available for shutting down machines and PLCs in an organized manner.” Manuel Senk

The industrial PC can then be shut down in a controlled manner in the event of a power outage.

The mains voltage and the charging status of the battery can be monitored in real-time.

  Operating statuses documented in a log.

  The operating parameters are easy to configure.



Business Development Manager Murreletronik’s Emparro ACCUcontrol is now available for purchase in the online shop www.shop.murrelektronik.co.uk or for further information call the UK sales team on 0161 728 3133 or email sales@murrelektronik.co.uk. Or scan the QR code to go straight to the online shop for technical information or to order.

PTS Ltd have over 18 years experience managing a growing number of customer production lines on-site to ensure ‘just-intime’ delivery. We offer many variations of Direct Line Feed management to suit individual needs. Plating We have the facilities to plate standard and special screws in most materials.

The most popular of these is our ‘Touch-Dry’ ChemiBlack process, currently used by an increasing number of customers in high-tech industries. Also known as ‘Black Oxide’, the finish is so thin it does not affect any dimensional tolerances. Other finishes offered include Gold, Nickel, Silver and Zinc (Rohs Compliant).

Patchlocking Ideal for vibration resistance and added torque performance. We offer a number of options to suit your requirements. Screw Modifications We provide a modification service for our customers from 1.6mm diameter fasteners upwards to customer drawings and specifications. This can be a cheaper and faster option than manufacturing, especially where smaller quantities are concerned.

Telephone: +44(0)1342 410758

Fax: +44(0)1342 311464

eMail: sales@pts-uk.com


Editor’s Choice

February 2018

GreenBrook has relaunched its market leading brand of Powerbreaker RCDs by increasing the range to offer the most comprehensive selection of RCD safety products on the market. An informative new brochure detailing the range of 10mA, 30mA, Active & Passive products entitled “A Guide to Electrical Safety” is available now, please see www.powerbreaker.co.uk


– the electrical safety expert


owerBreaker were the first to create the RCD back in 1975 where they produced the very first RCD to be totally housed within a 13A plug. Residual Current Devices are electrical devices which when incorporated into an electrical installation, will provide the highest degree of protection against the risks of electrocution and fire caused by earth faults. The 17th Edition of Building Regulations recommends the use of RCD for sockets as well as for inside consumer units, but, despite this recommendation – there are still approximately 13 million homes in the UK that have no RCD protection at all. Approximately 10% of all fires are caused by electrical faults and many of these could be prevented by using RCDs. RCDs are available in different variants, namely Passive or Active, and can be used for different applications. Many people are unaware of the differences between these two products and do not understand where best to use what! For Passive RCDs a typical application would be a refrigerator or freezer that would return to their regular mode of operation as soon as the power supply resumes normal operation. Passive RCDs are also useful to use for sockets in hard to reach places where having to gain access to re-set an RCD would be tricky, however where protection is still required. An active RCD is better used for electrical equipment such as hedge trimmers or power tools where unexpected restarting of the equipment could present a danger to the user in a power cut situation. You will also see PowerBreaker offer both a 30mA RCD as standard plus a 10mA option. PowerBreaker 10mA RCDs are the latest products to hit the market and are the super sensitive products. These RCDs trip earlier as they are more sensitive to a fault current flowing, breaking the circuit before the trip occurs further upstream and takes out the nuisance to the consumer of the RCD tripping – often then cutting out other faultless items.


These RCDs have been deemed safer for use in areas with young children, such as nurseries and schools but also for use in places with more vulnerable people like hospitals or old people’s homes where a chance of electric shock could be fatal. All public access areas would be advised to use 10mA as all types of people can pass through these areas. So we see that the degree of risk depends not only on current and time but if the victim is a child or a person in poor health, the effects can be more serious so the need for RCD protection is even greater. Available in all good wholesalers www.powerbreaker.co.uk

February 2018

Editor’s Choice

pressure sensors KELLER (UK) Ltd. Little Keep Gate, Barrack Road, Dorchester, DT1 1AH UK and Ireland: T. 0845 643 2855 F. 0845 643 2866 E-Mail: sales@keller-pressure.co.uk Web: www.keller-pressure.co.uk www.keller-druck.com



AND EMBEDDED SIGNAL CONDITIONING – No external components – Ranges 0…1 bar thru to 0…200 bar – Accuracy, error band +/- 0,5%, 0…50 °C – Sizes Ø 11 m, 15 mm, 17 mm, 19 mm bar – Very low power consumption

PRECISION PRESSURE TRANSMITTER 33 X – Ranges 0…0,2 bar thru to 0…1000 bar, adjustable – Output signals: 4…20 mA, 0…10 V, RS485 Digital – Mathematical on-board error correction – Accuracy, error band 0,1 %FS, 10…40 °C – Optional enhanced precision to ± 0,01 %FS

Fluid Carrying

Flexibility Articulated Torsion Pipework In Hoses Rotating Cylinders

Swivel Joints Swivel joints allow pipework to rotate whilst carrying fluid under pressure 1/4” to 20” and beyond. Vacuum to over 6000psi. Stock and bespoke production. Unique bearing/seal design for longer life. ISO 9001 CE marked where applicable.

Rotaflow FV Limited | Rotec House Bingswood Trading Estate Whaley Bridge | High Peak | SK23 7LY


01663 735003





Editor’s Choice

February 2018

Zero Liquid Discharge – removing liquid waste for good Zero liquid discharge (ZLD) is a liquid waste stream treatment. It involves transforming liquid waste streams from industrial plants into clean water, which can be reused in the process, and the minimum amount of solid residues, which often include valuable by-products that can be sold or reused. It is believed that the tightening of environmental regulations in the United States in the 1970s led to the development of the first ZLD units, which used various combinations of evaporation and crystallisation. With increasingly high environmental standards being implemented by companies, coupled with sometimes onerous regulation, the technique is now becoming more and more popular around the world. It can also help businesses deal with challenges such as raw material costs and water scarcity. Custom-made solutions ZLD is suitable for a wide range of industries, including power production, chemical and fuel refining, mining, distillation, food production, and waste treatment, and a variety of equipment is available to treat different waste streams and processes. However, this diversity is also one of the drawbacks of ZLD, as every system must be designed on its own merits, considering factors such as the contamination or chemicals present in the water, flow rate, how pure the returned water needs to be, etc. This makes it impossible to design a ‘general purpose’ ZLD system, and makes the necessary custom-made solutions more expensive. The effective design of any ZLD system is dependent on the correct analysis of the water/waste stream. It is essential to have accurate estimates of composition, flow rates, chemistry, etc. Without this, any designed solution will fail to deliver the required results, if it works at all.


For example, calcium, ammonium and some heavy metal salts are difficult to crystallise by evaporation, and so other treatment techniques will need to be incorporated into the overall system design. Pre-treatment options Although every ZLD system will be different, many will comprise a pretreatment phase, an evaporation phase to remove most of the water, and a further concentration or crystallisation phase to produce the final solid residue. Pre-treatment often focuses on removing organic elements and any chemicals which could damage evaporation or other equipment later in the process. As ZLD has become more widely used, more and more techniques have been employed, with varying levels of success. Most common water treatments, such as pH adjustment, flocculation, membrane processing, degasification, oxidation, separation and even aerobic and anaerobic digestion, have all been used as pretreatments for ZLD systems. Read more.

February 2018




W: www.bsria.co.uk/instruments T: 0800 254 5566 (UK Free) +44 (0) 1344 459 314 (International)


C6 SMART • All in One The compact IPC with remote I/O-System for the centralised and distributed automation of Real-Time applications. • Modular & Compact DIN rail IPC with integrated UPS and flexible side by side mounted I/O. • High Integration On board control, visualisation and remote maintenance, completed by a variety of interfaces DVI , USB, Ethernet, EtherCAT , CANopen , RS Multi standard.

Automation with Drive


KEB (UK) Ltd. 5 Morris Close Park Farm Industrial Estate Wellingborough NN8 6XF Tel: 01933 402220 info@keb.co.uk

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23.06.2017 07:56:03

NVA Group http://www.nationalventilation.co.uk

“Business is superb and we are continuing to grow – part of the help with the growth is the Pastel Evolution software which has exceeded our expectations” “The after sales support have been comprehensive with site visits and direct contact with the consultants who ran the project” Robin Francis, Managing Director

Pastel Evolution is an ERP system that allows you to maintain relationships with your customers whilst managing your business. It provides a more structured solution of tracking and controlling your financial situation. Add modules on to your package to enhance the performance of your requirements such as cash manager, multi-currency and multi-warehousing. These offer complete integration with the accounting system aligning all accounting data.

Support is available – help and assistance is given by Pastel UK’s friendly and knowledgeable support team. The support team are contactable by telephone, email and online.

Established for over 30 years, the NVA Group (National Ventilation) is one of the leading manufacturing and suppliers of ventilation solutions. They are a national based company in Somerset, who have experienced a huge growth in business. Over the years they have built an enviable reputation for great service amongst their customers and their competition. Prior to migrating to Pastel Evolution the company faced a couple of challenges; 

Keeping track of volume orders within the business. With many orders coming in, there was no streamlined structure to align the purchase orders with their customers. Integration with third party software. They use bespoke software which allows staff to keep up to date with the order process from start to finish - but they needed some extra assistance to keep the business running smoothly.

As they were already familiar with the Pastel product range – having used Pastel Partner, their first port-of-call was to Pastel UK & Ireland, who arranged for a consultation to be conducted by one of their knowledgeable business analysts. Pastel’s business analyst visited NVA’s site to understand NVA’s business processes and gain insight on the business’ ambitions. At this point Pastel Evolution was put forward and the company received a demonstration of the many benefits Evolution would bring. After this, NVA realised that Pastel Evolution was their product of choice and knew that the software would align itself with the business’ plans and growth. Once Pastel Evolution was installed the benefits of the software became apparent – NVA saw an increase in their sales, which was down to a quicker and easier ordering system – an overall streamlining of processes. As the orders increased and their efficiency increased, NVA also noticed that their customer satisfaction rate had increased too – this has helped their business grow and grow. Pastel UK & Ireland Ltd 2 Cromwell Court, Oldham, OL1 1ET Tel: 0161 413 5040 Email: sales@pastel.co.uk Web: www.pastel.co.uk

Printed from: Serif PagePlus 15,0,5,30 Copyright Š 1991-2010 Serif (Europe) Ltd. All Rights Reserved Printed on: 29/02/2016 12:32:24 Publication name: Half_Page_Advert_Eng_Update_130x190, February Page: 20181

SHEAR simplicity for drive protection‌

Gear Coupling Spacer

DIN / SAE Spacer

Pin & Bush coupling

Chain coupling

Unique Wedge construction gives ZERO backlash FAST RESET - drive re-set in minutes Clamping screws give positive axial location so the shear neck cannot be displaced from the correct position between flanges. Multiple pins gives a very high torque capacity within compact dimensions. Shear necks are standardised and coded, giving safe, tamper proof repeatability and spares economy. 'Fail safe' under all conditions, the Wedgegard is not effected by changes in temperature or humidity. The ability to release is not dependent on mechanism lubrication.

Sprocket coupling

Rigid coupling

Email : sales@howdon.co.uk Web : www.howdon.co.uk Phone: 01453 750814


February 2018

TF Automation designs five-part assembly process with vision inspection for Pegler Yorkshire An existing customer of TF, Pegler Yorkshire approached the design team to automate a manual handling process which had issues with quality, consistency and reliability as well as being slow and labour intensive. TF designed and manufactured a fully automatic assembly and test machine incorporating five bowl feeders and three stations.

inspected by a Cognex camera and Smac electric actuators which record force and distance of key parts and the completed assembly.

The five part assembly focuses on improving quality standards and product consistency as well as increased output and reliability.

Any failures are automatically quarantined within the machine and live results are displayed on the operator HMI screen which also collects and stores historic data.

An exemplary example of automation engineering, the five components are automatically bowl-fed into the machine where 100% testing is carried out. The only operator input is to supply the machine with components and remove the completed assemblies (1 assembly per 5 seconds). To complement the assembly process, parts are vision


Pegler Yorkshire is well known and respected as one of the leading manufacturers of advanced plumbing, heating and engineering products in the world. It’s a reputation earned through a total dedication to quality, innovation and customer service that’s been the

hallmark of the company since it was established in the 1890’s (originally trading as Pegler Ltd and Yorkshire Fittings Ltd). TF Automation are specialist engineers, who design and manufacture process automation solutions supporting manufacturers across a wide range of industries using the latest technologies. Focussing on consistency, improved production efficiency, precision and quality, TF Automation continues to deliver projects using a wide range of disciplines including robotics, pneumatics, automated assembly and linear drives.

February 2018



The intelligent path to customer-specific connections: ODU-MAC – our versatile modular connector solution enables the transmission of power, high current, high voltage, coax, high-speed data, fiber optics and other media such as air or fluid. For your made-to-measure connection.

COMPLETE SYSTEM SOLUTIONS ODU provides pre-assembled component solutions. Our development and manufacturing expertise, combined with our state-of-the art manufacturing facilities in Europe, China and the USA, enable us to offer our customers outstanding assemblies and a full range of logistics services.


ODU-UK Ltd. Phone: +44 03301509 002 266433 0640 sales@odu-uk.co.uk www.odu-uk.co.uk


February 2018 which interacts with the user. So with mvIMPACT-CS, we at MATRIX VISION are paving the way for automatic scene analysis – something which has so far seemed impossible to achieve. In addition, to check objects a similar approach to deep learning is used, however, only two to five example images are required as opposed to thousands of good/bad images. It does not use any nontransparent algorithms that make a decision ‘as if by magic’; instead it uses well-established standard image processing algorithms.

Twin concept incorporating an intelligent camera and intelligent software enables automated scene analysis Self-help is the best help The “mvIMPACT Configuration Studio” software, or mvIMPACTCS for short, developed by MATRIX VISION, turns the mvBlueGEMINI into a smart camera that combines the performance, functionality and power of intelligent cameras - i.e. PC, an industrial camera, programmable image processing and the associated interfaces, all in a single housing with the simple operation offered by vision sensors. Because it comes with its own digital image processing expert. The actual scene captured by the camera is automatically analysed, then suitable algorithms are selected, along with any filters that are required, for which mvIMPACT-CS also sets the right parameters both immediately and automatically. The ‘mvIMPACTCS expert team’ integrated into the software is available on a 24/7 basis. There is no need to pay a setup fee, and no maintenance contract needs to be concluded. The user can choose from a manageable number of ‘tools’, whose names – such as ‘Setup camera’, ‘Get image’, ‘Read code’, ‘Find object’, ‘Measure object’, etc. – tell the user what they actually do.


This means mvIMPACT-CS uses the same kind of language as the user, who may well be able to describe what they want but will not usually have any previous knowledge of image processing. The tools make it possible to carry out visual inspection tasks in just a few minutes – quickly and cost-effectively. Mode of operation and philosophy behind mvIMPACT-CS Choosing the right algorithms and deciding on and setting suitable parameters – all this is integrated into mvIMPACT-CS and happens automatically with the help of a few sample images and a configuration assistant, also known as a wizard,

The mvIMPACT-CS automatically selects the appropriate algorithm, along with the parameters, on the basis of the images; this is where it differs from solutions provided by other suppliers. What is more, both the process and the parameters are visible to everyone, which means, first of all, that it is possible to follow what is happening and why something is not working correctly and, secondly, that these can be subsequently amended by the user him/herself in order to influence the behaviour. Author: Ulli Lansche, Technical Editor at MATRIX VISION, Oppenweiler, Germany Addresses: www.matrix-vision.de

Indexing Chain Conveyor System Interlink machining stations cost efficiently Sturdy system, total load capacity of up to 700 kg Flexible modular designs, variable lengths & widths possible


mk Profile Systems Limited a company of the mk Technology Group

February 2018

NTE Connectivity in exclusive negotiations to acquire ABB’s entrelec® terminal block business • TE to offer a more complete robust product platform • Helps customers to reduce complexity and drive innovation • Expanded team will provide broader coverage TE Connectivity (TE), a world leader in connectivity and sensors, today announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with ABB to acquire ABB’s entrelec® terminal block business. The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions including receipt of customary regulatory approvals and prior consultation with employee representative bodies.

ABB’s entrelec® terminal block business was founded as entrelec in 1920 and serves customers in more than 70 countries. The business comprises research and development, product development, marketing and sales and management activities in Chassieu, France; and with main manufacturing sites in France and Poland. “The combination of the two portfolios will be more competitive on a larger scale under TE‘s ownership, providing greater opportunities for customers and employees,” said Tarak Mehta, President of ABB’s Electrification Products Division. “TE will be a good owner of this business. Combining our terminal block business with the strength of TE demonstrates ABB’s commitment to active portfolio management, a key element of our Next Level strategy.” By adding the ABB’s entrelec® terminal block offering, under


the product brand entrelec, TE would be able to offer a complete system for power, signal and data connectivity with special focus on harsh environments. This system would be a crucial part of TE’s future product portfolio – and would contribute to TE’s ability to offer customers some of the most comprehensive products, technologies and services within the industry. Lars Brickenkamp, Senior Vice President and General Manager of TE’s Industrial business unit comments: “This intended acquisition is a very effective strategic fit for TE and will offer new growth opportunities. It represents an important step in TE’s ability to offer its customers a broader and more complete product platform to help them to reduce complexity and drive innovation. Moreover, the expansion of our Industrial team with employees from

ABB will significantly enhance TE’s collaboration with more customers on their innovation and automation projects. Closeness to customers will be a key driver for customer satisfaction in our new organization and once final, we will work with ABB to ensure a smooth transition of the business.” TE, TE Connectivity and the TE connectivity logo are trademarks of the TE Connectivity Ltd. family of companies. Other logos, product or company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Gases are everywhere and you may be surprised just how many items you use daily, that have been manufactured under controlled gas environments. After all, the difference between having the latest smart phone and a great sandwich comes down to the correctly measured gases used to help create and package them. At Cambridge Sensotec we dedicate ourselves to finding the solutions to your gas analysis requirement, whether it be securing your manufacturing processes or ensuring quality control within your food factory, we’ve established a wealth of knowledge whilst operating over the last 17 years. With over 7 core models and many variations, be assured that reliability and accuracy are at the forefront of our customer philosophy. Experts in oxygen analysis, Cambridge Sensotec also specialise in biogas, syngas, multigas and SF6 gas analysis instruments. Contact us today to discuss your gas analysis requirements.

www.cambridge-sensotec.co.uk sales@cambridge-sensotec.co.uk +44 (0)1480 462142

February 2018

Established in 1968 with approvals including Microsoft, Volkswagen, Glaxo Smithkline, Aston Martin & Bentley Motors; Plastic Products International (PPi) is ready to meet your requirements. The team at PPi are specialists, in plastics technology and tooling, offering fully complete turnkey solutions to companies that require tooling, plastic products and assemblies of the very highest quality. With a customer base that varies from sole traders through to multi-national organisations – no matter what the

size or nature of business; one thing you can be sure of – PPi always has the same goal – to work in an ethical, enthusiastic and professional manner. With PPi you benefit from extensive experience of tooling ranging from point of sale aluminium plates to micro precision fully hardened medical tooling. The team work with you and encourage you to consider the facilities as a totally seamless extension to your own, providing you with the complete and complementary product development and manufacturing resources. When you work with PPi you’ll always be met with enthusiasm – the team’s here to serve you, and with a programme of continual reinvestment you enjoy excellent levels of service too. Whatever your problem – PPi is here to help. For more information, contact details and a video of PPI’s operation visit www.ppiuk.net


THE PLUS FOR ADDED FLEXIBILITY The innovative multi-protocol fieldbus system from Murrelektronik, which has radically simplified and modernized decentralized installation has taken a step further with a plus.

The single bus node can support up to 20 I/O modules in a 30 m circumference and with a reduced number of cables. The range of I/O modules continues to grow and includes digital and analogue ports, safe outputs, logic, counter, valve island, temperature, I/O link etc. Both IP67 or IP20 are available.


More options More flexibility More distance More performance

Murrelektronik Ltd 5 Albion St, Pendlebury Ind.Estate, Swinton, Manchester,M27 4FG Phone 0161 728 3133 sales@murrelektronik.co.uk



February 2018

igus tried and tested bearing products and cable management systems at Subsea Expo At this year’s Subsea Expo, which is held at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre and runs from the 7th 9th February, igus will showcase its vast range of products and systems for subsea applications.

Visitors to the stand (stand 105) will see the giant E4 energy chain that can withstand exposure to ice, wind, storms, salt water, oil and drilling mud. It can also bear heavy loads and features easy-to-remove crossbars so cables and hoses can be added or replaced quickly. Also suitable for vertical applications, the E4.350 can move nearly 15 m up and down, guiding and protecting any heavy hydraulic hoses and cables. Along with cable management systems, igus will showcase the drylin W linear guide system, which is ideal for subsea environments. Available in 316 stainless steel, the guide system is corrosion resistant and can also withstand extreme temperatures as high as 250 degC. Additional features include low noise and weight, as well as resistance to the ingress of dirt. It can be delivered preassembled for easy installation. The new iglidur X6 bearing material is not just resistant to the ingress of dirt, it is also chemical and petrochemical resistant. This material is ideal for use in pumps, replacing


the traditional PTFE-coated bearings that can, in certain circumstances, contaminate the fuel or damage the shaft, ensuring a longer service life. It is also suitable for use in extreme operating temperatures from -100 to +250 degC. Throughout the show, the igus team will be available on stand 105 to take visitors through the benefits and potential applications of their bearing products and cable management systems. To arrange an appointment, please email Hannah Durrant: hdurrant@igus.co.uk and for further information, please visit: www.igus.co.uk/offshore or call igus directly on 01604 677240. igus resources: LiveChat with our technical team at igus.co.uk Follow us at twitter.com/igusUK Watch our videos at igus.co.uk/YouTube Connect to us at igus.co.uk/Facebook Read our blog at blog.igus.co.uk

Register now online at www.wnie.co.uk/live

What’s New in



25 – 26 September 2018 NEC Birmingham



THE ULTIMATE UK ELECTRONICS SHOW WNIE Live will return to the NEC from 25 – 26 September 2018 and will be co-located with a host of other industry events including:

EMC UK | Embedded Live | Sensors & Instrumentation Micro Nano MEMS | PPMA | TCT Show

Delivering a stronger exhibition with a mix of conferences, seminars, debates, live features & technical platforms. Network alongside other Engineers, Directors, CEO’s, Designers, Technicians, Programmers, Business Development Managers, Purchasers and Consultants from every aspect of the world of electronics.

Can you afford to miss it?


www.wnie.co.uk/live Email: live@wnie.co.uk

Call: + 44 1428 609 382




2018 THE HIGH PRECISION MANUFACTURING EVENT 25-26 September | Hall 1, NEC, Birmingham


February 2018

Manufacturing Technologies Association and its members pledge their support to the Year of Engineering The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) have thrown their support behind The Year of Engineering. The Year of Engineering is a Government campaign, which launched this week to celebrate the world and wonder of UK engineering in 2018. The MTA represents the companies who make and supply the technology that manufacturers deploy to create and make the world around us. James Selka, CEO of the MTA said: “The UK has a world-wide reputation for engineering ingenuity and is at the forefront of technological break throughs that are shaping the world we live in. It is our responsibility to champion engineering’s present and future. All of the companies, suppliers, institutions and funders who have signed our letter, recognise how vital it is that we attract new talent in to the engineering sector and by coming together we can amplify support for this excellent project.” As well as the MTA, companies who have signed this letter include BAE Systems, Siemens, Renishaw, Yamazaki Mazak and DMG Mori. The letter is also supported by many respected UK institutions, such as, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the University of Huddersfield. James Selka added: “The fast-changing word in which we live is shaped by engineering and we are pleased to throw our support behind this campaign. The UK advanced engineering sector is something to be very proud of.” He continued “As a trade association and as the team behind the UK’s largest industrial showcase MACH 2018 which will be held in April, we feel the time is right to shine a light on all that is great and good in UK engineering and ensure we continue to be world leaders in this field. Therefore, we wholeheartedly support this campaign to make 2018 The Year of Engineering.”


Dear Prime Minister

, Technological chan ge is the moving spirit of our age. W he th er it is th e de ve lop m en t of AI pu sh ing ou r understanding of co nsciousness, 3D Pr inting altering how we can make thing s or digital technolo gy transforming how businesses int eract with consum ers, we are seeing the future hurtle tow ards us. In the United Kingd om over 2,600,000 people are directly employed in manu facturing with ma ny more in other sectors indirectly rel iant on it too. Manu facturing accounts for 70% of UK R&D and advanced engin eering in particular is the sort of high value, high wage, highly exportable industry we increasin gly need. We welco me the recognition of manufacturing’s importance in the Ind ustrial Strategy. Th e Ma nu fa ctu rin g Te ch no log ies As so cia tio n (M TA ) represents the co mpanies who ma ke and supply th technology that ma e nufacturers deploy to create and make the world around us . We therefore welco me the decision to declare 2018 the Ye ar of Engineering. The UK has a wo rld-wide reputation for engineering ingenuity and is at the forefront of tec hnological break throughs that are shaping the world we live in. It is our responsibility to ch ampion engineerin g’s present and future. We’re looking forw ard to events up an d down the country over the next twelve months not least the largest exhibition of manufacturing technology in the country this year, MACH 2018. MACH will see over 30,00 0 people from the world of engineerin g come together, at the NEC between the 9-13 April, to fin d out about the lat est developments and best innovati ons. MACH caters for manufacturers of all sizes and secto rs and is the place to showcase the industry, get busines s done and attract new talent. As part of the Year of Engineering we are committed to using the event as an opportunity to pro mote the industry and the profession here in the UK. Yours sincerely, MTA, Members and Associates.


4-5 JULY 2018 METRO RADIO ARENA NEWCASTLE Exhibition | Conference | Workshops

FREE to visit Priceless to attend

Register to attend www.mfgengineeringshow.co.uk


February 2018

Festo focuses on smarter automation At this year’s Drive’s & Controls Exhibition in the Smart Industry Expo, Festo, the leading supplier of automation equipment, will be showcasing exciting new developments and solutions for smarter automation. Festo will be presenting new developments and products in Industry 4.0 technology; as a user within their own production, as the leading provider of training equipment and courses and as an automation product manufacturer. Existing products such as the modular CPX valve manifold system and automation platform have been enhanced by the addition of the brand new IoT gateway connecting Festo’s own cloud based dashboards - allowing real time visualisation of data.

Other highlights include the recently launched Festo Motion Terminal, the world’s first controlled by apps, and the recent Festo and EPLAN collaboration around a comprehensive data portal. For anyone wondering how to implement Industry 4.0 projects specialists will be on hand to explain the cutting edge Cyber- Physical training factory and skills development courses to help companies start on their journey. For more information visit: www.festo.co.uk/I40

CPX- IoT collects information about Festo devices via an Ethernet connection and the I4.0 standard communication protocol OPC-UA allowing their status and key performance trends to be monitored.













1- 3 MAY 2018 EXCEL, LONDON, UK www.infrarail.com


February 2018

Fit for the future:

will the 4th industrial revolution be good or bad for our health? Key topic to be discussed at The Health & Safety Event 2018 At the recent XXI World Congress on Safety and Health in Singapore, Secretary General of the International Social Security Association (ISSA), Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, asked a large audience of international safety practitioners whether the 4th industrial revolution will be good or bad for worker’s health and safety. Overwhelmingly the answer that came back was that yes, ultimately the changing world of work will be good for our health and wellbeing. However, there will be many challenges to navigate – and risks to understand and control - before these revolutionary changes have been completed. To understand the nature of these changes, The British Safety Council has commissioned RobertsonCooper to produce a literature review, ‘Future changes to the world of work and the impact on employee health, safety and wellbeing,’ into the state of research about the changing world of work and their associated risks. The review tells us that people are living - and working - for longer; that many tasks are being automated; modern communication technologies are dissolving the work/home divide; new materials like nanotechnology (including tiny airborne waste products that can damage our health) and new techniques can present new risks; and

an increasing use of more ‘flexible’ employee contracts. With these deep and fundamental changes to work, the risks associated with work are also changing. The spectre of automation is of course at the heart of many of these discussions. Research by IPPR says that 10 million jobs are at risk from automation in the UK. When those health and safety practitioners were asked the question about the future risks of work, the health advantages of automating certain hazardous processes (for example the increasing use of automated riveting or 3D printing) – and by implication the removal of people - was uppermost in their minds. There are also health benefits to these modern, flexible ways of working where people are adding specific value to automated processes. This review will be launched live at The Health & Safety Event, held at the NEC, Birmingham from the 10-12 April 2018 and forms part of the British Safety Council’s brand-new seminar programme for this year’s edition. In addition, visitors will also get access to new conference content including a new stream dedicated to supporting Lone Workers and an extended programme of sessions on Safer Logistics.

Free visitor registration is now open. Visit www.healthandsafetyevents.co.uk for more information.


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February 2018

The UK show for processing, packaging, ingredients and logistics will return to the NEC, Birmingham from 16th – 18th April 2018. A one-stop shop for manufacturing professionals across the full industry spectrum.

Source something new. Our carefully-selected suppliers have the processes and products to boost productivity and efficiency across the board. Discover solutions to everyday challenges with access to a live programme with industry expert speakers providing tips, guidance and advice tailored for you.

Register for free today




Don't miss exciting competitions and live events Foodex, the UK’s premier trade event for the food and drink processing, packaging and logistics industries, offers a one-stop shop for manufacturing professionals across the full industry spectrum. THIS IS A TRADE ONLY EVENT. NO UNDER 16S ALLOWED




February 2018

Understanding new technologies for non-destructive testing and structural integrity assessment. Cracks and flaws can be formed during the manufacture of products and defects, including fatigue and corrosion, can also develop during a product’s lifespan. Non-destructive testing (NDT) and other testing techniques used by industry are designed to reliably detect the defects that matter and real time sensors ensure that installed assets remain safe in operation. It is essential that engineering organisations understand new technologies that are best suited to their needs in order to avoid asset downtime, costly insurance claims and catastrophic failures. However, the difficulty of keeping up to date with the latest solutions available remains as the understanding of how to accurately characterise flaws continues to grow. With this in mind, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Structural Integrity Design and Validation Technologies conference has been developed with senior engineers and researchers in industry and academia to showcase innovative techniques and the latest technologies to enhance inspections and monitoring processes. The conference is a great chance for engineers to collaborate and share positive outcomes from current technologies. “The ability of Ultrasonic Testing to inspect ever thinner materials has been a game changer for our company” says Frazer Hardie, Technical Authority for NDT at Doosan Babcock, who will be sharing the successful strategies


used on their sites. “Full matrix capture (FMC) is also an exciting technology development that will significantly increase the accuracy and usefulness of PAUT over the next few years.” Dr Thomas Barber, a Senior Engineer and Materials Specialist at BAE Systems agrees. “There will be a strong push to bring the NDE and structural integrity communities’ closer together to better understand the current capabilities and limitations of processes used in each field. A hopeful result would be a move towards updated codes where more flaw acceptance criteria are based on fracture mechanics principles and knowledge of Probability of Detection (PoD) curves.” Combining the input from speakers including Network Rail, Rolls Royce, Genesis Oil & Gas and EDF France Regulation, the conference also provides an opportunity to identify the future of these technologies. “Rapid progress is currently being made in the miniaturisation of sophisticated sensors, electronics and communications systems” says Bruce Drinkwater, Professor of Ultrasonics at the University of Bristol and speaker at the conference. “In the future, the component will tell the operator when a part needs replacing, but to do this the component must understand both NDT and structural integrity – then these will be truly smart structures.” For further information about the conference and to book your place, please visit www.imeche.org/sidvt or call +44(0)207 973 1251.

February 2018


Infrarail 2018 opens for visitor registration Infrarail 2018 is now officially open for visitors to register, with the event free to attendees who secure their entry badge before the 30th April. the Railway Industry Association, CEEQUAL, Rail Baltica, the Permanent Way Institution, the Rail Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme and the Rail Supply Group as well as a broad spectrum of companies representing the entire supply sector. With four months to go, the biannual show is looking to be one of the best ever. Infrarail 2016 featured 240 exhibitors while 5,300 industry professionals attended the show.

recent cabinet reshuffle, Chris Grayling has also been announced as delivering a keynote speech on the first day of Infrarail 2018.

The 12th edition of the biennial event takes place at London’s ExCeL from May 1 to 3 and will showcase every aspect of railway infrastructure technology and expertise, attracting visiting managers, engineers and buyers at the highest level. As well as the opportunity for networking, viewing products and exchanging ideas with exhibitors, Infrarail 2018 will offer a CPD certified educational programme with keynote speeches by leading figures, plus industry seminars, project briefings and discussion groups - all free to attend. Secretary of State to deliver keynote address Having been confirmed as remaining Secretary of State for Transport in the Prime Minister’s

Revealing the Secretary of State’s involvement, Kirsten Whitehouse of exhibition organiser Mack Brooks said: “It is great news that the current Secretary of State for Transport will be speaking at Infrarail this year. “Infrarail has always had a close relationship with Government and the Department for Transport, and it will be fascinating to hear his thoughts on the state of our industry and his plans for its future.” Chris Grayling will deliver his address in the show’s technical seminar theatre, organised by the show’s media partner, Rail Engineer. Further keynote speakers will be announced shortly.

Many exhibitors reported securing key new contacts and valuable new business leads, with 97 per cent achieving their pre-show participation targets. Secure your free ticket today Looking forward to this year’s event, Kirsten said: “I’m delighted to announce that visitors can now sign up to register for the next Infrarail event. The show is set to be one of the industry highlights of 2018, and during such a landmark period of investment in the UK rail network, what better time or place for industry professionals to attend, make connections and experience new products and services?” Registration for visitors attending Infrarail 2018 can be completed by visiting the show website at www. infrarail.com and following the link to the online registration form.

The event has long been the leading showcase for the very latest railway infrastructure technology and expertise. The list of high-profile organisations already confirmed includes HS2,


February 2018

Renishaw searches for record number of apprentices Global engineering technologies company, Renishaw, is recruiting for a record number of 50 apprentices across its Gloucestershire and South Wales sites. The company offers an award-winning scheme, where apprentices gain nationally recognised qualifications, some up to degree level, alongside on-the-job experience. Renishaw’s apprentices earn while they learn, benefitting from a competitive salary and benefits package. Applications are now open until Friday March 9th, 2018, the end of National Apprenticeship Week. The Gloucestershire based Technical and Manufacturing Schemes require applicants to be GCSE qualified. They will commence an Advanced Apprenticeship through attendance at Gloucestershire Engineering Training, with most going on to HNC and HND studies. For the South Wales apprenticeship scheme, applicants are required to be in the first year of an Engineering BTEC or EAL Level 3 and must have a PEO Level 2 in Engineering. They will study the second year of their qualification, via Bridgend College, with most apprentices undertaking a HNC and HND level qualification. Apprentices then move onto rotating placements in different sections of the company. The opportunity for possible continued study towards a degree exists for apprentices who demonstrate future potential. Renishaw also offers Degree-level apprenticeships in software and embedded electronic systems design, open to young people who have completed their A Levels. From the first year, apprentices on these programmes will study for their degree alongside working on projects at Renishaw, gaining theoretical knowledge that can be applied during hands-on projects. Embedded Electronic Systems Design Apprentices work towards a BEng (Hons) in Electronic and Computer Engineering, accredited by the University of the West of


England (UWE). Software Engineering Apprentices study for a BSc (Hons) in Digital and Technology Solutions in partnership with the University of Exeter, one of two Russell Group universities offering this Degree Apprenticeship in 2018. “An apprenticeship at Renishaw gives you the opportunity to work on ground-breaking engineering projects,” explained Chris Pockett, Head of Communications at Renishaw. “As well as gaining hands-on experience in innovative and exciting industries, our apprentices have access to expert training and support, to continually build on the skills they are learning as part of their studies. “In addition to our degree-level apprenticeships, around 70 per cent of apprentices on our standard schemes go on to achieve a full honours degree,” continued Pockett. “This means they can be considered a route into further education – with no debt – as well as the first step to a rewarding and challenging career.” For its Gloucestershire based headquarters, Renishaw is searching for 20 Technical Apprentices, ten Manufacturing Apprentices, ten Degree-level Software Apprentices and four Degree-level Embedded Electronic Systems Design Apprentices. The company is also recruiting for six Manufacturing Apprentices at its Miskin site. In 2017, Renishaw’s apprentices and former apprentices have been recognised for their successes by numerous industry awards. This includes Lucy Ackland, named as one of the UK’s top 50 engineers by The Daily Telegraph and Stephen Pickles, named Apprentice of the Year for Wales at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. Roxanne Pollard was also awarded the TATA Prize from the University of South Wales, for the highest degree mark scored by a part time student. For more information on apprenticeships at Renishaw and the application process visit www.renishaw.com/apprentice.

Global engineering, manufacturer and distributor of industrial fastenings and Cat C products.


The go-to place for Engineers, Designers & Buyers More Features | More Products | More Data KEY FEATURES Interactive Models

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View our latest range of technical guides and installation methods.

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February 2018


espite being set up at a time when the laser cutting industry was in its infancy, Malton Laser has continuously developed and grown to become a leading supplier of sheet metal fabrication services – including laser cutting, pressing, fabricating, powder coating and assembly. The company started life with five team members working with a 2kW laser cutting machine and a four-metre press in a 4,000 sq ft unit. Today, it covers an 18,000 sq ft space comprising of two revolutionary laser cutting machines and dedicated pressing, fabrication and assembly departments and is now recognised for its efficient, precision output and cost-effective services. Malton Laser’s renowned reputation and customer confidence led to the company achieving its most successful year to date in 2016-17, increasing its growth for the third consecutive year and reporting a turnover of £2.2million – an increase of 18% compared to the previous 12 months. This was on the back of record growth 2015-16, when the business increased its turnover by 26%. The company’s substantial growth is thanks to Malton Laser’s investment in the latest fabrication technology. “Technology is at the heart of everything we do at Malton Laser,” comments Charles. “Behind all of our services is a dedication to utilising the most advanced, innovative machinery and equipment available to provide our clients with state-of-the-art sheet metalwork solutions, along with unrivalled customer service.” Malton Laser’s dedication to its customers was further demonstrated with the recent £1.5million investment in a number of new pieces of equipment, to ensure the business is implementing the most advanced laser cutting practises.


How Malton Laser is revolutionising the sheet metalwork industry Established in 2000 by engineering expert, Charles Corner, full service sheet metalwork manufacturer, Malton Laser, has experienced significant developments since its incarnation 18 years ago. Included within this investment is the Bystronic Bystar 3015 6kW fibre laser cutting system – one of the most advanced laser systems on the market. “The Bystronic Bystar system is up to three times faster than traditional CO2 lasers, meaning it has amplified our production three-fold”, said Mr Corner. “This has enabled our engineers to complete projects faster without compromising on the quality of the finished product – a major advantage for our customers.” Perhaps the most significant investment over the last 12 months is Malton Laser’s purchase of the two-station Panasonic Tawers MAG 1600WG

welding robot system – one of the first of its kind in the UK. The system can weld four-times faster than more commonly used methods, speeding up and streamlining Malton Laser’s production processes, as well as reducing lead times for customers. Further investment in more innovative technology is expected at Malton Laser over the coming months, in order to reaffirm the company’s position as a cuttingedge organisation in the sheet metalwork industry. More information about Malton Laser and its services is available at www.maltonlaser.com.

February 2018


February 2018

Safe Detection of Carbon Monoxide Leaks

FLIR Systems Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) camera technology allows you to see chemicals that are invisible to the naked eye. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that results from the incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels. It’s most often used in the production of bulk chemicals and steel manufacturing. Vent stacks and pipe leaks that allow CO to escape can be dangerous, especially if the gas is allowed to collect in an enclosed area. The FLIR GF346 is a revolutionary optical gas imaging camera capable of finding carbon monoxide and a number of other gases. It is unbeatable for detecting even the smallest leaks. The FLIR GF346 offers a complete unique method of tracing leaks to their source by visualizing this in an image. The FLIR GF346 can scan large areas rapidly and pinpoint leaks in real time. It is ideal for monitoring plants where it is difficult to reach components with contact measurement tools such as gas sniffers. Literally thousands of components can be scanned per shift without the need to interrupt the process. Using a FLIR GF346 safeguards personnel from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, reduces repair downtime and provides verification of the process. And above all it is exceptionally safe, allowing potentially dangerous leaks to be monitored from several meters away. To watch a video of carbon monoxide detection using a GF346 OGI camera please visit www.flir.com/ogi/carbon-monoxide/


For further information on the GF346 camera please visit www.flir.co.uk/ogi/display/?id=51857 or contact FLIR Systems at gasimaging@flir.com or +32-3665-5100. FLIR Systems, Inc. is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of sensor systems that enhance perception and awareness. FLIR’s advanced thermal imaging and threat detection systems are used for a wide variety of imaging, thermography, and security applications, including airborne and groundbased surveillance, condition monitoring, research and development, manufacturing process control, search and rescue, drug interdiction, navigation, transportation safety, border and maritime patrol, environmental monitoring, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE) detection. For more information, go to FLIR’s web site at www.FLIR.com

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More dynamism and flexibility for your production processes Industry 4.0, which SMC is developing at all levels as a provider and user, is a critical component of future automation processes. This is because it is predicted that industry 4.0 will enable the manufacturing sector to achieve significant increases in productivity in the coming years. In this context, we are developinig pioneering solutions for small batch sizes and modular machine concepts. The focus is especially on the flexible adaptation to dynamic production processes and the optimisation of order management. Open standards must be created to enable rapid networking and distributed intelligence. SMC is promoting Industry 4.0 in the context of flexible customer applications with two new IO-Link devices and a new IO-Link master. What all three have in common

IO-Link master series EX600

is that it is possible to diagnose and change operating


parameters during operation. This makes it possible to make machines and systems for batch size 1 more efficient without costly controller-side reprogramming.

Communication platform blockable using the new SY valve series + PROFINETprotocol Scalable design: up to four masters blockable Number of IO-Link devices: four per master Protection rating: IP67 Advantages

The benefits at a glance: Simple predictive diagnostics option Shorter downtimes High flexibility Increased productivity

Enables parametrisation during operation Flexible adjustment of the system to the task at hand Remote diagnostics down to the device Supports transmission rates COM1, COM2 and COM3 (up to 230 kbit/s) Quick and simple integration into the EX600 communication platform Further modules can be integrated, e.g. digital inputs and outputs

CONTROLLING FUTURE PRODUCTIONS PROCESSES USING INTELLIGENT CONNECTIONS Automation with independent interfaces The EX600 communications platform has been expan-

The connection of valve manifolds using IO-Link is one

ded to include an IO-Link master module and enables

of the main features of EX260 the serial transmission

parameterisation and remote diagnosis during the


production process.

The new proportional controller with IO-Link from the ITV

Thanks to the integrated cycle count for the controlled

series boasts the advantage of dynamically adjusting

valves, the new communication module of the EX260

the control behaviour and output pressure during the

series offers ideal conditions for predictive maintenance.

processing in terms of lot size 1.

IO-Link device series EX260

IO-Link device series ITV



Communication module has the highest possible

Proportional controller

transmission rate according to COM3 (230 kbit/s)

Transfer rate COM3 (230 kBit/s)

Blockable using the new SY valve series

Dynamically adjustable parameters (e. g. offset gain)

Integrated cycle counter

Pressure setting range: 0-1 MPa, max. supply pressure

Up to 32 coils can be accessed

1.2 MPa

High durability of the new SY valve series

Protection rating: IP65

70 million cycles with rubber seal, 200 million cycles

Flow rate < 4,000 l/min at a weight of 750g

steel seal Protection rating: IP67 Advantages

Advantages Economical production of small batch sizes by dynamically setting the parameters

Predictive maintenance due to the cycle counter

Flexible adjustment of the system to the task at hand

Compact dimensions enable flexible use

Controlled pressure reduction reduces energy costs

Extended maintenance intervals thanks to the long

High throughput covers numerous applications

service life

For more information on SMC contact: 0845 121 5122 or check-out our website on: www.smcpneumatics.co.uk

SMC - more than just pneumatics Follow us on


February 2018

The quantum leap with EMF Motor


wenty years ago, this Engineer co-developed a new concept of electric motor, which was supposed to be far superior to the traditional motor. The synchronous torque motor should achieve a much higher torque at low speeds and thus be more efficient than traditional motors. If the best German manufacturer in this industry achieves an efficiency of 76 percent, then the EMF motor is 94 percent - “a quantum leap,” says Prokopp confidently. At the same time half of the costs are saved! Michael Prokopp and his colleagues work for no less than a milestone: It’s all about replacing the conventional electric motor and mechanical gearbox. “The traditional system is noisy, consumes a lot of oil, is subject to wear and must be constantly maintained,” says Prokopp, Managing Director of EMF97 Gmbh. He patented the EMF Motor principle and in 1997 together with the coinventor Jurgen Lindner and two other partners, founded the company EMF97 GmbH. As innovative as the new electric motor was, the potential customers responded cautiously: They looked on with skepticism at the small recently founded company and the new mode of motor operation. Functionality





“Nobody took us seriously,” said Prokopp. The turning point came at a special meeting at the Hannover Fair in the year 2002. In the Turkish businessman Hasan Kayakiran, the founders of EMF found something they did not see in Germany. Namely belief in their product and the courage to take risks. In cooperation with Kayakiran, a production facility was set up in Istanbul, while at the same time the development remained at the Worms location in Germany. Today, 15 years and some 10,000 motors later, EMF has earned the trust of its customers. The motors are used in many applications, but at the moment the biggest markets are Elevators and Extrusion machines. For “EMF Motor” International cooperation was an opportunity to realize the idea to build a new kind of motors and bring it into the market. Exactly these advantages of a German-Turkish cooperation are supported by the network Global Success Club. In March, EMF was honored in Istanbul with a “GermanTurkish Innovation Award”. It is not the first award that EMF has received in Turkey. The company has many plans for the future. In November 2016, a new patent was filed, the new motor principle should be particularly well suited for Wind Power applications.

“We are growing extremely fast,” says Prokopp, this year sales near doubled compared to the previous year. And in the coming years this growth should continue. What is so special about the new EMF Motor principle? The wound stator of the EMF Motor is almost the same as a traditional motor. Magnets are glued to the rotor. If the motor is supplied with a voltage and a frequency, a magnetic flux is created which magnetizes the motor. As the frequency increases, the electric field in the wound stator begins to turn. The rotor moves in the opposite direction to the rotating field and is much slower. The number of magnets and the geometry of the motor defines the speed ratio. With this new Motor Principle a very high torque is achieved with a low number of poles on the winding. The low copper and hysteresis losses result in very high efficiency values. Due to the high number of magnetic poles a smooth ripple free rotation and a highly dynamic performance is achieved. With these motors no additional cooling is required. The result is that there is no other motor principle with comparable efficiency or such a high ratio between torque and weight.

Protecting Your Plant Before

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Monitoring the world

February 2018

Novel and compact alternative for linear measurement: Novotechnik’s TFD4000 series short-stroke touchless transducer

Novotechnik’s TFD-4000 series short-stroke linear transducers are an ideal and economic solution where minimal size, high environmental protection, extremely long life and high reliability are key factors for medium to high-volume OEM position control applications. Available from Variohm EuroSensor, they feature single or optionally redundant ratiometric output; a typical repeatability of +/- 0.1 % FS; a measurement range of 5 to 50 mm; and 12-bit resolution. Based on Novotechnik’s well proven RFD-4000 rotary sensor, the two-part non-contacting assembly comprises Hall sensor electronics - encapsulated and fully potted in a compact housing and a separate magnet. The housing protection class options are IP67, IP68 or IP69K. With nominal dimensions of only 40 mm x 27 mm and a flat profile of just 7 mm, the sensor can be discretely assembled on the moving or stationary side of the measurement platform and the tiny magnet easily embedded within the opposite platform for a very low-profile measurement solution. Two standard magnets options are available to provide 14 mm or 24 mm stroke lengths. The encapsulated design and touchless Hall Effect technology used on the TFD-4000 offers extreme durability with exceptionally high shock and vibration ratings, as well


as a mechanically unlimited life. A temperature rating of -40 ... +125 ?C and full EMC compatibility will satisfy a wide range of applications from industrial controls to mobile machinery where short-stroke position measurement or where linear movement verification is required. The sensor is available with a choice of single, partly- and fully-redundant (c/w rising) ratiometric output from a 0…5 V DC supply. The update rate is 2.5 kHz and the standard model is supplied with 0.5 m long leadwires. Customisation options for volume applications include special output characteristics such as trapeze or parabolic profiles and a wide choice of connector options.

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February 2018

Hbm Weighs up the Best Solution in Free Webinar. As part of its series of free informative webinars, HBM – a market leader in the field of test and measurement – has announced the date of its latest session, “Precise Weighing in Your Packaging Machine”, which will take place on February 21st 2018 at 10am (GMT). As the market for packaging machines becomes increasingly demanding in terms of maximum system productivity, this webinar will explain the benefits of In-Line weighing. With precision being a key factor in filling and dosing processes, deviations need to be corrected without delay in order to reduce overfill and keep rejected products to a minimum. This webinar discusses how this can be achieved by incorporating InLine weighing into your packaging machine.


In this webinar, participants will be introduced to the topic of In-Line weighing and will be advised on which HBM measuring chain best suits which packaging type. Culminating in a live visual demonstration, this webinar will also illustrate the different measurement chains in action. Presented by Thomas Langer, Product Manager of HBM Weighing Technology, this informative seminar has been designed to fit in with the challenging time constraints, which can often make

attending relevant training courses difficult. Exclusively offered by the HBM Academy, the webinar can also be easily accessed at a later date or simply used as a refresher course. As an added benefit, all registered participants will also receive a link to the webinar, via email, after the presentation. All HBM webinars are free of charge and open to anyone, regardless of experience. However, spaces are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis. Please reserve your spot by booking at http://bit.ly/2mRVEgx For further information, please contact HBM on +44 (0) 20 8515 6000 or via email: info@uk.hbm.co.uk or visit the HBM website at www.hbm.com

BIM Training Courses Would you like BIM training specifically designed to suit your role? Our BIM Ready Training Program offers a range of courses specially designed for BIM Modellers, BIM Coordinators and BIM Management roles. Courses are a mix of theory, hands-on and practical demonstrations to bring the subject matter to life. Our training courses can be attended at one of our training centres or provided on your site. If you would like more information on training options please call our BIM experts on 01844 263700 or email marketing@manandmachine.co.uk

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Connect with us

February 2018

Managing customer expectations in Industry 4.0 The phrase, ‘the customer is always right’ was coined by the founder of Selfridges, Henry Gordon Selfridge, in 1909. Despite its prominence, the accuracy of the phrase is highly debated by most people who deal with customers as, sometimes, what the client wants can be bad for business or too demanding to carry out.

Here Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director at obsolete industrial parts supplier, EU Automation, explains how manufacturers can manage a customer’s expectations in the Industry 4.0 era. Industry 4.0 and more intelligent manufacturing has meant that customer satisfaction is now much more attainable as the customer has become more involved in the process. Perhaps because of this, the customer can be right more often. Knowledge The amount of data it is possible to collect as a part of Industry 4.0 has led to customers raising their expectations of the amount information they are given about a purchase. To align with this, manufacturers can now use digital supply chains. This technology allows plant managers to monitor the factory’s supply of materials and product demand in real time and even in advance. By using this data, manufacturers can provide customers with end-to-end traceability during the product journey, satisfying their thirst for knowledge about the product they are investing in. Along with traceability, customers also expect increased transparency. Manufacturers can now use digital platforms during production to keep track of all product information Plant managers can monitor the product throughout the manufacturing process and make this information available to the customer from the point of sale. Customisation New technology means that customers can now have more input into their final product by customising it to their specific requirements. In order to ensure they are meeting customer’s expectations in advance of building a final product, businesses have now begun to use virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) tools. This means the customer can try their product before


they buy it in a virtual space, ensuring everybody is happy. The more widespread introduction of 3D printing as a mainstream manufacturing process means that in some industries, consumers can completely personalise their products. By taking advantage of this technology, manufacturers can mass customise their products – personalising them at a manageable cost. Maintenance Product delivery on time is a core part of customer happiness. In order to keep production on schedule, plant managers must avoid downtime, as it can be very damaging to the brand if products are delivered late. Plant managers can avoid costly downtime by incorporating planned maintenance. By using condition monitoring, plant managers can quickly detect issues in advance, preventing equipment breakdown. To take this process one step further, manufacturers can use smart spare parts logistics to order spare parts from a reliable supplier before they are needed. This reduces the chance that a customer’s order will be delayed as well as avoiding downtime for the manufacturer, a win-win situation. Manufacturing has come a long way since Selfridge coined his phrase in 1909, but customer expectations are still at the heart of almost every business. Intelligent manufacturing and smarter factories have increased the level of data available to manufacturers, allowing them to provide customers with more detailed information on products. Plant managers can use this information to predict equipment failure to reduce the risk of downtime, which means that, regardless of whether our customers are right or not, they still have access to the right part, at the right time, to keep systems running.

February 2018

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February 2018

Slimline motor controllers create space in enclosures Small drives for machines and equipment are typically powered up to 9.0 A and are protected by conventional motor circuit breakers. However, when space in the enclosure is limited, it is very difficult to find room for significant numbers of protective components.

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February 2018 Rittalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new motor controllers for its RiLine Compact power distribution system offers a sophisticated solution.

device in the range, and as much as 75 percent more space compared to the 90 mm-wide reversing combinations.

To help engineers, Rittal has also produced a 3D configurator that reduces the time required to generate Compact RiLine busbar systems. Following the successful launch of the busbar system â&#x20AC;&#x153;RiLine Compactâ&#x20AC;? at the beginning of the year, Rittal is now expanding the product range.

Hybrid technology to impress

Until now, the small 125-A-max busbar system consisted entirely of shock-hazard-protected boards, which form the basis of the system, along with assembly components such as connection adapters for busbar infeed and component adapters for the easy set-up of switchgear and protection devices produced by other manufacturers.

The principle behind it is simple: first, the electronics are switched on using the input signal, and then the mechanical contacts takeover for the duration.

Rittal will shortly be launching new motor controllers into the range. These can be fitted directly and easily onto the board in a one-step installation, to minimise the time and effort spent on wiring.

A compact solution for small spaces Rittal offers motor controllers in three staggered current ranges: 8 A/2.4 A/8 A. These combine the functions of direct starter and reversing starter within one single device. Its slimline profile - just 22.5 mm wide - is particularly impressive and frees up around 50 percent more space compared to the standard 45 mm-wide switching


The three-phase motor controller is a high-performance hybrid switching device with a current monitoring function, offering a longer lifespan and low-loss operation.

The motor controller also provides diagnostics, which to detect internal and external errors. The operating statuses and error messages can then be evaluated through the four different illuminated LEDs.

3D Configurator To help engineers, Rittal has also produced a 3D configurator that reduces the time required to generate Compact RiLine busbar systems. A series of easy to follow steps produces detailed drawings, the ability to select component adaptors, and a bill of materials https://www.rittal.com/com_en/riline/konfigurator/#/6. Further information at www.rittal.co.uk and www.friedhelm-loh-group.com or on twitter @rittal_ltd.

SOFTWARE & SERVICES www.rittal.co.uk


February 2018

BSRIA LAUNCHES ITS FAMOUS BLUE BOOK 2018 BSRIA is delighted to announce that the launch of the BSRIA Blue Book for 2018. The famous Blue Book contains invaluable industry information. This includes: key contacts (including BSRIA North); conversion data; key performance indicators; market statistics; legislation and financial information. BSRIA’s services, training courses and current publications are also covered. BSRIA’s annual databook for 2018 is “small but concise” and continues to offer a myriad of guidelines about building services. Steve Sansom, Information & Knowledge Manager, BSRIA

The BSRIA Blue Book 2018 has a portfolio of helpful content and is a huge boon to the Membership and Information department

Steve Sansom, BSRIA’s Information & Knowledge Manager, said: “The BSRIA Blue Book 2018 has a portfolio of helpful content and is a huge boon to the Membership and Information department. It is the go-to tool for giving members and industry beneficial information quickly. I would very strongly recommend usage of this publication as the wealth of information is of immense value to anyone in the built environment and construction industries. This edition details all the services offered by BSRIA with key contacts of our experts. We have retained sections on building services, technical data and legislation and updated our Brexit material. The BSRIA Blue Book is worth its weight in gold and crucial for members and industry to garner essential intelligence: it is brimming with data. I hope you will find the book exceedingly useful.” BSRIA Blue Book 2018


February 2018

Surface Technologies

Improving component life and performance l Controlled Shot Peening l Laser Shock Peening l Thermal Spray Coatings l Dry Film Lubricants l Organic and Inorganic Coatings l Parylene Ultra-thin Conformal Coatings l Superfinishing l On-site Processing l Material Testing and Analysis l NADCAP, ISO 9001:2008, ISO 13485, AS9100 Rev C

www.cwst.co.uk CWST will be exhibiting at Advance Engineering Show Nov 2017, Stand L83

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February 2018

Efficient Automation of Life Science Laboratories As the world’s leading manufacturer of laboratory instruments and solutions for life science laboratories, Tecan offers efficient automation featuring Leuze electronic sensor systems. Multilane – fast code reading with the smallest modules and a small dead zone Small installation clearances, small module sizes, and fast code reading from a minimum distance– these requirements are always particularly challenging for code readers. To find the right scanner for the detection of sample tubes, their allocation and traceability tailored to their requirements for a multilane application, was at the same time the job and challenge of Markus Wolf. As a senior systems analyst, he has been developing system concepts for the Swiss manufacturer and solution provider for laboratory instruments Tecan for over 20 years. Scanners play an important role in the overall workflow to effectively track samples and thus increase the process reliability. “In the end, the development is always a matter of incorporating the customer’s needs in the design input requirements and comparing them with different scanner specifications, so that the best possible solution can be offered to the end user,” explains Wolf.

Space-saving integration in compact analyzers A frequent requirement is the ability to integrate a bar code reader into compact analyzers in a space-saving manner, despite their wide reading field. For Tecan, this was a decisive criterion when selecting the BCL300 bar code reader from Leuze electronic for the new automation platform. “In fact, the BCL 300 bar code reader from Leuze electronic was the only device on the market that satisfied my expectations of the reading field,” says Markus Wolf. “In addition to the large reading field, another benefit is that numerous special functions, such as software commands and security features, could be flexibly integrated into the bar code reader at a good price/ performance ratio.” Even the look of the device has been modified to the individual requirements of Tecan. This resulted in a unique, pre-configured scanner, specifically tailored to the needs of Tecan, which received a customized model number and thus was subject to change management approval at Leuze electronic. This means that no software or hardware changes can be made without prior customer agreement, which is essential for certified devices in the field of medical technology.

Flexible, complete single-source solution “It is also beneficial for us that we will be able to receive our own individual bar code reader, including the circuit board, as a complete package from Leuze electronic,” according to the systems analyst. Both, the optics system and the circuit board are made by the Leuze Group: The optics module is manufactured by the optical sensors manufacturer Leuze electronic in Owen. The assembled circuit board and its integrated systems built upon the PCBs are from Leuze assembly, a 100% subsidiary of Leuze electronic. An advanced logistics concept facilitates the combination of a large spectrum of lot sizes with a wide range of variants. The extensive palette of technological services makes Leuze electronic assembly a competent and reliable partner for the mounting of THT and SMT components on flexible or rigid PCBs. Its core competence lies in connection technology on flexible base material as well as in the mounting of fine pitch BGAs, including “Package on Package” (PoP) solutions.


Multilane – a challenge For this specific multilane application from Tecan’s Freedeom EVO® platform, 6 x 16 lanes must be identified, while 6 x 32 lanes for their Fluent® variant. When looking at the projected number of samples, this corresponds to one 96 well-plate for the Freedom EVO® platform and two for Fluent®. The samples as well as the position labels must be read very quickly and simultaneously by the bar code scanner (“fly-by”) and allocated to each other accordingly. There is absolutely no tolerance for errors here. Due to its high depth of field, the BCL 300 bar code reader from Leuze electronic, laser class 2, reads these lanes regardless of the order in which the racks are inserted. Depending on the analyzer, this open platform is placed on a worktable with a stainless steel or an aluminum surface. By scanning 32 bar codes and identifying them within three seconds only, the new Fluent ID™-module works extremely efficiently while avoiding waiting and observation times for the liquid handling station. It is equipped with a status indicator, which immediately signals the user a “pass” or “fail” after loading the tubes. Customer-specific development for Tecan In order to ensure completely secure identification of the sample bar codes, Markus Wolf counts on another functionality of the BCL300, which was specifically adapted for Tecan: the geometric analysis of the reflected laser light. With this functionality, the analysis unit of the bar code scanner can precisely determine the horizontal position of the reflex. This is extremely important, because the rule for the automation of analysis processes is: no errors are allowed; especially when it comes to the complete identification and traceability of samples in the laboratory. The BCL 300 bar code reader – an efficient, economical solution The combination of fast, highly reliable identification with direct feedback and error handling on the Fluent® platform represents an economical solution for the user: compared to conventional automation approaches, this variant saves the end user several days a year in time and thus money. In addition, the Leuze electronic BCL 300 bar code reader offers the functionality of a light barrier and thus enables activation without additional sensors, which minimizes further sources of errors and saves costs. In this variant, the bar code reader points a reduced reflector beam on an opposing reflector while the reading gate remains closed. Only by retracting the racks, the reflector becomes hidden, which then allows the scanner to be activated.

February 2018

What does 2018 have in store for the manufacturing and process industries? Manufacturers weathered a turbulent 2017, with Brexit uncertainty and questions around productivity just two of the challenges thrown at them. Now, with the turn of the new year they’re looking ahead with a degree of measured optimism, thanks in no small part to the launch of the government’s Industrial Strategy whitepaper coupled with positive economic forecasts for the USA, Europe and Asia. Ian Shott CBE, chairman of UK leading chemical and biochemical design engineering firm BPE, looks ahead to see what 2018 has in store for the manufacturing and process industries. Brexit to kickstart reindustrialisation For decades we’ve been reliant on Europe for imports of certain goods. With Brexit on the horizon, ministers are looking at how we can make a change and start to replace that with local manufacturing on UK soil. From the conversations I’ve been having with ministers it’s clear they see Brexit as a golden opportunity to stimulate what we do here in the UK and they’re highly motivated to support a reindustrialisation of the country supported by the Industrial Strategy and increased Government funding for Science and Innovation.

Businesses both sides of the channel to push for a fair deal Before Christmas the CIA (Chemical Industries Association) made a joint statement with its European counterparts about what they expected from Brexit. Their expectations were identical. With the private sector united on both sides of the water, the UK government – and Brussels – will come under pressure to ensure any new regulations are fair, particularly those relating to movement of goods.

More high value product manufacturers to embrace continuous processing Continuous processing will become even more prevalent in 2018, as increasing numbers of small volume high value manufacturers cotton on to the efficiency benefits it brings. The pharmaceutical sector is already coming on-board, spurred on by a need to maintain profitability amidst the government’s increasing regulatory and pricing pressures on the industry. The patent cliff of the last decade was

the danger warning pharmaceutical manufacturers needed to reassess their processes and look at how they could make them more efficient. Now they’re doing that by switching their small-scale production from batch to continuous. At BPE we’ve seen a marked increase in continuous processing projects in the last few years and this will continue drive opportunity going forward.

Industry 4.0, the productivity hero The vast majority of economists expect productivity growth to remain sluggish in the UK in 2018, partly because uncertainty about the UK’s future outside the EU is expected to weigh on investment spending.

Businesses will feel this on the ground as industrial challenge funds start to open up. Arcinova, a Contract Research and Development Organisation of which I am managing director, has just won a grant of more than £1m to develop small scale modular continuous processing for drug manufacturing. We’re expecting there to be more where this came from. An Industry 4.0 fund is definitely in the pipeline and we’re predicting an industrial challenge fund for bio technology soon, which BPE could take advantage of in helping its clients to develop new processes.

Rewriting the rulebook for Hazop

However, we think Industry 4.0 will play a significant role in boosting productivity over the next 12 months. We’re working with some big name companies to design new plants and facilities and they’re really embracing automation and a move towards a ‘smart factory’. The environment is very receptive to using technology to solve efficiency issues.

As an industry we’ve been using the same approach for Hazop studies for the last four decades. When you think about the evolution that’s taken place over that time, particularly in terms of technology, it’s clear we need to reassess our approach to ensure it’s fit for purpose.

At BPE we’re using computer aided systems to design more productive plants for our customers and make our own operations more efficient too.

Mike Brown, BPE’s managing director, has spent the last 12 months doing exactly that and we plan to unveil a new and much more productive approach in early 2018.

Government investment in the process industries The government is desperate to catch up with countries like Germany when it comes to productivity. As a result, it’s investing heavily in innovation that will boost productivity in the important manufacturing sector. For the first time in decades, we have a clear industrial strategy that’s underpinned by real investment. Westminster is injecting £4.7bn into innovation and research this term and promising to add £2bn more per year thereafter.

Chemicals and pharmaceutical sector set for growth There was strong growth in 2017 and we’re expecting this to continue into the coming year. There will be Brexit uncertainty but capital investment), research and development expenditure and jobs are also set to continue to grow over the next year according to research from the Chemicals Industries Association.


February 2018

Driving Innovation Forward Driving innovation is central to the ethos of Minesoft, a patent solutions provider for the intellectual property industry. With over 80% of the technological and scientific information available in patents inaccessible anywhere else, ignoring patents as an information source at best delays innovation and at worst, prevents it.

development in their field of expertise and identification of opportunities ripe for new product development and patenting activity. All this can be discovered and visualised using PatBase Analytics.

“What we do offers a benefit to society because studying the existing patent literature helps scientists and engineers develop their best ideas,” says Ann Chapman, Minesoft Co-Founder. “Technologies of all kinds are continually driven forward. New ideas and innovative solutions to technical problems are published in patent documents every single week around the world, adding to the existing ‘State of the Art’”.

Minesoft’s commitment to develop innovative products for the patent information market ensures organisations are empowered to explore new technologies and exploit patent literature. This commitment has resulted in Queen’s Awards for Enterprise and new product development, such as Minesoft’s version of IET INSPEC (published by the Institute of Engineering & Technology in the UK). Access over 15 million articles of peer-reviewed Engineering & Technology research literature abstracted and indexed by experts; Minesoft INSPEC ensures easy navigation with timesaving search features.

Minesoft’s flagship product PatBase enables users, including corporations such as Audi and Siemens, to protect their designs by checking novelty against existing patents and to solve technical dilemmas by studying patent texts, patent drawings and non-patent literature. Our Users can access and understand the most up-to-date scientific research, new ideas and competitor information contained in patent documents with a range of search and display functionalities, including text and diagrams, semantic searching, translations and fully-incorporated PatBase Analytics. PatBase Express offers a streamlined and easy-to-use interface encouraging a wide range of Users to engage with patent information and identify opportunities for invention or licensing. Research and Development Business Units benefit from in-depth analysis of technological

Minesoft recently launched Chemical Explorer, a new text-mined resource for chemical patent searching. With over 10 million chemical names and entities disclosed in English, French, German, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Extract patent documents quickly by drawing chemical structures or searching the text. Over the past three decades, patent filings have tripled! Sifting through a mountain of science and technology data is daunting, hence, Minesoft is proving to be an essential resource for innovative companies and universities to help harness the power of patents.

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February 2018

10 new ISO 7010 safety signs on durable materials 10 new ISO 7010 Safety Signs have been internationally published by the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO). The new signs are already available from Brady on high performance materials for optimal durability and compliance in a range of industrial contexts.

Internationally understandable signs

Available on durable materials

A simple safety sign can prevent costly workplace accidents if it is clearly visible, draws attention and is easy to understand. Because of this, it is advisable to comply with the international ISO 7010 standard whenever new facilities become operational, or when worn and faded safety signs are replaced. The new, expanded ISO 7010 list of internationally published safety signs now includes a standard sign for Fire Protection Doors, Arc Flash, Protection Shelters, 3 mandatory safety signs for toboggans, 2 prohibition signs for oboggans, one for intoxicated people and a sign prohibiting smart glasses.

Brady Corporation already offers the new ISO 7010 Safety Signs on high performance materials to optimise their durability in challenging industrial contexts, including indoor high heat, chemical and washdown facilities and outdoor and off-shore environments. Available high performance materials include laminated polyester, polypropylene, aluminium, vinyl, rigid vinyl and photoluminescent ‘glow-in-the-dark’ materials. Increase workplace safety

visible place for maximum effect. All ISO 7010 safety signs can already be ordered pre-printed on a wide range of durable sign materials. If you have a Brady safety printer, you can even print the new ISO-signs today. All you need to do is download the ‘Custom Designer’ app from Brady Workstation to send the new Arc Flash, Fire Protection Door sign or any other ISO 7010 sign to your printer.

Within a few days, the new signs could already be preventing accidents in your workplace. Apply them in a

Get the free ISO 7010 safety signs guide and Brady Workstation apps via the Brady website.


February 2018

Reduce your downtime


It’s a known problem with electric motors; bearings fail prematurely due to misalignment and vibration causing downtime and increased maintenance costs. Choose quality to reduce these failures by half…… insist on a KTR coupling. Any pump to any motor, we’ve got a coupling to suit the job and our split hub ROTEX® and BoWex® designs offer one of the quickest maintenance turnarounds in the industry!




THAT FIT Once just a boiler manufacturer, Fulton now specialises in ready-to-ship skid mounted and fully packaged boiler plant rooms that meet the current demand for off-site fabrication. We put great emphasis in providing sales and application advice and a full commissioning and after sales service for hospital, food and beverage processing, petrochemical and other installations. Our steam, hot water and thermal oil solutions are delivered as fully-prefabricated plant rooms or complete skid-mounted units, built to fit a prepared location and connect direct to your services.

TO BUY BRITISH, VISIT FULTON.CO.UK EMAIL SALES@FULTON.CO.UK OR CALL +44 (0)117 972 3322 FBW111 - Skid Solutions Advertisement - IPE.indd 1


17/11/2015 12:51

February 2018

New compact hydraulic drive unit, with integrated axial piston motor â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

Bonfiglioli 600WT series The drive specialist Bonfiglioli is extending its range of wheel drive with the introduction of the new 600WT drive series, that integrate a new axial piston motor especially designed for agricultural equipment. The 606WT wheel drive from Bonfiglioli, perfectly combines proven mechanical systems with a new integrated 68 cc/rev swashplate motor and thus, represents the best choice for agricultural machinery having closed loop circuits such as self-propelled sprayers. This drive unit, which provides an output torque of up to 17.000 Nm, integrates the Th68 axial piston motor designed for a continuous pressure of 450 bar, a maximum volumetric flow rate of 160 l/min and it is capable of zero displacement.

Additional features of the 606WT drive units are the two position hydraulic displacement control or alternatively an electrical proportional continuously variable displacement control and the built-in speed sensor. Mechanical gear disengagement, an integrated parking brake, springactuated hydraulically released or a dynamic brake, which includes an inspection port are available as options. With more than 40 years of experience alongside the major agricultural machinery manufacturers, and a broad range of reliable, efficient and innovative products, Bonfiglioli is the ideal partner to get the perfect solutions.

www.bonfiglioli.com 64|

February 2018


roto Labs, the leading provider of technology-enabled, rapid manufacturing solutions, announces the extension of its in-house 3D-printing capabilities with the inclusion of specialist plating services for plastic parts built using Stereolithography (SL) or Selective Laser Sintering technology (SLS).


Application examples include: •

Plating components that are thin & lightweight with a very high level of detail; plating offers an alternative finish for a surface or shape that cannot be milled (or milling is too costly to be viable).

Coating of finished components to provide shielding against electric or magnetic field

Finishing of surfaces with chrome for producing a prototype suitable for customer validation and presentation

By offering both SL and SLS with a secondary ‘plating’ option, Proto Labs is responding to customer demand for parts with the finished aesthetic and inherent strength intended for the finished product. These augmented characteristics are achieved by ‘plating’ parts with materials including copper, nickel and chromium. Plated Stereolithography or Selective Laser Sintering technology parts support prototyping requirements across a range of applications from all industries including: automotive, bathroom fittings and equipment for electrical engineering use. Daniel Cohn, General Manager of Proto Labs, Germany, comments, “We are continually evolving our capabilities to ensure we meet the demands of our customers. We have become increasingly aware of the significant enhancements plating makes to the capabilities of the resultant part, hence our move to offer these services in-house. Now, with plating technology and operational expertise in-house, we can manufacture plated parts with increased capabilities that will support product testing and project progression even further.”


February 2018

Interroll Pallet Control PC 6000 enables zero-pressure pallet conveyance Interroll is expanding its decentralized control and drive concept, which has been used successfully for years with the Interroll 24 V DC RollerDrive and the Interroll MultiControl for zero-pressure unit load handling. Now, the portfolio also includes a special solution for pallet conveyance. The Interroll Group, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading provider of material flow solutions, now also enables zeropressure pallet conveyance. The new Pallet Control 6000 control unit, available now, is a key component of the complete solution, which also includes the conveyor rollers, the MultiControl and the Interroll Pallet Drive. It allows the use of 400V AC drive technology. This new solution makes uninterrupted, trouble-free material flow much easier to achieve: Until now, zero pressure pallet conveyance usually involved great costs using programmable logic controller (PLC) software and additional pneumatics to ensure an automated flow of goods at the transfer points to, for example, the stacking machines or lifts in the warehouse. However, the solution from Interroll eliminates the need for centralized PLC cabling and PLC programming. The new control unit serves as a link between the drive and Interrollâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proven MultiControl, which again provides the complete logic for zero-pressure conveyance. Simple, energy-efficient, gentle on materials, and compact A pallet conveyor using Interroll technology is energy-efficient as it is not under continuous operation. Rather, it can be split into different


zones, which are able to activate and de-activate automatically, as and when required. This offers the benefit of only using energy when material is actually being conveyed by the system. So, the only pallet drives activated at any given time are those that are currently required to enable the optimum flow of pallets. The integrated soft start function reduces the starting torque, which relieves the load on all mechanical components, thereby providing for optimum pallet acceleration. Pallet over-run after the Pallet Drive has been switched off is also regulated by Pallet Control. Another benefit of this solution is its compact nature: As a drum motor, the Interroll Pallet Drive has the same dimensions as the conveyor rollers used. It can, therefore, be seamlessly integrated in a conveyor profile. This means that the drive station requires no extra space, and the conveyor can be fitted directly on the floor or integrated in a turntable. Compared with solutions using an external gear motor, this represents significant space savings. The use of the MultiControl allows visualization of the conveying system and is certified for PROFINET, EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT fieldbuses. It is, therefore, very easy for the user to operate.

Component for Logistics 4.0: Performance data and functions for preventive maintenance Many of the functions are designed for preventive maintenance. The Pallet Control Configurator, which can be downloaded from the Interroll website, allows you to easily change parameters or modify the direction of rotation via the USB connection of the Pallet Control, without having to move and re-plug cables. Current and power can be monitored and the current status is displayed. In addition, the total operating time of the respective Pallet Drive is displayed, which allows you to preventively arrange the necessary maintenance. This reduces maintenance requirements and possible downtimes to a minimum. A thermal protection contact and continuous analysis of current consumption protect the Pallet Drive against overload. The optional brake in the Pallet Drive is also activated via Pallet Control. Alternatively, Pallet Control can be activated via other 24V digital inputs or a 0-10V DC analogue input. This solution is suitable for pallet weights of up to 1,250 kg and a conveyor speed of up to 0.22 m/s. It therefore covers all common applications in the market.

February 2018

NORD Gear Ltd. launches myNORD Customer Portal in UK: NORD DRIVESYSTEMS’ full-version product configuration and project management tool now includes pricing, order processing, multiple user access and more


ORD DRIVESYSTEMS’ myNORD Customer Portal is now fully available to UK users at www.nord.com. For non-registered customers, the portal allows use of the NORD Product Configurator - the comprehensive product sizing and configuration tool for geared motors, motors and drive electronics. The full version of MyNORD builds upon this impressive resource with a simple registration and login process that brings many additional benefits including product configuration saving, product pricing and quotations, ordering and order/shipping status, maintenance and servicing support, plus the ability to work in groups on team-shared projects. The myNORD Customer Portal has been extensively trialled in Germany over the past few years and is now being rolled out in many other countries. The web-interfaced Product Configurator allows smartphone or desktop users round-the-clock access for sizing and selection across NORD’s comprehensive range of drive mechanics, electric motors and drive electronics.

configuration saving for future use. This level of registered use also allows multiple access for work colleagues in shared projects. The myNORD portal can be used to build complete project history with full search, selection and retrieval of previously recorded configuration information. For fully registered customers, purchase orders related to configured products can be immediately placed with order status and delivery tracking available within a few key strokes. Direct access to NORD’s comprehensive Document Center is also provided which is linked to the specific order number or product serial number found on the nameplate or order confirmation. This includes operating and maintenance instructions and spare parts lists. The portal also provides a convenient resource area for maintenance and service. A technical service menu directs the user to product training and aftersales services such as repairs, spare parts and 24 /7 emergency contact details.

Intuitive screens present users with relevant product features available that are based on input specification parameters. Options and features that are not available within a product range are greyed-out and Tool-tips, Call-outs and illustrations help to make selection straightforward. On completion of product configuration, CAD file download is available in a wide choice of formats. Guest users may request a quotation whereas fully registered can immediately retrieve quotations with their agreed purchase pricing with the added benefit of


February 2018

to change between up to 21 different tools. Andrew continues: “The a-DiB5 series offers manufacturers and subcontractors unprecedented access to high-speed, reliable and accurate automated production. You don’t need to compromise on floor space either: machining can be spread across several ROBODRILLs, instead of relying on a dedicated transfer machine. Its highquality finishing capabilities also mean that no additional machining centres are required.”

FANUC LAUNCHES ITS FASTEST AND STRONGEST VERTICAL MACHINING CENTRE YET FANUC has launched its latest ROBODRILL series – the strongest and quickest range of vertical machining centres on the market. The a-DiB5 series represents the latest automated vertical machining technology for milling, drilling and tapping applications, incorporating network interface, preventative maintenance and machine learning capabilities, alongside FANUC’s industry-leading CNC drives and servos. It includes six re-designed models in small, medium and large sizes, with standard or advanced functionality available. The series is suitable for both short production runs and mass production. “The launch of our latest range for ROBODRILL is an exciting stepup for FANUC’s automated vertical machining capabilities,” says Andrew Armstrong, sales and marketing manager at FANUC UK. “As well as incorporating the high-repeatability and accuracy for which FANUC is


widely recognised, this series offers unprecedented capabilities within Industry 4.0 and machine tending. As standard, FANUC’s latest ROBODRILL range also comes equipped with intelligent cutting capabilities, allowing all models to achieve the same results as more powerful machines, in less time.” Each a-DiB5 machine is designed for minimal maintenance, thanks to a robust build quality, low number of parts, and a turret capable of handling tools of up to 4kg. The likelihood of machine faults or unexpected downtime is also reduced, thanks to the ROBODRILL’s rugged cast cross table, dynamic BBT30 spindle (with speeds between 10,000 and 24,000 rpm), and multiple swarf evacuation options. The range can achieve cut-to-cut speeds of 1.5 seconds for standard models and 1.3 seconds for the advanced. The advanced model also holds the quickest tool change time on the market, taking 0.7 seconds

In addition to the latest hardware capabilities, the a-DiB5 series integrates Industry 4.0-compatible software for 24-hour, unmanned machining. The ROBODRILL communicates easily with FANUC robots for machine tending, while preventative maintenance and AI capabilities warn of and, in some cases, prevent, potential issues before they occur. This is achieved through Linki, FANUC’s production management software. Linki allows the seamless capture of productions data, operations results, status monitoring and diagnostics. ROBODRILLs can be connected to a central server, along with other FANUC CNC-controlled products, which enables real-time monitoring of a local or remote factory. Andrew concludes: “ROBODRILLs are used across the automotive, electrical, watch-making, tool-making, medical industries, aerospace and high-precision applications, which demonstrates just how versatile and adaptable this product range can be. “Don’t worry if you’re new to automation – FANUC has integrated intuitive user interfaces and program guides to make set-up, maintenance and management as simple as possible. Whether you’re machining intricate parts for medical devices, or engine parts for an automotive production line, the ROBODRILL a-DiB5 series represents an excellent investment in automated machining for the mass producer and the small-scale subcontractor alike.” For more information on the ROBODRILL product range, please visit http://www.fanuc.eu.uk/en/robodrill/ robodrill-models./

February 2018

Is Training Trivial?

Training days have always been one of the best ways to boost morale in the workplace, improve safety, develop employees, among many other benefits. So why the hesitation? Budget, unfamiliarity, or uncertainty are key factors but I like to live by Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote “Live as if you’ll die tomorrow. Learn as if you’ll live forever.” My colleague and I joined the BVAA team within a few weeks of each other. Barbara, fitting the role of the brandnew Events Manager, having had oodles of experience in that area. Myself, taking up the role of Marketing Coordinator, with a background in customer service and graphic design.

In conclusion, I believe that training in general is not trivial. From my experience, I’d say that it was essential for employee development and contributing to business success. This training course is exactly as expressed on the tin. It’s an introduction to the valve and actuator industry, with a warm environment, lots of physical examples framing the room, friendly and welcoming staff, ample of parking, and did I mention that lunch is included? If I’ve sparked your curiosity, and you’d like to find out what other courses we have available, visit our website www.bvaa.org.uk/training or call 01295 221 270.

Safe to say we knew nothing about valves or actuators, considering we are now part of the British Valve and Actuator Association. The voice of the valve and actuator industry. So naturally our CEO enrolled us onto the ‘Introduction to Valves’ training course that the BVAA run in house, independently. A one-day training course, where a leading professional expert, who “wrote The Book” about valves, enlightened us to the basics of valves, their components, usages (from a household tap to giant North Sea oil rigs) and their importance. Great for people like us, who are new to the industry. For more in-tune individuals, who have the introductory knowledge, the BVAA also host more indepth courses, such as ‘Valves – Advanced Level’.

Email: natalie@bvaa.org.uk Tel: 01295 221 277 Web: www.bvaa.org.uk/training |69

February 2018

Bigneat delivers custom designed controlled environment curing system. Laboratory safety cabinet and enclosure manufacturer Bigneat Ltd has installed a custom designed and manufactured controlled environment system to answer the specific needs of a leading transfusion diagnostics company. The company has developed an innovative diagnostic system that will allow automated blood type testing and disease screening, providing significant clinical benefits - significant savings in testing costs and rapid results. The system utilises highly characterized antigen and antibody panels which require a critical manufacturing process. One step is the precise controlled rate of drying of a liquid solution which provides a solid protective coating. Bigneat was tasked with coming up with a custom design for a controlled environment drying system made up of multiple drying pods, each with independent controls and constant monitoring of the process parameters. The system would be installed in a clean room environment following the strict guidelines of GMP regulations. The main criteria for the drying phase was to achieve a curing time of 3 – 4 hours per pod. The system Bigneat designed and manufactured has 12 independently operating pods, each provided with uniform, very dry clean air and with fully automated operation. A regulated dehumidifier and cooling system develops the controlled dry atmosphere and the system features state-of-the-art electronics which constantly monitors the environment parameters and boasts a large MMI touch screen control panel for ease of operator use. The collated process data is stored in the memory of the PLC controller which has direct connection with the company’s Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to transfer and store critical data such as manufacturing recipes and alarms. Commenting on the system development Bigneat’s General Manager of Containment Solutions, Stephen Pratt, said “We worked closely with our client every step of the way to design and supply a fully operational solution, it’s been a challenging and

enjoyable process”, he adds “We are increasingly being asked for special designs to solve customer specific process needs and its one of the most enjoyable aspects of what we do.” Bigneat manufactures a range of standard sized enclosures including with controlled environments and readers are urged to visit the website for more details. Please visit: www.bigneat.com


February 2018

Brillopak transforms retailer’s apple packing process Experts in end of line automation for fresh food produce, Brillopak, has used their destacking technology to save costs and improve apple packing efficiency for one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK. product accumulations which are commonplace when using roundtables, operatives pack at the fastest consistent speed, regardless of the number of product changeovers per shift,” says David. Empty crates are presented to the packing operative in the same orientation as the product, mitigating repetitive strain caused by twisting and turning.

Brillopak installed five apple packing lines at the retailer’s central distribution centre near Kettering. Serving over 500 stores nationwide, the Centre of Excellence has transformed its operation from a roundtable manual crate separation and loading method, to a high speed, optimised apple packing and palletising process. Prior to the installation, three operatives loaded flow-wrapped apple packs into crates by hand. Loaded crates were then placed onto a main track conveyor system, which took them away for palletising. Bringing together four of Brillopak’s modular systems, each line comprises a crate lift unit and tray destacker, a semiautomated packing station, a bale arm closer, plus a dual crate stacker unit feeding out onto the main palletising conveyor line. Crate expectations Empty crates are fed from two master crate destackers to each packing line, in stacks of three from the main track. A crate destacker on each line separates the crates and passes them through to a semi-automatic packer, which is ergonomically designed for maximum efficiency. Once the tray is packed it passes through a bale arm closer to check that the bale arm is closed, and then to a dual crate stacker, which places one crate on top of the other. The loaded stacks of crates are then presented back onto

the main track conveyor for delivery to the palletiser. “It’s the epitome of efficiency,” notes Brillopak director David Jahn. Crates are fed onto the main track system from by two high speed Brillopak C250 dual crate destackers. In addition to supplying the five new apple packing lines, the system also feed crates to 12 pre-existing fresh produce lines located in the same building. Each dual system can destack up to 18 crates per minute, which means the lines are fast, uncluttered and efficient. The reliable overhead track system delivers a continuous stream of crates to the production line or crate wash system. The robust design and construction allows for continuous usage, reduces labour costs and reduces health and safety risks due to repetitive handling of crates. Picky about quality At ground level, each line features five C130 Semi Automated packing stations. Rather than apples bumping around roundtables, which causes bruising and waste, operatives are fed product at the right height in the right orientation for them to pack at a consistent and optimum pace into crates. “We have found that by removing the potential of distracting

The head of operations and product improvement at the distribution centre concurs: “I believe in running production lines at their optimum efficiency at the highest possible continuous speed without downtime. That is how real efficiency is achieved. I like the simplicity of the Brillopak machines as it means that they are both easy to use and less likely to go wrong.” He adds: “Our new apple packing lines went live on time and on budget and have already achieved a step change in the quality of product that we deliver. This has been combined with a significant cost saving, which in turn makes us more competitive and helps us serve our supermarket customers better. We have been delighted with the installation and operation of the end of line solutions delivered by Brillopak. The design ensures that our lines do not suffer minor stops typically attributable to poor end of line solutions.” David ends: “Apples are a mainstay fruit in the UK and we are picky about quality. By the time apples reach the case loading and palletising process, they have already been through a journey from the farm to sortation, grading and packaging. With presentation in supermarket crates being central to visual consumer appeal, it makes no commercial sense to jeopardise product quality at this last phase.” To minimise production disruption, Brillopak built, tested and installed the machines in phases.


February 2018

ROTECH RF-LITE CODER MEATS THE BRIEF AT SYKES HOUSE FARM Yorkshire butcher and meat supplier Sykes House Farm no longer has any worries about incorrect date codes after replacing a manual hand-stamping operation with an RF-Lite offline thermal inkjet coder from Rotech. In the 1960s, an increasingly tough farming industry led livestock farmer Martin Smith and his father to look at diversification. The Wetherby farm gradually established itself as a catering butcher and Sykes House Farm is now one of the best known meat suppliers in Yorkshire, enjoying strong relationships with restaurants, hotels, pubs, schools and care homes. In recent years, the family butcher has also branched out into retail, supplying the major multiples with meat products such as sausages and burgers for sale under various brands. Originally, the company was handstamping date codes onto sleeves destined for retailers. This was not only a time- and labour-intensive process, but also one that was open to human error. A date coding error that resulted in a costly product recall was the catalyst for Sykes House Farm to embark on a search for a more reliable solution for coding sleeves for packs of bacon, sausages and burgers. “We wanted to remove the margin for human error with a machine on which the codes are generated via software, whilst at the same time increasing the speed of the coding operation to keep pace with our growing retail business,” says Robert Smith, managing director of the third generation family business. But finding the right coder was far less straightforward than he expected. “A lot of companies use online ink jet coders to apply date codes. We couldn’t do that because with each order, the design of the sleeve is different and the coding area is in a different position. On bacon, for example, the use-by date tends to be on the back of the pack whereas on sausages it is usually on the front of the pack,” explains Robert. After a two year search, which resulted in just one “astronomical” quote, in 2016, Sykes House Farm finally found Rotech, a Hertfordshire specialist in coding,


marking and feeding systems. Rotech’s recommendation - the RF-Lite - came in at a far more realistic £7000, supplied complete with a thermal inkjet printer. “From them on, it was pretty straightforward. We told Rotech what we wanted and sent them samples of our sleeves; they then came up with a solution - the RF Lite - and offered us a free on-site demonstration,” recalls Robert. The RF-Lite is an entry-level carton and sleeve coding system that is ideal for food packers and processors who are looking to make the step-up from a manual coding operation. “In developing the RF-Lite, we were effectively realising our dream of driving the cost out of offline coding, without driving out the quality. We wanted to build a coder that was easy to buy, easy to set up and easy to use, bringing the benefits of automated marking within the reach of smaller food manufacturers for the first time,” says Richard Pether, director of Rotech. The RF-Lite takes flat cardboard sleeves or cartons from a hopper, feeds them through a printer so they can be coded, and stacks them again ready for use. Robert says he liked the fact the coder was “relatively simple, which meant there wasn’t much to go wrong”. Also important to Sykes House Farm was the system’s ability to code anywhere on the sleeve and for the position of the code to be varied with each run. The RF-Lite can also handle pack shapes and sizes ranging anywhere from 40x70mm to 300x200mm and can be easily adjusted to swap between sizes. “It only takes a few seconds to swap between sizes by adjusting the size of the hopper. This involves loosening a screw, making the adjustment and tightening it back up – all without the need for any special tools or training,” says Richard. The machine’s linear speed is 60m/s, which means it can handle just under 200x300mm sleeves or around 250x200mm sleeves per minute, and all on a tiny 500x500mm footprint.

Rotech delivered the coder last November, programmed to restrict operator control. “The coder was set up to automatically generate use-by dates for each product, removing the potential for an operator to input the wrong date,” explains Richard. “At the same time, there is a facility to retrieve operator control and alter the date in the event of, say, production running a day late.” Sykes House Farm is coding around 4000 sleeves a week with the RF-Lite, and says this takes a fraction of the time it used to take with the manual system. “Automating our coding operation has massively reduced the amount of time we spend on coding; what used to take an hour now takes five minutes with the RFLite. The codes look a lot more professional than with the hand stamper - the thermal inkjet printer produces codes that are clear, clean and crisp, and, most importantly, we are now completely confident that there is no risk of packs being coded with the wrong date. It’s a machine we should have bought three years ago; we just didn’t know where to buy it,” says Robert.

February 2018

Pump and valve innovator finds a test rig technology that talks the torque To analyse the long term performance and reliability of hard working valves and pumps, serial innovators Manchester-based Bifold Group has adopted radio frequency based torque transducers from Sensor Technology Ltd for two of its specialist test rigs. An inter-generational commitment to advancing science and engineering has seen Bifold transform from a 19th century mining lamp maker into a leading manufacturer of instrument valves and accessories, piping valves and pumps for the oil, gas and wider industrial markets. It has particular expertise in subsea and wellhead control systems and has also developed market leading technology in areas such as solenoid valves with ultra-low power requirements. Its corporate development is just as impressive as its technical advancements. Over the last 10-15 years it has consistently grown profits by 50% a year, and is on course to clear £33m this year. During this period it has moved into bespoke premises, created about 250 high value jobs, developed new products and technologies and entered high tech markets around the world. Today 95% of its output is exported. By using the power of computer aided design many of Bifold’s products are built to custom designs, yet they are produced to very short lead times thanks to the efficiency of internet communications. To maintain this standard, sample products and components are comprehensively tested so that their reliability and capabilities are never in doubt. Bifold is as innovative in developing its test regimes as it is in advancing its product technologies and business systems. So when it wanted to assess the effects of wear on its long-life valves it set about designing a special test rig. Engineer Andrew Laverick recalls: “We wanted to measure the power required to operate the valve to see how it changed over time and with long term use. It was clear that the best way to do this was to measure the torque input over an extended period.”

their output. The SAW devices are interrogated wirlessly using an RF couple, which passes the SAW data to and from the electronics inside the body of the transducer. Sensor Technology’s Mark Ingham explains: “All you have to do is set up a TorqSense transducer in the test rig and fire it up. The SAW frequencies reflected back are distorted in proportion to the twist in the test piece, which in turn is proportional to the level of torque. We have some clever electronics to analyse the returning wave and feed out torque values to a computer screen. “TorqSense has been used on many test rigs over the years and I was delighted to hear the Bifold engineers say how easy it is to use and how robust the software is.” Laverick again: “As a test engineer you are almost resigned to long set up procedures and software that falls over at the drop of a hat. But Sensor Technology has designed these problems out of their TorqSense equipment, with the result that we were able to complete our long term test procedures with the minimum amount of fuss and heartache and well within the allotted time schedule.” In fact Bifold has since bought a second TorqSense which is being fitted to a new test rig used to assess the performance of mission critical chemical injection pumps, as used at oil and gas wellheads and on process pipelines. “This project is proceeding well,” says Laverick, “and is allowing us to further develop our abilities to quickly provide bespoke equipment for ultra demanding applications, safe in the knowledge that it will perform faultlessly over a long working life.”

“We were open to any design concept for the test rig, but soon found ourselves gravitating towards a TorqSense solution because the Sensor Technology engineers were so helpful and really knowledgeable about test rigs.” TorqSense transducers lend themselves to test rig uses because they are non-contact measuring devices. Attached to the surface of the transducer shaft are two Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) devices, when torque is applied to the shaft the SAWs react to the applied strain and change



February 2018

T&D Corporation Mr Minoru Ito, European Sales Office, Gronauer Straße 1, 61194 Niddatal, Germany 0049 (0)6034 930970 europe.office@tandd.de www.tandd.com

ECi Software Solutions Si One, St Ives Business Park, Parsons Green, St Ives, PE27 4AA +44 (0) 333 123 0333   www.eci.eu     eu-sales@ecisolutions.com

Unit 3A, Whitworth Court, Manor Park, Runcorn WA7 1WA. Tel.: (0044)-330 002 0640, sales@odu-uk.co.uk www.odu-uk.co.uk

Aztec Environmental Head Office, Aztech Environmental Services, The Stables, Llwyndu Court, Abergavenny, NP7 7HG 01873 850222, info@aztechindustrial.com www.aztechenvironmentalservices.co.uk

Phoenix Mecano Ltd

Precision Technology Supplies Ltd

26 Faraday Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP19 8RY +44 (0)1296 611660 www.phoenix-mecano.co.uk

The Birches Industrial Estate, East Grinstead, RH19 1XZ, United Kingdom +44 (0)1342 410758, info@pts-uk.com http://www.pts-uk.com


Ecopac (UK) Power Ltd

Monitran Ltd, Monitor House, 33 Hazlemere Road, Penn, HP10 8AD, UK T: +44 (0)1494 816569 E: info@monitran.com www.monitran.com



Unit 4, Ridgeway, Crendon Industrial Area, Long Crendon, Bucks, HP18 9BF Tel: +44 1844204420 www.ecopacpower.co.uk

THE PLUS FOR ADDED FLEXIBILITY The innovative multi-protocol fieldbus system from Murrelektronik, which has radically simplified and modernized decentralized installation has taken a step further with a plus.

The single bus node can support up to 20 I/O modules in a 30 m circumference and with a reduced number of cables. The range of I/O modules continues to grow and includes digital and analogue ports, safe outputs, logic, counter, valve island, temperature, I/O link etc. Both IP67 or IP20 are available.


More options More flexibility More distance More performance

Murrelektronik Ltd 5 Albion St, Pendlebury Ind.Estate, Swinton, Manchester,M27 4FG Phone 0161 728 3133 sales@murrelektronik.co.uk


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Engineering Update - February 2018  

Engineering Update - February 2018