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At the forefront of digital marketing, Engineering Update strives to bring its readers the latest in industrial engineering, in a format that provides the best usability and ease of use for it’s readers.

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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

TF Automation automate manual process for Genesis Patterns TF Automation has recently delivered a new machine to long-standing customer, Genesis Patterns, which has automated a time-consuming and problematic manual process.

O

ver the last thirty years Genesis Patterns has grown into one of the leading suppliers of sampling products to the flooring industry. Originally supplying swatches and pattern books, the company has invested in machinery and staff to expand into the shade card sector. TF Automation has worked with Genesis Patterns for several years designing and building a number of specialist machines to support their expansion and development plans. Genesis had a recent requirement to automate a manual process of taking precut carpet swatch samples from a strip and adhering them to "dec" boards, to create carpet sample books.

TF Automation project engineers worked with the team at Genesis to build a machine that would de-laminate and remove the pre-cut samples from the strip and place in the exact position required on the larger board. This activity is currently carried out by hand and is open to large fluctuations in output and accuracy. The new machine removes the individual samples from the strip and places accurately in position on the boards, ensuring precision placement and standardisation every time. The new machine has enabled Genesis to improve productivity of this activity and enable more cards to be completed in a shorter time frame, whilst also ensuring consistency and uniformity. Tony Hubbert, MD at TF Automation, comments, “We have worked with Genesis for a number of years and were delighted to support them in automating this manual process to improve their efficiencies and ensure standardisation and accuracy.”

www.tfautomation.co.uk 4|


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Lamonde Automation Limited Quality Products: Expert Advice


March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

How Covid will change warehousing and distribution Forever! Certain parts of the COVID impact – wearing masks, keeping a 2-meter distance from others, remote working/learning – are (fingers crossed) temporary. But the impact of COVID on the warehouse is going to be long and lasting. As the virus spread throughout the world, we saw a ripple effect; an outbreak or transportation delay in one part of the world had a devastating impact across the globe causing shutdowns due to warehouse closures or missing or delayed supplies. The global supply chain fought to keep up as the virus spread.

A

t the warehouse, some organisations were left with excess inventory they couldn’t ship sitting in inventory, while others were at a standstill as they waited to receive inventory at their depleted warehouse. Combining this supply chain nightmare with unpredictable consumer behaviour – some industries saw unprecedented demand, while other industries saw demand plummet – leaving warehouses in a bind. Even after COVID is no longer a threat and the mask mandates go away, social distancing will continue. It might not be 2-meter, but warehouses will continue to keep workers spread further apart than they were preCOVID. This includes keeping and maintaining the one-way traffic aisles, sanitisation stations and designated work areas. Keeping these precautions in place prevents the spread of a future pandemic, as well as the common cold or flu viruses. To ensure the overall health and safety of the workforce, some form of social distancing is here to stay. Prior to the pandemic, most manufacturers had adopted lean manufacturing as a best practice. Receiving goods just-in-time (JIT) for manufacturing kept inventory costs down and utilised space more efficiently. When COVID hit, this lean strategy left many manufacturers with inventory shortages and in some cases caused production to stop completely. While lean manufacturing will remain a best practice, the balance between JIT inventory and safety (buffer) stock will change. To prevent future inventory shortages leading to production

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shutdowns, manufacturers will keep more inventory on hand than before. Exactly how much more is up for debate such as issues around Brexit, overall inventory onhand will increase. This will only escalate warehouse space and capacity issues. Many warehouses struggled to make space for social distancing, and now they will need space to manage this additional inventory. Warehouse automation has been gaining steady traction for years, but like many things, COVID will speed its adoption. As warehouses cope with adjusting inventory counts, making space for work in process (WIP), speeding order delivery, implementing social distancing and decentralisation they will turn to automated storage and retrieval systems to help reclaim floor space and improve the efficiencies of their workforce. Automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) can recover up to 85% of existing floor space when compared to standard shelving. Warehouses will need this additional capacity to meet post-COVID challenges. Combined with pick-tolight systems and integrated inventory management software, ASRS can also help warehouses solve labour challenges and manage unpredictable spikes in order demand. Post-COVID warehouse and distribution centers will be focused on agility. They will utilise technologies

that can change picking strategies instantly and handle big swings in demand. To further improve efficiencies, companies will leverage software solutions to connect technologies throughout the warehouse for a more holistic and efficient order fulfilment process from receiving and storage to picking and shipping. As warehouses look to position themselves for the future, automation will be a key factor. As we settle into our post-COVID lives the only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain. Companies are creating back up plans for their back up plans. With an unpredictable future, warehouse and distribution centers will look to be as adaptable and flexible as possible. Their main-focus will be on how to best utilise space and efficiently manage their biggest expense labour. It’s time to start thinking long term. As we try to navigate our lives in today’s new “normal”, Kardex has a prepared a paper covering 15 ways COVID will impact warehousing and distribution forever. Please feel free to download the free paper. www.kardex-remstar.com


Leaders in temperature measurement

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A selection of hand held instruments for many applications including a large range of digital thermometers, light level meter and a range of great value handheld sensors.

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Grain Moisture Meter

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sales@labfacility.com Sheffield tel: +44 (0)1909 569446


March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE Helpful visualization tools for designers and CAD experts

Attract new customers with virtual fairs and exhibitions Countless events, traide fairs and exhibitions could not take place during the current crisis and will not be held in the near future as we knew them. That is why many companies use the opportunity of virtual trade fairs to show their presence and to win new customers. To turn this digital event into an equal experience, a convincing presentation is of particular importance. The first impression is decisive for the virtual walk-through and the length of time customers and interested parties spend at the trade fair stand. In addition, a virtual trade fair or conference also brings some advantages. No travel time and costs, no walking distances to cover between stands. Convincing arguments for a virtual visit of a trade fair, for which one would often neither invest working time nor money offline.

If an exciting and surprising design of the exhibition stand is added, visitors can also be attracted digitally. DOSCH DESIGN has developed a range of products that allow designers to create virtual booth or exhibitions and to perfectly present the products and services in photorealistic quality. In addition to the product DOSCH 3D: Trade Show & Exhibition V2, or DOSCH 3D: Film & Stage, the company also offers a wide selection of 2D and 3D people, plants and furniture as well as classic exhibition equipment such as flipcharts, office technology or broschure stands. The selection is extensive and leaves nothing to be desired. In this way it is possible to present an exciting event also digitally.

DOSCH DESIGN – Your innovative partner for a successful 3D-experience Since 1995 DOSCH DESIGN has been a fixture in quality CG products by staying on the cutting edge in 3D-design, animation, architectural visualizations or motion design. With its well-diversified product range DOSCH DESIGN supports 3D- and marketing experts in their daily work. Especially in the field of Automation, Mechanical Engineering or the automotive industry, 3D-Design has become an indispensable element. Textures, HDRIs, Viz Images or High-quality 3D models from DOSCH DESIGN - directly importable in OBJ and FBX formats - are a great enrichment. Download free samples at: www.doschdesign.com/ samples.zip www.doschdesign.com

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|9


March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

SUCCESS AND ACCLAIM FOR ADJUSTABLE-HEIGHT DOCK BUMPERS FROM STERTIL At the end of 2019, Stertil Dock Products introduced an innovative version of its proven range of PE Dock Bumpers. Designed to provide unrivalled protection for vehicles, loading bays and buildings, the company’s proven range of PE Dock Bumpers had been a popular first choice for many customers. However, the arrival of the adjustable-height version immediately won plaudits for its outstanding performance in a wide range of demanding applications and environments.

S

tertil PE dock bumpers are renowned for their innovative design which allows left and right bumpers to be simply interchanged and rotated to enable users to achieve four times the working life of traditional dock bumpers. Now, following the introduction of the latest generation of adjustable-height bumpers, the range offers a host of features, advantages and benefits. For example, the latest adjustable-height PE dock bumpers are adaptable for all vehicles and trailer types and are especially suitable for cold stores and sea containers. The bumpers are self-releasing while a truck is docked and are of particular benefit when used in conjunction with ‘step frame levellers’ by allowing vehicle doors to be opened after docking, thereby maintaining the chill environment and reducing possible contamination.

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Ideal for simplifying all types of loading and unloading duties, the new adjustable-height bumpers provide an impressive reach of 248mm above the mounting position and are suitable for use in low height docks. Offering unrivalled performance throughout a long working life, the bumpers are easy to install and maintain.

This simple method of accessing the pad of the Stertil PE bumper lies at the heart of achieving more than four times the working life of a traditional dock bumper. During use, the greatest wear is caused by reversing lorries and most often occurs on the top corner of the inside of a bumper. It’s not unusual for traditional dock bumpers needing to be replaced because of excessive damage in just this one area. However, without the need to undo fixing bolts, left and right PE bumper pads may be rapidly swapped to present an undamaged face to reversing vehicles.

Stertil PE dock bumpers combine a unique robust construction and patented materials to provide superior performance and longevity. Each bumper is housed within a solid galvanised steel frame mounted directly to the dock face using concealed fixings. This ensures that fixing bolts are completely covered, yet easily accessible, to prevent them being damaged by or causing damage to reversing lorries.

These ingenious design features therefore double the life of the bumper. Furthermore, the PE bumper pads may also be simply rotated, top to bottom, to double their working lives once again. In this way, the effective working life of the bumper is quadrupled whilst even greater life expectancy can be achieved as a result of the polyethylene pad face being generally more resilient than conventional rubber.

Also contained within the galvanised steel frame is a pair of innovative rubber cushioning strips that spread the impact forces of reversing vehicles to help eliminate damage. Mounted in front of and positioned against the cushioning strips is the pad of the PE bumper which may be supplied in black or yellow colours. This ultra high molecular polyethylene pad offers a low coefficient of friction to reduce abrasive frictional forces created by the movement of a vehicle during loading and unloading operations. Crucially, the bumper pad may be quickly fitted or removed utilising the steel frame’s removable bottom plate.

“We always knew that our PE Dock Bumpers were hard-wearing, durable and tough enough to meet the most challenging applications,” says Andy Georgiou, General Manager of Stertil Dock Products. “But, within the first 12 months, our latest height-adjustable version has taken the market by storm. Our sales of PE dock bumpers have risen to a higher level – literally!”

For further information, please visit www.stertil-dockproducts.co.uk


ENGINEERING PDATE

March 2021

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

PIEZORESISTIVE OEM PRESSURE

TRANSMITTER 4 LD…9LD WITH I²C INTERFACE

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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

we make ideas come to life

RMIG is the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of perforated metal and its related products. We know our customers’ requirements for price and quality and meet their demands with uncompromising service. Not only do we offer standard and bespoke perforated metal sheets, we are able to offer you a range of secondary operations as detailed below. Complete solutions With a continued investment in the latest equipment and a network of professional partners we are able to produce prime quality products and solutions – from a simple perforated sheet to the fully formed and coated custom made part.

Cutting We can cut and shape perforated sheet to meet the needs of your final application. Levelling For some applications a high degree of flatness is required, we have processes in place to ensure our perforated coils and sheets meet with your most demanding requirements. Rolling and forming We can roll, bend and form perforated sheets to match your design. Aesthetic finishes and protective coating We can offer powder coating and hot dip galvanizing solutions to meet your specifications.

For more information please contact us tel: 01925 839610 | email: info.uk@rmig.com | www.rmig.com

|11


March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

Farmers’ Rice Cooperative turn to AutoCoding Systems to improve their coding and labelling processes

W

ith so many different variants come a multitude of different date formats and labelling requirements. Add to this a legal obligation to add special markings and/or foreign language markings to products, Farmers’ Rice Cooperative was faced with a challenge to mitigate risks of coding and labelling errors by streamlining processes, removing human intervention as much as possible. Farmers’ Rice Cooperative set out to find a supplier to assist them in automating their coding and labelling processes. They were looking for a solution that would comply with their operational goals and suit their needs. They specifically didn’t want to be bound to one brand of hardware, and they needed to find a partner that would be willing to work on unique customisations as well as a solution that would integrate into their ERP. AutoCoding Systems’ coding and packaging verification solution ticked all the boxes. Brad Lint, of Farmers’ Rice Cooperative said, “We found AutoCoding Systems’ product to be exactly what we were looking for; it met all our operational requirements and gave us flexibility on our hardware choices. Ultimately, however, our final decision was based on the people; their knowledge, service and willingness to understand our issues and work with us to solve these issues made AutoCoding Systems our preferred supplier.” Obviously, other competitive solutions were considered but these were proprietary solutions, working with a single brand of printer and, therefore, didn’t offer Farmers’ Rice Cooperative the flexibility they needed. Since implementation of the AutoCoding solution, Farmers’ Rice Cooperative has seen a significant improvement with coding

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Exclusive manufacturer of California rice products, Farmers’ Rice Cooperative (FRC), produce on average 750,000 packs of rice per month in 26 different variations, 51 different packaging options and 43 different size options. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the potential to make mistakes with regard to date coding, labelling and packaging is high.

Operators have been trained to use the AutoCoding system which sets up and controls the coding equipment

accuracy. Previously, Supervisors or Maintenance Staff were required to setup the printing equipment, but now line operators are self-sufficient. They have been trained to use the AutoCoding system which automatically setsup and controls the printers, leaving Supervisors and Maintenance staff to continue with other tasks. Additionally, due to the integration of AutoCoding into their ERP System, QA personnel can more easily confirm the accuracy of the markings during the compliance inspection process.

When asked if they were happy with the service received from AutoCoding Systems, Brad Lint commented, “Absolutely – without question! The AutoCoding team was very knowledgeable and attentive to our requirements. We have been so impressed with both the service and software, we intend to roll the solution out across our other lines.”

www.autocodingsystems.com

Farmers’ Rice Cooperative can be sure their coding information is correct by using AutoCoding to set-up and control their coding equipment



March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

Bunting Secures Major Export Recycling Equipment Order A large UK recycling plant constructor has ordered one (1) Eddy Current Separator and three (3) ElectroMax Overband Magnets for a major overseas construction and demolition waste management project. “We are thrilled to secure this order at the end of a challenging year [2020],” said Simon Ayling, Bunting’s European Managing Director. Bunting is one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of magnetic separators for the recycling and waste industries. The Bunting European manufacturing facilities are in Redditch, just outside Birmingham, and Berkhamsted, both in the United Kingdom. The UK-based plant constructor initially contacted Bunting to discuss Permanent Overband Magnets for the project. During a review of the application and separation targets, Bunting’s applications engineers recommended a combination of one (1) Eddy Current Separator and three (3) ElectroMax Overband Magnets. In the plant design, the metal separation equipment follows immediately after screening, recovering both ferrous and nonferrous metals. The throughout at this point is approximately 15 tonnes per hour of 50150mm sized construction and demolition waste. Total Metal Separation Solution There is a wide range of types and sizes of metal present in the demolition waste. Efficient metal separation ensures the final recycled product is metalfree, whilst also providing a financial return when sold to scrap metal recyclers.

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Non-Ferrous Metal Recovery The Model HIC ECS150 Eddy Current Separator is approximately 3.7m long and 2.5m wide with a feed conveyor width of 1.5m. The concentrically located high-strength neodymium rare earth magnetic rotor creates strong repulsive forces to eject non-ferrous metal from the non-metallic waste. An easily adjustable splitter mounted inside the hood enables the segregation of the recovered non-ferrous metals and non-metallic waste.

Figure 1 - Metal Separation Module incorporating a Drum Magnet and Eddy Current Separator

Ferrous Metal Separation In the recycling plant, the three (3) Model EMAX150 ElectroMax Overband Magnets are suspended at 450mm above 1500mm wide conveyors. Each EMAX150 weighs approximately 2.8 tonnes, with the electromagnetic coil drawing 7kW. After being launched in early 2020, the aircooled ElectroMax Overband Magnet has proven very popular due to the compact design and excellent ratio of size to magnetic power. The material burden depth and necessary suspension height needed in this project meant that an equivalent Permanent Overband Magnet would be heavy and large in size. “Like every project we work on, our applications team reviewed the application with the customer after they initially contacted us for Permanent Overband Magnets,” explained

Figure 2 - ElectroMax-Plus Overband Magnet

Simon. “With our extensive range of metal separation equipment we were able to assess and then recommend a better performing design of Overband Magnet - the stronger ElectroMax. The conversation then turned to non-ferrous metal separation and the Eddy Current Separator. We are thrilled to be selected to supply all the metal separation equipment for the plant.” Manufacturing the equipment starts at the recently extended Bunting-Redditch plant in the UK in early 2021, with shipment expected in approximately May 2021. For further information, please visit our website: Bunting-Redditch - www.mastermagnets.com


ENGINEERING PDATE

March 2021

Reich Couplings Keeping Industry Moving

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Fluid Carrying

Flexibility Articulated Torsion Pipework In Hoses Rotating Cylinders

Swivel Joints Swivel joints allow pipework to pressure 1/4” to 40” and beyond. Vacuum to over 20,000psi. Stock and bespoke production. Unique bearing/seal design for longer life. ISO 9001 CE marked where applicable.

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Fax: 0208 339 7371 Unit 5 Russell House, Molesey Road Email: sales@blackfast.com Walton-on-Thames, Surrey KT12 3PE www.blackfast.com

|15


March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

Digital approvals and audits – Safety and efficiency go hand in hand

An on-site inspection is part of the daily business of industrial manufacturers and plant operators alike. Safety-relevant components in particular, such as rupture discs or safety valves, must be tested by the manufacturer – this is often done by notified bodies like the TÜV. Many operators additionally conduct onsite tests at the manufacturer’s premises to ensure that the delivered products comply with the required specifications and performance features. Fig. 1: REMBE is not only known as a supplier for special solutions but also for customer focused services worldwide such as digital audits.

T

he coronavirus is making acceptance tests considerably more complicated and ultimately also riskier for all parties involved. The solution? Digital acceptance tests whereby the operator or inspection body observes the inspection of the products via video conference. The prerequisite for this is a precisely defined documentation process – as an operator, you know exactly what needs to be shown. In principle, these digital approvals are only recommended if dealing with well-known and trustworthy manufacturers. However, this applies across the board for safety-critical components, i.e. not just for acceptance tests.

Digital approvals using the example of a German rupture disc manufacturer REMBE GmbH is an established player in the worldwide rupture disc market and is known for constantly breaking new ground. Probably the best known example of this from the company’s history is the development of flameless

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March 2021

T +49 2961 7405-0 T +1 704 716 7022 T +39 02 62033057

Your Specialist for

EXPLOSION SAFETY and © REMBE® | All rights reserved

PRESSURE RELIEF SOLUTIONS Consulting. Engineering. Products. Service.

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venting, which revolutionised explosion safety in the 1990s and is now offered by almost every market player. The reverse acting rupture disc KUB was also developed by REMBE engineers and has taken pressure relief via rupture discs to a whole new level. To this day, the performance characteristics of the KUB clearly stand out from most other products in terms of achievable burst pressures, tolerances and the robustness of the rupture disc. While the company’s customers used to travel from all over the world to Brilon in North RhineWestphalia for acceptance tests, the coronavirus has put a stop to this practice. Alternative approaches had to be found – such as the REMBE Digital Audit. From small-scale burst tests or PMI tests to large-scale acceptance tests for power plants lasting several days, as well as certification audits by notified bodies, everything was included from day one. On average, we carry out two to three digital approvals per week. For more complex acceptance tests we provide the option to carry out a trial run of the approval process, thus

Inc.

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S.r.l.

enabling the buyers of REMBE products to gain an understanding of the likely outcome and to define any additional requirements if necessary. “At the beginning of the pandemic, performing acceptance tests digitally was uncharted territory for us as well, but it is now part of our everyday work. The effort is of course much higher, as it is necessary to clarify in advance very precisely what the customer wants to see and all cameras and additional equipment must be positioned accordingly. In the case of larger approvals or certifications by notified bodies, we carry out a pre-test to ensure that everything really is exactly as it should be,” explains Stefan Penno, managing director of REMBE GmbH. In addition to traditional acceptance tests, the REMBE Digital Audit Service also offers burst tests, technical inspections such as hydrostatic tests, factory inspections and installation support. For more information visit: https://www.rembe.com/

|17


March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

Short pitch precision EXL Roller Chain (A & B series)

A High Precision Roller Chain Developed for the UK’s After-Market A new high precision Roller Chain, called EXL Chain, is now available in the UK and offers superior quality and durability over standard Roller Chain.

D

eveloped by the Hangzhou Donghua Chain Group, one of the world’s biggest chain manufacturers, and supplied through their UK headquarters in the Midlands, the EXL chain is a premium product positioned within their new Solution range. Aimed specifically for the UK’s aftermarket, EXL Chain is designed, manufactured and tested for unbeatable accuracy and performance in arduous conditions, offering enhanced wear and fatigue resistance and greater precision than their Standard Roller Chain range. By utilising different materials, material treatments and layer technologies, EXL Chain offers the best possible quality/price ratio for all applications. New hardened, shot-peened wide waist plates deliver increased fatigue strength and a seamless cold forged solid bush and roller give full contact between the pin, bushing and roller for

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higher durability. Optimised cylindrical parts improve sliding contacts which help increase service life.

lubricant ensures high workload performance in arduous and abrasive conditions.

Bob Wellsbury, managing director of Donghua Limited, says: “EXL Chain has been specifically developed to incorporate Donghua’s unique Easy Break Technology. This unique feature enables EXL Chain to be cut in the field using Donghua’s Plate Extractor tools.”

Donghua’s EXL Roller Chain is available in standard pack sizes of five metres, reels available on request, and bespoke cut-to-length sizes in British standard 06B to 32B, American standard ANSI 35 to ANSI 160 in simplex and duplex ex-stock. All Donghua Chains are marked with production batch codes for full traceability.

“I’m thrilled to introduce this new Chain to the UK and our Stockists are keen to see a new design of chain which offers significant benefits over standard Roller Chain.” EXL Roller Chain is supplied preloaded with 40-50% of the breaking load. Roller Chains can be matched in pairs to close tolerances in Donghua’s UK workshop. For chain lengths over 5 metres, the chain can be supplied matched & tagged for fitting in sequence. Pre-lubricated, as standard, using high performance synthetic

With increased precision, higher wear resistance and greater fatigue resistance, EXL Chain is the new Roller Chain solution of choice for UK stockists. For more information about Donghua’s EXL Chain and to download a catalogue, visit: https://www.donghua.co.uk/exl-chain


ENGINEERING PDATE

March 2021

Forerunner Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. The Sensor People have been setting technological standards in industrial automation for more than 50 years. In the field of safety at work, we convince right from the start with trend-setting inventions, such as the development of the first protective sensor ever, to our latest safety innovation, “Smart Process Gating” – the space-saving solution for access guarding on conveyor lines. This is how we ensure the success of our customers in an industry that is ever evolving.

www.leuze.co.uk

we make ideas come to life

RMIG is the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of perforated metal and its related products. We know our customers’ requirements for price and quality and meet their demands with uncompromising service. Not only do we offer standard and bespoke perforated metal sheets, we are able to offer you a range of secondary operations as detailed below. Complete solutions With a continued investment in the latest equipment and a network of professional partners we are able to produce prime quality products and solutions – from a simple perforated sheet to the fully formed and coated custom made part.

Cutting We can cut and shape perforated sheet to meet the needs of your final application. Levelling For some applications a high degree of flatness is required, we have processes in place to ensure our perforated coils and sheets meet with your most demanding requirements. Rolling and forming We can roll, bend and form perforated sheets to match your design. Aesthetic finishes and protective coating We can offer powder coating and hot dip galvanizing solutions to meet your specifications.

For more information please contact us tel: 01925 839610 | email: info.uk@rmig.com | www.rmig.com

|19


March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

Industrial electronic components by Panasonic Industry The highest standards for automation and production. Panasonic Industry • Motion sensors for smart buildings by Panasonic • Electromagnetic and solid-state relays • Panasonic switches • Panasonic passive components In the TME catalogue, the offer of Panasonic Industry takes a special place. It includes a very wide selection of products designed for constructing top quality electronic devices. These include both small passive components, e.g. precision resistors, and electromechanical parts, e.g. relays. It is certainly worthwhile to discover the full range of Panasonic Industry products distributed by TME. Below, we present a selection of components that are a representative example of quality, reliability and diversity of products from this wellknown Japanese manufacturer’s offer.

Motion sensors for smart buildings by Panasonic Many automation systems, including smart buildings or alarm systems, use reflective motion sensors. Components of this kind in the Panasonic offer are called PaPIR, which stands for Panasonic Passive Infrared (or Pyroelectric). TME catalogue includes two series of these components. These sensors with

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digital or analogue output, designed to be mounted on a PCB (THT), are made of environmentally friendly materials.

components with a wide range of parameters, in various sizes, adapted to a variety of applications.

The first series are EKMC generalpurpose components. They are equipped with three types of lenses: standard; profiled for wall-mounted devices; or designed to detect movement from long distances (up to 12m). Apart from surveillance systems or automatic lighting controllers, they are used in HVAC systems, machines intended for public use (e.g. ticket machines) or even multifunction printers. These offer digital or analog output.

Miniature DE, DK, DS-P series relays are designed for switching currents of up to 10A. They are manufactured in accordance with industrial standards for electrical equipment in the EU, Japan and the USA, and they are used not only in power supplies or controllers, but also in consumer electronics, audio/video equipment and household appliances. The contact loads of these series can reach up to 300W (depending on the model) and therefore these solutions can be used in consumer automation applications.

EKMC1603112 Motion sensor: EKMC1603112

• DE:

The EKMB series includes the same selection of lenses and its additional advantage is an extremely low current consumption (even 1μA). Thus, these exclusively digital components are adapted to IoT applications, including mobile and battery-powered ones.

• DSP:

EKMB1301113K Motion sensor: EKMB1301113K

Electromagnetic and solid-state relays The main task of any automation system is control – most often it is done by means of relays. In this field, the Panasonic Industry brand offers

• DK: Another type of Panasonic relays are sub-miniature signalling components, e.g. the TX series. Developed for precision communication, measuring and medical devices, they offer good insulation parameters (2000V DC) with small dimensions. A related solution is the highly sensitive AGN series of compact relays. Depending on the model, their nominal coil voltage is up to 3V DC with the

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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

LENSES & OPTICAL

SYSTEMS FOR CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENTS Resolve Optics is a leading supplier of bespoke lenses and optical systems that offer many advantages over regular off-the-shelf commercial grade optics for use in environmentally challenging aerospace, industrial and military applications.

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roducing a lens or optical system for aerospace, industrial or military use requires careful consideration of its resistance to vibration, shock, temperature and water ingress in addition to ensuring high reliability and top performance. Designing lenses to survive Endoscope system built to withstand the high temperature and pressure of an industrial process and maintain a quality of image and mechanical movement in challenging environments is specification. This requires us to use the stress not something you can leave to theoretical analysis analysis tools in our 3D CAD software to identify alone, it also requires a level of physical testing as and design out any areas of weakness. Once we well. The majority of customers, that require a lens have a design that is as rugged as possible we will or optical system to survive the rigors of a space then test the lens on our in-house vibration and launch, the challenges of monitoring an industrial shock test equipment. Using the correct vibration process insitu or operation on the uneven terrain of profile enables us to simulate the conditions the a battlefield will want to put their system through lens will need to survive. rigorous environmental testing to minimise the Producing a rugged lens or optical system possibility of failure in operation. optimised to your environmentally challenging Environmental testing for vibration, shock, water, application is a complex task. However, drawing dust, temperature, pressure etc. is extremely upon over 20 years of experience - Resolve Optics expensive so for Resolve Optics it is imperative optical, mechanical and electronic engineers and that we take every precaution possible to ensure designers have a proven track record of producing our lenses and optical systems are designed top quality, robust fixed focus and zoom lenses, to withstand each customer’s environmental industrial endoscopes and high-performance optical systems. Sourcing environmentally robust lenses and optical systems - custom designed by Resolve Optics for use in challenging applications is enabling a growing number of aerospace, industrial and military contractors improve the reliability and performance of their products.

Specialist lenses integrated into an aerospace camera system

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To confidentially discuss the requirements of a key lens or optical system for your product that will be used in an environmentally challenging application please contact Resolve Optics on +44-1494-777100 or email sales@resolveoptics.com.


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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

C.K Magma Launches its Exciting New Wheeled Rucksack Plus Following the successful ongoing development of its award-winning wheeled tool case derivatives, C.K Magma has taken the logical step of expanding its popular rucksack range with the exciting addition of the Wheeled Rucksack Plus (MA2654). This innovative lightweight and compact tool storage solution is ideal for tradespeople using public transport for travelling to their place of work, or for those who need to access places where climbing and a hands-free approach is needed. C.K Magma’s regular research and feedback from trade professionals has helped to evolve its tool storage range, which offers great insight into what works best to make tasks that much easier. This is evident with the continued evolvement of its innovative wheeled tool case options, which provide the best quality and efficient portable tool storage solutions. With that in mind, the new Wheeled Rucksack Plus combines all the fantastic features of C.K Magma’s rucksack tool storage, together with the advantage of a lightweight and durable wheeled chassis, with a telescopic handle for the easy and convenient transporting of tools. The product’s compact size and lightweight design, cleverly incorporates a whole host of other features and benefits including: A spacious main compartment; Vertical storage pockets for easy tool access; 39 pockets and holders including space in the base for larger tools; Extra comfort padding at the back with storable shoulder strap; Padded front storage pocket for iPad/ Notepad, additional hand tools and documents; and a Removable Wheel cover to protect clothing.

Hardwearing, strong and durable, C.K Magma’s wide range of cutting-edge tool storage products are built to protect and organise valuable toolkits, with great features and benefits designed to suit everyone’s needs. The new C.K Magma Wheeled Rucksack Plus is no exception and is the perfect solution for professional tradespeople looking for a quality mix of wheeled and handsfree on back carriage for easy and convenient tool transportation.

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For more information call CKI customer service on 01758 704704 or visit www.carlkammerling.com


NOW IN ITS 16TH YEAR!

27TH & 28TH SEPTEMBER 2021 GULF HOTEL BAHRAIN & CONVENTION CENTRE

DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND, LIFTEX - THE LEADING NETWORKING EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO THE LIFTING INDUSTRY - IS COMING TO THE MIDDLE EAST! The 2-day exhibition will be hosted by LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association), the global representative body for the lifting industry worldwide, under the patronage of Bahrain’s Ministry of Labor at the Gulf Hotel & Convention Centre, Bahrain on 27-28 September 2021.

If you work in the lifting and rigging industry or you want to learn about the latest solutions in the local marketplace, then you can’t afford to miss LiftEx 2021. Network with other like-minded professionals, gain advice on the latest regulations and best practice to save you time and money.

To find out how you can get involved as a Sponsor, Exhibitor or Visitor, please email enquiries@L2Events.com or call on +44 20 3488 2865. Follow us @LiftEx2021 #LiftEx21 | enquiries@L2Events.com

www.liftex.org


March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

PAY AS YOU SENSE Equipment rentals are increasingly helping companies overcome the hurdle of finding investment capital to fund development and verification projects. sensors. Potential users can choose to rent the equipment, rather than purchase it, thus circumventing the bottleneck of raising capital purchase approval. And to help companies along, if they decide that they want to hold onto their TorqSense for longer than they had anticipated, Sensor Technology are happy to convert the rental to a sale, with a percentage of the hire fee already paid offset against the purchase price.

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he current phase of the economic cycle, recovery from a slowdown, is always difficult and frustrating, as Mark Ingham of Sensor Technology identifies: “Companies are seeing their markets improve, but don’t have the reserves to finance all the activities that will kickstart their sales. What money there is has to be used carefully, which usually means funding some projects but not others. As a result opportunities have to be missed.” Typically projects may include verification or reverification of a product range to an international standard, development of a new sized unit within a product range to address an emerging market requirement, modification of a design or a whole new development. “The devil is in the details: enterprising companies can usually see new gaps in their markets and envision a product to suit. But these need to be tested and proven, and that often involves acquiring sensors and test equipment.” Having survived more than one downturn and recovery, Sensor Technology already has a rental option in place for its TorqSense range of torque

Interestingly, Mark says that rentals are a popular option at all times: “Many of our customers have a project where they need to measure torque, but know that when the project is concluded they will have no further need for a TorqSense. For them, renting is very attractive.” This is particularly true in academia and the high tech industries. Brunel University has used Sensor Technology’s rental service on a developmental project for a motor sports client, while Oxford University is a regular and canny user. Another is a West Country satellite technology developer which had a need to test ballscrews to the point where they could be confident that they would work once blasted into orbit. “A regular comment we hear is that customers would like to rent equipment from other suppliers too. There is definitely a fundamental need in the market; it probably increases in the recovery phase of the economic cycle and tails off later on, but it is always there. “I am aware that some other companies are following our lead in this. Others are finding other creative ways to seed their markets, for instance energy saving equipment can be paid in instalments at a rate related to the reduce power bills.”

www.sensors.co.uk 26|


Curtiss-Wright Surface Technologies, Everlube products & Coating Services Protection & life extension of your critical components throughout any crisis!

COATING SERVICES: l Thermal Spray & HVOF Coatings l Dry film lubricants - MoS2, PTFE, Graphite, WS2 l Coatings for corrosion, chemical & environmental protection l Titanium anodising l Zinc rich coatings for corrosion protection l Impingment coating processes for ultra thin solid film lubricants l Nonstick/release coatings for low coefficients of friction l Primers for rubber and plastics for sound absorbing and dampening materials l High temperature resistant coatings l Rare earth magnet coatings l Coatings for EMI/RFI shielding provide highly conductive coatings and platings to control electromagnetic interference l Ultra thin conformal parylene coating to reduce friction and protect against contamination l Pre-treatments including Ti Anodising, Phosphate Conversion Coating and Chilled Iron Blasting, Aluminum Oxide Blasting and Vapour Degreasing

Coating Services and Everlube Products ®

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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

and extended periods between routine servicing. For example, a Dri-coat silicon carbide bearing / shaft option to prevent catastrophic failure in the event of short-term dry-running. Also, a two-piece dynamically balanced outer drive magnet with multiple pole options matches drive to motor for greater efficiency.

NEW OPTIONS OF LEAK-FREE, MAG-DRIVE PUMPS EXTENDS CAPABILITIES Reliable, leak-free pumping of hazardous, more challenging chemicals is a prerequisite in all chemical processing applications and sealless, magnetically driven pumps are the established preferred option. The Finish Thompson ULTRAChem (UC) Series of Tefzel (ETFE) lined centrifugal pumps represent a good example of wellengineered and durable leak-free pumps and following recent modifications there are new options resulting in extended capabilities and a wider performance envelope.

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vailable from MICHAEL SMITH ENGINEERS the UC Series of pumps now includes the UC436L model, which features smaller impeller trims to allow for lower flows and heads and the UC3210 model which has been uprated for 2-pole motors. The new 2-pole motor option operates at a higher rotation speed than the existing model and enables the pump to generate higher flows at higher heads, thereby extending its performance range. Also, the innovative single piece snap fit impeller / inner drive magnet feature has also been extended through all models in the ULTRAChem range

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helping to simplify maintenance and reduce servicing costs. As with all the Finish Thompson ULTRAChem pumps these new options combine a tough ductile iron casing with an ETFE lining to ensure outstanding corrosion resistance and feature powerful neodymium magnets which drive the impeller through a carbon filled PTFE lined barrier for dependable, leak-free operation. In addition, the pumps incorporate other features which optimise efficiency and performance ensuring minimal wear on components, lower running costs

This outer drive magnet incorporates Finish Thompson’s “Easy-set” mounting system so that the drive magnet can be fitted to the motor shaft without having to measure the magnet set-height. This ensures a perfectly set magnet which removes the potential cause of misalignment and so improves safety and reliability. Other features include a Kevlar reinforced barrier which reduces the air gap between driven and driving magnet and so maximises magnetic power to transmission. Using Kevlar for the barrier reinforcement enables maximum working pressure to be increased to 300 psi (20.7 bar). These latest options and features further underline the effectiveness of ULTRAChem pumps as the ideal choice for extreme pumping applications. These typically occur in chemical manufacturing, blending and distribution, water treatment, plating and surface treatment applications, paper mills, fume scrubbers and other similar challenging situations which demand robust and reliable leakfree pumping. ENDS Further details on the range of ULTRAChem pumps can be found at: https://www.michael-smithengineers.co.uk/products/ finish-thompson/rotarycentrifugal-pumps/etfe-linedcentrifugal-uc-series


ENGINEERING PDATE

March 2021

ALL A LASER CUTTER NEEDS:

Trotec launches Q Series.

Trotec has introduced a new laser cutter which could fast become a favourite for laser users.

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sing Trotec’s tried and tested OptiMotion™ control system adapted from the manufacturer’s flagship Speedy range of engravers, the new Q500 cutter delivers a maximum processing speed of 2m/s without compromise on quality, delivering fine engravings up to a font size of 4 pt with sharp shoulders and defined details. Productivity is unrivalled when it comes to achieving high quality at high speed.

a 60W CeramiCore® RF CO2 source enhances speed and reliability for applications which involve a lot of engraving.

The Q500 is available with two different laser source options to ensure optimum results depending on the application. The 60-120W power DC CO2 glass tube model is perfect for cutting applications, while the dual-source model which also features

The new Q500 provides improved quality and speed compared to Trotec’s entry-level R500 model which has the same 1300 x 900 mm bed size, while not including all of the features found in the more advanced SP series of large format laser cutters.

Alongside robust and innovative Austrian engineering, the Q500 cutting system uses Trotec’s JobControl™ software which acts as a print driver and is compatible with a wide range of graphic design programs. The new laser system is fully supported by Trotec’s UK subsidiary with extended warranty options and training available as well as ongoing support from the company’s large UKbased technical service and support team.

Trotec has six showrooms across the UK and Ireland where the Q500 can be demonstrated and online demonstrations are also available by way of video link. Go to www.troteclaser.co.uk for more information or call 0191 580 1182.

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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

TR announces two new appointments to its Plastics and Rubber team International fastener specialist TR Fastenings announces two new senior UK appointments; Kevin Rogers moves into the new position of Director of Plastics and Rubber - Sourcing and Category Management, and Andrew Fletcher is named as the Director of Plastics and Rubber – Commercial and Technical. Kevin and Andrew will both play key strategic roles in spearheading the continued expansion of this commodity within the TR Group. Kevin Rogers joined TR’s Global Strategic Team in 2012, and has been instrumental in growing this product range by developing the vendors that today support the huge increase in sales. With his new focus primarily on sourcing and category management, Kevin will be fully utilising three decades of experience to find opportunities to further expand upon an already comprehensive portfolio. Andrew Fletcher is a well-known expert in this Commodity. Previously the Managing Director and Technical Director of Optimas Solutions - previously known as Anixter Components, Andrew’s technical expertise lies in New Product Introduction (NPI), and managing the entire process from initial inception through to final product launch. Dan Jack, Global Sales and Commercial Director, Trifast plc commented; “We warmly welcome Andrew to the Team, he is a formidable asset to have on board with his deep knowledge and industry connections. Over recent years, we’ve developed our team and increased our knowledge to ensure we are not only keeping up to date

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Kevin Rogers

with changing technologies but are staying ahead of the curve, and both Kevin and Andrew will be central to our on-going commitment in this area.” “We’re proud that TR’s core brand remains competitive in the market; the strength of our partnerships with companies on an engineering Andrew level enables us Fletcher to react quickly to customers changing requirements. With our talented design engineers and in-house support team working closely with customers, we are hugely optimistic about the future.” www.trfastenings.com


Protecting Your Plant Before

Rotech Motion Sensor’s can be used whenever information or monitoring of shaft rotation, position, direction, speed, slip etc is required! Rotech Motion Sensor’s can be used for indication, control, interlocking, protection, sequencing, alarm initiations and many more functions! Rotech Motion Sensor’s can be used wherever materials are transported or processed By conveyors, elevators, screws, mixers, etc!

ROADSTONE

STONE

POWER STATIONS

AGGREGATE

…AND MANY MORE!

RELIABILITY Tel : +44 (0)151 356 2322 Website: www.rotechsystems.co.uk Fax: +44 (0)151 356 2437 Email: sales@rotechsystems.co.uk

Monitoring the world


March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

Accurate Flow Measurement of Low Viscosity Fluids Titan Enterprises report that its turbine flowmeter range provide an ideal tool for accurately measuring the flow of low viscosity fluids. Left: 800-Series turbine flowmeters Bottom: 800-Series turbine flowmeter with display

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lassic turbine flowmeters use propeller type turbines in a closed circular conduit. The turbine is mounted on low friction bearings and its rotation is detected through the chamber wall by one of a variety of detector types. These flowmeters have good linearity in larger diameters but as the pipe bore reduces the efficiency of the flowmeter also reduces. For smaller diameter pipe applications – Titan Enterprise turbine flowmeters employ a design where the flow of fluid is directed at the turbine that is mounted on robust low friction sapphire bearings. The geometry of the turbine and the fluid chamber ensures that the rotational speed of the rotor is proportional to the flow rate through the device. The use of this radial arrangement advantageously allows more energy to be imparted into the turbine so

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the bearing drag is far less important. Furthermore, because more energy is available the bearings themselves can be a lot stronger so increasing the life of the flowmeter. At higher flow rates – the Titan turbine flowmeter design allows some of the fluid to bypass the turbine chamber, which then behaves as a “shunt” to the metered fluid, as a result accuracy is still maintained and the output remains linear.

Optimised Titan Enterprises radial flow turbine flowmeters are available for a diverse range of applications including measuring low viscosity flow in chemical plants, semiconductor fabrication, drink dispensing equipment and fire hydrant monitoring systems. All Titan Enterprises turbine flowmeters have rugged bearings and offer excellent repeatability. A wide choice of fittings is available to suit the function of the flowmeter. In addition to its standard range of products, Titan Enterprises is highly experienced in OEM custom designed flowmeters tailored to suit your application. For further information please visit click here or contact Titan Enterprises on +44-1935-812790 / sales@flowmeters.co.uk.


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Smart sensing in 3D

Built-in apps make 3D sensor easy to use

RANTY AR

ct

on

s

years if m pr od

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ifm’s amazing smart time-of-flight 3D sensor has built-in apps for; • Completeness in packaging or palletising • Checking volumes in materials handling • Levels of bulk material Making it so easy to set up, anyone can do it. You’ll be amazed!

www.ifm.com //uk/o3d uk/o3d ifm Telephone (020) 8213 1111


March 2021

T

he new versatile and flexible flat top chain conveyor system Versaflex is a conveyor system that grows with your requirements. It features the modular design we have come to expect with the complete mk range. The standardised modules and components make it simple and cost effective to integrate the system into any production process, as well as to adapt and expand it. Moreover, it is compatible with systems that are currently available on the market. The single-track design and curve radii starting at 150 mm allow complex track designs within a three dimensional space. The chain runs on wear strips to ensure low wear and can be operated at speeds of up to 50 m/ min and system lengths up to 40 m with just one drive. The system is extremely flexible and efficient with chain widths of 44 mm to 295 mm and a large selection of drives, bends, cleats, side rails and other accessories. Gentle transport and exact positioning using workpiece carriers is also available as standard. Versaflex has been used very successfully by an mk subsidiary for many years in various industries; it transports a wide variety of products reliably to their destination. The many benefits of Versaflex include economical realisation of complex track designs with simple and fast

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configuration and commissioning. It is suitable for all industries and is both user friendly and low maintenance. Versaflex can be quickly adapted to new production and environmental conditions saving energy and space. Accessories, side rails and such like can be attached in the slots on the conveyor frame profile. The conveyor chains are made from the material POM and are available in a wide variety of designs for virtually all applications – with an adhesive surface for inclines, with steel covering for sharpedged parts or flocked for transporting very delicate items. In addition, a large number of different cleats are available – rollers in a wide range of dimensions for accumulating products, or flexible cleats for implementing clamping conveyors. Furthermore, chain links with embedded magnets can be used to transport magnetisable parts. Areas of application for Versaflex include primary and secondarypackaged products from, among others, the food, pharmaceutical, chemical or consumer goods industry. Also for the transport of workpiece carriers in assembly lines e.g. of the automotive industry and for the linking of machines in the manufacturing industry. To ensure the precise positioning of products, workpiece carriers can also

ENGINEERING UPDATE

be transported on the A08 system. The system is 85 mm wide (chain width 83 mm) and is designed for products weighing up to 10 kg per carrier. The carriers have a standard width of 150 mm and are guided by side rails and positioned exactly in three levels in the locating stations. So the products are fixed, buffered and transported gently, safely and accurately. The workpiece carrier can be customised and equipped with individual fixtures. The locate station can be freely positioned without changing the side rails. A positional accuracy of ± 0.1 mm can be achieved by lifting the workpiece carrier off the conveyor chain. The Versaflex workpiece carrier system enables simple and accurate positioning for automated processes with stability even for products with unfavourable geometry. Gentle product transport can also be achieved for sensitive product surfaces. Versaflex workpiece carrier systems offer safe transport even with changes in position, higher machine autonomy and buffer function for cycle decoupling in the manufacturing process.

To find more contact mk Profile Systems on (01949) 823751, email info@mkprofiles.co.uk or visit www.mkprofiles.co.uk


Flat Top Chain Conveyor System

Economical realisation of complex track designs Simple and fast configuration and commissioning Modular system of standardised components

www.mkprofiles.co.uk


March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

Abacus Flooring Solutions Ltd, Complete work for UK leading Manufacturer Sub-CNC Precision.

Despite a challenging year one of the major success stories of 2020 is that of Abacus Flooring Solutions Ltd. An industrial & commercial flooring specialist founded by Nick Megson in August last year.

Nick has over 30 years’ experience in commercial and industrial flooring and UK leading Bedfordshire manufacturer Sub-CNC Precision required the reliability, skill and knowledge possessed by Nick and his team when installing a new resin floor for their new unit purchased in 2020. With the move, they wanted to ensure that the space was of the highest quality and this included a durable and safe floor space in which Abacus Flooring Solutions provided. Sub-CNC Precision are known for quality. So, their business and Abacus were the perfect match. Both companies share a parallel vision when it comes to their high standards of work. Yian Stavro who is the co-founder of Sub-CNC Precision Ltd wanted his new unit to shine. In keeping with the companies’ high standards, Yian was keen on enlisting Nick’s expertise to ensure a workspace that coincided with the prestige of his business. Yian commented - “We’d just bought a new unit, but parts of it were quite dated. The floors had been painted before, but they were tired and in need of a solution.” “Nick and his team at Abacus were recommended to us by a company close by and we brought them in to make a recommendation around what we needed.” “We gave them a little guidance around the colour we wanted but they did the rest. Nick’s very knowledgeable about these

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kinds of scenarios and he recommended the perfect solution and we were happy to take Abacus’s advice on board and everything just went from there.” Yian added: “The overall process was very good. Nick and the guys he had working for him were very professional throughout the lifespan of the project. Nothing was too much trouble for them and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Abacus to other companies in our industry.” Abacus Flooring Solutions specialise in both Industrial and commercial flooring. They undertake work nationwide and cover every corner of the UK. For more information on how they can assist with your flooring needs please contact them on – 07904 396962 Nick@abacusflooringsolutions.co.uk https://abacusflooringsolutions.co.uk/


JOC_1098 KRUK Automation Half H-A.pdf 1 24/09/2015 18:09:43 March 2021 ENGINEERING PDATE

Setting the benchmark... Faster, compact, energy saving and affordable...

Kawasaki’s latest robots increase one of the largest robot ranges available today. They are more compact, provide smooth control and give increased all round performance. For assembly the new collaborative duAro; for palletising the CP Series; the general purpose CX Series and the high-speed spot welding BX Series. Check out the new robots and see just how affordable they can be....

info@kawasakirobotuk.com kawasakirobot.co.uk +44 (0)1925 713000

Kawasaki Robotics (UK) Ltd

> Corrosion resistant for up to 1000 hours in salt spray > Manufactured from a premium alloy with less than 0.1% copper content for corrosion resistance > IP tessng performed aaer impact tessng to verify the seal is maintained when the enclosure is treated roughly > Impact resistant up to 7 Joules > Reusable seals (Up to 200 compressions)

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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

SICK’s Flexi Compact, Neat and Compact Mid-Range Safety Controller SICK has added the Flexi Compact to its portfolio of industry-leading safety controllers, featuring a modular, compact and scalable design that focuses on space saving, responsive performance and ease of use. The SICK Flexi Compact safety controller has been conceived with simplicity in mind, while enabling exceptionally-responsive machine operation and real-time diagnostics, suitable for most common machine safety applications. With rapid response cycle times of up to 4 ms, the SICK Flexi Compact can help to ensure space-saving machine designs with shortest-possible safety distances. “The Flexi Compact has a pleasing, easy-to-handle streamlined feel that helps save space in the control cabinet,” says Dr Martin Kidman, SICK’s UK Machine Safety Product Manager. “The CPU has a 46mm-wide slimline design that takes up much less space than many common controller configurations. It’s also really easy to achieve neat and efficient wiring with the easy push-in front connectors.” The SICK Flexi Compact is based on a versatile and expandable concept with each slim module having a oneclick, fit-and-release mechanism for easy handling and exchange. There is a choice of two CPUs, each with a generous bank of 32 I/O’s, and one with an additional EtherNet connection. To this can be added 16-connector, 14mm-wide XTDI and XTDO I/O cards and up to further 12 expansion modules, ensuring future-proof scalability for when the demands on the safety controller increase.

The SICK Flexi Compact 38| easy to use real enables time diagnostics

The Flexi Compact’s EtherCAT or PROFINET gateways enable wide integration flexibility to higher-level PLCs and Industry 4.0 applications. Each gateway has a thin-film display window and push button controls for quick commissioning and easyto-use, real-time diagnostics. Rapid troubleshooting is also assured thanks to easy HMI integration via the CPU Ethernet port option, which supports both Modbus and SLMP protocols over TCP/IP. Planning and commissioning a machine safety configuration is fast and efficient with the Flexi Compact using SICK’s free-to-use Safety Designer engineering tool, providing access to 256 certified function blocks and safety logic documentation via an intuitive drag and drop graphical user interface. An integrated, removable SmartPlug with USB port enables rapid data transfer and configuration exchange for efficient set up and commissioning. A safety-certified high-speed EtherCAT backplane bus enables efficient data communication and rapid response times. As a result, safety distances to the machine can be optimised, and shorter cycle times achieved in highly-dynamic processes. The new SICK Flexi Compact is a midrange safety controller for average to

The SICK Flexi Compact saves space in the control cabinet

EtherCAT or PROFINET gateways with TFT display windows and push-buttons

complex safety logic, sitting between SICK’s existing Flexi Classic and Flexi Soft safety controllers. The ease of handling, responsiveness and diagnostics combine to ensure high machine availability and productivity for many common industrial machinery applications. For more information, please contact Andrea Hornby on 01727 831121 or email andrea.hornby@sick.co.uk.

www.sick.co.uk


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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

MTC TRIALS PRIVATE 5G NETWORK FOR MANUFACTURERS The Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre is to trial a purposebuilt private 5G network aimed at helping manufacturers boost productivity. The MTC is launching its 5G capability in partnership with partners West Midlands 5G (WM5G) and Worcestershire 5G (W5G) along with technology partner BT. The private network will be installed at the MTC's manufacturing research facility on Ansty Park. The 5G connected facility will allow manufacturers of all sizes to explore benefits from multi-edge computing and wireless connectivity in digital manufacturing and robotics. A live 5G-connected robotics demonstrator will come on stream later in the year and will give companies of all sizes an insight into how 5G can boost their productivity through connected digital innovation. WM5G is the UK's first region-wide 5G innovation company and forms part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's 5G Test and Trials programme. The MTC's first trial will be one of the first projects in WM5G’s Manufacturing work-stream and the company will work closely with the Worcestershire 5G test-bed and its strategic technology partner BT, to supply and integrate the technology infrastructure. The immediate ambition is to prove the benefits that 5G services can have on the rollout of robotics and automated guided vehicles in a modern production environment and provide a benchmark for the future of 5G manufacturing. The longer-term aim is to develop a series of 5G use cases bringing 5G connectivity, skills, and applications to the MTC core research programme, supporting its SME Digital REACH programme and offering a test-bed environment for their wider customer and partner base. SME Digital REACH offers SMEs guidance and support to increase productivity through the introduction and adoption of digital manufacturing technology. With higher speeds, greater capacity, and shorter response times, 5G can unlock the potential of these technologies in a way not currently possible through conventional connectivity. The MTC workshop will be a functioning facility able to showcase this and serve as a test-bed environment. Alejandra Matamoros, technology manager at the MTC said: “Demonstrating the potential of 5G connectivity in

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our workshop facilities will advance the MTC’s offering in digital manufacturing and automation. This will help to deliver additional levels of flexibility in production for UK manufacturers and the integration of supply chains.” She added, "As well as establishing a long-term showcase facility to demonstrate best practice and the capabilities of 5G in manufacturing, the MTC's 5G-enabled use case will provide valuable insights into safe and accurate AGV movement for fleet management in the implementation of state-of-the-art production lines for the smart factory." The first live trial at the facility will see two robots simultaneously operating to deliver the same task and increase the efficiency of a factory operation developed with MTC members. If successful, the trial will be an important step in 5G innovation within the sector and support the aim of helping British manufacturing alleviate the risks involved in the implementation of technology solutions. Sarah Walker, BT director for corporate and public sector in the Midlands, said, "Today's announcement forms part of BT's commitment in working with WM5G and W5G under a shared vision to harness innovative technology to create a smart manufacturing future. We are already leading in 5G innovation across healthcare, education and smart cities, but the digital transformation of the manufacturing sector is key to driving regional regeneration across the UK, starting here in the West Midlands. Deploying a 5G private network at the MTC to develop 5G use cases for local businesses is a significant step towards our shared commitment and we're excited to make this a reality today." Robert Franks, managing director at WM5G, said: “WM5G is committed to supporting the growth of the manufacturing sector in the West Midlands through technology innovation. We are delighted to be working with the MTC as our strategic triallist to prove and share the benefits of connected manufacturing with SMEs. The MTC has been leading the way in exploring new manufacturing technologies such as robotics, digitalisation and intelligent automation for a long time.”

For more information, visit: www.wm5g.org.uk


JOC_1098 KRUK Automation Half H-A.pdf 1 24/09/2015 18:09:43 March 2021 ENGINEERING PDATE

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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

RS Components supports Schneider Electric’s platform for managing and controlling low voltage loads Minimising time spent on specifying individual items of equipment and allowing more focus on maximising overall system efficiency

RS Components (RS), a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE: ECM), a global omni-channel solutions partner for industrial customers and suppliers, has added TeSys™ island from Schneider Electric to its portfolio. This object-oriented digital load management solution has huge potential in a modern industrial automation context. It can deal with motors and other electrical loads (such as pumps, relays, programmable logic controllers, conveyors) up to an 80A rating. Through its unique object-oriented approach with an array of 30 different predetermined application-specific functions that may be utilised, this platform provides a straightforward method for implementing and configuring complex industrial

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systems. Engineers can effectively offload much of the effort involved in the defining and commissioning of each constituent electromechanical component within the system. This makes the hardware installation phase much quicker and easier to complete - thereby reducing the associated costs, as well as shortening the time before systems can be put into action. Through TeSys island, supervisors of industrial systems can gain access to key diagnostic data. This ensures that maximum operational performance is always upheld, in addition to helping with preventive maintenance and fault identification. TeSys island is compatible with all the main automation fieldbus IOs - including Modbus TCP, Ethernet/IP, PROFINET,

and PROFIBUS. The platform can be integrated with Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Machine Expert, plus Rockwell Automation’s Studio 5000 and Siemens’ TIA portal and other proprietary third-party automation systems. To further support automation engineers using the TeSys island platform, RS has also launched its own dedicated online configuration tool. It is possible, through this, to assign the correct variable speed drives and direct/soft starters to meet specific application requirements. RS is now shipping a range of Schneider Electric’s TeSys island products in the EMEA region, including motor starters, monitoring relays and safety IO modules.



March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

Minimise plant and Schaeffler’s new Condition Monitoring (CM) solution, OPTIME, offers a unique set of benefits over alternative CM systems. In simple terms, users can Plug > Play > Predict. The installation is straightforward and does not require any specialist expertise. The machine diagnostics are displayed instantly, showing the maintenance engineers where they are needed.

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t offers automated data analysis at an expert level. With low installation outlay and rapid initial operation. OPTIME allows the implementation of CM for a high number of machines, whose condition previously could not be monitored cost effectively. In recognition of its unique, innovative approach to condition monitoring, OPTIME recently received the ‘Industry 4.0 Innovation Award 2020’. An annual award from VDE Verlag in collaboration with the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI) as well as the Standardization Council Industry 4.0. Machine operators, process plants and entire manufacturing sites can now benefit from the use of

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OPTIME, as well as professional CM service providers and power transmission specialists who wish to expand their portfolio. A key benefit of OPTIME is that maintenance managers can install the system themselves and monitor their machines at expert level without assistance. Easily scalable, OPTIME consists of a mesh network of wireless, battery-powered vibration sensors, a gateway with SIM card, data analysis in the cloud and an app for mobile and desktop devices to visualise the condition of all assets. The data captured by the sensors is analysed using specially developed algorithms that draw on Schaeffler’s technical expertise. Their extensive library of physical


ENGINEERING PDATE

March 2021

machine downtime

Register for the white paper

models developed and refined over many decades and the company’s vast experience in condition monitoring of rolling bearings. OPTIME provides an early warning of rolling bearing damage to machine components such as motors, fans and pumps, several weeks’ in advance. It also provides an early warning of imbalances, misalignments, cavitation in pumps, gearbox damage and lubrication issues. The app presents trends in graph form and visualises the severity of incidents using traffic light colours and alarm states. Maintenance teams receive specific recommendations on the steps required, so they can easily plan their maintenance work, manpower needs and spare parts procurement. Minimum outlay, maximum benefit OPTIME can be installed and initial operation carried out without any prior CM expertise. Several hundred measurement points can easily be set up in a single day. The vibration sensors are screwed directly on to the asset or by using a mounting plate secured using adhesive., They are activated by the accompanying app, which connects to them via near-field communication (NFC). All installed sensors communicate autonomously with each other and the gateway, thereby forming a dedicated mesh network. The sensors transmit machine KPI data as well as raw vibration and temperature data via the gateway to the Schaeffler IoT Hub. The hub analyses the data, and the results are displayed in the app., Alternatively, analysis results can be made available for integration into the customer’s own IT environment via a REST API.

Monitoring for the early detection of damage and defects does not necessarily make good economic sense for every machine or system. Schaeffler has written a white paper entitled “Is machine monitoring worthwhile?” The paper serves as a guide and is intended to support end users in their decision making by providing them with tips, calculation examples, checklists and examples from practical experience.

To register for your copy of the white paper, visit: https://www.schaeffler.de/content.schaeffler.de/en/ products-and-solutions/industrial/industry-4.0/whitepapers/white-paper-machine-monitoring/index.jsp

Automatic lubricator range extended Schaeffler has expanded its CONCEPT range. In addition to the existing lubricators – the CONCEPT2 with two lubricant supply line outlets and the CONCEPT8 with eight lubricant supply line outlets – the range was completed by the CONCEPT1 and CONCEPT4 lubricators. The CONCEPT1 is designed for automatic relubrication of one lubrication point. The CONCEPT4 can independently supply up to four lubrication points. Thanks to its ease of installation and application, the CONCEPT1 is powered via electrochemical reaction by a gas-producing dry cell, meaning that an external power supply is not needed. The CONCEPT1 is suitable for use in a wide range of applications, including electric motors, pumps, and belt conveyors. The CONCEPT4 is suitable for minimum-quantity lubrication, dispensing just 0.15 cm3 per actuation impulse. Regulated solely via an external control unit, it is aimed exclusively at customers with an existing PLC infrastructure. The CONCEPT4 lubricator has four outlets for lubricant supply lines ensuring that lubricant reaches hard-to-access points that require long supply lines.

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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

P Powell Electronics adds specialist RF connector franchise, COAX Connectors to European franchise portfolio Robustly designed RF connectors for reliability and high performance

owell Electronics, the supplier of connectors and more for high-rel applications including defence, aerospace and industrial, has added COAX Connectors to its burgeoning portfolio of connector franchises in Europe following the signing of a full stocking franchise distribution agreement between the two companies. COAX Connectors is a leading UK designer, manufacturer and supplier of high-performance standard and custom RF connectors. The company provides a complete endto-end service from initial problemsolving, through design concepts and prototyping, to the supply of a fully-qualified production part. That is one reason why the agreement with Powell is so synergistic, since Powell is also highly experienced and able to support customers both commercially and technically. Commented Powell Electronics’ European MD, Gary Evans: “When you buy a COAX Connector you do so in the knowledge that it has gone through a rigorous development process, and that the robust design will give you the reliable and enduring performance you require.” Added Brian Tea, Sales Manager at COAX Connectors: “We are excited to be working with Powell Electronics. Our products often require design-in and the expansion of Powell’s European business ensures that customers will receive the support they require.” As part of its standard range of products, COAX Connectors also offers RoHS-compliant black zinc nickel plated connectors, and IP68 sealed versions of almost all of their connectors. Fur further information please visit: https://powell-electronics.eu/ product/specialist-rf-connectorsfrom-coax-connectors/

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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

Nanoengineering a new future Tiny particles look set to make a large impact

At one billionth of a metre in size, it can be hard to grasp just how small nanoparticles are. To put it into perspective, if a nanoparticle was the size of a football, then a kiwi would be the size of the Earth by comparison. Here Neil Ballinger, head of EMEA at industrial parts supplier EU Automation, explains how these tiny particles will make a large impact in the future of engineering.

Rohrer, the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1986.

Nanoengineering involves the careful manipulation of structures on the nanoscale and has been steadily growing as an area of interest since the invention of the electron microscope in the 1930s. Because they use beams of accelerated electrons as a source of illumination, electron microscopes have a higher resolving power than conventional light microscopes and can reveal the structure of much smaller objects.

Sensing potential

These early interactions with structures on the nanoscale were primarily observational, rather than direct interactions, but they marked the beginning of our journey into nanotechnology. Without them, it is likely that the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) wouldn’t have been invented in the 1980s. This was the first microscope that could image and manipulate structures on the nanoscale and earned its inventors, Gerd Binnig and Heinrich

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Now, the uses of nanotechnology are growing and look set to make a big impact in industrial settings over the next decade. From drug delivery systems to smart sensors, the potential applications of this technology in the engineering industry are vast.

Nature is full of examples of bigdata-like processes being performed efficiently by nanostructures in real-time, like components of the eye that turn external signals into information for the brain. Now, engineers are experimenting with using nanomaterials and novel manufacturing techniques to develop smart sensors that are smaller, more complex and more energy efficient than their conventional counterparts. For example, finely tuned sensors that are printed onto flexible rolls of plastic and placed across key points of critical infrastructure to constantly monitor performance and structural integrity. These new sensors produce large volumes of data at unprecedented rates, so new data handling techniques must be developed to process it efficiently. This will create new pattern recognition capabilities

and revolutionise how we use sensors. For example, traffic sensors that use nanotechnology to boost data handling rates and facilitate automatic congestion management programs on even the busiest roads, making them safer. Furthermore, nanotechnology is being used to develop ultra-dense memory systems capable of storing an unprecedented wealth of data. But it's also providing the inspiration for ultra-efficient machine learning algorithms that can process, encrypt and communicate data without compromising its reliability. In the factory, this nano-scale machine learning will usher in the next generation of predictive maintenance that will identify faults earlier, with greater accuracy. This will lead to a further decrease in unplanned machine downtime as site managers and engineers can order replacement parts from an industrial parts supplier before a breakdown occurs, saving time and money. As technology continues to evolve and obsolescence accelerates, obsolescence management has never been more important. For more information on how to take advantage of new technologies while carefully considering obsolescence management, visit www.euautomation.com/boom to read EU Automation’s book of obsolescence management.


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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

Say goodbye to vibrations and hello to optimised surfaces and longer tool life As a direct interface between tool and machine, toolholders and adapters have a huge influence on the machining result and efficiency of the entire process. Hydraulic chucks play a vital role when it comes to vibration damping and improved surface quality and repeatability. Maximising this role for turning and milling centres, CERATIZIT Group’s Team Cutting Tools has launched new variants of its hydraulic chuck range with VDI and cylindrical shank connections as part of the WNT Performance range of tooling.

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hile repeatedly machining to low tolerances and achieving optimal surface finish are high on any machinist’s priority list, if tool wear, setup times and downtime are neglected then efficiency will suffer. CERATIZIT’s new hydraulic chuck with VDI and cylindrical shank interface enables all of these elements can be achieved to deliver efficiency advantages.

The hydraulic chucks are available with a VDI interface for direct mounting in the turret of a turning centre complete with through tool coolant capability. Available as 30 and 40 VDI as standard with a 20 mm bore, along with a cylindrical shank version available in 16 and 20 mm bore diameters for the 32 mm diameter shank as well as 16, 20 and 25 mm for the 40 mm diameter shank variant.

This latest addition to CERATIZIT’s portfolio provides the ideal solution when boring bars need to be precision clamped with a shank tolerance of h7. The new hydraulic chucks with VDI and cylindrical shank connections can achieve this with a repeatability of 3 µm. The key benefit, though, is that in applications such as thread turning, fine boring or, with long tool overhangs the precise tensioning and damping properties of the CERATIZIT hydraulic technology can reduce surface roughness by up to 70 percent, when compared to standard systems. Another feature of the CERATIZIT hydraulic chucks is the radial adjustment screw, which can be used to position the boring bar to µm accuracy on diameter. Similarly, the length adjustment screw can also be removed so that the boring bar can be pushed through, for efficient machining of various lengths of turning tools.

In addition to the accuracy of hydraulic chucks, another significant advantage is the speed at which tools can be changed without having to make tedious fine adjustments. “Without any peripheral devices whatsoever, just a hex wrench, tools in turning and milling centres can be changed in a matter of seconds. The hydraulic adapter clamps the tool shaft to µm precision and the process can continue right away,” says Christoph Retter, Product Manager at Team Cutting Tools. “It is always fascinating to see what a huge influence the clamping device has on the machining result. In our comparisons between standard holders and the new hydraulic chuck, we were immediately struck by the outstanding chip evacuation. But we were most impressed by the surface finishes achieved, which were simply sensational thanks to the almost complete absence of vibrations. Another side benefit worth highlighting is that the entire process was almost completely silent.”

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ENGINEERING PDATE

March 2021

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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

Achieve Simple, Affordable, Comfort with easy, energy saving AB-QM Pressure Independent Control Valves Through engineering excellence and application expertise, Danfoss Climate Solutions offers a broad portfolio of innovative technologies that help meet the world’s growing challenges of energy efficiency, and climate-friendly solutions. Improved flow control performance, ensures that the AB-QM™ eliminates overflow, solves low ΔT, and optimizes system efficiency, increasing savings, making it the optimal choice for HVAC systems. Millions of AB-QM valves have been installed worldwide and are renowned for being safe and eco-friendly. There are many types of PIBCV, but what stands out with the AB-QM valve is its cost saving benefits - It pays for itself, as case studies have proven, that once you have invested in an AB-QM valve, the pay-back is less than 3-years! It is clearly the superior, most precise, and reliable PIBCV. Danfoss Climate Solutions is the market leader when it comes to pressure control. Independent research has determined that the AB-QM provides the best control AB-QM can also be supplied as part of a flushing bypass assembly for performance when compared fan coil/chilled beams/trench heating etc, or in larger sizes for AHU’s, heat to other options on the market. exchangers, heater batteries and chillers They are unrivalled and their product range is extensive, ensuring perfection when it comes to selecting the correct set up for your application. Whether it be a shell and core building, industrial or a domestic setting. AB-QM can be also installed with NovoCon, the market leading IOT actuator for remote commissioning, remote i/o, preventative maintenance, energy management, data analytics, CO2 reduction and helps maintain a healthy building

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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

New drive for Megatorque Motor boosts safety and usability NSK has released an upgraded drive for its PS/PN series of Megatorque Motors that offers even higher levels of safety and usability. The new EDD drive unit delivers broad interchangeability and functional compatibility with the previous generation EDC drive, which has proved popular among semiconductor and electronics manufacturers for its highly reliable and accurate performance. NSK’s updated EDD also refreshes the internal electronics to secure supply chain stability of essential components.

P

roviding the same external dimensions and supporting the existing positioning command systems, input/ output signals and internal channels, the new EDD supersedes the EDC as NSK’s first choice for standard configurations. Among the key benefits of the EDD drive unit is even higher levels of safety. For instance, an updated connector design prevents incorrect insertion. A further safety enhancement is the introduction of a locking mechanism to help avert accidental detachment (unplugging) from the EDD

drive, which accordingly features a new cable set. Ease of use also gets a boost. By way of example, the single-phase power supply is now a unified 100240 VAC unit (previously two models: 200-230 and 100-115 VAC). Furthermore, analogue input has become standard on the EDD drive unit to control speed and torque, while the maximum input frequency of the pulse train position increases to 2 MHz (previously 1 MHz), enabling even quicker positioning during highspeed operation compared with the EDC 100 VAC model.

Another usability enhancement sees the introduction of a USB connector to link with ‘EDD Megaterm’ software via a computer. The new EDD software supports high-speed oscilloscopes and their FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) functions. Moreover, the software makes it easier to set, edit and tune the EDD. The EDD Megaterm software is available in English for download from: www.nskeurope. com/en/media/downloads/linear-components

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ENGINEERING UPDATE

March 2021

Deritend Group secures £multi-million framework agreements with Severn Trent Water One of the UK’s leading engineering solutions providers has enjoyed a great start to 2021 with two major ‘framework’ wins for Severn Trent Water and Hafren Dyfrdwy Cyfyngedig. Deritend Group has been awarded the Fabrication and Mechanical frameworks that means it can provide essential maintenance, repair and replacement services to all clean and waste sites across Cheshire, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Hafren Dyfrdwy, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire Located across three sites in the Black Country, Teesside and Bedfordshire, the company expects this work to be worth up to £20m over a potential seven-year period. Neil Ashwood, Framework Manager at Deritend Group, commented: “This is a massive achievement for our business and gives us a really strong platform for the business going forward. “About 30 suppliers were invited to tender for the framework contracts and nine were eventually appointed, which means we have been approved to carry out work across Severn Trent Water and Hafren Dyfrdwy Cyfyngedig sites.” He continued: “This involved site visits for scoping jobs to quote against, completing tender sheets, work scenarios, and completing bid sheets. All of these were marked against stringent criteria and I’m delighted to say we scored highly in all of the six lots we applied for. “Our skill sets, reputation, capabilities,

price and commitment to meeting response times were all cited as key reasons for our successful bids and we’ve already responded by strengthening our framework team with new appointments and investment in new fully equipped vans.”

A fully equipped fabrication operation in Middlesbrough and a skilled team of engineers located strategically across the UK continue to support customers ranging from Thames Water and JCB to British Steel and Mondelez International, who own Cadbury.

Deritend, which was acquired by Richard Hale and his management team in 2001, plays a critical role in ensuring we have clean water in our homes, production lines meet just-in-time requirements and society has a regular supply of food.

The recent relocation of its headquarters to West Bromwich takes its annual investment to over £1m, with new equipment installed and an upskilling programme implemented for the majority of its 120-strong workforce. Richard Hale concluded: “We are often the first sector to emerge from the downturn and this certainly appears the case, with the last six months seeing a number of new contract wins and preferred supplier status secured for the global supplier database IESA. “The Severn Trent Water and Hafren Dyfrdwy Cyfyngedig framework wins is a great way to start 2021 and we look forward to using our fabrication and mechanical expertise to deliver essential repair and maintenance services to keep these sites operational.” For further information, please visit www.deritend.co.uk or follow @deritend on twitter.

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ENGINEERING PDATE

March 2021

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For use with building services (heating/ cooling/ventilation), Rittal offers the VX SE in a version that is 300 mm deep.

B

aying enclosures are frequently employed for free-standing use cases – but are not always the best approach. The advantages of stand-alone products such as the Rittal VX SE have often been overlooked. This represents a best-of-both-worlds solution midway between Rittal AX compact enclosures and the VX25 baying portfolio. VX SE offers even quicker time-to-delivery and faster, simpler assembly, greater safety and compatibility with other Rittal systems. The VX SE range also includes a 300 mm deep version that is suitable for cramped environments for building services, e.g. when deployed as a distribution box. If enclosures are to be used as standalone solutions, then free-standing products such as the new VX SE from Rittal offer significant benefits compared to baying systems. It can be used in many areas of industry and in building services management. Typical fields of application are in compact machinery and equipment and their power distribution and automation components, which can be accommodated in a single enclosure. Fast: In contrast to baying enclosures with a frame and removable side panels, the freestanding enclosure has an all-in-one body made from a single piece of steel sheet or stainless steel. The side panels and roof are solid; therefor fewer components are required, and ordering and assembly are far easier and quicker. As the side panels, roof and frame are conductively connected, no additional earthing to the frame is required, delivering a further time saving.

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VX SE free-standing enclosure system Because often, simple is best


ENGINEERING PDATE

March 2021

VX SE: New free-standing system enclosure from Rittal

Stand-alone enclosures offer greater simplicity Safe: As there are no gaps between side panels, roof and frame, dirt and dust cannot collect, enhancing safety. The basic version of the VX SE has an IP 55 protection rating, IK 10 impact protection, automatic potential equalisation, high strength and stability on account of exceptionally high torsional rigidity, plus 1.5 tonne load capacity. For challenging environments, the Rittal free-standing enclosure is optionally available with IP 66 and NEMA 4/4x protection. Integrated gland plates within the base simplify cabling, even in extremely componentdense enclosures, and ensure that preparatory tasks for cabling can be performed ergonomically. Simple: The use of the VX SE freestanding enclosure with a width of up to 1,800 mm offers panel builders significant potential for savings. For instance, it can replace small baying combinations of up to three enclosures. There is then no need for seals, baying accessories, mounting-

plate infills or multiple bases/ plinths – simultaneously eliminating the corresponding workload for assembly and installation. Compatible: To retain the benefits of the VX25 baying system in terms of installation of interior components, Rittal has made its new free-standing enclosure VX25-compatible. Panel builders who transition to the VX SE therefore do not have to make major adjustments in terms of engineering, assembly or component installation – everything remains the same. As the profile at the base of the VX SE is identical to that of the VX25, VX accessories for the base, such as gland plates and cable clamp rails, can be transferred and installed with ease. VX-wide compatibility for interior components is made possible by adaptor rails. This allows the easy installation of, e.g. VX25 punched sections, rail systems and partial mounting plates into the VX SE. As a result, it is possible to combine VX SE with any VX25 accessories.

Consequently, panel builders do not require special accessories for installation of interior components in the free-standing enclosure. Instead, they can simply make use of existing components from the baying product portfolio. Versatile: For use with building services (heating/cooling/ ventilation), Rittal offers the VX SE in a version that is 300 mm deep. Product benefits include diverse possibilities for the installation of interior components, flexible cabling options thanks to the new, modular cabling system, and rapid, customerspecific, modifications, such as cutouts. Rittal believes in the power of simplicity. The Rittal VX SE is an intelligent combination of modularity, compatibility and a stand-alone approach – with strengths that allow engineering companies to increase their productivity.

www.rittal.co.uk


March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

DECISION-MAKING ROBOT COULD REVOLUTIONISE MANUFACTURING MTC Breakthrough in Intelligent Robotics A flexible industrial robot with the decision-making capability of a human operator has been developed by robotics experts at the Coventrybased Manufacturing Technology Centre. Using a combination of machine learning and visual recognition, the robot can be taught to make assembly decisions based on the components put in front of it, in a breakthrough development which could save manufacturers the costs of expensive fixed tooling. Now the MTC has developed a flexible automation demonstrator to show manufacturers how the robotics can be used to create a low cost, reactive assembly system. The demonstrator mimics a typical electronic assembly using multiple components. Most automation technology in industry is specifically programmed to a given task and is unable to accept input variations. Changing the process can require major investment in fixturing and reprogramming. The MTC system is trained to recognise components and assembly variables and retrieve solutions from its database. It combines a robot operating system with a collaborative robot and low-cost vision sensors. MTC senior research engineer Mark Robson said, "Giving robots the decision-making capability of a human operator can dramatically improve their productivity and flexibility in variable conditions. Our demonstrator project shows how machine learning can be applied to achieve this." He added, "This work has shown that deep learning-based vision can provide robots with a robust ability to find and work with objects. The MTC has demonstrated methods to overcome the challenges in translating this ability into the

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physical domain of robotics which will enable the use of other machinelearning algorithms in industrial solutions." In trials the MTC's system returned a 99 per cent successful detection rate and demonstrated that it was possible to swap the input tray and change the component mix with little effect on performance. The MTC's chief automation officer, Mike Wilson, said, "We now have a blueprint for developing and implementing intelligent vision systems to industrial problems in an effective way, opening up potential applications in human-robot collaboration. We have eliminated the need for part fixtures as this system can adapt to new layouts without reprogramming. Completely traceable decision-making allows errors to be addressed quickly and effectively, and the system can be trained to apply to any new assembly process."

The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers. The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK. Further information - Sarah Gilmour, Manufacturing Technology Centre, tel 02476 701687 email: marketing@the-mtc.org www.the-mtc.org


ENGINEERING PDATE

March 2021

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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

Case Study:

A Wrate Engineering’s Single-handed Implementation of MRPeasy Looking for a user-friendly and affordable manufacturing ERP system, the precision engineers of A Wrate Engineering managed to implement MRPeasy without any external help.

About A Wrate Engineering A Wrate Engineering is a family-owned precision engineering company that specialises in manufacturing components to customers’ requirements. They work both with clients that are looking for one-off prototyping as well as those that need batch production. Serving customers from all over the UK, they do a lot of work for the aircraft and the renewable energy industries. The company was founded in London in 1973 when Alan Wrate decided to turn his bedroom into a workshop. Over the years, the business has expanded and today, A Wrate Engineering provides work to 22 employees and brings in a revenue of £4 million a year. Although the company has been formally handed over to the son and daughter of the original founder, Alan Wrate is still involved with the business on a consultancy basis. The day to day running of the business is now managed by Alan’s son Chris, and their Director of Operations, Lee Brien.

First things first: get a decent MRP system Lee, coming from an aircraft engineering background, had previously worked with Javelin, a legacy system with a wide variety of functionalities and an impressive price tag to boot. He joined the company in January 2020 and immediately saw the need for a manufacturing ERP

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software. At that moment, they were still using Microsoft Access to manage all the data in the business. “It was outdated, the system provided no traceability or routing, nor did it provide any linkage from one area to the other,” Lee remembers. “When I came to Wrate Engineering for an interview, I said there were two things that they had to do in the company: get a 5-axis machine and a decent MRP system. We have since managed both.” The previous experience with an MRP system gave Lee both the knowledge of the benefits of using this kind of software, and the basic understanding of how to choose a good fit and to successfully implement it.

Surprised by the price of MRPeasy At the beginning of the process, Lee looked at a number of ERP systems, but a lot of them were quite expensive and did not look very user friendly. “I had had a good experience with Javelin, but it was far too big for this company,” he says. “We were looking for something more affordable and easy to use as we are a relatively small company with no particularly IT-literate staff members.” Coming across MRPeasy, Lee was positively surprised by its price, especially considering the plethora of functionalities it promised to deliver. Another deciding factor was the software being cloud-based.


ENGINEERING PDATE

March 2021

“So I did the trial version and was quite impressed,” he says. “We looked at five or six other providers and MRPeasy proved to be the best fit for us. It was user-friendly, cloudbased, very cost-effective, has great data presentation capabilities, plus now we were able to link drawings and files to parts, which has been a great aid.”

Gradual implementation with no external consultants Already during his first month in the company, Lee took on the responsibility of spearheading the implementation process. He started by taking four weeks in order to put in the basic data for the parts, the Bills of Materials, and the production routings, and then rolled out the system slowly over the course of several months, finally going live in September 2020. “We took our time, doing the whole thing gradually, by ourselves” Lee explains. “As our team did not have previous experience with a proper MRP system, I think doing it all with a big bang would have meant banging my head against a brick wall for a period of time.” Thanks to the user-friendly interface and the clear, logical way the software is built, MRPeasy has been able to produce a catalogue of support materials – including instructional videos – that could be understood by even those with no previous ERP-related experience. “I found the materials very helpful,” Lee agrees. “When I could not find the answers from the documentation, I went to see a video. The help materials explain everything in very simple terms, like the example they use of putting together a wooden table. I find this fantastic because it’s so easy to understand,” he adds.

1000% better than before The company finally switched off the old data management system this January as the employees using MRPeasy had grown used to the new software and all the necessary data was transferred from the old database to the new one.

“The staff did well regarding the implementation process – much thanks to the ease-of-use of the system,” Lee says. “I do have to remind them once in a while that the software is an integrated whole, in the sense that deleting a file from one place can affect a bunch of other areas of the system. But all in all, they are doing alright,” he chuckles. As to the effect of the new system on the business as a whole, Lee claims that things have improved substantially. The company is better organised and therefore operates in a much more efficient manner. The new system has eliminated the waste of time required before to find the necessary piece of information, as well as the need for paper management. “It is 1000 per cent better than what we were previously using. I love it,” he says. “We now have all the information in one place – we can see the part, when it’s due, what the costs are, everything. All you need to find is just one click away, which saves us a huge amount of time, and we have eliminated the horrendous paper trail we previously had.”

Capable for much more Although A Wrate Engineering is using MRPeasy primarily for production control and purchasing, they can tell that the software is capable for much more. “We are only using about 15 per cent of what MRPeasy has to offer,” claims Lee. “Right now we just don’t need more, but it’s good to know there is room to grow.” “I think one of the biggest values of MRPeasy is communicated in their name – compared to other systems, it is incredibly easy to master,” he says. “I would certainly recommend it to other manufacturers as it’s so cost-effective and easy to learn. The learning resources are great, but I’ve also asked a question from the support team about three or four times. And within 24 hours, the problems have all been sorted.”

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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

AMEXCI and SLM Solutions strengthen their partnership to accelerate industrialization of metal Additive Manufacturing Lübeck, 17.02.2021. AMEXCI, an Additive Manufacturing company, founded by eleven Nordic based industrial companies and Selective Laser Melting pioneer SLM Solutions strengthen their partnership.

The joint objective is to further accelerate the industrialization of metal-based Additive Manufacturing. To achieve this and to create the basis for increased productivity and part quality, AMEXCI has invested in the Selective Laser Melting machine SLM®500, equipped with four 700 W lasers. The partnership between AMEXCI and SLM Solutions aims to boost industrialization and support companies to successfully implement AM technologies for serial production of complex metal parts. Edvin Resebo, CEO of AMEXCI underlines: “Having worked together for some time we are happy to take the next steps and further strengthen the cooperation between AMEXCI and SLM Solutions as we see their technology as a

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strong complement alongside our existing collaborations. Regarding the industrialization of AM, we see a growing potential in the Nordic region for the coming years. From an AMEXCI perspective, SLM Solutions showcases a strong understanding of what´s important and what needs to be in place for AM as an industrial manufacturing process.”

Solutions says: “AMEXCI works with a wide range of industries, especially in the Nordic region. We are proud to contribute as a solution partner to support and to realize AM business cases of their customers, from prototype up to serial production. Providing consulting services throughout the customer's AM journey, is a goal of SLM Solutions in this partnership.”

As part of the partnership, specific case studies will be used to evaluate Additive Manufacturing and test the competitive industry advantages of different machines and technologies offered by SLM Solutions. Additionally, AMEXCI evaluates the use of the recently introduced SLM® machine NXG XII 600 for industrialized series production.

The basis for the joint cooperation is AMEXCI’s investment in the latest SLM®500 from SLM Solutions. The machine offers excellent features for industrial series production. As the first quad-laser system on the market, the machine is ideally suited for the rapid cost-effective production of large metal parts. The multi-laser overlap strategy with up to four 700 Watt lasers ensures maximum efficiency.

Sam O’Leary, CEO of SLM

The ability to change the build cylinder minimizes machine downtime, maximizes productivity and reduces cost per part. AMEXCI, together with its customers develops a new generation of products where AM acts as an enabler for higher competitiveness and more sustainable production. Furthermore, AMEXCI offers a wide range of trainings and workshops to build up successful business cases for their customers. At its AS9100D certified lab in Karlskoga, Sweden, AMEXCI has the capability to design, produce and qualify components. Founding shareholders of AMEXCI are ABB, Atlas Copco, Electrolux, FAM, Husqvarna Group, Höganäs AB, Saab, Scania, SKF, Stora Enso and Wärtsilä.


ENGINEERING PDATE

March 2021

NSK roller guides simplify welding of wind turbine towers A collaboration between NSK and Spainbased Talleres Ganomagoga has led to a major advance in the welding of wind turbine towers. Based on the latest NSK roller guide technology, innovative linear motion solutions are allowing Talleres Ganomagoga to achieve smooth and accurate movement of its welding machines as the towers increase in length during production.

The circular welding columns rely on NSK RA series roller guides to produce wind turbine towers at Talleres Ganomagoga. Photo: Ganomagoga

The Ganomagoga Group, which has history stretching back to 1974, has its headquarters in Pontevedra, in the Galicia region of northwest Spain. Initially formed to serve sectors such as marine, automotive and construction, recent years have seen a number of emerging industries come to the fore, including renewable energy and, specifically, wind power. Talleres Ganomagoga specialises in the manufacture of critical assemblies for wind turbines, including towers. Due to their size, the towers comprise a number of individual cone segments that the company subsequently welds together. Precision and repeatability are prerequisites in this process, which is why Talleres Ganomagoga relies on linear roller guide technology from NSK. The company uses large welding machines based on a column and boom concept. These ‘circular welding columns’ weld the internal and external joints of the long steel hoops that form the cones of wind turbine towers. In terms of capacity, the machines can accommodate cones measuring up to 7m in length and 5m in diameter. To help expedite its welding process, Talleres Ganomagoga required a way of moving a machine along the length of a tower as it grew in size during manufacture. By collaborating with the expert team of engineers at NSK, this vision soon became reality. Today, the company joins the cones together by manoeuvring a circular welding column along a specially devised system of linear sliders and rails from NSK’s precise and reliable RA series. The combination of NSK The large welding machines are based on a column and boom design. Photo: Ganomagoga

super high-load linear sliders and NSK rails (in lengths of 9.225m and 7.8m) helps Talleres Ganomagoga achieve precise movement of its special welding machines in line with production demands. NSK’s RA series leverages the company’s combined expertise in roller bearing and linear guide technologies. The optimum size of the rolling element, along with the special shape of the roller slides and rails, ensures super high load capacity and equally impressive rigidity. Long life and smooth operation are mandatory requirements in the application at Talleres Ganomagoga, which seeks zero defects during its welding processes. Here, the use of NSK K1 lubrication units mean long-term maintenance-free operations, while high-performance seals (supplied as standard) block the entry of foreign matter – a highly important factor in operations such as welding where the potential contamination risks are high. RA series roller guides also provide super-high accuracy and smooth motion, factors that deliver repeatable and stable positioning time after time. www.nskeurope.com NSK’s RA series roller guides provide super-high accuracy and smooth motion, even under high loads. Photo: NSK

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ENGINEERING UPDATE

March 2021

PP Control & Automation rubber stamps its green credentials with ISO:14001 accreditation A six-figure investment in factory improvements and a commitment to support industry’s move to ‘carbon net zero’ has helped a West Midlands manufacturer secure a prestigious environmental accreditation. PP Control & Automation (PP C&A), which works with more than 15 of the world’s largest machinery builders, has been awarded the ISO:14001 standard for the first time in its history as part of its continued commitment to sustainable production. Manufacturing experts at the firm fine-tuned existing in-house systems and explored a more comprehensive recycling and packaging strategy to make sure it met all of the required processes and systems. The slight tweaks in approach follows an investment programme to fit a highly

efficient ambient heating system, LED lighting throughout the factory and offices and new skylights in order to maximise natural light throughout the company’s 50,000 sq ft facility in Cheslyn Hay. “We are passionate about sustainability and making sure that the contract manufacturing solutions we build have as little negative impact on the environment as possible,” explained Tony Hague, CEO of PP Control & Automation. “This means we were already operating strong policies and systems to reduce our carbon footprint and felt the time was right to formalise it with the ISO:14001 accreditation. Working with an external expert, it gave us the opportunity to forensically review what we do and how we do it and the overall feedback was very positive.” He continued: “It did throw up some interesting improvements we could make, certainly around types of packaging and engaging with a more strategic recycling partner - something we are already adopting. “The type of world leading customers we are working with are increasingly aware of the importance of ISO:14001 as a prerequisite for their preferred

supply chain partners.” PP C&A has been operational throughout the pandemic, providing strategic outsourcing solutions to customers involved in food and drink, packaging, renewables and medical. The company’s expertise in control and automation and contract manufacturing, combined with the ability to quickly set up new production cells, has seen it supply critical wiring harnesses to the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium and a host of new Covid-19 inspired technologies designed to protect people and reduce the spread of the virus. New orders have seen the firm return to pre-pandemic levels and in a position where it is now looking to take on up to ten staff in a range of production and office roles. “There is no denying the last twelve months have been challenging, but it has also highlighted the ingenuity and innovation of UK manufacturing in responding to them,” continued Tony. “We have some bold expansion plans in place for 2021 and this could mean the purchase of a second site nearby.” PP Control & Automation became one of the first employers in South Staffordshire to introduce lateral flow testing earlier this month for all of its 200 site-based staff. A training office has been converted into a new testing area and a number of employees have been trained in managing the process safely, meaning every worker is now offered a weekly test. For further information, please visit www.ppcanda.com or follow ppcanda on LinkedIn.

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ENGINEERING PDATE

March 2021

Forresters: Protecting innovation and securing business success As automation continues to change the world, companies are being ranked according to their level of innovation – and each new idea puts them a step ahead of their competitors.

By protecting the design, development and production of technology with a patent, companies not only see huge commercial benefit, but they give their customers a greater level of reassurance that their investment is secure. Forresters is a leading intellectual property firm that patents technologies from a variety of industries. With its ethos of always using plain jargon-free language it’s not surprising that Forresters was recognised as one of Europe’s Leading Patent Law Firms for 2020 in the prestigious Financial Times listing. Emma Johnson, a partner at Forresters and a specialist UK and European patent and trade mark attorney, said: “Without intellectual property rights in place, businesses leave themselves open to rivals being able to replicate and sell the products or services at a lower price, without incurring any research or development costs. “It’s not just products that can be protected with patents, but also processes and even manufacturing methods. Ensuring that they have the correct protection in place can be critical for a business and mean the difference between success and failure.” Forresters doesn’t just secure patents in the UK and Europe, but across the world. At the start of 2021 the company decided to capitalise on its global reach with a new dot.com website address - forresters-ip.com This new domain not only reflects the firm’s international outlook, but also shows how they have smoothly

transitioned through any Brexit changes and will continue to represent clients before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Forresters has offices in Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Munich and Southampton and they recently moved to one of London’s most iconic buildings – The Gherkin. The move is part of Forresters’ commitment to growth and sustainability, allowing it to provide an exceptional service to clients while building on its eco-conscious principles. The Gherkin’s impressive energy-saving methods allow it to use around half the power that a similar tower would usually consume, making it an excellent choice for companies focussed on sustainability. Emma added: “The service we provide to our clients will continue to be seamless as we ensure they have the correct IP protection in place for a post-Brexit market.” For more information about protecting your intellectual property contact Forresters at info@forresters-ip.com or visit the website forresters-ip.com

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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

How tough is your industrial OT? OT specialist invites engineers to share their solutions to automation in demanding environments Industrial operational technology (OT) is increasingly deployed in harsh and demanding environments, driven by the availability of higher power, compact hardware and software packages. As OT ventures further afield, industrial OT specialist Novotek UK and Ireland is running the ‘Tough Enough’ competition, inviting engineers and plant managers to share their stories of overcoming environmental challenges in data collection, process control and edge OT — and receive a rugged industrial PC (IPC) or support a charity of their choice in the process.

via the company’s website.

The competition intends to foster conversation around some of the innovative solutions to operational challenges that industrial businesses have developed, supporting knowledge sharing in the industry. Engineers and plant managers can either share the story and a picture with Novotek UK and Ireland on Twitter or LinkedIn using #ToughEnoughOT, or submit answers to a six-question survey

Companies that enter via the survey on Novotek’s website will be entered into a draw for a £250 donation to a charity of the winner’s choice.

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Businesses that share their stories via Novotek’s social media channels will be entering into a draw to receive a free IPC from Emerson’s rugged range. Emerson’s range of IPCs feature a patented heat management design that ensures each IPC delivers full performance at ambient temperatures up to 70 degrees Celsius. The IPCs also boast minimal connections and soldered processors and memory to ensure continuous operation even in environments prone to vibration or shocks.

“The improving performance of OT means that it’s becoming common in the field, rather than in the protective cabinet environments in which it was traditionally found,” explained George Walker, managing director of Novotek UK and Ireland.

“That leads this hardware to not only be exposed to knocks and vibration more often, but also directly to extreme temperatures, particularly in process industries and utilities. “From working directly with companies across the UK, we’ve found that there are plenty of creative ideas to tackle relatively common problems. As OT appears further afield, these solutions are almost as important as selecting the right hardware itself. We’re eager to start a discussion among industry about some of these innovative ideas, whether for bragging rights or to help other engineers overcome similar challenges, and to see whose equipment is the toughest.” Engineers, technicians or plant managers with a novel story of ensuring OT reliability in harsh operating environments can find full details and answer the survey on the Novotek UK and Ireland website. Novotek can also be found on Twitter, @Novotek, or on LinkedIn as Novotek UK & Ireland.


ENGINEERING PDATE

March 2021

An Omega upgrade

reducing the amount the element moves when heated. The aim of the test was also to discover whether the displacement of the new mesh shape is better than previous forms.

Cressall improves efficiency of resistor element Power resistor manufacturer, Cressall, has trialled a new configuration for its expanded mesh resistor element. The new, “Omega” shaping of the resistor elements will provide customers with an improved resistor design and better displacement of the mesh elements.

E

xpanded mesh elements have a very large surface area in relation to their mass, giving excellent heat transfer capabilities and making them ideal for continuous duties. The active material, insulators and mountings on expanded mesh resistor elements are designed to maximise the use of convection air for ventilation. Expanded mesh is also a lighter and often more durable choice when designing power resistors, making it a favourable option for offshore, automotive, rail traction and motor control applications. In place of a flat strip that usually forms the element, Cressall has tested a new element form that takes the shape of the Omega symbol — the symbol for resistance in Ohms. This new shape will provide increased rigidity,

When designing resistors, manufacturers aim to control the displacement of elements relative to one another. High displacement could cause the elements to come into contact and short circuit the resistor, which could lead to equipment failure. Therefore, maintaining the lowest displacement possible helps improve the safety of the resistor, while reducing its risk of failure.

To test the displacement of the new elements, Cressall used a higher power rating than usual, running elements at a temperatures in excess of 500 degrees Celsius. To measure the displacement, the team took high-resolution photographs of the heating element throughout the test and compared the pixel difference of images taken just before the power was applied and before it was turned off. Comparing the pixels of the images allowed Cressall to calculate the maximum pixel displacement, which was then converted into distance in millimetres (mm). “Results showed that the maximum element displacement of the new element shape was less than two mm. If two parallel elements moved up to two mm towards each other, this would be the worst-case scenario” explained Andrew Keith, group product development director at Cressall. “A reduction in the spacing between adjacent elements of four mm is comfortably acceptable under full load conditions. After obtaining this data, we realised our new expanded mesh element shape worked, and we could provide a better, more reliable product to our customers.” In addition to improving the quality and safety of Cressall’s expanded mesh elements, the new pressed tooling process will also reduce manufacturing time, as current element shaping is completed manually. Cressall can engineer expanded mesh with any configuration of element length, cross-section, material thickness, banking arrangement and cooling method to suit the requirements of your application. Learn how Cressall’s bespoke resistor solutions can support your industry by visiting

the web`site.

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March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

Pickering Interfaces launches industry’s highest bandwidth general purpose PXI matrix Offering bandwidths up to 70MHz and high switching capacity

Pickering Interfaces, the leading supplier of modular signal switching and simulation solutions for use in electronic test and verification, today launched the industry’s highest bandwidth general purpose PXI matrix. Available in 16x8, 2-pole, or high-density 32x8, 2-pole switching configurations, the matrix modules offer bandwidths ranging from 35MHz to 70MHz depending upon path selected and a VSWR <1.5:1 to 85MHz. The modules are in two-slot PXI (model 40-588) or PXIe (model 42-588) formats and are constructed using telecommunication grade electromechanical relays capable of hot or cold switching up to 2A at 220VDC/250VAC. Every signal has an accompanying analog ground connection on the front panel connectors for interfacing with cabling accessories. Simple matrix expansion is facilitated by two groups of front panel Y-axis connections on the 32x8 variant. Comments Pickering’s Switching Product Manager, Steve Edwards: “The 40/42-588 modules’ increased bandwidth provides compatibility with higher frequency test signals. With careful matrix design and isolation switching, a high switching capacity can still be offered while maintaining excellent RF performance. These modules also offer

electrically compatible replacement of another vendor’s legacy VXI switching product. This compatibility is part of Pickering’s VXI to PXI replacement program.” The new 40/42-588 high capacity, high bandwidth switching matrix modules are suitable for upgrades to legacy systems or new automated test equipment (ATE) designs in demanding automotive and defense applications. The modules are supported by Pickering’s eBIRST™ diagnostic test tools. Like all Pickering’s products, the 40/42-588 modules carry a three-year warranty, and come with spare relays that allows customers—with appropriate training—to do repairs on-site, minimizing system downtime. A range of interconnect accessories are also available to support the 40/42-588 family.

For more information on signal switching and simulation products or sales contacts, please visit www.pickeringtest.com.

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ENGINEERING PDATE

March 2021

NEW AXIS COMPENSATION MODULES FROM ZIMMER GROUP OFFERS HIGHER FORCE AND TORQUE ABSORPTION As a company with a philosophy of ongoing product development, Zimmer Group continues to focus on delivering new and innovative solutions to enhance today’s automated manufacturing processes. The latest additions to the Zimmer portfolio come in the form of updated versions of the already successful XYR100 axis compensation modules. Zimmer’s new XYR1000-B version offers greatly improved technical properties compared to its previous axis compensation module

W

ith the introduction of the newly developed XYR1000-B series axis compensation modules, Zimmer Group now has variants that currently offer the highest power density on the market and provide an important extension to the company’s comprehensive range of robot accessories. In addition to the use of new linear guides, other important innovations of the XYR1000-B version include greatly improved technical properties of the axis compensation module compared to its predecessor. For example, moving the linear guide further out and having an overall longer guide length results in a considerably more stable structure. This enables a much higher force and torque absorption, resulting in the new axis compensation module version being able to withstand higher shock loads. Moreover, enlarging the cylinder diameter allowed the holding forces for both the centred and eccentric holding functions to be significantly increased by an average of 35%.

Practical selection guide for handling weight, plus new sizes With this new range there is also a practical selection guide to define the maximum handling weight. The handling weight is used to provide an indicative estimate of which size works for each specific application.

Previously there was just a single number value for each standard application, but now there are separate diagrams which include the robot (or gantry) moment and acceleration within the calculation. The current -1063 to -1160 installation sizes are now enhanced by a total of three more design sizes. The -1040 and -1050 sizes are intended for use with smaller payloads, whilst the -1200 size is more suitable for the heavy-duty range. A two-point sensor is available as an accessory for piston position sensing. In addition, this accessory has been optimised for production, resulting in manufacturing cost savings that have been passed on directly to the customer. The cost of the new XYR-B version has therefore been reduced by up to 13% compared to its predecessor. Zimmer’s new axis compensation modules are now available and are completely interchangeable with the previous version. Tel: +44 1283 542103 Web: https://www.zimmer-group.de/en Email: info@zimmer-group.co.uk

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Directory

March 2021

ENGINEERING UPDATE

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

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

Curtiss-Wright Surface Technologies

TR Fastenings LTD

European Corporate Office, Hambridge Lane, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 5TU 01635 279621 www.cwst.co.uk eurosales@cwst.com

Trifast House, Bellbrook Park, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 1QW Free phone: 08454 811 800 E-mail: sales@trfastenings.com www.trfastenings.com

Phoenix Mecano Ltd

Blackfast Chemicals Ltd

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

Unit 5 Russell House , Molesey Road, Walton-onThames, Surrey, KT12 3PE 0207 339 7370, sales@blackfast.com www.blackfast.com

Monitran

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

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ODU-UK LTD.

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


ENGINEERING PDATE

Directory

March 2021

Foremost Electronics Ltd

Seepex UK Ltd.

14 Bluegate Business Park Great Bardfield, Essex CM7 4PZ TEL: +44 (0) 1371 811171 FAX: +44 (0) 1371 810933 WEB: www.4most.co.uk

3 Armtech Row Houndstone Business Park Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 8RW

HRS Heat Exchangers 0-12 Caxton Way Watford Business Park, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 8JY Email: info@uk.hrs-he.com Tel: +44 (0)1923 232 335

T +44 1935 472376 sales.uk@seepex.com www.seepex.com

Mecmesin Ltd Newton House, Spring Copse Business Park, Slinfold, West Sussex, RH13 0SZ w: www.mecmesin.com t: +44 (0) 1403 799979 e: info@mecmesin.com

1 Brownfields Court Welwyn Garden City Hertfordshire, AL7 1AJ www.rotechmachines.com

BÜLTE GmbH Kunststofferzeugnisse Carl-Sonnenschein-Straße 22 D-59348 Lüdinghausen – Germany Phone: (+49) 02591 / 91 94 – 0 info@bulte.de www.bulte.com

Wood Automated Systems UK (ATG – Systems) Tenter Road, Moulton Park Industrial Estate Northampton, NN3 6AX +44 (0)7827 327231 Tim.Bednall@woodplc.com www.the-atg.com

Lascar Electronics Ltd UK Module House Whiteparish, Wiltshire SP5 2SJ +44 (0)1794 884 567 sales@lascar.co.uk www.lascarelectronics.com

Rotech Machines Limited

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Power Security & Back-Up

Instruments Ltd

DC UPS

CBI Series Input 90-305 V AC Output 12/24/48 V DC upto 20 A MODbus / CANbus Comms Remote Monitoring via ethernet Status Relay

Battery Chargers CB Series Input 90-305 V AC Output 12/24/48 V DC upto 20 A MODbus / CANbus Comms Remote Monitoring via ethernet Status Relay

Power Supplies

FLEX Series Input 90-500 V AC Output 12/24/48 V DC upto 25 A Single / Dual or 3 Phase inputs

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Multifunction Meters | CTs, VTs and Shunts | Transducers | Energy Meters - MID Bargraphs | Earth Leakage Relays | Protection Relays | Battery Chargers | Power Supplies DC UPS | Generator Controllers | Remote Monitoring | Ventilation Control

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Instruments Ltd

TVR Instruments Limited 143 Butt Road, Colchester CO3 3DP Essex United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1206 575755 Email: sales@tvri.co.uk www.tvri.co.uk

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