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Contents | Volume 60, No. 1



Clippard appoints new president


Magellan to manufacture Airbus A320 wing ribs


MDA awarded space exploration contracts


Canadian wallclimbing robot to aid future space missions


Saskatoon firm builds world’s largest EPU


U of Waterloo launches green energy degree


Sherbrooke students show off electric concept car at CES


Matsuura debuts hybrid metal 3D printing and milling machine


Lomiko Metals to develop graphene for 3D printing

READER SERVICES Annual Subscription Rate In Canada: $53.95 (1 year) $72.95 (2 year) Outside Canada: $101.95 (1 year) Single Copy In Canada: $10.00 Outside Canada: $22.00 Directory Rates In Canada: $28.00 Outside Canada: $46.00 Reader Service Contact Information Toronto: 416 442 5600 X 3538 Elsewhere: 1-866-543-7888 Mail: Business Information Group Design Engineering Circulation Dept 80 Valleybrook Drive North York, ON M3B 2S9




20 Rapid Prototyping SLS additive manufacturing technology provides low costs, high quality and quick turnaround times for flow meter parts 22 Shop Talk Is it time for Ontario to adopt a mandatory Continuing Professional Development program for the engineering profession?


30 Motion Control Variable frequency drives provide many benefits, but selecting the right one requires asking the correct questions 34 Automation Thomson Technology uses SCADA/HMI software to provide customers advanced functionality and connectivity while cutting development time


38 Idea Generator The latest in industrial products including automation, power transmission, motors, fluid power and motion control

Features 14 Inside Autodesk CAM 360 Autodesk’s CAM in cloud service looks to disrupt manufacturing software industry


24 Open to Business Canadian university engineering research facilities embrace SMEs for commercial R&D projects 45 Canadian Engineers vs Winter University of Waterloo’s VeloCity incubator program spawns two startups determined to take the sting out of winter.




Printed in Canada

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January/February | 2014

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6 EditorialViewpoint

Tech Transferable


s the cover story this issue illustrates, Canadian universities operate some of the world’s leading engineering research facilities. The climactic wind tunnel at UOIT’s Automotive Centre of Excellence, the Blue Gene/Q super computer at University of Toronto and the synchrotron particle accelerator at the University of Saskatchewan represent only a few high profile examples. In total, the length and breadth of engineering R&D capabilities and expertise in Canada ranks with the best in the world. That may be a source of nationalistic pride, but it also has profitable implications for Canadian industry, as well. Considering the enormous costs associated with such facilities, most companies would never get the chance to conduct R&D in one. Fortunately, Canada’s universities are not only open to private industry but actively seek it out. Given that, you’d think their research labs would be struggling to keep up with demand from the private sector. However, according to study conducted by École de technologie supérieure in Montreal, Canadian industry, and particularly Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), seldom search for, or are even reluctant to form, such partnerships. In the study, only 10 percent of SMEs with more than $5 million in sales reported an academic collaboration, and only 1 percent reported a technology transfer. First and foremost, SMEs’ passivity stems from a simple lack of awareness. Many businesses don’t know what academic resources are available or who to contact. Other issues include where the money to fund a short- to long-term R&D project will come from and how any intellectual property resulting from the research will be shared. For assistance, SMEs can contact the university directly to investigate possible opportunities; each typically runs an office of research or innovation that can not only help match enterprise with researchers but also offer potential funding options as well as provide the details of its IP policies. A better option may be to work through a third party. Each province has a non-profit or crown-entity that promotes industry/university partnerships and/or oversees government sponsored funding programs or VC-style investment. In terms of its scope and available resources, the most sophisticated among them is the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). The non-profit’s core function is to play matchmaker between industry and academic researchers. For example, it administers the provincially funded Industry Academic Collaboration Program (IACP), an initiative designed to help Ontario’s research institutions and technology-based companies commercialize research discoveries. For funding, OCE offers a range of options including the Collaborate-to-Commercialize (C2C) initiative, a two-year program designed for projects with special innovation challenges and high commercialization potential. Through C2C, OCE invests up to $250,000 with the participating university in proportion to matching funds from industry partners. In addition, OCE offers voucher programs, through which eligible Ontario companies receive a credit that can be applied towards expertise and resources from Ontario universities. Considering the breadth of R&D possibilities Canadian universities offer coupled with the resources available and the continuous “innovation” mantra chanted by government, there is little reason not to perform at least some preliminary research into what may be possible.

Mike McLeod


I enjoy hearing from you so please contact me at and your letter could be published in an upcoming issue.

January/February | 2014

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Editor Michael McLeod (416) 442-5600 ext. 3231 Publisher Alan Macpherson (416) 510-6756 Group Editorial Director Lisa Wichmann (416) 510-5101 Accounts Manager Taebah Khan (416) 510-5230 Technical Field Editor Pat Jones, P. Eng. Art Director Kathy Smith (416) 442-5600 ext. 3215 Market Production Manager Jessica Jubb (416) 510-5194 Circulation Manager Cindi Holder (416) 442-5600 ext. 3544 BIG Magazines LP Executive Publisher Tim Dimopoulos Vice-President of Canadian Publishing, Alex Papanou President of Business Information Group, Bruce Creighton Publications Mail Agreement #40069240 ISSN: 0011-9342 (Print), 1929-6452 (Online) Privacy Notice: From time to time we make our subscription list available to select companies and organizations whose product or service may interest you. If you do not wish your contact information to be made available, please contact us via one of the following methods: Phone: 1-800-668-2374 Fax: 416-442-2191 E-mail: Mail to: Privacy Officer, 80 Valleybrook Drive, North York, ON M3B 2S9 Subscriber Services: To subscribe, renew your subscription or to change your address or information contact us at 1-800-387-0273 ext.3552. Subscription Price: Canada: $53.95 for 1 year; $72.95 for 2 years; $10 for single copy. Outside Canada: $101.95 for 1 year; $22 for single copy. Directory/buyer’s guide: Canada $28; Outside Canada $46. Design Engineering, established in 1955, is published 6 times per year except for occasional combined, expanded or premium issues, which count as two subscription issues. Published by BIG Magazines LP, a division of Glacier BIG Holdings Company Ltd. Tel: 416-442-5600, Fax: 416-510-5140 80 Valleybrook Dr., Toronto, ON M3B 2S9. Contents of this publication are protected by copyright and must not be reprinted in whole or in part without permission of the publisher. DE receives unsolicited features and materials (including letters to the editor) from time to time. DE, its affiliates and assignees may use, reproduce, publish, re-publish, distribute, store and archive such submissions in whole or in part in any form or medium whatsoever, without compensation of any sort. DE accepts no responsibility or liability for claims made for any product or service reported or advertised in this issue. DE is indexed in the Canadian Business Index by Micromedia Ltd., Toronto, and is available on-line in the Canadian Business & Current Affairs Database. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

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8 DesignNews Up Front Clippard appoints new president Clippard Instrument Laboratory announced the appointment of John Campbell as its new president. William L. Clippard, III and Robert L. Clippard will continue to serve as Clippard’s chairman of the board and vice chairman, respectively. The John Campbell two sons of company founder Leonard Clippard have lead the maker of miniature pneumatic components and devices for the past 38 years. According to the company, John Campbell brings extensive experience in running small to mid-size manufacturing companies and has managed all aspects of their business including sales, marketing, product development, manufacturing and distribution as well as key areas of finance, mergers and acquisitions. Through this process, there has been no change in the company ownership and no change in the day-to-day operation of the business.

Magellan to manufacture Airbus A320 structural wing ribs Magellan Aerospace announced that it has reached an agreement with Airbus S.A.S. to manufacture and supply complex, 5-axis machined wing ribs for Airbus’ single aisle A320 product family including the A320neo, in addition to its existing A320 wing ribs work package. The agreement is expected to generate approximately US$20 million over the next five years. As part of its commitment, Magellan will invest in a new high-speed, 5-axis machining centre to be located in its facility in Greyabbey, Northern Ireland.

MDA awarded space exploration contracts MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates announced that it has been awarded multiple strategic technology development contracts by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The contracts, with a combined value of approximately CAD$3 million, are funded under CSA’s Space Technology Development Program.

Several of the contracted projects are expected to advance technologies which enable more ambitious approaches to robotic spacecraft servicing. One project is to focus on advancing the development of deployable ultra-high frequency (UHF) antennas that could be folded, resulting in a very compact size for launch. January/February | 2014

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Canadian wall-climbing robot to aid future space missions


he European Space Agency (ESA) announced that it has recently tested a wall-climbing robot developed at Simon Frasier University and found that the gecko-foot inspired technology may be suitable for space missions, potentially leading to hullcrawling automatons tending future spacecraft. The SFU climbing robot, called Abigaille-III, has six legs with four degrees of freedom each, allowing the robot to transition from vertical to horizontal and back. Key to the robot’s abilities, though, is a dry adhesive, developed at SFU, which mimics the feet of geckos and allows it to adhere to diverse surfaces. Geckos “stick” due to microscopic hairs (100–200 nanometres across) on their feet that take advantage of van der Waals forces, molecular attractions that operate over very small distances. SFU engineering scientist Carlo Menon says his team borrowed techniques from the microelectronics industry to create “footpad terminators” similar to the a gecko’s nanoscopic hairs. Interested in assessing the adhesive’s suitability for space, the ESA tested the adhesive in its Electrical Materials and Process Labs, based in the Agency’s ESTEC technical centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, with additional support from ESA’s Automation and Robotics Lab. “A depth-sensing indentation instrument was used inside a vacuum chamber to precisely assess the dry adhesive’s sticking performance,” said ESA’s Laurent Pambaguian. “Experimental success means deployment in space might one day be possible.” Since joining SFU in 2007, Menon’s research program has focused on bio-robotics and smart materials. The space research was supported by the ESA’s Network/Partnering Initiative, enabling it to work with universities carrying out research with the potential for space applications.

Saskatoon engineering firm builds world’s largest EPU for Canadian particle accelerator Saskatoon-based RMD Engineering has built what it claims is the world’s largest elliptical polarizing undulator (EPU) for the Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron, an electron accelerator used to probe the structure of matter. Essentially a particle insertion device, the EPU uses powerful rare earth magnets to cause the synchrotron’s electron beam to generate

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DesignNews edge and training in green energy systems such as bioenergy, fuel cells, air pollution and greenhouse gas management, solar and wind energy, and building energy performance. A Bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related area of study is required and students must complete the program within two years. The Green Energy Graduate Diploma will be delivered from an interactive instruction facility called Live-Link, a remote learning environment, enabled through the use of smart boards and multi-point interactive video conferencing.

Sherbrooke engineering students show off electric concept car at CES X-rays of controllable polarization. Scientists can then use the information obtained to help design new drugs, develop more effective motor oils and build more powerful computer chips, among many other applications. Currently, CLS has two EPUs in operation but the new device is unique not only for its size but its ability to switch between high and low energy experiments. The RMD Engineering-built EPU measures 4.17 x 2.69 x 2.8m, weighs approximately 13,500 kg and can produce anywhere from 15-200 eV to 200 – 1000 eV. “This allows researchers using the synchrotron to study and develop state-of-the art technology, from superconductors to car batteries,” said Mike McKibben, Canadian Light Source’s director of technical support. RMD Engineering owner Jim Boire said that turning the design of the EPU into a cutting-edge machine was a considerable challenge. His company spent over 9,500 work-hours of engineering, machining and assembly to put together the nearly 1,100 parts, including 865 manufactured components. Now that the RMD-built structure has arrived at the synchrotron, CLS engineers will calibrate the machine and position 1,560 rare earth magnets onto the EPU. Once testing and calibration is complete, the EPU will be moved into the storage ring area of the synchrotron for use in experiments on a new beamline called QMSC, an experimental station that will be operational in 2015.

Waterloo Engineering launches green energy graduate degree The University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Engineering will launch a graduate diploma in green energy to provide professional development for working engineers through real-time online learning. The first of its kind in Canada, the Green Energy Graduate Diploma was developed through collaboration of Waterloo’s network of private sector partners, utilities, government and the non-profit sector in partnership with the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy. Diploma courses are designed to enhance technical knowlJanuary/February | 2014

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Engineering students from Universite de Sherbrooke rolled out their urban electric concept vehicle – Project VUE (Vehicle Urbain Electrique) – at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014 in Las Vegas in January. Based on a 2006model Smart Fortwo Coupe chassis, Project VUE is an ongoing senior project for engineering students. Initiated two years ago, the initial conversion of the Fortwo focused on improving reliability of the battery, power supply and other electrical systems. The all electric vehicle sports a top speed of 75 mph and a range of about 40 miles. The current VUE concept vehicle weighs 1,741 pounds with a 77-inch wheelbase. In its latest incarnation, on display at CES, the VUE features semi-autonomous driverassistance systems and improved alldigital instrument, infotainment and vehicle diagnostic displays. It’s radar- and camera-based obstacle and road-sign detection systems enable automatic speed adjustment and are designed to help drivers safely react to obstacles and dangerous driving conditions. Project VUE also partnered with Finish automotive embedded hardware and software development company, Elektrobit, to create the car’s HMI systems. The Sherbrooke team used the company’s GUIDE 5.5 development platform to create the VUE’s fully digital instrument cluster, an infotainment system based on the QNX Neutrino Realtime Operating System and vehicle diagnostic displays. Future development objectives will include the extension of driver-assistance functions for completely autonomous driving and voice controls.

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12 DesignNews Matsuura debuts hybrid metal 3D printing and milling machine to North American

of 250 x 250 x 180mm, a feed rate of 60/60/30 m/min and a maximum spindle speed of 45,000 min-1. With a price tag of just under US$846,000, the company says it hopes to sell 10 in its first year on the North American market.

Matsuura Machinery Corporation announced that its LUMEX Avance-25 Metal Laser Sintering Hybrid Milling Machine has entered the North American market (U.S. and Canada) starting January 1. Sold through a distribution agreement with Mitsubishi, the hybrid machine is the result of five years of R&D and is Matsuura’s LUMEX the only machine to offer a one-machine Avance-25 combines process for complex molds and parts. laser sintering and highLike other laser sintering machines, speed milling for mold the LUMEX Avance-25 binds thin lay- and die, aerospace and ers of metal powder using a laser. How- medical industries. ever, during the additive manufacturing process, the machine also mills partially finished parts to provide higher accuracy as well as complex geometry that isn’t possible using traditional methods. The machine accommodates a maximum workpiece size

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Graphene Laboratories, Lomiko Metals to develop graphene for 3D printing Graphene Laboratories Inc. announced it will partner with Vancouver-based Lomiko Metals Inc. to develop grapheneenhanced materials for 3D printing. To commercialize their research, the companies have formed Graphene 3D Labs Inc., a spinoff of Graphene Labs, to work toward integrating graphene-based products into end-user goods. Heralded as a strong, ultra-light, ultra-conductive material, graphene is a one-atom thick sliver of graphite that could have applications in everything from super-sensitive sensors to thin flexible touch displays to high-efficiency solar panels. Graphene Laboratories operates the Graphene Supermarket, a supplier of nanocarbon and graphene products. Lomiko Metals, a junior exploration company, will provide graphite as the exclusive supplier to Graphene 3D Labs. In addition, the company will invest $50,000 in the start-up.

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14 CADReport

Inside Autodesk CAM 360 As CAM 360 opens for Beta testing, Autodesk positions its CAM in the cloud service to shake up the manufacturing software industry. By Mike McLeod


hroughout its history, Autodesk’s software has almost exclusively played on the engineering and design side of the product development fence, leaving the shop floor, the actual manufacturing, to CAM software developers. And it was the only major CAD software developer to do so. PTC, Siemens and Dasault Systemes all have CAM software in-house that tightly integrates with their respective CAD suites. That changed in 2012 when Autodesk acquired HSMWorks, a company that made integrated CAM software exclusively for SolidWorks. Since then, Autodesk has been working on bringing the same seamless 2.5-, 3- and 5-axis CAM integration to Inventor with Inventor HSM. It has also released a no-charge 2.5-axis plug-in (Inventor HSM Express) that, for the most part, mirrors the free HSMXpress plug-in for SolidWorks. Autodesk took their CAM strategy a step further at Autodesk University 2013 with the announcement of CAM 360. Utilizing January/February | 2014

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the same HSMWorks CAM kernel, the online NC programming and toolpath creation/simulation service is the latest addition to Autodesk’s growing stable of cloud-enabled engineering software. It joins the “push-pull” direct modeler, Fusion 360, released last year, as well as AutoCAD 360, PLM 360, Sim 360 and Mockup 360, all of which are linked to the Autodesk 360 cloud fi le storage and collaboration service. The first of its kind, CAM 360 is designed to split its CAM functions between the user’s local computer and Autodesk’s cloud computing service, using a server/client model. A relatively small executable is installed locally, which ties, via the Internet (and an account login), to Autodesk’s cloud service. According to Anthony Graves, Autodesk Product Manager for CAM, CAM 360 will dynamically shift processing duties from the local thin client to the cloud or vice versa depending on which is faster. “Let’s say, for example, you’re at home with a computer without a lot of horsepower, you will be able to login to CAM 360, grab your CAM project and choose to have it

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CADReport 15 solved in the cloud instead of locally,” he says. “Computing in CAM 360 will be done on the desktop or on the cloud, depending on which is more appropriate. What this does is give people the flexibility to use whatever hardware they have available.” From the user’s point of view, Graves says the experience is the same as with purely locally installed software, but the online model opens up a number of unique opportunities typically not offered by traditional CAM software. The first is CAM 360’s all-inclusive offering. Initially, the CAM 360 version open to beta testing will provide capabilities similar to that of Inventor HSM or HSMWorks for SolidWorks: 3-axis CAM with a range of toolpath strategies — for generating milling, drilling, counterboring and tapping operations — as well as adaptive roughing or clearing strategies and toolpath simulation. What’s unique is that CAM 360 does

Autodesk says it will continue to offer 2.5axis CAM at no charge after the full commercial release of CAM 360 in early 2014. For those who need more, the 3-axis CAM 360 version will cost $75 per user per month on a 12-month contract while 5-axis (3+2) will run $150 a month. According to Graves, it’s this combination of no-cost or pay-as-you-go 2.5 to 5-axis CAM plus free CAD fi le translation and intuitive modeling tools that makes CAM 360 a disruptive and compelling entry in the CAM software industry. “What’s important about CAM 360 is that it includes the kind of modeling and patching tools that CNC programmers dream of to quickly prep models for machining,” he says. “But, at the same time, they get all the CAM functionality and performance of HSM technology. With CAM 360, you will get 2.5-axis CAM for free and by the end of next year, I can’t imagine anyone spending money on 2.5-

CAM 360 combines CNC programming, simulation and design with real-time collaboration and online project and data management.

not require a license of a pricey CAD package. Instead, it borrows the direct modeling tools from Fusion 360 that CAM users need to feature, de-feature, modify or patch a model to prep it for machining. In addition, it also includes cloud-based translators that import CAD data formats from major CAD packages (Pro-E, Catia, SolidWorks, Solid Edge, NX, etc) plus most neutral formats (STEP, IGUS, STL, etc). Lastly, and perhaps most importantly,

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axis CAM ever again.” In addition, he says that, since all design data including revision history, is stored in the cloud, all of Autodesk 360 tools (including CAM 360) allow users to share and collaborate on projects. For example, an engineer could model a part in one location using Fusion 360 and invite a job shop in another location into the project. The machinist, through his Autodesk 360 account, could then access the most current January/February | 2014

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16 CADReport design revision and produce the toolpaths to manufacture the part using CAM 360. The Post Problem Of course, toolpaths are all well and good but without a reliable post processor, CAM is just a pretty, but purely virtual, animation. Similar to a printer driver’s function between a word processor and a laser printer, a post processor translates the binary toolpaths generated by CAM software into the multiple lines of human-readable G-code that systematically instructs the CNC machine how to cut a part. The problem is that G-code, while technically an international standard, is unique to each brand and specific model of CNC To generate toolpaths, CAM 360 is built with the same CAM kernel that drives HSMWorks and machine. The syntax of the language (G0, Inventor HSM. G1, etc) is largely the same, but CNC makAs a result, there is no single post processor to rule them all, ers like Fanuc, Heidenhain, Haas, Hurco, Mazak and many others tweak the standard language to suit their products unique much like there isn’t a single universally accepted CAD data fi le capabilities. On the other side of the equation, post processors format. But unlike faulty BREP geometry, bad G-code isn’t also have to be matched to each CAM package since each gener- simply a matter of a non-manifold solid or a reversed normal. ates and encodes toolpaths in a unique way. A malformed G-code block can gouge a workholding setup or

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CADReport 17 thrash a $200,000 machine, which is why many machinists still prefer to manually write 2.5-axes code from scratch or at least edit code produced by software. To confront this challenge, HSMWorks, and now Autodesk, has adapted an open source model for post processors development. Like many CAM developers, HSMWorks/Autodesk offers its own generic post processors, which it refines to suit specific customers at no charge. Beyond this, the company writes its post in relatively accessible Javascript instead of a heavy-handed programming language like C++ or Java that is compiled. Autodesk’s approach eliminates the “black box” aspect of some post processors that force customers to go back to the CNC manufacturer, reseller or a 3rd party for customization. More importantly, it makes the code available to a community of post developers who can refine the code to suit any CNC machine or machinist’s preference. Autodesk is taking advantage of the unique setup through its CAM website (cam.autodesk. com) with a post development forum where members can share their customizations. “One of the frustrating things about a lot different industries, and particularly in the metalworking community, is that people feel like they are getting nickel-and-dimed at every turn,” Graves says. “We just want to create an open solution that’s going to produce good parts. And since we are not trying to generate

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revenue from post, our architecture gives us complete flexibility to be as open as possible.” CAM in the Cloud Autodesk bills its 360 spectrum of cloud products as a complete design to manufacture solution, and in many ways it succeeds. Parts and assemblies can either be modeled or imported to Fusion 360, run through FEA and/or CFD analysis in Sim 360, photo rendered in Autodesk 360 and now, potentially, physically manufactured via CAM 360. But for all its capabilities, Autodesk’s cloud toolbox lacks one crucial manufacturing component: Drawing creation and/or PMI data. For any machinist or job shop, simply getting a CAD fi le isn’t enough to produce an accurate or even acceptable part. While it may sometimes be possible to drill down on specific properties within a design fi le, this only holds true when the fi le is open in its native CAD environment. However, Fusion 360 (and therefore CAM 360) doesn’t retain this information for imported models. Being history free, it strips parametric and build order data from the model. While dimension remain intact, precise GD&T or PMI data (e.g. surface finish and material specifications) isn’t included. It should be noted that at Autodesk University 2013, the company strongly hinted that manufacturing drawing creation

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CADReport storage on which the 360 service depends. Although Autodesk emphasizes that 360 customers will always be able to access their files, even in the case of a billing dispute, purely private entities may also baulk at having their design data stored with a third party. Finally, CAM 360 represents a radical shift. Concepts like storing fi les off site and using software that one rents rather than “owns” may be hard to accept for machinists who’ve spent years producing CAM 360 gives users access to professional CNC quality parts with a stand-alone CAM programming tools to program their machining projects package. regardless of where their CAD data comes from or what Still, given CAM 360’s aggressive freeoperating system and hardware they prefer. mium and/or low-cost model, Autodesk is hoping potential customers will at least “kick the tires” on the new service and come or some form of Model Based Definition capability would be to prefer the ability to scale their software expenditures up or added to the 360 line in the near future. down at will. And even if entrenched machinists give CAM 360 Another potential challenge for Autodesk’s cloud strategy in a pass, the company is betting the next generation on the shop general is that companies doing work for government agencies, floor will embrace the mobility, platform independence and social at least in the U.S., are contractually restricted from storing media-like advantages the 360 approach affords. DE digital design data on third party computers, including the cloud


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20 RapidPrototyping

Go with the Flow ...Meter SLS additive manufacturing technology provides low costs, high quality and quick turnaround times for flow meter parts.


or nearly a decade, Mississauga-based firm, Anubis Manufacturing Consultants, has provided engineering services, equipment development and manufacturing for the pharmaceutical, chemical, consumer goods, and food and beverage industries. Recently, Anubis developed, patented, and commercialized a mass flow meter for particulates. Called the ARBOmeter, the device can operate either as a strictly volumetric device or, with the addition of a hopper and tray, a meter that can measure the variable bulk density of materials. The device is primarily used in the mining, plastics, recycling and food processing industries, and it can measure flow of everything from pellets to powder to potato chips. Inside the meter’s stainless steel enclosure are a number of delicate electronic components, several of which require a framework that reduces vibration and keeps it in place. The individual frames need to hold each part firmly and accurately at a fixed angle. Components to be supported include two cameras and an LED light that have different shapes and require unique frames. Because of prior experience with EOS additive manufacturing technology and materials, Anubis selected laser sintering as the process to make seven of the frameworks, including those for the cameras and LED light. There were several reasons for the choice: Frame complexity (incorporating such features as built-in hinges and quick-release snap fits), small production runs and—most important—continuing evolution of the frame designs. In addition, the company operates an AM division in-house, that includes an EOS FORMIGA P 100 plastic lasersintering system. “Several of the plastic parts went through extensive redesign,” says Anubis owner, says Tharwat Fouad, “and we chose to revise the flow meter at least 15 times.” With so many changes, traditional plastics processes such as molding would be far too costly and would slow down product development. By contrast, using laser-sintered nylon (PA 2200, a Nylon 12 material), it was possible to manufacture the frames inexpensively and produce new versions overnight. The ability to make multiple revisions within tight turnaround times allowed Anubis to create optimal frames for each component. January/February | 2014

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Designed and manufactured by Mississauga-based Anubis Manufacturing Consulting Corp., the ARBOmeter flow meter is designed to measure the variable bulk density of everything from pellets to powder to potato chips.

A Cool Alternative Laser sintering’s capabilities also prompted Anubis to consider an additional functionality for the frames: Integrated cooling channels. The ARBOmeter employs an internal CPU that gives off heat. To protect electronic components, the temperature inside the stainless steel enclosure should not exceed 42C/108F. That presented a challenge. Standard practice might be to cut a hole in the enclosure and mount a fan. But in this instance, the device is IP 65 rated, so neither dust nor water can enter the enclosure—and that means no holes at all. Any cooling system would need to be internal. “We searched extensively and consulted electrical manufacturers,” Tharwat says, “but we didn’t find an inexpensive way to cool an enclosure and keep the IP rating we wanted.” As a result, Anubis considered incorporating channels inside the nylon frames so that air could flow through to cool the electrical parts. Since laser-sintering systems can create nearly any shape, a thin layer of nylon isolating the components from the channels would ensure that the meter could still earn its IP rating. Designing the cooling channels involved a number of considerations and revisions. Engineers calculated the volume of airflow needed to remove the heat and the size of the air conduit to carry that volume. Adding an impeller provided additional forced-air. By making the channels longer and narrower, air velocity accelerated even more. Taking advantage of the geometric complexity possible with laser sintering, the designers added fins and baffles to maximize heat transference. With each new modification, they quickly

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laser sintered and thermodynamically lab-tested the part. Although time constraints prevented Anubis from finalizing the cooling channel design on the ARBOmeter (the company has implemented a vortex cooling system instead), they are currently considering such a feature for several other applications. Production and Predictions Presently in full production, the ARBOmeter’s laser-sintered frames are built in batches of four nested sets, seven to a set, over about twenty hours. Each part is made of 100-micron layers, one on top of the other. “The quality, repeatability and durability of the parts are very satisfactory,” Tharwat says. “Laser sintering is uniquely suited to our needs on this project.” Anubis has minimized the frames to optimize set sizes and plans to run five sets at once in the FORMIGA P 100. The company produced between 100 and 200 ARBOmeters in 2013. “I believe that additive manufacturing will close the competitive gap between larger corporations and small businesses, or even individual inventors, for bringing new products to market,” Tharwat says. “It will have a major impact on speed to market and will provide more manufacturing choices to end users. I don’t think it will eliminate traditional manufacturing—at least in the foreseeable future. But for low-

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In the Anubis ARBOmeter, white nylon frameworks are custom designed for individual components and manufactured in a FORMIGA P 100 plastic laser-sintering system from EOS

volume applications, it is filling a valuable niche in which it is more cost-effective, and offers greater design freedom, than traditional processes.” DE

January/February | 2014

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22 ShopTalk

Maintaining Canadian Engineering Credibility Is it time for Ontario to adopt a mandatory Continuing Professional Development program for the engineering profession? By Paul Acchione, P.Eng.


rofessional competency and quality assurance are an integral part of engineering work. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a part of maintaining competency. Having no CPD guidelines in Ontario leaves the profession vulnerable to criticism by the public. Ontario is currently the only Canadian jurisdiction that does not have any defined (CPD) regime for its licensed professional engineers. In fact, eight of the provinces have mandatory CPD programs. Many engineers are concerned that, without a formal program in place, Ontario’s licensed engineers will not maintain the same level of credibility in the eyes of industry and the public compared with engineers in the other jurisdictions that have established programs. Furthermore many large engineering firms and industrial engineering departments have adopted quality assurance programs that include CPD because of demands from their clients or owners. Simply put, by not having a provincial program in place, we are only delaying the inevitable. Last year, the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), the advocacy and member services body for the province’s engineers, formed a Continuing Education Working Group to study and recommend best CPD practices for professional engineers in Ontario from a practicing engineer’s perspective. Based on our findings, we developed a report proposing a system based primarily on Alberta’s APEGA program, modified to provide greater flexibility for engineers, to respect employers’ workload demands and to keep costs down. Our proposal, for example, suggests that a random sample of engineers be selected to report each year versus requiring every individual to report. We also include provisions to reduce CPD requirements for individuals who are employed only part time and for those who do no engineering work at all. Before finalizing our report, we presented a draft to our membership, which resulted in some lively discussions. One question centred on whether our recommendations represented a conflict of interest for OSPE, as a provider of professional development programming. The appearance of such a conflict is understandable, but two points must be kept in mind. First, only Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) can make the decision on a CPD program for January/February | 2014

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Ontario engineers, not OSPE. Second, PEO is aware of OSPE’s conflicted position. We are confident PEO will carefully look at the proposed rules to make sure OSPE is not building a training empire for itself. Regarding whether the CPD program should be voluntary or mandatory remains an ongoing debate among engineers. Perhaps 10 or 15 years ago, we could have made a valid case for a voluntary program because there was little experience with how such programs work in the context of Canadian engineering practice. However, almost all the other provinces have since moved over from voluntary to mandatory CPD programs. At this late date, there is little reason to recommend a voluntary program. Also, OSPE is mindful that not everyone needs to comply. There are exemptions in the OSPE recommended CPD program for individuals who want to retain their “P. Eng.” title but do not practice engineering and for engineers who are under the direction of an engineer who conforms to the CPD requirements. So a simple annual declaration during fee renewal will exempt a person from compliance if they don’t practice engineering independently. OSPE’s report, including feedback and recommendations from OSPE members, has been submitted by OSPE to PEO for consideration. Implementation of OSPE’s recommendations would bring Ontario into alignment with Engineers Canada’s Framework for Licensure with respect to CPD programs. In response to concerns about the effectiveness of current Canadian CPD programs in terms of public risk mitigation and the cost of compliance, OSPE’s Continuing Education Working Group is undertaking a second phase of research and analysis to determine whether additional recommendations can be made to better mitigate public risk at a lower cost of compliance and regulatory enforcement. Of course, as professionals, we should remember that CPD is only one component of an effective engineering quality assurance program. Equally important are the checks that are built in to engineering work processes to make sure honest mistakes by even our best engineers do not reach the public. DE

This article was originally published in the Fall 2013 edition of The Voice, OSPE’s official member magazine. Paul Acchione, P.Eng., is President and Chair of OSPE. He can be reached at

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Open to Business Canadian university research facilities embrace SMEs for commercial R&D projects. By Mike McLeod


or Canadian small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), gaining access to cutting edge research facilities would seem out of reach. Multi-million dollar wind tunnels, supercomputers, particle accelerators and other such high-tech facilities seem to be the sole province of blue-sky research academics or multinational corporations that use them exclusively for their own product development. And in many parts of the world, that may be true. But at Canadian universities, and the cutting edge engineering research facilities they house, public/private ventures are not only welcome but core to their mandate. According to Dr. Ted January/February | 2014

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Sargent, vice-dean of research for the faculty of applied science and engineering at the University of Toronto, the era of defined lines between purely academic and commercially-oriented research have blurred. “To the extent that there has ever been a perception that universities can be a bit “ivory tower,” I feel that, within the faculty of engineering, we are moving away from any such perception,” Sargent says. “As engineering researchers, we know our friends in industry have their finger on the pulse of what society wants and needs. And of course we have a great deal to offer in terms of advanced technologies and capabilities. So we feel it’s really core to our mission to partner with industry.”

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CoverStory 25

Available to rent on an hourly basis, the climactic wind tunnel at UOIT’s Automotive Centre of Excellence generates wind speeds beyond 240 kph and temperatures down to -40°C.

Wind Tunnel Increasingly, Dr. Sargent sentiments are being echoed at Canada’s leading engineering research universities. Nowhere is that more evident than at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s (UOIT) Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) in Oshawa. Best known for its climactic wind tunnel—that can generate wind speeds beyond 240 kph, temperatures from -40 to +60°C and relative humidity ranges from 5 to 95 per cent—the one-of-a-kind facility also offers a number of smaller chambers designed for structural durability and lifecycle testing. The most striking thing about ACE, however, may be that it’s run as much like a business as an academic facility. While owned by the university, ACE emphasizes that it is fully independent, available for rent on an hourly basis and has served customers as far ranging as small sports equipment makers to Hollywood-style fi lm productions. In fact, says John Komar, director for engineering and operations at

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ACE, approximately 90 percent of the facility’s time since it opened in 2011 has been taken by commercial ventures. “Automotive is a good portion of our business but we also cater to aerospace, architectural, consumer products, defense, energy development, athletics and other human factors as well as media production,” he says. ACE’s real value, Komar adds, lies in the facility’s close tie-in with the university. For smaller and less research-savvy startups and SMEs, having world-class academic researchers on hand can prove invaluable. “All our clients like the fact that they can validate their products using a $100 million tool that’s independent, highly secure and operated by team of top notch engineers and technicians,” Komar says. “We are all about getting the science off the bookshelf and into proof of concept and proof of concept to market.” Anechoic Chamber While ACE provides highly targeted research that could last for only the hour or two the facility is needed, other Canadian universities tend more toward collaborative research. At the University of Waterloo, for instance, partnerships with companies of any size still play a key role but for longerterm projects. “We don’t engage in research here unless we have an industry partner,” says Ross McKenzie, managing director of the Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WATCAR) at the University of Waterloo. “And, in many instances, we are the lab for hire, but ultimately we exist to educate and train. We are more of a medium- to longterm option for industry.” To help foster commercial partnerships, the University of Waterloo opened the Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS) lab last year. Like the UOIT wind tunnel, CIARS’ anechoic chamber is unparalleled. According to McKenzie, it is the only publicly available facility in the world that can generate and measure a broad spectrum of near-field radio wave frequencies and transmission types (e.g. planar, spherical and conical). It’s also the only wireless research lab that can simulate far-field transmission as well. Antennas may seem a niche field, but McKenzie points out that, as the Internet January/February | 2014

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26 CoverStory

The only facility of its kind open to industry, the Canadian Light Source synchrotron at the University of Saskatchewan allows researchers to observe matter down to the atomic level.

of Things concept takes hold and more radio frequencies become available, nearly every electronic device, from household appliances to McKenzie’s own automotive focus, will incorporate antennas to broadcast and receive cellular, Wi-Fi, GPS and/or Bluetooth signals. “To give an automotive example, in the next 10 years, the car will become its own hotspot with a unique IP address,” he says. “Antenna manufacturers, whose products provide that connectivity, will need to make sure the new spectrum and bandwidth out there doesn’t cause interference with its antennas. So even existing products will need to be tested and validated.” In addition to the CIARS lab, McKenzie says the University of Waterloo is unique in the way it handles intellectual property agreements. At most North American universities, he says, the first thing that follows a research proposal is the signing of a non-disclosure and research contract between the industry partner, the research team and the university. “Any intellectual property that comes out of that project is shared by all three parties,” he says. “At Waterloo, however, the university doesn’t seek to retain ownership of any resulting IP. That simplifies the conversation from the start since there are only two parties.” Particle Accelerator Making an academic research facility like a wind tunnel or anechoic chamber open to commercial R&D is an easy argument to make but something as complex and esoteric as a particle accelerator would seem beyond the means of even large corporations, let alone SMEs. January/February | 2014

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And nearly anywhere else in the world and you’d be right. Not so in Canada, says Jeff Cutler, deputy director of the Canadian Light Source (CLS) in Saskatoon. In fact, CLS is the only such facility in North America and one of handful in the world open to commercial research. “One of the things we have tried to do is make this facility more available to SMEs,” says Cutler, who also serves as the CLS director of industrial science. “In other places in the world, you would have to be a Boeing or 3M and have huge research programs and lots of money to spend, whereas we see that a lot of innovation comes out of small companies with 40 people.” Opened in 2004 on the University of Saskatchewan campus, CLS is a 2.9 GeV high-energy synchrotron that uses electromagnets to accelerate a particle beam around a toroid-shaped vacuum tube. As the electrons approach the speed of light, they give off photons that can be focused and separated into its component wavelengths, from infra-red to high-energy x-rays. Those wavelengths are then tightly focused into beamlines that researchers can use to observe matter down to the atomic level. According to Cutler, the spectrographic data collected can be used for a wide range of applications including advanced material science, nanotechnology, pharmaceutical development and the detection of environmental pollutants. But while CLS presents a unique research opportunity for Canadian SMEs, the challenge Cutler says is that many don’t know how or if it could help further their R&D efforts. “That’s a problem for large multinationals as well,” he says. “Historically, the issue for a company looking at a synchrotron was that they would also need expertise in how to use it. What

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28 CoverStory

Top: The University of Waterloo’s CIARS lab houses one of the world’s most sensitive anechoic chambers, capable of measuring a broad spectrum of near-field and far-field radio wave frequencies and transmission types. Bottom: With nearly 33,000 processor cores, the Blue Gene/Q at the University of Toronto is the fastest super computer in Canada.

we’re saying to SMEs is, you are the expert in your problem, we are the experts in the tools. So they explain what they want to understand and we point them toward the right tool, help them do the experiments and then make sense of the results.” Super Computer Making sense of the results can be half the battle in any R&D project, especially when there’s too much data for mere humans to dig through. That’s where a super computer like the IBM Blue Gene/Q on the University of Toronto campus can lend a hand. Operated by the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP), a consortium of seven universities including UofT and Western University, the Blue Gene/Q contains nearly 33,000 water-cooled processor cores, making it the January/February | 2014

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fastest super computer in Canada and among the top 100 “Big Iron” machines in the world. As impressive and potentially overkill as that sounds, most of the private enterprises that make use of the Blue Gene/Q fall into the SMEs category, says Laura Philippe, research communications manager with SOSCIP. “All of our projects fall under five focus areas: Health, energy, cities, water and agile computing,” she explains. “Some of the companies we deal with already have a relationship with an academic researcher. But if a company had an idea for research in one of those areas but didn’t have an academic partner, they can still apply and we’ll help them find someone.” Since the super computer officially came online in 2012 at the UofT’s SciNet HPC facility, Philippe says it has run big data projects in all its focus areas, but the facility hasn’t yet reached full capacity. And, once a project is approved by SOSCIP’s advisory committee, the super computer’s resources come at essentially no up front costs. “SOSCIP donates the resources so, other than the manpower costs, there is no other money expected from commercial partners,” she says. “We also work in the background with partners on IP agreements and those kinds of issues.” While it’s easy to focus on eye-catching, cutting-edge facilities, Canadian universities offer many other specialized engineering research labs and faculty expertise. For example, in addition to the Blue Gene/Q, UofT is home to the Centre for Advanced Nanotechnology and the University of Toronto Institute of Aerospace Studies (UTIAS). However, combing through all the available opportunities can become a research project in itself. For those companies looking to form relationships with academic researchers, a good place to start is with organizations like the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). Among its other directives, the non-profit organization specializes in brokering partnerships between academia and industry. Comparable organizations to OCE across Canada (e.g. British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC); Alberta Innovates; and Innovacorp in Halifax, to name only a few) keep close tabs on the research opportunities at the universities in their respective provinces. As such, they can play matchmaker between academic experts and promising Canadian companies looking to take their R&D to the next level. In many cases, they can also help explore the various financial options, whether through research grants, government-sponsored programs or splitting costs with the university itself. DE

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30 MotionControl

10 TIPS for Specifying VFDs


Variable frequency drives provide many benefits, but selecting the right one requires asking the correct questions. By Joe Kimbrell


he primary function of a variable frequency drive (VFD) is to vary the speed of a three-phase AC induction motor. VFDs also provide non-emergency start and stop control, acceleration and deceleration and overload protection. In addition, VFDs can reduce the amount of motor start-up inrush current by accelerating the motor gradually. For these reasons, VFDs are suitable for conveyors, fans, pumps and other applications that benefit from reduced and controlled motor operating speed.


Determine if a VFD is right for your application A VFD converts incoming AC power to DC, which is inverted back into three-phase output power. Based on speed setpoints, the VFD directly varies the voltage and frequency of the inverted output power to control motor speed. There is one caveat: Converting AC power to a DC bus — and then back to a simulated AC sine wave — can use up to 4 percent of the power that would be directly supplied to a motor if a VFD were not used. For this reason, VFDs may not be cost-effective for motors run at full speed in normal operation. That said, if a motor must output variable speed part of the time, and full speed only sometimes, a bypass contactor used with a VFD can maximize efficiency.


Consider your reasons for choosing a VFD Typical reasons for considering VFDs include energy savings, controlled starting current, adjustable operating speed and torque, controlled stopping and reverse operation. VFDs cut energy consumption, January/February | 2014

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especially with centrifugal fan and pump loads. Halving fan speed with a VFD lowers the required horsepower by a factor of eight, as fan power is proportional to the cube of fan speed. Depending on motor size, the energy savings could pay for the cost of the VFD in less than two years. Starting an AC motor across the line requires starting current that can be more than eight times the full load amps (FLA) of the motor. Depending on motor size, this could place a significant drain on the power distribution system, and the resulting voltage dip could affect sensitive equipment. Using a VFD can eliminate the voltage sag associated with motor starting, and cut motor starting current to reduce utility demand charges. Controlling starting current can also extend motor life because across-the-line inrush current shortens life expectancy of AC motors. Shortened life cycles are particularly prominent in applications that require frequent starting and stopping. VFDs substantially reduce starting current, which extends motor life, and minimizes the necessity of motor rewinds. The ability to vary operating speed allows optimization of controlled processes. Many VFDs allow remote speed adjustment using a potentiometer, keypad, PLC or a process loop controller. VFDs can also limit applied torque to protect machinery and the final product from damage. Because the output phases can be switched electronically, VFDs also eliminate the need for a reversing starter.


Select the Proper Size for The Load When specifying VFD size and power ratings, consider the operating profi le of the load it will drive. Will the loading be constant or variable? Will there be fre-

quent starts and stops, or will operation be continuous? Consider both torque and peak current. Obtain the highest peak current under the worst operating conditions. Check the motor FLA, which is located on the motor’s nameplate. Note that if a motor has been rewound, its FLA may be higher than what’s indicated on the nameplate. Don’t size the VFD according to horsepower ratings. Instead, size the VFD to the motor at its maximum current requirements at peak torque demand. The VFD must satisfy the maximum demands placed on the motor. Consider the possibility that VFD oversizing may be necessary. Motor performance is based on the amount of current the VFD can produce. For example, a fully-loaded conveyor may require extra breakaway torque, and consequently increased power from the VFD. Many VFDs are designed to operate at 150 percent overload for 60 seconds. An application that requires an overload greater than 150 percent, or for longer than 60 seconds, requires an oversized VFD. Altitude also influences VFD sizing, because VFDs are air-cooled. Air thins at high altitudes, which decreases its cooling properties. Most VFDs are designed to operate at 100 percent capacity up to an altitude of 1,000 meters; beyond that, the drive must be derated or oversized.


Be Aware of Braking Requirements With moderate inertia loads, overvoltage during deceleration typically won’t occur. For applications with high-inertia loads, the VFD automatically extends deceleration time. However, if a heavy load must be quickly decelerated, a dynamic braking resistor should be used.

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MotionControl When motors decelerate, they act as generators, and dynamic braking allows the VFD to produce additional braking or stopping torque. VFDs can typically produce between 15 and 20 percent braking torque without external components. When necessary, adding an external braking resistor increases the VFD’s braking control torque — to quicken the deceleration of large inertia loads and frequent start-stop cycles.


Determine I/O Requirements Most VFDs can integrate into control systems and processes. Motor speed can be manually set by adjusting a potentiometer or via the keypad incorporated in some VFDs. In addition, virtually every VFD has some I/O, and higher-end VFDs have multiple I/Os and full-feature communications ports. Most VFDs include several discrete inputs and outputs, and at least one analog


or more relay outputs are included for isolation of higher-current devices. Frequency pulse outputs are usually reserved for higher-end VFDs. Analog inputs are used to interface the VFD with external 0 to 10VDC or 4 to 20mA signals. These signals can represent a speed setpoint and/or closed loop control feedback. An analog output can be used as a feedforward to provide setpoints for other VFDs so other equipment will follow the master VFD’s speed; otherwise, it can transmit speed, torque or current measurement signals back to a PLC or controller.


Select the Proper Control Mode VFD control mode choice greatly depends on the application. The three VFD control modes are volts-per-Hertz (V/Hz), sensorless vector (sometimes called open-loop vector) and closed-loop.

Control mode comparison V/Hz

Sensorless vector

Closed loop







150 to 175%






Operating complexity Performance Starting torque (typical) Speed regulation (typical)

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input and one analog output. Discrete inputs interface the VFD with control devices such as pushbuttons, selector switches, and PLC discrete output modules. These signals are typically used for functions such as start/stop, forward/reverse, external fault, preset speed selection, fault reset and PID enable/disable. Discrete outputs can be transistor, relay or frequency pulse types. Typically, transistor outputs drive interfaces to PLCs, motion controllers, pilot lights and auxiliary relays. Relay outputs usually drive AC devices and other equipment with its own ground point, as the relay contacts isolate the external equipment ground. The frequency output is typically used to send a speed reference signal to a PLC’s analog input, or to another VFD running in follower mode. Typically, general-purpose outputs of most VFDs are transistors. Sometimes one

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V/Hz-type VFDs use the ratio between voltage and frequency to develop the operating flux to supply operating torque to the motor. Sensorless-vector VFDs have accurate torque control over a wide speed range without having to use encoder feedback. Closed-loop VFDs use encoder feedback to obtain motor speed and slip information. V/Hz control is adequate for many applications such as fans and pumps. However, for applications that require greater degrees of speed regulation, sensorless vector or closed-loop control types may be necessary.


Understand Your Control Profile Requirements Selecting the proper VFD control profi les is critical and depends greatly on the application. Control profi les to consider include acceleration, deceleration, ramp linearity, torque control, braking and PID. Most of


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For more Information visit or call 1-855-HENKEL4 (1-855-436-5354)

Except as othewise noted, all marks used are trademarks and/ or registered trademarks of Henkel and/or its affilates in the U.S. and elsewhere. = registered in the U.S. Patent and trademark office. © 2014. Henkel Corporation. All rights reserved. AD-164-14.


January/February | 2014

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MotionControl these parameters are available on nearly every VFD type on the market, but PID may not be offered on very basic models. These parameters are programmable and can be selected using the operator keypad or by digital communications. Understanding these parameters (and how they affect integration of the VFD into the process) is imperative. To this end, VFD user manuals typically provide the information required to select and program the right control profi les.


Know Your Communication Options Many VFDs have one or more built-in digital communication interfaces. Even the most economical models typically include a serial interface such as Modbus RS-232/RS-485. Ethernet and fieldbus communication are options offered with many VFDs. A digital communication interface can be used to connect the VFD to other devices that can function as a master device such as a PLC or PC-based controller. The master device can control the VFD with this interface instead of using the discrete and analog I/O. The master can also use this interface to monitor the status of various VFD parameters such as speed, current and fault status. An RS-232 connection is somewhat limited as the maximum RS-232 network cable length is 50 feet. Also, the RS-232 interface is one-to-one, allowing connection of only one VFD to one

In addition to varying speeds, conveyor applications typically require frequent starting and stopping. Here, VFDs substantially reduce starting current to extend motor life.

controller. An RS-485 network cable can span up to 4,000 feet and allows connection of multiple devices. Extra adapters may be required to make this type of connection. An Ethernet Interface provides a high-performance link between the control system and multiple VFDs. Some VFD Ethernet interfaces are even available with a web server that allows users to configure and control the VFD from any web browser. Ethernet protocols such as Modbus TCP/IP and EtherNet/IP take the guesswork out of VFD control over Ethernet and make setup easy for non-IT users. Aurora-Where_the_Action_Is:Aurora 11/5/10 2:27 PM Page 1


Request a copy of our FREE 400+ page product catalog! When you need springs fast, Century Spring Corp. (CSC) delivers. Whether it’s custom parts or in-stock items, it’s our pledge to provide unparalleled service and fast delivery. In addition to our extensive product line, CSC also offers: Specializing in the Canadian marketplace for over 80 years Major competitor crossreference available Industry low order minimum

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No mess. No guess. Using VFDs to operate fans and pumps can significantly reduce energy consumption, because they can tailor fan speed to the application. Fan horsepower is proportional to the cube of fan speed, so depending on motor size, energy savings can compensate for the initial VFD purchase price in less than two years.


Don’t Overlook Thermal Requirements VFDs generate a significant amount of heat. This heat can cause the internal temperature of an enclosure to exceed the VFD’s thermal rating. Enclosure ventilation or cooling may be necessary to keep enclosure temperature within specified limits. Ambient temperature measurements and calculations should also be made to determine the maximum expected temperature. Operating precautions must also be considered. One should avoid running a standard induction motor at low speed for an extended period of time, as this can cause the motor temperature to exceed its rating due to limited airflow produced by the motor’s fan. When a standard motor operates at low speed, output load must be decreased. If 100 percent output torque is desired at low speed, it may be necessary to use an inverter-duty rated motor. Don’t use a contactor or disconnect switch for run/stop control of the VFD and motor, as this reduces VFD life. Cycling the input-power switching device while the VFD is operating should be done only in emergency situations.


Beware of Harmonics Any non-linear load, which includes anything with rectifiers, generates harmonics — including VFDs. If excessive, harmonics can overheat and damage equipment, transformers and even power distribution wiring.

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LOCTITE® Thread Sealants deliver reliable, consistent sealing. Web printing presses, paper mills, and material converting applications require the precise speed regulation of closed-loop control available in higher-end VFDs. Elsewhere, volts-per-Hertz (V/Hz) and sensorless (or open-loop vector) modes are used.

Two types of fi lters can mitigate the harmonics associated with VFDs. Passive harmonic fi lters include AC line reactors and chokes. Reactors and chokes reduce VFD-related harmonics and line notching, and are recommended for all installations. They also protect the VFD from transient overvoltages, typically caused by utility capacitor switching. Active harmonic fi lters sample the harmonic current waveform, invert it and feed the inverted waveform back to the line to counteract harmonics. Some active fi lters also have dynamic braking circuits that allow motor deceleration to place regenerative current back on the AC supply line. Output line, or load, reactors protect motor and cable insulation from VFD short circuits and insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) reflective wave damage. They also allow the motor to run cooler by smoothing the current waveform. Output line reactors are recommended for operating non-inverter duty motors and applications in which VFD-to-motor wiring exceeds 75 feet. DE

Joe Kimbrell is a product manager, Drives, Motors, and Motion Control at AutomationDirect. This article is adapted from his white paper—Top 10 Tips: Specifying VFDs. January/February | 2014

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Except as othewise noted, all marks used are trademarks and/ or registered trademarks of Henkel and/or its affilates in the U.S. and elsewhere. = registered in the U.S. Patent and trademark office. © 2014. Henkel Corporation. All rights reserved. AD-165-14.


14-02-07 2:03 PM



Vancouver-based Thomson Technology provides modular switchgear and other power systems equipment to a wide variety of customers.

Switchgear Manufacturer Cuts SCADA/HMI Development time Thomson Technology uses SCADA/HMI software to provide customers advanced functionality and connectivity while cutting development time. By Blake DeBiasio


ny manufacturing or industrial facility is only as reliable as its power source, as much of the equipment in those facilities must have a robust supply of electrical power. Thomson Technology is based in Vancouver, B.C. and has been developing, designing and manufacturing power generation controls and switchgear since 1973. We provide systems for critical applications such as health care, data centers, water/wastewater January/February | 2014

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treatment plants, and oil and gas exploration. Our wide variety of customers presents challenging and ever changing demands, and we needed an SCADA/HMI capable of meetings these mandates. When Thomson Technology began to research a better Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Human Machine Interface (HMI) solution for our flagship Series 2400 switchgear, we needed to find a product that would be as reliable as the equipment we produce. As the SCADA/HMI is the

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dow that switchgear operators use to access information and control operation, it was a particularly critical component. Searching for a Solution No OEM likes to switch critical components, but Thomson Technology realized the time spent in development of our SCADA/HMI screens and related functionality for our switchgear systems was preventing us from meeting our objectives. For several years, we custom programmed our SCADA/HMIs using many of the well-known software products and related development platforms. While these products allowed us to create acceptable SCADA/HMI solutions, we couldn’t find what we really wanted—a software product that offered both the reliability of a hardware-based platform and the flexibility of a hardware-independent solution. In addition, we spent too much time and effort in application development because the software products we were using were cumbersome and hard to program. Once we made the decision to find a solution to our SCADA/HMI problem, we started with a list of requirements that had to be met. In order to cut development time, we required flexibility, easy customization, seamless scheduling and extensive communication capabilities. We needed to create new projects based on a basic template that would let us quickly customize the SCADA/HMI for each switchgear product based on its intended application. The new SCADA/HMI development platform had to let us customize a new project by selecting options during the configuration process, as opposed to performing custom programming. The same standard SCADA/HMI program also had to be able to perform different tasks based on the features selected. The SCADA/HMI configuration process had to include automatic screen layout changes based on information entered. It also needed to include a built-in simulator that would allow Thomson Technology to test new features or troubleshoot existing projects. The ability to save and load the project configurations in our own fi le structures was critical. This feature, in combination with the simulator, would enable us to quickly load a site configuration without changing the basic program. We also needed to run tests to offer support to the service department, or to simply develop a new project quickly. To keep the HMI intuitive, Thomson Technology needed complete control over the design of the interfaces. To include advanced information to operators, we would need the functionality to develop HMI solutions with pop-up help screens, messages and indicator lights that would detail the meaning of each individual set point in the application. Any conflicts or illegal operations, and the status of communication with field devices, would also have to be diagnosed and depicted on the screens. Customers in Control We also wanted our customers to have control over their SCADA/HMI, so we looked for a development platform that would enable changes to be made during runtime without stopping program execution. Our customers needed the ability to add or remove users, edit communication parameters, configure their own web server for remote monitoring, generate reports from history fi les, and configure the application to send automatic emails when the system triggered alarms—all without taking the SCADA/ HMI off-line. Because the scheduler implemented by Thomson Technology can use hundreds of setpoints, a good display that enabled the user to edit in a visually intuitive way was important. Just as significant was the ability to save and load all the scheduler setpoints to a fi le to save time when entering hundreds of setpoints. Furthermore, it had to be easy to deploy these setpoints at multiple sites. Finally, it was imperative that our new SCADA/HMI software serve as a communication gateway between devices. It should be able to acquire data from engine

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Except as othewise noted, all marks used are trademarks and/ or registered trademarks of Henkel and/or its affilates in the U.S. and elsewhere. = registered in the U.S. Patent and trademark office. © 2014. Henkel Corporation. All rights reserved. AD-166-14.


January/February | 2014

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36 automation Configuration Environment development platform, displayed as a ribbon interface, helped us cut development time by 60 percent. This in turn cut our costs, and reduced lead times for delivery of switchgear systems to our customers. Using InduSoft, Thomson Technology designed a custom application template for use in our Series 2400 switchgear. Each system in this series is delivered with an integrated SCADA/HMI that offers options for communication with the Building Automation System, the Building Management System, the plant monitoring system and other customer systems. Thomson Technology’s application offers standard communications through Modbus Serial, Modbus TCP and OPC. Virtually any protocol is available through InduSoft’s native drivers, from DNP 3.0 to BACnet. By finding a better SCADA/HMI solution, Thomson’s SCADA/HMI Scheduler is capable of reading hundreds of setpoints, and we were soon able to incorporate other features displaying them all in a visually intuitive manner. as well. We could now make minor changes on-site with only the runtime license installed. This saved us the time, trouble and expense of taking a PC, with the InduSoft development system software installed, to the site. We can now also provide our customers with the option of multiple remote stations delivered using the InduSoft Web Thin Client, which is important for our oil and gas as well as water/ wastewater customers. In addition, Thomson Technology now offers a “Virtual Technician” that enables us to remotely connect to the local switchgear SCADA/HMI over the Internet, allowing us to diagnose problems and make adjustments without traveling to the site. This saves us time and, more importantly, lets us help customers faster and more economically since we no longer need to send a technician to the site. By switching to InduSoft Web Studio, we’ve cut down on SCADA/HMI programming time by 60 percent per project. We’re also able to Energy management is easy to track and control using the Thomson switchgear’s intuitive offer a much more feature-rich application SCADA/HMI. with many more communication options, along with a standardized and easily servicelers, meters, protection relays and other devices. It also had to able installation. Data logging and remote maintenance features provide a central monitoring and logging platform to send the are now also offered, both of which didn’t exist in previous information further up the chain in order to integrate with applications. DE other SCADA systems. The Right Fit The solution that we found to this challenging set of requirements was the InduSoft Web Studio SCADA/HMI software and development platform. The software’s Rapid Application January/February | 2014

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Blake DeBiasio is an engineering manager at Thomson Technology who oversees the team dedicated to designing the company’s power generation switchgear systems. He graduated from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 1986.

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The right coupling The entire coupling range for torques between 10 and 10,000,000 Nm Many couplings are suitable for an application, but only one can be precisely right. For this reason, it is no longer enough just to have the best couplings: you also need a complete portfolio to be able to advise objectively and independently. We are the only manufacturer of mechanical couplings with comprehensive, crossindustrial know-how in drive technology and decades of experience in many applications. With us, it is expertise, quality and a particularly high standard that make a coupling the right solution for your requirements.

With FLENDER couplings, we offer you maximum flexibility. With their wide range of types and sizes, they are always the right choice, including for potentially explosive environments. The right coupling is reliable, because it is carefully manufactured from highquality materials. The right coupling is available, because it has proved itself in a thousand individual cases and is manufactured as a standard part on the basis of many years of development. Above all, therefore, the right coupling offers you security and safety – for your drive train, for your entire production and for your own peace of mind.

Our coupling standard offers you: ◾ High reliability ◾ High flexibility ◾ Fast availability worldwide ◾ High security and safety ◾ A very good priceperformance ratio

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Automation Multi-touch Panel PC Beckhoff Automation introduced its CP26xx Panel PC series. The fanless Panel PCs feature an ARM Cortex A8 processor with a hardware-based floating point unit to speed up floating point operations. Subsequently, the series can be used for motion control applications in addition to running HMI software. In addition to its 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU, the series features 1 GB internal DDR3 RAM memory plus an 256 MB Micro SD card (up to 4 GB are optionally available). Additionally, a 128 kbyte NOVRAM ensures fail-safe storage of TwinCAT process data. Also available is an on-board 10/100BASE-T Ethernet adapter, an EtherCAT adapter with RJ-45 connector and an RS-232 interface with two USB-2.0 ports. The standard operating system is Microsoft Windows Embedded Compact 7. The aluminum panel housing offers IP 65 protection at the front and IP 20 in the back. Users have a choice of eight different multi-touch TFT displays in sizes between 7” and 24”, as well as 4:3, widescreen, landscape or portrait formats. The operating temperature range for the panels is 0 to 55 °C.

Panel PC HMI B&R has added two new series to its Power Panel HMI family: Power Panel T-Series terminals and Power Panel C-Series controllers – both featuring touch screens. The Power Panel T30 terminal can also be used as a VNC client and the series comes in four TFT display sizes ranging from 4.3” to 10.1”. It also features two Ethernet interfaces and two USB ports. The Power Panel C70 controller is equipped with a 333 MHz Intel Atom CPU, 256 MB DDRAM, 16 kB FRAM and 2 GB flash EEPROM memory, as well as touch screen display sizes ranging from 5.7” to 10.1”. With cycle times down to 1ms, the Power Panel C70 also features POWERLINK and standard Ethernet, USB 2.0 and X2X Link technology as well as optional RS232, RS485 and CAN connections.

Linear Controller Steinmeyer, Inc. released its FMC200 series, a small point-to-point controller that supports a range of motors including linear brushless, DC brush and stepper motors. Up to three axes can be controlled from a single unit that measures 100x100x25mm. Input power, ranging from 9 to 36VDC, depends on the motors to be controlled. Open loop and closed loop control is possible. Maximum input quadrature encoder frequency is 10 MHz. The FMC200 series controller comes with a software package that includes LabView libraries, as well as C++, C#, Visual Basic, Delphi and other libraries. Stand alone operation is possible with stored motion sequences. The controller, able to interface with an external joystick and limit switches, also includes extra I/O ports. January/February | 2014

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RAPID CURING, SILVER FILLED EPOXY COMPOUND Master Bond EP3HTS is a one component, silver filled, electrically conductive epoxy system featuring high shear strength and excellent temperature resistance along with a fast cure schedule. It has exceptional conductivity and a service temperature range of -60°F to +400°F. EP3HTS produces durable, high strength bonds which are resistant to severe thermal cycling and many chemicals.

DUST COLLECTORS NEW - FULL LINE LITERATURE GUIDE This impressive NEW guide outlines dozens of N.R. Murphy dust collectors, installations, capacities, styles and models. A must for any reference library. N.R. Murphy Limited has been in business over 70 years and has thousands of satisfied customers. “Dust Collectors are all we do; so get it done right the first time. Just Ask the Experts.”

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Standard grippers are the first choice for costeffective, lightweight and compact construction of handling and assembly systems. The parallel, three-point, radial and angle gripper series DHxS from Festo features optimized gripping force retention and overload protection as well as integrated sensor slots. It offers increased reliability in a range of sizes and stroke lengths.

DryLin® W was developed to promote both design flexibility and quick assembly in both single and double rail configurations. DryLin® W is also available in several mounted assemblies eliminating the need for both shaft alignment and bearing assembly. All DryLin® W systems have lubrication-free liners, reducing friction and optimizing bearing life. Request a free DryLin® W sample linear guide kit from igus®.

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With up to 1.7 times more torque at new lower prices, the PKP Series 1.8° or 0.9° offers over 400 new high-torque bipolar stepper motors. Designer advantages of utilizing more torque are; less heat is generated, lower vibration and downsizing of the motor. Available in bipolar windings, encoders or Spur gearhead, all with quick shipping. Oriental Motor Tel: 1.800.468.3982 • Email:

A leader in miniature pneumatics, Clippard provides the scientific/medical industry a variety of products and solutions. The product range is illustrated in a color brochure featuring the most complete line of miniature fluid power products for the medical, pharmaceutical analytical and dental fields. To get your copy today please visit our website at the address printed below. Clippard c-a Tel: 1.877.245.6247 • Email:

To advertise your solution in this section call Taebah Khan at 416.510.5230


January/Febuary | 2014

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IdeaGenerator Sensors Hazardous Area Encoder Pepperl+Fuchs introduced its 78E Series encoder which is designed for oil/gas and other hazardous areas. Its “flameproof enclosure” has ignition protection class (Ex d) and meets the international ATEX and IECEx requirements for gases according to Zones 1 and 2 and dust according to Zones 21 and 22. The series’ interfaces include SSI, CANopen, DeviceNet or PROFIBUS and has a removable cover that allows for easy configuration and connection to a PLC. The rotary encoders feature a 78mm diameter housing available in anodized aluminum or stainless steel. For the mechanical connection, users can select between a clamp and synchro flange. They deliver maximum speeds to 3,000 rpm and are designed for a temperature range of -40°C to +70°C.

to 420mm, the linear encoder is designed into motion stages. It also has an accuracy grade of either +/- 1 micron, or even +/- 0.5 micron for those applications needing high-end metrology. The encoder system has a position stability of 2 nanometers and a low cyclical error (or interpolation error) of +/- 20 nanometers. Two different types of glass can be ordered for the scale and scanning unit reticle: a normal float glass with 8 PPM thermal growth or ZERODUR (a 0 PPM thermal growth) glass ceramic. The encoders are made of low outgassing materials, designed for quick pump down times, produced in a clean room environment, and shipped in a nitrogen-flushed custom packaging.

Digital Power Monitor

NK Technologies introduced its APN Series Power Monitoring Sensor that measures three phases of current and Linear Encoder voltage and computes fourteen valHEIDENHAIN released its LIP 400 series linear encoder system that ues necessary to track power usage is compatible with high and ultra high vacuum levels. With an in the RS485 Modbus RTU format. The APN can output signal period of 2 microns, and a measuring range of up be configured to accept standard 5 amp current transformer inputs or sensors producing 333mVAC proportional to the AC current of the circuit, or they can use factory matched Rogowski coil inputs. The primary circuit voltage is connected directly to the monitor for 600VAC or lower. Every day, you face

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Industrial Encoder Corporation Member of the GESgroup of companies January/February | 2014

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Power Transmission Toroidal Roller Bearings SKF introduced its self-aligning CARB toroidal roller bearings, designed for steel mill applications. The bearings can accommodate misalignment (similar to a spherical roller bearing), adjust for axial expansion of a shaft (similar to a cylindrical roller bearing), and maximize load capacity due to long self-guiding rollers (similar to needle roller bearings). In addition, all CARB bearings have been upgraded to the SKF Explorer performance class characterized by high-quality steel and an improved heat treatment process. CARB bearings are offered in a range of sizes and can be supplied with specialized seals and cages, as well as custom designs.

14-02-18 8:36 AM

IdeaGenerator 41 DLC coated bearing cages NKE introduced rolling bearing cages with a DLC (Diamond-like Carbon) coating that the company says are tougher and last longer than the standard, uncoated brass variants. To improve the performance of radial cylindrical roller bearings and radial deep groove ball bearings, NKE uses a cage made from high strength material with an amorphous carbon DLC coating. Due to its low coefficient of friction and good sliding properties, the coating provides protection from adhesive wear and withstands lubricant starvation conditions. The use of the coating is not restricted to cages – all NKE bearing components made from steel can be supplied with this surface treatment.

Shaft Collar Amacoil/Uhing unveiled its Easylock shaft collars which hold reels, spools and other objects in place on shafts. Objects are held firmly between two pintles, one of which has a clamping force control that permits adjustment from 90 to 1,124 pounds. The fixed pintle is installed with a set screw. Easylock collars must be used on smooth shafts with no threads. The shaft material must be case hardened (Rockwell 55 or greater). The Easylock system is available in ten different sizes for shafts with diameters of 10 to 40mm (0.39-1.57in.). One complete Easylock consists of the adjustable pintle and point and the fixed pintle and point.

with an oversized diagonally split aluminum terminal box which exceeds IP55 requirements. Optional features include IP56 ingress protection, F-2 and F-3 mounts, double sealed ball bearings and re-greasable bearings on frame sizes 182/4T and 213/5T.

Configurable DC motors and gearheads Maxon Motor has expanded its DCX series of DC motors. The Maxon DCX 10S is a shorter version that exceeds the 1mNm threshold during continuous use. It has mechanical output power of up to 1.4W in a 10mm diameter, with a low noise generation of 35 dBA. The DCX 22L is a longer version of the DCX 22S, with a diameter of 22mm. It features the same power of the Maxon RE 25 but with 30 percent less volume and weight. In addition, the company’s GPX 22 gearhead is now also available in a version with reduced noise level and with ceramic axes. The GPX 22C is an optimized version that provides approximately 20 percent higher torques. The GPX 22LN has plastic planet gears in the input stage that reduce operating noise by approximately 5 dBA.

Angle sensors that take the heat…


… cold, shock, vibration, EMC, dust and humidity too. Rolled Steel Motors WEG Electric introduced a line of rolled steel motors, rated from .25 to 25hp, that comes in both high efficiency (EPAct) and NEMA Premium models. Available in frame sizes NEMA 56 to 254/6T, the motors can be specified as foot mount, C-face or footless configuration with TEFC and ODP enclosure as standard and TEAO and TENV as options. The motor line also features a new ventilation system, foot design and more robust frame eyebolts. Electrical benefits include compatibility for VFD operation along

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SP and RSC Series are ruggedized with ingress protection up to IP 69K, operating temperature range of -25 to +125°C, shock and vibration to 50 g and 20 g respectively and some versions have redundant outputs. Optimize the RSC Series for your application by ordering a factory programmed range of 0 to 45°, 0 to 90°, etc. up to 0 to 360°. Other Key specs: (depending on model)

• 12 bit resolution • ±0.5° repeatability

• EMC immunity • Standard D-shaft connector

For complete RSC Series information visit Novotechnik U.S., Inc. Telephone: 508-485-2244 Email: January/February | 2014

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42 IdeaGenerator Linear Motor ETEL unveiled its LMS ironcore linear motor series that features a patented anti-cogging design with high peak force density in the magnetic gap, as well as thermal efficiency. The LMS series provides continuous force up to 664 N, peak force up to 2’760 N with speeds up to 15m/s. Other features include a compact design, low force ripple and 600VDC compliance.

Integrated Actuator Exlar Corporation has expanded its Tritex II integrated rotary actuator family to include a 75mm frame size. The ACpowered, 75mm rotary actuator produces torques to 60lbf-in peak and 30lbf-in continuous with its integrated 1.5kW servo amplifier. DC-powered Tritex II actuators with an integrated 750W servo amplifier are also available. Tritex II Series Integrated Actuators are offered with either an AC or DC powered servo drive, digital position controller and rotary actuator, in a single waterproof housing. The series offers multiple feedback types, including absolute feedback, as well as digital and analog

I/O, and is compatible with communication networks such as Modbus TCP, Ethernet/IP, PROFINET IO and CANopen.

Fluid Power Pipeline Valves AutomationDirect’s line of NITRA pneumatics products now includes a selection of solenoid pipeline valves designed for control of media such as air, oil, water and inert gas. All valves are two-position, normallyclosed, spring return styles with 24VAC, 24VDC or 120VAC solenoids, and are fitted with DIN-style wire connectors. Depending on the series, valves are offered with port sizes from 1/8-inch to 1-inch FNPT. Valve models are available in two-way and three-way diaphragm styles; two-way and three-way poppet style and two-way mediaseparated diaphragm styles are also available. NITRA pipeline valves are ideal for applications such as pneumatic air line shutoff, HVAC systems, coffee and vending machines and inert gas blankets.

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DEX ful

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! May 6 - Coquitlam, BC May 27 - Calgary, AB – NEW! October 28 - Mississauga, ON

A series of one day tabletop shows highlighting the latest design and manufacturing technologies for the OEM market An effective forum for face-to-face interactions where engineers, product developers, machine builders and systems integrators can discuss, network, solicit advice and ‘kick the tires’ on the latest technologies and applications that drive your business. Featured technologies include: • CAD/CAE • additive manufacturing • reverse engineering • motors • drives • motion control • automation • fluid power• power transmission • adhesives & fasteners … and much more

Registration is required: FREE admission for ALL attendees! To discuss exhibit and sponsor options, contact: Alan Macpherson Publisher 416-510-6756

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Taebah Khan Accounts Manager 416-510-5230

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IdeaGenerator Piston Pump Danfoss has introduced the 210/250cm3 pump frame sizes that complete its H1 family of piston pumps and bent axis motors. With these additions, the range comprises 14 pumps with displacements covering 45-250cm3, five bent axis motors spanning 60-250cm3 and five control options. The pump line features a patented integrated speed limitation (ISL) circuit, enabling improved vehicle braking with no risk of engine overspeed. In addition, the line’s optimized electric controls are pre-SIL 2 certified.

Motion Control Right Angle Reducer Baldor Electric introduced its Dodge Quantis stainless steel right angle reducer. The reducer is manufactured using 316 grade stainless steel for corrosion resistance and features a smooth, rounded housing to reduce potential entrapment areas. Dodge XT harsh duty two-piece output seals offer protection against particulates and

washdown sprays. Quantis Ultra Kleen RHB reducers are available in sizes 38 and 48. Both sizes feature an integrated adapter and C-face input which has reduced entry paths into the reducer. Output shaft options are all stainless, and include solid shaft, straight hollow, and the Dodge Q-Loc keyless bushing system. Other features include food grade lubrication, an etched nameplate and a universal housing design.

XY Stage Steinmeyer, Inc. has added the KT230-EDLM to its family of linear positioning stages. The stage features an ironless core linear motor and includes an electromagnetic brake in the event of power loss. The stage offers travel of 110 x 110mm, positional accuracy of +/- 3 microns, repeatability of 0.05 microns and maximum load of 150 Newton. The KT230-EDLM is driven by a 3 phase linear motor and incorporates an integrated temperature sensor as well as Hall effect limit switches (NO / 5 ... 24V). Options available for this stage are customized travel lengths and cable duct, higher accuracy of +/- 0.3 micron (via error mapping) and normally closed limit switches for wire break detection circuit.

M iter core cutting Machines Providing high quality industrial automation machinery for over 25 years Karsh Precision for miter core cutting machines with high sPeed Production quality and high Precision.

January/February | 2014

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DieQua offers more gearboxes plus application experience to help select the best one for your needs

Helical Gearmotors • 1-75 HP Capacity • Motorized or Adapters • Right Angle or Inline • Shaft Mount Designs • Multi-Stage Ratios • Modular Design

Worm Reducers

Abhinay Kondamreddy, a nanotechnology engineering graduate from the University of Waterloo, developed Neverfrost, an environmentally-friendly nano-technology that prevents frost, fog, and ice formation. (CNW Group/University of Waterloo).

• 7 sizes, 28-110mm CD • Fret-free Connection • NEMA or IEC Adapters • Coupling Input • Aluminum Housings • 2-Side Worm Support

Planetary Gearheads

Canadian Engineers vs


• Precision or Economy • Inline or Right Angle • 40-155mm Frames • Low Backlash • 1 and 2 Stage Ratios • Lubricated for Life

Servo Worm Gearheads • 3 Backlash Levels • Shafts or Hollow Bores • Single or Dual Outputs • 11 sizes, 25-200mm CD • Capacity: 10-7000 Nm • 20,000 Hour Ratings

University of Waterloo’s VeloCity incubator program spawns two startups determined to take the sting out of winter.


ny Canadian driver knows the pain of chipping stubborn frost off a windshield on a bitter winter morning but a nano-tech spin-off from the University of Waterloo may have a solution. The startup company, with a product by the same name, is close to commercializing an environmentally friendly spray called Neverfrost that prevents frost, fog and ice formation. “Frost is a major problem for individuals and businesses daily,” said Abhinay Kondamreddy, a nanotechnology engineering University of Waterloo graduate who developed Neverfrost along with his classmates, Khanjan Desai, Chong Shen and Cory Joon Youp Lee. “Not only is it inconvenient but it has an impact on safety and can even hinder economic activity.” According to Kondamreddy, spraying Neverfrost on a windshield at night will allow drivers to clear a frosty windshield

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the next morning using only their wipers. Future plans for Neverfrost include incorporating it directly into washer fluids. Neverfrost, the company, expects to begin taking pre-orders for the spray with a Kickstarter campaign in March for consumer market; however, the young company foresees potentially expanding into aircraft, air conditioning, power lines and agriculture applications in the future. Neverfrost is part of the University of Waterloo’s VeloCity startup incubator program and is set to become one of the first companies to operate out of the new VeloCity Foundry — a workspace that will provide startups with access to machinery, tools and prototyping equipment, as well as testing, wet lab and assembly space. Kondamreddy is also one of two University of Waterloo entrepreneurs to share in a $60,000 Scientists and Engineers in Business

Spiral Bevel Gearboxes • 9 Sizes • 1-250 HP Capacity • Low Backlash Option • Ratios from 1:1 to 6:1 • Output Shaft Options • Machined Housings

Special Designs • Add-On Options • Modified Dimensions • High Speed Applications • Special Environments • Special Duty Needs • Custom Designs 630-980-1133

See our complete product line!

January/February | 2014

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46 CanadianInnovator fellowship—a University of Waterloo program supported by the Federal Economic Development Agency for entrepreneurs who want to commercialize their innovations. The other fellowship recipient is Waterloo Engineering graduate Raqib Omer, who has developed an automated salt logging and tracking system called the Smart Scale. The hardware-based system wirelessly pairs with a GPS-enabled smart phone to log the location and the amount of salt dispensed by maintenance vehicles. “With growing public concern on the environmental effects of salt, rising salt prices and increasing fear of litigation due to slips and falls, as well as driving conditions, reliable and accurate information on salt application is becoming a necessity for maintenance contractors,” Omer says. To date, approximately 20 Canadian and the U.S.-based maintenance contractors currently use Smart Scale. One of those, Ontario-based Urban Meadows Property Maintenance Group, has installed the salt tracking device on all four of its trucks, which service 75 properties in Cambridge and Ayr, Ontario. “We’re now able to accurately monitor salt usage, prevent excessive material use, keep bullet-proof records of our work and job-cost a lot better,” said Urban Meadows owner, William Jordan. “The real-time tracking of salt has helped us use up to 30 per cent less salt.”

Raqib Omer, a Waterloo Engineering graduate, developed Smart Scale, which tracks the amount of salt dispensed and its location and logs the information on a cloud-based system in real time. (CNW Group/ University of Waterloo).

Jordan, who is also chair of the snow and ice committee management sector for the horticultural trade association, Landscape Ontario, says he would like to see Smart Scale change the way salt is applied across Ontario. DE

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January/February | 2014

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Aurora Bearing Company Automation Direct Baldor Electric Company Century Spring Corp. Clippard Instruments Laboratory Inc. Columbia Marking Tools Daemar Inc. Design Fusion Design Engineering EXPO Diequa Corporation Drive Products Inc. Ellsworth Adhesives EPSON Canada Ltd. Festo Canada Inc. Great-West Life Assurance Co. GTC Falcon Inc. HELUKABEL Canada Henkel Adhesive Technologies igus Inc. Industrial Encoder Corp. IPEX Management Inc. Karsh Precision Machine Master Bond Inc. Myostat Motion Control, Inc N.R. Murphy Ltd. NORD Drive Systems Novotechnik US, Inc. Oriental Motor USA Corp. Proto Labs, Inc. Renishaw (Canada) Ltd. RotoPrecision, Inc. Schaeffler Canada, Inc. Scott’s Directories Siemens Canada Inc. Tecom, Inc. Vlier, Inc. 32 7 48 32 9,39 42 11 14,15 43 45 38 46 27 39 3 18 25 31,33,35 29,39 40 13 44 39 12 39 16,17 41 39 19 2 21 4 47 37 44 23


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Design Engineering January/February 2014  

Design Engineering is a magazine for mechanical engineers, machine builders, product developers, industrial designers and related profession...

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