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14 Autodesk moves towards

unification of its deisgn software

22 Closing the engineering gender gap: Can it be done?

28 Manufacturing Outlook 2018

survey reveals optimism, yet concern over U.S. protectionism


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Randstad Canada labour market analysis reveals competitive engineering salary ranges across Canada.

January/February | 2018

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Contents | Volume 64, No. 1 5


Dr. Alain Aubertin  ice President, Business V Development and International Affairs, Canada Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC)

Ajay Bajaj, P.Eng President, Rotator Products Limited; Past President and Board Member, Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA)

Columns 8 Design News GM opens Canadian Technical Centre in Ontario and other news

14 CAD Report

Frank Defalco

Autodesk University celebrates 25th anniversary; new CEO extols the virtues of 3D printing and automation

Manager, Canada Makes, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

18 Inside Design

John Lamb Regional Sales Manager, Wainbee Limited; Chairman, Canadian Fluid Power Association (CFPA)

COREngineering’s Conrad Cormier discusses his design firm’s history, process and plans to take on greater challenges

14 18

30 Idea Generator The latest in industrial products including automation, fluid power, sensors and motors

Dr. Ishwar Puri, P.Eng  ean of the Faculty of D Engineering; Professor of Mechanical Engineering, McMaster University

Dr. Mary Wells, P.Eng Dean of the Associate Dean, College Outreach; of Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Physicaland Mechatronics Sciences, University Engineering, of University Guelph; Chair of Waterloo of the Ontario Network for Women in Engineering



20 AI and the Future To successfully exploit AI, engineers must discern between uncertainty and risk

22 Closing the Engineering Gender Gap Why women disproportionally opt out of engineering’s education and career pipeline

26 Engineering Jobs in Canada SUBSCRIBER SERVICES To subscribe, renew your subscription or to change your address or information contact us at 1-800-387-0273 ext.3552. 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

Randstad report shows that engineering remains one of strongest labour sectors in terms of growth over the past year

27 Mechanical Engineering Salary Guide Randstad study reveals competitive salaries in Canada's largest labour markets

28 Manufacturing Outlook 2018 Canadian manufacturers optimistic but concerned by U.S. protectionism

Directory Rates In Canada: $28.00 Outside Canada: $46.00 Design Engineering, established in 1955, is published by Annex Business Media, 6 times per year. 80 Valleybrook Dr., Toronto, ON M3B 2S9. Printed in Canada


2 0 1 8

Abbotsford: March 13 Winnipeg: April 4 Saskatoon: May 2 Moncton: May 29 Kitchener: October 10

28 | 2018

6 EditorialViewpoint

The Enemy of Good


n the span of one generation, female students have closed the gender gap at Canadian universities and are entering professions like law and health sciences in record numbers. Yet for all the progress made in other careers, engineering remains a heavily male-dominated field. In Canada, many in the engineering community are looking to correct that imbalance by rooting out the primary reasons behind it. Dr. Mary Wells, University of Guelph Engineering Dean and Chair of the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE), leads that effort. In her article, “Closing the Engineering Gender Gap,” (pg. 22 of this issue), she points out that this gender disparity begins in grade 11 and 12 physics class. She shows that, in grade 10 science (a mandatory credit), the female to male ratio is roughly 50/50 but drops to 32/68 for students who successfully complete grade 11 and 12 physics. And of all the engineering degree pre-requisites (English; Advanced Functions; Physics; Chemistry; Calculus and Vectors), physics is one of the only courses that sees such an imbalance. So what is it about grade 11 and 12 physics that disproportionally dissuades more young women than men from entering this field? At this point, the answer is unclear. However, I would point to an internal report conducted by Hewlett Packard and quoted by Sheryl Sandburg’s book Lean In for some insight. The report found that men applied to job postings at the company when they met only 60% of the qualifications. By contrast, women applied only if they met 100% of them, suggesting that these women perceived only two possibilities: perfect or not good enough. And perhaps, students approaching high school physics classes may be fitting into this same model. As Dr. Wells points out in her article, physics isn’t a popular class with either male or female students (it is not a mandatory credit—unlike mathematics that requires one senior level credit); the vast majority drop it or avoid it altogether. Seemingly, either by design or happenstance, high school physics acts as a “gate-keeper” subject that pushes students to their academic limits. Students who had previously become used to receiving A’s suddenly find the top grade elusive. In my experience as a former teacher, male students approach this kind of high stakes situation as a challenge, while female students approach it with caution. As a result, they often discount their own capabilities for fear of failure and have a skewed perception of what success looks like, especially in a class like physics. For example, a male students who receive a “B” or “C” in physics may think “wow, that’s a pretty good for such a challenging class.” Female students, however, may perceive that same grade as not good enough (i.e. “I didn’t excel; maybe I’m not cut out for this.”) If true, this misconception may, as in the Hewlett Packard report, lead young women to prematurely disqualify themselves from their intended goal. For the past couple of decades, teachers and education campaigns have focused on telling young girls that they can do anything and they should strive for excellence. The impact of these campaigns, as Dr. Wells points out, has been significant and positive. Yet, at the same time, it may have also unintentionally led girls to believe that perfection is an engineering degree pre-requisite. Clearly, there are still gender biases to overcome and glass ceilings to smash, but the first step in closing the gender gap in engineering may be to let young women know that perfection is still the enemy of good. Lindsay Luminoso


Publisher Alan Macpherson (416) 510-6756 Editor Michael McLeod (416) 442-5600 ext. 3231 Associate Editor Lindsay Luminoso (416) 510-5233 Account Manager Ron Salmon (416) 510-5249 Art Director Mark Ryan (416) 442-5600 ext. 3541 Account Coordinator Cheryl Fisher (416) 510-5194 Circulation Manager Beata Olechnowicz (416) 442-5600 ext. 3543 Vice President Tim Dimopoulos (416) 510-5100 COO Ted Markle President & CEO Mike Fredericks Design Engineering, established in 1955, is published by Annex Business Media, 6 times per year except for occasional combined, expanded or premium issues, which count as two subscription issues. Printed in Canada Publications Mail Agreement #40065710 ISSN: 0011-9342 (Print), 1929-6452 (Online) Subscriber Services: Canada: $56.50 for 1 year; $106.00 for 2 years; $10 for single copy. Outside Canada: $113.50 for 1 year; $22 for single copy. Directory/buyer’s guide: Canada $28; Outside Canada $46. Add applicable taxes to Canadian rates. Circulation email: Tel: 416-442-5600 ext. 3552 Fax: 416-510-6875 or 416-442-2191 Mail: 111 Gordon Baker Rd., Suite 400, Toronto ON M2H 3R1 From time to time we make our subscription list available to select companies and organizations whose product or service may interest you. If you prefer not to receive this information, please contact our circulation department in any of the four ways listed above. Annex Privacy Officer: Tel: 800-668-2374 No part of the editorial content of this publication may be reprinted without the publisher’s written permission. ©2018 Annex Publishing & Printing Inc. All rights reserved. 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.

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

January/February | 2018

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8 DesignNews

GM opens Canadian Technical Centre


n January 19, General Motors Canada officially marked the grand opening of its Canadian Technical Centre in Markham, Ontario. The Markham campus will focus on software development and nextgen innovation such as GM officially opened its Canadian Technical active safety, in-car Centre in Markham, ON infotainment systems and self-driving related controls. According to the company, the campus will be Canada’s largest new automotive and mobility software centre with more than 700 staff, leveraging an extensive network of university and local company partnerships. GM also announced the GM Canada STEM Fund, a C$1.8 million commitment for educational programs to encourage students to pursue STEM education and careers.

UP FRONT GE expands AM footprint General Electric increased its ownership of 3D metal printer manufacturer, Arcam, to approximately 95 per cent. The company previously owned approximately 77 per cent of Arcam shares and plans to eventually acquire all outstanding shares. The company has also announced that Jason Oliver will lead GE Additive as the new CEO and VP.

Bombardier to sell Downsview As part of its five-year turnaround plan, Bombardier announced it's shopping around its 3750-acre Downsview site. The company says it uses about 10 per cent of the site yet bears the entire cost of operating a 7,000-foot runway. To ensure it's running the most efficient and cost effective operations, the company says it opted to review selling options, especially in light of the booming Toronto real estate market.

Boeing, Embraer mull partnership In late December, U.S.based aerospace giant Boeing and Brazil’s Embraer confirmed speculation that the two companies were engaged in discussions surrounding a potential combination. This news comes after France’s Airbus backed the Bombardier’s CSeries, forming a partnership with the Canadian company. Boeing and Embraer have remained mum on the status of these talks but have cautioned there is no guarantee anything will occur from these discussions.

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DesignNews BlackBerry partners with China’s Baidu for autonomous vehicle tech BlackBerry and Baidu have announced a collaboration to accelerate the deployment of connected and autonomous vehicle technology for automotive OEMs and suppliers worldwide. “Joining forces with Baidu will enable us to explore integration opportunities for multiple vehicle subsystems including ADAS, infotainment, gateways, and cloud services,” said John Wall, Senior Vice President and GM of BlackBerry QNX. “Baidu has made tremendous strides in Artificial Intelligence and deep learning. These advancements paired with their high-definition maps and BlackBerry’s safety-critical embedded software and expertise in security will be crucial ingredients for autonomous vehicles.” The companies have signed a statement of intent to make BlackBerry QNX’s ISO26262 ASIL-D certified safety operating system the foundation for Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving open plat-

form. Also, BlackBerry and Baidu will work together to integrate Baidu’s CarLife, the leading smartphone integration software for connected cars in China, as well as its conversational AI system DuerOS, and high definition maps to run on the BlackBerry QNX Car (Infotainment) Platform.

Trexo Robotics takes first prize for exoskeleton leg attachment The entrepreneurs behind U of T Engineering startup Trexo Robotics have come a long way since first developing their robotic exoskeleton for children suffering from Cerebral Palsy. Trexo's Manmeet Maggu and Rahul Udasi have now designed and developed a robotic “Iron Man” leg attachment suited for their a walker-like device. The duo hope the device will further enable children to escape the confines of a wheelchair.

Photo courtesy of Trexo Robotics

At the end of last year, the co-founders won first prize in a pitch competition organized by the philanthropic arm of Sunnybrook Hospital in partnership with U of T’s Health Innovation Hub, or H2i, incubator, among others. “The prize is going to be really helpful in enabling us to reach a commercial point,” said Maggu of the roughly $35,000 that Trexo will take home. “The next batch of products we make, I’ll be taking one back to India for my nephew.” Maggu and Udasi were inspired to build a robotic exoskeleton prototype while studying engineering at the University of Waterloo. The idea ultimately led to the launch of a promising startup after the pair arrived at U of T. “Our product is really unique,” said Maggu. “There’s a health care aspect, computer science and engineering, so we benefited a lot from being involved with all these different accelerators at U of T.” Following Trexo’s completion of CDL’s rigorous nine-month program earlier this year, Maggu and Udasi left to participate in New York’s Techstars IoT accelerator program, which Maggu says helped to further fine-tune Trexo’s business plan. This move, he says, may help open the doors into the U.S. market, specifically at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “They saw our device and were really excited about it,” said Maggu. “We’re planning to start pilot studies with them early next year."

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12 DesignNews vehicles, and provide Canopy Growth Corporation with a form-fitted solution that’s truly one of a kind.” Working within Health Canada transportation regulations, INKAS and Canopy Growth say they have created a standard operating procedure that complies with and satisfies strict governmental policies to provide secured transportation while meeting required product storage specifications.

INKAS secures preferred vendor deal with Canopy Growth Toronto-based security vehicle company, INKAS Security Services Ltd., announced a line of vehicles custom designed to transport marijuana as part of a vendor relationship with cannabis company, Canopy Growth Corporation. In addition, INKAS will provide transportation services for medical marijuana across all Canopy Growth locations and subsidiaries. “Becoming a preferred vendor for Canopy Growth has been very exciting for us,” said Victor Goodman, President and CEO, INKAS Security Services Ltd. “We’re ready to harness our unique ability to manufacture the best custom-built armored

January/February | 2018

Feds invest in 11 auto manufacturing industry projects The federal government, through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), is supporting Canadian innovation through more than $41 million in investment to firms across the country. The fund was created to help support R&D projects, firm expansion, attraction of large-scale investments to Canada and collaborative technology demonstration projects. In allocating this funding, the government will look to accelerate areas of economic growth, strengthen and expand the role of Canadian firms in regional and global supply chains, support economic strategies and attract investment that creates new jobs. In addition, this initiative promotes collaboration between industry and academic institutions. The automotive manufacturing projects funded through SIF include: Blue Solutions Canada Inc., of Boucherville, Quebec, will receive $9,043,135 to develop a high-performance,

DesignNews 13

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low-cost lithium metal polymer to make battery packs for passenger vehicles smaller and more efficient and improve their storage capacity. SWITCH Materials Inc., of Burnaby, British Columbia, will receive $8,257,600 to develop and implement an advanced glazing technology to make vehicles lighter and, as a result, more efficient. Nova Steel Inc., of Woodstock, Ontario, will receive $7,436,750 to develop second-generation advanced highstrength steel (AHSS) as well as technologies to make its plant more efficient. AGS Automotive Systems, of Toronto, will receive $7,009,438 to produce high-stress, high-performance automotive parts from light-weight composite materials. Sciemetric Instruments Inc., of Ottawa, will receive $2,927,538 to advance its product to meet manufacturers’ nextgeneration needs within their overall business, bringing visibility into manufacturers’ processes and helping them with quality and cost. JP Bowman Ltd. (o/a Bowman Precision Tooling), of Brantford, Ontario, will receive $2,657,500 to create a prototype of third-generation advanced high-strength steel “B” pillars, the main vertical bar between driver and passenger doors. Lakeside Plastics Ltd., of Tecumseh, Ontario, will receive $1,100,250 to develop molding processes for a lightweight and environmentally friendly material for vehicles. Marwood Metal Fabrication Ltd., of Tillsonburg, Ontario, will receive $953,500 to develop a new production process using carbon fibre to manufacture lighter and stronger roof headers. Abraham Innovation Systems Inc., of Markham, Ontario, will receive $701,669 to develop technology that can inspect and repair painted vehicle bodies without human intervention. Synergx Technologies Inc., of Laval, Quebec, will receive $782,401 to create a more precise and accurate non-contact 3D glass inspection system. Meridian Lightweight Technologies Inc., of Strathroy, Ontario, will receive $347,840 to build a strong magnesium joint to replace existing steel shock towers. The Strategic Innovation Fund provides repayable and nonrepayable contributions to companies across Canada's industrial and technology sectors. The program has a budget of $1.26 billion over five years.

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14 CADReport



Autodesk University celebrates 25th anniversary; new CEO extols the virtues of 3D printing and automation as CAD company moves toward unification of its design software. By Ralph Grabowski


t Autodesk University this year, the emphasis was not, surprisingly enough, on Autodesk software, but on making stuff. It was the first AU keynote for new-CEO Andrew Anagnost, who replaced long-time CEO Carl Bass earlier this year. Unlike CEOs of a few other CAD vendors, Anagnost is comfortable on stage, moving quickly through his points, making assertions with confidence – even if sometimes they seemed contradictory. His theme, “Making Things with Automation,” was a bit odd given that, earlier this year, Autodesk got rid of its hardware for making things (e.g. the Ember 3D printer and related Spark API). Nevertheless, Anagnost told the event’s 10,000 attendees and 13,000 online viewers that he looks forward to automation making things more cheaply using the company’s software. For instance, he showed a picture of a Tesla electric car and said that something like that should eventually cost $5,000. We were told that automation will do much, much more, such as save the world from future disaster, reduce our reliance on raw materials and increase employment. The claims puzzled me, as I always thought the purpose of automation was to cut employment costs. Never mind that January/February | 2018

Autodesk itself lays off employees from time to time. As in previous years at AU, executives repeatedly emphasized the benefits of 3D printing. “Engineers were taught that complexity equals cost,” said one executive. “3D printing turns that logic on its head. There is no cost to construction; there is no cost for complexity.” Complex parts, the thinking goes, are expensive to make with traditional subtractive manufacturing methods. With 3D additive printing, however, it costs less to print less. “Air pockets within designs are free,” we were told, “the more intricate the design becomes, actually you are saving money” with additive 3D printing. Left unsaid was the converse: The more material that remains, the cheaper parts are to make with subtractive milling machines. Plus, the more material needed, the more expensive 3D printed parts become. AU attendees were shown examples of several massive 3D printing jobs. The Port of Rotterdam, for instance, is experimenting with using automated wire welders to 3D-print brass replacement propellers for tug boats. The idea is to reduce the number of spare parts the port has to stock. Autodesk

CADReport 15 Autodesk’s new CEO Andrew Anagnost speaking to 10,000 attendees in Las Vagas (and 13,000 online viewers) during the Autodesk University 2018 keynote.


CATION calmly told us that as much as 70% of spare parts are never used; wouldn’t it be better to simply 3D-print them on demand? Other examples included a pedestrian bridge in Amsterdam that was 3D-printed using a six-axis robot; the intricately-patterned sole of a running shoe; and the lattice-walls of a cylinder head (Figure 1). Autodesk executives, however, didn’t reveal the build-time and strength problems faced by the 3D printing jobs they highlighted. At a side event, we learned that Amsterdam’s new pedestrian bridge, for example, will take six months to 3D-print (Figure 2). It turns out that it’s impossible to perform FEA at the design stage, because the splats of molten metal land somewhat imprecisely on top of one another. As a result, the bridge will have to be manually stress tested upon completion in early 2018. Manufacturer MX3D hopes the bridge will pass Amsterdam city approval. Incidentally, ‘hope’ isn’t a design criterion upon which engineers typically rely. What’s New for MCAD Software Autodesk spent most of AU talking about its grand plans for sweeping reform of the CAD/CAM industry. It was hard to nail down what features were coming down the pipeline, but here is some of what I gleaned. Autodesk continues to develop Inventor, despite worries about its future. Nesting of sheet metal parts and five-axis machining are some of the features being added to the next release. Inventor, and its

Fast and accurate decision-making. One solution for concept through manufacturing. Effective collaboration with partners and suppliers.

Figure 1: Solid portions of this cylinder head were redesigned as a lattice structure to reduce weight and improve heat radiation, yet maintain strength.

stable-mate Fusion, can now share 3D models associatively through Autodesk’s AnyCAD translator. Associativity means that a change made to the model in one program (such as Fusion) shows up in the other (Inventor). In addition, Fusion will incorporate SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) to analyze PCB boards integrated in 3D solid models. Fusion Production is a cloud-based program for managing running factories from smartphone or desktop, due out next year. Fusion will finally get access to Vault, while Vault is headed for the cloud. In beta last year, cloud-based Generative Design is now available to Fusion Ultimate users who need to generate dozens or thousands of alternative design solutions (Figure 3). The variations are based on user-defined constraints, such as a maximum weight or a minimum strength. Don’t confuse generative design with

Canada’s source for NX sales and support. 1-888-567-3933 | 2018

16 CADReport ing Revit data. We might emphasize data flow [between products] over [product] features in the future. A: Forge is the common platform on which everything is being built now, and to which customers and partners also have the exact same access.

Figure 2: Robotic wire welder working (bottom), while second one rests next to a portion of the curvey pedestrian bridge

Q: How do you prioritize the needs of the Forge platform when you have so many different kinds of users, say construction users versus augmented reality users. A: We find it is not a problem. Every one needs to access data, and then people see what applets can help out, such as visualization. Forge is the same for programmers inside and outside Autodesk. design optimization; the latter removes material unnecessary for the strength of the part, often making it look like a bony structure. Finally, Dropbox is being integrated into Autodesk software to directly open and save files, beginning with AutoCAD 2018. In early 2018, Dropbox plans to beta-test a DWG viewer and markup app that runs inside Dropbox, written with Autodesk’s relatively new Forge development platform. A Dropbox representative told me at AU they were getting demand for other Autodesk formats. Autodesk says Dropbox is the biggest user of Forge services.

A: In our PDM (product design and manufacturing) collection, all users can use Fusion as well as Inventor, so it’s not either/or.

Q&A Some executives from Autodesk were made available to the CAD media for a question and answer session. Sometimes more than one executive provided an answer.

Q: How many customers buy a collection because it is the only way to get Inventor? A: We are still collecting data, but we find that most customers use two [of 14 programs in PDM collection], we would like to see them get to three.  [Author's note: The PDM collection consists of Inventor, HSM for CAM, HSMWorks for Solidworks, NASTRAN for CAE; Fusion 360 and Factory Design; AutoCAD, Architecture, Electrical, and Mechanical; ReCap Pro; Navisworks Manage; 3ds Max and Rendering; and cloud storage. It costs CDN$3,210 per year.]

Q: You have indicated that Fusion is the future for MCAD at Autodesk. What does this mean for Inventor? A: Inventor’s future is bright, with lots of programmers working on enhancements. We are connecting Fusion to Inventor, so designers can use either one, depending on which does a better job. A: Fusion has a data connection to Inventor through AnyCAD. But our emphasis is on the manufacturing process through improvements downstream.

Q: With data being centralized [in the Quantum-like database], does this mean each product line can access this data? A: We are making sure that the right pieces can flow to each persona [or applet, a subset of a program]. This is different from importing and transferring data between programs. A: The cloud makes files go away; you query and get access to the data, no huge files need to be accessed. Our first example is Project Quantum, which is currently focused on access-

January/February | 2018

Q: I remember when Fusion was a platform. Are you moving away from that? A: It was probably a linguistic thing; Fusion is built on top of Forge. We are seeking the unification of simulation, design visualization and so on. Q: How much exclusivity is there in making Forge-based apps in specific areas? A: We have a mix, where some developers are opportunistic. And then there are some who Autodesk approaches and we ask them to build a specific Forge app. We will allow three, four, five developers to go after the same market, so that customers can decide. Q: Why was Configure One [software for configuring, pricing, and quoting] acquired, then divested? A: It was a change of focus by us. It was useful at the time, and now they are a [third-party] Forge partner. Q: You have said you are aiming for 50% direct sales (including from your website) and 50% of sales through retailers. How will this change the distribution channel, and who will be the retailers? A: Partners have to move to a services model, where they sell services (i.e. consulting, installation, training) in addition to selling product. Some of

CADReport 17

Figure 3: Generative software producing design variations of a light cabin partition for the Airbus A320.

them are Forge developers. A: Customers can buy either way, direct, online or from a reseller. Q: Is Fusion Connect [IoT cloud service for connecting to and managing remote products] being used with IoT in buildings and products? A: We have not yet found the sweet point in IoT for us. We need to figure out how to get development partners to build on top of the IoT capabilities in Forge, like bringing field data back to the design. Q: What is your top priority for the next year? A: Making sure users see value in putting all the software products together, instead of being in three departments – BIM, MCAD, and Civil. Unification The master plan outlined at AU is clear, even if parts are still tentative. Here is what to expect from Autodesk: • A ll Autodesk software to run on the cloud (partially implemented) • Sole payment method by on-going subscriptions or tokens (mostly implemented) • Each program to store its data in a single database (baby steps taken) • A ll programs and data to connect with one another through the Forge API (partially implemented)

In many ways, the plan mimics what Dassault Systemes did when they launched V6 (now named 3Dexperience) nearly a decade ago. In that framework, Envoia holds all data from their CAD and other software in a single database, with software and modules paid for by subscriptions. While this model is suitable for large corporations and some startups, the direction is a concern for Autodesk customers who do 2D drafting with software on permanent licenses. CEO Anagnost stated clearly he has little interest in retaining legacy customers who don’t want to follow his plan. As a result, the many firms that provide AutoCAD workalikes with permanent licenses will benefit from Autodesk’s change in direction. Autodesk has stated that it wants most permanent/maintenance licenses converted to annual subscriptions by early 2021. In the meantime, Anagnost has asked doubters to give him a year to prove the benefit of paying subscriptions in order to access cloud-based services that would otherwise be unavailable. DE

Economical Right Angle Servo Gearheads

• Flexible servo motor interface • Low backlash insert coupling eliminates fretting corrosion • Aluminum diecast housing for low weight • Large output bearings accommodate higher radial loads

Ralph Grabowski writes on the business of CAD on his WorldCAD Access blog (www. and weekly upFront. eZine newsletter. He has authored many articles and books on AutoCAD, BricsCAD, Visio and other design software.

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18 InsideDesign



SUCCESS COREngineering’s Conrad Cormier discusses his design firm's history, process and plans to take on greater challenges. Edited by Lindsay Luminoso

What’s your background and how did COREngineering come to be? Long before I started COREngineering, I had a passion for designing mechanical things, dating way back to the days of playing with Legos where I would love to build crazy race cars and big off-road trucks. This passion led me to study mechanical engineering. When I graduated, I worked with companies that specialized in designing and building custom automation equipment for various types of industries. I gained great experience in designing various products – from small pneumatic equipment for making rings out of wire to massive conveyor systems for concrete panels and a hydraulic multi-axis head attachment for heavy equipment. When I was laid off from my previous employer back in 2012 due to lack of work, I told myself I would use this misfortune as a blessing in disguise and take the opportunity to start my own custom design firm. In 2013, I founded COREngineering Ltd. What is the “sweet spot” for COREngineering? Our clients tend to be mostly in manufacturing. We have worked with clients from various industries, including: Marine, aerospace; glass and building materials; farming and mining machinery and equipment; food and dairy product manufacturing and packaging; furniture manufacturing and textiles. We have been doing some projects in the seafood industry. There is a growing trend to automate the seafood processing industry because shops are having a hard time filling their labour positions. Overall, our sweet spot seems to be projects that others said could not be done. What is one notable project you’ve worked on, recently? One project we just finished a few months ago was an un-winder for textiles. The client was using long 16-foot rolls of textile products, which can be difficult to move around the plant and harder to source out. January/February | 2018

The client wanted to transition to a system using four shorter rolls of 4 feet. Since no machine was readily available for such application, they came to us. We designed and built a machine with four staggered 4-foot rolls. We were able to achieve the same 16-foot-wide output, while using the easier to handle and more readily available 4-foot-long rolls. What is your firm’s design process? Typically, we offer full-turnkey equipment where we take care of the project from beginning to end. This includes consultation, design, manufacturing, installation and testing/commissioning. Some clients have access to an in-house machine shop and/ or welding shop and prefer to build and install the equipment themselves. In those cases, we simply supply them with the required drawings. Are there any projects you are particularly proud of? One project that was a bit different for us was the design of a pneumatic system to do testing on plastic crates. The system simulated the impact of a drop tester (dropping a weight from a given height for impact testing). The advantage of the pneumatic system was the increased speed at which multiple impacts could be done compared to a manual system. We had a lot of previous pneumatic experience but the challenge with this project was that the system had to be 100 per cent pneumatic and do without electrical controls or sensors. Various pneumatic pilot circuits were used along with some pneumatic push buttons and switches for the different speed options. How do clients find you in Memramcook, NB? What are some of the challenges to working in the Maritimes/ NB region? We get most of our clients through word of mouth and sales visits. We also have a partnership with vendors selling electrical components, for which we are integrators.



COREngineering recently designed this un-winder for textiles that uses four staggered rolls of fabric rather than a single, cumbersome 16-foot roll.

Working in the Maritimes is certainly an interesting challenge due to the smaller population and lower economy. While the big cities like Toronto and Montreal can have thousands of manufacturing plants within a 50 km radius – we only have a fraction of that. To give you some numbers, the population of the Maritimes (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia combined) is only 1.8 million on 133,851 square kilometres (13.4 residents/square kilometre). Toronto alone has a population 2.8 million on only 630 square kilometres (4762 residents/square kilometre). This results in quite a bit more travelling to go from client to client for us. What prompted your recent decision to expand? COREngineering being a young company, we are still in the growth phase. The main reason behind this latest expansion was to bring PLC programming and electrical capabilities in-house so we could have more control on that side of the projects, and to make changes and testing faster and easier. This lasted expansion prompted the need for a bigger office and shop space to accommodate the growing staff. The benefits are that we now have a new inhouse capability and more shop space for bigger projects. The main challenge for a young company is the extra operating cost of a bigger team. What’s next for COREngingeering? In the next few years, I would personally love to develop a Hypercar with a custom high horsepower, ultra-light weight engine. We are currently in the early stages of design. We have ideas for technologies that would make this car one of the fastest in the world. And right now, we are looking for investors and funding to help get this project off the ground. We would also like to keep growing and add a few more designers in the next couple of years (mechanical and electrical), along with growing our sales effort and expanding our territory to Central and Western Canada, and possibly to the United States. DE

Digitalized Pneumatics

World’s first in digitalized pneumatics: Festo Motion Terminal VTEM The Festo Motion Terminal VTEM is opening up radical new dimensions in the world of automation. It’s the world’s first valve to be controlled by apps. It combines the advantages of electric and pneumatic technology for numerous functions that currently require more than 50 positions. | 2018 DES_Festo_Oct.indd 1

2017-10-04 2:04 PM

20 CareerSpotlight


FUTURE To successfully exploit AI, engineers must discern between uncertainty and risk By Dr. Ishwar K. Puri, PhD, P.Eng.


n his seminal work, famed economist Frank Knight wrote that the distinction between risk and uncertainty comes down to a matter of measurability. Since it is possible to measure risk, robust predictions can be made, provided all risks are known. Uncertainty, on the other hand, can’t be similarly measured and, therefore, poses unknown risks, which throw forecasts out of whack and precipitate unreasonable decisions. Unfortunately, we live in a world characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Society is subject to forces different from any other era and reality is often hazy and easily misread. Change is influenced by multiple social, political, economic and technological forces, and is often abrupt and unpredictable. What does this mean for engineers? Ten years ago, only one in six people worldwide used the Internet. Today, that fraction is one in two or approximately 3.8 billion people, globally. Of them, 2.8 billion people use social media. Overwhelmingly, most use a mobile device to do so. It’s inevitable that, as we become even more connected, so will business and industry. However unromantic and intrusive this might sound, it will be increasingly impracticable to ‘go off the grid’. Today’s smart machines are typically driven by expert systems. These systems include software that enables decision making (e.g., to support a medical diagnosis or the operation of a smart grid). The engine of that software is based on if-then rules that are learned progressively through experience. If this sounds like reasoning, it is. The reasoning of the software in a smart system is based on a library that contains certain facts, which are the ‘ifs’, and outcomes, which are the ‘thens’. As new knowledge is archived in this library, an inference engine in the software uses if-then rules to develop new facts, or ifs, and suggests different outcomes, or the ‘then what January/February | 2018

happens’. This is the basis of a class of artificial intelligence, which itself has now become an all-embracing term. Siemens reports that the global market for smart machines is growing by almost 20 percent annually and will reach about $15 billion by 2019. As the Internet has connected us, this is also becoming the norm for smart machines. Expert systems currently make up the largest market fraction of smart systems, but, according to some sources, their share will be overtaken by autonomous robots by 2024. There are, of course, critics of this trend. Stephen Hawking, for example, called artificial intelligence “the worst event in the history of our civilization” while Elon Musk told Rolling Stone, “Climate change is the biggest threat that humanity faces this century, except for AI.” Whether those predictions prove true or not, AI enabled autonomous robots will continue to proliferate for a simple reason: They will be inexpensive. As the number of robotic appliances continues to increase, the cost of sensors will keep decreasing. The global sensors for robotics market already exceeds $16 billion. As a result, the proliferation and diversification of smart systems based on interconnected artificial intelligence will lead to disruptive technologies and introduce more uncertainty. Here’s the problem. The human brain is not a computer. Likewise, computers, although capable of intelligently-based action, cannot reproduce the cognition and intelligence of our brains. Artificial intelligence algorithms are trained with known data. Consequently, their acquired if-then rules cannot anticipate and formulate rational decisions during uncertain, or unknown, circumstances. Artificial intelligence methods have been developed over the course of more than a half century. Their influence has ebbed and flowed during that time but now, through integration with pervasive connectivity and inexpensive sensors, AI


is enabling significant technologies. Nevertheless, today’s wave of AI is based on very primitive models of our brains. Sensors do not yet mimic how we perceive; computer memory cannot duplicate how we remember; and current if-then AI rules cannot truly duplicate how we reason and make decisions and then act. One could say that the AI algorithms that relate facts to outcomes (i.e. the if-then rules) are the result of rigorous problem-based and experiential learning, but without any appreciation of the underlying physics. Even so, AI has transitioned from a scientific advance to an engineering tool. Continuing innovation in an increasing number of domains is requiring engineers from all disciplines to learn how to integrate AI tools into their engineering designs. Open-source tools, such as Amazon’s DSSTNE, Microsoft’s DMLT, and Google’s TensorFlow, contain software libraries that enable machine learning. Google, for example, recently released an open-source AI tool called DeepVariant that is able to provide a more accurate depiction of a person’s genome from gene sequencing data than other methods. Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri use natural language processing to make decisions. Oncologists are training IBM Watson to help them diagnose and treat lung cancer. Tesla and Google are competing to bring autonomous self driving

cars to consumers. The Israeli company, Zebra Medical Systems, is developing tools for radiology that have greater than human accuracy. Engineers are responsible for training the software engines of smart systems. They do so by developing a variety of if-then rules for different applications. To have confidence in the AIenabled product, whether it is a refrigerator or a car, they must therefore understand the difference between uncertainly and risk, and be able to account for volatility and complexity. An uncertain technological future requires adaptable and resilient engineers who can see through the fog to create robust engineering designs based on AI. They must understand the capabilities and limitations of both their environments and the cognition afforded through AI. And, they must have the courage to make audacious but safe decisions. Therein lies the challenge for engineering leaders and educators. DE

Dr. Ishwar K. Puri is dean of the Faculty of Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering at McMaster University, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and serves as chair of the Canadian National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science.

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22 CareerSpotlight

CLOSING THE ENGINEERING GENDER GAP Why women disproportionally opt out of engineering's education and career pipeline. By Dr. Mary A. Wells, PhD, FEC, P.Eng.


s we start 2018, I am reflecting on the past five years in my role as the Chair of the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE) and contemplating my new role as the Dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Guelph. In particular, I'm wondering what needs to change to close the gender gap in Canadian accredited engineering programs. As chair of ONWiE for the past five years, I’ve had the privilege to report to the Council of Ontario Deans of Engineering (CODE). I can honestly say I have never met a group of leaders more committed to gender diversity in their engineering programs. In true engineering fashion, they want concrete steps and actions to “solve” the problem. Unfortunately, the answers aren’t so clear cut. The barriers to closing the gender gap are related to implicit bias and gender stereotypes but also broader socio-economic, structural and sociological issues. The recognition of the need for more women in engineering is not a social justice issue (i.e. “letting the girls play with the boys”). It resonates deeply within government organizations, professional engineering bodies, and academic circles as a value proposition that makes sense from both a business and innovation perspective. As part of my role as the ONWiE Chair, I have examined where we lose women in our engineering profession. I call this the ‘Leaking Pipeline’ and have summarized my findings in Figure 1. As you can see, it’s still an unusual choice for women to choose to study and stay in the engineering profession. January/February | 2018

One of the largest leaks in the pipeline is the high school years within the fraction of female grade 12 students I call “engineering ready” (i.e. they have taken the required courses to apply to an engineering program). Surprisingly, it is not the advanced math courses that cause this divide but rather Grade 11 and 12 physics! In fact, out of all the natural science courses offered in high school, physics is the least popular. The subject results in a 70% loss of male students from grade 10 academic science (a required course) to physics 12 and an 85% loss of female students (see Figure 2). Considering physics 12 is a requirement to apply to engineering programs in Canada, this has serious implications for the Canadian engineering talent pipeline. In fact some schools and faculties of engineering in Canada are now actively discussing dropping the Grade 12 physics requirement as a way to open up the pipeline and create better gender diversity in the “engineering ready” pool. From my perspective, this is not the approach we should take to tackle the gender gap in engineering. A better approach would be to work with high school science teachers, guidance counselors and the ministry of education to identify the reasons for this substantial, and gender skewed, drop in enrollment to develop interventions that would plug this critical leak in the pipeline. The Ontario Network of Women in Engineering ONWiE ( is the primary network through which the Ontario schools and faculties of engineering and science work to collectively address the status of women in engineering.



This network was formed In addition to high in 2005 as a key part of a school curriculum, the collaborative impact plan other significant issue to address the persistent we need to address is low enrolment of female workplace culture. students in engineering From the aerospace programs across Ontario. sector to Silicon Valley, This unprecedented colengineering has a siglaboration is all the more nificant retention probsignificant given that these lem. Currently, close to schools and faculties edu40 percent of women cate close to half of all with engineering undergraduate engineering degrees either leave the students in Canada. profession or never For the past thirteen enter the field. As a years, ONWiE has profemale civil engineer vided a platform to work Figure 1. Ontario’s Leaking Pipeline for Women in Engineering. The ratios are the said in a recent study: collaboratively on outreach percentage women (left) and men (right) at different points in the pipeline. Developed “Women leave programs directed at using data from 2012. engineering due to a female youth. These have lack of job satisfacincluded programs such as Go ENG Girl (grades 7-10), Go CODE tion, lack of reliable role models, inflexible work schedules, Girl (grades 7-11) and a Girl Guide STEM badge day program workplace discrimination and glass ceiling issues.” (grades 4-6). Key aspects in the success of the programs has been If we hope to make substantive changes in the participation the use of engineering student and early career engineering of women in engineering – workplace culture needs to change professional role models and the involvement of parents. drastically. I believe these targeted outreach efforts have made a substantive impact on the engineering landscape in Ontario and have resulted in measurable changes in the number of female students that chose to study engineering. One concrete example of this impact has been the change in the applicant pool to the Ontario engineering programs. Over this time frame, we have seen a tripling in the number of female applicants to engineering programs in Beyond measuring angles, Ontario. This change in the applicant pool Novotechnik’s R-Series of has led to a steady increase in the participarotary position sensors can be tion of females in engineering programs programmed and reprogrammed across Ontario. In 2005, 4,814 female stufor your application’s angle, CW/CCW dents were enrolled in undergraduate direction and single or redundant output engineering programs across Ontario (17% can be selected. of the engineering student population) versus 8,057 female students in 2016 (21.2% R-Series sensors utilize the orientation of of the engineering student population). a magnetic field to determine measurement Key specifications include: As a result, many Ontario schools and angle. An embedded microprocessor • Resolution: 12/14-bit faculties of engineering are now welcoming converts the magnetic orientation to an • Protection class: to IP67 record high numbers of women in their 1st analog output that is repeatable to within • Measurement range: year programs including the University of 0.03% or 0.1° of measurement range – Toronto and the University of Waterloo, up to 360° depending on model. two of the largest engineering programs For complete R-Series information, visit in the country. I believe this is a direct result of the targeted outreach programs we have Novotechnik U.S., Inc. offered to girls and young women in both 155 Northboro Road • Southborough, MA 01772 Siedle Group Telephone: 508-485-2244 Fax: 508-485-2430 elementary and high school and this important work should continue.

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Figure 2: Loss of male and female students in Ontario from Grade 10 Academic Science through to Physics 12 and the effect this has on the percentage of women in Physics 11 and 12.

Engendering STEM I am very fortunate to be part of a new national research consortium called “Engendering Success in STEM (ESS)” which has received a $2.5-million Partnership Grant from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. ESS is using this funding to break down the biases girls and women face in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) from early childhood through to early career.

The ESS consortium brings together academic researchers and STEM experts from across Canada to help develop and test interventions to foster support and minimize implicit gender biases for women and young girls in science and engineering. These interventions target the obstacles that are unique to each developmental stage on the pathway to success in STEM. Most importantly, the interventions are not designed with only girls in mind, but recognize that there are barriers presented by biases in both boys and girls. Boys and men play a very important role in welcoming girls and women into STEM and are a key component to broader cultural changes. I believe this will be a game changer for the engineering profession and provide us with strong, evidence-based strategies to catalyze systemic efforts in outreach, recruitment and culture changes already underway. If we really want to close the gender gap in engineering, it is essential to ensure all girls and women feel they can belong in technical disciplines and are able to envision themselves having vibrant, fulfilling careers. DE

Dr. Mary A. Wells is the Dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Guelph and the Chair Ontario Network for Women in Engineering.

NEW Hollow Bore Absolute Encoder The incredibly versatile Model MA58H absolute encoder offers a range of configurations to fit almost any application – especially where your encoder needs to retain absolute position after a power outage. The MA58H offers: Multi-Turn and Single-Turn Resolution SSI and CANopen Communications 58 mm Diameter Operating Temperature Range of -40° C to 85° C Two flexible mounting options IP67 Seal (IP65 on the shaft) Available with bores up to 3/8” or 14 mm Call today to learn how EPC can help you find your absolute encoder solution.

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DESIGN SOLUTIONS FOR OEMs A series of one day tabletop shows highlighting the latest design and manufacturing technologies for the OEM market

2 018 March 13

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.

Abbotsford, BC Tradex Centre

April 4 Winnipeg, MB Victoria Inn Hotel

May 2 Saskatoon, SK Prairieland Park

May 29 Moncton, NB Moncton Coliseum

October 10 Kitchener, ON Bingemans Centre

Featured technologies include: • automation • additive manufacturing • reverse engineering • motors • drives • motion control • fluid power • power transmission • adhesives & fasteners • CAD/CAE ... and much more FREE ADMISSION FOR ATTENDEES! To discuss exhibit options please contact: Alan MacPherson Show Manager 416-510-6756

Ron Salmon Account Manager 416-510-5249

26 CoverStory

January/February | 2018

CoverStory 27 | 2018

28 ShopTalk


OUTLOOK 2018 PLANT Magazine’s Outlook 2018 study shows Canadian manufacturers optimistic but concerned by U.S. protectionism.


anadian manufacturers are optimistic about their prospects in 2018, but they’re also concerned Trump administration policies and other disruptive factors might affect their businesses, according to a new survey of senior manufacturing executives. PLANT Magazine’s 2018 Manufacturers’ Outlook study shows that 44% of senior company executives are optimistic about the coming year, although most (50%) qualify their optimism with caution. For example, they’re either very or somewhat concerned about what’s going on in America. U.S. protectionism is worrying 92% of executives followed by global protectionism (90%), U.S. President Donald Trump’s impact on nation-to-nation relationships (89%) and the NAFTA renegotiation (88%). The survey, in partnership with Grant Thornton LLP, SYSPRO Canada and Machines Italia with the Italian Trade Commission, is based on 495 replies from senior manufacturing executives. “In today’s uncertain world, exporters must be deliberate and agile, especially with policies like NAFTA hanging in the January/February | 2018

balance,” said Jim Menzies, national manufacturing industry leader for Grant Thornton LLP. “With or without NAFTA, Canadian manufacturers will always do business with our neighbour to the south. However, the existing NAFTA uncertainty does provide added incentive for manufacturers to look beyond the United States to leverage the strong manufacturing reputation Canada has earned in the global marketplace.” Despite their concerns, manufacturers are demonstrating their confidence with plans to make significant investments in their businesses. Top choices for investment over the next three years are machinery, equipment and technology (79% of respondents) and training (68%). Average investment is more than $1 million. More than half senior executives expect orders and sales to increase (averaging 12% and 13%); but costs will also increase by 6%. Pricing will stay the same for 48% of companies but 43% expect increases of 5%. Thirty-nine per cent see profits rising 8%. Controlling costs tops the list of challenges for 66% of respondents, followed by pressures on prices (53%) and improving productivity (49%). Companies lag in the adoption of advanced measures and technologies that would improve productivity. Only 36% make use of automatic data access, analysis and review to measure

ShopTalk 29 and monitor productivity; 46% do it manually; 18% don’t measure; and 59% do not plan on a digital production transformation involving Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) over the next 12 months. Respondents demonstrated limited engagement with IIoT, which connects and optimizes machines via the internet. Only 9% are applying IIoT capabilities, 33% are not familiar with these capabilities and 29% said they were not applicable. “Canadian manufacturers have a real opportunity to embrace disruptive change in this global economy,” said James Weir, vice-president of sales for SYSPRO Canada. “The results indicate that more than half of those surveyed are manually measuring and monitoring their productivity levels, or not at all. Investing wisely in automation (and innovation) should not be a scary notion for companies, but rather a strategic business approach that is embraced. Companies that do so are more likely to increase production volume, reduce costs and improve the quality of delivering goods to meet customer demand.” Other highlights from the survey: • 62% of companies report revenues from Canada, the US (36%) and Mexico (13%). After North America, 23% report revenues from Western and Central/Eastern Europe, with much smaller percentages from other regions. • Companies entering new markets over the next three years

are favouring the same regions: The US (29%), Canada (26%) and Western Europe (13%) are their top choices. • 45% of executives cite a growing risk of cyber attacks aimed at industrial targets as a medium concern. Less than half are very prepared for a variety of attacks. Twenty-five per cent are least prepared for targeted external attacks. • 54% of respondents see innovation as very important to their business strategies. Top areas of focus are products (66%), processes (65%) and technologies (51%). • The average innovation spend for 2018 will be 4.9% of revenue and 55% plan to increase their investment over the next five years, while 41% will invest at current levels. • 75% indicated they were very or at least somewhat engaged in the reduction of carbon emissions. However, 44% do not include carbon reduction as a part of a formal business strategy. The survey, conducted by Toronto research firm RK Insights, has a margin of error of +/- 3.6%, 19 times out of 20. Most of the surveyed companies (64%) fall into the small business category (under 100 employees); 34% are medium-sized (under 500); and 12% are large (500 or more). DE The full Manufacturers’ Outlook 2018 report, including an executive roundtable discussion, is available as a free download from PLANT Magazine’s website: wp-content/uploads/2017/12/PLT_Outlook-2018_DE.pdf

Bring Your Machine To Life With an Automation Controller Aerotech’s standard controllers are flexible enough to handle almost any application. From the simple motion of this mechanical wasp’s head, to coordinating multiple axes in your machine, Aerotech automation controllers are the answer. Users can program in G code, PLC, .NET (C#, VB.NET), C, MATLAB®, or LabVIEW®. Aerotech will also customize the controller for your needs. Contact an Aerotech Application Engineer today to learn how our automation controllers can benefit your application.

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30 IdeaGenerator Automation Machine Vision Teledyne DALSA introduced its latest Genie Nano cameras built around ON Semiconductor’s Python P3 1.3M CMOS image sensors. These models feature a global shutter, with 1280 x 1024 resolution, and image capture of up to 83 framesper-second with Teledyne’s TurboDrive technology. Designed for cost-conscious imaging applications, the latest P3-based cameras are available in color and monochrome. The line measures 44mm x 29mm x 21mm at 47 grams with a temperature range -20 to 60°C and supports the Linux OS.

EtherCAT Drive Galil’s EDD-3701x EtherCAT slave drive is a motor amplifier that operates in an EtherCAT distributed system where there are up to 32 slave drives and one master. It has a daisy chain topology using standard CAT5 Ethernet cables. The drive can interface with

Galil masters (DMC-500×0 and DMC-52xx0) for sophisticated applications or with TwinCAT for simple applications. The EDD3701x series has the ability to control brushed, brushless, steppers and microstepping motors. The EDD-3701x can both control a motor and also has 8 digital inputs, 4 digital outputs, 2 analog inputs and 2 analog outputs. All I/O information from these drives is accessible by the EtherCAT master. This capability can eliminate the need for separate EtherCAT I/O devices.

Air Knife EXAIR unveiled its Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife that eliminates static on plastics, webs, sheet stock and other product surfaces. RoHS, CE and UL certified, the Gen4’s design features include a metal armored, high voltage cable to protect against abrasion and cuts, integrated ground connection and electromagnetic shielding. The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife incorporates EXAIR’s Super Air Knife that minimizes compressed air use by inducing surrounding airflow at a ratio of 40:1. The product line is available from stock in 3 inch to 108 inches long. The electrical ion source is shockless and there is no radioactive element.




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IdeaGenerator Motion Control

Belt Axes and Mini Slides Festo unveiled its ELGC electric axes and EGSC mini slides designed for assembly, inspection and small parts handling systems, in the electronics industry or desktop applications. The spindle and toothed belt axes – with their internal, protected recirculating ball bearing guide – are suitable for XY-movements and vertical Z-movements. The magnetic, stainless steel band provides a tight seal and doesn’t sag in inverted installations, the company says. The EGSC mini slide is design for vertical Z-movements or guided linear individual movements in any mounting position.

Connectors HARTING announced that its Han Ex connector series have been certified to the NEC 500 standard for use in Class I, Division II hazardous locations. All Han Ex connectors offer IP65/67 protection class in the

mated position. Inserts and housings are available for sizes 3A to 48B. Their contact inserts provide a high number of poles while meeting the standards of the ignition protection class. Crimp and screw terminals as well as HARTING’s Han-Quick Lock can be used. Housings are equipped with cable outlets for thread sizes M20 to M40.

Rolling Ring linear drives

Zero backlash. Jam-proof design.

PLC IDEC Corporation released of its MicroSmart FC6A Plus, a PLC with up to 2,060 local I/O. With its expanded I/O capacity, the FC6A Plus can control and monitor large machines or small-scale manufacturing facilities. To ensure high-level performance with this expanded I/O count, basic instructions can be executed at speeds of 21 nanoseconds. Program memory is 800 kB (100K steps). Two models are available, each with 24 VDC input power. The 16 I/O model has 8 inputs and 8 relay or transistor outputs. The 32 I/O model has 16 inputs and 16 transistor outputs. Each model also includes an integral 0-10 VDC analog input with 12-bit resolution. Each model can accommodate up to three plug-in discrete, analog, serial communication or Bluetooth cartridges. Each discrete cartridge has 4 discrete I/O points, either 4 inputs or 4 outputs. Each analog cartridge has 2 analog I/O points, either 2 inputs or 2 outputs.

• For applications in positioning & reciprocating motion • Zero play – even during reversal Uhing® Rolling Ring linear drives run on a smooth, threadless shaft that won't clog or jam. If the system is overloaded, the shaft simply slips instead of churning and grinding. The drive bearings are in constant contact with the shaft, even during reversal, thereby preventing backlash. Example applications: metrology machines, material handling systems, spooling equipment, packaging & converting equipment. Many different sizes meet varying requirements for axial thrust & linear speed.

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Some models feature mechanical control over speed and travel direction. No programming or electronic controls are needed. Distributed by Amacoil, Inc. PO Box 2228 2100 Bridgewater Rd. Aston, PA 19014 Phone: 610-485-8300 | 2018



IdeaGenerator Motors & Drives Servo Drive System Siemens Automation unveiled a servo drive system that includes the company’s Sinamics S210 converter

designed specifically for use with its Simotics S-1FK2 motors. Offering 50 to 750 watts, the converters come with integrated safety functions and enable rapid engineering via motion technology objects in Simatic S7-1500 controllers. The converters connect to higher-level controllers via Profinet and are programmed by automatic motor parameterization and one-button tuning. Integrated

safety functions include STO (Safe Torque Off) and SS1 (Safe Stop 1). Both can be actuated using Profisafe, STO additionally using a terminal.

Brushless DC motor Maxon motor has unveiled its the EC-i 30, a brushless DC motor (BLDC) with a 30mm diameter. It is available in two lengths, each in a Standard and a High Torque version, with a maximum nominal torque of up to 110mNm at 75W. Because of this and their compact design, EC-i 30 DC motors are especially suitable for hand-held devices and applications in robotics. In all versions, the new EC-i 30 motors can be expanded with encoders, gearheads, servo controllers, or positioning controllers from maxon motor.

Speed Reducer TM

QuickBridge Crane Electrification Solution QuickBridgeTM - A new concept in bridge electrification that gives your overhead cranes a clean, contemporary look. QuickBridge eliminates traditional cable festoon and does it better than cable chain systems.

Series 842 Enclosed Bar

QuickBridge features conductor bar for bridge power and wireless radio remote controls for hoist control. This combination supplies crane bridge electrification that is efficient, safe, rugged, and reliable. The QuickBridge design increases available bridge travel, maximizes below-the-hook working space, and reduces downtime to ensure peak equipment availability. Need More Info? Contact Us Today!

Gearing Solutions introduced its FlexFrame 5hp face mounted speed reducer with patented adaptors, which allow them to be used with either IEC or NEMA motors. The adapters also allow users to quickly switch or replace motors; add face, flange or foot mounts; and use GS convertible shaft adaptors to match virtually any motor to any gearbox. Consisting of a face mounted speed reducer with a hollow shaft input, these designs function as gearheads. Built on the NuLobe gear design, they are available in standard ratios of 3:1, 4:1 and 5:1, making them suitable for a range of industrial and commercial applications, including handling equipment, food processing equipment and robotic drives.

Fluid Power Safe-Lec 2 Bar

1435 Norjohn Court Unit 5 Burlington, ON L7L 0E6 Tel: 800 667 2487 Fax: 450 851 8591 email:

Rotary Drive Festo introduced its ERMO rotary drive, a

January/February | 2018

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low-cost axis for rotating and aligning parts with a service life of more than five million cycles. As part of Festo’s Optimized Motion Series (OMS), the full ERMO package is comprised of an electro-mechanical actuator with permanently mounted motor and drive system and matching connecting cables. The actuator itself is comprised of an integrated electric rotary drive with stepper motor and a rotating plate bearing. It is designed for absorbing high lateral forces and torques. ERMO is available in four sizes. Closed loop operation with an encoder is available as an option. Festo also offers mounting interfaces to connect ERMO to other drives, like slides and gantries.

Hydraulic Actuators Bimba launched its Compact Hydraulic line of actuators in two series: Medium (CMH) and High Pressure (CHH). The CMH offers pressures up to 2030psi (140 bar) whereas the CHH offers pressures up to 3000psi (206 bar). Both series feature a hard-chrome plated steel piston rod that reduces wear on the rod wiper and seal. The CMH can provide an optional switch slot to integrate position sensing without compromising the spacesaving design.

Sensors Encoder Mounting Bracket Encoder Products Company (EPC) introduced a bracket that fits all of EPC’s size 25 shaft encoders with 2.5-inch flange mounts, including absolute and programmable encoders. The bracket works with | 2018 RotoPrecision JanFeb2018.indd 1

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IdeaGenerator the company’s Model MA63S absolute encoder, which features a resolution up to 14 bits Single Turn or 39 bits Multi-Turn and is available in either SSI or CANopen output. It also works with EPC’s Model 725I, which carries a rated bearing load of 80lbs. It uses an internal flexible mount and independent set of bearings to protect the encoder from the effects of severe axial and radial shaft loading. The bracket is also compatible with the pro-

grammable Model 25SP Accu-CoderPro, which offers programmable output type, waveform and resolution.

Linear Position Sensor Balluff has expanded its IO-Link sensor portfolio with the addition of the BTL6

The Gold Standard for Performance

rod style linear position sensor with IO-Link 1.1 interface. Designed for continuous hydraulic cylinder position feedback, the rod style sensor uses magnetostrictive technology to provide continuous position and velocity measurement at stroke lengths up to 180 inches. IO-Link version 1.1 allows more and faster data transmission, and makes it possible to incorporate bi-directional communication, sensor-level diagnostics and network-based parametrization. Over the IO-Link interface, the sensor reports the micrometer engineering units, eliminating controller mathematics to convert analog signals to digital data. The BTL6 sensor features position resolution to 5µm, stroke lengths to 4572mm and simultaneous measurement of position and velocity.

Proximity Sensors

Titan™ chain offers the ultimate in extended wear-life. When it comes to critical applications, reliability is everything. But not just any chain can withstand the nonstop stress of high speeds and harsh conditions. That’s why Tsubaki designed its Titan chain to deliver superior durability in challenging environments. Specially coated pins, solid lube groove bushings* and a patented ring-coining process increase fatigue strength while minimizing wear. The result is a significantly longer wear-life, even in extreme environments. So go on, hold your chain to a higher standard — the Titan gold standard.

Automation Direct’s V3 series AC powered inductive proximity sensors are available in 8, 12, 18 and 30mm sizes. Extended sensing distances for these sensors range from 2mm shielded to 4mm unshielded for 8mm sensors and 12mm shielded to 18mm unshielded for 30mm sensors. These sensors operate on 20-250 VAC/VDC input voltage with N.O. and N.C. output options available. The sensors are short-circuit protected and have a yellow LED status indicator that is output energized. Axial cable and 1/2 inch micro AC quick-disconnect models are available and all sensors are IP67 protection rated. The sensors are cULus approved and are CE, RoHs and Reach Compliant.

To learn more, call 800.263.7088 or visit *Lube groove bushings available in sizes 80–140.


Total Package TSUBAKI.CA

Mini Linear Encoder HEIDENHAIN released its LIP 6000 exposed linear encoder, which features interferential scanning, accurate position measurement and reliable signals. With an interpolation error of ±3nm, a noise level of 1nm RMS and a baseline error of less than ±0.175µm

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IdeaGenerator at a 5mm interval, the encoder is designed for applications requiring constant speed control or high positioning stability at standstill. The LIP 6000 scanning unit contains the HSP (HEIDENHAIN Signal Processor) 1.0 ASIC which overcomes contamination on the glass without the loss of accuracy by amplifying the LED light source instead of amplifying the electrical signals which leads to noisy outputs.

Inductive Proximity Sensors Rockwell Automation introduced its Allen-Bradley Bulletin 871FM inductive proximity sensors built for harsh environments. Enabled with IO-Link technology, the sensors deliver diagnostic and parameter data to the controller over EtherNet/IP from the IO-Link master module. The fully shielded sensors’ 8mm (20x32x8mm) and 14mm (30x52x14mm) stainless-steel rectangular housings can be installed in low-profile, space-critical applications. The compact design of the proximity sensors is intended for sensing small parts. The sensors are also available in welding

models with sensing ranges up to 10mm and Factor-1 equal sensing for different ferrous and nonferrous metals.

Linear Encoders Leine & Linde debuted its Linear 4000 series linear encoders designed for demanding environmental conditions, without the need for being mounted inside a cylinder. The encoders come with an encapsulation, which enable them to withstand heat and other strong external stresses, while their absolute inductive scanning resists the hard impact and strong vibrations. To reduce running costs, this system doesn’t need compressed air to protects the system against dust. As the 4000 series provides absolute position values directly to the PLC, no additional counter is required as a go-between, and the encoder cannot lose track of its position. The series comes with measurement lengths up to 260mm and interfaces SSI and EnDat. Using the gateway solutions from Leine & Linde, PROFINET, PROFIBUS and EtherNet/IP interfaces are available.

Advertisers Index

Advertiser WebsitePage Aerotech, Inc.


Allied Electronics


Amacoil Inc.


Aurora Bearing Company


Automation Direct

Beckhoff Automation


Boker's Inc.




Clippard Instruments Laboratory Inc.

Conductix-Wampfler Canada

Designfusion 14-15


9 32

Diequa Corporation


17 13

Encoder Products Company


Festo Canada, Inc.


Great West Life Assurance Co. 7

igus Inc.


Novotechnik US Inc.


RotoPrecision Inc.


Schaeffler Canada Inc.

STAUBLI Corporation

Tecom Inc.

Tsubaki Canada, Ltd.


University of Guelph



4 10 8 | 2018


| PC11-48USA |

Meet the smallest Industrial PC from Beckhoff. The ultra-compact C6015 IPC for automation and IoT.

82 mm

40 mm With the ultra-compact C6015 Industrial PC, Beckhoff has again expanded the application possibilities of PC-based control. Wherever space or cost limitations previously prevented the use of a PC-based control solution, this new IPC generation offers an excellent price-to-performance ratio in an extremely compact housing. With up to 4 CPU cores, low weight and unprecedented installation flexibility, the C6015 is universally applicable in automation, visualization and communication tasks. It is also ideal for use as an IoT gateway. Processor: IntelŽ Atom™, 1, 2 or 4 cores Interfaces: 2 Ethernet, 1 DisplayPort, 2 USB Main memory: up to 4 GB DDR3L RAM Housing: Die-cast aluminum-zinc alloy Dimensions (W x H x D): 82 x 82 x 40 mm

Flexible installation via rear or side panel mounting, or on DIN rail.

Design Engineering January February 2018  
Design Engineering January February 2018