WWW.AUTOMATION-UPDATE.CO.UK Issue 100 AUTOMATION PDATE Join thousands of design engineers this october at the coventry building society arena see pages 8 & 9
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Global robot report highlights UK’s urgent need to increase automation
By Tom Bouchier - Managing Director FANUC UK
Today, the UK remains the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world, with a £183bn output. But our seat at the top table is looking precarious as a result of our slow adoption of industrial automation.
No longer the preserve of Asian powerhouses like China, Japan or the Republic of Korea, the recently published IFR World Robotics Industrial
Robots 2022 report reveals that countries far closer to home such as Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Hungary are now outpacing the UK when it comes the adoption of robotics. If we are to continue competing on the global stage, it is imperative that the UK’s automation community comes together to support British firms to embrace robotics and ensure our reputation as a nation of manufacturers continues to thrive.
A record-breaking year
As acknowledged in its foreword, the statistics contained in the 2022 IFR report are a strong indication of the vital contribution that robotics is making towards supporting businesses to protect their core production processes against the effects of the numerous global crises that we have experienced over the past few years. A record 517,385 new robots were
4 - Automation Update
The UK has a strong and proud manufacturing history and, for a small nation, has long punched above its weight on the global stage.
installed in 2021 – an impressive 31% uplift from 2020.
As well as traditional automation adopters such as the automotive, electronics, and metal & machinery industries, advances in robotic capability through digitalisation and AI have seen sectors such as warehousing and logistics also begin deploying automated solutions.
UK bucks the global trend
Robotics has a key role to play in enabling manufacturers from all countries to remain agile, cost efficient and globally competitive, and the fact that 2021 saw the highest number of new robot installations on record is particularly encouraging. But, from a UK perspective, the IFR results were more sobering.
At 2,054, the number of new robot installations was down 7% yearon-year, giving the UK an average manufacturing robot density of 111 robots for every 10,000 employees, which the report notes is ‘very low for a Western European country’. This figure is well below the global average of 141 and considerably under the top performing nation of the Republic of Korea (1,000) and the European frontrunner, Germany (397). In fact, the UK is currently languishing at 24th in the world robot density rankings, making us the only G7 country to sit outside the top 20.
The UK’s position as a leading manufacturing nation is unquestionable; but we could increase our productivity levels significantly if we used more automation. To put it into context, many countries have a manufacturing industry that accounts for a similar 10% GDP as the UK (the USA, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, for example); but their productivity rates are higher than ours as a result of their greater investment in automation.
Astonishingly, a German worker is around 30% an hour more
productive than a UK worker – put simply, we cannot expect to continue competing on the international stage unless we automate.
The need to automate has become even more imperative in the last few years in the face of a series of unprecedented global and national crises, which have impacted UK manufacturers’ ability to recruit staff. Already facing a labour shortfall, a perfect storm of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic prompted an exodus of European labour from our shores, contributing to the 97,000 vacancies in the manufacturing sector reported in January 2022 (a yearon-year increase of 113%).
As well as this ‘cost of leaving’ crisis, the country is also facing a cost of living crisis, which has seen manufacturers grapple with rising bills for energy, transport and raw materials.
Recruiting hard-to-find manual labour while managing increasing costs is a difficult balancing act, but it can be alleviated through automation. By using robots to do the dull, dirty and dangerous tasks, automation enables manufacturers to make better use of their human employees, upskilling them to boost recruitment and retention rates while increasing productivity.
A bright future
The outlook, therefore, is brighter than it may currently appear. In 2015, robot density in the UK was just 71 robots per 10,000 employees – the current figure of 111 demonstrates a 56% increase, and this is reflected here at FANUC UK in our healthy order book going into 2023.
The UK already boasts world class engineers, world class machine tool builders, world class integrators and a world class workforce. To retain our reputation as a nation of world class manufacturers, we now need to support firms to implement world class automation technology.
Automation Update - 5
Tesla Full Self-Driving recalled following The Dawn Project’s Super Bowl ad revealing critical safety defects
The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has ordered Tesla to recall vehicles equipped with its Full Self-Driving software, days after safety advocacy group The Dawn Project broadcasted a public safety message during Super Bowl LVII across the nation, revealing Tesla Full Self-Driving’s critical safety defects.
The Dawn Project’s ad, which can be viewed here, was broadcasted on Sunday to millions of Americans across the country, including in major states such as California, New York, Texas, Georgia and Florida, questioned why NHTSA allows Tesla to deploy its unsafe Full Self-Driving software on public roads.
Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered the recall of over 362,000 Tesla vehicles equipped with its Full Self-Driving software, noting that defects in Tesla’s FSD software would mean that vehicles would “exceed speed limits or travel through intersections in an unlawful or unpredictable manner increases the risk of a crash.”
The recall notice continued that: “The [Tesla] FSD Beta system may allow the vehicle to act unsafe around intersections, such as traveling straight through an intersection while in a turnonly lane, entering a stop sign-controlled intersection without coming to a complete stop, or proceeding into an intersection during a steady yellow traffic signal without due caution.”
The Super Bowl ad represents the latest action in the multi-million dollar advertising campaign conducted by The Dawn Project over the past year, to raise public and regulatory awareness of the danger of Tesla Full Self-Driving.
The Dawn Project has also today commenced a further television advertising campaign in Washington DC, urging regulators and lawmakers to take action to ban Tesla Full SelfDriving, after safety tests conducted by The Dawn Project revealed that Tesla Full Self-Driving would commit a range of critical driving errors..
In August 2022, Tesla threatened the safety advocacy group with litigation after The Dawn Project alerted the American people that Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software would run down a child in the road via a national advertising campaign.
Following NHTSA’s recall, Dan O’Dowd, Founder of The Dawn Project, commented: “The Dawn Project is pleased that NHTSA has finally taken action over Tesla Full Self-Driving’s critical safety defects.
“The Dawn Project’s Super Bowl ad revealed the critical safety defects in Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software to millions of Americans. We called on regulators to intervene to urgently recall Tesla’s dangerous and defective Full SelfDriving software.
“NHTSA’s actions represent an important first step in ensuring our roads are kept safe from Tesla Full Self-Driving. NHTSA must now act swiftly to force Tesla to prove it has fixed the critical safety defects we identified in its Full Self-Driving software before it is permitted on our roads.
“Tesla Full Self-Driving is unsafe for public roads, and Elon Musk’s decision to use the American public as crash test dummies has exposed millions of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to potentially fatal danger.
“Despite our repeated warnings that Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software will run down a child in the road, Elon Musk released this blatantly unsafe software to ‘anyone in North America’ on Thanksgiving day.
“Tesla Full Self-Driving is the worst commercial software I have ever seen, and the public must be kept safe from Elon Musk’s contempt for safety regulations.
6 - Automation Update
20kg-payload capacity cobot weighs in at just 33kg
Omron has announced a new cobot (collaborative robot) with a 20kg payload capacity, which is suitable for tasks such as palletising, machine tending and material handling. The TM20 cobot has a reach of 1.3m, weighs 33kg, and has a small footprint.
The cobot is the most powerful model yet in the TM series developed under a strategic alliance with the Taiwanese cobot specialist, Techman. Other models have load capacities from 6–16kg.
The TM20’s built-in smart vision compensates for positioning errors and ensures precision in fast pick-and-place tasks – semiconductor applications, for example – without needing additional visual or positional monitoring. This reduces integration time and costs.
A technology called TM Landmark allows real-time updating of the relative position of the arm and key points
in the environment, keeping the robot safely oriented in 3D space, regardless of the position of the robot.
According to Fernando Vaquerizo, fixed and cobots product marketing manager at Omron Europe, the new machine “expands the capabilities of our cobot family and gives customers the ability to automate heavy-payload application. It is designed to be easy to use, reliable and safe. It relieves operators from tasks that involve heavy lifting, while working safely side-by-side with people.”
The cobot’s light weight will make it easy to integrate with mobile robots. Special joint covers protect it from cutting oil and other hazardous materials,
making it suitable for machine-tending applications. The robot has fast joints which are said to reduce cycle times.
The cobot is designed to work with other Omron products including sensors, controllers and software. It comes with a two-year warrantee.
Omron provides a ROI calculator to evaluate potential investments in collaborative robots, including leasing possibilities.
Pre-orders can be placed now for the TM20 cobot.
Automation Update - 7
Omron’s new TM20 cobot is its most powerful to date
Join thousands of design engineers this October at The Coventry Building Society Arena
• Registration is free
• 75% of stand space already sold
• Headline sponsors: Wurth Elektronik and Solid State Supplies
• Powered by Eureka, New Electronics and The Engineer
The Engineering Design Show (EDS) returns to The Coventry Building Society Arena on the 11th – 12th of October 2023. This two day exhibition has been curated specifically for design engineers and will bring together over 200 suppliers, thousands of products and all the latest industry innovations. There will also be 30+ hours of free conference sessions and workshops pulling together a high-calibre agenda. Previous speaking companies have included: Dassault Systemes, Wireless Logic, Small Robot Company and 42 Technology.
EDS has everything to support UK design engineers in 2023. Register your interest here to be the first to find out when registration opens and to keep abreast of all the latest show news: www.engineeringdesignshow.co.uk/register-interest
Interested in exhibiting?
Exhibiting at EDS is a fantastic way to maximise your organisation’s exposure to the UK’s design engineering community. For more information, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org and find out how we can tailer your package to meet your exact requirements.
“The resurgent Engineering Design Show exceeded expectations. Ineltek’s stand had a steady stream of relevant visitors from a variety of technology businesses. The two days flew by; we never reached the point where we had to kill time visiting other stands. EDS is back with a bang!”
- Previous exhibitor, Adam Miller, Field Sales Engineer from Ineltek on last year’s show.
8 - Automation Update
Automation Update - 19 Interested in exhibiting? Get in touch with email@example.com www.engineeringdesignshow.co.uk @EngDesignShow #EngDesignShow HEADLINE SPONSORS THE UK’S BIGGEST EVENT DEDICATED ENTIRELY TO ENGINEERING, ELECTRONICS AND EMBEDDED DESIGN 11-12 October 2023 Coventry Building Society Arena Join thousands of design engineers this October! Source the latest products, services and innovations available to the sector. Register your interest today.
High performance engineering fluid for precision solvent cleaningInnovation driven by legislation
Vapour degreasing is the simplest but most effective industrial solvent cleaning process which, until recently, has been subject to little change since it was first invented in the early part of the 20th century. This is a very mature chemical technology, but legislation changes in recent years has impacted the industry significantly.
Chlorinated hydrocarbons have historically been the solvents of choice for vapour degreasing - compatible with most materials, stable in use, producing a non-flammable saturated vapour heavier than air at a temperature greater than ambient. Traditional solvents such as trichloroethylene exhibited all these characteristics but concerns about its carcinogenic properties and the danger to operators by exposure, led to a continuing search for a safer alternative. 1,1,1 trichloroethane based formulations became popular in the last century as a safer replacement. Although safer for users, it proved to be depleting the Ozone Layer and was subsequently banned. N-Propyl bromide (nPB) based formulations became popular in the last part of the century as a safer replacement, but this was later put in Annex 14 of REACH by the EU and can no longer be used as a vapour degreasing solvent in Europe. Countries around the world are now setting increasingly stringent environmental legislation to control emissions of Ozone Depleting and Global Warming industrial cleaning solvents. This has led to new chemical formulations being developed for industry.
Over 20 years of Innovation for industry
EnviroTech Europe Ltd have been supplying vapour degreasing solvent formulations for over 20 years, constantly responding to regulatory requirements for environmental and safety laws and the need for improved standards. Staff and distributors are highly trained to work with customers to advise on the use of industrial cleaning solvents, helping them to navigate through legislative changes and ensure their vapour degreasing and cleaning solutions remain within regulatory boundaries.
Customers may have recently read in the industry press about another major industrial supplier ceasing production of their range of fluorocarbon containing metal degreasing and vapour degreasing solvents. They may be concerned that other major suppliers will follow suit. Envirotech Europe would like to assure the industry of its intention to continue the manufacture of its ProSolv® range of metal cleaning and vapour degreasing solvents for the foreseeable future.
10 - Automation Update
Zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and very low Global Warming Potential (GWP) solvent blend for high performance vapour degreasing
ProSolv®5408e ticks all the boxes with the perfect profile for a vapour degreasing solvent, developed by EnviroTech Europe Ltd for precision parts cleaning or cleaning automated machinery at strip down.
ProSolv®5408e offers improved cleaning at a lower cost, without compromising quality. Substitution is simple with little or no changes to equipment or control settings needed. A non-flammable stable azeotrope needing no testing for acid acceptance or stabilising additives, easy to use and maintain and safer for the workplace.
ProSolv®5408e is extremely effective for precision cleaning in high-tech industries such as aerospace, aviation, electronics and medical device cleaning. It can be used in most solvent cleaning systems, one tank vapour degreasing or multi tank immersion / vapour tank systems using ultrasonics or flush cleaning for complex mechanical and electronic components with blind holes and channels and close mounted electronics or for removing grinding and buffing soils on surfaces. Exceptionally low surface tension to penetrate micron sized holes and close contact surfaces.
ProSolv®5408e is highly effective when used with ultrasonics and can usually be used in existing degreasers or dip tanks. Ideal for precision cleaning and degreasing of electronics, metals and glass. It can be used to remove adhesives, fluxes, pastes, buffing compounds, greases, silicone oils, particulates, resins, waxes and other oils and soils. Soft on the environment, low solvent losses, reduced costs, sustainable and secure for the future.
EFFICIENT AND ECONOMICAL
• Fast precision cleaning, short cycle times. Stable with no additives, no testing required
• Alternative to Methylene Chloride, Perchloroethylene and High ODP/ GWP Fluorocarbons
• Excellent choice to replace flammable solvents such as MEK, Acetone, Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) or Hydrocarbons
• Established replacement for Trichloroethylene, n-Propyl Bromide (nPB) and other now banned solvents
• Can be used in any vapour degreasing equipment, lower energy consumption and lower maintenance. Compatible with a broad range of substrates
• Improved productivity, parts exit the machine cool, dry, spot-free with no drying required
• High density solution, excellent for ultrasonic cleaning
• Mid-range temperature operation, easier handling, mid-range boiling point, processed components easily handled (48°C)
• Very low surface tension for penetration into the micron level crevices and holes, efficient cleaning in tight to reach places and complex geometries
• Easy process monitoring with minimal effort and minimal waste generation, easy reclamation for reuse
• Minimal non-volatile residue
• High Solvency (KB Value 98) for a variety of contaminants
SAFE FOR USERS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
• Safe for the environment, zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP)
• Very low impact on Global Warming (GWP)
• Non-hazardous for transportation
• Non-flammable (No Flash Point)
• Not classified as a carcinogen
ProSolv®5408e vapour degreasing solvent is manufactured in the United Kingdom and available on short delivery times through our dedicated team of distributors worldwide. Please visit our website www.envirotech-europe.com for information about all our products and further information on ProSolv®5408e.
For more advice, please telephone us on +44 (0) 20 8281 6370 or use our website contact form
Automation Update - 11
Energy efficiency – are attitudes changing?
Of course, greater autonomy in our energy provision is now understood and acknowledged as a stand out way to protect ourselves from market volatility caused by unstable regimes. But the drive for improved efficiency across all the avenues of energy use, will simply mean that the energy we do produce and secure as a country will go that much further. This will not only allow us to make big savings on our domestic bills and to ensure our homes stay warm through the winter months, it will also have a massive impact on the efficiency, and ultimately, the profitability of our commercial and industrial sectors.
The British Pump Manufacturers Association (BPMA) has been a longstanding advocate of not only the need for improved energy efficiency across the UK’s vast installed base of pumps and pump systems, but also the massive opportunity it presents for significant energy use reduction.
The subject of energy, or rather energy efficiency, has long been a topic of vague disinterest among the vast majority of households and billpayers. Energy, or rather the complex business sector that produces and delivers it, has historically struggled with engagement. Energy efficiency, in particular, has more often than not been misrepresented as simply a penny-saving exercise involving the change of lightbulbs for modern replacements, and switching lights off when rooms are unoccupied. Boiling the kettle less, another suggestion often heard.
However, with the huge global rise in the cost of energy, and its near constant headline coverage by the broadcast media, not to mention the financial pain we are all now enduring, perhaps 2023 has the potential to see a real change in attitudes. A change that could positively impact all aspects of energy use.
The operation of pumps and their associated systems accounts for around 20% of the world’s entire electrical energy consumption, and in some high-use industrial applications, this can be as much as 25-50% of the total electrical energy usage. Across the European continent pumps are the single largest user of electricity within industry, consuming over 300 TWhpa of electricity, which in turn accounts for over 65 Mton of CO2 emissions.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of pump systems operating today were not originally designed with energy conservation as a major consideration. It is now well documented that rotodynamic pumps, which account for 80% of the installed base across Europe are between 20-30% oversized. This is usually due to an in-built ‘safety factor’ allowing for potential future uprates, or any wear in the pump or fouling of the system. But this simply means they are using far too much energy for the required duty. As such, there is huge potential to save massive amounts of energy if these pumps are properly sized, operated and maintained. In fact, if pump systems are initially designed with energy use in mind, and the pumps are optimised for efficiency, a saving up to 50% in electrical energy can be achieved.
Steve Schofield, CEO at the British Pump Manufacturers’ Association, considers whether there is at last a change in attitudes towards energy efficiency amongst the general public. And if so, whether this can have a meaningful impact on decreasing the energy consumption across UK industry.
12 - Automation Update
In essence, it is important to know as much about the pump system as possible and to create a pressure/flow profile for the system, as the energy required to drive the pump is directly related to the flow and pressure required.
It is also important to carry out regularly energy audits to help determine where energy use reduction measures can be employed, and in turn how operating costs can be lowered. The government has estimated that most companies can reduce their energy consumption by 10-20%, and energy audits carried out in accordance with ISO 14414 have shown that savings of 30-50% are not unusual. By reviewing utility bills, you can get an indication of the savings to be made and the investment that you should be prepared to put into the auditing process.
Across most industrial sites, some two-thirds of the total energy consumption is used to power electric motors, an integral part of any pump system. The overall cost associated with operating these essential pieces of equipment throughout their entire life span can be broken down as follows; 5% accounts for the initial purchase/installation costs, 10% for ongoing maintenance and a massive 85% for the energy used to run them.
Clearly, any reduction in the energy consumed by electric motors is important, and with modern designs, that reduction can be as much as 30%. It is also evident that many pumps and motors are constantly operated at full power, irrespective of process needs, something which can managed with the addition of variable speed drives, and so across Europe’s installed base there is the potential for significant energy savings; savings which can in turn drop to the bottom line and increase the profitability of any business.
Certified Pumps Systems Auditor Scheme
Given the amount of energy consumed by pumps in their normal operation, and the potential for energy efficiency gains within pump systems, the BPMA has developed the Certified Pump System Auditor Scheme (CPSA).
Through the CPSA, pump engineers are being trained to correctly assess the efficiency of pump systems, and to provide appropriate recommendations in order to improve the efficiency of those systems. The CPSA accreditation is achieved by successfully completing a four-day residential course, followed by the satisfactory completion of a pump system audit. Only then can ‘Certified Pump System Auditor’ status be achieved.
Within the full ESOS Guidance document, the ISO/14414Pump System Energy Assessment standard is referenced as an auditing methodology that can be accepted by “Lead Assessors” approved by the Environment Agency. Accordingly, it is hoped that CPSA accredited persons (who are trained according to the IS0 14414 standard) will be recommended by Lead Assessors to undertake the pumping system elements of company-wide energy audits.
The next CPSA Training Course is scheduled for 9th-12th May 2023. For more detailed information, please visit http://www.bpma-cpsa.co.uk
In conclusion, it is hoped that with the heightened publicity around the cost of energy, and society’s growing appreciation of its importance to our very existence, we will begin to see far greater urgency in the adoption of energy reduction measures across our commercial and industrial sectors.
Ultimately it’s a question of choice, and whether businesses are prepared to finally address the ‘Capex vs Opex’ argument and begin to enjoy the long term financial gains available through improved operational efficiency. The offer being; pay for the new equipment now, and recoup the cost through the energy savings made over its operational life. But either way, supported by the documented evidence that significant savings can be made through the correct selection and efficient operation of pumps and their related systems, the BPMA will continue its efforts to drive this clear and important message.
Further information on the work carried out by the BPMA can be found through the website - https://www.bpma.org.uk/ - or for any specific enquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Certified Pump System Auditor Course 4 day course 9th - 12th May 2023 Classroom & hands on training Held at BPMA Offices West Bromwich B70 6PY For more information call 0121 601 6691, scan code for the training guide or email: email@example.com Independent Pump Training from
Automation Update - 13
Tunnel/Mirror simply better networking
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The DataHub Tunnel/Mirror goes beyond the basics, letting you integrate your data without exposing your network. Simply better networking.
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NIS 2 takes effect October 2024 - Are
You can take a big step towards compliance with the NIS 2 Directive by securing access to your process data.
You may have heard about the NIS 2 Directive. With the growth of Industry 4.0 and digital transformation, more companies need access to their process data. At the same time, cyber attacks on industrial systems are at an all-time high. So the EU has issued a tough new policy--the NIS 2 Directive--which takes effect next year.
Among the mandates, NIS 2 requires “a level of security of network and information systems appropriate to the risks posed.” In practical terms this translates into securing access to process data from corporate systems by segregating OT (operations) and IT networks, using a DMZ.
Skkynet provides a way to do this. DataHub tunnel/mirroring seamlessly passes OT data across a DMZ-enabled connection to an IT network. Most industrial protocols require opening a firewall to access the data, but the patented DataHub architecture keeps all inbound firewall ports closed on both the control and corporate sides, while still allowing real-time, two-way data communication through the DMZ.
Unlike MQTT, which cannot reliably daisy-chain connections across a DMZ, DataHub tunnel/ mirroring maintains a complete copy of the data and connection status from the source to final destination. It provides accurate indicators of data reliability at each point in the path.
And unlike OPC UA, DataHub tunnel/mirroring keeps all inbound firewall ports closed on the OT side, while still accessing the data. It faithfully replicates any or all of the full data set from source to user, maintaining the namespace.
NIS 2 takes effect next year, but you can secure your system now. Keep your OT and IT networks segregated with a DMZ, and pass the data securely between them using DataHub tunnel/mirroring
STEM: Beyond employment stereotypes:
Four Comau Ambassador profiles of women in the world of robotics and technological innovation for Industry 4.0
Comau, a company specialising in the research and production of technological solutions for industry, based in Rugby, Warwickshire in the UK, is presenting four profiles of women who have chosen a STEM education and career path with the aim of inspiring other young women to take similar paths.
According to a survey by Tech Nation, funded by the UK government, almost three million people, or 9% of the UK workforce, are employed in the UK technology industry. Only 26% of these workers are women. But the gender gap, which is reflected in the world of work, is obviously something that starts before, that is formed upstream, starting with the choice of study path, which sees, for example, the STEM area clearly dominated by men.
Recently, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) presented the report Women and Science, which showed that women make up around 30% of the world’s researchers and that less than a third of female students choose to study subjects such as mathematics and engineering at university. This gap represents a major limitation that has repercussions on the world of work and society as a whole.
It is for this reason that some of the ‘women of Comau’ have agreed to make themselves available through their story and account of their work in the field of technology for industry, as an example for all the girls of the new generations who may have doubts or be undecided but feel that STEM could be their life path.
In addition to Leah Wilson’s profile, here follows the short bios of three other women who work at Comau and whose stories can inspire other young women: Fariba Madhooshi, Lucrezia Morabito and Chiara De Ferrari.
Fariba Madhooshi, Product Manager / MATE-XT - from Iran to Italy, says its passion for what you do that counts even in male-dominated industries, regardless of gender or nationality
Fariba, holds the position of Product Manager at Comau, where she has worked for nine years. She moved to Turin in Italy after a three-year degree in
Leah Wilson is 22 years old and in Comau she holds the position of Graduate Project Manager, dealing specifically with managing and supporting the team of Project Managers in the internal governance of projects through the management of activities such as the control of compliance with internal P10 procedures, the management of timelines and QAMM milestones on MSPO and the monitoring and control of KPIs.
Leah started her career path during her engineering studies, with an apprenticeship in Comau that gave her the skills necessary to manage, assess and monitor projects and their performance and ensure alignment between projects and strategic objectives.
In addition to working at Comau in the project management team, Leah is currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering with the aim of improving her skills in project management, CAD and simulation activities, research and design theories, production and process management and materials mechanics.
“What I like most about my job at Comau is being involved in different projects every day that are always very interesting. The most challenging part is definitely managing and prioritising my time between work, university and other commitments. However, I like being busy, I am very organised and I think this has allowed me to give my best and always achieve excellent results in my career and studies”.
16 - Automation Update
her country, Iran. Her path was inspired by her father, a factory manager where she grew up developing a love for this field. At Comau she was then able to grow, specialising in a specific product, the MATE XT, the exoskeleton for which she is now Product Manager. Fariba works every day with the exoskeleton which she sees almost like a son, in fact, thanks to her contribution, it has been transformed from an idea to a solution on the market. “One should not be afraid. There are many opportunities in this sector, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman. Today there are a lot of women around the world working in this sector, even on Linkedin you can find a lot of female professionals and be inspired by following their path”.
Lucrezia Morabito, - R&D Data Scientist and Product Marketing for Comau - her passion for mathematics made her discover how STEM can have concrete applications for everyday life
Lucrezia, R&D Data Scientist and Product Marketing for Comau now deals with the marketing aspects of mobile robotics and automation solutions in the renewable energy sector, analysing how technology can make a difference in the market to meet customers’ concrete needs and requirements. This aspect, the practical spin-offs of the theories learnt during her studies and professional career, is one of the elements Lucrezia loves about her work and her passion for practical things where creativity is not lacking. “Challenges are present in any work environment. However, it is crucial not to be labelled either by gender or by skills. STEM disciplines are disciplines that allow for multiple real-world applications that go beyond research exercises to provide
Inspiring Leah in her choice of study path was her family: “My grandfather worked as an engineer in the automation industry, my father as an electrical engineer and my older brother works in construction and engineering. The male figures in my family have definitely influenced me in my choice of studies and career path and I also want to be a role model for the younger women in my family”. Having role models to look up to is often decisive when choosing one’s career path. It is even more so when it comes to STEM subjects and in particular engineering, which is often prejudicially regarded as a typically male path: “The first time I went to a client I felt rather discouraged. I remember I was one of the few women wearing a hard hat, mask and safety boots and I felt a bit out of place. Even at university there were only two women in a class of 20.
benefits to the community, this goal should be the common thread that drives the entire scientific community, men, and women together”
Chiara de Ferrari - Technical Project Leader Comau Germany - passionate about cars, mechanical engineering and rowing has followed her aptitudes without regard to prejudice.
Chiara de Ferrari is a mechanical engineer and Technical Project Leader at Comau Germany. For Comau, she is responsible for presenting customers with the most suitable solutions, also from a technical and mechanical point of view. Chiara is passionate about cars and loves science subjects, which is why she chose to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Today she is mainly involved in Powertrain and therefore in projects related to the welding line for engine support axles. His passions and his work are united by a love of challenges, perseverance, and commitment to achieve goals. But not only that, but they are also considered ‘manly’ activities. For Chiara, however, this has never been an obstacle because she has always had very clear ideas about what she wanted to do. “When I chose my course of study as well as the sport to do, I never thought that they were not suitable for me as a woman. For me it was normal, I had aptitudes and I followed them. Of course, I also noticed the gap between men and women. At university I was often the only woman in the lecture room and even today I still only have male interlocutors. What is lacking to overcome this cultural heritage is certainly greater exposure of young people to STEM subjects, starting at school”.
Fortunately, over the years I have seen more and more women on the worksites and in the corridors of the university and this has made me realise that fortunately things are changing. Today I find myself at Comau where I work with a very supportive and friendly team and where I am never treated differently just because I am young and a woman”.
Gaining work experience or an apprenticeship even while studying, according to Leah, is a great way for people who want to take up this job because it allows them to get an idea, quickly, of what this field can offer. Identifying role models and talking to as many people as possible about their career and experience is also a way to get passionate about STEM subjects. “Women especially need to be inspired from an early age about the engineering profession and where this profession could take them. When I
left school, I was the only woman in my year to enter an engineering industry. It is necessary to influence the younger generation more. I advise women not to be afraid to challenge themselves and step out of their comfort zone, because this job offers many opportunities. Don’t be discouraged and believe in yourself.”
Recently, she has been following a new project which is a SE study intended to provide the necessary information required to define the future battery assembly strategy. She is responsible for assisting with the project management tasks during this project lifecycle, which include timing and resource planning/tracking, MSPO controlling, milestone preparation, KPI’s and project review preparation. She will work closely with the project management team to follow the project from start to finish.
Automation Update - 17
Innovative brushless DC motor technology for KNF diaphragm pumps
With the new DCB-I drive, KNF is introducing an in-house developed BLDC motor generation for the first time in its history.
This new generation of brushless motors further increases the advantages of KNF diaphragm pumps to the next level in terms of performance, robustness, and durability in combination with the ability to digitally customise the motor parameters. By integrating the motor directly into the pump housing, it was thus possible to implement these features in a more compact size.
The development of our own BLDC motor allowed KNF to specify the individual components so that they are perfectly matched for their use in diaphragm pumps.
Compared to what is usual for other motors, the DCB-I features much larger ball bearings. This significantly improves the robustness and durability, which is reflected in a life expectancy of >20’000h. Furthermore, the unique design creates not only a visually appealing look, but also technical advantages. The cooling fins on the aluminium motor cover also improves heat management, especially when the motor is permanently under heavy load.
The development and manufacture of this new generation of motors is the outcome of a cooperation between KNF and a leading motor manufacturer.
As a result, not only is the motor more powerful (in relation to its size), but the development of its electronics makes it possible to use additional functionalities. As a result, this allows total control over the motor to fully exploit the potential of KNF pumps.
KNF offers the DCB-I for the following pump types:
• NMP830 HP
• NMP830 HP
KNF develops, produces and distributes high-quality diaphragm pumps and systems for neutral and aggressive gases and liquids.
For more information please click here
18 - Automation Update
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