Automation Update - Issue 87

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Issue 87


Simply done. VARIO-X is the decisive step towards the future! Agile manufacturing, sustainability or Industry 4.0 – thanks to 100 percent automation without control cabinets. Modular, flexible and future-proof, Vario-X brings your machines and systems into the future with decentralized installation technology. future. It‘s that simple.

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AUTOMATION UPDATE Publication Director Kane Weller 01843 580 460 Kane@engineering-update.co.uk Editor Leigh Little 01843 267 690 leigh@engineering-update.co.uk Sales Director Tim Johnston 01843 448 443 tim@engineering-update.co.uk Editorial Assistant Laura Sharpe 01843 448 443 laura@engineering-update.co.uk

Automation Update is an engaging, editorially led publication & directory giving the reader news and updates on new products and services to our ever Progressing industry. Publishing House Jet Digital Media Ltd The Forge, Spratling Court Offices, Manston, Kent CT12 5AN www.jetdigitalmedia.co.uk

www.automation-update.co.uk

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

www.leuze.co.uk Automation Update - 3


3DGBIRE ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP TO DELIVER METAL ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING 3D print specialist 3DGBIRE has announced a partnership with CMG Technologies – a leading provider of Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) – to bring UK-based de-binding and sintering capabilities for parts which have been 3D printed with BASF Ultrafuse 316L and 17-4PH stainless steel filaments.

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he move will enable customers to rapidly introduce metal additive manufacturing into their businesses and produce pure, industrial grade metal prototypes and end use parts in as little as five days, without having to export them overseas for de-binding and sintering after printing.

Leah Melling, marketing, sales and technical support manager at 3DGBIRE, explains: “This partnership with CMG Technologies will make it easier and faster than ever for customers to print metal parts and prototypes on FFF or FDM 3D printers and finish them with de-binding and sintering - all here in the UK. “Previously, parts had to be shipped to Germany for processing, which was costly and time consuming, so we were naturally very keen to bring a de-binding and sintering offering into the UK that will ultimately enable business to realise the enormous cost and time savings of additive manufacturing.” The development helps businesses to reduce lead times, allowing them to quicky produce prototypes and begin production with additive manufacturing, whilst avoiding expensive tooling and mould costs if high volumes are not required. Parts are produced with Ultrafuse 316L and 17-4PH filaments, which contain high levels of stainless steel and polymer binders to enable easy printing. The binder content is then removed from the printed part via a catalytic de-binding process and the part is then sintered to a high density to achieve its hardness and strength. The parts 4 - Automation Update

produced by this process are virtually identical to those produced by MIM or CNC, which are more costly manufacturing methods for small batches. Rachel Garrett, managing director of CMG Technologies, adds: “We’re very pleased to partner with 3DGBIRE and provide this full end to end service. By merging our specialist manufacturing processes, we have essentially helped businesses to costeffectively begin producing stainless steel metal components in smaller volumes, with the flexibility to easily iterate them if they need to.” To learn more about 3D Printing with BASF filaments, visit 3dgbire.com or email sales@3dgbire.com


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Why move to Automation? The Corona pandemic might have accelerated e-commerce and disrupted supply chains, but it has also increased interest in automation as a highly efficient warehousing solution.

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s a result of the pandemic, inventory management experts such as Kardex have noticed that many companies are now considering automation. This is particularly noticeable within e-commerce, where companies are seeing an increase in demands to meet the needs of their customers. This increase in orders has resulted in a need to maintain service levels. Optimised warehousing processes are one way to fulfil this need. Businesses currently working with manual inventory management face several challenges. For example, the need for staff to stretch and bend while retrieving certain goods and the time to search, pick, check, compile and send out orders. Automation reduces these steps. By making optimal use of the building's ceiling height, the goods are stored on a very compact surface or footprint. This significantly reduces running time. Items that are usually stored on 300-350 m2 with traditional storage shelves can instead be accommodated in a machine that only occupies 10-20 m2 of the storage space. Storage systems such as Kardex Compact Buffer are connected to the customer's business system and provide the means to pick up the desired items, deliver them directly to an ergonomic picking opening where laser pointers show exactly which goods are to be picked, thereby reducing the risk of error. Kardex Robomotive utilises modern robot technology to pick and deliver a seamless connection between the storage machines and the sorting or picking/packing line. Because the solution is an

"add-on", existing Kardex customers can easily upgrade their semi-automated solutions to fully automated systems. This is an advantage because they can streamline their processes significantly with minimal impact on existing structure. "Since then, we have had many examples of customers where staff have been forced to stay at home due to covid symptoms," says Debra Wilkins, UK MarCom Manager. "Automation gives an incredible advantage. The machines can work 24 hours a day if needed and they are designed to make it easy for staff to be trained in their use. At the same time, you can give the staff other tasks so that they avoid an often very monotonous and demanding job with its associated long-term ergonomic problems." Automation suits most companies that handle small and medium-sized products. Kardex collaborates with all its customers in a long-term partnership so that challenges can be overcome jointly, and smarter warehouse solutions can be developed. Their scalable system allows you to start with a smaller installation then gradually increase automation in line with business’s growth and increasing logistical challenges. Kardex is one of the world's leading manufacturers of warehouse vending machines and offers flexible, tailor-made warehouse systems. They install and service both simple, scalable solutions and large, fully automated flows for customers within such fields as e-commerce, electronics, the automotive and food industries. To understand more on the benefits of automating your warehouse; sign up for the latest webinar that covers the top trends in distribution centers in 2022 www.kardex.com

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Be Inspired by Innovation at Advanced Engineering Book your stand today to avoid disappointment

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he 13th edition of Advanced Engineering will celebrate innovation, development and growth within the UK’s manufacturing industry. There 18/02/2022 06:30:08 will be seven show zones this year — aerospace, composites, automotive, advanced metals, connected manufacturing, space and satellite and a new product testing and quality control zone. In the space and satellite zone, the ExoMars Rover, Bruno will return following huge interest at the 2021 exhibition. This year, Advanced Engineering will once again be colocated with sister show, Lab Innovations, giving visitors and exhibitors more opportunities to collaborate across sectors. It is also offering more networking opportunities with a new composites networking area and drinks reception, which will be sponsored by PRF Composites. “Over the last two years, our whole industry has learned the value of in-person interaction, both personally and professionally,” explained Alison Willis, Director at Easyfairs, the organiser of Advanced Engineering and Lab Innovations. “At last year’s event, we found that more visitors and exhibitors were attending with a purpose — whether that was to connect with a new supplier or purchase a particular piece of equipment. AE Connect, our digital platform that helps exhibitors and visitors connect and arrange meetings in advance of the show, really helped facilitate this.”

The UK’s largest gathering of OEMs and engineering and manufacturing supply chain professionals, Advanced Engineering, will return to the NEC, Birmingham on November 2 and 3, 2022. The event is shaping up to be a huge success, with 80 per cent of exhibitor space already sold. Last year saw over 7,000 people attend across the two days, including representatives from Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, Alpine F1, Ford, BAE Systems, RollsRoyce, and the Ministry of Defence. “Our industry is always innovating and releasing new technologies that are even more impressive when you see them in person. Take Advanced Engineering’s Enabling Innovation competition as an example — inperson events give start-ups like those involved in this the chance to showcase their ground-breaking products to the rest of the engineering community.” In 2022, Advanced Engineering’s smart badge system will return, meaning that attendees scan a personalised badge to receive digital literature and exchange virtual business cards with suppliers. As well as reducing the amount of paper being used, the smart badge technology also helps decrease the spread of COVID-19. Over 75 per cent of last year’s exhibitors rebooked for 2022, including Qimtek, a business that helps industry buyers and designers find new subcontract manufacturing partners. At the exhibition, marketing manager, Dean Munkley said, “The show’s been really good — far busier than I expected. We’ve probably taken more leads than we have at any show over the last three years. There was a lovely mix of people and it was great speaking to anyone from students to directors. There’s such a good variety of suppliers here too — we’ll definitely be returning.”

Exhibitor space is selling out fast. To book your stand, visit www.advancedengineeringuk.com and make an enquiry. Alternatively, you can contact our Head of Sales, Ali Farr on +44 (0)20 3196 4244. 8 - Automation Update


2 & 3 November 2022 | NEC Birmingham

The UK’s LEADING annual gathering of OEMs and engineering and manufacturing supply chain professionals An absolutely outstanding event! We’ve met many great people who we will be looking to work with in the future, and overall it has been a very successful couple of days. Matt Travis, Engineering Manager, JCB

Scan the QR code to discover the event

Association partners Composites

BOOK YOUR STAND

Trade Association

aeuk@easyfairs.com | +44 (0)20 3196 4300 advancedengineeringuk.com

Co-located with


“Every time you touch something it costs you money” The labour market continues to be challenging with new pressures that hinder efficient and sustainable production. We offer unique services to help the short-term pathways for greater productivity with existing staffing, and cost justifiable automation with shortest return on investment. The challenges and opportunities

What we can help with?

• When did you last consider automation of your processes? • Are you up to speed on market innovations, harnessing technology and people? • Do your current processes involve specific manual action or series of actions? • Have you considered using automation for each and every task carry out by people? • Are your processes seamless? If not, why not? • Do you operate a ‘pull’ method of production? • Have you applied agile and lean production principle? • Do you require training at management level to embrace best practice, or technology, or management of change for greater efficacy? • Double handling is a financial killer. Eliminate it. • Do you have a skilled workforce challenge? • Are you looking to improve and advance the profile of your workforce? • Are the skills needed available in the UK marketplace? • Could you use input from experienced experts with proven track record, improving operations performance, scope your automation possibilities and plan procurement of proven robotics and automation technologies?

• Improving current manual practices. • Implementing immediate change(s) that increases productivity. • Design of production lines for efficient flow, avoiding double handling. • Scoping proven automation to combine with best practice for ‘lean’ and ‘agile’ operation. • Management of projects for procurement of automation, including legal contracting for a smooth installation process. • Supply of proven low-cost robotics as may be appropriate and investment justified. • Development of automated solutions on exclusive basis. • Improving labour planning through use of existing government legislation. • Assisting with funding solution as applicable, including grant finance for new automation.

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How we would help and engage with your team? • A free initial 60-minute remote meeting. • Day visit to scope opportunities for improvements (this will be on a confidential and fee basis). • Initial assessment and immediate presentation with first recommendations, to be elaborated and submitted after the visit. • Report to be submitted within 5 days of the visit.

Who is in our team? • Skills Provision International: A leading Global Recruiter: www. skills-provision.com • Culmstock Technology Centre: A world leading authority on Robotics and Lean Production www.culmstocktechnology.com

How to contact us: • Website: www.skillsprovision.co.uk/contact-us • Email: enquiries@skillsprovision.co.uk • Telephone: +44 (0) 1373836776


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EXPANDED IOT OPTIONS FOR MICROSOFT AZUREAAA Companies using Microsoft Azure for Industrial IoT now have a wide range of new options available through the Skkynet DataHub® service for Azure. "The Skkynet DataHub service provides a way to securely integrate operations technology with IT on the popular and powerful Microsoft Azure platform," said Paul Thomas, President of Skkynet. "Users can now securely acquire, monitor, control, consolidate, and share their live process data. With support for standard industrial protocols like OPC UA or MQTT, they can connect directly to popular applications and programs that run on Azure, or at remote locations.

Powering AI

Some key benefits of the Skkynet DataHub service for Azure:

Integrating live processes on Azure IoT Hub

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Solve your IoT connectivity issues. Secure your OT to IT data communications. Move your IoT projects from pilot to production. Cut your Industrial IoT project costs. Reduce your cyber-security risk profile.

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AI needs data, reliable data. Ideally, an industrial AI system could securely access process data in real time, as well as send signals back to the plant floor. The Skkynet DataHub service for Microsoft Azure seamlessly feeds production data to Azure IoT Hub or any analytical engine running on the Azure platform, and can relay commands back to SCADA systems, equipment, and processes, all in real time.

Connecting to Azure IoT Hub should not require any engineering or custom code. With the Skkynet DataHub service, connecting to IoT Hub is fast, easy, and secure. Connect to IoT Hub at the edge or aggregate multiple connections in the cloud. You can integrate your live processes using standard protocols like OPC, MQTT, MQTT Sparkplug B, and Modbus, and connect SCADA systems, data lakes, and historians.


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moneo|configure SA (SA: Stand-Alone) supports you with the parameterization of your IO-Link devices and ifm IO-Link masters. The visualized representation in the cockpit simplifies setup and error diagnosis. The simple management of parameter data sets accelerates the integration of new sensors and is supplemented by the integrated online connection to the IODD finder. Ready for more? Then start your digital evolution now with moneo, the new, open and industry-independent IIoT platform from ifm.

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Fuzzy Logic and Visionic: robotics for the nuclear industry PRIMUS (Platform for Robotic Inspection and Maintenance for Unstructured Settings) developed by Fuzzy Logic and Visionic for Framatome Intercontrôle is a robotic NDT (Non-Destructive Testing) system for nuclear infrastructures. This software and hardware package is designed to be used by non-roboticist NDT operators, a major differentiating factor compared to existing solutions on the robotics and NDT markets. The collaboration between Fuzzy Logic, Visionic and Framatome began when they were working on RIMA (Robotics for Inspection and Maintenance), a European Union project that aims to establish a network of digital innovation hubs and industrial associations to support the development of robotics.

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o be deployed efficiently, today’s NDT technologies require a controlled, laboratory-like environment, which is precisely what is difficult to achieve in field conditions. This same challenge is what Framatome Intercontrôle is confronted with when inspecting components in the primary circuits of nuclear power plants (CNPE), especially in the case of specific welds such as tappings at the junction points between primary and secondary piping systems. 14 - Automation Update


In order to overcome these challenges, Framatome Intercontrôle uses industrial robots in an innovative way to solve many NDT problems. Ultrasonic detection performed by a robot characterizes the internal volumetric defects of the weld to detect possible cracks. Currently, these inspections are prepared in advance on site and require a 3D scan of the weld and measurement of the environment, each weld and environment being geometrically unique. A roboticist then calculates the robot trajectory for the future inspection. At the time of inspection, if the environment is different from the initial measurements or does not correspond exactly to the archived scan, it is no longer possible to directly adapt the prepared trajectory; the measurements and trajectory calculations must be adjusted again. However, the nuclear environment is complex and subject to very restrictive safety regulations. Each intervention is therefore costly in terms of human resources, especially since the threshold for radiation exposure of personnel is 12 millisieverts per year, which increases the cost of repairs when they become necessary. According to Mr. Yannick Caulier,

Expert I, VTI level III, COFFMET level II at Framatome / Intercontrôle: “preparing the inspections is a complex, time consuming and costly task, because the environment is not easy to model. That is why we were looking for a software package that would allow us to easily redefine trajectories so that we could adapt our inspections to the conditions in each nuclear site”. Current industrial robots and programming tools are not designed for unstructured field environments. Moreover, using and programming them requires a high level of expertise. To overcome these constraints, Fuzzy Logic and Visionic have developed the PRIMUS platform.

Primus, a unique software platform The PRIMUS Software and Hardware platform allows NDT service providers to respond to infrastructure inspection requests quickly and efficiently. It works simply, the first step is to model the environment as it is at the time of the inspection. Any additional elements that could potentially hinder the trajectory are then integrated into this modelling step, the simulation

of the process before the on-site inspection is then complete. In the second step, a robot is placed next to the welded areas of the pipes. The inspection probe must be moved with great precision, this requires the use of a robot to achieve accurate positioning and orientation. Using software developed by Fuzzy Logic, operators can set up the robot quickly, without needing to position it with great accuracy on the pipe. The 3D sensors integrated on the robot allow the robot to be quickly and easily realigned to its real environment. Trajectories can be determined in seconds with a few mouse clicks. The combination of the complex trajectory calculated by the Fuzzy Studio and the 3D scan of the weld structure by Visionic generates the inspection path adapted to the real surface. The last step consists in the inspection of the weld by ultrasound. This method has never been used for NDT before, and the results obtained are much more accurate thanks to the control of the probe positioning, with prior adjustment based on a 3D scan of the surface. Visionic supplies the robots and their optical system. Fuzzy Logic provides the enhanced agile programming Automation Update - 15


environment, allowing programming to be done by non-roboticists and eliminating many of the setup steps.

bench for developing, testing and validating the PRIMUS solution in an operational environment.

Framatome Intercontrôle contributes both the know-how and a robotic NDT weld inspection test

Thanks to the PRIMUS system, Framatome Intercontrôle’s inspection time has gone from two

weeks to one day. In addition, PRIMUS increases the efficiency, quality and safety of nondestructive testing while decreasing operator radiation exposure. Aided by the cooperation and support of the partners in the RIMA network, the PRIMUS system was developed, deployed and tested in a record time of 14 months, bringing industrial robotics to the forefront of nuclear infrastructure inspection. Yannick Caulier states, “the no-code, ergonomic and versatile software, usable on all PRIMUS robots, offers us greater accessibility than ever before. We can place the robot where we want it and generate its trajectory in a few clicks. This is one of the aspects that attracted us the most.”

A successful collaboration Ryan Lober, CEO and co-founder of Fuzzy Logic: “Framatome, like many other industrial corporations, are pushing the limits of what we think we can do with industrial robots. 16 - Automation Update


However, expert-level tools are a limiting factor. By offering a solution that is accessible to non-experts, we are paving the way for using robots in these applications, which were once thought impossible. “ According to Xavier Savin: “This specific application for Framatome, which solves a particular problem, can be transposed wherever material integrity inspections are carried out by ultrasound on surfaces whose geometry is not fully predictable. Our solution can be extended to robotic applications where a different trajectory definition is important. The more variability there is in the trajectories, the more meaningful the solution will be.” Yannick Caulier explains that the software developed for this application can be adapted for inspections of other weld types. “It

is planned to develop the prototype further, with new features and fluidity in the inspection chain.”

RIMA, a bold move The collaboration between Framatome, Fuzzy Logic and Visionic was formed in the fall of 2019, via the RIMA consortium. Framatome had a requirement that was atypical in the field of robotics. It needed a robotic solution that could be used by nonexperts. The challenge was to design a software platform to define the robot trajectories in order to adapt the inspections of pipe welding in a nuclear site. Visionic and Fuzzy Logic jointly responded, convinced of the unprecedented technological potential of their solution. RIMA subsidized the R&D costs for the Visionic and Fuzzy Logic consortium up to €300,000. “RIMA financed a technology that never existed before, in response to an atypical need. RIMA’s bold move has paid off because in 14 months,

our PRIMUS solution, developed by a start-up and an innovative SME, has demonstrated the significance of its impact in a sector that is considered very demanding”, said Ryan Lober, pleased with the success. Xavier Savin, explains, “We were aware of the commercial potential behind our technical solution. There are real opportunities for Primus on the international market. All 56 nuclear reactors in France will have to undergo major refurbishment, to enable them to continue production after 40 years of operation. Replacing piping in a nuclear plant is costly and complex. Our solution, which characterizes the defects and whose gives reliable results, makes it possible to decide on the most appropriate maintenance steps after inspection. Our solution offers the potential for considerable economic benefits. This potential can be multiplied by the number of power plants in operation in Europe and worldwide.”

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Automation Update - 17


Free to attend

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Engineering the future Celebrating the best in UK engineering excellence and innovation

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Inspiring keynotes, exclusive interviews and debates on digital transformation, automation, skills gap, brexit, cyber security and more CPD accredited case study led workshops Showcase of Britain’s market leading suppliers of the latest products and services

There has never been a more important time for our sector to pull together, to create a shared agenda, help promote and encourage manufacturing and engineering innovation and see our sectors grow. Manufacturing and Engineering Week will do exactly that and I am delighted that MAKE UK are a partner for this groundbreaking event.” _ Stephen Phipson, CBE, Chief Executive, MAKE UK

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Experience Rittal live! There are only weeks to go until the 2022 Drives & Controls exhibition which is held at the NEC Birmingham from the 5th-7th April. With a wide and diverse range of over 400 companies exhibiting , the show provides a unique opportunity for engineers to experience latest technologies in Automation, Power Transmission, Motion Control Equipment and Systems.

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s a global leader in mechanical and electrical infrastructure, you would naturally expect Rittal to have a strong presence at the show, this year we are on stand E100. For our total presence, also exhibiting is our sister company, EPLAN a leader in electrical design software on the same stand. Rittal and EPLAN provide a partnership that delivers a unique approach to the industrial automation process from design to deployment and all points in between. Discover at this year’s Drives & Controls how Rittal and EPLAN bring together a modular engineering philosophy, precise and automated Rittal Automation Systems machines, and powerful, databasedriven electrical engineering.

Rittal – The System” on show at Drives and Controls 2022 Visitors to Rittal’s Stand E100 will be able to see Rittal’s renowned infrastructure solution - widely specified as the No.1 choice for protecting critical equipment.

With a range of innovative enclosures for internal and external applications, climate control heating and cooling systems, power distribution switchboard and motor control products on display – plus some exciting new product innovations. We’re taking the opportunity to take not only our VX25 baying system but also our AX and KX range of small enclosures. These innovative ranges demonstrate how Rittal can offer time saving cost effective solutions for a wide range of industries. In addition, we’ll be show casing our new VX 25 Ri4power system, the modular based switchgear system ideally suited for both Power Distribution Systems and Motor Control Centre’s. Cooling solutions are key to effective and efficient enclosure solutions, at this year’s Drives and controls be sure to check out the new IIoT Interface. This allows Blue e+ cooling units to be networked with customer-specific monitoring and energy management systems. This in turn makes it possible to add new applications such as predictive maintenance and data analytics.

The Blue e+ range has become the industries leading enclosure cooling solution, with energy savings of up to 75% its difficult to see how Rittal could improve the range. Be sure to check out our stand for a sneak peek at our latest ground-breaking development to the Blue e+ range The Rittal team will be on-hand to discuss key issues: Our experts will be available at the show to answer some of the key issues facing the industry in today’s challenging and ever-changing environment. • How can systems and people be reliably protected against danger? • How can power consumption be made transparent and significantly reduced? • How can maintenance scenarios for cooling devices be planned in advance? • How can enclosures in the food industry be hygienically climate controlled?

UNIQUE SYMMETRY. INFINITE POSSIBILITIES. ENCLOSURES

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POWER DISTRIBUTION

CLIMATE CONTROL


• How can controller and switchgear manufacturers implement Industry 4.0 solutions, automate production processes and set up data centres quickly and easily? • How can Smart Production facilities face the change of creating IT infrastructure in harsh environments So let our teams guide and assist you with any current applications or requirements you have for protecting critical equipment and delivering game-changing industrial automation. The digitalisation of Smart Production - Shielding your IT equipment in harsh environments The development of Smart production facilities creates challenges when creating the IT infrastructure to support the latest technologies such as IOT devices, robotics and the collation of industrial analytics. Frequently these new technologies require IT to get closer to Smart production equipment to improve the speed and reliability of data communication. This means that increasingly IT has to move out of its secure computer room and be located on the factory or shop floor. Rittal will be using the event to exhibit quick and easy IT solutions for all applications. IT product highlights on display at the show will include the NEW VXIT Rack and IT cooling units.

Smart Engineering at Eplan Thanks to the synergies between EPLAN systems and Rittal products, almost all aspects of control panel manufacture can be automated, which shortens processing times, minimises the risk of errors, optimises the use of materials and increases productivity. At this year’s Drives and Controls 2022 EPLAN will be showcasing innovative solutions for enhanced engineering efficiency and the use of the digital twin.

So, If you’re attending the show be sure to visit Rittal & EPLAN on E100 to Discover how Rittal & EPLAN can deliver major productivity enhancements in your business and see how both companies provide the winning combination that will help improve efficiencies for your business. For further information on the entire Rittal range visit www.rittal.co.uk or check out our linkedin page @rittal-ltd-uk

VX25. SYSTEM PERFECTION. More options, more efficiency, less effort: This is thanks in particular to a frame profile with a 25 mm pitch pattern that is symmetrical across all levels. The VX25 is also infinitely extendable and accessible from all sides – even from the outside.

IT INFRASTRUCTURE

SOFTWARE & SERVICES

Automation Update - 19 www.rittal.co.uk


Tel: 01296 611660 Email: rk@pmgb.co.uk www.phoenix-mecano.co.uk 26 Faraday Road, Aylesbury Buckinghamshire HP19 8RU


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Automation Update - 23


Manufacturers told to be brave and use MACH 2022 to invest for the future With just a week to go until the opening of MACH 2022, the ability of the exhibition to act as a stimulus to manufacturing investment could not be timelier for an industry facing mounting cost pressures, event organiser the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) has said. The association said while the Chancellor’s Spring Statement may have offered some tactical comfort to manufacturers looking for help overcoming rising inflationary pressures, it welcomed the intention that a concerted effort to invest in new technology now would reap long term rewards for manufacturers prepared to commit to the future. 24 - Automation Update

MACH 2022, which opens its doors at the NEC in Birmingham on Monday 4th April, has the potential to be a major catalyst for new investment, featuring as it does, the largest display of new machinery and manufacturing technologies under one roof in the UK for four years. James Selka, CEO, MTA said: “I know

many within our industry have been pleased with the ongoing support to incentivise vital investment under difficult circumstances. “The national priority must be for government to add the weight of wide advocacy around the vital role UK manufacturing has to play in decarbonisation, increased exports,


workforce, the economy can produce more with the same input from workers. This aligns with the MTA’s own view that investment in machinery and improved skills have consistently delivered higher productivity levels down the years, and will continue to do so,” added Mr Selka.

levelling up and the stark realisation of the strategic importance of sovereign manufacturing capability.” Mr Selka said while growth may have been impacted by external forces, the MTA remained confident in the ability of the UK economy to recover longterm, with economic data suggesting that plans by manufacturers to invest in new software, automation, machine tools, metrology and all the associated t r a n s fo r m a t i v e m a n u f a c t u r i n g technologies over the coming twelve months remains good. “The Government says in its Spring Statement that investment remains a key driver of productivity growth and that by adding to the economy’s capital stock and improving the skills of the

“With inflation rising for the first time in decades, UK manufacturers need to implement productivity improvements now in order to avoid having margins squeezed to an unsustainable degree. Now is the time to be brave and make the investments that will reap greater rewards further down the line. With the vast array of new machines and technology on display at MACH 2022 there has never been a better time to implement investment strategies. “In order to make the step change i m p rove m e nt s i n p ro d u c t i v i t y and therefore competitiveness, manufacturers need only three things – technologies, the skill to acquire and deploy those technologies, and the finance to make it happen. Technologies have never been more powerful and affordable, the UK has an incredible reputation for its innovative and flexible workforce, and finance assisted by government incentives such as SuperDeduction and the Annual Investment Allowance is incredibly good value and

hugely available.” He said if further proof was needed then it could be found in the Spring Statement itself, where the document quotes: “The OBR expects business investment to fully recover in 2022. This has been supported by the Super-Deduction announced by the government in 2021.The UK needs to build on this momentum to encourage stronger growth in business investment and hence productivity. To achieve this, the government will cut and reform taxes on capital investment to help drive higher growth.” “Brighter times are ahead but manufacturers must shape their own destiny and by investing now, will make great strides towards a better future for everyone. The MTA stands ready to assist manufacturers in any way it can, and by staging such a timely exhibition as MACH 2022 it is making a positive contribution to future prosperity. We urge the entire manufacturing community to embrace opportunity and visit MACH 2022 for a glimpse on how that future can be achieved,” said Mr Selka. There is still time to register for the exhibition and for more details on how to register, visit www.machexhibition.com Automation Update - 25


Features Include:        

PLC Web Browser OPC UA Server WebView In Excess of 300 Communication Drivers Event Bar Chart Database Server SQL Query Energy Demand Display/Setting

sales@lamonde.com www.lamonde.com +44 (0)20 3026 2670

Lamonde Automation Limited Quality Products: Expert Advice