Engineering Update - July 2020

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July 2020



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The UK's leading manufacturer of Temperature Sensors, Thermocouple Connectors and associated Temperature Instrumentation and stockists of Thermocouple Cables. Also featured this issue:

July 2020


COMPACT HIGH FLOW FMX VALVE Coax valves UK are proud to introduce the new FMX range of compact, high flow, stainless steel externally controlled valves. With a new unique floating seat arrangement giving greater flow than comparable valves: Features of the valve include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

All wetted parts 304 stainless steel Port sizes 3/8” bsp through to 11/4” bsp Normally closed and normally open functions available Pressure range 0-16 bar in either direction meaning bi-directional flow. New design of endcap allows snap in mounting into manifold up to 5 station Unique design allows mounting of normally open and normally closed valves on same manifold Reed switch sensing available with 10 metre cable option available FKM seals with PTFE seat as standard 3/2 pilot valve available with different electrical connections available Competitively priced Valves available from stock for immediate delivery. For further details contact John Osborn at Visit Website: or


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Monitoring the world

July 2020


Thermal Imaging for Detecting Elevated Body Temperature Can thermal cameras be used to detect a virus or an infection? The quick answer to this question is no, but thermal imaging cameras can be used to detect Elevated Body Temperature. FLIR thermal cameras have a long history of being used in public spaces—such as airports, train terminals, businesses, factories, and concerts—as an effective tool to measure skin surface temperature and identify individuals with Elevated Body Temperature (EBT). In light of the global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which is now officially a pandemic, society is deeply concerned about the spread of infection and seeking tools to help slow and ultimately stop the spread of the virus. Although no thermal cameras can detect or diagnose the coronavirus, FLIR cameras can be used as an adjunct to other body temperature screening tools for detecting elevated skin temperature in high-traffic public places through quick individual screening. If the temperature of the skin in key areas (especially the corner of the eye and forehead) is above average temperature, then the individual may be selected for additional screening. Identifying individuals with EBT, who should then be further screened with virus-specific


diagnostic tests, can help reduce or dramatically slow the spread of viruses and infections. Using thermal cameras, officials can be more discrete, efficient, and effective in identifying individuals that need further screening with virus-specific tests. A The thermal camera must be able to image the inner corner variety of institutions, (tearduct) of the eye when screening for EBT. Have subjects remove glasses or any other eye obstructions before including transportation screening. agencies, businesses, What FLIR cameras are used for thermal factories, and first responders are using screening? thermal screening as an EBT detection method and as part of employee health While governments outside the and screening (EH&S). United States may choose from many different cameras, FLIR has a 510(k) Airports in particular are actively filing (K033967) with the US Food and employing FLIR thermal cameras Drug Administration (FDA) for select as part of their screening measures camera models for use as an adjunct to for passengers and flight crews. The other body temperature screening tools screening procedures implemented at to detect differences in skin surface airports and in other public places are just temperatures. These cameras include the the first step when it comes to detecting FLIR Exx-Series, FLIR T-Series, FLIR A320, a possible infection: it’s a quick way to screen for anyone who might be sick, and and Extech IR200. must always be followed up with further screening before authorities decide to quarantine a person.

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July 2020


Innovative Horizontal and Vertical Monorail System Quirepace are the UK agents for the innovative products from Telelift Logistic GmbH. The long-established Unicar product, which has been developed over the last 30+ years, has more recently been supplemented by the heavier duty Multicar system which, with its higher payload, is opening up new industrial markets. intralogistics solution. Both Unicar and Multicar can be routed at high level and within service areas where the track can be kept well away from production floors and other logistics systems, only dropping to load/unload areas in the immediate vicinity of the process to be served.

Unicar and Multicar are network monorail track systems with autonomous trolleys or cars which can move anywhere on the track network. The track can be installed horizontally, vertically and at any gradient. The original Unicar system’s traditional markets are Healthcare and Libraries with payloads up to 15kg. Multicar operates in a similar manner, with the same control software, but in a heavier duty configuration. Multicar trolleys can carry payloads up to 45kg, making the system much more suitable for industrial processes for e.g. parts delivery to

production lines, collection of output from injection moulders and small-pressings, and as part of the production line itself. Multicar can be equipped with highly customised load handling devices for

many different sizes, shapes and weights of payload. In automotive applications Multicar delivers bumper assemblies and door panels to the production line. The Unicar and Multicar tracks carry both data and power on a busbar system. The trolleys are friction driven on horizontal track sections, making them extremely safe in operation, and convert to rack and pinion on climbs.


The ability to transport payloads both horizontally and vertically without any requirement to transfer the payload to a separate lifting mechanism delivers an innovative and extremely flexible

Both Unicar and Multicar transactions can be initiated either through HMI (touchscreen terminals) or integrated with SCADA and WMS for automated control. Interface with other automated systems, such as automated load/unload stations is easily delivered through local PLC interfaces. The trolleys themselves also present both power and digital I/O for sophisticated load handling systems if required. A feature of both Unicar and Multicar is the ability to keep the payload perfectly horizontal during transportation, no matter whether the trolley is moving horizontally or vertically. This can be achieved either using a gravity pendulum system or a dynamic powered solution. Like any road system, the track network is configured to deliver the traffic handling requirement of the customer. Many cars or trolleys can be active on the network simultaneously, with one and two way tracks supplemented by switches, the layouts are configured for maximum efficiency. Both Unicar and Multicar are well established solutions in Europe and beyond and are now available in the UK through Quirepace. Contact us today and find out more about these innovative and flexible systems. Quirepace Ltd 023 9260 3700


July 2020

ROBUST, FAST & ACCURATE ROBOTS IDEAL FOR PICKING, PACKING AND DISPENSING APPLICATIONS Where automation and robotic applications require high speed and accuracy the new robust, fast, horizontally articulated YASKAWA MOTOMAN SG-Series Scara Robots are ideal. Features such as a wide range of motion, compact design and internal cabling bring important benefits for when high speed and accuracy is essential in applications such as picking, packing, dispensing and handling of small components, especially in confined spaces. Automation is making an important contribution in helping manufacturing and general industry improve productivity and reduce costs and the introduction of the SG-Series of robots will help to continue this trend, particularly where demand is increasing in sectors such as food, medical and cosmetics. Two options are available, the SG400 with a payload capacity of 3kg and a maximum reach of 400mm and the SG650 offering a payload capacity of 6kg and a maximum reach of 650mm. They feature small interference contours which allow the robots to work together while the internal cabling ensures a reliable workflow and reduces maintenance. Yaskawa has a well-established range of robots for a wide range of applications including the smaller MotoMINI GP Series and the HC Series. Part of the thinking behind the design concept of the SG Series was to combine the proven features and benefits of these into an even more compact, yet robust horizontal articulated Scara SG Series. The SG Series are driven by the compact and lightweight YRC-1000 micro controller for small Motoman robots providing high performance robot control in a small footprint cabinet which is optimized for smaller pick and place, assembly applications.

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July 2020


GASKET & SEALING COMPANIES HAVE THEIR SAY The UK Gasket & Sealing Association (UKGSA) which has been supporting UK businesses who convert materials into gaskets and seals for over 25 years, launched a Member Survey in March. Members were asked to share their views about the economy, Brexit and issues effecting their business. Results from the survey, which closed just as coronavirus (COVID-19) was breaking in the UK, are summarised below. Membership breakdown 83% of Members have a company turnover of less than £5 million and 61% of Members employ between 6 to 50 people.

in the levels of export activity, despite uncertainty around Brexit. Brexit 44% of Members felt Brexit had had a negative impact on their business. Concerns around Brexit primarily relate to import & export issues: •

• •

Investment During October 2019 to March 2020, investment in plant & machinery, workforce, training, marketing and product development had remained static with 11% declaring a decrease in workforce. Export market 95% of Members export, of which 56% saw an increase

• • •

Increased duty on imported or exported goods GBP exchange rate falling Unknown tariffs or additional tariffs Shipping costs and delays Increase in material prices Regulations


and 11% were pessimistic.

At the time of the Survey, prior to coronavirus and lock-down measures, 61% of Members were feeling optimistic about the outlook for 2020, 28% were neutral

The main challenges Members were facing were: • • • • •

• •

Brexit uncertainty Reaching clients in a crowded market Increases in labour and raw materials Low cost and low quality imports from the Far East Competitors dropping prices to chase growth in market share Consistency in supply chain Poor payment performance of customers Coronavirus impact

Simon Winfield, chairman of the UKGSA and director of MacLellan Rubber Limited, said: “The survey results make interesting reading and is something we intend to repeat later in the year so we can compare results.


“A lack of confidence in Government policy and communication on what the future looks like is affecting businesses across the UK and organisations such as the UKGSA provide a forum for member to member support, the exchange of information and to share ideas.” He added: “Now more than ever, companies need to develop strategies and alliances to ensure they maintain a commercial advantage. The UKGSA offers companies the opportunity to network at a high level and develop strategic partnerships with quality focussed, investment-driven businesses in a way they are unlikely to achieve elsewhere.” For more information about the UKGSA visit:


July 2020

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July 2020


SICK SensorApps Ensure Smooth Docking for Pallets and Dollies AN INNOVATIVE 3D camera and SensorApp solution from SICK has enabled rapid, damage-free guidance of automated and driver-assisted high-bay forklifts into pallet pockets, as well as the precise and efficient pick-up of dollies by automated guided vehicles (AGVs).

method of guidance which promises to make materials handling and logistics operations faster and more productive.” The SICK Visionary T-AP is a robust 3D imaging camera that captures highresolution 3D data with a single shot of light. It builds up a detailed and accurate real-time 3D image of fixed or moving objects with excellent results regardless of angle, surface finish, material or shape of object. It combines different aspects of the light scattered by the object to build up a detailed picture of shape, distance, reflectivity and object depth.

The SICK Pallet Pocket and SICK Dolly Positioning SensorApps run on SICK’s Visionary T-AP 3D time-of-flight snapshot camera. They promise to cut out delays associated with lining up both automated and manual forklifts to load pallets in high-bay warehouses, as well as positioning AGVs to collect dollies. The new Apps, developed in SICK’s AppSpace software environment, work by positioning the camera in front of the pocket or dolly chassis within a working range of 1.5m to 3m. Using a single shot of light, the SICK Visionary T-AP 3D camera captures a 3D image, then pre-processes and evaluates the coordinates of the pallet pocket or space under the dolly, before outputting to the vehicle controller. The information can also be sent to a driver display to aid manual forklift operation, particularly useful in high-bay warehouses.


“For autonomous industrial trucks, and in manual high-bay forklift operations, where the driver cannot easily judge where the forks are entering into the pallet pockets, there is a high risk of damage to the forks, pallets, bay or the products themselves. Manually, it’s a trial and error process of aiming for the correct position, which can be time consuming. Automated systems using distance or photoelectric sensors could require significant programming effort and may not be as reliable,” explains Neil Sandhu, SICK’s UK Product Manager for Imaging, Measurement and Ranging. “To position an AGV to approach and slot neatly under a dolly can be slow and prone to error if relying on work instructions, marks on the floor, or point by point navigation. SICK has developed these new SensorApps to offer a highly reliable, robust new

The SICK Pallet Pocket and SICK Dolly Positioning SensorApps are supplied already loaded onto the SICK Visionary T-AP camera and ready for use. As self-contained hardware components, they are easy to fit to existing machinery, as well as being available for use in new industrial truck designs. Setting up the sensor is easy with the SICK SOPASair configuration and diagnostics tool, and it can be easily adjusted to a wide range of pallet and dolly types. The SICK Visionary T-AP uses Timeof-Flight measurement of a light signal between the device and the target for each point of the image. The CCD/ CMOS imager develops a pixel matrix, with each pixel containing depth and intensity information. The camera is designed to capture more than 25,000 distance and intensity values to create real time 3D images at up to 30 frames per second. For more information please contact Andrea Hornby on 01727 831121 or email

Power Security & Back-Up

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

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Instruments Ltd

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Tel: +44 (0) 1206 575755 Email:


July 2020


SIMMATIC GETS A GRIP ON ODDLY SHAPED OBJECTS The latest V-Grip range of foam-faced grippers from vacuum experts Simmatic provides a convenient and effective solution to the problem of reliably picking up irregularly shaped and porous objects. V-Grip grippers need only a compressed air supply to operate and can confidently be used to pick up even the most delicate of objects with minimal risk of damage. The grippers feature a strong but lightweight aluminium body frame, which makes them ideal for use on robot arms where the maximum load may be limited. Their gripping surface is faced with vacuum cups or EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) foam, which deforms in use to give an excellent seal irrespective of the shape of the object being picked up. The foam is also soft, ensuring gentle handling, and durable to guarantee a long working life. A key benefit of V-Grip grippers is that they have integrated VMECA vacuum cartridges, which means that they require no external vacuum pumps or vacuum pipework. This makes them easy to install and since the vacuum cartridges have no moving parts, almost no maintenance is needed. The grippers also incorporate air filters together with user-adjustable check valves that can be set to give a wide range of air flow settings, so, the lifting force generated by the gripper exactly matches the requirements of the application.

GM-series products in the V-Grip range are 130 mm wide and are available in various lengths from 220 mm to 1,200 mm. Simmatic can also supply larger grippers with

similar characteristics and features and for applications that require small grippers, the company offers the Mini Grip range. This features models from 16 mm to 60 mm wide and as with the GMseries products, they can be supplied in a variety of lengths. As with all of their products, Simmatic backs V-Grip grippers with an expert support service, which includes providing advice and guidance on product selection, applications, installation and maintenance.


July Page 20201 ENGINEERING PDATE DS-OCT12-BLACKFAST_Layout 1 20/09/2012 16:28

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

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July 2020


Telsonic’s ultrasonic technology helps HJ PNC in the fight against COVID-19 Since the COVID-19 pandemic started to take hold around the world, there has been a serious shortfall in the availability of face masks. However, in March, Korean based HJ PNC ( started manufacture of fully automated mask production machines to tackle this issue head on. For these masks to be effective, it is essential that the highest quality standards are maintained, and to meet demand, the machines must also maintain high levels of productivity at all times. Telsonic’s ultrasonic technology, renowned worldwide for its reliability and durability, is at the heart of these machines and a key element in the mask production process. Currently, HJ PNC are producing seventy fully automated machines per month, which are delivered to customers in Korea and also around the world. Co-president of HJ PNC and president of Zhongtai Korea - Mr. Shaun Youn commented: “Although it is only a small mask, it helps to save lives. Therefore, HJ PNC and Telsonic will continue to cooperate to manufacture mask production machines of the highest quality & performance.” WEARING A MASK IS A SIGN OF RESPECT

Co-presidents of HJ PNC - Left: Mr. Hunseob Byoun and Right: Mr. Shaun Youn

“This mask says, I respect the nurses and doctors who lost their lives to this virus to save other people. This mask says I respect the essential workers who get up every day and drive the bus, or drive the train, or deliver the food, or keep the light on, so that I can stay home, and I can stay safe. It says, I respect others, and I respect you. That

HJ PNC are producing 70 fully automated machines per month


is a statement that we should all be willing to make any day. It is not about me, it is about we. That is how you battle community spread with community unity. The least gratitude you can show to essential workers is at least wear the mask so you don't infect more people" Gov. Andrew Cuomo


July 2020

Forerunner. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. The Sensor People have been setting technological standards in industrial automation for more than 50 years. This is how we ensure the success of our customers in an industry that is ever evolving. We have been a forerunner from the start, and we are working on standardizing industrial communication. Among other things, we make sensors that are capable of transmitting data to control systems and the cloud via IO-Link and OPC-UA.

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July 2020


Manufacturers unite to target reshoring opportunities and new supply chain capability A new initiative designed to build UK industrial capability and increase reshoring has got off to a flying start after £625,000 of orders were placed in the first few weeks. UK Manufacturing Unite (#UkMfgUnite) has been launched in response to the national effort to produce more critical components and essential equipment at home and is the first step in the sector’s fightback against the damaging effects of Covid-19. Created and run by manufacturers for manufacturers, the movement is urging more firms to come together to collaborate, share practice and find practical solutions for developing domestic supply chains. Over 100 companies - ranging from AW Precision, Brandauer, Bruderer UK and Composite Integration to ENL, Fife Fabrications and Photofab - have already signed up to the online platform that will act as a central place for sourcing supply solutions or getting answers to issues businesses are facing. “We wanted an idea that would bring the manufacturing community together by simply asking, ‘what do you need help with and are you in a position to help others?’ Why? Because as a nation, we need something to happen, right now,” commented Garry Myatt, Collaboration Director at #UkMfgUnite. “Covid-19 has underlined the need for engineers to pull together, to innovate as allies and to build our networks closer to home so we can mitigate supply chain risk. Ultimately, what we need are collaborating engineers - ‘sharing networks, disciplines and advice’.”


He continued: “Collaborationeers, if you like, are a new breed of manufacturer evolving day by day to tackle the critical challenge of helping to care for a nation, to build economic stability, to increase UK productivity, encourage reshoring and ultimately lay down a foundation for future generations to come.” is now live and will be the focal point of the initiative, offering an online directory where companies can find suppliers, opportunities and answers to manufacturing concerns. Each company will have a listing and a description of what they do, with the opportunity to post thought leadership articles and best practice blogs, not to mention provoking conversation with an interactive forum. There will also be a section for videos showcasing collaborations, state-ofthe-art manufacturing facilities and new technologies being developed in the UK. “With any new initiative, it’s great to get off to a positive start with a few ‘wins’,” added Garry. “We got this immediately when a request was tabled for a UK manufacturer of cable looms in high volumes to support the Ventilator

Challenge UK consortium. PP Control & Automation successfully tendered and is now in the process of manufacturing 50,000 units in just four weeks. “This was quickly followed by two members working together to source and manufacture vital PPE, whilst another six enquiries have been logged this week alone.” #UkMfgUnite is looking to get to 100 members by the end of June. It is open primarily to all manufacturers regardless of size, sector or specialism and there is an additional option for associate supporters to join who are passionate about the future of UK manufacturing. The concept, which is not-for-profit, is hoping to play a central role in bringing work back to this country and building supply chain capability so that we avoid some of the issues seen during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For further information, please visit or follow @ukmfgunite on twitter

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July 2020


The Changing World of Special Purpose Machine Design Neil Wyke, managing director of Georg UK, discusses the impact of changes he’s seen in machine design over a 40 year career. Since entering the drawing office as an 18 year old, there have been so many changes in the world of machine design and engineering, some for the better and regrettably some not so. Those early years were spent learning how to draw using wooden pencils and tracing paper, and how to print and get your lines the correct thickness and density to the BS308 drawing standard. Then, once you had done your early years copying, tracing and detailing, you were gradually taught how to manually calculate material stress, deflection, torques and powers. The advent of electronic calculators to replace slide rules and curta’s was a major step forward, but still the old rule of thumb approach from the senior designers and chief draughtsmen stood firm: “if it looks right it is right”, “if you have calculated the stress at an acceptable 5tons/sq inch make it thicker just in case”.



July 2020

These early years not only taught you how to draw, they set out an accepted way of working in the engineering design offices that customers respected and drew confidence from. Sadly, throughout the late 1980’s/1990’s traditional design and

engineering establishments were slowly reduced as our UK engineering base was eroded in the face of cheaper foreign imports. With this decline it is well documented that we lost the skilled engineering staff who possessed a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Purchase documents that puts the onus onto the design-builders to take an all-encompassing liability for the machine specification and supply. This approach has led to an almost paranoia with reliance on insurances and legal personnel overtaking the design processes.

The era of computers and CAD machines took over and old fashioned drawing board skills and practices were in decline. Routines established over many decades were pushed aside and companies were forced to “follow” the way the computer programme allowed you to work. In many instances, design offices were distracted by day to day discussions about how the drafting programme worked rather than the machine being designed.

New design and software packages are now being more widely introduced into special purpose machinery that allow new developments to be interrogated thoroughly prior to manufacture, such as stress analysis, software verification etc. The combination of mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic and software packages are now allowing virtual commissioning to take place proving functionality in the design phase and destressing the build, installation and testing of special purpose equipment.

Slowly, with the lack of new trainees coming into the design offices, the traditional skills were lost to both the machine design-builders and end user customers whose experienced engineers had traditionally controlled machine specifications through the knowledge of their business and processes. This situation led to the exacting specifications and requirements traditionally being presented to design offices and suppliers of special purpose machinery being either over or under stipulated. With the loss of engineers, both on the customer side and the supplier side, these specifications and requirements were left to either purchasing staff or production personnel who may not totally appreciate or understand the engineering matters that need addressing in designing one-off, special purpose machinery. The result of this situation in many instances ended in the machinery supplied falling short of the expectations of the customer. We therefore inherited a situation whereby the skills shortage, combined with the over reliance on computer design packages, resulted in a lack of understanding in the specification, design and supply of special purpose machinery.

At Heinrich Georg we have engineers who have first-hand experience of these changing times from the drawing board to the new approach using technology to reduce the risk for both the customer and ourselves. We find that the simulation of a machine in operation on a CAD–Software programme displayed in real time and 3D imagery has the effect of engaging both designer and customer thus producing equipment that meets expectations. No longer is the phrase “if it looks right it is right” an acceptable answer to a problem; the correct application of design technology allows us to prove a design and give our customers confidence. This approach is now used across all our business areas including aerospace, automotive and rail test rigs, steel and aluminium coil processing and special purpose automation. New innovations being introduced into these traditional areas include smart machines, industry 4.0 technology and predictive maintenance giving better levels of machine availability and greener, more efficient solutions.

In many instances there has been a move to address this situation by means of Terms and Condition of


July 2020


SMB Bearings sponsors Great Britain rowing record attempt Ceramic bearing specialist, SMB Bearings has partnered with ocean rowers, Gus Barton and Duncan Roy as they attempt to break the world record for the fastest unsupported row around Great Britain. SMB Bearings will be sponsoring the rowing duo by providing two sets of full ceramic bearings for their adjustable rowing boat seats. The event which will commence in June 2020, will see the athletes row 2,000 miles around the British mainland, aiming to break the world record which currently stands at 41 days, 4 hours and 38 minutes. That’s not all, the rowers will be supporting NHS Charities Together, raising vital funds for our health service during this extraordinarily challenging time. Following the success of a previous transatlantic rowing application, SMB Bearings was brought on board due to its specialist knowledge of selecting bearings for marine environments. The full ceramic bearings were chosen due to their extreme weather and corrosion resistance properties. The bearings are unaffected by seawater and


operate seamlessly when permanently submerged, which could make that allimportant difference to the performance of the team. “Most rowers use stainless steel bearings, but then have to spend time after a hard day’s rowing replacing bearings because they have rusted,” said Chris Johnson, managing director of SMB Bearings. “We supplied full ceramic bearings made of zirconium dioxide, which is perfectly suited to corrosive seawater conditions. This will have a positive impact on the level of exertion required and the ease of rowing.” “Rowing around Great Britain is considered to be more challenging than

rowing across the Atlantic Ocean,” explained Duncan Roy. “We’ll be battling extreme weather, some of the world’s strongest tides, ripe tides, storms, while navigating through busy shipping lanes and rocky coastlines. We’ll need to make sure our equipment is up to the job, which is why we contacted SMB Bearings.” “Our core values of resilience and adaptation to change, will be put to the test during this challenge,” added Gus Barton. “Preparation has been key and I’m not just talking about the long hours of training. Everything from our calorie intake to the smallest boat mechanical elements, such as bearings, has been meticulously planned. We’re excited to see the performance impact of using full ceramic bearings in our boat.” To discover more information about SMB Bearings’ full ceramic bearing range, visit the company’s website. Alternatively contact an SMB Bearing expert by emailing

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July 2020


Industrial Machine Vision cameras At ALRAD IMAGING we know selecting the correct camera for a Machine Vision application can be a daunting task. In this article we feature just a few of our extensive range of cameras that can be used for industrial applications. The Imaging Source range of cameras offer users many different types of area scan cameras for Machine Vision with either colour or monochrome sensors and a variety of resolutions ranging from VGA to 42 MegaPixels. Camera outputs on offer are USB2, USB3, USB3.1, and GigE. Most models use Sony CMOS sensors: Starvis with rolling shutter, and Pregius or Pregius S with global shutter, offering frame rates of up to 539 fps (using an 0.4 Mega Pixel sensor). The cameras with GigE interface allow for cable lengths up to 100m and multi-camera set ups, while maintaining data rates of up to 100MB/s; the GigE Vision standard ensures rapid integration of hardware and image processing software, making the cameras ideal for applications in production, inspection and quality assurance. A variety of input, output, strobe and trigger options are available via the Hirose port. The newest "38 Series" cameras


feature the ix Industrial® Ethernet interface which uses an integrated locking system to deliver high shock and vibration resistance in industrial environments. Details of all the cameras in this series can be found at by clicking here In addition to cased cameras, there is also available a selection of OEM board cameras with USB2, USB3 and GigE interfaces. These are ideal for customers who want to build a high quality machine vision camera into their own equipment. OMRON Sentech offer a truly extensive range of products for Machine Vision applications. In addition to cameras with outputs similar to The Imaging Source, they also offer industrial cameras with CameraLink, CoaXPress and DVI/ SDI, as well as analogue outputs. Resolutions range from 0.3 to 25 MegaPixels. High output speeds can range from 520 fps for a 0.3 MegaPixel camera and up to 180 fps for a 4 MegaPixel camera. CameraLink and GigE Linescan cameras are also available.

With such a comprehensive range of cameras, Alrad can cover a wide variety of applications by offering a suitable sensor, interface, optic and lighting solution for your particular machine vision application. Alrad has available frame grabbers and cabling to interface to any of the cameras mentioned above but there is no substitute to discussing your exact requirements with one of are experienced sales staff. Turnpike Road Industrial Estate, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2NS, Tel 01635 30345, Email Web

July 2020


New Cognex In-Sight D900: First Industrial Smart Camera Powered by Deep Learning Cognex Corporation recently introduced the In-Sight® D900 embedded vision system. A firstof-its kind solution, the In-Sight D900 features Cognex’s ViDi™ deep learning software inside an In-Sight industrial-grade smart camera. Combining the self-learning ability of a human inspector with the robustness and consistency of a vision system, the In-Sight D900 expands the limits of what can be inspected in factory automation. The system, which can be setup using a small number of sample images, leverages Cognex’s familiar and easy-to-use spreadsheet platform and does not require a PC or deep learning expertise to deploy. The In-Sight D900 is ideal for automating complex inspection applications across a range of industries including automotive, consumer electronics, consumer products, packaging, food and beverage, medical devices, and logistics. Decodes challenging OCR applications in minutes The In-Sight D900 deciphers badly deformed, skewed, and poorly etched codes using optical character recognition (OCR). The In-Sight ViDi Read tool works right out of the box, dramatically reducing development time, thanks to the deep learning pretrained font

library. Users simply define the region of interest and set the character size. In situations where new characters are introduced, without vision expertise, this robust tool can be retrained to read applicationspecific codes that traditional OCR tools are not able to decode. Performs fast and accurate assembly verification The In-Sight D900 uses artificial intelligence to reliably detect complex features and objects and verifies parts and kits are assembled correctly based on their location within a pre-defined layout. The In-Sight ViDi Check tool can be trained to create an extensive library of components, which can be located in the image even if they appear at different angles or vary in size. Analyzes complex defect detection tasks The In-Sight ViDi Detect Tool learns from images of good parts in order to identify defective parts. ViDi Detect is ideal for finding anomalies on complex parts and surfaces, even in situations where defects can be unpredictable in their appearance. Deployed on powerful, customizable vision systems In-Sight ViDi applications on the In-Sight D900 can be deployed without a PC. This highly-modular, IP67-rated deep learning vision system includes fieldchangeable lighting, lenses, filters, and covers that can be customized to match the user’s exact application requirements. It also includes an embedded inference engine that is specifically designed to solve complex deep learning applications at production line speeds.

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July 2020

Three-Axis Handling with Tray Re-circulation System mk have designed a fully automated system for a customer who required a palletiser with a connected tray recirculation system. This custom solution uses cost-effective standard components and adapted special functions which allows pallet trucks to be used to feed Euro pallets into the system. The palletiser which de-stacks the filled trays from the Euro pallets then feeds them into the recirculation system. They are then conveyed to an index station, where a customer-provided robot removes the workpieces from the trays. The empty trays are conveyed back to the palletiser, where they are stacked on empty pallets and made available to be transported away. The system is able to recognise and handle different tray types and different stack heights on the pallets. Crucially, the machine is also built from components that are as tough as possible and are able to operate autonomously for up to 14 hours. mk used their extensive profile range for the transport system with feeding and removal of pallets via heavy-duty roller conveyors. Alignment of tray stacks was achieved using pneumatic positioning units with approach angle attachments. A 3-axis palletiser gantry, consisting of LZR 2005 linear modules with a rotating gripper and balancing stroke compliments this. A tray recirculation system, consisting of KTF-P 2010 chain conveyors, was combined with lifting units. Finally, an index station and device is utilised to hold down the trays so the workpieces can be removed by a customer-provided robot.



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July 2020


Bülte’s latest news. Founded in 1956 by Norbert Bülte, the company Bülte is specialized in plastic protection parts and plastic and plastometallic fasteners. Most of the company’s 30,000 references are manufactured in Germany, but Bülte also responds to its customers’ specific requests for custom-made products.

Present in France, the United Kingdom and Germany, Bülte delivers its products all over the world and accompanies wide range of industries, including military, food processing, furniture, medical and aerospace, with a follow-up and personalised advice, favouring human contact. For more than 60 years, Bülte has benefited from the most efficient know-how and dynamism, with a strong emphasis on quality, flexibility and reactivity. Bülte’s activity over the last two years has been very good, with many projects under development, new products and the launch of part of its 3D product catalogue online. In fact, the company specializing in plastic and plastometallic protective and fastening parts improves engineering efficiency and the digital experience of its customers with instant 3D downloads. A few months ago, the company put online a brand-new 3D product catalogue. Thanks to instant


downloads of 3D models from its site, Bülte improves the experience and efficiency of its customers by enabling them to speed up their design process. Like any company, the Covid-19 crisis has somewhat slowed the company’s momentum towards 2020. In France, the site was partly closed during 3 months with sales teams working from home and shipping goods at a slower pace. Even if the activity was reduced by 40%, nothing ever totally stopped, production continued as well as the delivery of goods to our customers. In our German branch, everyone came to work in turn, without the site having to be closed at all. Everyone was able to make efforts to apply the new hygiene rules and barrier gestures in force, such as wearing masks, regular disinfection of common premises and equipment, the distance to be respected between each person, the introduction of traffic flows in the buildings, and so on... This crisis being global and worldwide, it has brought us closer to our customers,

who have been very understanding since they have had to face the same difficulties and changes as we have. Our relationships have been changed for the better, they have become even more humane than before. Of course, we are aware that the activity of the year 2020 will be less than in previous years, we will undoubtedly see a decrease in turnover of around 15%, but we are adapting and continue to develop new products with soon the launching of our new “Bülte locking and sealing washers Plastomet”. In the future, whatever the necessary changes to be applied in our working environment, our priority remains the creation of a close relationship with our customers. The company’s technical-sales teams will go on providing customers with personalised support to guide them in their choice of products and respond to their requests. Website:


60 Y E A R S


BÜLTE Plastics (UK) LTD 8 Basepoint Centre, Harts Farm Way Havant - Hampshire PO9 1HS United Kingdom Tel. : (+44) 023 9244 9606 /

July 2020


Drive Coupling Failure: Hero or Villain? What’s The True Answer? No one would argue that couplings play a crucial role in the drive train, connecting the prime mover to the driven equipment to deliver reliable and efficient operation. Drive couplings generally go unnoticed, often operating in adverse and demanding environments, absorbing the dynamic effects of the mechanical stresses unique to their application. It is only when the coupling appears to fail, that questions are asked, and the debate begins. Did the coupling actually fail, or did it perform as designed? In this article David Proud, General Manager of Reich Drive Systems UK, explores the two opposing points of view to determine if the coupling really is the villain, or indeed the hero of the hour. It is true that a coupling is like many other proprietary engineering items. They are essential for successful operation, for example in the same way that a spring is within a valve, yet generally unseen and often forgotten, that is until the drive train is interrupted. Drive couplings, when specified correctly, will operate reliably, generally with little or no ongoing maintenance, for extended periods. Once installed and running, little thought will be given to the reasons for selecting a particular coupling, or indeed the operational criteria used as part of the selection process. However, as for any mechanical item, drive couplings are designed to perform within a pre-determined operational envelope, albeit with a built in factor of safety. If, during operation, the mechanical or environmental influences change significantly, especially for an extended period, the coupling will eventually fail. In many instances, the coupling will be seen as the culprit, however it is essential to remember that the coupling is also the “fuse” in the drive train, and the fact that it has failed may mean that it has actually saved other far more expensive equipment from significant damage.


If, and when a coupling does fail, it is essential that a detailed review of the complete drive train is undertaken to establish the true cause. It could be the case that the coupling was put under undue stress due to changes in operating conditions a result of heat, over torque, in service misalignment, higher than anticipated speeds, or perhaps the overall environment within which it has been operating has changed significantly. Any combination of these criteria could lead to the coupling operating beyond its design parameters, and whilst it was still operating it was effectively masking other potentially more serious issues. So, in many cases, the coupling, operating as designed has acted as a mechanical fuse, interrupting the drive train and ensuring that the equipment either side of the coupling are protected from harm – the hero of the hour. To ensure that the coupling you choose will operate as required, and importantly, protect the drive train if things start to go wrong, it is essential that consideration is given to all aspects of the application. David Proud has also authored a series of complementary informative article covering topics such as:

specifying drive couplings, the consequences of incorrect coupling selection, overcoming vibration, the costs of unplanned downtime and the effects of torsional vibration. These articles can be found on the company’s Linkedin (https://www. and Twitter ( social media platforms. With a history spanning over 70 years, REICH has built up unrivalled expertise in the design and manufacture of drive couplings for use across a wide range of industries and applications. The company has earned an enviable reputation not only for the quality and performance of their product range, but also for their ability to provide application and customer specific solutions through the company’s D2C (Design to Customer) philosophy. For more information please contact: Mr David Proud General Manager Reich Drive Systems UK Limited Unit 4, Bankside Business Park Coronation Street Stockport Cheshire SK5 7PG Telephone +44(0) 161 714 4191 Website -


July 2020

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July 2020


Rittal Unveils New AX and KX Enclosure Ranges

Millions of customers worldwide rely on Rittal compact and small enclosures. However, Rittal has raised the bar with its new AX compact enclosure and KX small enclosure ranges. Each are designed to offer customers both consistent data delivery and a myriad of other benefits, including a 30 percent reduction in assembly time, 30 percent more space for cables and no less than 30 new features. Simple Translation of Parts Lists The company is giving full support to users to help them make the switch to the new systems. One example is its online conversion tool (, which is based on parts lists in Excel. The user simply uploads an existing parts list – for example from an existing project – to the website. They then receive a parts list for the new AX or KX components.


For customers who use EPLAN Data Portal there is another option which uses the new shopping cart function of EPLAN data portal. They upload a complete project parts list to the shopping cart of the Data Portal and all Rittal components, including the relevant macros for the new enclosures and compact enclosures, are then available in their parts database thereby saving huge amounts of time compared to individual downloads. Migration Tool in Rittal Configuration System Customers who configure their compact and small enclosures with the Rittal Configuration System also have a very convenient conversion tool. The system works on the basis of electronically stored sets of rules and its inbuilt plausibility check prevents incorrect or unsuitable parts from being displayed. Further machining operations – such as cut-outs for fans-and-filter units – are created within the system and

users that have already configured projects in this way can simply upload the existing configuration to the new migration tool. Once the tool is launched, a traffic light system provides a quick response: green means that all necessary components have been transferred to the new configuration while a yellow symbol indicates that the user should check the configuration. A red symbol means that the system has spotted problems ie. instances where components have been put at odds with each other. An example would be if cut-outs have been slightly displaced from their original location. Users can then, very simply, correct and/or add to the configuration. The end result is a 3D model of the new AX compact enclosure or KX small enclosure, plus a parts list and the processing programmes for the mechanical machining centres for downloading.

July 2020

Bad news for your business! Coronavirus, Brexit, redundancies, social distancing, reduced cash flow! If that’s not enough! Now needing to replace nPB solvent for vapour degreasing is another problem to worry about as it is no longer available. Don’t panic it not too late to change and comply as we have “drop in” replacements which are guaranteed to give the same results within you budget and no increase in usage. It is late but we can give you the information to easily make the change in a day without fuss. You have questions - of course - for example: How can it be so simple? The EnSolv range of stabilised nPB based vapour degreasing solvents is the market leader in this field worldwide. EnviroTech Europe the manufacturers know this product inside out with hundreds of satisfied users around the world. We have been championing nPB as a cleaning solvent to the EU authorities for twenty years regarding classification. Over this time EnSolv gained more and more of the market, unfortunately being a small family orientated, customer focused company with limited cash and resources the Commission ignored the evidence and banned nPB for use as a vapour degreasing solvent with the sunset date in July 2020. If you are interested in the history, it is all explained in detail on our website. With our extensive knowledge of user needs EnviroTech Europe, during the intervening years, have developed new compliant solvent formulations which are simple drop-in replacements.




No new equipment needed, guaranteed results and no extra set up costs to worry about. We can’t guarantee that more changes will not happen in the future but you will have a seamless change over and we will then in time let you evaluate our new generation wonder product which has zero global warming and zero ozone depletion, at a very competitive cost. Right that’s one problem out of the way, sorry we can’t help with the others! Talk to us about whether EnSolv CC-A or ProSolv will be the best choice for your application. Advice, literature, changeover instructions are all available to make the change quickly, easily and at no extra cost of usage. For more information about replacing nPB please visit

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


July 2020


Inspiring the next generation of female engineers UNESCO reports a striking gender disparity in STEM education. In higher education, only 35 per cent of students enrolled in STEM-related fields are female. After I completed my undergraduate degree, I had the chance to work in the aerospace sector when I was accepted onto a graduate scheme working on new Airbus aircraft. My role specifically looked at passenger flow rate and designing floor supports. This position allowed me to understand the difference between academic and real-world engineering. It was during this course that I decided I wanted to pursue a Master’s in aerospace engineering.

Anjali Shekhar, product development engineer at global composites manufacturer Exel Composites, knew she was destined to work in engineering from the first time she saw the stars at a school workshop. Ahead of Women in Engineering Day on June 23, 2020, Shekhar discusses how she has developed her career and what can be done to encourage future generations. I first knew I wanted to pursue a career in engineering during a school stargazing workshop. At the time, I realised that one day I wanted to work in an industry that would bring me closer to what we had studied. I initially set my goal to become an astrophysicist, but I quickly realised that I wanted to use my practical


skills. After some research, I decided that aeronautical engineering would provide me with the career that I wanted. This choice took my family by surprise, because aeronautical engineering was an unconventional engineering pathway — it was a very new subject and was more practical than many other engineering careers. Out of the near 50 students enrolled on the course, only five of us were female. However, we found that we were sometimes more capable at some of the practical skills than the males in class. In fact, during the programme most of my peers came to me for help with welding — a stereotypically maledominated skill that I excelled at.

In 2018, while finishing my master’s programme, I secured a position at Exel Composites as a product development engineer. During my interview, I was taken to see the production line, which allowed me to not only see the practical side of the role, but also get a feel for the company culture. The team at Exel has helped me learn about the development of composites and the variety of uses the material has across several industrial applications, some of which I already had experience of from in my previous roles. The next generation There is still plenty that needs to be done to encourage more women into the STEM sector. While the number of women in engineering is improving, especially thanks to initiatives such as UNESCO’s global learning crisis report and the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) National

Women in Engineering Day, a lot more can be done to raise the profile of female engineers. I think there are also huge opportunities for women currently working in STEM roles to inspire the next generation. Prospective students aren’t always aware of just how vast the engineering field is and the endless possibilities it holds, yet capturing the next generation’s imagination at a young age is vital. It's also vital for larger organisations to help bridge the gap, while being mindful of avoiding any bias when interviewing and hiring new staff. It’s important that engineers are hired based on their abilities and experience, rather than just being recruited for a quota fulfilling exercise. Once in the industry, female engineers also have a responsibility to support those around them. This could be through mentoring colleagues or students, of all genders, or supporting initiatives such as the WES National Women in Engineering Day. Engineering is a problemsolving industry, but the only way to have innovative problem solving is by incorporating as many different perspectives as possible. Women have a lot to give to the field and I believe we should be doing as much as possible to encourage and inspire the next generation, just like I was at my school workshop.

July 2020


Space Ready Optics for Satellite Data Relay Systems Resolve Optics is a leading OEM designer and supplier of high performance optical systems for satellite data relay systems Mark Pontin, Managing Director of Resolve Optics Ltd. commented "Because of the growing international demand for data, telecom and satellite communication, operators are faced with needing to deliver massive data quantities without significant delays. "Consequently, demand for new and improved satellite data relay systems

Optical systems used in satellite data relay systems also have to meet additional basic requirements to survive the harsh environment of space.

incorporating our high performance space-ready optics is expanding rapidly. He added “The Earth orbit that satellite data relay systems operate in determines how much radiation the optics they incorporate will be required to withstand. All optical elements within our radiation tolerant optical designs are made using cerium oxide doped

These optics must be constructed of specific materials that will not outgas when exposed to the vacuum of space and all significant air spaces should be vented to avoid pressure on and distortion of the optical elements. Drawing upon nearly 30 years experience – Resolve Optics has built a strong reputation for specialist lens design and manufacture of smaller production quantities of high performance precision lenses


glass or synthetic silica enabling them to withstand radiation doses of up to 100,000,000 rads and temperatures up to 55°C without discoloration or degradation of performance. "Our radiation resistant optics provide high image resolution and minimum geometric distortion from 400 to 750nm”.

and optical products on time to strict quality and target price guidelines. The company’s technological expertise in designing and supplying high performance, radiation-resistant optical systems for spaceborne projects is widely acknowledged. To discuss a high performance, radiation resistant optical design for your satellite system please contact Resolve Optics on +44-1494-777100 /

July 2020


Ultrasonic thickness gauges for Quick & Accurate Measurements – even through thick coatings In the field of industrial ultrasonic testing, ultrasonic thickness measurement is a method of carrying out Non Destructive Testing (NDT) of the thickness of a solid element (normally metal - although many other solid engineering materials - such as HDPE – can be measured).

While a thickness gauge is accurate and relatively inexpensive, the chief advantage of this type of instrument is that access to only one side of the material is required to take a measurement - making this type of instrument ideal for inspecting levels of wear and tear and corrosion on hollow structures such as pipe work and pressure vessels.

replace – these often expensive coatings).

The Cygnus 4+ unit is an extremely accurate and simple to use ultrasonic thickness gauge and as such is perfect for testing levels of wear and corrosion on industrial machinery, factory infrastructure, boiler tubes and pressure vessels. This unit has been rigorously tested to military specification: drops Additionally, Cygnus Instruments from height onto concrete; (a UK-based global expert for extreme vibrations and; extreme over 30 years in the design temperatures – and is also and manufacture of thickness completely environmentally gauges) has developed a sealed to IPX7 and IP6X. specialist niche in making And while the Cygnus 4+ with instruments that measure intuitive menus and a large remaining substrate thickness colour LCD display has been “through” protective coatings specifically designed to be (alleviating the engineer of the easy to operate, it also has an need to remove – and then 42|

The technique used is based on the time taken by the ultrasound wave that is introduced by a piezo electric crystal (“the probe”) to return back to the surface of the material.

excellent array of key features including: versatile measuring modes (multiple-echo, singleecho and echo-echo); an A-scan display that helps to verify true back wall readings in difficult measuring applications; data logging that stores up to 500,000 readings; and the Cygnus developed MSI™ system - which verifies stable and reliable readings. To find out more information, visit Alternatively, call us on +44 (0) 1305 265533 or email


July 2020

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


July 2020


A different approach to metrology Bringing measurement into the production process Quality is often seen as a policing mechanism, rather than a vehicle for improvement. What manufacturers may not realise is by using metrology to police, rather than improve, they are missing out on a myriad of benefits. Here Mike G John, head of engineering at industrial metrology specialist, The Sempre Group, shares insight on how to incorporate metrology into production. The underlying culture in British industry has always been to treat production and quality as two separate entities. Both have their individual targets and the two are often at loggerheads, despite being part of the same process. As a result, coordinate and other essential measurement solutions aren’t used until late in the manufacturing process, when components are taken off the production line to be measured. As well as being a much slower approach, by this stage, it could be too late to rectify any issues. If the product is found to be defective, time and energy has already been wasted on a product that could have been scrapped or saved earlier in the production process. The manufacturer has also lost the opportunity to identify the root cause of any problems. Consequently, it becomes unclear why parts, such as sheet metal components, are not up to specification or aren’t industry compliant — the manufacturer does not know at what stage things went wrong, let alone why. Armed with little information, manufacturers face broad sweeping reworks that can delay production and pile on added costs. A more integrated process would allow them to quickly isolate the compliance issues and rectify them with tool changes, probe realignments or other quick improvements, before product quality is affected. Without streamlined communication between metrology and production, it can also take anywhere up to two weeks to get a product from the shop floor into the quality department — creating a huge bottleneck in the process. By incorporating metrology equipment to


perform continuous inspection directly on the line, manufacturers can reduce scrap rates, minimise rework and remove delays. Quality also increases as parts are inspected at multiple stages, so it is easy to identify — and rectify — issues as they occur. Let’s put this in context. A scrap rate of just five per cent can wipe out up to 95 per cent of your profit. The bottomline benefits of bringing metrology and production together can be huge. Baby steps Shifting approach doesn’t involve an entire overhaul of a production line, but the incorporation of a series of steppingstone technologies. A good first step is to choose smaller parts that are easy to measure and purchase technology to inspect them on the production line using a basic solution. For example, data loggers offer a compact, battery powered technology to sample temperature data from a range of parts and could provide valuable insights. The manufacturer can then move onto larger components while incorporating a wider array of measuring systems. These may include non-contact solutions like Opticline for shaft parts, micro-vu for

small prismatic components or planar for flat parts. Many of these have the option to be automated with robots and other processes to further improve productivity in the age of Industry 4.0. For instance, a Scottish manufacturer recently approached us because it needed help improving its grinding productivity. We developed a bespoke optical shaft measurement program and ran some trials, proving it was repeatable across its processes. The result was a zero per cent scrap rate and it could spend more time manufacturing, rather than reworking, its parts. The third and most important step is to embrace a change of culture around quality and production at every level in your business. Clearly communicating the benefits of treating metrology as a vehicle for change and for improvement will help to bring both teams together for a common goal. Quality should not be treated as a policing mechanism. By bringing metrology into your production process, you can decrease scrap, increase productivity and generate more profit. For practical advice on how to incorporate metrology onto your lines, call 01452 632712.




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July 2020


New 3D scanning company “Surface Scan Limited” thrive in current Covid - 19 pandemic A family run 3D print and scanning business have found themselves having to adapt to the new challenges faced by the UK manufacturing and engineering industry. However, This has not stopped Surface Scan attracting new business and thriving throughout the current global pandemic. Angela and Daniel Carson set up Surface Scan Limited at the start of 2020 and have hit the ground running. They have collaborated with a number of design engineers and manufacturers nationwide on both single prototypes and batch production projects. Surface Scan is the onestop shop for engineers as they provide a “startto- finish” service from 3D print, scanning to reverse engineering. Surface scan take care of all processes from designing, testing, design analysis, optimisation, redesigning and manufacturing. They can create 2D and 3D drawings of various products, equipment, parts and components.

By combining Daniel and Angela’s decade of experience and the use of the latest equipment and “SLS” technology each job is delivered to the highest possible standard. Surface scan are fast becoming a market leader with their innovative work process and Can-do mind set when taking on jobs of any size. With the UK manufacturing industry now back in full swing and the reputation that Surface Scan have earned over the last 6 months the work has increased rapidly. Managing Director, Daniel Carson commented “This year has been a whirlwind of activity for us at Surface Scan. Since the outbreak of Covid 19 we have a spike in demand for innovative 3D scanning solutions. Clients are getting more creative in their designs. We are helping their ideas become reality."

Based in Kent but operating nationwide Surface scan can take care of all of your 3D print and scanning requirements. If you require more information on how Surface Scan Ltd can provide a cost effective solution on 3D print & scanning or how they can reduce your design time with their bespoke reverse engineering service please contact them either via email or phone.

Surface Scan Limited. Newington Rd, Ramsgate CT12 6PT 46| 01843 793566

July 2020


Piezoceramics provide precision and reliability to medical technologies Piezoceramic materials are commonly used in actuation and sensing applications across a variety of markets and are key to some of the leading-edge technologies now used in the medical sector. From laboratory diagnostics and microdosing to ultrasonics and even tartar removal from teeth, medical technologies require components that are fast, reliable and energy saving. Piezoceramics combine these characteristics, giving much higher accuracy and precision – and requiring less power – compared to traditional mechanical actuators and sensors, and are friction free, so are less susceptible to wear and tear, keeping costs down to a minimum. They do not create and are not affected by magnetic fields, and work reliably under extreme conditions, for example under cryogenic temperatures and in vacuums, making them easily adaptable to different environments for such diverse functions as non-destructive testing, therapy and imaging. Many of the medical applications for piezoceramics deal with controlled flow of liquids in micropipetting applications, taking advantage of the incredible speed and accuracy that they offer down to the micrometre level. Devices are getting more compact as we try to cram more capabilities into the same lab spaces, while the density of sampling is getting higher, creating a need for very small and fast drives for the pipetting process. At the same time, these mechanisms must produce enough force to move the pipettes vertically, but with the accuracy to aspirate or dispense the right amounts. Piezomotors are perfect for this application, as they operate with a tiny footprint as a direct linear drive and can generate high forces. A ceramic that oscillates at ultrasonic frequencies generates a controllable forward motion with uniform speed and unparalleled accuracy. Similarly, piezo elements in micropumps control and monitor extremely small liquid or gas volumes reliably and precisely in the range of a few hundred millilitres to a few nanolitres. Different types of pumps, such as membrane or peristaltic hose


pumps, are actuated by different drive principles. The piezo elements can be adapted perfectly to each specific application environment, for example miniaturised lab-on-achip solutions for mobile analytical instruments, or microdiaphragm pumps that require compact drives to create continuous and variable flow rates to even the picolitre range. Essentially, any application that needs reliable metering of minute amounts of liquids and gases – from medical uses and biotechnology to chemical analytics and process engineering – can benefit from powerful and versatile piezo technology, and the more it is

applied to this sector, the more device manufacturers will realise its potential. To find out more, go to

15th International Exhibition of Railway Equipment, Systems & Services

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In 2021, Railtex will play host to Infrarail at the NEC, Birmingham from 11-13 May. The UK’s most important events in the rail calendar will come together to form the ultimate show for the rail industry. To be part of the most comprehensive rail exhibition of 2021 contact the team on +44 (0)1727 814 400 or via email

July 2020


Three shows in one location an opportunity not to be missed!

As lockdown restrictions ease, we look ahead to see what the post COVID-19 resurgence looks like, and we are excited by the trio of events that Rapid News Group are organising at the NEC from 29 June – 1 July 2021. After months of uncertainty this critical period of economic rebound provides opportunities. TCT 3Sixty, the event for 3D printing and additive manufacturing will be co-located alongside Rapid News Group's other highly successful industrial events: Interplas, the UK's no.1 plastics show and Med-Tech Innovation Expo, the UK’s leading medical design and manufacturing technology event.

TCT 3Sixty – The event for 3D Printing & Additive Manufacturing Intelligence As a leading authority in additive manufacturing, 3D printing, design


and engineering technology for the last 30 years, The TCT Group are excited to lead the way with their re-imagined event TCT 3Sixty. TCT 3Sixty will deliver business critical intelligence with a comprehensive conference programme delivering world-class content across multiple stages, each offering innovative and interactive 360-degree insights into how to get the best from existing additive technology or how to invest and choose the most appropriate new 3D printing technology. The event will connect the additive community, using a rich mix of interactive features, pavilions and networking events including a meetings programme and learning seminars that will provide tangible value to an attendee, providing a return on investment immediately. By focusing on cutting edge applications, expert analysis and commentary, TCT 3Sixty will help designers, engineers and buyers evaluate, adopt and optimise their additive requirements.


July 2020

The TCT Group mission goes beyond simply raising awareness; it is focused on developing a 360-degree understanding of the potential of additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology to increase utilisation at all stages of design, engineering and manufacturing.


Med-Tech Innovation Expo: Medical Engineering Med-Tech Innovation Expo is the UK and Ireland’s leading event for medical device design and manufacturing technology.

Interplas –Innovation Happens Here Interplas is the UK's leading plastics industry event and an exciting showcase for the manufacturing processes, technologies and services essential to the plastics sector. In its 70th year, Interplas 2021 will see more than 500 exhibitors present solutions, products, machines and ideas from across the entire spectrum of moulding and forming machines as well as materials, automation, contract manufacturing and supporting technologies including software, testing, inspection, surface treatments and much more. Over 12.000 attendees from the UK manufacturing community will attend to discover solutions to their challenges, to make connections and source the latest technologies and innovations. Alongside the show floor an engaging three-stage conference programme is scheduled, with key themes of Advancing UK Plastics, Sustainability and Extrusion. These learning opportunities alongside a matchmaking programme and networking opportunities will ensure a visit to Interplas offers tangible value to an attendee immediately with intelligence and contacts that will continue to pay dividends long after the show closes.

At Med-Tech Innovation Expo the show floor will host a wealth of exciting features including cutting edge technology zones, association member and country pavilions, a VIP meetings programme, and the ever popular Start Up Zone. Visitors from the medical engineering and manufacturing community will be able to see the entire spectrum of advanced technology, materials and solutions for concept, design, validation and manufacture. The showcased solutions will help attendees design and manufacture the next generation of medical and healthcare devices. Med-Tech Innovation Expo 2021 is further enhanced by three conference stages. Each one presenting content of the highest calibre for every type of stakeholder in the Medtech supply chain – from solving design and engineering challenges through to market access. This trio of shows will create an engaging and useful experience for the attendee which means better educated prospective buyers and therefore the events will deliver exhibitors and sponsors greater commercial opportunities both in the short and long term. Registration does not open until the autumn but if you want to be part of these amazing events please contact organisers Rapid News Group or visit one of the show websites:


July 2020

Bespoke Automation Systems The No Compromise Solution


Automation comes in many different guises, including a multitude of standard machines and systems, designed and manufactured to perform specific functions. a new automated system explained one step in their existing process. This was the inspection of product at pre-defined intervals, by removing product from the line and taking it to an offline station. As part of our bespoke solution, we were able to design in a machine vision system to perform the same check, but on 100% of the parts manufactured automatically. This not only improved quality control but generated savings in time and cost by eliminating the need for offline inspection. A simple yet valuable change.”

At the other end of the scale, there is the proliferation of the latest collaborative robots. These offer high levels of flexibility, but with limitations on speed, payload and application to ensure safety of operators sharing the same workspace. There are however many applications where neither the standard approach nor the robotic solution, whether it is an industrial or collaborative variant, is able to meet all of the specified criteria. In these instances, only a bespoke automation system, designed around the specific requirements and characteristics of the product, and its manufacturing processes, has the capability to deliver the optimum solution with no compromises. This informative article by Paul Simmons, Engineering Director at CME Limited, discusses what makes a bespoke solution effective and also explains how the term “bespoke” can sometimes be misunderstood. Given a choice, we would all prefer to buy proven technology in the form of a standard machine which has a track record in the field. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, especially in instances where new products are being developed and brought to market. In some cases these products may require a series of specific processes or manufacturing steps to be performed in ways which existing standard machines are unable to achieve. This is where a bespoke solution, tailored to the product and the most efficient technologies required to produce it, will


be the most efficient and potentially cost effective solution. Paul Simmons expands on the term bespoke: “It’s worth pointing out that the term bespoke can mean different things to different people. Some may believe that the term “bespoke” infers limited capability or flexibility. Of course, there are some bespoke machines designed to perform highly repetitive assembly or process tasks on very specific parts with limited flexibility. The bespoke systems designed and built by CME, are multi-technology solutions which may encompass a combination of pneumatics, servo systems, machine vison, robotics or other processes. We specify and tailor these bespoke solutions around the customers’ specific requirements, and crucially, we always consider how to incorporate future-proofing features wherever possible.” The key to success, according to Paul Simmons, is primarily CME’s innovative design concepts. When these are combined with a range of proprietary technologies, carefully selected to maximise the capability and performance of the system, the result is a solution which meets all of the technical and commercial criteria and which will deliver a competitive advantage for the customer. The starting point is a detailed evaluation of each individual operation and stage in the manufacturing process together with the customer. This not only defines the detail within the user requirements specification, but also enables an alternative approach to individual tasks to be considered. Paul Simmons highlights a specific example:” A customer considering the purchase of

A bespoke solution, whilst addressing the needs of today, can also be designed to incorporate a degree of flexibility for future product designs or sizes. This can be achieved in a number of ways, either through a series of pre-defined adjustments or settings, which in certain cases can be initiated automatically form the system HMI, by manual setting procedures, or if required by change parts. Other examples of enhancing the capability of a system may include the integration of a robot(s) to either transfer, orientate or perform other assembly or process tasks that require greater degrees of flexibility. A bespoke solution will also benefit from experience gained in different sectors. Paul Simmons explains:” As a company active across a number of different market sectors, we benefit from the ability to apply concepts or techniques from these different sectors. For example, the tobacco sector operates at very high speed, so where speed is essential for an application within another sector, we can draw upon that expertise to help define a solution. The same principles apply where cleanliness or hygiene is important, we can draw on our experience from the Pharmaceutical and Food sectors.” This ability to completely tailor the solution to meet the demands of the customer, their products, and any specifications or regulations specific to their industry sector offers a comprehensive solution without compromise. Web - E-Mail -


July 2020

PPMA Show 2020 Postponed Further to our detailed conversations with the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), and in the interests of health and safety for all concerned, the PPMA has taken the decision to postpone this year’s PPMA Show until 2021 (28-30 September). This decision has not been taken lightly. We considered the implications for visitors and exhibitors in respect of everything from social distancing, availability of hotels, travel and the preparation time required. The Government has also not yet relaxed restrictions regarding mass gatherings, nor has it published any guidelines for staging large scale events such as ours when the restrictions are lifted. All in all, we felt the risk was too great. The health and well-being of those involved remains paramount, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. After making the announcement, Richard Little, PPMA’s Show Director, said: “It’s the first time that we will not be staging our flagship event since the show’s inception in 1988, which is really disappointing. “While we are pleased that the COVID-19 infection rate currently appears to be declining in the UK, the future trend is by no means certain and the risk remains. There are too many unknown variables to consider and our utmost priority is of course to ensure the safety of all those involved with our show.

workers, providing a range of essential engineering and maintenance services to aid the critical supply of food and pharmaceutical goods. “On behalf of the PPMA, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our exhibitors, suppliers, registered visitors, staff members and media partners alike for their continued support during these unprecedented times. We now look forward to PPMA Show 2021,” he added. PPMA Show 2020 was proving to be another very popular industry event, with over three quarters of all exhibition space sold seven months prior to the Government lockdown in March. The show was on course to be one of the largest PPMA shows in 32 years, which reinforces its growing popularity and brand strength. In the meantime, the PPMA Show 2020 website ( will remain a continual information source for exhibitors and visitors, which will include enhanced media and video content. The PPMA has also confirmed that PPMA Show 2021 will be held at the NEC, Birmingham, on 28-30 September.

“We also had to consider that many of our exhibitors and visitors to our shows are categorised by the Government as key |53


July 2020

Rittal Publishes Guide to HD Enclosures for Food and Beverage Industry Enclosures for switchgear and electrical equipment are vital across the manufacturing and engineering sectors including food and beverage production companies. An enclosure creates a protective environment for sensitive electrical components, while also protecting operatives from contact with the electrical circuitry. The design of these enclosures needs to take account of their location; for food production lines, this means ensuring very high hygiene standards can be maintained. Enclosures specifically designed to meet the requirements of food and beverage production lines are commonly referred to as “Hygienic Design” enclosures. Rittal has published a White Paper which considers the distinguishing characteristics of Hygienic Design enclosures and how they must align with current and relevant directives, regulations and guidelines.

It can be downloaded at: whitepaper The hygiene regulations that govern our food and beverage companies contained within EU directives are necessarily stringent to protect public health. Any breaches by the companies can be hugely expensive, in terms of the cost of product recalls, reputational damage and financial losses incurred while the problems are fixed. Everything associated with a food production line must meet the required standards for cleanliness, and that includes the enclosures protecting the electrical equipment that drives any associated automated processes. These enclosures, because of their design characteristics are

commonly known as ‘Hygienic Design’ enclosures (HD). However, while there is an obligation for hygiene standards to be met, the directives and standards that bind the industry do not advise users how to judge an enclosure’s suitability to be in such a sensitive environment. Without standardised and recognised guidance, enclosure manufacturers, the systems and mechanical engineers, as well as end users, must make their own decisions as to the type of of hygienic design that should be employed. In response, Rittal has published a White Paper outlining the characteristics of an HD enclosures.

Hygienic Design Extra cleanliness guaranteed 54|




July 2020

It considers: •

Suitable materials and surfaces, in terms of cleaning, corrosion etc

Connection systems, including seals and seams

Angles and corners, which are angled for easy washdown and which avoid niches that could collect contaminants

How to avoid penetration into

the circuitry, not least by water ingress The White Paper also considers testing procedures to demonstrate the suitability of an enclosure to be placed on a food or beverage production line. All this ensures that production facilities can be cleaned as easily as possible and the highest possible safety standards for the end consumer.

NEW: Hygienic Design

air/water heat exchanger

They can withstand power washing while maintaining a fully watertight environment for the electrical components within them. Rittal’s white paper on HD Enclosure Design can be downloaded at: hygienic_design_whitepaper

The Rittal hygiene standards for maximum productivity


Rittal’s range of HD enclosures are designed to make them quick and easy to clean.

Significant savings on detergents and disinfectants More productivity, thanks to reduced cleaning times Comprehensive system solution, comprised of an enclosure plus climate control, up to a protection category of IP 54 and IP 69K Greater reliability, thanks to DGUV testing



July 2020


Medical Grade Gas Struts help take the heavy lifting out of patient care There’s a wide range of situations in healthcare where stainless steel Medical Grade Gas Struts are deployed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the medical teams working to save lives. Medical Grade Gas Struts play a role in Operating Theatres, Hospital Wards and General Healthcare. Accuracy in Operating Theatres In an Operating Theatre cleanliness, precision and efficiency are vital. Struts and other Stays and Struts play a vital role. Monitor screens that display vital information from cameras, scans, etc. need to move easily and accurately as do lighting arms and heavy medical appliances. So, Designers mount them on multi-positional adjustable arms controlled by Stop and Stay Struts. You can use the same Gas Struts to position the equipment for cleaning and maintenance.


Cam Shoc dampers are used to allow smooth control the back-rest of the operating table and they allow the medical team to adjust leg rests on the operating table to optimise patient comfort. Helping the medical teams to work effectively Throughout Hospitals you’ll find various work stations and overbed tables. Stop and Stay Gas Struts are used for height adjustment. Multi positional Stop and Stay struts help to position screens, tablets and other medical items. Designers who build drug cabinets and trolleys use Medical Grade Gas Struts like the Swift and Sure Standard Motion Control struts for opening and closing of lids.

More comfort for patients Fitting a multi-positional stay to a leg rest on the bed allows the rest to be positioned at the right angle for optimum patient comfort. When used on the back-rest, a Cam Shoc Damper provides smooth adjustment. Side Rail applications without a dampening feature could allow fingers to get trapped. This risk is greatly reduced when the right Medical Grade Gas Strut is used to control the movement. When you use Blocklift Medical Grade Gas Struts combined with a hydraulic release lever system you can easily control the tilt of the seat of a wheelchair or Patient Treatment Chair.

July 2020

Struts are everwhere Throughout the Medical Sector there are items of equipment and storage units that need lids and access panels. Cam Stays and Lid Stays are a tried and tested solution. Cam Stays allow lids to be held open in multiple positions. Econoloc Gas Struts are a good option for access panels because you don’t need a separate safety rod. Other medical applications include Treatment Beds and couches, Monitor and Lighting Arms, Hospital Overbed TV arms and Controlled Lid Closure Bins. Jet Press offers a wide range of Mounting Brackets and End Fitting Connectors to go with their range Gas Struts. Fine tuning There are technical challenges around using Gas Struts because they store energy. When you use one for a lid for

instance, the energy is stored when the lid is shut then it helps lift the lid. You have to factor in the geometry of the opening, the weight of the lid, the length of the strut and the pressure of the gas to get it right. If you get it wrong the lid will be too heavy or it will spring open too quickly, which is a potential safety risk. A Vari-Lift Gas Spring is adjusted after you have installed it by letting out gas. But let out too much and the strut is useless. JET PRESS often do the calculations for customers, fine tune the strut in situ then make sure the struts are manufactured to the right spec. +44 1623 551800


July 2020


Ease of use lowers entry barrier for users without prior knowledge IDS NXT lighthouse: intuitive AI training software without the need for programming. In order to implement AI vision solutions, specialist knowledge, development effort and investment in computer hardware and storage technology are usually required. With cloud computing and specialised training services such as IDS NXT lighthouse, the process becomes much easier: neural networks can be trained individually and at the push of a button, without the need to set 978YIDS NXT ocean, the training software helps to make deep learning accessible to everyone. With the release of IDS NXT lighthouse version 1.1, additional functions are now available.

/ "bad") and then to start the fully automatic training. The generated network can be executed directly on IDS NXT industrial cameras.

The training of neural networks in the web application requires three basic steps: to upload individual sample images, to label the images (e.g. "good"

All components – camera hardware with AI core and different sensors and protection classes, software, infrastructure, knowledge and


This turns them into powerful inference cameras that can solve completely new image processing tasks thanks to artificial intelligence. They have learned which image features are important and are able to apply this knowledge to new image data. This is an enormous advantage compared to classical programming, especially in applications with highly varying objects.

support – are developed and provided by a single supplier. This holistic approach makes IDS NXT ocean a unique solution in the vision market. The IDS NXT lighthouse training software for neural networks is now available as version 1.1.

range of functions, for example by redesigning the detail view or extending filter functions.

The company has further improved both usability and the

Further information:

The next version is already in the works – then, in addition to classification tasks, object detection will also be feasible, for example.


July 2020

Supply chain: the pressure’s on The phrase “just in time supply chain” probably meant nothing to the average consumer before the coronavirus pandemic. However, the empty supermarket shelves have shone a spotlight on British supply chains like never before. Here Keith Kentish, group commercial director at TFC, leading supplier of fasteners and supply chain solutions, shares guidance for manufacturers on supply chain management, while the industry is under the microscope. COVID-19 has highlighted how important the domestic supply chain is, particularly for essential medical products, for example, to produce ventilators for patients in intensive care or the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline workers. In contrast, much of the automotive manufacturing industry ground to a halt, with a ripple effect felt across the supply chain. The impact has certainly been felt in the fastener market, where according to recent reports, sales are down 50 per cent on average. As the manufacturing industry begins to return to work, manufacturers may now feel added pressure to catch up with a backlog of orders. The impact of the pandemic has been felt by many businesses, resulting in a multitude of supply chain problems, such as overstocking, lacking the space to store components or assemblies that cannot be moved further on, or struggling to source the parts needed to keep production running. Even the smallest, cheapest component can cause production downtime

if not delivered on time, which in turn can damage a manufacturer’s own reputation if assemblies are not delivered on time. Consolidation In 2019, market research expert Vanson Bourne found that UK businesses work with an average of 2,598 suppliers, around 50 per cent of which are international. Even before COVID-19, 84 per cent of businesses were struggling to manage supply chain risk. Shorter, simpler supply chains could help streamline things for the future, partly by reducing the number of possible points of failure. Consolidating your suppliers, for example by turning to vendor managed inventory, could be a new way to run the business, meet budgets, margin enhancement expectations and production KPI’s and help maintain revenues. Agility As businesses return to work, they can move to new ways of working, or turn to new technology to help employees work safely and productively. Social distancing may mean more processes move from paper to online processes via EDI and MRP/ERP integration — electronic ordering, for example, means that orders can be placed and processed without anyone having to physically touch them; accurate and efficient. Discussing with your potential new service provider whether they offer options such as overnight

installations, bin pre stocking or pre labelling could help you to access the components you need while minimising time on site and maintaining effective social distancing. Technology can also be used in other ways to help manage inventory on a manufacturing side. Consider this example. A manufacturer has trouble sourcing PPE for staff to work safely on site. When PPE is in stock, it disappears quickly. Implementing a vending solution can help prevent excessive consumption of consumables and introduce ownership so that manufacturers can safely and effectively manage PPE distribution. Relationships Small and medium manufacturers may find it particularly difficult to get hold of the parts they need, as they may not carry as

much purchasing leverage or may not meet the minimum order value. Establishing relationships with larger supply chain businesses may help smaller businesses to benefit from the leverage of a partner, one that orders regularly and orders big. TFC for example, passes on cost reductions to its customers by purchasing on behalf of numerous businesses from UK distribution, UK wholesale, European and Far East partners. The supply chain and logistics industry is clearly in for a shake-up. There is currently no clear and comprehensive solution to carry British manufacturing forward. However, by sharing our knowledge, skills and expertise, we can develop creative, effective solutions together. Visit the website for more information about TFC’s vendor managed inventory solutions, or call 01435 860349 to speak to supply chain specialist.


July 2020


How the ADEL System DC-UPS keeps a Wireless Network alive What prompted an independent Wi-Fi provider to choose a DC-UPS for its applications? Progetto8 is a company founded by 3 technicians who, were able to understand the necessity for a reliable wireless network in remote and rural areas.

These remote or rural areas are not seen as financially attractive to the larger corporate players, but Pregetto8, based in Piacenza, just south of Milan Italy saw an opportunity to provide a service. The challenge for Progetto8 is to provide wireless coverage in the so-called "forgotten by all" areas, places where it is difficult to find coverage for the cell phone. The first plant was installed in 2007 in the furthest mountain municipality from the city of Piacenza, Ottone. The municipality has a population of around 500 and the new wireless network was their only hope for being connected to the increasingly globalised


world. Within a short time, the project gained momentum and soon most of the province of Piacenza and part of the province of Pavia were covered by the system. Over the years the system has won awards and partnerships within Italy and across Europe. The creation of Wi-Fi networks in urban areas is now a common concept, but the biggest challenges remain are in the rural and smaller towns and villages, in particular agricultural areas. The development and implementation of Wi-Fi networks in these areas are entrusted to smaller companies which are address region and

locality specific requirements to meet the National Digital Agenda. For the construction of the facilities, is common practice to use public administration locations, such as sports facilities pylons for lighting, radio repeaters, cell phone repeaters or buildings up to 40 meters above the ground, which usually make up the highest point in the city or of the area to be connected.


July 2020

3 Channel Temperature relay for resistance sensors Up to 3 sensors Pt 100, Pt 1000, KTY or PTC thermistor can be connected to the TR 250 temperature relay from Ziehl. One needs only one device, whether for a transformer with sensors Pt 100, with PTC thermistors or even a mixture of both. The TR250 from Ziehl simplifies your parts and spares lists. The TR250 is particularly versatile. It can monitor several sensors simultaneously to a limit value or a sensor to up to 3 limit values and it can even measure the difference between two sensors. The TR250 comes with pre-set programs for motor and transformer protection make commissioning particularly easy. The switching behaviour of the 3 output relays, monitoring working or quiescent current, switching delays or storage of a switch-off is programmable on the device. This makes the TR250 suitable not only for the protection of electric motors or transformers against over temperature but also for control and monitoring tasks in a wide range of applications. ZIEHL supplies further devices for 1 to 8 temperature sensors with up to 7 output relays as well as a range of electrical measuring and protection devices. For further information please visit our website or contact us on tel: +44(0) 1206 575755

TVR Instruments Limited 143 Butt Road Colchester CO3 3DP email: Tel +44 (0) 1206 575755

Ziath Launch 2D-Barcoded NMR Tube Scanner The Express Scanner from Ziath is an elegant and rapid solution for ensuring the traceability of samples in 2D-barcoded Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) tubes. This new product delivers an industry-leading fast scan and decode time for a full rack of 2D-barcoded NMR sample tubes in under 3 seconds.

For convenience, and to preserve valuable laboratory bench space, the Express Scanner controller can be separated and positioned under your lab bench. For further information on the Express Scanner please click here or contact Ziath on +44-1223-855021 / +1 858-880-6920 /

Traditionally 2D-barcoded NMR tubes are difficult to read with a conventional scanner, as the caps are on the top of the tubes and most scanners are designed to read from underneath. Working closely with a leading European NMR spectrometry lab, the Express scanner is designed to operate on top of the sample tubes without applying any weight which could damage them. In addition, for Bruker NMR spectrometer users, Ziath provides a dedicated slide for their tube carriers which can only be inserted in one orientation – thereby conserving the origin position (the “A1” position) each time. The Express Scanner is supplied with a controller which controls scanning and data processing using Ziath industry-standard Datapaq software (version 3.17) or new DP5 web enabled software which enable exporting of tube barcodes in tables, as text, JPEG, XML, XLS files and in JSON formats.


July 2020


Automating machine tending will be key to cost effective component re-shoring in the UK The recent COVID-19 pandemic has been something of a trigger point, highlighting the negative impact that a crisis such as this can have on an extended supply chain. As a result, there are a number of businesses across a wide range of sectors, actively now considering the potential to re-shore the manufacture of components that are currently produced in lower cost economies. Whilst re-shoring is to be welcomed, UK manufacturers will also have to address the issues which led to parts being manufactured outside of the UK in the first place. Cost of course will have been the main driver in many instances, and if UK businesses are serious about not just re-shoring, but also retaining manufacture in the UK, then they will need to embrace higher levels of automation to ensure productivity and profitability. There is no doubt that some manufacturers will be investing in new machining capacity to enhance or consolidate their production capability, and it is in these areas where automation, in the form of gantry robot systems, can be a valuable asset in the quest for cost effective production methods. As the UK adapts to a changing world, through a combination of the effects of this ongoing pandemic, compounded by the uncertainty surrounding the possible impact of Brexit at the beginning of 2021, a strong manufacturing sector will be essential for growth and exports. With the UK already lagging behind in the uptake of automation and robotics, plus a general shortage of labour, both skilled and unskilled, now is the time for the UK to embrace the benefits that automating manufacturing will bring. Reshoring component manufacture will cover a diverse range of part types and industry sectors,and those where machined parts are to be produced will definitely benefit from automation. Gantry robot systems and machine tools are ideal production partners. Güdel’s long standing reputation for quality, reliability and durability are the key criteria which have led to the company’s gantry robot technology being the first choice for machine loading applications over many years. The scalable concept of gantry robot systems means that there are no compromises on working range, accuracy and repeatability or payload, and the small footprint frees up valuable floor space for


the machine tools themselves. In addition, by accessing the machine tools from above, the front of the machine remains a fully accessible and safe area for set up or tool changes or other operations when required. For those seeking a solution for a single CNC machine, it is possible to fully integrate the gantry robot with the machine tool, and using either single or double arms, have a simple and compact system which will allow collection from input conveyors, machine load / unload and placement of finished parts onto an output conveyor. For applications where there may be multiple machine tools and sequential part processing, several robots can be mounted on a single overhead gantry to transfer parts between machining operations. Installations such as this can often be found in engine and powertrain applications where each part may require a number of individual machining operations. Another characteristic of the gantry robot is its ability to handle high payloads, at speed and without compromising repeatability. In the example shown here, railway wheels and axles are handled by the gantry robot before being transferred to machine tools for processing. These three examples alone illustrate the diverse way in which this technology can be configured to suit each particular application. UK manufacturers seeking to re-shore component manufacturing, whether its large or small can rely on the ready availability of proven technology to ease their transition to an automated solution. Having made a decision to bring manufacturing back to the UK, the ability to get into production quickly will be an important consideration, and this in turn will require a fast turnaround on the part of any suppliers involved in the project. To assist in reducing timescales for either end users or system integrators, Güdel UK offers an enhanced scope of supply, in addition to the gantry robot. Güdel’s Will Bourn explains: “There is always pressure in any project to deliver the solution as efficiently as possible, and we are able to work alongside any other project partners,

integrators, or the end user, to deliver a more comprehensive scope of supply. This not only makes it possible for different aspects of the project to progress simultaneously, but also allows us to apply our expertise in parts handling and machine loading to best effect.” The scope of Güdel’s contribution to the project can be tailored to suit the specific application and can range from providing just the gantry robot and gripper system, right through to a complete turnkey system incorporating the control system, guards, fixturing and conveyors ready for production. Existing examples of Güdel’s engineered gantry robot solutions range from small parts handling to large systems for handling and machining railway wheels, systems which span multiple machine tools for drive component manufacture, and single machine stand-alone fully integrated systems For more information, please contact: William Bourn Sales Manager Güdel (UK) Limited Unit 5 Wickmans Drive Banner Lane Coventry CV4 9XA Tel: +44(0)24 76 695 444 E-Mail: Web:


July 2020

Intelliconnect’s response to COVID-19 Home working and risk assessed production facilities ensure continuity of customer support and supply while staff fund raise for NHS Corona virus update from Intelliconnect (Europe) Ltd the UK based specialist manufacturer of RF, waterproof and cryogenic connectors and cable harness assemblies. While Intelliconnect may not have had a specific ‘global pandemic’ Business Continuity Plan they quickly adapted their standard B.C.P. and bought in any additional equipment that was required to allow more than 90% of their staff to work from home. For those that continued to work at either the Corby or Chelmsford sites risk assessments were carried out and measures were introduced to ensure it was safe to do so. “Intelliconnect have been able to continue to work uninterrupted throughout this difficult time.” Comments Steve Groves, Global Sales Director of Intelliconnect. “And while our gardens might not look as nice as some of our furloughed neighbours, we are grateful that we have been able to service our customers and keep busy. In the last weeks we have seen orders and enquiries start to exceed pre-lockdown norms and we are very much looking forward to a little ‘business as usual’. Intelliconnect continue to review their working practices and in line with the Government’s strategy are looking at how they can best instigate a phased return to their facilities. Groves continues, “Our teams’ health, both physical and mental, is of paramount concern and we will only return staff to work when it is safe to do so. We have been very fortunate and so far have had no confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst our teams but we appreciate not everyone has been so lucky.” To support the wider community members of staff have taken on the ‘Intelliconnect NHS charity challenge’ to raise funds for two local hospitals and the heroes that work in them who have supported so many individuals and their families during this period.

patient’s wellbeing and also providing better facilities. Details of the hospitals below: Kettering about-us/ The Intelliconnect team will complete 6 challenges over the next 4 weeks and the company will fund match any monies raised. Everyone at at Intelliconnect would be most grateful for any further donations made to…/ intelliconnect-nhs-challenge Steve Groves’ personal challenge includes riding his bike and running and will complete 100 miles in the 4 weeks. Week 1 - 25 miles on bike Week 2 -25 miles running Week 3 - 25 miles on bike Week 4 - 25 miles running. Steve ends, “I started this last Monday and completed the cycling week without need to go to A&E, but I am struggling this week with the running challenge so all the donations will help gee me along!”

including wearable technology, medical, telecoms, satcoms, military, aerospace, space, general microwave communications, rail traction, oil and gas and marine. Intelliconnect also manufacture the market leading Pisces range of waterproof RF connectors, coaxial adaptors to facilitate inter-series connection and gender change etc. dust-caps and offer value added services. Their recently launched and fast-growing cryogenic cable assembly business CryoCoax supplies medical, research, test and measurement and the emerging low temperature computing markets.…/intelliconnectNHS-challenge

Intelliconnect are an accredited Living Wage Employer and have been recently awarded the SC21 Silver Performance Standard Award Status for a second year.

Intelliconnect’s cable division are specialist manufacturers of affordable, high quality, high frequency microwave cables including triaxial assemblies, semi-rigid, semi-flexible and cryogenic cables as well as standard RG/LMR type products. Cables can be waterproofed to IP68 and include special features including phase matching and ruggedised assemblies for use in harsh environments.

The hospitals chosen to raise much needed funds for are Kettering General and Chelmsford Broomfield. Any funds raised will go to the front line, helping staff and

Intelliconnect (Europe) Ltd is the largest UK based manufacturer of RF, microwave, waterproof and cryogenic connectors and cable harnesses suitable for applications

For more information call +44(0)1245 347145, email or visit

Intelliconnect hope that you, your colleagues, and families are all well and we look forward to being able to talk about Corona virus in the past tense!


July 2020



The use of flow sensors which monitor both flow velocity and the temperature of mediums at critical locations in a major dairy processing plant have proved to be very significant in providing vital energy consumption data and ultimately achieving important cost savings. Dairy cooperative ARLA Foods selected BAUMER’s FlexFlow® sensors for the purpose of obtaining more detailed analysis of energy consumption during cheese production at its Falkenberg location in Sweden. Arla Foods produces 20,000 tonnes of cottage cheese every year, equivalent to 76.9 tons per day satisfying most of the demand for the Swedish market, as well as exporting to Finland, Denmark and Greece. Like any progressive manufacturing process, especially in the food industry where hygiene standards are critical, developing, implementing and sustaining the most resource efficient processes, is essential. Commenting on their energy-efficiency initiatives, Mattias Abrahamsson, Production System Manager at Arla’s Falkenberg plant said, “In recent years we have placed an increasingly strong focus on monitoring the energy consumption of our plants. However, in certain areas we simply didn’t know where exactly the energy was being used. FlexFlow®, the calorimetric flow sensor supplied by Baumer helped us achieve the breakthrough. We installed these sensors at the neuralgic points in our cooling and heating system and used the measurement results to obtain for the first time a clear picture of the energy consumption. This helped us to establish reliable and effective measures for reducing energy consumption”. Clear Solutions based on long-term collaboration Cooling and heating were the tricky points in energy consumption for Arla Foods and because of its commitment to sustainability they had already made significant efforts to reduce the energy balance when the plant was designed. For example, it uses to the maximum extent the low external temperatures of the Swedish climate to achieve a cooling temperature of 0.5ºC for the cooling circuit which cools the produced cheese from 60ºC down to 30ºC. However, energy


losses that Arla had been unable to locate for some time occurred here as well. Mattias explained, “The features of the FlexFlow® sensor caught our attention as they seemed exactly what we’d been looking for.” Martin Leuplod, Product Manager for Process Sensors at Baumer said, “Baumer has been collaborating with Arla Foods for many years dating back to the 1990’s. This cooperation has seen the development of a new process connection for milk production called ‘Baumer Hygienic Connection’ which has effectively optimised the cleaning times at the Arla Falkenberg plant”. The temperature sensors from Baumer’s CombiSeries product range were also developed as a result of the close collaboration between Arla and Baumer’s Development Centre in Aarhus, Denmark. Martin Leupold explained, “This close collaboration is allowing us to get to know our customers critical technical issues and we can use that knowledge to develop or suggest solutions that can optimise their process in a sustainable way”. To solve the problem of monitoring energy consumption the choice fell to Baumer’s FlexFlow® sensor because it could easily be integrated into the existing plant and is able to measure both flow and temperature. Simple to Install and Impressive Features The simple installation of the sensor is largely due to its symmetrical and centred design with one sensor element ahead of the sensor tip allowing it to be optimally installed in the process, regardless of the installation position and orientation. The flow sensor has a robust stainless steel housing that accommodates all the electronics, so there is no need for complex wiring or control cabinet installation. The FlexFlow® also meets the requirements for protection

to IP68 (Baumer protect+) making the sensor, together with the materials used, the ideal solution for hygienic applications. Another exceptional feature is its maximum temperature range to 150ºC, which also qualifies it for sterilisation-in-process (SIP) tasks. Arla has already installed around 15 of these flow sensors in the cooling circuit and heating system and the plan is now to also integrate these sensors into the CIP return line to monitor and optimise the energy consumption at these points as well. Mattias Abrahamsson concluded, “This has proven to be a cost-efficient solution and because the sensors installed so far are reliably returning the results we need means we will install more of them”. FlexFlow® sensors are suitable for flow rates of 10 to 400 cm/s and temperatures of between -25 and +150°C so are ideal for cooling systems that operate at high temperatures. They are available either as analog versions (4-20 mA) or with user-adjustable outputs using IO-Link. For applications with frequently changing batches or different process steps, the IO interface is the best option as it allows for simultaneous parameterization of several sensors, simplifying switching point adjustment and saving time.


July 2020

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Endoline launches Virtual Machine Demonstration service

In the wake of a pandemic which has seen a greater reliance on technology, Endoline Machinery, while meeting demands from food manufacturers for automation, has launched a Virtual Machine Demonstration service to ensure end-of-line machinery specifications are met exactly, without the need for face-to-face interaction. 66|

July 2020


Manufacturers are increasingly looking to integrate automated and robotic systems into their processing and packing facilities to safeguard continued manufacturing, while mitigating the current restrictions placed on manual workers.

machinery designers to create a system which meets their specific needs. Endoline’s prime position of building machinery in-house also enables customers to ask technical questions, and view multiple functionalities of the machine during the build process.

As a designer and manufacturer of both standard and customised end-of-line packaging machines, Endoline builds systems to suit a customer’s exact requirements. However, a thorough understanding of a customer’s needs is an integral element of this process, with many personnel involved.

“We are witnessing an increasing reliance on automation to streamline processing and packing lines.” Comments Andrew Yates, Sales Director at Endoline Automation. “It is essential that we continue to deliver the same level of high-quality service and diminish any challenges customers may face when installing valuable equipment during these unprecedented times.”

Leveraging its experience in dealing with global customers, who often need the involvement of several manufacturing sites across the world to link up virtually to view live Factory Acceptance Tests, Endoline have packaged up this expertise within its Virtual Machine Demonstration resource. Through live demonstrations, manufacturers can speak to a range of Endoline personnel, including sales, technical engineers, and end-of-line

The fact that Endoline’s fully automated systems can also be controlled and monitored remotely further reduces the risk to personnel as it negates the need for human presence, and allows for the factory to operate remotely. Endoline’s Virtual Machine Demonstration can be carried across virtual conferencing platforms Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams.

EXPERTS IN PUMP TECHNOLOGY Our progressive cavity pumps, macerators and control systems are used across all industry sectors wherever thin to highly viscous, shear-sensitive, aggressive or abrasive media must be conveyed at low pulsation rates. SEEPEX’s portfolio also includes digital solutions, consulting, spare parts and after sales services.

“SEEPEX stands for technological leadership, excellent management and outstanding product and application expertise. Focusing on our core competencies and know-how enables us to take the best, most forward-looking course of action for each part of our business. We identify innovative approaches that bring about positive changes for the entire industry.” PETER MCGARIAN MANAGING DIRECTOR, SEEPEX UK LTD.

SEEPEX UK Ltd. | |

July 2020


Chell Instruments Showcase New Products Following Turbo Expo Postponement With the 2020 Turbo Expo rescheduled due to the global pandemic, gas measurement and control experts Chell Instruments are highlighting three new products aimed squarely at supporting development in the gas turbine sector.

Scheduled to begin on the 23rd June, the turbomachinery technical conference and exposition at Excel in London has been postponed in favour of a virtual event in September. Like many exhibitors, Chell Instruments had planned to feature new products specifically created to further aid the development of gas turbines for aircraft and other applications.

amplified pressure transducers (using the in-built excitation supplies) or simply a voltage or resistance signal. Like all Chell’s latest products, it has been designed for on-engine as well as airframe applications and is certified to D0160G vibration and shock standards. The FlightDaq-TL also has a new iDDS interface, along with standard Ethernet outputs.

measurement in a heated enclosure. The FlightDAQ 3 now features outputs via iDDS together with the standard and IENA outputs over Ethernet.

Chell Instruments have a long history working with major aircraft engine manufacturers around the world. Initially launched in 2019, their FlightDAQ3, FlightDAQ-TL and Q-DAQ were developed in direct response to requests from existing customers and the increasing requirements for ground and ‘in-flight’ testing of aircraft engines.

The Q-DAQ is a miniature pressure scanner with a SQDC interface. It features 16 sensors which can be configured as absolute or differential (differential by nominating a channel as a reference). It also features an in-built heater to deal with the temperatures involved during flight testing. The Q-DAQ outputs compensated pressure data (from -55°C to 90°C) over Ethernet.

Trusted by many of the biggest names in aircraft engine and air frame manufacturing for over 40 years, the three products have already proven very popular with jet engine developers as the search for ever greater efficiency, reliability and safety continues. In addition, Chell Instruments’ solutions are now also being applied to the air frame development to support the electrification of aircraft propulsion.

The FlightDAQ-TL is a highly configurable electrical scanner which complements Chell’s existing line of FlightDAQ pressure measuring equipment. It can measure RTD’s, thermocouples, ratio-metric and


The third of Chell’s new products is the FlightDAQ3. This is the latest development of their successful FlightDAQ range which gives 32 or 64 channels of high accuracy pressure

Able to withstand extremely harsh environments and high altitudes, the new FlightDAQ-TL, Q-DAQ and FlightDAQ3 all give class-leading performance for on-engine testing.

For more information on the FlightDAQ-TL, Q-DAQ, FlightDAQ3 and Chell Instruments, please visit or contact Chell on 01692 500555.

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Zimmer Group ‘s Gripper Technology Keeps Burnishing Machine Rolling As a leading provider of roller burnishing technology for metallic surfaces for over 35 years, Wenaroll, based in Solingen, Germany, has developed core technology competencies in the production of tools and machines for application specific solutions. The company has an established international market and client base including companies from sectors such as commercial vehicles, construction machinery, aerospace technology, mechanical engineering, the automotive industry and many others. In a recent automated machine project for a new Russian customer, Wenaroll turned to Zimmer Group for the gripper systems and technology required to handle delicate lead battery terminals, as part of their turnkey solution. This application required the design and manufacture of an automatic battery terminal burnishing machine, which uses roller burnishing to compress the surface of lead alloy battery terminal. The system comprises of a number of different elements including a frame, drive unit, machine base, roller units, gripper systems, feeding and sorting system and a control system complete with an operator interface. The process begins with the presentation of the battery terminals from the feed unit. The Zimmer gripper unit then transports the terminals to the roller units where the actual burnishing process takes place. Once the terminals are clamped and rotated into position, the roller units move together, and the designated surfaces are hardened by the burnisher rolls applying a predefined amount of force. The roller burnishing process takes place at a maximum force of 255 newtons and a maximum speed of 400 rpm. The result of the process is impressive: The terminals are now gas-tight and have a surface with a roughness depth of Rz < 1 µm, with the processing time just 8 seconds per battery terminal. Zimmer’s gripper technology, in the form of four parallel grippers mounted on an aluminum frame, is one of the key components of the system. Zimmer Group UK’s Ian Sinclair comments: “The customer had very specific ideas when it came to the gripper design. The preference was for electric grippers with a single cable solution. It was essential that the grippers applied the smallest possible gripping force to prevent damage to the delicate surface of the lead battery terminal and to ensure that no defects would be left behind on objects being handled.”

A further requirement was the capability to use long gripper jaws or gripper fingers, as for certain components, the design required the option to insert gripper fingers deep into the device. In their quest for a suitable gripper solution, the customer’s development team selected Zimmer Group as its gripper specialist of choice, based upon Zimmer’s reputation and excellent quality. Four models of Zimmer’s GEP2000 series (GEP2010IO05-A) were specially selected for this application. These electrically driven small-part grippers are very easy to control and were primarily designed for handling small parts, such as the battery terminals in this application, or for other assembly tasks. This series of grippers series offer adjustable gripping forces between 40 N and 500 N and jaw strokes between 6 and 16 millimeters. In addition, the grippers feature a mechanical selflocking mechanism that prevents the loss of the battery terminals in the event of power failure. The superlative durability and reliability of Zimmer gripper technology is another factor that led Wenaroll to consider them as an option. The gripper housings are manufactured from hard-anodized aluminum, and for the guides, the developers rely on a flat guide that has been tried and tested for decades. These features combined allow 10 million cycles to be handled without the need for maintenance. The four individual grippers are not all that Zimmer Group delivered to Wenaroll for this application, Zimmer’s in-house Systems Department also developed and fabricated the complete gripper unit including the frame structure and wiring, etc.

Renold Gears OQSx Oil Quality Sensor

The Renold Gears OQSx Oil Quality Sensor is your ideal solution for accurate real time gearbox oil condition monitoring. Easily and quickly installed the OQSx detects all wear and contamination elements to an exceptionally high level and provides an accurate statement of oil condition second by second – in any oil type and in any application, giving you a true 360 degree view of how your oil is performing.

> Accurately reports precise condition of oil in real time > Patented technology > Independently certified for accuracy, sensitivity and reliability > Robust and reliable in the harshest conditions > Easy to install > Configurable for any oil type, in any application




July 2020


T&D Corporation Mr Minoru Ito, European Sales Office, Gronauer Straße 1, 61194 Niddatal, Germany 0049 (0)6034 930970

Unit 3A, Whitworth Court, Manor Park, Runcorn WA7 1WA. Tel.: (0044)-330 002 0640,

ECi Software Solutions

TR Fastenings LTD

Si One, St Ives Business Park, Parsons Green, St Ives, PE27 4AA +44 (0) 333 123 0333

Trifast House, Bellbrook Park, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 1QW Free phone: 08454 811 800 E-mail:

Phoenix Mecano Ltd

Blackfast Chemicals Ltd

26 Faraday Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP19 8RY +44 (0)1296 611660

Unit 5 Russell House , Molesey Road, Walton-onThames, Surrey, KT12 3PE 0207 339 7370,


Ecopac (UK) Power Ltd

Monitran Ltd, Monitor House, 33 Hazlemere Road, Penn, HP10 8AD, UK T: +44 (0)1494 816569 E:



Unit 4, Ridgeway, Crendon Industrial Area, Long Crendon, Bucks, HP18 9BF Tel: +44 1844204420



July 2020

Foremost Electronics Ltd

Seepex UK Ltd.

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

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

HRS Heat Exchangers 0-12 Caxton Way Watford Business Park, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 8JY Email: Tel: +44 (0)1923 232 335

T +44 1935 472376

Ilapak Ltd 29 Riverside Way Uxbridge UB8 2YF

1 Brownfields Court Welwyn Garden City Hertfordshire AL7 1AJ

BÜLTE GmbH Kunststofferzeugnisse Carl-Sonnenschein-Straße 22 D-59348 Lüdinghausen – Germany Phone: (+49) 02591 / 91 94 – 0

Wood Automated Systems UK (ATG – Systems) Tenter Road, Moulton Park Industrial Estate Northampton, NN3 6AX +44 (0)7827 327231

Lascar Electronics Ltd UK Module House Whiteparish, Wiltshire SP5 2SJ +44 (0)1794 884 567

Rotech Machines Limited


We bring colour into view! Compact pressure sensors and switches with 360° custom-colour status display

256 colours Individually selectable: Measurement in progress Sensor switching Process malfunction

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