Five common myths about reconditioned components 

Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of industrial automation supplier EU Automation, dispels common misconceptions about purchasing reconditioned industrial parts

Dismiss almost every Viking costume you’ve ever laid eyes on. While these threatening Scandinavian tribes did wear all sorts of bizarre headgear when marching into battle, there’s no reason to believe it was decked with the intimidating horns popular culture loves so much.

There are countless myths and fallacies which over time, have become commonly accepted as the truth. Misconceptions about reconditioned industrial automation parts are no exception.  Continue reading Five common myths about reconditioned components 

General Electric opens $11m futuristic robotics and 3D printing plant

ge Nozzle Automatic Polishing with Robot in the GE Oil & Gas Talamona plant_2 small

General Electric has launched two new high-tech component production lines at the GE Oil & Gas plant in Talamona, Italy.

A new nozzle production line is the first completely automated line for GE Oil & Gas, and a new additive manufacturing line will use laser technology to 3D print burners for gas turbine combustion chambers.

These new advanced manufacturing lines establishes this site as a centre of excellence for the oil and gas industry. 

The official unveiling of the upgraded turbine and compressor components manufacturing facility is the result of a €10 million, two years’ investment to establish the plant as one of its most cutting production centres. Previous investments in 2013 increased the plant’s production capacity.  Continue reading General Electric opens $11m futuristic robotics and 3D printing plant

RS Components launches new solutions for industrial motion control

rs components

RS Components has launched a range of products and solutions for companies involved in motion control applications equip and maintain systems, such as conveyors, used in diverse industries including automotive, packaging, manufacturing and production or in the chemical or food and beverage processing sectors.

Heiko Luckhaupt, marketing manager at RS, says the new line of components will enable companies to “keep current systems up and running for as long as possible”.

RS says budgetary constraint is an increasingly significant factor and many companies do not always have the luxury of purchasing completely new motion control systems.

RS says companies are more often than not faced with the challenge of keeping ageing conveyor systems operational and have key decisions to make about maintenance and partial system upgrades.  Continue reading RS Components launches new solutions for industrial motion control

Infineon develops breakthrough radar technology for cars and devices

infineon soli radar

Infineon has developed radar technology for cars and devices. The company has reached separate agreements with Google and Imec on applications for the technology. 

With Google, Infineon has developed gesture control technology, which would allow users to control their devices by waving their arms about, and more subtle movements.

The radar technology – called “Soli” – was demonstrated at Google I/O through a smartwatch and a wireless speaker.  Continue reading Infineon develops breakthrough radar technology for cars and devices

Global HMI market could reach $6 billion by end of decade

hmi
The human machine interface market is forecast to reach $6 billion by the end of the decade

The global human machine interface (HMI) market is expected to grow at a rate of 6 per cent a year from 2016 to 2020, according to a report by Big Market Research

In a separate report by Transparency International, the HMI market is forecast to reach $6 billion by the end of the decade.

HMI is a significant tool for communication between humans and machines. It is adopted in plant automation to assist humans to interact with automation machines and gain understanding of plant floor automation process. Operation efficiency is increased and cost associated is reduced with the help of HMI.

The Big Market Research report provides information on the leading market players: Rockwell Automation, GE, Siemens, and Schneider Electric among others. 

A study of other prominent vendors, such as Advantech, Atmel, Beijer Electronics, EAO, Eaton, Elektrobit, Elipse Software, Bosch Rexroth, Digital Electronics, Mitsubishi Electric, Progea, Omron, and others has been covered.  

Clever idea to place eyes on robot hand helps machine to map surroundings and location

carnegie mellon uni Ada Mico hand

Before a robot arm can reach into a tight space or pick up a delicate object, the robot needs to know precisely where its hand is.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute have shown that a camera attached to the robot’s hand can rapidly create a 3-D model of its environment and also locate the hand within that 3-D world.

Doing so with imprecise cameras and wobbly arms in real-time is tough, but the CMU team found they could improve the accuracy of the map by incorporating the arm itself as a sensor, using the angle of its joints to better determine the pose of the camera.

This would be important for a number of applications, including inspection tasks, said Matthew Klingensmith, a PhD student in robotics.  Continue reading Clever idea to place eyes on robot hand helps machine to map surroundings and location

ABB’s ‘groundbreaking’ smart sensor developed with Swatch

ABB says its “groundbreaking” smart sensor solution, launched at the Hanover industrial fair recently in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama, was developed together with the Swatch Group of Switzerland.

ABB collaborated with Swatch-owned EM Microelectronic to develop the sensor hardware based on a specification provided by ABB, that transforms simple motors into intelligent machines that tell operators about their operating conditions and when they need servicing.  Continue reading ABB’s ‘groundbreaking’ smart sensor developed with Swatch

Nachi to open giant facility in Thailand

nachi thailand plant
How the Nachi-Fujikoshi plant in Thailand will look when it’s finished

Nachi is building a manufacturing subsidiary in Thailand to capitalise on the growing Asean market. 

The company is one of the largest industrial robot manufacturers in the world, and is looking in particular towards the automotive sector for further growth opportunities.

Nachi says the Thailand plant will be “making forged and turned parts inside Asean market member states, where medium and long term expansion of automotive production is expected”.

Nachi-Fujikoshi is now promoting a “regional production for regional supply” in foreign market areas.  Continue reading Nachi to open giant facility in Thailand

Igus receives 10,000th order from robotics company

igus director, Justin Leonard, presents Fraser Reid, managing director of Cyber-Weld, with the 10,000th readycable order
Igus director Justin Leonard presents Fraser Reid, managing director of Cyber-Weld, with the 10,000th readycable order

As Cyber-Weld reaches 10,000 orders for readycable products, igus outlines the advantages of using robotics in the welding process 

Robotic welding systems have been widely used in large scale automated manufacturing facilities, particularly in the automotive industry, for a number of years. 

Faced with cost pressures from their customers, small metalworking job shops are now starting to consider implementing automation. 

When the operating costs of robotic welding are compared to manual welding the results are now clearly in favour of the robot.  Additional benefits of automating are increased productivity, more consistent welded joints and improved quality.  Continue reading Igus receives 10,000th order from robotics company

Worm gearboxes produce high torque at low cost

worm gears

Tony Young, director of electrical and automation maintenance company, CP Automation, explains the benefits of worm gearboxes

Worm gearboxes are low cost solutions for producing high torque from relatively small electric motors. Their output shaft is at a 90 degree angle to the motor input shaft and higher reduction ratios are obtained compared to conventional gearbox designs.

It would be hard to imagine how violin or guitar strings could be tuned without the use of worm gears, where each thumb screw is effectively a worm that turns a gear, the shaft from which in turn tightens a string.

A complete turn of the thumb screw results in a much smaller turn of only a few degrees at the string shaft, and therefore much higher torque. More importantly, it provides precise tuning of the guitar string.  Continue reading Worm gearboxes produce high torque at low cost

Yaskawa releases new line of drive servos and amplifiers

yaskawa drive

Yaskawa has launched a new line of rotary, linear and direct drive servos and amplifiers that the company says “bring a new level of operating efficiency to automated equipment”.

Yaskawa, one of the world’s biggest industrial robot manufacturers, says its Sigma-7 has bandwidth and resolution improvements.

Yaskawa says system designers and automation end users will benefit from the speed, precision and efficiency improvements in Sigma-7, adding that it is “the most technologically advanced servo systems ever created” by the company.  Continue reading Yaskawa releases new line of drive servos and amplifiers

Evana Automation supplies 22-piece tooling solution Tier 1 automotive parts supplier

evana automation

Evana Automation has shipped a customized 22-piece tooling solution for a headlamp assembly system to a leading Tier 1 automotive parts supplier.

The company says its “innovative tooling solution” saved the customer the cost of purchasing a new assembly system and enabled the customer to run multiple headlamp models over existing assembly stations.  Continue reading Evana Automation supplies 22-piece tooling solution Tier 1 automotive parts supplier

Applied Robotics launches new line of tool changers with lifetime guarantee

applied robotics tool changer

Applied Robotics has launched its first comprehensive family of tool changers. 

The Epsilon family of tool changers incorporates the best features and benefits of three previous generations of ARI tool changers with added functionality and enhancements.

The Epsilon Tool Changers are available in a wide range of payloads from 10 kg to 1,500 kg.  Continue reading Applied Robotics launches new line of tool changers with lifetime guarantee

Alnea updates robot soldering system

kuka agilus alnea
The Kuka KR Agilus small robot in the ALNEA solution results in a significant increase in productivity

Alnea says its new robot-based soldering process is in compliance with international standards.

The soldering process used in so-called through-hole technology (THT) requires the utmost precision. The small structures and the close proximity of components that must not be wetted leave no room for error.

With THT, repair processes are time- and cost-intensive, often not reproducible and in some cases not even allowed.

“A reliably controlled selective soldering process is the decisive first step on the path to zero-error production for our customers,” says Krzysztof Kamiński, president of Alnea. Continue reading Alnea updates robot soldering system