Advancing UK manufacturing with statistics and anecdotes

uk manufacturing small

The UK is deciding whether to stay in the European Union or not, which may or may not affect the manufacturing sector 

The UK is currently in the midst of a national debate over whether or not to leave the European Union, with opinion polls suggesting that the so-called “Brexit” campaign has the public’s favour, although only marginally.

Those who are arguing against an exit from the EU say that the country’s economy will suffer if the majority of people vote to leave, and they produce figures to support their argument. But then, so does the other side.

The EU referendum will be held on June 23.

From an objective point of view, it’s probably difficult to say what will happen. No one knows what the future holds for sure. And besides, statistics can be made to support pretty much any point of view, even if they are diametrically opposed to one another.  Continue reading Advancing UK manufacturing with statistics and anecdotes

Exclusive: Cemtrex extends its electronic tentacles into new markets

Saagar Govil, CEO of Cemtrex
Saagar Govil, CEO of Cemtrex. Picture: Newsday.com

Exclusive interview with Saagar Govil, chairman and CEO of Cemtrex

A lot’s happened since this website was introduced to Cemtrex a few weeks ago. The company’s been on a gigantic spending spree, buying up companies and restructuring its business for new markets as though it were in a hurry to get somewhere fast.

Where that somewhere is may be deduced from the acquisitions Cemtrex has made and the types of products and services in which the acquired companies specialise.

Last month, Cemtrex purchased an obscure German company called The Target, an electronics manufacturer which supplies top-level automakers.

Then, earlier this month, Cemtrex bought up and is synergising its operations with another German electronics manufacturer, Periscope. Not to be confused with Periscope the video streaming app, the Periscope Cemtrex bought is another supplier to major automotive companies.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what Cemtrex has its heart set on – the market for electronics used in autonomous vehicles.  Continue reading Exclusive: Cemtrex extends its electronic tentacles into new markets

New Infineon chip enables Lenovo to build world’s smallest 3D camera, bringing augmented reality to smartphones

infineon chip augmented reality for smartphones

Lenovo is the first manufacturer worldwide to bring Tango technology to a consumer product.

Google’s technology that allows devices to understand spatial information is an exclusive feature in the Phab2 Pro smartphone.

Based on the Time-of-Flight principle, the Real3 image sensor chip from Infineon Technologies equips the smartphone with a 3-dimensional perception of the surroundings in real-time.

Infineon provides the only image sensor chip in the world meeting Google’s specifications.  Continue reading New Infineon chip enables Lenovo to build world’s smallest 3D camera, bringing augmented reality to smartphones

Panasonic showcases industrial products including power-assist robots

Panasonic’s “Power Assist Device” supports air hammer forging process in Makoto Industries
Panasonic’s “power assist device” supports human worker at air hammer forging at processing plant in Makoto Industries

Panasonic demonstrated its robotic exoskeleton – which it calls power assist devices or suits – and its latest solutions for industrial power electronics applications at PCIM Europe 2016

Panasonic Automotive & Industrial Systems Europe has showcased its technology lineup, highlighting innovations such as passive components, semiconductors and thermal management solutions, as well as its robotic exoskeletons.

The company says its products provide “increased efficiency and reliability for a wide range of applications”.  Continue reading Panasonic showcases industrial products including power-assist robots

This sensor enables cameras to see in cinematic vision even in total darkness, says its maker

InVisage Spark4K sample structured light image
InVisage Spark4K sample structured light image

InVisage says its Spark4K near-infrared sensor brings cinematic resolution, high dynamic range, and low power Consumption to cameras and other devices 

InVisage claims its Spark4K is the world’s highest resolution IR sensor with 35 per cent quantum efficiency at 940 nm, dynamic pixel sizing, global shutter, and up to “50 times less system power consumption” – less than what the company left us in the dark about.   

InVisage Technologies, the pioneering developer of QuantumFilm camera sensors, launched the Spark4K near-infrared (NIR) camera sensor.

A 1.1-micron pixel, 13-megapixel sensor in a 1/3-inch module, Spark4K features the world’s highest NIR resolution packing 4K video at 30 frames per second, making it ideal for augmented reality, autonomous, and authentication systems that require high-resolution, high dynamic range NIR imaging with global shutter capability.  Continue reading This sensor enables cameras to see in cinematic vision even in total darkness, says its maker

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