IBM, NI create condition monitoring and predictive maintenance testbed for the loT
Testbed to help organizations better monitor complex automation devices, predict failures and help reduce maintenance costs.
A new collaboration between IBM and National Instruments (NI) has yielded the industry’s first condition monitoring and predictive maintenance testbed for the Internet of Things (loT).
The IBM cloud-based environment combines National Instruments'…
Configure multiple Ethernet switches fast and easy
Mazak improves OEE with MTConnect
The father of the PLC talks about the Internet of Things
Are industrial applications ready for the cloud?
Modular design shrinks big machine problems
Ease of installation and simplified configuration changes outweigh initial design costs.
Going modular in its machine design was a matter of survival for Matrix Packaging, says Marc Willden, vice president and general manager. The Saukville, Wisconsin-based company designs and makes vertical form-fill-seal machines, the type of systems…
What’s the best way to protect low-power circuits?
Remote I/O becomes smaller, faster, customizable and intelligent
Is wireless I/O up to the challenge?
2015 State of Technology Report: I/O Systems
How do you protect controllers from cyber attacks?
International panel weighs in on protecting the control system and other IoT-related issues.
Controllers are part of the system, when you’re thinking of the Internet of Things. They are nothing more than devices on the network, and the key to their protection is making the network as secure as you need the controllers to be. The IoT is a…
11 experts discuss the Industrial Internet of Things
Wiring and tubing cleanup
The machine builders’ guide to remote monitoring
When Machine Mount Does — and Doesn't — Make Sense
The father of the PLC explains the difference between the PLC and the PAC
In this exclusive interview, Dick Morley shares his thoughts on programmable automation controllers.
Dick Morley is considered by many to be the father of the programmable logic controller (PLC). His involvement with the creation of the first Modicon PLC for General Motors in 1968 was a historic step in the development of industrial controls.
Why we should combine engineering with innovative methodologies
The father of the PLC explains the difference between the PLC and PC-based control
4 must-read articles exploring the current state of the PLC
What the ability to design or program a simple start/stop circuit says about you
2015 State of Technology Report: PLCs/PACs
How to get energy efficiency under control
Changing Trends: PLCs, PACs, PC-based controls, FPGAs or even DCS?
How Better Control Can Pay Off With Improved Machine Efficiency
How much effect will linear power supplies’ EMI have on machine controls?
A machine builder asks about the trade-offs between a switched mode power supply and linear regulated.
We’re trying to save cabinet space by changing from a linear regulated power supply to a switched mode power supply. From what I understand, we’ll get a higher power density with a smaller footprint, while the power factor is about the same. My biggest concern is, with so many devices offering built-in intelligence these days, will a switching power supply create so much electromagnetic interference that it will cause a controls problem on our form, fill and seal machines?
Any mounting recommendations to reduce EMI? What about unregulated? And how close are power supplies to offering their own control capabilities, or is that already available?
Power Supplies Get Smarter
High-End Protection for Low Power
Getting to a Better–and-Cleaner Power Source For Machine Builders
Why Fluid Power Matters as a Machine Motion Source
Cybersecurity: Who can hack it?
The IIoT awaits, but do IPCs make good cyber citizens?
Imagine the gains in productivity and profitability you’ll realize when you connect machinery to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). More information means smarter decisions. And collective intelligence is better than siloed data.
TenneT achieves greater efficiency with new software platform
Take Control of Control Software
IPCs Pack More Punch
Which Encoder Communication Protocol Is Right for Our Application?
If the application dictates the device, does the device dictate the communication?
Question: We’ve been using resolvers to track motor-shaft position in the CNC machines we build for years. And no one has asked, so we’ve never considered changing that technology. But now a customer has requested we also utilize encoders. While the variety of encoder types—capacitive, magnetic, optical—is pretty straightforward, we’re having some discussions as we try to understand the communication protocols available and which direction to go.
Can I replace a resolver with a sin/cos encoder? What about Hiperface, EnDat, SSI? If the application dictates the encoder or resolver, does the device dictate the communication protocol?
Join in the discussion below.
Where Do Machine Builders Find Components and Devices They Can't Get Anywhere Else?
Seven Ways to Get the Most Out of Your CNC Machine Cutting Tools
Seven Tips for CNC Machine Tool Gibs
Good designs, automation, pair programming and agile engineering combine to create successful assembly systems, automated inspections, robotic assembly and tending machines.
Creating machines for a variety of projects certainly keeps work interesting at Compass Automation in Elgin, Illinois. The pair programming and agile engineering methodologies Compass uses to design the machines add innovation to the mix, as well.
Will virtualization be the legacy hero?
What to do when it's time to update legacy technology
NIST Project to Give Design Software New Digital Threads
Researchers Will Demonstrate Feasibility of Using Standardized 3D Models for Electronically Exchanging and Processing Product and Manufacturing Information
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers and their industrial partners have embarked on a Design to Manufacturing and Inspection Project to add a new dimension to manufacturing capabilities. They will demonstrate the feasibility—and benchmark the advantages—of using standardized, 3D models for electronically exchanging and processing product and manufacturing information all the way from design through inspection of the final part, a tightly integrated, seamless string of activities that manufacturers are calling a "digital thread.”
Tom Hedburg, one of the researchers in the project, explains, “What we’re talking about is a 3D drawing with all the product information embedded in it. It’s a way of…
ECAD: Simple or Complex?
E-CAD/CAE II: State of the Art
E-CAD/CAE: a New Edge
System Design Tools Make Simulation Real
Panel building advances OEM’s delivery times
Industrial vacuum machine builder uses a configurable control cabinet system to compress costs, as well as design-and-build cycle.
"Creating a configurable control cabinet reduced engineering and delivery time by nearly 50%," says Kevin Weaver, president at Northwind Air Systems, manufacturer of the DuroVac brand of industrial vacuums in Mississauga, Ontario. Weaver…
Yokogawa and Shell develop next-generation software suite
Who Ranked as the Best Product and Machine Design Software
Simulation Saves Time and Money
ATS Acquires CADCAM Solutions Supplier
Electronic controls synchronize motion for Hagerty Steel & Aluminum
Tuning three motor drives to move in a desired fashion independently of each other in synchronization requires a lot of work.
Synchronizing a process for highest productivity and quality output often requires precise electronic control of multiple motion axes simultaneously. This is difficult to do if each axis responds to control inputs differently, and yet they all have…
Motion Control Association and Motor & Motion Association announce new merger
Moving forward with motors, drives and motion control
Emerson drive and motor technology commended by Swedish Energy Agency
How to conserve energy and reduce noise with VFD cabling
When to use an ac or dc choke and why
How fast and accurate automation equipment produces a precise Swiss watch
Faster palletizing with a delta robot.
The Swiss watch industry protects the legendary reputation of its watches with the quality label, "Swiss Made." This level of quality can be achieved in terms of production technology only with fast and accurate automation equipment. This led Amax…
The Straight Skinny on Linear Motion
What's 'Pnew' in Pneumatics?
Turn to Pneumatics or Direct-Drive Linear?
Power Transmission Applications Use Lead Screws and Timing Belts, While Motion Control Applications Include High-Precision, Highly Repeatable Systems Equipped With Feedback and Servo Loops
Recall that a main component of a linear motion system is the linear actuator, which can be a pneumatic, hydraulic or electrical device. A good way to think of the various technologies in terms of a particular task is in the application's…
Webinar: Preparing for Ebola in the Water Sector
Hydroforming For Machine Builders Gets 21st-Century Makeover
The Lowdown on Hydraulics
Should you use solid-state or electromechanical relays?
Choosing between SSRs and EMRs involves multiple considerations.
Sometimes, choosing a component is up to the customer’s discretion. Sometimes, it’s based on the application. And sometimes it’s just what the machine builder is most familiar with. With relays, there are a few clear-cut ways to go, but many…
Industrial actuators conceived from nuclear power plants
H2W Technologies, Inc. Acquires Baldor Linear Motor Product Lines
Button Down HMI Design
Hydraulics Stand Up to Tough Mining Conditions
Is a stepper or servo best for torque optimization?
A machine builder wants to know the tradeoffs between stepper motors and servo motors for its CNC machines
We've been using stepper motors in the CNC machines we build. However, we sometimes lose steps because of the heavy table. We’ve considered putting a feedback device on the stepper application to optimize torque, but is there a better solution? Would a servo motor solve this? What are the tradeoffs?
See also: Two controls engineers discuss servo motors
When Industrial Steppers Measure Up
Infographic: If You Use Stepper Motors Are They Open or Closed Loop? (2014)
Infographic: If You Use Stepper Motors Are They Open or Closed Loop?
Benefits of Small Stepper Motors
Motion Control Joins the Efficiency Revolution
Robots Become Routine in Machine Designs
Servos Are Fun to Say and Are Useful For Most Automation Applications
November Showcase: Valves, Control Systems, Motors and More
See the Latest Product Innovations in the Industry
Display of PressureAG200 media-isolated, digital pressure gauge has 4–20 mA output signal and large LCD that can display psi, bar, kg/cm, ATM, inches H20 and Hg measuring units. With a test button, users can evaluate loop current to ensure the system is set up correctly and adjust the current in 2 mA increments. Loop current update rate is 32 times/s; the display updates 3 times/s. American Sensor Technologies973/448-1901www.astsensors.com
Valve DriverD1 PWM Valve Driver is designed to drive and manage proportional valves. It converts proportional command voltage to a -1.1…1.1 A signal to drive the valve’s linear force motor. It works with 12 or 24 Vdc power supply and valve deadband; dither amplitude and maximum current are…
New Wireless Application Boosts Safety at Harcros
Integrated axes crank up cold working
Speculating on Valve Futures
What's Your Flow Control Valve Telling You?
Commission machines with the swipe of a finger
Gestures and motions can be used on mobile devices to operate equipment.
Glaub Automation & Engineering is one of the first system integrators to implement gesture commands for control in manufacturing. In a building used by Glaub Salzgitter, Germany, Matthias Fleischer, software developer, is standing in front of a…
International Minecraft 'Builder Bowl' tournament announced
First Motion Control Design & Innovation Competition
POSITAL-FRABA launches support program for system integrators
New support program to provide real-time prices and lead time estimates.
POSITAL-FRABA has launched a new support program for system integrators featuring real-time prices and lead time estimates.
Through POSITAL’s online Product Finder, users can search through POSITAL’s range of product offerings. With the newly announced support program, new features are also being added, including preferred pricing and product discounts, free online or in-person training, and access to POSITAL’s knowledge database with industry-specific application success stories.
“System integrators are very demanding in terms of performance, price and availability,” explains Patrick Maxwell, Product Officer at POSITAL–FRABA. “We have strengths in each of these areas and want to help our customers, both in terms of…
The role of presence sensing in collaborative robot applications
The impact of wireless technology on presence sensors with robots
The rise of robots and the enabling sensing technology
How sensors enable information-based decisions
VDMA: Machine vision market surging
New VDMA Machine Vision Market Survey shows strong growth across the board.
After a record-setting 2014, the machine vision market is continuing to surge with companies expecting 11% growth for the year of 2015, according to VDMA Machine Vision's annual survey.
Although traditionally growth has been centered around Europe, sales outside Europe grew by 20%, with North America and Asia led the charge, together constituting 34% of total worldwide sales.
Amidst the global growth and distribution of sales, China was able to remain the third largest market for European machine vision companies. Germany also retained the number one spot with 34% of the total sales.
One key ingredient in the market's overwhelming success is the strong demand in both manufacturing and non-industrial applications. Manufacturing sectors…
Machine vision market off to record start in 2015
Machine Vision Technology Developments Let Industrial Robots "See" and Do More
Mouser Unveils New Security Applications Site
Fast, Accurate, Automated Vision Inspection
Make risk assessment your critical first step in functional machine safety design
Our State of Technology Report explores in greater detail technology trends in the arena of machine safety.
Machine safety protects employees from unsafe conditions and known hazards, reduces costs such as medical and insurance expenses, helps companies to comply with regional or international regulations and improves productivity or avoids complete…
Arc flash: Trained but not applied
Rockwell accepting nominations for 2015 Manufacturing Safety Excellence Awards
7 must-read articles on machine safety
Balluff brings Sensing Technologies class to Atlanta high school
Atlanta students receive unique hands-on opportunity rich with real-world applications.
A group of students at the North Cobb Christian High School in Atlanta, GA were recently offered Balluff's Sensing Technologies class as part of the school's Math, Science and Technology Academy.
According to the school, the Academy is "a rigorous program designed to prepare students to pursue advanced degrees and careers in high tech markets." Students are enrolled in a four-year high-school track, rich with AP and Honors courses, culminating in an internship their senior year. Balluff and the Math, Science and Technology Academy coordinated for the selection of students chosen to attend the two-day course.
The course included hands-on labs dealing with object detection, linear position measurement and IO-Link technologies as well…
Targeted Detection With Presence Sensing
Push, Pull, Show and Tell: Standalone Devices Play an Important Role in Operator Interfaces
Presence Sensors Travel into New Automation Applications
Presence Sensing: The Basics
Manufacturing Workers - the Next Generation
Would Our Future Workers be Robots or Humans?
What will the next generation of manufacturing workers look like? One thing is certain. These individuals will be able to work with robots — capable of programming them, as well as allowed to interact with them, side by side.
Ntxuzone Yang and…
Making Sense of Safety Components
Machine Safety Fits Everywhere
International Safety Standards Endorse New Machine Guarding Technologies
Simpler Sensors, Switches, More-Flexible Safety
How does machine design affect data security on a network?
How secure is wireless communication?
HMI displays increase angle of vision and cabinet protection
Tablet-sized HMI builds on established features with modern resolution.
Two new tablet-sized HMI displays from Maple Systems bring an expanded operator field of vision and in-cabinet protection to the industrial marketplace. Enter the HMI5097XL and HMI5097NXL 9.7-in HMI displays.
A 70° viewing angle enables an improved field of vision for efficient monitoring and control of operational status. “These particular displays have an extremely wide viewing angle,” explains Larry St.Peter, CEO of Maple Systems. “It’s virtually from side to side. With previous HMI displays, if you went off-axis more than 30°, your ability to see what’s on-screen would go away. With these new displays, you get resolution all the way around, from almost every angle. The operator no longer has to stand directly in front of…
You might have HMI design backward
How do we communicate with aging PCs?
Process skid standardization: What manufacturers want
What’s the best way to measure, control and display?
Are analog panel meters still good enough, or do we need to look at digital panel meters or the HMI-PLC combo units?
The textile machinery we build includes some wet process technologies. Analog panel meters have always done the job, but we’ve started looking at different options. Newer process designs have required greater accuracy and enabled closed-loop control on processes that previously required manual operation. We’re looking at higher-end digital panel meters, but each piece of equipment requires many, and they all require some degree of configuration. Because of the price, the costs mount quickly.
Are there digital-panel-meter options that will meet our needs without putting us at a price disadvantage with our competitors? Perhaps I could replace the panel meters with a PLC and HMI. I’ve also heard about the PLC-HMI combos with PID…
Universal Panel Meter is configurable for measurement, display or control
Panel Meters Take on PLC Chores
Time to Move to Digital Panel Meters?
Digital vs. Analog Panel Meter Choices
Replacing legacy HMI displays requires programming software.
I’ve been replacing legacy HMI screens that are many, many years past life expectancy, but they still work. The issue though is whether we still have access to a working programming terminal of the same vintage. Virtual PCs can be of some help,…
How multicore processing has opened new doors for PC-based controls
National Instruments Releases Its 2015 Trend Watch Report
Combine Control and Operator Interface
Manage Network Conflict: Provide Clarity on Which Applications Take Precedence
If a Wireless Industrial Device Needs to Connect to Send a Process Update or Alarm and Can't Though the Signal Appears Strong, the Consequences Could be Severe
Have you ever been on a public Wi-Fi hotspot such as a coffee shop or airport with the signal strength indicator on your mobile device or laptop indicating a nice strong signal but then not being able to log on the network? The likely reason is that…
Better Tools Benefit Alarms
DuPont's Global Alarm Management Story
DTE Energy Tackles Unruly Alarms
Stay Alert About Alarms
Consider the Need for Safety Switches
No Matter What Type of Switch is Used, It’s Important to Recognize and Account for the Needs of Engineering Staff, Maintenance Personnel and Operators to Access a Machine for Upkeep and Cleaning.
When you've got to stop, you've got to stop. For machine builders, that's usually a job for safety switches. They allow safe access to dangerous machines by putting systems in a harmless state, which could mean cutting off power completely. In selecting a safety switch, it's important to keep in mind frequency and function, according to Roberta Nelson Shea, global marketing manager for Rockwell Automation. For something that needs to be opened only once a year, the best solution likely is to use simple guards, such as by completely encasing the area. More frequent access has to be easier. It's when access is frequent, but not constant that an interlocking safety switch comes into play."You expect somebody needs to get in there at least…
A Beacon for Wireless Signal Integrity
Smart Ethernet in New LDT for Automation Industries
BYOD Gains Traction as Employees Demand Access from Mobile Devices
Remote Access Is a Big Problem for Target Corp. and Fazio