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Crashing and smoking automation

A simple mistake is all it takes to remove machine tooling and control hardware from a system in spectacular fashion

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As I read a news story on how India lost and found its Vikram Lander on the moon, I couldn't help thinking about some of the spectacular automation crashes and failures I've witnessed. Fortunately for India, it was not a total loss; its Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and its eight scientific instruments will likely be orbiting the moon and providing valuable information for years.Over my career and like India's moon program, I have definitely lost a lander craft or two, but the main ship still functioned—after the bent parts were repaired. However, complete system failures do occur during machine startup or maintenance activities. Fortunately, I was just a spectator to some…

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Go-To Resources

Our latest issue: October 2019

CD1910 webcover tabletModified Motion: Significant upgrades to machinery improve cycle times. Read the issue.

State of Technology Report

CD1909 Motors Motion Drives II SOT tabletMotors, Motion & Drives: How to be gentle and accurate with linear motion, what you need to know about motor selection and more. Download now.

Voices: Real Answers

How do I visualize my vision application?

What are the critical techniques, functions or checklists I should know to choose the vision hardware and communication method?

By Mike Bacidore, editor in chief

A Control Design reader writes: I am working on the design of a large automated assembly line with many cells assembling small parts using advanced automation, robots and motion control, and I think machine vision is the key to success. In several of the machine cells, the plan is to use cameras to…

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    As I read a news story on how India lost and found its Vikram Lander on the moon, I couldn't help thinking about some of the spectacular automation crashes and failures I've witnessed. Fortunately for India, it was not a total loss; its Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and its eight scientific instruments…

    Full Story
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