Kuka eliminates data silos with PLM software
Global digitalization journey is an ongoing attempt to eliminate tribal knowledge
Kuka Robotics is a global automation powerhouse. One hundred and twenty years after it was founded in Bavaria, Germany, in 1898, Kuka’s annual sales are around $3 billion and its workforce totals more than 12,000 worldwide. Five years ago, Kuka’s global data systems operated on disconnected drives with different systems for product lifecycle management (PLM), product data management (PDM) and sometimes only enterprise resource planning (ERP).
It embarked on a global journey to digitalize. “The only way a project like this will take and keep is if it had support at the top,” explained Greg LaMay, director, global PLM implementation, Kuka North America, who spoke at the 11th annual Manufacturing in America Summit, which was hosted in…
How connector upgrades fit into an IIoT retrofit
Recommendations for connectors in extreme environments
Maintenance strategies for cable identification
When to use a cable conduit outside the enclosure
What to expect from distributed I/O
Whether the communication system is open or closed proprietary, choose device hardware to meet expectations
Distributed I/O can mean different things to different people and different manufacturers, but let’s discuss I/O device hardware—digital, analog or messaging device—that is connected to the primary control device using a communication system…
Control for massive foundations
How to put new legs on legacy
Simplify press maintenance and management through IIoT innovation
Make time for innovation
Panel of experts discuss a way to virtually eliminate the cost of wiring in new components in current and future retrofits
While not everyone on our panel of experts is sold on what IIoT can do for connectors today, the possibility to virtually eliminate the cost of wiring makes it as enticing as any other upgrade. As the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) continues…
Which wire color coding standard is best?
Batch-size-of-one manufacturing and digitalization take center stage
The Manufacturing in America Summit showcased that the world wants what it wants
Detroit is changing. It had to. It hasn’t monopolized American automotive production for almost a decade now. But it has slowly begun to crawl from the wreckage with a more diversified industrial community. The aerospace industry moved in quickly…
Keep systems safe and secure in a connected world
IIoT, meet the edge-gateway controller
The path forward for clean energy
The evolution of IIoT infrastructure
Houlder creates a safe and reliable upending tool to control the lifting of immense offshore wind monopiles
A tool that picks, orients and places a part is common in machine automation. However, when it's part of a wind-farm installation located offshore, it's a rather complex and impressive piece of equipment (Figure 1).Our company, Houlder, was tasked…
Light-fidelity communication: technology in progress
The future is flooded with wireless data
What will you engineer next?
12 steps to Li-Fi implementation
Networking devices for harsh environments
Components are tested for temperature and vibration extremes at RuggedCom.
I’m a software guy, so, when I was invited to Siemens’ RuggedCom plant tour, I was intrigued, as well as excited to see what these guys were doing.
RuggedCom started as a Canadian innovation story in 2002. It grew quickly and found the eye of…
Codimag improves productivity by limiting service costs
Press technology, motion control and automation combine with remote-monitoring solution to keep label-printing machines in production
The word “label” conjures up many images. They can be utilitarian—for instance, the white background with simple block letters identifying the contents of a file folder in your office. They might be a red warning on a yellow background…
Cybersecurity concerns continue to speckle remote-access compositions
Smart connectivity includes cybersecurity
Keeping the HMI application secure while providing remote viewing
Remove unplanned downtime digitally and securely
Should I limit programming to ladder logic or use all standards within IEC 61131?
How many IEC 61131-3 languages do I actually need and does limiting help ensure maintenance techs and programmers can provide support?
A Control Design reader writes: Due to past issues with programming support of our automated machines, we have created a requirement for new equipment that the control software meet the IEC 61131 standard, and we have limited the approved controller…
How many IEC 61131-3 languages do I need?
Machine design with maintenance in mind
A better watering can
Forget PLC vs. PAC vs. IPC
How to bridge the automation generation gap
Power supplies get out of the cabinet
By moving power supplies closer to devices, it enables modular design and reduces thermal-management issues
Moving PLCs, I/O and other control equipment closer to the input and output devices they manage has become standard practice among design professionals. It offers a number of advantages, one of which is that it allows for modular design of…
Linear power supply vs. switched
Zero-cabinet power supply
The basics of power supplies in industrial machinery
How much effect will linear power supplies’ EMI have on machine controls?
Maintain domain expertise
The fundamentals of motion control systems
Accurate fishing begins with lights-out manufacturing
Okuma machinery helps aerospace company to evolve into the reel deal
Accurate Fishing Products, in Corona, California, started as a summer work project during my college days in the early 1990s. Design and development of fishing reels in those early years led to the purchase of several Okuma CNC machines and related…
CNC’s future looks bright
Romeo Engineering leverages PC-based control to improve manufacturing speed and accuracy
Case Study: Harry Major Machine modern gantry improves plant uptime, recovery time
Absolute Machine Tools acquires distributor Machine Tool Technology-21
PC-based control yields 33% higher controller functionality while reducing cabinet and machine footprints
Edge Automation throws away the box to solve previously unsolvable engineering projects
Good things come in small packages. There is perhaps no better way to describe Edge Automation, a custom machine builder and automation solutions provider based in London, Ontario. Though our company is small—employing around 47 skilled designers,…
The IPC adapts to advanced control needs
A control system by any other name
Programming a PLC vs. industrial PC: which is best?
How will greater software capabilities and more powerful CPUs affect IPCs and EOI?
Infographic: If You Use Stepper Motors Are They Open or Closed Loop? (2014)
February 2014 Survey Results Show 53% of Respondents Use Closed-Loop Stepper Motors
An electronic survey of Control Design readers was conducted in February 2014 in order to identify usage and application trends in motion, drives and motor technology among the industrial machine builders that comprise Control Design's readership.
47% of respondents who use stepper motors use open-loop steppers; 53% use closed-loop.
Read all survey results.
How duplicating designs can build obsolescence and cost in to control systems
It's the little things that add up
As designers, we tend to try and make things as easy on ourselves as possible. One way to do this is to re-use designs when we find a good one. While good, in theory, we can quickly find ourselves behind the times because technology moves along at a…
How machine designers can integrate thermal-protection technology to prevent solid-state relay and equipment failure
Ensure machinery durability and long-term functionality
Reap the benefits of designing for mass production
Economies of scale can lead to discounts and savings that you might not have considered
An opportunity presented itself not too long ago when my company was forced to re-examine the use of some equipment in our two facilities. We package dry goods for a variety of clients using nearly 40 production lines. Such is the nature of our…
The art of designing the cabinet with maintenance in mind
Which enclosure fits my needs?
How to address the need for higher speeds and increased modularity in IPC-in-cabinet design
Safety relay or safety-rated PLC?
Safety Applications Become More Complex When More Than Three Inputs Must Be Monitored and Controlled
Machine and robot builders often need safety-rated monitoring and control, which can be accomplished with safety-rated relays or PLCs. "Many applications could use either a safety relay or PLC, but the choice depends on four main considerations: complexity, flexibility, availability and footprint," says George Schuster, senior industry specialist for the automotive team at Rockwell Automation.
SEE ALSO: Safety Relays or Better Diagnostics?
Safety applications become complex when more than about three inputs must be monitored and controlled, or when communication over a digital network is required. "Safety relays are hardwired to perform simple diagnostics and logic, and work well when the amount of safety points in the application…
Relays: Out with the old?
Simulation technology center slated for University of Cincinnati
Siemens provides PLM software and pledges up to $1 million to establish center.
Siemens and the University of Cincinnati have announced a partnership to establish a simulation and modeling center enabled with Siemens product lifecycle management (PLM) software.
Housed on UC’s main campus in its College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS), the Siemens PLM Simulation Technology Center will be a hub for developing and applying new methodologies and technologies in engineering education and research, according to Siemens.
Through a pledge from Siemens of up to $1 million, as well as Siemens’ staff support and additional PLM software, the partnership will provide experiential learning opportunities for students in UC’s CEAS.
“As manufacturing companies worldwide move closer to Industry 4.0, it is more…
IML announces next round of projects targeted toward small, medium manufacturers
How design software impacts development time, predictive modeling and thermal management
NIST Project to Give Design Software New Digital Threads
ECAD: Simple or Complex?
Software to enable design detail
When does control design begin?
Where does electrical CAD software stand with the digital twin?
How IP67 and IP69K components affect machine-design decisions
The importance of IIoT in the packaging equipment industry
What industry is doing to address the shortage of experienced technical employees
Permanently more efficient motors
Technology is making motors more robust and reliable, while future standards, like permanent-magnetic motors, are driving a more efficient system design
There are two things worth noting on how technology is changing motors. "One is the Internet of Things (IoT) trend," says Michael Offik, PE, director of packaged solutions at ABB. "The motors can be inexpensively monitored. The other is the…
Servo motion control makes thermoformer bigger, faster and less expensive
What is motion control?
Manufacturing quality starts with the motor
How will VSDs alter motor efficiency?
The fundamentals of motion control focus on the details and theories about motor control, feedback methods and mechanical actuators
Motion control is a bit of a specialty in automated control systems, and its use is not basic, as it can provide advanced machine functionality. It provides the means to move the machine tooling or the part itself in a controlled, and often…
How to bore an engineer into retirement
When is the right time to upgrade?
Smart control and drive integration fill the bill
Critical alignment really is critical
Why designers, engineers and end-users should not accept rod seal failure as normal
A critical design feature of any mechanism where moving elements interact or work in tandem with each other is the alignment of those parts in relationship to one another. Design engineers commonly specify and make notation on design prints…
How to select pneumatic valves and actuators
Why bother with energy efficiency?
The reindustrialization of America
Pneumatic use is all about the fundamentals
Hydraulic muscle, as needed
Sometimes brute force is needed, and a little hydraulic knowledge can get things moving in the right direction
There is no doubt hydraulics has unmatched muscle, compared to pneumatics or electrical power transmission in linear and rotary motion applications. While pneumatics may win the game when it comes to simple, low-cost and fast linear motion,…
Keys to specifying hydraulic power systems
6 surprising capabilities of modern hydraulics
The Straight Skinny on Linear Motion
Webinar: Preparing for Ebola in the Water Sector
Real automation bias
After a brief look at a study two universities published that suggested robots may make workers sick, my biased opinion says BS to that so I suggest looking forward to the future and to not be the victim who's feeling ill in a safe space
So I quickly read an email summary of a paper where researchers from Ball State and Villanova universities suggested that the fear of automation could be affecting workers' physical and mental health.Really? Maybe it's because I'm a Purdue…
Key positions on encoders
Pick machines, not processes
New innovations in linear motion
How to actuate in dirty, wet environments
How do I make precision-motion machinery IIoT-ready?
Motion application drives stepper or servo selection
As machine trends change, motion requirements stay unaffected
Is a stepper or servo best for torque optimization?
Adaptable packaging line improves speed
Beumer Group helps Mexican cement manufacturer Cruz Azul to fill, palletize and package different types of tile mortar
Cooperativa La Cruz Azul, the third-largest cement manufacturer in Mexico, required an entire packaging line for the flexible and fully automated filling, palletizing and packaging of different types of a new tile mortar (Figure 1). The Beumer Group…
How to tune PID loops
Once clean, dry air at the proper pressure is connected and safe, get control of the pneumatic cylinders, actuators and motors with proper valve selection and flow control.
Supplying clean, dry air is an important starting point to long and reliable valve operation in industrial machines and equipment. However, switching the air through the proper type of valve to control the cylinder, actuator or air motor is where is where fluid power is controlled.
Pneumatics are a great choice for many machine linear and rotary applications. Unless the machine requires accurate, programmable motion-positioning electric motors or the high-force capabilities of hydraulics, a pneumatic solution is often the best and most popular choice. Instead of electricity, design in some pneumatic air preparation hardware, tubing, valves, solenoids and flow controls, connect to the pneumatic cylinders, actuators and motors and get the…
November Showcase: Valves, Control Systems, Motors and More
New Wireless Application Boosts Safety at Harcros
Integrated axes crank up cold working
Speculating on Valve Futures
The future direction of control
Add vision guidance to delta robots on packaging equipment and combine it with state-of-the-art controller technology for an image of innovation and the future
Over the years, we have reinvented and repurposed JLS Automation as necessary and moved into new markets as we identified trends and opportunities. More than a decade ago, we decided to focus on hygienic packaging solutions for the food industry,…
Where machine automation and design software is heading
PLCopen Software Construction Guidelines released
Programming standardization through IEC 61131
Commission machines with the swipe of a finger
Congratulations, your job has just been automated
Robots’ affordability makes them more attractive than employees
Chris Cuomo said it—“the A word”—in a broadcast on CNN while talking about the trade tariff row in the early part of March. The A word is automation.
He was referring to the job market, and, regardless of the impact of the trade tariffs,…
Robots reach for new heights
The many movements of robotics
You can’t troubleshoot what you can’t diagnose
Diagnostic tools come in many forms, all with the purpose of keeping a machine running, troubleshooting it when there is a problem or perhaps predicting future issues
What is a diagnostic tool? Similar to automated machines used in manufacturing, diagnostic tools can be fully automatic, semiautomatic or manual devices. Sensors, smart devices, instrumentation, handheld meters and equipment can all be considered…
Smarter and more capable sensors
How does linear measure up?
Where do vision systems fit in the process?
Whether it’s assisting with assembly or improving inspection, vision systems need to be maintained
A Control Design reader writes: As a production engineer at a medical device manufacturer, I have been tasked to investigate the use of vision systems to assist assembly and to improve our quality and inspection processes, but I'm feeling…
TIM the robot monitors the health of CERN's large hadron collider
How to develop reliable vision applications
Which devices do it all for presence sensing?
How to choose between proximity sensor, photo eye and fiberoptic sensor
A Control Design reader writes: We had downtime on a production machine due to failure of a presence sensor recently. The inductive sensor that failed had a unique form factor and was embedded in a part nest. My boss was not happy; production shut…
Drive roller conveyors with AS-Interface
Do I really need a presence sensor?
See what’s new with photoelectric sensors
Hot options for temperature measurement
Thermistors, thermocouples and RTDs offer a range of devices
Several distinct methods exist for industrial temperature measurement. The most common is direct temperature sensing of an object, fluid or gas. A sensor of some type is placed in direct contact with the object to be measured. The sensor changes its…
How to troubleshoot and calibrate 4-20 mA
Process variables and the art of calibrating instruments
Sensors: Automation for Nanopositioning Systems
More methods for planning a safety upgrade
Seven industry experts on how to consider design, integration, testing and operation
A Control Design reader writes: I work at a packaging plant where safety upgrades to palletizing equipment excessively stopped the machine and confused multiple technicians, ultimately leading to some of the safety measures being bypassed, which…
How to plan a safety upgrade
A complete safety solution
Intrinsic safety comes with requirements
Options for HMIs in explosive atmospheres
Compliance for robots in collaborative and other applications
Finding common ground in a world of numerous environments.
Compared to traditional industrial sectors, robotics is a relatively young field with only about 40 years of deployment history in workplace environments. Technology within this field however is advancing incredibly fast, and thus compliance needs to adapt to keep pace with these rapid changes. Another challenge is how to convey the myriad facets of compliance comprehensibly to end customers and integrators for issues such as knowing when a robot system is really compliant or what the requirements to which the robot and robot system have to comply are.
The first thing, which has to be clarified for the topic of compliance, is always in what industry and for which purpose the robot system will be used. Compliance requirements differ from…
How to make the right safety and sensing decisions
How machine vision systems and robots have influenced each other
The impact non-vision sensing and robotics have on each other
Applications that will benefit from collaborative robot innovations
4 solutions to the 3 biggest cybersecurity challenges
Industrial control systems need protection, too
Cybersecurity and the threat of malicious actors make headlines every day. Boards of directors are recognizing cyber threats as one of the most significant risks. To date, this cybersecurity discussion has centered largely on IT systems; however,…
Zero day cyber threats
DOD-backed DMDII Cyber Hub for Manufacturing enables cybersecurity technology experimentation for factory floor
Technology and the future of employment
The Internet's unintended consequences
3 HMI configurations for hazardous areas
Examine the environment to decide the best approach for putting electrical equipment in locations with extreme conditions
Putting any electrical equipment in a hazardous location requires a careful examination of the environment where it’s installed. Articles 500-506 of NFPA 70 and IEC 60079 provide definitions of hazardous locations.
Finding a graphic or numeric…
How innovation drives medical production
The stack light gets brighter
HMI decision points
22 tips to ensure control panel maintainability
Some considerations for designers and builders of control panels that will help ensure the panels' maintainability.
One of our most popular articles on control panel design comes from a 2014 article by Don Fitchett, president of Business Industrial Network, an industrial training company, on considerations for designers and builders of control panels to help ensure the panels' maintainability.
In it, he outlines a hefty list of these considerations for designers and builders. Check them out below and read the full article, "Control panel design with maintenance in mind," here.
According to Fitchett, here are some considerations for designers and builders of control panels that will help ensure the panels' maintainability:
Have an outside-the-panel PLC communication port and fused 120-V outlet.
If it's an ac-powered PLC, have the line filter on…
What’s the best way to measure, control and display?
Universal Panel Meter is configurable for measurement, display or control
Panel Meters Take on PLC Chores
Experts weigh in on best practices for control panel housings
The extreme IPC
IPCs get the job done and are right at home on the factory floor, where the office PC is a bit out of its element.
The benefits of using an industrial computer (IPC) instead of a commercial-grade PC when the application required rugged and reliable equipment are numerous. IPCs can cost three to five times as much as their commercial-grade counterparts. However,…
Vendor-supplied or open-source HMI software?
PLCs, PACs and IPCs ─ controller terminology explained
The more controls change, the more familiar they become
A variety of improved options are provided by industrial PCs
Manage alarms without being overwhelmed
Operators need different information than maintenance personnel
The most critical HMI notification, the alarm, has important information for both operators and maintenance personnel. Our panel of experts advises how to manage alarms to ensure high-severity alarms receive the attention they need.
Alarms are an…
3 alarm types to manage with HMI
The best ways to indicate alarms and to confirm proper operator action
The human factors of panel layout
Harsh environments call for more rugged components
Why and when to upgrade from indicator lights to an HMI display
Do stack lights make the most sense for my assembly line?
Consider the Need for Safety Switches
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