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Editor: Jonathan Severn
03 December 2008

There are several things that machine builders and system integrators can do to survive the recession, including being more innovative than competitors, using technology to achieve more with less, and identifying strengths and building on them. Eric Starkloff has written a comment about doing more with less and last week I attended an event organised by TM Robotics (Europe) at which there was plenty of talk about building on strengths.

TM Robotics is well known as a market leader for SCARA robots, and customers also appreciate the programming software's ease of use. Now, in addition to its existing ranges of SCARA and Cartesian robots, the company is launching the Toshiba Machine TV800 six-axis anthropomorphic robot. This is a state-of-the-art robot incorporating the latest servo, gearbox and bearing technologies, but TM Robotics believes the main differentiator will be the EZ Cell programming software, which will save time for system integrators and be a major benefit for first-time users of robots.

Although TM Robotics does not offer a delta parallel kinematics robot (ABB's FlexPicker being the best known example), the company has developed an IP65 SCARA robot. TM Robotics contends that two of these can be bought for less than the cost of a single delta parallel kinematics robot for handling food and pharmaceuticals. Once again, however, the major competitive advantage will stem from the user-friendly software.


Air booster and receiver range improved and expanded
SMC Pneumatics is launching the VBA series booster regulator units that are designed for a longer life and quieter operation, plus the VBAT series receivers. More?

ODS electric linear drives offer much-improved performance
Parker-Origa's ODS family of powerful modular electric linear drives gives designers a choice of drive, guidance and feedback technologies. More?

Plain linear guide features adjustable clearance
The Igus Drylin W lubrication-free linear guide is now available with a 'turn-to-fit' feature that enables the bearing clearance to be adjusted manually. More?

Compact optical encoder achieves good speed and accuracy
Renishaw's new TONiC super-compact optical encoder operates at speeds of up to 10m/s and achieves resolutions down to 5nm for linear and rotary applications. More?

Jokab Safety publishes new machine safety handbook
Jokab's safety handbook, which can be downloaded directly, contains useful tips, lists of standards, and information about the company's products. More?


Machine Building & Automation 2009
The Machine Building & Automation show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 25-26 March 2009. See who will be exhibiting. More?

Fastening and Assembly Solutions Exhibition
Take time out to visit the Fastening and Assembly Solutions Exhibition and you could find some simple ways to save money and improve quality. More?


IP65 inverter drive features integral isolator
Lenze is now offering its SMV inverters with an integral isolator, which makes them very simple to incorporate in existing or new machinery and equipment. More?

Low-cost OEM gas sensors feature improved communications
A new version of Edinburgh Instruments' Gascard gas sensor benefits from onboard RS232, optional TCP/IP comms, and temperature and pressure compensation. More?

IndraDrive Mi drive saves space and is quick to install
An innovative motor/drive/controller architecture means that Rexroth's new IndraDrive Mi requires 50 per cent less space than traditional servo systems. More?

New low-cost digital integrated pressure transducers
Inertial Aerosystems is introducing low-cost, high-accuracy, board-based digital integrated pressure transducers in an industry-standard format. More?

Slimline multi-functional safety relay saves money
Pilz PNOZsigma safety relays typically require half the space of conventional safety relays, and their multi-functional capability reduces stockholding. More?


Nuclear submarines are huge, yet they are short on space
Clever pipe bending means that better use can be made of the limited space available on the Royal Navy's new Astute class nuclear submarines. More?


CompactRIO helps Nexans develop dredging system
A combination of CompactRIO hardware and LabVIEW software have been used to control hydraulic systems on a remotely operated subsea excavator. More?

Jonathan Severn

Andrew Turner
Sales Manager

Telephone: +44 (0) 1483 560314


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