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Don’t forget fixturing for CMMs and other inspection systems
When purchasing Co-ordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) and vision or flexible gauging systems, fixturing is often overlooked until the inspection equipment has been commissioned and the first parts need to be measured. To avoid delays, fixturing requirements should be well understood and addressed while a project is still in the planning stages. Even long after the equipment has been commissioned, many machines continue to be under-productive and cause backlogs in the inspection process, which is a direct result of inadequate fixturing.
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Machine risk assessment guide, tips and advice
This online guide to machine risk assessment provides useful tips and advice for machine builders and users of existing equipment. By Jon Severn, MachineBuilding.net editor.
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Subaru's approach to adopting next-generation automation
In advance of the Next-Generation Collaborative Robots & Automation Technologies 2016 conference (August 17-18, Detroit), the organisers have published this interview with Steven Eakins, a Manufacturing Engineer at Subaru, about his perspective and where Subaru stands when it comes to robotics and automation technologies.
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Production machines and automation products for the Asian market
Success in overseas markets often requires vendors to adapt their products or services to suit their target markets. This is particularly evident in automation, where each continent tends to favour specific communications systems. Here we look at how several European machine builders and device makers have addressed the needs of potential customers in Asia.
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Think outside the box for cranes and hoists
When contemplating entering the cranes and hoists market, panel builders and system integrators need to think outside the box – not only laterally but vertically as well. Mainstream horizontal applications like conveyors cannot be shoehorned into the same category as cranes and hoists. Tony Young, owner and director of CP Automation explains the complexities of vertical lift applications.
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GRP: the best of both worlds for trackside enclosures?
Network Rail has switched to 2-core cable in an effort to reduce spending on trackside installations. While this is a way to cut down on thefts overall, the cable type offers no earthing capabilities, meaning that traditional metal enclosures may no longer be suitable. This presents a rare opportunity for the canny specifier, who may find that Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) enclosures can offer cost advantages whilst keeping the engineers happy. Chris Lloyd, Managing Director of Spelsberg UK, explains why GRP enclosures offer the best of both worlds in terms of performance and price.
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Buying by the scoop: The rise of unpackaged grocery shopping
As a business model, selling groceries loose isn’t a new-fangled approach. It’s what market stalls have done for decades. Farm shops, food cooperatives and organic specialists in particular, continue to test the concept of providing sections, where shoppers can fill reusable containers with everything from flours, cereal, grains and nuts to olive oil, frozen fruit and even laundry detergent.
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Managing obsolete industrial automation systems in oil and gas
On Earth, it’s hard to imagine a more alien place than the unexplored environment of the deep sea. For the Attenborough enthusiasts among us, bizarre, bioluminescent creatures are what usually come to mind when we consider an ocean’s 3000 ft depths. But by employing cutting-edge technology, these incredible depths are set to become the locations of large production sites for the subsea oil and gas industry. Rapid technological advancements have the potential to make these innovative sites a reality as early as 2020. With technology racing ahead, it’s unsurprising that obsolescence management in the industry is complicated. Here, Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of industrial automation supplier EU Automation discusses how the oil and gas industry can manage the spiralling issue of equipment obsolescence.
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