MachineBuilding.net Technical Articles Index
Designing with obsolescence in mind
It’s fair to say that the smartphone is to blame for many everyday technologies including the calculator, the torch and the camera slowly entering the realms of obsolescence. However, not even this disruptive technology can go on ruling our lives forever; a study by Ericsson found that one in two people believe the smartphone will be obsolete in 5 years’ time. With tech lifecycles becoming shorter, it is important for product designers to plan in advance for component obsolescence to maximise the life span of their products. Here, Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of industrial automation equipment supplier EU Automation, discusses his considerations for designing for obsolescence.
Benefits of universal peripherals: the universal brake chopper
There is a real danger in the specification of inverters for use in heavy-duty applications. Fresh from the manufacturer, most drives – even ones with onboard brake choppers – are not rated sufficiently for the braking demand of the application. Here John Mitchell, global business development manager of maintenance and repair specialist CP Automation, discusses the benefits of using a universal brake chopper that works with any inverter.
The future of obsolescence management
In 10 years’ time robots will cease to be subservient/submissive, manufacturing won’t exist as we know it and we’ll be 3D printing our own clothes before we go out. Do any of these sound like familiar predictions you’ve heard over the last 5 years? We thought so. With this in mind, we’ll tread lightly when talking about what the highly interconnected future has in store for industrial automation. Here, marketing director of EU Automation, Jonathan Wilkins, looks at managing obsolete automation components in the factory of the future. Oh, did we mention that this factory could be ordering your replacement parts for you?
The benefits and challenges of IT/OT convergence
The convergence of industrial automation and communication is an integral part of the growing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). In the modern industrial realm, automation should provide a consistent way of executing tasks and processes – including those usually associated with information technology (IT). As a result, the operational technology (OT) used to support manufacturing processes is experiencing significant changes. Here, Martyn Williams, Managing Director of COPA-DATA UK, explains the changing responsibilities of IT and OT.
Automatic monitoring of mobile harbour equipment
The increasing globalisation of the world economy is pressurising ports, docks and harbours into handling ever-increasing volumes of cargo, so mobile harbour equipment has to work efficiently and reliably at all times. Tony Ingham of Sensor Technology Ltd explains how monitoring the work rate of cranes, loaders and unloaders means their performance can be optimised and downtime for maintenance can be scheduled for minimum disruption to operational requirements.
How to specify simple, reliable and adaptable screw jacks
The need to raise a load is one of the most common requirements in industry. This is often achieved with a screw jack, but these need to be used in conjunction with other drive components and possibly in a system of several synchronised screw jacks. Ian Carr of Drive Lines Technologies explains how lifting systems are typically designed.
The death of proprietary networks
Like it or not, we live in modern world of fluidity and interconnectedness in which the once ordinary now transcends all previous boundaries. Take the humble kettle for instance. It’s a sign of the times that you can now purchase a kettle you can control from your phone via the internet. It will even send you notifications when it needs filling or if it’s at optimum temperature. Because it was hard to tell before. Joking aside, one place where interconnectivity really is making a difference is on the factory floor. Here Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of EU Automation, takes a look at one of the casualties of fluid communication in the factory. That is, the death of proprietary networks and communication protocols in favour of the uninhibited free flow of data.
Soft starter or variable speed drive for your motor?
Motor starting can induce shock loads into the driven equipment and harmonic disturbances into the main supply. Jerry Hodek of Exico Electric Motors says both variable speed drives and soft starters will help reduce this effect and explains which option best suits an application.