MachineBuilding.net Technical Articles Index
Sizing of pipework for steam applications for reliable operation
Steam is used in a wide range of industries for a variety of processes, from a basic small heating circuit to large scale hygienic steam production, involving specialist equipment which needs to be designed and maintained properly to ensure efficient and reliable operation of the process equipment. Ian Webster, Hygienic Processing Segment Manager at Bürkert UK offers steam training courses; here he looks at some of the basic calculations that should be understood by design and maintenance engineers in order to achieve a safe and efficient process.
High-pressure, high-volume pump design for harsh environments
Pump designs fall mainly into two categories – centrifugal and reciprocating (piston) type – each with its own benefits and constraints. Mike Sherman, Marketing Manager at RMI Pressure Systems, looks at the design criteria and some of the applications.
When two-speed motors are the best option
Two-speed motors are an often-overlooked technology, but they can be a good choice of prime mover when robustness, simplicity and low cost are required, alongside operational flexibility. Jerry Hodek of Wellingborough-based industrial motor specialists, Rotor UK, explains where they fit into the spectrum of drives.
Metal vs. plastic: specification of large outdoor enclosures
Large, outdoor enclosures are a necessary aspect of the general infrastructure of day-to-day life. Used to house vital control panels and electrical connections, these enclosures must be able to withstand all that is thrown at them to protect their contents; this includes extreme temperatures, rain, UV exposure and even vandalism attempts. Due to its inherent strength, steel has traditionally been the material of choice despite several shortcomings; but can glass-reinforced polyester (GRP) offer a robust alternative which offers protection where steel cannot?
Pneumatic cushioning: save costs with the right adjustment
Productivity, energy efficiency, and a long service life: these three requirements are at the top of the list for end users when it comes to pneumatic automation systems. And most of the time just the right adjustment is sufficient to meet these requirements precisely. With optimally adjusted pneumatic cushioning, machine manufacturers and system integrators can shorten cycle times by up to 40%, increasing productivity accordingly. At the same time, they often lower air consumption by more than 50% compared with cylinders with pre-adjusted cushioning.
Grease: How to avoid economic meltdown
A tub of grease costs next to nothing. A seized motor can bring a production line to a standstill, resulting in enormous accumulating losses. Magda Bartosova, Technical Advisor of Wellingborough-based motor specialist Rotor UK, says that remembering to lubricate electric motors will probably get the company accountant whining about trickle-spending, but...
Measuring viscosity wirelessly
If precise mixing is a crucial process variable, viscosity measurement may be the most accurate way to ensure optimum performance. But rotating mixers can lead to very tangled wiring, so here Mark Ingham of Sensor Technology Ltd looks at wireless options.
Servo technology is moving to a new paradigm
A long-standing engineers’ dream is to be able to assemble sophisticated, high-function, multi-axis servo systems from a kit of parts with no more difficulty than clicking Lego bricks together. Gerard Bush of Inmoco in Daventry says reality hasn’t quite caught up with fantasy, but it is moving in the right direction.