MachineBuilding.net Technical Articles Index
Sensors 101: understanding sensors within a fluid control system
In the world of fluid control systems today, very little can be achieved without the raw data supplied by sensors, which need to be carefully specified to ensure that they are suited to their application. These sensors can help facilitate a variety of tasks from displaying process information and performing control functions to operating alarms, but each one has to communicate information to a process controller. Kieran Bennett, of process control specialist Bürkert, looks at the range of sensors available, the different technologies used in their design and how the application affects the specification.
Industry 4.0 unplugged
Industry 4.0 is a big concept and a hugely popular buzzword across manufacturing. It originated at the Hanover Messe a couple of years ago, when Siemens defined it as the computerisation of manufacturing, including transition to higher levels of interconnectivity, smarter plants and communication between equipment.
Automation and data transparency in the bakery
Pressure on prices is rising in the bakery market. Of particular concern is the increasing pressure from the discounters who are competing with cheap products baked freshly in store. At the same time, productivity and profit margins are low in the food processing industry in comparison with other producing industries. Above all, small and medium-sized operations are facing the challenge of competing in price terms with the discounter and supermarket offers manufactured largely on automated monolines. To stay competitive in the long term, operations are increasingly looking for opportunities to increase efficiency in production while at the same time reducing energy consumption. Reliable characteristics and the collection and accurate analysis of process and production-related data provide the necessary transparency.
New guarding standard EN ISO 14120 tightens requirements
Following final approval by the European Commission, from September 2014, EN ISO 14120 (Safety of machinery - Guards - General requirements for the design and construction of fixed and movable guards) will replace EN 953.
Internet machine servicing, servitization and Industry 4.0
By adopting Industry 4.0 technologies as an enabler for servitization (also referred to as servitisation), machine builders and process equipment suppliers can maximise their revenues by offering new value-added services that improve their customers' performance, says John Pritchard, Managing Director at MAC Solutions.
Intelligent design of new generation IP68 enclosures
When talking about enclosure quality, IP68 certification is the Holy Grail. IP68 enclosures are able to protect against water ingress even when fully submerged, making them suitable for applications in harsh environments. In order to guarantee the water resistance, most manufacturers resort to cumbersome, double housing or gel-filled designs. While these can be quite bulky and time consuming to install, the inconvenience is generally accepted as a necessary hassle to achieve the required protection. But is that still the case? Alan Lewis, Business Development Manager for Retex UK, explains how thoughtful design is leading to a new generation of IP68 enclosures which offer end-users greater flexibility of choice and reduced installation times.
Specification advise for cable glands and enclosure accessories
Cable gland design has become increasingly varied as manufacturers begin to realise that they need to offer their customers a distinct advantage in order to hold on to their market share. With all this variation it can be hard to find the cable gland that is right for your application. Hylec-APL provides a range of mainstream and specialist options which offer end-users and OEMs the flexibility to choose the right option for their application.
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.