MachineBuilding.net Technical Articles Index
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cut your bottom line costs with ISO 11011
BCAS is urging businesses to adopt ISO 11011 to cut the cost of running their compressed air systems, even if they don’t have to comply with ESOS (Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme).
Precision measurement using laser displacement sensors
Although most laser displacement sensors use the same measuring principle, the individual design of the sensor mechanics, optics, the mechanical stability and signal processing algorithms will differ widely from one supplier to another, says Chris Jones, Managing Director at Micro-Epsilon UK.
Twelve things you need to know about CC-Link networks
Experts on open factory automation networks will already know about CC-Link; however, even if you are in this camp, do you know everything you need to know? Network technologies are developing quickly and are likely to be an increasing part of our lives as technological progress continues to accelerate. Since gigabit Ethernet CC-Link IE and its fieldbus variant CC-Link are the predominant factory automation network systems in Asia and are growing quickly in popularity throughout the rest of the world, it is probably a good idea to be up-to-speed with the essentials. Here John Browett of the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) offers some straightforward answers to the most important practical questions.