MachineBuilding.net Technical Articles Index
Using Industry 4:0 to future-proof automation projects
In the UK, there are many companies that specialise in automation projects. Some design and provide the technology, components or sub systems, usually called Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Others provide the full turnkey applications. Then, there are system integrators that are specialists in crafting solutions, overseeing the engineering of automated systems, ensuring all the elements on a manufacturing and packing line work harmoniously together to optimise productivity, reduce waste and address rising manufacturing labour costs.
Using Industry 4.0 to optimise process control
Almost every industrial process is capable of adopting aspects of the fourth industrial revolution, the interconnection and digitisation of products, business models and value chains, otherwise known as Industry 4.0. As more manufacturers and businesses adopt the principles and more common protocols are implemented, so the benefits become more accessible. Paul Trevitt, Operations and Engineering Manager, for Bürkert Fluid Control Systems, looks at the advantages of this evolving concept and how it can be implemented in process control scenarios.
Collaborative robots – risks and rewards
When you are contemplating how to complete a challenging, tedious, dirty (or even dangerous) job there is usually a heightened sense of satisfaction when you actually get it completed. That sense of accomplishment on completing the job will occur the first time you do it and perhaps even after the first few times. However, over time, these types of jobs are likely to become more tedious and subsequently could have a negative impact on operators and may also prevent them from spending time on higher value tasks in the manufacturing plant. This may come as a surprise, but installing an industrial robot to take over tedious or monotonous work may not always be the answer. That’s because not all robots are equal. Jonny Grey, UK Sales & Marketing Manager, Motoman Yaskawa, discusses the options.
Factors to consider when selecting draw wire position sensors
When selecting draw wire position sensors, a number of factors need to be considered, including their size and compactness, measuring range, output options and ease of customisation for high volume OEM applications, says Chris Jones of Micro-Epsilon.
How materials and surface treatments improve bearing reliability
The use of application-specific bearing steels and surface treatments enables the reliability of bearings to be increased significantly, which, in turn, contributes to reductions in the total cost of ownership of machinery and equipment.
Re-engineering diaphragm valves
The diaphragm valve provides an economical control option for many process applications in a wide range of industries. The ability to select valve seat and body materials to suit a range of fluids and pick from different control options has resulted in a very flexible product. Bürkert, however, has taken this a stage further in a project to re-engineer its diaphragm valves to continue to optimise performance while also improving longevity and operating efficiency.
PLCs and PACs – which one is right for you?
A survey carried out by flavoured syrup supplier, Monin, in October, 2017 found that 61 per cent of Brits prefer coffee over tea. Here Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of EU Automation explores the pros and cons of using traditional programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and newer programmable automation controllers (PACs).
PLC modules: What’s on the rack…
The increasing modularity of PLC components means that in principle life has been getting easier for systems integrators of late, with the ability to implement complete automation systems on a single backplane. However, with a host of new PLC modules making it feasible to implement full control of a complete production line without ever leaving the PLC rack, are we at risk of over-complicating a simple idea? Barry Weller of Mitsubishi Electric argues that, actually, this is all for the better.