Technical articles
Laser profile scanners improve quality and performance in machine building
Glenn Wedgbrow, business development manager at Micro-Epsilon UK, provides an overview of seven challenging measurement applications that use the latest laser profile scanning technology to help improve quality control and production performance.
Simple innovation heralds time and cost savings for machine builders
Simple innovations to improve existing pneumatics technology can make a real difference to the way we build and commission machines, according to industrial automation specialist Festo.
Robots are changing the culture in pharma manufacturing
Stäubli’s Simon Jenkins looks at how the advent of robots designed for operation within primary pharmaceutical manufacturing areas are revolutionising a number of production processes.
Getting a clear picture of energy usage
Monitoring each stage of a manufacturing process can ensure it is run in the most energy efficient way. It might also make it possible to take action to minimise grid electricity consumption at times of peak tariff says Will Darby, managing director of Carlo Gavazzi.
HMI solutions for extreme environments
Freezing cold, summer heat or thunderstorms – in extreme weather conditions, many input systems quickly reach their limits. Increased protection against vandalism also plays an important role in the use of robust input systems.
When to turn to custom drive system design
When standard drive system parts can’t fulfil their destined application, it might be time to consider a customised alternative. Stewart Goulding, manging director of bespoke custom gearbox producer EMS, explains when custom design is the right choice for manufacturers.
Why the right monitoring system can make a big difference
Incorporating the right condition monitoring system into any process will provide a wide range of long term benefits and this certainly applies to vibration monitoring applications.
MES versus ERP – What’s right for your business?
The digital transformation experts SolutionsPT have launched a campaign to show why a combined approach to MES and ERP simplifies the value of manufacturing intelligence.
Choosing the right bearings for high temperature applications
When the manufacturing process gets hot, beyond what is considered to be ‘standard operating temperatures’, the durability of machinery components and materials is critical – particularly where, in extreme cases, the potential for failures and potential environmental issues increases exponentially.
New hardware concepts for the autonomous trucks of the future
The era of the long-haul autonomous truck is fast approaching. With it will come both challenges and opportunities to redesign the interior of autonomous vehicles to serve new functions and activities of those who operate them.
Answering customer-driven needs in miniature motor design and development
Sunil Kumar, product manager at Portescap, explains why ‘voice of the customer’ research is critical for optimising miniature motor design.
Tailoring machines to the needs of food and beverage
Today, food and beverage sector manufacturers face a number of existential challenges, particularly in the UK, where supermarkets wield huge influence in the cost, delivery and ultimate success of consumables. In their turn, supermarkets are influenced by the buying decisions of an increasingly savvy consumer, who is not only buying based on price, but will make informed decisions based on a variety of other factors such as perceived health benefits and ethical or ecological credibility. Add to this growing consumer expectations of new products, flavours, and package sizes, alongside increasingly stringent regulations, and it’s clear that when it comes to remaining competitive, modern F&B manufacturers must sprint to stand still. Such market pressures mean that Digital Transformation (DX) is vital for manufacturers. The promise of product traceability, reduced waste, improved efficiency, quicker product development, smoother supply chain logistics and the flexibility to adapt more q...
Enclosure systems accessories for cabling are indispensable
Switch and control panels protect electrical devices in a ‘hostile environment’. They prevent damage from moisture, dust or contact. But that is not enough. Accessories are often used for ease of use and to make the assembly of panels simpler and clearer. These usually originated from the user. It is important that these accessories meet the same requirements as those that apply to building the panel. Various materials are available for Rittal’s VX25 add-on unit series to keep electrical and pneumatic components separate from each other. Non-electrical parts and appliances that do not belong directly to the electrical equipment cannot simply be placed within the housing containing the switchgear. Solenoid valves must therefore be kept separate from other electrical components by placing them in a separate compartment made with rail systems. System chassis, which are used in the door of the VX25 to make optimal use of cabinet space, can sometimes also be used for the AX wall and floo...
Not all enclosures are created equal for outdoor applications
The need for outdoor systems is increasing, due to the ever-expanding requirement for all things to be connected. This need will only increase but it is paramount that when a system is to be placed outside serious consideration, is given to the design of the housing that the critical infrastructure equipment, will sit in. Whether it be telecommunication, rail, airports or highways the overriding factors are the same. Outdoor enclosures usually contain critical infrastructure equipment and as such we need to ensure that we are protecting that equipment. The key question from within industry is, why would you put equipment in an enclosure that isn’t specifically designed to work in that environment – an enclosure that will most likely leak, allow the equipment inside to overheat, or cause condensation during the winter months, as well as offering no form of security protection, against individuals who wish to gain access, to damage or remove the equipment. In larger or more critical a...
AI – playground or industrial tool?
Can manufacturers increase transparency and lower entry barriers? Or are AI methods rather a game for start-ups? Spoiler: in machine vision, there are solutions suitable for industrial use. The machine vision community agrees that artificial intelligence (AI) is a key enabler for the digital age. The self-learning algorithms have the potential to improve existing machine vision processes and products and also show new possibilities. However, these also require new ways of thinking. But many companies in the machine vision sector still have reservations about the new technology. There is a lack of expertise and time to get a detailed understanding of the topic. Due to low control and certification possibilities, the technology and its conclusions are difficult to comprehend for many users. There is thus often a lack of acceptance and explanation. Can manufacturers increase transparency and lower barriers to entry? Or are AI methods not yet ready for industrial use and currently only ...
Maximise filling machine efficiency with the right pump
Liquid filling machines are used for the transfer of a variety of bulk liquids for packaging into bottles, pouches or other containers. Process requirements can range from water, glues, or chemicals to resins or food. Selecting the right process technology is not only be challenging, given the variety of fluids but can also be problematic if common filling issues are not known in advance. Utilising the correct filling technology can mean the difference between an efficient low wastage process, or unexpected consequences leading to repeated maintenance and downtime. One type of pump that is regularly recommends for liquid filling machines is a peristaltic pump, but how do they perform in liquid filling applications and why utilise such designs in a process? Six common filling issues There are a range of issues common within liquid filling applications from pumps failing prematurely, to an unexpected change in the pumped fluid, cross contamination and even excess dosing of expensive f...
Using thin section bearings to boost performance
How machines that require motion have long made use of bearings to smooth the path and reduce friction
Free Guide to mechanical power transmission couplings
A newly updated Guide from jbj Techniques provides engineers with a valuable insight into the considerations needed when specifying couplings for power transmission applications ranging from 12Nm to 7,200,000 Nm
Regenerative energy: underestimated efficiency factor for machines
Many processes, particularly those that occur cyclically, have a high potential of regenerative energy that could be utilised easily and efficiently – the operative word being ‘could’.
On the optimum path
A look inside new machining strategies and specially designed milling tools

Login / Sign up