Thursday, September 21, 2017

Distribution blocks: Simply unpack, connect, and you're done!

The new PTFIX distribution blocks from Phoenix Contact can be used straight away without manual bridging, enabling space savings of up to 80%.

The 1.5 mm² and 2.5 mm² distribution blocks are available with various numbers of positions and can be arranged in series without loss of pitch, and they can be flexibly extended as needed.

The distribution blocks are also available with DIN-rail, direct or adhesive mounting, allowing you to flexibly build any application. Pre-treated or rigid conductors are connected quickly with the tool-free push-in direct connection technology. Transverse installation on the DIN rail and the compact design achieves space savings of up to 50%.

Distribution and power blocks with 6, 12, and 18 terminal points are available in eleven colours for clear, intuitive, and safe installation. The marking of all terminal points ensures a very clear wiring layout. The PTFIX distribution blocks therefore ensure flexible and cost-effective load and control current distribution.

@PhoenixContact #PAuto

Miniature Sensors for force, displacement, pressure, strain and acceleration.

The Micro-Measurements® brand of Vishay Precision Group, industry experts in the design, development, and manufacture of resistive-foil sensors for high-precision strain measurements, has introduced a new range of miniature, lightweight hybrid sensors, offering cost-effective force, displacement, pressure, strain and acceleration measurements within high-volume OEM and test applications.

Design of the new Micro-Measurements hybrid sensor range incorporates the brand’s own renowned precision foil strain gages, adhesively bonded to flat substrates, constructed of either metal, composite, or polymer. Hybrid sensors are manufactured by VPG using the same high-volume production equipment as those used to create its precision strain gages. The result is a cost-effective family of strain-gage based hybrid sensors with consistent batch-to-batch performance characteristics. Customers may further incorporate an optional miniature signal amplifier, as either a stand-alone component or attached to the sensor. Hybrid sensors may be attached via mounting holes with choice of screws, spot welding, or clamping, thereby eliminating adhesive bonding requirements. The hybrid sensors are further optionally available with pre-attached lead wires and connectors, for simplified customer handling without soldering requirements.

New hybrid sensors can effectively support a variety of high-volume OEM consumer product, process control, automotive testing, non-critical medical device, educational research, and industrial requirements. Typical consumer product applications include appliances, sporting equipment, hand tools, and lawn and garden equipment. Process control applications include HVAC, liquid-level sensing, motor control, and vibration monitoring. Automotive testing applications include passenger weighing, foot-pedal pressure, seatbelt tension, emergency braking, suspension control, and engine monitoring. Medical applications include pumps, respirators, and other non-critical devices. Industrial applications include elevators, tank monitoring, bearing insertion, safety systems, gas and liquid cylinder pressures, and load monitoring.

@Strain_Gage @VishayIndust #PAuto 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Motion controller ideal for robots.

Aerotech’s HEX RC is a 6-axis motion controller ideal for controlling robotic systems like hexapods. The HEX RC is 4U rack-mountable and compatible with the Automation 3200 (A3200) motion platform.
  • - 4U high, rack-mount, six-axis controller for brush, brushless, and stepper motors
  • - Ideal for controlling six-axis robotic systems like hexapods
  • - Real-time A3200 distributed control architecture allows synchronized motion on up to 32 axes
  • - FireWire® or ASCII command interface via TCP/IP
  • - Program in native RS-274 G-code, AeroBasic command set, C, C++/CLI, .NET, MATLAB®, or LabVIEW® for the ultimate in programming flexibility
A high-performance processor provides the intense computing power needed to run up to 32 axes, perform complex, synchronized motion trajectories, manipulate I/O, and collect data at high speeds.

Powerful Control Architecture
The HEX RC features 6-axes of drives capable of controlling any combination of brush, brushless, or stepper motors. It digitally performs both current loop and servo loop closures to ensure the highest level of positioning accuracy and performance. The HEX RC connects and controls up to 26 additional axes of servo, stepper, or piezo-driven stages using the A3200 distributed control architecture.

Interface and Design Options
The HEX RC is designed with an ASCII command interface over TCP/IP for control in applications such as beamlines. Alternatively, it can act as a master controller to control other A3200 external drives via the FireWire® interface.

The HEX RC accepts amplified-sine or digital encoders. Optional integrated encoder multipliers, up to X4096, ensure high-resolution positioning.

An optional 6-axis jog pendant permits easy, manual control of the positioning system. In safety critical applications, an emergency stop option with redundant safety relays can be added.

Flexible Programming Environment
Aerotech’s A3200 focuses on ease of use for the programmer, shortens development time compared with other tools, and provides the flexibility to use the tools or controller most familiar to programmers. A complete Integrated Development Environment and a comprehensive .NET motion library provide classes for motion, I/O, status, and diagnostic information. You can program in Visual Studio and use the .NET library, or use the Motion Composer (IDE) to develop code with AeroBasic™ commands or G code. A LabVIEW® VI library is available for NI users, while a complete C library is available for those using Visual Basic, C++, or C.

@aerotechmotion #PAuto 

Safe switching for surgical equipment.

Herga Technology is supplying 6448 bellows footswitch and 6763 airswitches to Cipher Surgical Ltd for its OpClear® laparoscope lens cleaning system. The innovative medical device delivers saline and CO2 via a disposable sheath procedure kit to maintain continuous and intraoperative clear vision for keyhole surgery.

Laparoscopy involves examination and surgical procedures within the abdominal and pelvic areas of the body. A form of keyhole surgery, the practise uses a hand held laparoscope, or endoscope, to allow the surgeon to macroscopically view the area to be treated, and given the correct conditions offers substantial benefits of time, safety and patient wellbeing over open surgery techniques. The laparoscope is a tubular instrument that integrates a powerful camera and lens system with lighting to provide a very high definition viewing area.

Inevitably during use, the instrument’s visibility is impaired by various debris and condensation gathering at the distal optical face and until now removal and external cleaning has been the usual method to combat this situation. It is reported that an average operation requires 13 removals as well as significant time spent with sub optimal vision, which prolong operation timescales and increased cost as well as potentially impairing patient comfort and safety.

However, the innovative OpClear system significantly mitigates the need for removal by dispensing saline to wash the lens face and CO2 to clear debris. This is achieved by Cipher Surgical’s advanced control system delivering the cleaning mediums through a special disposable sheath that clips on the laparoscope. The Herga bellows footswitch is simply tapped by the surgeon when cleaning is required.

Cipher Surgical are based at the University of Warwick Science Park’s Venture Centre (GB) and through investment funding began development of the OpClear in 2010 after proof of principle was established through its close links with the university. Now in its second generation to allow use with more types of laparoscopes, the patented system is cleared for sale in Europe and selected markets. ISO 13485 accredited manufacturing is outsourced within Britain.

Air actuation for such instruments is well proven in the medical equipment field, providing intrinsic safety and high durability in the operating theatre environment. Herga is well versed in medical applications with product technologies covering air, electrical and wireless switching – many with UL and IEC 60601 medical approvals. The Herga 6448 bellows footswitch is a robust design that finds applications across medical as well as demanding industrial markets. The low profile footswitch includes a flexible polymer bellows with a rigid polymer baseplate and is supplied with an optional base for convenient mounting. The 6763 PCB mounting airswitch is aimed at low pressure momentary action switching and features a silicon diaphragm and a choice of back or side tube entry positions. For the OpClear version UL 508 approval is included to comply with North American and global standards for such equipment.

Herga has worked closely with Cipher Surgical through the various stages of development and is proud have supported the company to its present level of success and looks forward to many years of close cooperation in the future.


@HergaTechnology #Medical

All-round industrial camera.

A newly developed generation of their successful uEye SE industrial camera family is being launched by IDS. The camera will be available as both a GigE and USB 3.1 Type-C connection – in each case screw-on – as a housing version or as a board stack version, and with a broad range of CMOS sensors with rolling or global shutter. In conjunction with a comprehensive range of accessories (lenses, cables, etc.) this is an industrial camera suitable for a huge number of applications.


The first 25 models that IDS will launch next month (October 2017) are versions with CMOS sensors from Sony (including Pregius IMX253, IMX304, IMX255, and IMX267 sensors with 8.9 and 12.3 mega pixel resolution), ON Semiconductor and e2v with rolling or global shutter.

The housing with a C-mount lens connection has a robust design and is equipped with a special dust-proof sensor seal. The cameras have a screw-on 8-pin Hirose connector for trigger and flash – both opto-isolated – and two GPIOs, which allow numerous additional application functions in an industrial setting. All camera models are also supplied as an unhoused board stack version with C-mount front or with no lens holder. An integrated 128 MB memory decouples image acquisition from transmission, making the uEye SE particularly interesting for multi-camera applications.

These versatile cameras are available with a screw-on Gigabit Ethernet connection or with a – also screw-on – USB 3.1 Type-C connector. The GigE models support single cable operation with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) up to a length of 100 m. Instead of via PoE, the camera can be supplied with power using a 12-24 V power supply. The GigE uEye SE is available with a choice of GigE Vision firmware or the IDS Software Suite.

In conjunction with IDS's proprietary driver package, the USB 3.1 Gen 1 version of this camera family also allows USB Power Delivery (PD). This enables an LED light to be operated using the USB cable, with the camera requesting the necessary power for itself and the light from the host PC via the USB Type-C interface as a PD consumer.

The IDS Software Suite is identical for all lDS cameras, regardless of whether they have a USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1, or GigE connection. This enables optimum use of the camera and sensor features.

 #IDS-Imaging #PAuto

Monitoring of mercury emissions.

Gasmet Technologies  has published a new White Paper on the monitoring of mercury emissions to air from industrial processes.

The Paper (downloadable free here) provides an overview of current initiatives to reduce mercury emissions and explains how continuous mercury emissions monitoring can help inform process control and the efficient operation of pollution abatement equipment, whilst also demonstrating compliance with mercury emission limits.

The advantages of Cold Vapour Atomic Fluorescence (CVAF) are discussed and the answers to common questions are provided, addressing issues such as detection limits, interferences, quenching and calibration.

The Paper also describes the development of Gasmet’s Continuous Mercury Monitoring system (CMM) which employs CVAF to provide a monitor that is simple and low cost to operate, and delivers high levels of sensitivity without interferences. The CMM measures total mercury, and is able to do so in industrial emissions containing high levels of dust.

@Gasmet_Tech #PAuto

Testing low frequency sensors.

Accelerometers and velocity meters are used to measure a wide range of frequencies, including low frequency vibrations found in building maintenance. They occur at less than 2Hz, and can also be useful in monitoring bearing wear in cooling tower fans and gearboxes for example.

To characterise the performance of its low frequency sensors in that range, which is too low for most test shakers, Monitran has developed a new high displacement test rig that can generate oscillations accurately at frequencies as low as 0.2 Hz. The system allows real-time back to back testing between different devices and its own inbuilt, calibrated MEMS sensors.

“The new oscillating beam rig gives us accurate extreme low frequency data and is a highly useful addition to our accelerometer test and calibration capabilities,” said Andy Anthony, Monitran’s managing director.

The horizontal linear beam oscillator has a powerful motion control system that incorporates a precision AC servo with 17 bit encoder feedback. Running on two precision rails, it uses magnetic springs and magnetic damping to ensure smooth operation.

Its software produces fast code, at 1.7 milliradians per step, which generates fine sinusoidal motion for the linear track driven by a rotary motor.

The intelligent shuttle, which can carry a sensor payload of up to 0.5 kg, incorporates seven MEMS accelerometers, signal processing and a microcontroller to monitor its motion. It also includes a mechanical low pass filter and has an operating distance of up to 1000mm, exerting up to 8g acceleration to the devices under test. That amounts over 35 kilometres per hour peak velocity, down to nearly 1/20th of walking speed.

 @MonitranLtd #Pauto