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Machine Building & Automation
How to develop high reliability Ethernet control systems using media redundancy
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 05 January, 2016
Acromag presents a guide to using Ethernet media redundancy in order to create a backup communication path which allows a system to survive a break in the network cable. Systems are often safeguarded only by duplicating components such as power supplies, software file systems, and computer hardware. The guide explains what "media redundancy" is and, through clear diagram and instruction, how to manage a system's communication with this approach.
 
Industrial Computer System Security: Three Ways to Get Started
Plant-Based IT Security : 23 August, 2015
Cyber security is a topic of high concern at the top levels for all companies. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is connecting more devices and systems to the control network, increasing the likelihood of cyber incidents. It’s more important now than ever before to understand the principles of cyber security. Heather Mackenzie of Belden covers three ways to get started.
 
Powerful stopper cylinder
Machine Building & Systems Integration : 23 August, 2015
Festo has launched the DFSP series of robust stopper cylinders which can withstand up to 200% more impact force than its predecessors.
 
Project solves robotic accuracy issue
Robotics & Automated Handling Systems : 23 August, 2015
A research project at the Manufacturing Technology Centre has delivered what is claimed to be a world first in using metrology to deliver ultra-accurate robotic automation.
 
Machine vision cameras chosen for UR5 inline robotic inspection system
Machine Vision Systems : 20 April, 2015
Microscan has been selected by Cross Company’s Automation Group for an integrated robotic inspection system using the Universal Robots UR5 robotic arm and Microscan Vision HAWK Smart Camera. The vision-guided robot is a turnkey inspection system that provides final quality inspection of large components (like automotive engines or large electronic sub-assembles) where multi-point inspection of the part is required in three dimensions. It combines easy-to-use machine vision components with easy-to-use robotics, solving complicated inline inspection applications simply and safely for manufacturers.
 
Industrial control system security - the big picture
Plant-Based IT Security : 20 April, 2015
Belden is prioritising investment in cyber security technology for industrial control systems (ICS) and has acquired Tripwire, an innovative company that provides advanced threat, security and compliance solutions for more than 9000 organisations, particularly those in the Fortune 500 and in government. With many customers in hyper-security-conscious industries, the company is accustomed to the high-volume and fast-paced world of today’s advanced cyber threats.
 
How Profibus PA Profiles work
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 20 April, 2015
John Swindall of the PROFI Interface Center explains how Profile 3.0.2 defines the rules for Profibus for Process Automation (PA). How can you use Profiles to your benefit?
 
Industrial control based on force-sensing touch technology challenges capacitive switches
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 20 April, 2015
The addition of a software team has enabled Peratech to create complete industrial control systems based on its QTC touch technology. A demo was conducted at Hannover Messe 2015.
 
Cartesian handling system configurator goes online
Machine Building & Systems Integration : 17 April, 2015
Festo has developed a new system for configuring ready-to-install handling systems in less than 20 minutes. The Handling Guide Online (HGO) significantly reduces design, assembly and delivery times compared with previous methods, from around two months to just three weeks for a standard handling system. The HGO is ideal for design engineers specifying systems for applications such as palletisers, end-of-line packaging, assembling and laser cutting.
 
Device management tool runs on tablets
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 17 April, 2015
FieldMate R3.01.10 is the latest version of Yokogawa's multi-lingual stand-alone device management tool for configuring, maintaining and managing field devices in industrial plants. In its tablet configuration, FieldMate R3.01 is an ideal tool for device patrol and maintenance tasks. New functions added include the automatic generation of device configuration reports in a variety of formats and the centralised management of various types of device related information.
 
Silicon carbide XY air-bearing stage for ultra-precise motion
Positioning Systems, Indexers & X-Y Tables : 17 April, 2015
Aerotech has developed the PlanarHDX, an advanced planar air-bearing platform. It has been designed using an FEA-optimised silicon carbide structure and air-bearing compensation to provide the highest possible dynamic performance while maintaining unparalleled geometric characteristics and positioning accuracy.
 
Connecting a PC to any industrial Ethernet network
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 12 March, 2015
The Ixxat Inpact from HMS Industrial Networks combines Anybus technology know-how in the PC interface card area. The result is a PCIe card with multi-protocol support for numerous industrial Ethernet standards and a uniform protocol and card-spanning application programming interface. The Ixxat Inpact can be used with HMI systems to process visualisation and service tools, and with measurement, analysis and test systems.
 
Fieldbus is growing but industrial Ethernet networks are growing faster
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 07 February, 2015
Looking at new installed nodes within factory automation globally, fieldbuses are still the most widely used type of network with 66% of the market, says HMS Industrial Networks, independent supplier of products for industrial communication.
 
Greater flexibility in automotive car seat testing
Machine Building & Systems Integration : 07 February, 2015
Moog has developed a three-channel electromechanical test system to simulate loads on the seatback and benches of vehicles. The system has been installed at a car seat manufacturer in Asia that manufactures complete seating systems and interior components for automotive and transport companies.
 
Head in the clouds: cloud computing for the automation industry - a buzzword guide
Machine Building & Systems Integration : 07 February, 2015
Industrial automation components supplier European Automation has produced a helpful buzzword guide on cloud computing for the automation industry. In it are explained 10 popular cloud computing terms that are often referred to in technical documents without definition. The buzzword guide acts as a reference point for both customers and suppliers.
 
A vision of the smart factory of the future
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 07 February, 2015
When it comes to industrial networking today, many factories and process control facilities around the world are focused on upgrading to managed Ethernet networks. With the long, useful life of industrial devices, there is plenty of old equipment using legacy industrial protocols in active service. Andreas Dreher, strategic technology manager at Hirschmann Automation and Control, looks at the process of helping companies upgrade to structured, reliable and easy-to-maintain industrial Ethernet infrastructure.
 
SIL 2 certification for industrial automation software
Industrial PCs and PLCs : 07 February, 2015
COPA-DATA has received the Safety Integrity Level 2 (SIL 2) certification, which validates that the company's Zenon industrial automation software can be used for safety-critical applications. Zenon software is used for HMI/SCADA, Dynamic Production Reporting and integrated PLC systems. It thus meets the international standard IEC 61508 for the reliability of the safety functions of operational facilities. Companies that use Zenon can achieve Safety Integrity Level 2 for their systems and infrastructures this way. The certification was carried out by TÜV Süd, an independent third party.
 
Remote access routers with LAN, WiFi, and 3G
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 28 December, 2014
During SPS IPC Drives, eWON unveiled the new eWON Cosy 131, a range of industrial VPN remote access routers with LAN, WiFi, and 3G+ connection options. With eWON Cosy, machine builders and OEMs can access machines PLC and HMI, and troubleshoot them from the comfort of the office!
 
Vibration platform and control loading system for full flight simulator
Machine Controls : 29 November, 2014
Moog Industrial Group has delivered to Sogitec Industries the vibration platform and control loading system to support the training of NH90 pilots on an FFS (full flight simulator).
 
Bandwidth "crucial for Industry 4.0"
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 29 November, 2014
One might argue that a technology becomes mainstream when politicians begin debating it. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel made a very interesting statement about Industry 4.0 during the national IT Summit that took place in Germany at the end of October. John Browett, General Manager of CLPA-Europe comments.
 
Visualising machine safety status
HMIs, Screens and Industrial Displays : 29 November, 2014
Omron’s NB HMI series now support the Omron G9SP Programmable Safety Controller, providing machine builders with a feature rich and cost-effective solution compared to other low-I/O safety controllers.
 
Three factors pushing up the automation market
Machine Building & Systems Integration : 11 November, 2014
After sputtering for the last two years, the global market for industrial automation equipment (IAE) is poised for stronger growth in 2014. These findings come in a new report from IHS Technology, which predicts that growth will be aided by strengthening economies as well as technological innovations boosting demand in 2014. It projects that Europe (along with the Middle East and Africa) will claim the largest share of market revenue at $61.5 billion. JOnathan Wilkins, Managing Director of European Automation, comments.
 
Ethernet media converters for more reliable energy networks
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 09 November, 2014
The FL MC 2000E SM40 LC Ethernet media converter from Phoenix Contact completes the class of optical converters for use in energy technology. With its robust design it is ideal for extreme environmental requirements according to IEC 61850-3 and IEEE 1613.
 
Adhesives manufacturer adopts Profibus-controlled dispersion system
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 24 October, 2014
In its small component metering in the explosive area, adhesives manufacturer Henkel is using Bartec’s remote I/O system Antares for the first time in its dispersion and solvent adhesives operation in Düsseldorf.
 
Gateway allows Modbus devices to talk to BACnet
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 24 October, 2014
As BACnet networks are increasingly being used in buildings and infrastructure installations, there is also an increasing demand for integrating devices that communicate on Modbus into BACnet networks. The new Anybus BACnet to Modbus gateway makes it possible to connect Modbus devices to a BACnet network.
 
Harsh duty Ethernet switches allow better network performance on the plant floor
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 24 October, 2014
Molex is to present its proven Brad Direct-Link Harsh-Duty Unmanaged Ethernet Switches during this year’s SPS IPC Drives exhibition in November 2014 at Nuremberg. Designed for plant floor and industrial automation network applications, Direct-Link switches provide a secure on-machine Ethernet connection to reduce complex network cabling, eliminate common wiring errors, and lower network costs.
 
Securing legacy XP machines
Plant-Based IT Security : 15 October, 2014
Forescout has published a guide which details specific best practices for securing XP systems and describe how ForeScout CounterACT, an automated network access and security control platform, can help reduce the risk of continuing to use XP. There is also a quick video to help identify risks on the network.
 
Servo technology - centralised or decentralised?
Machine Building & Systems Integration : 21 September, 2014
Decentralising servo technology can bring machine and plant construction savings during installation. Two additional advantages include reduced cabinet heat loads and more straight forward drive architecture. The question arises however, which technology is better, an integrated motor/drive solution or a detached motor and drive? Dr Arne Linder of Kollmorgen considers the options.
 
Articulated robotic arm with six degrees of freedom
Robotics & Automated Handling Systems : 21 September, 2014
At this year’s Engineering Design Show, Igus is showcasing a range of new products, including Robolink D, an articulated directly driven arm that allows for up to 6 degrees of freedom. Visitors can see a demonstration of a full Robolink D system in action.
 
Multi-port industrial firewalls gain flexibility and security
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 08 September, 2014
Belden has updated its Hirschmann multi-port firewalls - the EAGLE20-0400 and EAGLE30-0402 - to offer additional flexibility of deployment, as well as state-of-the-art security functionality. With new router redundancy and wide area network (WAN) interface, the EAGLE family helps achieve maximum network availability and security in any industrial setting.
 
Code readers with polarisation filter read reflective surfaces
Barcodes and barcode readers : 08 September, 2014
Vision Sensors today can be highly sophisticated systems, as illustrated by the new OPC 120 Series code reader for 1-D and 2-D codes. In addition to its functionality, compact design, and high speed, the special features of this device include a polarization filter for reading high-gloss materials and a Profinet connection.
 
Staying safe in the mobile world
Plant-Based IT Security : 10 August, 2014
In this article by Sean Newman, Security Strategist at Cisco, he talks about the increasing use of mobile devices in the work place and what this means for the security of businesses. He gives his advice about how organisations can protect themselves against the rise of mobile malware by properly monitoring the network before, during and after an attack.
 
Handheld scanners read 1D and 2D codes in to PCs, smartphones and tablets
Barcodes and barcode readers : 10 August, 2014
The new OHV100 and OHV200 handheld scanners from Pepperl+Fuchs are characterised by excellent scanning features and numerous functional features.
 
Wireless Kanban simplifies reconstitution of consumption in production systems
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 10 August, 2014
How can more than a thousand switching devices be integrated in an electronic Kanban system? Identytec in Hanover has found a solution which is as logical as it is innovative: by eliminating cables and using wireless position switches.
 
Functional safety without safe I/O modules
Machinery Safety & Safety Systems : 10 August, 2014
The new Safe AI package from Phoenix Contact processes safety-related analogue values. With this TÜV-certified and safety software, safety-related analogue I/O modules are no longer required. The package also includes a consultation service provided by our safety experts.
 
Cyber security report: UK manufacturing industries fall behind expectations
Plant-Based IT Security : 22 July, 2014
Sponsored by ForeScout Technologies, the 2014 Cyber Defence Maturity Report is independent research conducted by IDG Connect during May and June of 2014. Survey respondents included 1600 IT information security decision makers in organisations of more than 500 employees, and spanning five industry sectors in the US, the UK and the German-speaking region of Europe (DACH). A key finding of the report is that more than 96% of organisations experienced a significant IT security incident in the past year. But of greatest concern to UK manufacturing is that it is below average in maturity (awareness of threats), yet likely to invest less than other sectors and other countries.
 
Microscan introduces tiny machine vision smart camera with embedded Ethernet
Machine Vision Systems : 22 July, 2014
Microscan, announces the Vision MINI Xi industrial compact smart camera with embedded Ethernet. As part of Microscan’s AutoVision machine vision product suite, this tiny device is suited for close-range industrial auto ID, inspection, and other machine vision applications.
 
More languages and increased functionality for safety system design software
Machinery Safety & Safety Systems : 22 July, 2014
Rockwell Automation has enhanced its Safety Automation Builder (SAB) tool to include new additions to the safety function library and 16 additional languages, opening up this safety system development tool to new markets. The new SAB languages are Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Czech, Swedish, Danish, Hungarian, Finnish, Romanian, Polish, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
 
Integrated RFID nameplates for internally produced Airbus parts
Barcodes and barcode readers : 22 July, 2014
Brady has been chosen by Airbus to provide flexible print-on-demand RFID integrated nameplates to wirelessly identify and track its internally produced flyable parts throughout an aircraft. The tags also store information about component history.
 
Energy Experience Day review highlights frontier of innovation
Scada : 22 July, 2014
On 22 May 2014, industrial software and energy automation expert COPA-DATA hosted an Energy Experience Day, an event aimed at addressing the challenges currently faced by power utilities, municipalities and grid operators.
 
CAN FD challenges fieldbuses and industrial Ethernet in special purpose machinery
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 29 May, 2014
CAN FD offers an opportunity to use existing CAN systems and CAN knowledge even when demands are high for number of nodes, transfer rates, and cycle times. Thomas Waggershauser, Sales Director at IXXAT Automation GmbH, part of the HMS Group from HMS, explains how CAN-based systems are frequently used in special purpose machinery - both in standardized protocols such as CANopen and in proprietary systems.
 
11 companies join Rockwell PartnerNetwork
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 21 May, 2014
The Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork program comprises a collaborative team of suppliers, systems integrators, and machine and equipment builders who work collaboratively. The network has expanded, adding 11 new partner companies.
 
SCADA supervision software upgrade supports over 150 protocols
Scada : 21 May, 2014
ARC Informatique introduces PCVue 11, its latest SCADA-based supervision system. It supports an extensive range of industrial protocols and offers a variety of architectures. PCVue 11 integrates new tools that simplify application development, maintenance and enhance data viewing and processing.
 
Creative machine builder minimises footprint with hanging robot
Robotics & Automated Handling Systems : 21 May, 2014
A workcell measuring just 0.8 x 1m, with an ABB IRB 120 robot hanging upside-down from the ceiling, is used at global contact lens manufacturer CooperVision’s R&D facility in Southampton. The cell provides a reduced cycle time of 30% by enabling the faster transfer of contact lenses between the moulding and curing processes.
 
Heartbleed risk to wireless routers only negligible
Plant-Based IT Security : 21 May, 2014
Just over a month after the Heartbleed vulnerability was discovered, Tripwire has released findings into a piece of research it conducted around the effects the vulnerability has on Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) Wireless Routers. The findings of Tripwire’s research reveal that while many in the security industry believed that wireless routers will be badly affected by Heartbleed, this is in fact not the case. Many SOHO routers may be vulnerable to Heartbleed but the added risk is negligible when compared with many of the other more critical security flaws endemic to these devices.
 
Connectivity for security and surveillance in industrial environments
Plant-Based IT Security : 21 May, 2014
At the IFSEC International 2014 Exhibition, Harting is featuring its extensive range of connectors and connectivity systems for security and surveillance applications, including a number of new developments.
 
Updated management software increases industrial network availability
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 08 May, 2014
Belden has released the latest version of its Hirschmann network management software. Industrial HiVision 5.1 enables faster and easier configuration of firewalls and wireless devices from any manufacturer. With this software, industrial networks can be managed holistically, ultimately increasing the network’s availability.
 
Wireless controls - no cables, no batteries
Machine Controls : 08 May, 2014
At the Hanover Fair 2014, the Steute presented a new series of controls using wireless technology. The RF BF 74 devices are completely modular in design.
 
USB technology adopted for control rooms and broadcast studios
Industrial PCs and PLCs : 23 April, 2014
For its KVM extension and switching, G&D is using Icron Technologies' patented ExtremeUSB extension technology. Icron is regarded as the leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance USB and video extension solutions for commercial and industrial markets worldwide.
 
Opportunities foreseen for wider IP video deployment in industrial automation
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 23 April, 2014
NW Systems Group has partnered with Swedish-based industrial automation and safety products provider Kentima, as both companies eye up the opportunities for wider deployment of IP video monitoring systems in UK manufacturing and processing plants.
 
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