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Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation

Injection moulding applications
Automationware benefits from Ball Screws

NSK Molded-Oil mounted-unit inserts have successfully solved the issue of premature failures at the drinks plant.

Automationware, a Italy-based specialist in motion and control technologies, has taken delivery of two large ball screws from NSK that will facilitate the automatic translation of large moulds used in injection moulding machines. The company developed the special ball screws based on its class-leading HTF technology, a popular solution for injection moulding applications around the world.

Located near Venice, Automationware was established in 2002 with engineering expertise spanning the core motion and control technologies found in advanced mechatronics applications. The company’s linear axis and electro-cylinder products provide genuine alternatives to hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Proactive and progressive in the marketplace, the business invests heavily in developing new solutions, and recently turned to NSK for assistance with a special project.

Automationware was in the process of developing large electric actuators (cylinders) for the translation of heavy moulds used in injection moulding presses. Destined for machines that stand at over 6m in height, the cylinders produce up to 80kN of force and travel at a velocity of up to 1m/s.

The principal objective was to guarantee that the required force could be applied for 24 hours every working day, for a period of at least two years. Focused on this goal, in March 2018 NSK set about developing two ball screws based on its high-load HTF technology.

HTF stands for High Tough Force, a name that ably reflects the characteristics of these translational drives, which were developed to offer an electromechanical alternative to hydraulic drives. These advanced ball screws allow fast traverse rates (and thus short cycle times) in combination with high precision and extremely high axial forces. Their patented geometry is designed to distribute the axial forces equally over all of the balls. In tandem with separator technology (ball separation), the geometry prevents premature wear and guarantees high reliability.

Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation Pumps & Compressors

AR solution in the App Store
Augmented reality app enables 3D interior view of pumps

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Based on the freely scalable 3D model, it is possible to display the complex inner workings of the pump and examine the model from all directions and viewing angles. Picture: Lewa
Based on the freely scalable 3D model, it is possible to display the complex inner workings of the pump and examine the model from all directions and viewing angles. (Picture: Lewa)

After the augmented reality app (AR) from LEWA, the Leonberg, Germany-based pump manufacturer , attracted lots of attention at the Achema 2018 and Hannover Messe 2019 trade shows, the range of applications is now being expanded. The app was originally intended for use during trade shows only, but it is now being offered to all interested users as a free download from the Apple App Store as of July 2019. After the AR app was launched at the leading trade fairs mentioned above, Lewa received many inquiries from customers and interested parties concerning individualized options for use. “The level of interest in the app and the frequent inquiries surprised us, since the program was originally developed to improve the visualization of the mechanics of our pumps at trade fairs,” reported Thomas Bökenbrink, Lead Product Manager Pumps at Lewa. The AR solution was further developed for Hannover Messe 2019 to display the model of an Ecoflow process diaphragm pump in the new LDZ drive size with three different pump heads on a tablet, and show how the pump can be freely positioned within virtual space. Using ground plane detection, the tablet’s camera detects the floor of the relevant room and positions the model inside the room on the screen. The pump can be viewed from all directions and viewing angles, and clearly shown thanks to the 3D depiction of the complex inner structure of the pump. The model is also freely scalable, enabling the size of the pump to be adapted to the available space. In addition, the app can animate pump operation and its behavior in exceptional situations.

“With pump visualization, we have the ideal virtual training and trade show exhibit. We can also imagine using in the service and maintenance segment to better explain the functions of the pump based on the virtual model,” said Bökenbrink as he explained the versatile app’s options. In the first version, available in the Apple App Store as a free download under the name “orange showroom,” the model of the Ecoflow process diaphragm pump in the new LDZ drive size is initially available for virtual viewing. The app runs on all Apple iPads with iOS 12.0 or later, the app is not available on the iPhone. Lewa is planning to successively add other pump types in the application. “To us, our AR app represents a big step forward with regard to the simple, clear visualization of our products. It enables us to always have our pumps on hand and produce them as a digitally savvy way to explain our pumps based on their virtual representation,” Bökenbrink summarized.

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Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation Plant Construction, Engineering & Components Videos

Product Video
Speed controllers with push-lock system

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SMC´s Featured Products Video: AS-A & AS-FS – Speed controllers with push-lock system

With the AS-A & AS-FS series, users can easily and quickly set the speed of the pneumatic drive.

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Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation News Plant Construction, Engineering & Components

Expansion of the Lyon location
Expertise for advanced analysis

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Advanced analysis: Endress+Hauser expands competence center in Lyon. Picture: Endress + Hauser
Advanced analysis: Endress+Hauser expands competence center in Lyon. (Picture: Endress + Hauser)

Endress + Hauser has expanded its center of competence for advanced analysis in Lyon, France. The Group invested 2 million euros in a new production facility and office space to meet the growing demand in the area of advanced process analyses.

From Lyon, around 20 employees support Endress + Hauser sales centers across Europe in the application and sales of advanced analysis technology, with a focus on the project business and after-sales services. Ten sales centers across Europe already have specialists on board to handle this complex field of activity.

Customer-specific manufacturing

The new 630-square-meter production facility will be used for customer-specific manufacturing and the assembly of complete analysis systems. Rounding out the facility are offices, rooms for factory acceptance tests and space reserved for future use. The adjacent 1,500-square-meter office building, which opened in 2017, is also home to the Endress + Hauser France regional sales office. With a total of 7,000 square meters, the property offers sufficient space to grow the location even further.

Strategic focus

“The expansion of the Lyon location allows us to do an even better job of bringing our expertise in the field of process analysis to our customers,” emphasized Matthias Altendorf, CEO of the Endress + Hauser Group, during the dedication ceremony on 17 July 2019. “This is an important strategic goal for us and helps our customers acquire more information from their processes.”

Analysis portfolio expands

Advanced analysis provides immediate information related to material properties and product quality. The company continuously develops its analysis portfolio to provide online monitoring of quality parameters, for example through spectroscopic techniques. This allows customers to reduce time to market and optimize their processes. Customers in industries such as life sciences, chemical, food & beverage and oil & gas can benefit the most from Endress + Hauser’s advanced analysis portfolio.

Advanced technologies

The Lyon location combines the expertise of the firm and its subsidiaries Kaiser Optical Systems and SpectraSensors under one roof. The Raman analyzers from Kaiser Optical Systems are used to examine the composition and material properties of liquids, gases and solids and enable the real-time measurement of product characteristics. SpectraSensors is a leader in the field of TDLAS technology, which can be used to reliably measure trace-level concentrations of gases.

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