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Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation

Efficient vacuum generator as compact version with integrated silencer

Across the industry, vacuum generation finds a wide variety of applications: from packaging and palletizing, to material handling and automatic assembly, to automated transport and pick-and-place. Here, process engineers face the challenge of achieving a small and lightweight machine design without sacrificing performance. To meet these high demands, SMC has now further developed its ZH-A series vacuum generator as a compact version. Thanks to a reduction in overall volume, this is a true lightweight and still has a larger total volume flow – ideal for use in mobile handling applications.

Whether in the semiconductor, electrical, automotive or food industries, in life science as well as a wide range of manufacturing and assembly equipment: Vacuum generators are part of the indispensable standard repertoire for a wide variety of applications – and must meet growing demands. To this end, SMC, the specialist in pneumatic and electrical automation, has developed a compact version of its vacuum generators. This provides process engineers with a solution that allows them to achieve an even more compact machine design while offering high performance with easy installation and maintenance. A particular advantage is that the reduction in weight improves efficiency, as robots, for example, can perform faster movements without compromising process reliability.

Small on the outside, powerful on the inside

SMC engineers have put the ZH-A series vacuum generator on a diet, creating a compact version. By reducing the connection height by up to 20% (-4.6 mm) and the total volume by up to 39% (-14.1 cm3), it is not only significantly more compact, enabling smaller and more cost-effective machine designs. The weight has also been reduced by up to 59% (-19.4 g) compared with its predecessor. This is now only between 28.7 g (1.5 mm nozzle Ø) and 46.4 g (1.8 mm nozzle Ø). Overall, this means that more output can be placed on the same area, which reduces the CO2 footprint and investment costs. On the other hand, faster cycle times can be realized thanks to the lower moment of inertia, which increases the output quantity.

At the same time, SMC has not skimped on performance: for example, the maximum achievable vacuum is -90 kPa and the maximum suction volume flow, depending on the nozzle size, is 78 l/m (1.5 mm nozzle Ø),128 l/min (1.8 mm nozzle Ø) and 155 l/min (2.0 mm nozzle Ø) – an increase of 11% for the smallest nozzle size compared to its predecessor. This enables faster evacuation when handling workpieces while at the same time increasing reliability and again shortening cycle times. An integrated silencer also ensures that venting noise is reduced, thus improving work safety.

Flexible installation and easy to distinguish

The compact version product is easy to install on different machine designs thanks to three mounting options: Process engineers can choose between direct mounting, mounting with L-fastener or DIN rail mounting. The same applies to the connection either as a plug-in connection or screw connection (G-/Rc-/NPT-thread) or as a combination between the two connection options.

In order to also comply with the Poka Yoke principle, the pressure ring has a color coding that immediately distinguishes between metric sizes (light gray) and inch sizes (orange). This not only makes it easy to identify the product, but also complies with the specifications of the US market, for example. Since the bore spacing for fasteners is the same as for the predecessor, the compact version of the series can be replaced without any problems – so nothing stands in the way of a machine update.

Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation

The latest cost-effective humidity calibration package from Process Sensing Technologies



Together, Michell Instruments and Rotronic offer the most comprehensive humidity and dew-point calibration offering on the market today, including some very attractive packages of products – such as the HygroGen2 Humidity and Temperature Calibrator with the Michell S8000 Remote Chilled Mirror Reference Hygrometer.


What makes this such an attractive pairing?

The HygroGen2 satisfies the stringent demands of quality and compliance regulations with its ability to calibrate humidity and temperature instruments over their full working range. As the leading instrument in its class, it is favoured in ISO 17025 accredited humidity calibration laboratories across the world. It is also widely used in the pharmaceutical industry because it is both portable and robust, allowing it to be set up at the installation location to allow for complete system qualification.

Chilled mirror Instruments are widely acknowledged as the definitive humidity calibration reference and are used as the default transfer standard all the way up to the highest level of measurement – National Metrology Institutes, including NPL (National Physical Laboratory), NIST (National Institute of Standards & Technology), PTB, NML. The Michell S8000 Remote is a compact chilled mirror hygrometer with a remote sensor, offering a measurement range from <0.5 %rh to 100 %rh (-40 to +120 °C dew point), with a market-leading accuracy of ±0.1 °Cdp.

The S8000 Remote integrates seamlessly with the HygroGen2 software for automated calibration routines, allowing for complete calibration traceability. The S8000 Remote sensor and PRT have specially designed ports and O-rings to ensure the fit in the HygroGen2 is completely airtight.

As well as use in pharmaceutical plants and calibration laboratories the HygroGen2 and S8000 Remote calibration package is suitable for any application that requires on-site calibration of humidity and temperature instruments.

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Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation

World’s First Long-Reach, Single-pair Power over Ethernet (SPoE) Solutions for Smart Building and Factory Automation



Analog Devices today announced the world’s first Single-pair Power over Ethernet (SPoE) Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) and Power Device (PD) solutions to help customers drive greater levels of intelligence into smart buildings, factory automation, and other applications at the edge of traditional networks. The new offerings facilitate powered, last-mile connectivity for factory and building automation through real-time power management, telemetry, extremely low standby power consumption, and ease of installation.

“The Intelligent Edge is one of the most exciting developments of the digital era as computing power is pushed to previously inaccessible applications and locations,” said Leo McHugh, Vice President of Industrial Automation at Analog Devices. “Analog Devices is committed to delivering the unrivaled technology and solutions our customers need to leverage the full potential of the Intelligent Edge in smart buildings and factories as well as many more applications in the future.”


Enabling Digital Buildings of the Future

Analog Devices’ new SPoE solutions, LTC4296-1 and LTC9111, address the challenges of providing power and data to devices, even in remote, difficult to access endpoint locations. Analog Devices’ solutions aim to help new families of endpoint applications to be seamlessly powered and accessed across the network and used to assess local factors such as asset health, environmental conditions, security metrics, and more. The localized awareness and control they offer are the building blocks of the digital buildings of tomorrow.

Analog Devices’ SPoE solutions reduce reliance on localized power and batteries by using a single twisted pair of Ethernet cables to provide efficient, reliable, easily installed power at reduced size and weight. Combined with ADI Chronous ADIN1100 and ADIN1110 10BASE-T1L, Industrial Ethernet solutions, customers can reliably transfer both power and data over one kilometer – a significant increase from previous Ethernet standards.


Interoperable Efficiency

Analog Devices’ new LTC4296-1 5-port SPoE PSE with Classification and LTC9111 SPoE PD with Polarity Correction products support both SPoE and Power over Data Line (PoDL) variants of single-pair powering. SPoE augments Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) to provide more reliable, fault-tolerant, and interoperable point-to-point power solutions, delivering up to 52W. Both products are 802.3cg compliant and support Serial Communication Classification Protocol (SCCP).

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Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation News Processing Technologies

Innovative object detection in confined spaces



Fiber optic sensors are always the method of choice when little space is available. For such applications ifm is now launching the new fiber optic sensors of the OCF series. These can be set up intuitively, have numerous smart functions thanks to IO-Link and offer six powerful operating modes which the fiber optic amplifier selects automatically as required.

These sensors work on the same principle as conventional optoelectronic sensors. Here, however, optics and evaluation electronics are spatially separated from each other, which offers an important advantage for many applications: The fiber optics can be positioned precisely under very confined conditions and detect even very small parts there. The remote fiber optic sensor is then located in a suitable place – for example, mounted on the machine or even in a control cabinet.

The new fiber optic sensors make such applications particularly easy. The slim housings are suitable for mounting on DIN rails. There, they can be simply snapped on with a flick of the wrist. The fiber optic cables are also connected without tools thanks to the so-called fiberlocking. Since the OCF complies with the high IP65 protection class, it can also be mounted in the field, for example directly on the machine. In order to make the subsequent commissioning simple and intuitive, ifm placed great emphasis on usability during the development. The fibre optic sensor has three buttons for operation. The plain text display of the integrated OLED display facilitates the 2-point teach-in. The find-me function, in which the connected fiber flashes, also simplifies localization.

The OCF handles six different operating modes, automatically selecting the correct mode as needed. The output signal can be sent to a higher-level controller via IO-Link as well as via a fast digital output. The IO-Link interface is also used to diagnose the fiber optic sensor. For example, the degree of contamination of the fiber can be monitored; this clean-me function enables predictive maintenance in the application. Together with the new fiber optic sensors, ifm also offers a comprehensive range of matching fiber optic cables in a wide variety of designs so that the right configuration can be selected for every application.

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