News

Control 2022 – RPI launch all new TruMotion rotary table

RPI UK, the world’s leader in precision rotation and angular positioning, will launch the TruMotion rotary table at Control 2022.

TruMotion verifies small or medium circular parts with a world class accuracy more commonly seen in the standards laboratory.

Manufacturers in the high precision and general machining industries will be able to check roundness to the required accuracy of any turned or ground parts.

TruMotion is operated manually and enables the inspection of circular components such as pinions and gears, gauges, bearings, aero engine components and optical assemblies in a production environment.

It will be used to measure small and medium sized round parts, with dimensions of up to Ø400mm x 220mm high weighing up to 50kg. TruMotion has a radially adjustable articulated probe holder and an axial and radial bearing performance of less than 1micron.

Peter Marchbank, MD of RPI, said: “Precision engineering companies, from global producers to small machining workshops, will now be able to easily verify and inspect small and medium sized circular parts with the required accuracy. Come and see it for yourself on booth 7105, hall 7.”

RPI grew out of acquisitions from Optical Measuring Tools, Airmatic, Horstmannn and Eimeldingen. It is now one of the world’s largest designers and manufacturers of solution driven, highly accurate inspection systems and services that measure circular geometry and angular positioning.

Using its 75+ years of rotary expertise, RPI supplies progressive engineering industries, including the aerospace, gas turbine and dimensional metrology sectors, with exceedingly dependable, low maintenance products with a service life measured in decades, not just years.

For more information, visit booth 7105, hall 7 at Control or www.rpiuk.com

Ahead of the Curve: Titan Enterprises celebrates over 40 years of innovation

Continuous innovation is a priority for the manufacturing industry to maintain a strong footing in an economy that is under constant flux.

Over the last 40 years, Titan Enterprises has provided optimised liquid flow metering solutions for a diverse range of industries and process applications, its design and engineering expertise being fundamental to the company’s success.

Established in 1981, Trevor Forster, Managing Director of Titan Enterprises, founded the company with the aim of producing modestly priced, high-quality, low flow measuring devices for OEM customers.  Trevor recognised from the outset that improvisation and creativity were the key to securing their footing in the market, delivering affordable and lasting solutions that resolved issues for their customers.

“In the early days we made our own flow rigs from a laboratory balance with control electronics provided by a friend,” Trevor recalls, “and we used low-cost aluminium tooling until we could afford fully hardened steel ones.”

“More than once we’ve been told ‘You can’t do that’, but we’ve just done it anyway! The way we work with customers from research, development, through to production has enabled us to solve a lot of OEM application issues,” Trevor adds. “Through that process, we’ve helped customers decrease their assembly times, improve efficiency, and provide extra functionality.”

Titan’s R&D is primarily driven by customers looking for solutions that will support their specific applications and deliver more efficient, reliable and accurate results. R&D projects could be anything from testing new materials for longer life, chemical inertness, robustness, testing under high pressure or temperature or software development. Design improvements and technological advancements are focused around finding innovative solutions for our OEM customers, pushing the boundaries of both the physical properties and performance of the products.

Some of Titan’s most popular flow meters have been born out of collaborations. “We have a proud history of working with some of industry’s key players, such as Coca Cola Enterprises Ltd, RS Components and Vianet, to industry specialists like Formula 1, Paxman Coolers, Stored Crop Conservation and Green Fuels,” Trevor says. “Our USP is our flexibility, adaptability and ability to work with customers to understand their applications and find workable solutions.”

In 1986, Titan was approached by the Virgin Atlantic Challenger II team.  They were searching for a flowmeter manufacturer who could supply a device to measure their fuel consumption on their Trans-Atlantic Blue Riband attempt.  We developed a unique hybrid inserting one of our Pelton wheels into the throat of a venturi meter which proved to give an acceptable overall pressure loss and excellent linearity. Richard Branson completed the crossing in the Virgin Atlantic Challenger II, in three days, eight hours and 31 minutes, beating the 1952 record set by the United States.

Work on developing a viable, accurate ultrasonic meter began in 2001 when Titan commissioned The Cranfield Institute of Technology to develop the device in collaboration with our own R&D team. The resulting patented ultrasonic technology led to an expanding line of Atrato® ultrasonic flowmeters which had the adaptability to provide solutions for a number of OEM issues. Trevor reflects: “From the outset in 1981 I wanted a non-invasive flow measurement solution and our patented ultrasonic technology is giving us that.”

“We also did some extensive pioneering work with a USA medical company to produce a disposable ultrasonic flowmeter that would measure the volume of liquid manually injected into a patient,” Trevor continues. “We are currently extrapolating our technology for use in other applications where, for example, it can reduce downtime for cleaning as the ultrasonic meters have no moving parts.”

In 2014, Titan was approached by a Formula 1 racing team to design bespoke flowmeters for two very niche applications:  direct fuel and engine oil flow measurements were required for the F1 racing cars. For the fuel system, Titan developed an ultra-lightweight oval gear meter capable of being safely housed inside the fuel tank itself and submerged in the fuel.  F1 vehicles typically run without cooling fans so measuring the oil flow on engine test required a flowmeter accurate to 200oC with no undue pressure drop. Both modified oval gear flow measurement designs provided accurate flow measurement, whilst housed directly in or around the noisy electrical environment of the F1 vehicle.

“We do not shy away from spending on Research and Development. Industry doesn’t stand still and investing in R&D is paramount to us staying ahead of the game and taking advantage of the latest technologies. Our R&D spend is 20% of our turnover where the norm is 8-10%,” Trevor says.

The focus technology for Titan at present is our ultrasonic liquid flow measurement devices. Taking our Atrato® ultrasonic flowmeter product design understanding, we have pushed both electronics and physical design to improve the overall performance window. We have recently launched our new software interface for the Atrato, greatly improving its functionality.

Trevor concludes, “When you are confident in your own capabilities, willing to take a few risks, invest resources into R&D and know what your customers and market want, taking on challenges can be very fruitful.”

It is this extra investment and ongoing high R&D spend that will see Titan Enterprises at the forefront of their sector for years to come.

To discuss an optimised flow measurement device for your OEM application please contact Titan Enterprises on +44 (0)1935 812790 or email sales@flowmeters.co.uk.

Combilift’s CSS container loading system uses Variohm EuroSensor supplied cable extension transducers

Combilift, based in Co. Monaghan – Ireland, is the largest global manufacturer of multi-directional forklifts and an innovator and leader in long-load handling solutions. Its recently launched Combi- CSS (Container Slip-Sheet) enables fast and efficient freight container loading for the transportation of timber, flat-packed furniture, panel products and similar goods. This innovative system features a large platform where goods are pre-loaded on a powered steel slip-sheet, and with integral laser-assisted container alignment and hydraulic levelling the slip sheet and its payload are driven directly into the container hold using Combilift’s patented push-pull mechanism. Significantly reducing the full load loading time to as little as 6 minutes and ensuring safety and simplifying the loading process, the Combi-CSS control system relies on SGJ series cable extension transducers (CETs) from Variohm EuroSensor to monitor the slip-sheet’s position over CAN SAE 1939 for the loading and retracting procedure.

The 16-metre-long Combi-CSS is capable of loading up to 30,000kg in 20- to 40-foot containers with the alignment and load transfer process managed by a single operator. The slip-sheet material, Hardox 500, is an extremely hard grade of steel commonly used for large structural wear plate components in construction and mining equipment. With excellent resistance to scratching and surface scraping, these properties help maintain a low sliding friction for the loading and sheet retraction process. The slip-sheet has several pairs of holes at equal intervals along its length and the push pull mechanism, which sits underneath, utilises powerful hydraulically driven linear actuators that engage with these holes in an alternating pattern to drive the sheet forwards for loading or backwards to retrieve the sheet. The distance travelled by the actuators for each push or pull cycle determines how far the slip sheet travels – with position controlled using displacement feedback from the SGJ series cable extension transducer.

The SGJ series CET from Variohm’s distribution partner TE Connectivity Inc., was chosen for its industrial grade quality and IP67 environmental protection rating. Its rugged glass-filled polycarbonate housing protects a precision high-cycle plastic hybrid rotary potentiometer in a spring-loaded cable and winding drum arrangement. The durable stainless-steel measuring cable is simply attached to the moving element in a “free-release” tolerant design that safeguards against damage if the cable is accidentally released. A stainless-steel mounting bracket and industry standard M12 connector makes installation straightforward in any orientation.

With several output options available in the SG series, including voltage and current as well as CANopen versions, Combilift chose the SGJ model with an integrated CAN SAE J1939 output communication profile – which is widely used on mobile equipment and factory automation applications and interfaced seamlessly with the CSS’s control system. The zero to 80-inch measurement version (2032 mm) provides an accuracy of 0.5% and a full-scale repeatability to 0.02%. The position data, in 12-bit resolution, and device status information is transmitted as ‘Proprietary B’ messages over the J1939 network. The Node ID, baud rate and date rate options are easily set using dip-switches and versions are available with or without terminal resistors. The 80-inch travel version can be mounted in a volume of less than 100 x 67 x 127 mm; a larger 120-inch travel version is also available.

Combilift’s Combi- CSS (Container Slip-Sheet) enables fast and efficient freight container loading

CETs, sometimes referred to as ‘String pot sensors’ provide a cost-effective technology for long travel linear displacement measurement and find use across industrial applications such as mobile construction and forklift vehicle safety monitoring, winch and crane position feedback, large agricultural machines, flood management systems etc. Variohm supplies CETs in miniature designs with position measurement as small as 40 mm through to long travel models with over 40 metres linear measurement capability. The sensors used in CETs include rotary potentiometers, incremental encoders and multi-turn absolute encoders. Output options cover all industry standard voltage and current output levels as well as digital pulse and bus communication protocols. Cable actuated technology requires no critical alignment and suits applications where space is limited or where moving components may be submerged, deep underground or partially obscured by other equipment. Variohm’s comprehensive range of CETs are easily adapted for use in harsh environmental conditions with IP68 protection ratings and application matched versions supplied with hazardous area certification.

Variohm EuroSensor is a distribution partner to leading sensor suppliers and with its own design and manufacturing capability supplies a wide range of position, force, pressure, load, and temperature sensor technologies for demanding measurement application solutions in industry, construction, agriculture, motorsports, medical, research and more. For more information on Variohm’s cable extension transducer range visit www,variohm.com. For more information on Combilift’s CSS visit https://combilift.com/combi-css/

Inspiring the next generation of apprentices

Southampton-based cable and connector specialist PEI-Genesis recently sponsored an award at PETA’s Apprenticeship Vs Dragons’ Den Programme in a bid to inspire the next generation of technology apprentices. This event saw four students from Horndean Technology College, Hampshire, take the top prize for their carbon footprint tracker app idea.

A briefing paper published by the UK’s House of Commons stated that there were 23,400 fewer people participating in apprenticeships in 2019/20 compared to 2018/2019. While much of this is attributed to the Coronavirus lockdowns, statistics still show a steady decline in apprenticeship starts since 2014. This has created demand for 124,000 engineers and an additional requirement for 79,000 related roles, according to Engineering UK.

To improve engagement with local schools and promote apprenticeships, PETA launched the Apprenticeship Vs Dragons’ Den Programme. School teams were tasked with developing a product to solve one of modern life’s challenges, the winning product being an app to track your carbon footprint. To help sponsor prizes and fulfil the roles of Dragons, PETA approached spokespeople from local technology and engineering companies for support, including Kelly Sunderland, European HR director at PEI-Genesis.

“Having left school myself at 16, going straight into work instead of following traditional academic routes, I got the benefit of learning on the job. Furthermore, apprenticeships can open the doors to sponsored higher education qualifications. Having been sponsored through a bachelor’s and a master’s degree myself, I strongly advocate for apprenticeships and vocational career starts. Programmes like PETA’s Dragons’ Den offer school pupils insight into the alternative opportunities available to them after school in tech, business and engineering.

“As employers in the technology sphere, we often set too high a bar on the skills required from potential new hires. This programme proved to us that the attitudes, values and creativity of the candidates are just as, if not more, important for the world of work. The teams in the final showed the tenacity we look for in prospective employees and, when challenged by the Dragons, could articulate responses in a respectful and professional manner,” continues Sunderland.

PEI-Genesis currently employs seven apprentices across different disciplines and was asked to sponsor the Original Concept Award. This went to Portsmouth Academy for its 3-in-1 reduce, reuse and recycle machine, which aimed to reduce the amount of single waste we use, whilst providing our community with healthy refreshments. The student’s hope for a more eco-friendly environment won the team a £100 cash prize and a trophy.

“As a company, we are committed to inspiring the next generation of technology experts, so being asked to sponsor the Dragon’s Den event award was a no-brainer,” says Jonathan Parry, senior vice president and managing director Europe for PEI-Genesis. “PETA’s Dragons’ Den event gave our employees of the future an outlet to demonstrate their confidence and passion for innovation, as well as their knowledge in delivering a business strategy from concept to market. It’s been great to support these achievements and we look forward to seeing the event continue next year.”

If you’d like to learn more about careers with PEI-Genesis, head over to the website or contact the UK office at +44 (0) 23 8062 1260. Furthermore, find out more about PETA apprenticeships here.

Powelectrics has created a range of new brochures on its IIoT solutions

The Powelectrics Marketing Department has been busy! It has created a range of new brochures detailing the company’s IIoT solutions by Solution, Sector and Product. You can access them via the Powelectrics website or using the links below.

Powelectrics are NOT a shopfront for third-party IIoT developers. It offers over 30 years of expertise and practical experience in instrumentation and digitalisation. It delivers solutions globally, customising its versatile suite of IIoT technologies to gather data from a vast range of sensors, machines and IIoT devices.

Solution

Sector

Product

What can Powelectrics do for you?

Please browse the Powelectrics website and get in touch with any queries you have or applications you would like to discuss. Call +44 1827 310 666 email sales@powelectrics.co.uk or use this contact form.

ASICs: the touching point between man and machine

Thanks to today’s touch-screen technology, interaction with a computer can be as instinctive as a conversation between two humans. Most people use touch-screens daily, but few stop to wonder about the electronics that makes them possible. Here, Dr Mike Coulson, Analogue Design Manager at ASIC design and supply company Swindon Silicon Systems, discusses how Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) play an integral role in uniting man and machine.

In the last 15 years, the world has witnessed a touchscreen revolution. Touchscreens now feature extensively in our daily lives, not least within our mobile devices, but also in retail, healthcare and industrial settings. More niche applications call for specialised touchscreens that are sufficiently sensitive to detect a human finger through thick glass, through gloves, or even at a distance above the screen’s surface. This Human-Machine Interface (HMI) technology is still evolving, driven largely by advances in the supporting electronics and signal processing.

Electronic challenges

Almost all modern touchscreens use the ‘projected capacitance’ technique, where a matrix of invisible conductors is embedded within the display. At each crossing point, the conductors form coupling capacitances between one another, at least partially through the air above the display.

A finger in close proximity reduces this coupling, albeit by a tiny fraction. The job of the touchscreen controller is to measure the numerous capacitances, usually by driving each wire in turn with a voltage stimulus and thus pushing vanishingly small currents through them. By measuring the many tiny currents simultaneously, and at fantastic resolution, it is possible to perceive the effect of any touches and calculate where they occur.

Upon entering the controller, each wire’s signal is first passed through filtering components to reject interference — perhaps unsurprisingly, given that each wire resembles a long antenna. The signal is then amplified and sampled before being digitised by an analogue-to-digital converter (ADC). The replication of all this componentry, to serve the numerous wires in the panel, represents a significant challenge to the cost and form factor of the electronics.

Because the changes in capacitance are so subtle, great attention must be paid to noise when designing the controller. Furthermore, the many channels must operate at high frequency in order to win an acceptable ‘frame rate’ from the touch panel. Matching between the channels must be good in order to simplify subsequent processing, calling for tight control over circuit properties and stray capacitances. One popular way of improving the signal-to-noise ratio is to drive the wires at moderately high voltage, maximising the currents being measured. However, this requires specialised components to switch and distribute the excitation, and a dedicated circuit to generate it from whatever low-voltage source is available.

The application of ASICs to these challenges

When such systems are initially prototyped, these electronic functions are provided by a multitude of off-the-shelf integrated circuits (ICs) supported by an array of capacitors and resistors. This is the optimal approach when prototyping, as it provides the opportunity to understand what specifications are important to the solution. It also gives the developer freedom to experiment with novel hardware approaches to the problem in hand. But to translate a prototype into a cost and performance optimised high volume product, developers will integrate as much of the circuitry as possible into an ASIC.

Swindon frequently designs and supplies custom, high-throughput, multi-channel solutions into human-computer interface applications, optimising the overall bill of materials and achieving form factors that are otherwise impossible. Modern high pin-count packages accommodate many channels in a single part, with excellent matching in properties. Because the cost of replicating identical channels is relatively low, the ASIC approach can be extremely effective in these applications. Furthermore, novel circuits are protected from prying eyes — an ASIC is far more difficult to reverse engineer than discrete parts wired together in plain sight. As Swindon does not develop or sell standard parts on the open market, customers can be confident that their solution and IP benefits them, and them alone.

The ASIC design process itself is heavily based on simulation, incorporating all relevant parasitic capacitance, resistance and inductance so that performance is assured. Noise, being so critical to touch-screen applications, can be accurately predicted and mitigated. The digital processing can also be integrated, either by deployment of processor IP or of custom synthesised logic, and the entire signal path can be optimised as one.

By honing the specifications of each element, silicon area and design effort is expended only where absolutely necessary. In contrast, when designing with off-the-shelf ICs, it is inevitable that some aspects will be over-engineered because these components are sold with versatility in mind.

Designing an ASIC

Whilst not always necessary, a working prototype system provides a superb basis for an initial discussion with an ASIC supplier. When customers first engage with Swindon, our priority is to fully understand their concept, allowing us to quickly assess whether a custom solution might benefit them and if so, to identify the optimum system partitioning.

Having established and captured the customer requirements, the chip is then broken down into analogue and digital blocks, each with its own specification. The design of these blocks is distributed across a team of engineers who are accustomed to relying on sophisticated simulation to guide their work. Unlike many other fields of engineering, there are no prototypes when designing integrated circuits: nothing is manufactured or measured until the entire design is finished.

Touch-panels are just one application of ASICs, but they serve to demonstrate the value that integration can bring. The benefits are such that an ASIC sits behind every touch-panel we encounter in our daily lives, although we may not realise it. It is impossible to imagine what technology will eventually displace touch: perhaps mid-air gesture control, or brain-computer interfaces? But no matter what triumphs, it is safe to assume that it too will rely on a custom IC.

Bringing solar power to reservoir monitoring

Remote monitoring has brought about many benefits for utility mangers, but how can telemetry devices be used to monitor sites that have no power infrastructure? Here Ian Loudon, international marketing and sales manager for remote monitoring system manufacturers Omniflex, discusses how solar powered wireless telemetry systems are a cost-effective, secure and reliable solution for remote reservoir monitoring.

Whether it’s a single water tank or a large water dam, powering a monitoring system on a remote site, several kilometres away, with limited access to grid infrastructure is challenging. Often, these sites go unattended for long periods of time and vulnerable to overfilling. Because these systems are critical to ensuring continuity of supply and the preventing overfill and waste, water utility mangers often must fund costly infrastructure projects to support installation.

Because manual inspections cannot be feasibly carried out regularly on a remote reservoir, utility managers will feel caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to balancing cost, security and efficiency. So, what is a suitable solution?

Simply solar

It’s a misconception that all solar powered devices require an infrastructure. Yes, it was once the case that solar panels, battery chargers, back-up power supplies and telemetry devices were fitted separately in costly and complex installation projects. However, with a growing reliance on automation and the need for monitoring devices to protect assets, new solar powered telemetry systems have been developed that are cost-effective and easy to install.

Device manufacturers are now making programmable RTUs with integrated solar charge regulators in small footprints. These RTUs have terminals that directly plug in to the batteries, so all the system requires is for the device to be connected to a solar panel and a backup battery.

Water utility managers can save considerable costs in upgrading the existing infrastructure by using devices such as Omniflex’s Teleterm S3 Series, weighing just 350 grams. Being solar powered, the device does not dissipate as much heat as mains powered electronics. This, coupled with its compactness, allows it to sit comfortably in a secure, weather-proof IP 67-rated enclosure with its backup battery.

Considering the concerns

It’s understandable that reservoir managers will have concerns over the efficacy and reliability of solar powered devices. Power budgeting for batteries is a particular design constraint and battery selection is made considering worst case scenarios. For example, on days where there is less sunlight, panels can’t produce charge at maximum capacity and the batteries must take up the slack for repeated charge and discharge cycles. However, modern batteries have advanced quickly and now have greater tolerance for deep discharge cycling. This allows more technology to be deployed in these power constrained applications.

Battery life concerns have been considered by device manufacturers. For example, the S3’s power consumption is low, at just 35 milliamps at 12 Vdc. To save power, the devices are programmed to store data locally and only transmit intermittently on a cyclic basis. On a reservoir you might want to know the usage profile over a 24-hour period. The S3 series can be programmed to take a reading every hour, but report back every once every24 hours, saving power. All data is backed up and secured on a SD memory card, and power is used sparingly making the Teleterm S3 the ideal deployment for reservoir monitoring.

To avoid uncertainty when power is low, an internal backup battery is provided for the processor, to power the real-time clock and keep synchronisation. If the external main batteries were to fail, the backups allow the device to shut down gracefully without corrupting any stored data. When communication comes back on, this data can then be securely transmitted back to the control room either via a cloud-based Data2Desktop network or license-free band radio.

Solar powered devices will continue to push the boundaries of what remote monitoring systems can offer. For remote locations where power is limited, safety is critical and cost-effectiveness is desired, water utility managers can be rest assured that their system remains reliable and secure in any eventuality.

Be inspired by innovation at Advanced Engineering

On November 2 and 3, Advanced Engineering will return to the NEC, Birmingham for its 13th edition. With 80 per cent of exhibitor space already sold, engineering and manufacturing businesses should act fast if they want to secure a stand. Last year, over 7,000 people attended across the two days, including representatives from Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, Alpine F1, Ford, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and the Ministry of Defence.

 This edition of Advanced Engineering will celebrate and display innovation, growth and development within the UK’s engineering industry. Across the show’s seven zones — aerospace, composites, automotive, advanced metals, connected manufacturing, space and satellite and, new for this year, product testing and quality control, businesses will showcase their latest, ground-breaking technologies and inspire cross-industry collaboration that pushes the UK’s engineering industry to new heights.

Following the successful partnership in 2021, the show will be co-located with Lab Innovations and will be supported by over 40 media partners. Some of the world’s key industry associations, such as The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Composites UK, Make UK, UKRI, UK Space Agency, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, GAMBICA, BARA and the Department for International Trade, also feature as trade body partners, helping the show address some of the latest issues arising in our industry.

This year, there will be a new feature area for providers of certification and inspection services. Across all areas of the manufacturing supply chain, testing and quality control is an integral part of the development of products. There are already several exhibitors confirmed for this zone, including James Fisher NDT and Applied Scientific Technologies UK.

The Enabling Innovation zone will return in 2022, supporting smaller enterprises that want to accelerate and commercialise their innovation into the advanced manufacturing and technology sectors. Sponsored and judged by experts at Innovate UK, the Knowledge Transfer Network and Innovation DB, Enabling Innovation exists to showcase the UK’s brightest new talent and innovation. Ten start-ups will be selected to exhibit at this year’s exhibition, during which they will pitch their business and innovation to a live audience and a panel of judges. The winner will receive a free full-sized stand and complete marketing package at Advanced Engineering 2023.

Evangelos Zympeloudis, CEO and co-founder of iCOMAT, winner of Enabling Innovation 2019, exhibited at last year’s event as part of his prize. He said, “It’s been two years since we won the Enabling Innovation competition at Advanced Engineering and the company has really grown since then. In fact, we’re four times bigger than we were back then. I’ve found Advanced Engineering to be a great show so far. There are lots of people here and it’s clear that everybody was itching to come to a live show again. We’ll definitely be returning next year — Advanced Engineering is the place to be for any business that is component- or automation- related.”

Advanced Engineering is shaping up to be a great event and it’s clear to see why so many exhibitors want to return. At last year’s exhibition, marketing manager of Qimtek, Dean Munkley said, “The show’s been really good — far busier than I expected. We’ve probably taken more leads than we have at any show over the last three years. There was a lovely mix of people and it was great speaking to anyone from students to directors. There’s such a good variety of suppliers here too — we’ll definitely be returning.”

Attendees also found the 60 hours of free learning, courtesy of the four forums scattered across the show floor, insightful and inspiring. Highlights included workshops and talks from automotive lifestyle blogger James William Walker, also known as Mr JWW, the Aerospace Technology Institute, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, ADS, the UK Space Agency, Jaguar Land Rover, Composites UK, BAE Systems Make UK and more. These four forums will return in 2022, sponsored and supported by companies including HP, University of Strathclyde, GRP Solutions, Euroresins, Cristex Composite Materials, Ripley Solutions and more.

“Over the last two years, our whole industry has learned the value of in-person interaction, both personally and professionally,” explained Alison Willis, Director at Easyfairs, the organiser of Advanced Engineering. “At last year’s event, we found that more visitors and exhibitors were attending with a purpose — whether that was to connect with a new supplier or purchase a particular piece of equipment. AE Connect, our digital platform that helps exhibitors and visitors connect and arrange meetings in advance of the show, really helped facilitate this.”

“Our industry is always innovating and releasing new technologies that are even more impressive when you see them in person. Take Advanced Engineering’s Enabling Innovation competition as an example — in-person events give start-ups like those involved in this the chance to showcase their revolutionary products to the rest of the engineering community.”

Advanced Engineering is the place to be for the UK’s engineering community. Exhibitor space is selling out fast. To book your stand, visit www.advancedengineeringuk.com and make an enquiry.

Assembly, measuring and testing systems for industrial production: Kistler at Control 2022

At the Control 2022 trade fair in Stuttgart from 3 to 6 May, Kistler will showcase a varied array of fully automated quality monitoring and assurance solutions, equally suitable for series production and random sample testing. Application areas for Kistler’s extensive portfolio range from punching technology and fastener assembly to plastics processing and medical device manufacturing. Visitors to booth 8305 in hall 8 at the fair can explore Kistler’s systems for optical inspection of mass-produced or series parts, along with solutions for quality assurance in fastening technology; also on show will be assembly and test stations as well as process monitoring systems for manufacturing – individual solutions that meet the needs of multiple industrial sectors.

The KCV 821 automatic rotary plate testing system is designed to perform optical geometric and dimensional stability testing, and also to detect surface faults.

Industrial manufacturers who want to hold their own in today’s market need quality monitoring and assurance technology that is both reliable and efficient. Faced with growing requirements for product safety and process transparency, manufacturers require automated quality assurance solutions that they can integrate flexibly into their production processes: the key to guaranteed 100-percent testing. With the automated modular inspection and test solutions that Kistler will showcase at Control 2022, industrial manufacturers can deliver the high product quality their customers demand – and ultimately reduce their quality costs as well.

Optical testing and sorting machines for mass-produced and series parts

Optical inspection systems offer a tried-and-tested method of quality assurance for products that have to meet demanding requirements in sectors such as the medtech or automotive industries. To succeed in implementing a 0-ppm strategy with guaranteed quality for all manufactured parts, test systems must inspect the workpieces reliably. Inspection must cover not only complex geometries and dimensional stability but also functional and safety aspects. Equally important: the systems have to operate efficiently – features such as rapid sensing of contours and surfaces are essential. With cycle rates of up to 8,000 parts per minute, optical inspection systems from Kistler are the ideal choice for a vast range of production environments.

The platform-independent jBEAM software offers both universal and custom options for analysis and visualisation of measurement data.

One of the most advanced end-of-line inspection systems in Kistler’s portfolio will be on display at Control: the KVC 821, equipped with up to eight matrix and line-scan cameras as well as 3D inspection capability, so complex testing tasks can be performed sequentially at multiple stations. Thanks to cutting-edge optical measurement technology with multiple imaging, even the most challenging surface inspections can be performed reliably. This technology also makes partial use of artificial intelligence in the form of deep neural networks and an anomaly detection process, so unknown surface deviations can be detected even though they are not yet defined.

As well as complete solutions such as the KVC 821, Kistler offers modular solutions that enable customers to utilise individual components in line with their specific requirements. At this year’s Control, Kistler will present modular system components such as cameras and lenses, along with the KiVision image processing software that is integrated into all its test stations.

maXYmos TL ML – the FDA- and MDR-compliant solution for process monitoring in the medtech sector – makes it easier for manufacturers to meet demanding quality assurance requirements.

Another highlight of the company’s exhibit at Control: jBEAM software to analyse and visualise process data. This platform-independent software handles complex calculations as well as automated reporting. Kistler will demonstrate the varied possibilities of this application during the trade fair by using jBEAM to analyse data from its KiVision image processing software.

Optosensors for reliable process control and monitoring

Kistler will also present optical sensors and inductive proximity switches used for feed, ejection and double-sheet control in punching and forming processes, among other applications. Customised for each application, these products ensure high levels of reliability and cost-effectiveness in the manufacturing process: malfunctions are detected at an early stage, so tool breakages and the costly damage they cause are avoided.

Process monitoring for guaranteed quality in production, assembly and product testing

The maXYmos process monitoring system by Kistler reliably monitors the quality of a product or manufacturing step. The maXYmos TL ML version on display at Control is specifically designed for medtech applications – the first process monitoring system in the world to comply with FDA guidelines and MDR requirements for use in the medtech industry. This system visualises and analyses process profiles and comes equipped with numerous interfaces to connect sensors.

Smart Single Stations from Kistler are manufacturing cells for standalone or integrated operation that perform high-precision assembly and inspection processes with the help of tried-and-tested technology.

Intelligent assembly and test stations

Visitors to Control can discover the range of Smart Single Stations from Kistler for testing of press-fit and joining processes. These assembly and test stations can be operated as standalone units or integrated into the line; based on components and systems by Kistler, they perform the process
steps with high precision. Kistler is also on hand to offer support throughout the
process – from the consultation and development phases all the way through to commissioning of the systems. Comprehensive modular solutions from Kistler can be adapted to any individual requirements, giving manufacturers the flexibility they need to bring their quality assurance gradually into line with market requirements.

Complete solutions for reliable fastening processes

When it comes to fastener assembly, Kistler offers complete solutions for quality assurance throughout the entire assembly process – from testing of fasteners and tools through to inspection of the bolted joint itself. The hardware and software portfolio comprises testing solutions for fastening tools as well as fasteners such as screws, bolts and nuts, including quality assurance in the assembly process and calibration of the systems. Kistler offers a complete, intercoordinated quality assurance package to support users before, during and after assembly: the key to tested and guaranteed quality, reliability and safety for bolted joints.

NSPECTpro allows users to perform, analyze and document their process and quality tests rapidly and effectively.

Kistler’s booth at Control will feature the cerTEST mobile solution for fast, accurate testing of torque tools. Compact dimensions and a rechargeable battery for off-line operation make cerTEST mobile ideal for direct use on the assembly line. Another focus of attention will be the INSPECTOR torque wrench: this handy device – with its integrated display and measuring unit – enables users to perform process capability tests (PCT) on bolted joints under series conditions in a matter of seconds; it also features an interface for the CEUS and testXpert evaluation and archiving software. In addition, visitors to Control can experience INSPECTpro, the mobile measurement and evaluation unit, which allows users to perform, analyse and document their tests rapidly and effectively. INSPECTpro can be extended with optional software modules to meet customers’ individual requirements.

                                                    

Vaisala ranks in top 5 of Financial Times’ Climate Leaders 2022 list

Financial Times has listed European Climate Leaders 2022. The list includes European companies that achieved the greatest reduction in their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between 2015 and 2020. Vaisala is proud to be in the top 5 of the list, increasing its ranking from place 14 the previous year.

Kai Öistämö, President and CEO, Vaisala

Vaisala, a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements, is ranked 5th on the Financial Times list of European climate leaders. IPCC’s latest report on climate change highlights the urgency of climate actions and emissions reduction more than ever. Financial Times brings up the achievements that have been made thus far but also encourages companies to do more.

“Sustainability really is at the core of Vaisala, and it is a great honour to be included on the top of Financial Times’s Climate Leaders list once again. Our ranking last year was 14, which is excellent, but it is a true honour to take place 5 this year. As the latest IPCC report states, climate change is an even more urgent global challenge than we have originally thought. This calls also for actions from the private sector to step up and drive the change for our planet,” says Kai Öistämö, President and CEO, Vaisala.

Financial Times focuses on the reduction of core emissions intensity over the 5-year period. The core emissions include direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1) and purchased-energy emissions (Scope 2). The intensity, on the other hand, calculates emissions in relation to revenue. Financial Times’ interactive list shows that Vaisala keeps its top 5 position, whether ranked by emission intensity reduction or total reduction of emissions. Vaisala’s figures on these scales are 41.3% (average reduction of intensity per year) and 91.7% (total reduction).

“Our emission reduction is largely thanks to the fact that Vaisala uses 100% renewable electricity in its facilities globally – a target that we achieved in 2020. We take great measures to reduce our environmental footprint continuously. Now our emission reduction targets will focus especially on Scope 3, that is left out of the Financial Times’ list, and these upcoming targets will be highly ambitious,” Vaisala’s Sustainability Manager Marjo Hietapuro comments.

In March, Vaisala committed to setting a science-based target to reduce its Scope 3 emissions in the coming years, aligned with the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The fact that Financial Times’ list covers Scope 1 and Scope 2 means that it includes those emissions that come from a company’s own operations and from generating the energy it uses. However, Scope 3 (other indirect emissions in the value chain) makes up a great deal of most companies’ footprint, which is why Vaisala now turns it focus on decreasing these indirect emissions.

“In addition to reducing our own emissions, sustainability is tightly integrated into Vaisala’s strategy and offering. It is truly extraordinary that we are able to do good for our planet in every part of our value chain: while we reduce our own environmental footprint, we also help our customers to do the same for their business and reach their sustainability targets. In this day and age, all companies wanting to succeed in the future need to look at how their business relates to the world’s challenges and to renew their business accordingly,” Öistämö summarises.