Product of the Year 2010 Winners
Plant Engineering announces Grand, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Award winners for products debuting in the 2010 calendar year.
Companies self-nominated their best products, introduced or refined in 2010, which were then voted upon by Plant Engineering subscribers. The categories spanned 13 components of the Plant Engineering world, with each featuring Gold, Silver, and Bronze Award winners as well as a Grand Award, for the best product in show.
Zoneworks was presented the 2010 Product of the Year Grand Award on Monday, March 21, at the annual Product of the Year dinner in Chicago for their noise-dampening SZ Acoustic Curtain Walls. The dinner, part of the 2011 Manufacturing/Automation Summit, recognized more than 25 of the best new products for the 2010 calendar year. Here are winners for the 2010 Product of the Year awards:
Grand Award Winner
SZ Acoustic Curtain Walls, Zoneworks
Reducing excessive noise within virtually any industrial, commercial and institutional facility is manageable with sound-absorbing SZ Acoustic Curtain Walls from Zoneworks. Zoneworks SZ Acoustic Curtain Walls can reduce noise levels inside buildings by up to 22-25 decibels, making a space approximately four times quieter than it would be without them depending on existing noise frequency levels. The modular and highly flexible walls can be designed to custom-fit nearly any existing space – without having to invest in costly permanent walls that would otherwise be needed to address bothersome and potentially harmful noise levels.
Automation and Controls
Gold Award: ControlLogix Programmable Automation Controllers, Rockwell Automation
The ControlLogix L73 and L75 programmable automation controllers (PACs) provide advanced memory, speed and processing capabilities for a wide range of control demands, from high-performance logic and motion to information-intensive process applications. The ControlLogix L73 and L75 PACs interface seamlessly with motion drives through EtherNet/IP and SERCOS network interfaces, and are capable of supporting as many as 100 axes, further simplifying synchronization of complex motion applications. The ControlLogix L73 PAC is ideally suited for users requiring up to 16 MB of memory while the ControlLogix L75 PAC offers 32 MB of memory.
Silver Award: Electronic Steam Boiler Level Controller, Spirax Sarco
The Electronic Steam Boiler Controllers from Spirax Sarco, Inc. are designed for simple installation with an enclosure design that allows chassis, panel or DIN rail mounting. Commissioning is carried out entirely using the front panel key pay and the software menu. The controllers feature an infrared ‘inter-controller’ communication capability and remote RS485 ‘read only’ access to controller settings and parameters. The controllers also contain manual test buttons for the pump and the alarm as well as the ability to sense supply voltage and water turbulence.
Bronze Award: SIMATIC CPU 317-TF Motion Controller, Siemens
The SIMATIC CPU 317-TF-2DP, from Siemens Industry, Inc., is a single controller for motion control, safety, and standard tasks. This controller offers cost savings, space savings in the control cabinet, direct processing of fail-safe functions from the drives, and PROFIsafe via PROFIBUS DP, as well as compliance with relevant standards.
Gold Award: Oil-Free Compressors, Sullair
The 100-200 HP Oil-Free Compressor from Sullair is a positive displacement oil-free rotary screw compressor with variable speed drive (VSD). The compressor is composed of two individual stages which are flange mounted to a common speed-increasing gearbox, with common bull gear, which drives each stage pinion for its optimum performance. The lubrication system features the oil reservoir, the oil pump, the pressure relief valve, the oil filter, and 10 US gallons of Sullair All Weather Fluid in place of oil.
Silver Award: Rotary Screw Compressor, Ingersoll-Rand
The R-Series of rotary screw air compressors from Ingersoll-Rand are designed based on extensive customer surveys. The series is composed of 90- to 160-kilowatt/125- to 200-horsepower contact-cooled compressors which include many advanced elements and are available in fixed speed or Nirvana VSD at capabilities up to 1,060 cubic-feet per meter. They also feature Progressive Adaptive Control Protection – an integrated, intelligent system that monitors filtration, ambient temperature and other parameters. At the heart of the compressors are rugged, roller-bearing equipped airends, engineered for reliability.
Bronze Award: Centrifugal Oil-Free Compressors, Ingersoll-Rand
Ingersoll-Rand’s line of C1000 Centac oil-free centrifugal compressors includes more than 50 improvements to deliver reliable, efficient, and productive operating capabilities. Optimized for superior serviceability, the vertically split design provides fast access to major components, thus minimizing downtime. The units have a simplified leak-free oil system with an integrated oil filter, in addition to pressure and thermal regulation. Leak-free operation is attained using O-ring face seals. Sleeve bearings in the heavy-duty motor reduce maintenance and improve durability. Ingersoll-Rand’s signature reverse backward-leaning impellers maximize turndown and increase efficiency. Field removal is simple and requires no special tools.
Gold Award: Energy-saving System, Eaton
The Energy Saver System technology from Eaton Corporation enables large, three-phase uninterruptible power systems (UPSs) to operate at 99 percent efficiency without sacrificing reliability. As part of Eaton’s Energy Advantage Architecture (EAA), the Energy Saver System technology drives UPS energy losses to nearly zero; dramatically reducing energy consumption, environmental impact and power costs. The Energy Saver System can detect changes in power conditions and transition to the appropriate mode faster and more reliably than conventional “eco-mode” capabilities that are available with legacy UPS products.
Silver Award: POWER_GARD LF Fuseblocks, Littelfuse
The POWR-GARD LF Series of next-generation fuseblocks from Littelfuse Inc. are releasable, compact, indicating fuseblocks that feature a modern design and universal mounting holes for drop-in replacement. OEMs and panel shops are able to reduce the size of enclosures and simplified installation due to snap-to-release DIN-rail mounting features. End users have the added value of local indication and the LF Series Fuseblocks’ clean, modern design. The LF Series Fuseblocks offer local indication via neon light, providing obvious and immediate notification when a fuse is open, which can significantly reduce downtime because operators can quickly identify which fuse to replace.
Bronze Award: SINAMICS G110D Inverter, Siemens
The SINAMICS G110D inverter from Siemens AG is designed to address conveyor technology applications in the industrial environment and is suitable for basic, controlled applications as well as those in which AS-Interface connections are used. This low profile, compact and space-saving design covers a wide power range from 0.75kW to 7.5kW and has several advantages as a result of the AS0Interface bus configuration, quick stop functions as well as the optional maintenance and manual-auto switch that is directly integrated into the drive.
Gold Award: Weld Fume Collectors, United Air Specialists
The W Series line of weld fume collectors from United Air Specialists, Inc., available in portable (WP model) and wall-mount (WS model) configurations, effectively capture weld fumes at the source of welding processes. Both the WP and WS models use obstruction-free extraction arms to draw in weld fume at the point of generation. Once inside the system, contaminants are sent through a spark trap and captured within a fire-retardant Protura Nanofiber cartridge filter. W Series collectors are easy to operate and easy to clean. Systems are powered with a one-touch button using 115/1/60, and filter changes require no tools.
Silver Award: PowerCore TG Dust and Fume Collector Series, Donaldson-Torit
The Torit PowerCore TG Series is a line of dust and fume collectors from Donaldson Torit. This line of collectors was specifically designed for thermally generated dust and fume. The Torit PowerCore TG Series comes with a footprint up to 65 percent smaller than average and offers the widest range of packaged units up to 10,000 cfm. The Torit PowerCore TG Series is an ideal filtration solution for welding, thermal spray, laser and plasma cutting applications. The Torit PowerCore TG Series' strong and sleek all-welded housing is the ideal fit as a stand-alone collector on the plant floor or integrated into an OEM design.
Bronze Award: Ultra Material Dispenser, Ultra Tech
The Ultra-Dispenser from UltraTech International, Inc. is a storing and dispensing container for absorbents, rock salt, and other granular products. The heavy-duty steel construction provides years of service and the easy operation dispensing gate eliminates waste of contents. The 50-lb model is available on a wheeled cart with an optional shovel kit. The wall-mount model holds up to 25 lbs and can be installed almost anywhere. Both Ultra-Dispenser models feature sloped interiors to channel the contents to the dispensing gate.
Gold Award: Husky Double Diaphragm Pumps, Graco
Graco’s 1-inch Husky 1050 air-operated double diaphragm pump family for process applications deliver materials up to 50 gpm. Designed with additional features that optimize performance, the Husky 1050 includes a stall-free modular air valve for low pulsation and a smooth changeover. A square four-bolt manifold joint design provides even sealing pressure and prevents fluid leaks, while a one-piece center section virtually eliminates air leaks. Diaphragms also last up to five times longer for more efficient operation.
Silver Award: SCP-6500 Pump, Goat Throat
The SCP-6500 Pumps from GoatThroat Pumps feature lugs with a grounding wire on the front of the pumps that allow users of flammable liquids to ground the pumps, making them safe for use with class 1 and class 2 flammables. All components of these pumps which come in contact with the fluid are created with conductive plastic, so there is grounding of the liquid, the pump, and the container. The pumps are designed to fit containers from 5 to 55-gallons, have a cost-effective life expectancy of 10 to 15 years, and provide for spill-proof, safe transfer of over 850 fluids and solvents.
Bronze Award: Drum Latching Lid, New Pig
The PIG Latching Drum Lid with FM-approved plugs converts a 55-gallon steel drum into a safe--- storage container for oil-or solvent-soaked materials. This lid easily attaches to new or reconditioned drums and features FM-approved plugs, making it ideal for use with flammable or combustible solids. The latching lid satisfies NFPA 30 venting requirements. And, the latching lid helps to comply with 40 CFR 262.34(c) for Satellite Accumulation and 40 CFR 264.1086(c)(1)(ii) to prevent VOC emissions and 40 CFR 264.173 requiring haz-waste containers to be closed.
Gold Award: Combination Dryers, Kaeser Compressors
The Hybritec dryers are a compressed air drying solution from Kaeser which combine the energy savings of a refrigerated dryer with the exceptionally low dewpoints of a desiccant dryer. These units operate on an innovative premise: air is first treated by a refrigerated dryer to remove the majority of the air’s water vapor. Then the air is treated by a desiccant dryer to further reduce the dewpoint. The Hybritec dryers also offer a consistent outlet dewpoint, reduced operating and maintenance costs, signicantly less power consumption, and much longer desiccant service life.
Gold Award: Vertical Fan, Big Ass Fans
The Pivot 180 by Big Ass Fans provides cooling air movement over large areas and is designed to be installed on a column or other vertical structure. In addition, Pivot 180’s oscillating function allows the air generated to radiate 100 feet outward, enveloping a 180 degree arc from side to side - a coverage area of an incredible 12,000 square feet. If more concentrated air movement is required, the oscillating function can be switched off easily and the fan aimed in one direction. For even more control, the fan can be easily pivoted up or down for optimal airflow.
Silver Award: Radiant Tube Heater, Schwank
The ultraSchwank is an efficient radiant tube heater suitable for indoor industrial and commercial applications, with ceiling heights up to 75 feet. It can be safely tucked into a roof structure and is available in lengths of up to 70 feet. The insulated reflector system featured in the ultraSchwank captures convection heat and increases tube and inner reflector surface temperatures for heat retention and comfort and lower air temperatures. Because more heat is directed where required convection heat losses are drastically reduced, with the added benefit of a 30% to 50% reduction of minimum clearance to combustibles required for installation.
Gold Award: LED Luminarias, Juno Lighting Group
Juno Lighting Group’s next generation of premium grade Indy Designer Series LED Luminaires are designed with a focus on energy savings and enduring beauty, and include the entire offering of Indy Round LED Downlights, Indy Square LED Downlights and Indy Cylinder LED Downlights. These luminaries each include higher lumen packages to meet the needs of lighting specifiers in commercial applications requiring up to 42-watt CFL equivalency for higher ceilings and greater light intensity. All units are dimmable utilizing a universal 120V-277V driver, and include emergency battery back-up options. Utilizing remote phosphor technology, the high-output LED light engine provides high efficiency and color stability.
Silver Award: LED Luminaria, Cooper Lighting
The McGraw-Edison Ventus outdoor LED area luminaire offers optical performance and versatility with superior light quality. Incorporating Cooper Lighting’s modular LightBAR technology and AccuLED Optics system, the LED luminaires’ unique application-specific design allows lumen and energy output to be customized to fulfill the exact needs of the outdoor space—eliminating wasted energy, obtrusive spill light and over-lighting of spaces. In both performance and construction, the Ventus LED Area Luminaire is optimized to deliver uniform and energy-conscious illumination to parking lots, building areas, roadways, and security lighting application, and can provide up to 75% in energy savings over traditional High Intensity Discharge outdoor sources.
Bronze Award: Two-lamp Design Light Kit Series, Cooper Lighting
The Metalux OpticaHP Series features a high-efficiency two-lamp design that can save energy costs. The series includes luminaires and two OpticaHP Retrofit Kits designed for installation into parabolic fixtures. Available with 28W or 32W lamp options, precision engineering combines a highly reflective matte white finish with glare reducing faceted steel cross blades to create a soft, even distribution while delivering optimum light levels. The OpticaHP is now available with White Optics material that increases fixture efficiency to over 92%. This allows for improved energy savings by allowing for use of energy-saving lamps or lower ballast factors in the system.
Maintenance Tools and Equipment
Gold Award: Filter Bucket, New Pig Corp.
The PIG Oily Water Filter Bucket is an absorbent-filled bucket can be used indoors or outdoors to capture up to five gallons of hydrocarbons from collected water/oil mixture and allows filtered water to pass through. Seven alternating layers of PIG Oil-Only Mat Pads and PIG Oil-Only Pillows help to disperse collected liquids for uniform saturation and fewer change outs. The hose fitting on the top of the container lid accepts 3/4" drainage hoses, while the 3/4” connection on the bottom of the container accepts a self bailer, drain plug, another drainage hose, or it can be used as a free-flowing drain.
Silver Award: Clamp Meter, Fluke
The Fluke 381 is a clamp meter with a removable display for added flexibility. The wireless technology allows the display to be carried up to 30 feet away from the point of measurement without interference with measurement accuracy. The iFlex flexible current probe expands the measurement range to 2500 A ac while providing increased display flexibility, and the ability to measure awkward sized conductors and improved wire access. The integrated low pass filter and the state of the art signal processing allows for use in noisy electrical environments while providing stable readings.
Bronze Award: See-Snake Interface, RIDGID
RIDGID’s SeeSnake LT1000 laptop interface offers a flexible way to digitally record, monitor and manage drain footage when paired with a RIDGID SeeSnake reel and PC laptop. The LT1000 provides the ability to complete tasks without transferring data between field devices and a PC. The clean keys control pad allows gloved or bare hands to control recordings and camera operations during an inspection while the laptop stabilization system provides a secure and stable surface for a laptop and power cords.
Bronze Award: Thermal Imaging Camera, FLIR
The FLIR T300 thermal imaging camera captures detailed, crisp images and video with a 320 x 240 focal plane array (FPA) detector (76,800 pixels). FLIR’s affordable T300 tackles the performance demands of industrial, plant, utility, HVAC, and building-related professionals. For quick, highly detailed diagnostics in industrial applications, the T300 matches 2% thermal accuracy, 30Hz frame rate, and <0.05ºC thermal sensitivity (NETD). The FLIR T300’s capabilities integrate proven technologies such as Bluetooth to simplify and streamline routine inspection tasks, helping thermographers get their job done quickly and accurately.
Gold Award: Anaerobic Threadlocker Tape, Henkel Corp.
Loctite QuickTape 249 Threadlocker Tape is dry to the touch, packaged in a 260-inch roll, and provides the same reliable performance of liquid threadlockers yet can be carried in a pocket or toolbox. It’s a general purpose threadlocker that is removable with hand tools, and cures fully within 24 hours. The tape is peeled from the spool and wrapped around the fastener’s threads, operating best between -65 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The size of the fastener determines the number of wraps required for secure locking and sealing.
Silver Award: PEEK Air Nozzles, EXAIR
EXAIR's PEEK Super Air Nozzles deliver strong blowing force while providing non-marring protection should the air nozzle come in contact with other surfaces. The engineered thermoplastic construction offers a high resistance to chemicals, fatigue, and temperatures up to 320°F (160°C). Applications include part drying, machinery and parts cleaning, chip removal, part ejection, liquid blowoff, and cooling hot parts. The PEEK Super Air Nozzles provide high air amplification and strong blowing force. At 80 PSIG, the sound level is under 76 dBA which meets OSHA noise requirement 29 CFR 1910.95(a).
Bronze Award: Absorbant Valve Wrap, New Pig
The PIG Absorbent Valve Wrap is designed to soak up nuisance leaks in valves, flanges and other oddly-shaped pipe components. Cinch-able straps and a sewn-in double stack of oil-only mat make it easy to catch drips anywhere – indoors or outdoors, and it’s UV-resistant for up to 12 months. Two sheets of highly absorbent 100% polypropylene Oil-Only PIG Mat soak up and retain oils and oil-based liquids, including lubricants and fuels, without absorbing water, and the non-permeable clear poly back helps prevent pollution by keeping absorbed liquids from leaking though.
Material Handling Systems
Gold Award: G-Force Lifting Device, Gorbel
The G-Force is an Intelligent Lifting Device from Gorbel that uses an industrial processor controlled servo drive system to deliver unmatched lifting precision and speed. The G-Jib integrates the G-Force into a work station jib crane. The actuator of the G-Force stays in a fixed position near the vertical truss of the crane, eliminating the deadweight that comes with moving a hoist along the rail and creating an easier to move alternative to the traditional work station jib crane/chain hoist combo. The G-Jib maximizes productivity while minimizing the risk of injury to the operator.
Silver Award: 4150 and 4250 Trucks, The Raymond Corporation
The Raymond Corporation’s Models 4150 and 4250 are stand-up counterbalanced lift trucks with greater visibility for the operator featuring increased maneuverability provided by agile steering, a shorter head length, and dual steer tires; and the innovative ComfortStance suspension to maximize operator comfort. The 3-wheel trucks are designed to perform right-angle stacking maneuvers in less total area. The dual-steer-wheel design allows one wheel to counter-rotate during turns, resulting in a shorter turn radius and reducing tire loading and steering friction. The trucks’ sleek design lends itself to excellent visibility, improving operation and efficiency in applications, such as loading and unloading trailers.
Bronze Award: Pneumatic Lift Truck Series, Cat Lift Trucks
Cat Lift Trucks’ P8000-P12000/PD8000-PD12000 series of internal combustion pneumatic tire lift trucks feature an 8,000-12,000-lb carrying capacity for industry applications such as lumber, brick and block, and stevedoring. The trucks include a standard two-speed forward and one-speed reverse transmission and purePOWER engine which ensures performance, fully hydrostatic power steering that provides lower steering effort than conventional steering systems, an elevated air intake to draw in cleaner air and limit contaminants, and a ground speed control that allows limitation of travel speed without affecting performance. A variety of options to customize the lift trucks, including productivity packages, are also available.
Manual Material Handling
Gold Award: Accu-Height Height indicator, Liftow
The Accu-Height is a fork height indicator from Liftow Limited that alerts the forklift operator when the forks are at the correct height to enter the pallet. The Accu-Height consists of magnet markers which can be easily installed on almost any forklift in a matter of minutes. There are two indicators for each pallet position: The yellow indicator tells the operator when it is safe to enter a pallet that is on the rack while the white indicator tells when the pallet is raised high enough to clear the rack. Having level forks and the correct fork height ensure the forks enter the pallet every time.
Silver Award: P-REX Drum Magnet, Eriez
The Permanent Rare Earth Xtreme (P-REX) Drum Magnet from Eriez is a permanent magnetic circuit designed to be capable of moving large spherical objects from a large distance, while maintaining a constant strength profile. Constructed of solid magnetic material to its edges, P-REX captures ferrous material from edge-to-edge; as ferrous crosses from the pick-up to the carry over magnetic zones, it gets flipped, turned and agitated to shake any debris loose. P-REX requires no power to energize its magnetic field, has no coils to wear or short out, and the optional retractable jaw pulls the magnets away from its shell.
Bronze Award: Loading Dock Software, 4Front
4SIGHT integrates loading dock equipment with intelligent software that monitors, communicates and manages loading lock status in an easy-to-use interface. Designed to alleviate the common logistics problems around loading docks, 4SIGHT uniquely uses real-time and physical data to assist facilities in loading dock visibility, live and staged trailer coordination and turn time management. By integrating loading dock equipment with its software, 4SIGHT is able to communicate real-time information between dock positions and control rooms. 4SIGHT also allows maintenance of loading dock equipment based on actual usage as opposed to a time-based maintenance schedule.
Gold Award: Turbo-TBAK Fall Limiter, Miller Fall Protection
Miller Fall Protection’s Miller Turbo TBAK Personal Fall Limiter (PFL) is a self-retracting lifeline designed to tie-back anywhere along the lifeline for greater mobility and convenience. The Miller Turbo T-BAK PFL features an all-in-one design that incorporates a web retractable with 7.5-ft. working capacity and anchorage connector, reducing equipment required on the job site, increasing worker productivity and safety. In addition, two Miller Turbo T-BAK PFLs easily adapt to the innovative Twin Turbo harness back D-ring connector for continuous 100% tie-off fall protection.
Silver Award: Emergency Push Buttons, Rockwell Automation
Emergency-stop push buttons are a critical component for automation systems – they are used to cease motion to help prevent injury to workers or damage to machinery. Rockwell Automation’s emergency-stop push buttons from Allen-Bradley are TUV certified for the B10d Functional Safety rating which the industry already recognizes for ingress protection sealing technology, low-voltage switching capability and excellent reliability.
Bronze Award: Safety Laser Scanner, Omron
The OS32C Safety Laser Scanner is a compact Type 3 safety laser scanner with a 104.5 mm profile, a light 1.3 kg weight and a low 5 W power consumption that combine with innovative features such as flexible and configurable detection zones to make is a powerful safety solution. It also features a 270 degree detection angle that enables a single scanner to provide presence detection, including two warning zones and one safety zone. The unit’s Reference Boundary Monitoring function constantly monitors reference points and turns off the safety outputs when a shift in its physical position is detected.
Gold Award: Plant Design Software, Autodesk
Autodesk Plant Design Suite 2011 is a software suite from Autodesk for plant designers who need powerful plant design and whole-project review capabilities in a single integrated package. Beyond the value of an integrated solution, the Autodesk Plant Design Suite 2011 leverages new capabilities and features of the latest 2011 Autodesk product releases. Autodesk Plant Design Suite combines AutoCAD 2011, AutoCAD P+ID 2011, AutoCAD Plant 3D 2011, and Autodesk Navisworks 2011 software to provide a powerful and accessible plant design solution. These components share common data structures and file formats to provide for smoother user experience and data exchange.
Silver Award: Power Design Pro Software, Generac
Generac Power Systems' Power Design Pro software is a complete generator sizing and system design tool supporting both electrical and mechanical design. The software incorporates algorithms to accurately model the load's true characteristics. The modeling includes full harmonic and transient analysis to ensure complete generator-to-load compatibility. Power Design Pro is a one-stop solution center for the consulting engineer and other specification sheets; installation drawings; emission information; sound data and calculator; gas and exhaust pipe sizing; decrement and damage curves; and a specification text library with full inclusive design notes.
Bronze Award: Energy Management Application, Invensys
The Wonderware Corporate Energy Management Application from Invensys Operations Management enables manufacturing and industrial automation customers to easily and quickly implement an energy management program and achieve sustainability goals. The application allows users to monitor energy, detect energy inefficiencies, and notify personnel of those inefficiencies. It connects directly to meters on a network, through industrial controllers, and accepts manual entry via the company's Wonderware InTouch HMI and IntelaTrac mobile solutions. Application functionality includes recording consumption and demand at main and submeters for a wide range of energy types.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.