Plant Automation

The automated stacker is a tool for picking loads off the ground or at heights up to 72”. Courtesy: Raymond Corp.
Energy, Power December 13, 2019

Energy solutions will define our futures

What you have seen in automotive, you will see in lift trucks.

By Damon Hosmer
Figure 2: An embedded air bearing system permanently mounted into the tool, machine or structure serves as its own permanent rigging gear. Courtesy: AeroGo Inc.
Material Handling December 13, 2019

How air casters optimize factory flexibility

Integrated air bearings make it possible to implement a reconfigurable system to improve or supplement manufacturing floor changes.

By Cole Miller, M.E.
Figure 1: Robotic material handling and custom automation was part of an upgrade for a thermoforming customer in the food and beverage industry. The new automation was to fit between and connected to two existing manufacturing processes on multiple production lines in a 24/7 operation. Courtesy: Applied Manufacturing Technologies
HMI, OI December 13, 2019

Revamped HMI provides better process control, operator compliance

System integrators should do a deep dive into the customer’s manufacturing process with detailed conversations and clarification of expectations during the design phase of any project.

By Rick Vanden Boom
Even a basic cable type, such as flexible portable cords, come with numerous jacket type rating, conductor count, and conductor gauge options. AutomationDirect is offering $0.00 cut charges, same-day shipping, and free shipping on orders over a small minimum to encourage cut-to-length cable adoption. Courtesy: AutomationDirect
Electrical December 3, 2019

How to specify cut-to-length cable

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), end users, and system integrators seeking to improve manufacturing and fabrication flexibility can purchase cut-to-length cables to save time and money.

By Jim Krebs
An illustration shows a battery’s cathode undergoing phase transition from iron phosphate (FP) to lithium iron phosphate (LFP) during charging. Simulations by Rice University scientists showed that adding defects — distortions in their crystal lattices — could help batteries charge faster. Courtesy; Kaiqi Yang, Rice University
Energy Efficiency December 12, 2019

Detours can improve batteries for electronics, solar energy storage

Scientists at Rice University’s Brown School of Engineering have discovered that placing specific defects could improve how lithium ions travel in batteries.

By Mike Williams
Figure 3: While Pactiv still uses compressed air in its production of molded fiber egg cartons, the iZ Systems upgrades reduced compressed air energy requirements by 45%. Courtesy: iZ Systems
Automation, Controls December 12, 2019

Food packaging company cuts compressed air costs by $250,000

IZ Systems minimizes equipment footprint and slashes energy requirements 45% by implementing PC-based automation and EtherCAT.

By James Figy
Figure 6: “The architecture of the RCS allows you to achieve very high safety and reliability,” said Dr. Angela Summers. “And by designing it into the manifold, you also can eliminate many sources of maintenance errors, which further improves the reliability of your installation.” Courtesy: Emerson
Sensors, Actuators November 15, 2019

Double up on solenoid safety

Adding two solenoid valves to a safety instrumented system keeps equipment, facility and personnel safe and the system online.

By Joseph D. McHugh II