KnottsTech Automation and Control Expo was a success!
It was a beautiful spring day and everyone came out to see what was new in the world of automation and controls. The regional sales managers from Omron, Dorner, and IAI were in attendance along with our own Steve Harrold. Knotts Company product specialists Mark Howe and Mark Guida demonstrated the new product demos on hand.
The Knotts Company's Mark Howe shows an attendee what's new from Dorner Conveyors
Among the products being introduced was Dorner's newest and tiniest family member, the 1100 Series. With a mere 0.75" tall profile, this conveyor can squeeze into the tightest spaces you can throw at it. Also, the new Dorner 3200 Precision Move conveyor was turning heads with its 0.01" positioning accuracy.
Omron's Mike Gildea introduces the new S8VK power supplies
Omron was showing off some new industrial control items like the E5xC family of temperature controllers and the all new S8VK low cost power supply family! Omron's Sysmac NJ was in attendance as well sporting 64 axes of motion control and vision integration.
IAI displayed its popular IK RoboCylinder Cartesian Robot system along with numerous different sized and power Robocylinders. Bart Cerasuolo, IAI's regional sales manager, discussed numerous applications with those in attendance, raising the knowledge and comfort level for all.
The event truely was a success and all who came enjoyed the new product demos, free lunch, and prize drawings...they even enjoyed being mugged! If you were unable to attend or are in a different geographical area, dont' worry. KnottsTech Automation and Controls Expo will be coming to North and Central Jersey very soon!
Editor's Note: This guest post was provided by Dorner Mfg.
Dorner’s Precision Move technology for its 2200 Series low profile belt conveyors now offers a gang drive option to power and move multiple conveyors from one common motor.
A gang drive offering allows one gearmotor to drive multiple conveyors at the same speed with positively driven belting – a feature that’s especially useful in automation, sortation, vision inspection, part positioning and indexing applications. The gang drive location is typically in the middle of the conveyors to free up the ends for interfacing with other equipment. The Mid-Drive for the 2200 can be located anywhere along the frame between the two ends for maximum flexibility. Dorner’s Precision Move technology represents the latest advancements in timing belts and drive technology for those applications that call for extremely accurate movement of product at specific times, distances and intervals.
An added feature to the Precision Move Gang Drive option is being able to adjust the distance between connected conveyors to adapt to changing applications or product sizes. Conveyors can be spaced as far as 48” apart, and can adjust as needed adjusted while operating for maximum application versatility. In addition, the precision belts provide exact speed match from conveyor to conveyor making the moving of parts accurate and precise.
Features of the Precision Move Gang Drive conveyor include:
- Gearmotor below the level of the belt – allowing unimpeded flow of product if it’s wider than the conveyors
- Multiple conveyors can be ganged together to operate at the same speed
- 4” minimum spacing between conveyors with standard guarding installed
- 1.75” minimum spacing between conveyors without guarding
- 200 pound total load capacity
Dorner’s Precision Move represents the complete conveyor package for exact product movement. It includes the timing belt, integrated servo motor and drive, controls and mounting for the gearmotor. The 2200 Series complete conveyor package has an accuracy +/- .40”.
Dorner’s Precision Move package can be delivered with a 2200 Series conveyor in less than 10 days from time of order. For more information on the Precision Technology Gang Drive option, visit: http://knottsco.dornerconveyors.com/
Start Configuring a Conveyor Today!
American Actuators, Inc. (part of the Precision Technology Group) is pleased to extend the range the VICTORY Series of actuators with versions specifically designed to meet the requirements of industries including food and beverage production, food packaging, and pharmaceutical equipment. These industry applications are harsh on general purpose actuators due to the caustic cleaning agents and high pressure washdown regiments.
The VICTORY FoodGrade series models are engineered to withstand the environmental considerations. The VICTORY is a multiple frame size, modular, screw-driven electric thrust cylinder (electro-mechanical ram style actuator) platform. Currently it is offered in four frame sizes, with stroke lengths up to 60 inches, and force capacity to 12,900 lb-f (57kN). Ideally suited as a clean and efficient hydraulic cylinder replacement, the VICTORY Series is designed to offer equipment builders and end-users a rugged, flexible, low-maintenance linear actuator platform for thrust and speed control. One design does not fit every application and budget, so two basic models of VICTORY FoodGrade Actuators have been developed.
The economy FG1 model enhances our basic VICTORY design with food duty epoxy paint on the aluminum body components, FDA compliant seals and grease, and stainless steel inner ram (thrust rod), rod ends, and hardware. For a full stainless steel exterior, step up to the FG2 version. Enhancement include a body design to remove corners, seams and crevices where bacteria can collect, and internal limit sensors.
For more information on the Victory FoodGrade series of actuators from American Actuators, click the link below and fill out the contact form. Please include any appropriate information that will help select the correct actuator for your specific application.
Dorner 2200 and 2300 Series low profile belt conveyors now come with a new modular plastic belt small-pitch option that provides nosebar transfers as tight as 0.31”. The tight nosebar transfers, combined with the industry leading compact conveyor design, makes this offering an ideal solution for infeed and outfeed to machinery, as well as unit handling within the machine.
While traditional conveyors can transfer larger items with ease, the new modular plastic belt small-pitch option provides a nosebar for product transfer of smaller items, which is often necessary within the industries and applications the 2200 and 2300 Series serves. A tight nosebar transfer is ideal for applications that involve small parts transfer from one conveyor to another, or from a conveyor onto a production area for additional assembly/packaging. Nosebars also allow for additional clearance around the end of the conveyor, making the end more accessible and creating room for other machinery.
Features and benefits of the new modular plastic belt small-pitch option include:
- Modular belt features a flat belt surface ideal for inspection and label applications
- Modular belt features a low coefficient of friction surface ideal for accumulation
- Sprocket driven belt and side guides provide worry-free belt tracking
- Aluminum die cast head plates eliminate painted surfaces
- T-Slots make mounting accessories simple with no drilling or special tools
- Sealed ball bearings
- Belt loads up to 150 pounds
- Belt speeds up to 250 feet per minute
- Belt widths: 4, 8, 12 and 24 inches
- Conveyor lengths between 18 inches and 30 feet
- 12mm diameter integral drive shaft
- Available in the following models:
- End drive
- End drive with nosebar
- iDrive with nosebar
- Center drive
- Center drive with dual nosebar tails
For more information on Dorner’s new a new modular plastic belt small-pitch option for 2200 and 2300 Series conveyors, visit here.
You may be well aware, that too much heat is the number one killer of electronics. Anything from a single wire up to the most complex computer, can be destroyed if its temperature rises too high. Manufacturers put control measures where they are most often needed, like on the CPU of a computer, to continually monitor the temperature and run cooling devices accordingly. In extreme cases, the device will automatically shut off to protect itself from permanent damage. Computers are the obvious victim of overheating, but some simpler devices like motors are just as susceptible to failure.
Researching motors you will find that their manufacturers will sometimes include thermistors on their products as well to aid in the heat control game. Using today's frequency drives, you will find that some have thermistor inputs directly on them so they can automatically shut down the motor that is in danger of overheating. But, what if you don't have a motor with a thermistor and a VFD to read that temperature?
On a recent visit to a manufacturing facility that uses wax/ceramic injection moulders, I found that they were having motor failures on their 'slurry' mixers due to overloading. If these motors had thermistors, it wouldn't have been a major thing to simply start watching the temperature value rise and cut the power at a certain level. However, the motors were low-cost 120VAC gear motors and didn't have such an option. What they did have is the temperature of the slurry being mixed in the pot. If the slurry drops below 80°F, it begins to cease, causing the motor to overload. Sometimes, this would continue for several minutes which eventually burned out the motor, or worse, broke the mixing shaft.
Since the temperature of the slurry was being tracked by a panel-mounted Omron temperature controller, the ability to set a low-temp alarm output was already available. Once set, any time the temperature dropped below 80°F the output, which was wired through the coil of the motor starter relay, would turn OFF which which would immediately stop the motor. As an additional feature, the normally closed contacts of the starter relay were wired to an indicator lamp and buzzer to alert the technician that there was a problem and the machine needed to be serviced.
This solution was a complete shock to management because it was so simple and the components were already there. The original plan was to monitor the current draw on a VFD and shut the motor off if the Amps went too high for too long. A solution like that would have cost an extra $250 per machine. A small price to pay when a broken motor or mixer (plus the downtime) cost roughly $1500 per occurrence. But having the exact same result with only having to add a couple of wires to each machine was beyond compare. The Omron temperature controller has many features that were not being leveraged due to the simplicity of the control required, but for someone else's application, could prove to be the necessary item to save money and downtime.
If you currently use temperature controllers or want to know if there is a way they could help your process be more efficient and reliable, please click the button below and leave me your information.
It’s no longer all about the products.
In today's global economy, you can purchase products anywhere in the world. As an Automation and Motion Control Distributor in the New Jersey and Metro New York marketing area, we realize that decision makers have options beyond just the Knotts Company. That is why it is critical for us to deliver value above and beyond just products. Here is an actual example of what we can do and how we do business.
Late on a Monday afternoon we received a call from one of our customers, a bio-tech firm. They explained that they were having an issue with their control system and that they needed to make changes immediately in order to meet a deadline. That evening, we tested various possible solutions until we found the right one. Supporting documentation and testing procedures were retained in order to show the customer how we arrived at the solution.
The following morning, with the solution and documentation in hand, we met and discussed the solution. With our years of technical experience and knowledge of various applications and products, we were able to cover all of their concerns and questions from operation, specifications, performance and availability. We then confirmed the performance from our testing the previous night using their control system which gave them confidence in our decision. Also, from initial conversations, we were aware that they needed to ship three machines, not just one. So, with that knowledge, we brought three units allowing the customer to immediately implement the fix and meet their commitment.
Are you getting the value?
High-speed Cartesian Robot That Shortens Assembly/Inspection Cycle Times by Operating at High Speed, Ensuring High Rigidity and Demonstrating Excellent Straight Moving Performance
High-speed operation with commanded acceleration of up to 3.2 G
(maximum instantaneous acceleration: 4.8 G)
1. High Speed & High Acceleration/Deceleration
Shorten the cycle time of your equipment by operating at the maximum speed of
2500 mm/s and maximum acceleration of 3.2 G. The standard cycle time is 32% less than a conventional Cartesian robot.
|(Note) The standard cycle time represents the time required for going back and forth along the path shown to the right, consisting of a vertical movement of 25 mm and horizontal movement of 200 mm.
2. High Rigidity, Low Vibration
The newly developed dedicated cast aluminum frame ensures high rigidity. Also, the improved shape and vibration damping performance of the fastening brackets for XY-axes reduced the vibration at the tip of the Z-axis, while the vibration control function of the XSEL controller achieved substantial reduction of vibration during high-speed operation.
3. Efficient Operation Range
A wide operation range of 400 mm (X-axis) x 300 mm (Y-axis) is ensured. Square operation ranges have no wasteful space and are more efficient compared to those of multi-jointed robots and parallel-link robots that can only operate in circles due to their structure.
4. Straight Moving Performance
The high-speed Cartesian robot combines single-axis robots each performing linear motion, in order to demonstrate excellent straight moving performance.
Examples of Applications
Packing electronic components in boxes.
Screwing automobile parts.
Feeding/taking parts out work parts to/from a part inspection machine.
Editor's Note: This guest post was provided by Dorner Mfg.
Dorner Manufacturing’s new Configurator is an intuitive 2D and 3D CAD platform that allows users to build complete conveyor assemblies to their exact layout dimensions. The CAD tool is an industry first providing the download of a single CAD model of the complete assembled conveyor, dramatically saving the time spent matching up individual files.
The CAD model is available in a variety of CAD formats and interactive 3D PDF. The Configurator is engineered with tool guides and uses conveyor logic to only place applicable matching conveyor components together; if a system can’t be designed and built for actual use, the Configurator will not design it. This intuitive feature saves user’s time by alerting them of an erroneous design, allowing them to make the necessary adjustments before proceeding.
When the design is complete, customers receive part numbers and detailed descriptions of all the components in the build, information to receive a quote, along with the CAD and 3D PDF files.
Features of the new Configurator include:
- Eliminates design time spent assembling separate CAD models
- Improved accuracy of 3D CAD models
- Provides 3D PDF files for visualization by non-CAD users
- Download the exact conveyor assembly to specific layout dimensions
- CAD requests emailed in minutes • Available on 2200, 3200 and 5200 Series conveyors (other conveyor platforms will be added in the coming months)
Editor's Note: This post was provided by Precision Technology.
Evolution of Technology
All industries are taking a critical look at the way they use motion control systems in their equipment. Where hydraulics once dominated, equipment is now increasingly utilizing electro-mechanical actuators for a large number of tasks for which they previously would not have been considered. Electro-mechanical actuators provide more precise and reliable motion, and integrate easily with modern PLCs and computers. From a complete system perspective, they are smaller, lighter, and cleaner than their hydraulic counterparts. Electro-mechanical actuators:
Increase efficiency, therefore reducing costly energy consumption. For battery-driven electric vehicles, this means increased battery life.
Eliminate hydraulic hoses, valves and pumps.
Have support systems that take up less space, by replacing fluid reservoirs and valve banks with compact electronic drives.
Eliminate the hassle and cost of dealing with spent hydraulic oil.
Remove the functional reliability risk associated with hydraulic fluid contamination.
Eliminate the safety and environmental issues of oil leaks.
Installation Savings for the OEM
Electro-mechanical components cost less than comparable hydraulic component from a full-system perspective.
An electro-mechanical actuator is easier and quicker to install than multiple hydraulic components.
System tuning of electro-mechanical systems is quicker and more predictable than configuring hydraulic systems.
Maintenance Savings for the End-User
Fewer overall components to maintain.
No hydraulic fluid replacement.
No leaks to repair.
Only scheduled bearing lubrication, and periodic inspection of motor/drive cables, as opposed to more complex regular maintenance of hydraulics.
To learn more about the electro-mechanical solutions offered by The Knotts Company, click the button below.
Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Pneumadyne - Provider of System Solutions for Fluid Control
Manifolds provide a convenient junction point for the distribution of fluids or gases. Quickly thread fittings or valves into the ports to produce an organized method of supplying multiple lines from a single source. Although simple in design, there are several elements that must be considered when selecting a manifold for your application.
- Material - Pneumatic manifolds are manufactured from a variety of metals and plastics, therefore, it is important to know what material is compatible with the media in your application. Selecting an incompatible material can cause corrosion of the manifold resulting in leakage at the distribution point in your system.
- Port Size - Manifolds feature a variety of input and output porting options to accommodate the control valves and fittings required in an application. When designing your fluid control circuit, be sure to select components with the same thread size to speed installation in the manifold's output ports.
- Number of Stations - How many lines will be connected at your distribution point? Most standard manifolds have two to 10-stations, however, custom manifolds can be manufactured to accommodate the number of components required in your circuit.
- Spacing - One of the most commonly forgotten elements of manifold selection is the spacing between the manifold's output ports. When selecting a manifold, you want to ensure that the control valves or fittings can be installed without interfering with a neighboring component.
- Operating Pressure - Different materials have different pressure limitations. Be sure to review the operating pressures published by the manufacturer to ensure that the manifold won't rupture when used in your application.
- Placement - Consider where the manifold is going to be placed within your system. The closer the manifold assembly is to your equipment, the fewer long lines that will need to be run, saving money and providing plumbing convenience.