Tolomatic Electric high force linear actuator is tough enough to process lumber

The lumber industry has relied on the toughness and high force capabilities of hydraulic cylinders for years.  But lately that reliance has been shaken.  Hydraulic cylinders leak and can contaminate the fragile eco-systems in which lumber processing operates.  Plus, hydraulic systems are only 40-55% efficient and cylinders require frequent maintenance.  When combined, these factors can make hydraulic cylinders an expensive choice in the long run. The introduction of electric high force linear actuators has given the lumber industry a new option for linear motion

Lumber planing machine needs leak-free actuator

A manufacturer of lumber processing equipment was using hydraulic cylinders to position rollers on their planing machine. The manufacturer needed a robust, long-lasting alternative, though. Their customers were concerned that leaking hydraulic fluid would damage the environment.  Customers also didn’t like the high total cost of ownership of hydraulics due to a combination of maintenance costs and the low efficiency of hydraulic systems. Also, low and high temperatures impaired hydraulic cylinder performance.

Electric high force linear actuator is solution

The application requires force output of 7,000 lbf (31,138 kN) and speed of 6 in/sec (152 mm/sec).  Our RSA64 HT electric high-force linear actuator with roller screw meets this challenge, allowing the OEM to eliminate the leaky, expensive hydraulic system.

Not only does the RSA-HT meet the application’s force and speed specifications, the electric rod actuator delivers 70-80% system efficiency and has minimal maintenance requirements.  The RSA operates without a glitch in all temperatures and is sealed with an optional IP67 package to handle the wet, dusty environment.

The RSA roller screw electric rod actuator withstands shock loads caused when the machine’s rollers encounter gaps between boards travelling through the planer. Due to these high shock loads, a custom steel head with an integrated trunnion is used.

POSTED BY AARON DIETRICH (Tolomatic)

About Ingersoll-Rand Grinders

Ingersoll Rand provides automotive technicians and maintenance personnel with the muscle they need for tough grinding jobs. Cleaning surfaces, removing gaskets and general surface prep is no problem for our full line of straight and right angle grinders. And when you need industrial grade power, Ingersoll Rand has the tools for you. Our industrial grinder line includes the M2-Series, heavy duty Pro-series, ARO pencil grinders and revolution grinders. Choose what is best for you.

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Epson Robots to Demonstrate Innovative and Highly Efficient Robotics Solutions for the Factory Automation Industry at ATX East

MEDIA ALERT: NEW YORK, NY – June 13, 2017 

Who

Epson Robots will be showcasing unique, innovative, high precision robotics solutions designed for maximum efficiency and productivity for a wide variety of applications in factory automation at the Automation Technology show, ATX East.

What

The showcase will feature the new and revolutionary Flexion™ N2 6-Axis robot as well as an assembly demo of an Epson Point of Sale printer built with a high precision SCARA robot and a compact 6-Axis robot.

Showcase

The showcase includes Epson’s newest Flexion N2 6-Axis space-saving robot, featuring the world’s first compact folding arm design that meets the increasingly high demands for efficient movement and precise placement required in advanced manufacturing. It’s ideal for use in production and quality assurance in the automotive, electronics, medical and laboratory equipment industries, which require compact solutions for applications that need smaller robots and workcells. With the ability to operate in a tight space, the Flexion N2, which reduces the required workspace area by up to 40% versus standard 6-Axis robots, can be utilized in production lines that traditional 6-Axis robots cannot.*1 These ultra compact robots with a reach of 450 mm are able to easily reach into confined and restricted work spaces from many angles with smooth motion, allowing for maximum efficiency.

Also on display will be an assembly of the Epson OmniLink® TM-T88V Point of Sale intelligent printer built with a G6-Series SCARA robot and a C4 6-Axis robot.

Epson G6 SCARA robots are perfect for applications that require high speed and/or high precision in industries such as automotive, medical, semiconductor, food, pharmaceutical, hard drive, consumer, and many others. The new Max-E envelope design delivers maximum motion range, allowing Epson G-series robots to do jobs that normally require much larger arms. The smaller footprint translates to less factory space requirements and lower overall factory costs, helping manufacturers to stay competitive.

The compact Epson C4 6-Axis robots deliver exceptional speed, flexibility and repeatability, making them ideal for lab automation, medical, consumer, food, automotive, electronics, PC peripheral, semiconductor, plastics, appliance and aerospace industries. They can be used for a wide variety of applications ranging from blood sample handling to DNA testing or from instrument panel assembly to medical instrument kitting. Epson C4 robots include a unique compact wrist pitch as well as a slim body elbow design. They are well suited for big jobs in tiny spaces allowing payloads of up to 4Kg while maintaining fast speeds and cycle times, resulting in maximum productivity.

When

ATX East takes place from June 13-15.

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Where

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY. Epson booth 2405

About Epson Robots

Epson Robots is a global leader in PC controlled precision factory automation, with an installed base of well over 55,000 robots worldwide and a product line of hundreds of models of easy to use SCARA, Cartesian and 6-Axis robots based on a common PC based platform. Building on a 35+ year heritage, Epson Robots today delivers robots for precision assembly and material handling applications in the aerospace, appliance, automotive, biotechnology, consumer product, electronics, food processing, medical device, pharmaceutical, plastics, semiconductor, and telecommunication industries. For more information, visit www.epsonrobots.com

About Epson

Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to connecting people, things and information with its original efficient, compact and precision technologies. With a lineup that ranges from inkjet printers and digital printing systems to 3LCD projectors, smart glasses, sensing systems and industrial robots, the company is focused on driving innovations and exceeding customer expectations in inkjet, visual communications, wearables and robotics.

Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 73,000 employees in 91 companies around the world, and is proud of its contributions to the communities in which it operates and its ongoing efforts to reduce environmental impacts.

We Offer Dyna-Lift® Ergonomic Lifting Technology

Ergonomic, height-adjustable workbenches are quickly becoming the standard in industry. And as more people demand height-adjustability, Dyna-Lift ® is the standard for delivering it.

In addition to work tables, other common applications include hospital beds, assembly line fixtures, rehabilitation tables. Less conventional applications have included casket lifts, massage table lifts and lectern/podium lifts.

We have developed Dyna-Lift ® applications for many light and heavy industrial and medical applications, including a successful product to help Boeing make the production of airplane wings height-adjustable for workers.

Every customer has a special, unique need that they need Dyna-Lift ® to satisfy. That is why Bucher Hydraulics excels at timely response, outstanding research of our clients” needs, engineering of the right applications and ultimately the best solution for each situation.

The Benefits of Dyna-Lift ® Technology

  • OEM and Retrofit Kits Install Quickly
  • Improve Productivity
  • Increase Comfort
  • Comply with ADA & OSHA guidelines
  • Smooth and Quiet Operation
  • Units Shipped Fully Charged and Ready To Install

FasTest Quick Connectors for Leak & Pressure Testing

FasTest Quick Connectors for Leak & Pressure Testing

FasTest Inc. is the leader in leak and pressure testing quick connectors for a wide variety of manufacturing industries. FasTest uses advanced engineering to create safe, reliable connections for various tubes and threaded profiles. Learn more about the different FasTest product lines available through Air Automation Engineering below!

 

Shedding Light On Encoders In Solar Energy Applications

Article by: Kuebler Inc.

As solar energy continues to grow as a modern-day source of power, components must be designed to ensure continuous and efficient operation of the energy generation process. Because heliostats are often placed in remote desert areas, they are exposed to a number of harsh environmental factors, such as high temperatures during the day, dust exposure and daily temperature swings.

To keep the system running smoothly, encoders, which are used in the control of the mirrors, must combine ruggedness with innovative technologies, yielding a reliable product that can perform under these tough conditions.

There are a number of factors in the energy generation process that can help determine if an encoder is up to the challenge.

Elevation and azimuth position control. Heliostats demand high precision in order to maximize the amount of sunlight being received. Therefore, the efficiency of the overall system depends on their positioning accuracy in both elevation and azimuth. Here, precision optical encoders are best suited for the job.

Angular position control of Parabolic Trough Systems. Parabolic mirrors concentrate sunlight onto a heliostat’s receiver pipe—a process that requires rugged, yet flexible encoders. Depending on installation space, simple magnetic rotary encoders or inclinometers can be used in order to accurately measure the system’s angular position.

Rugged outdoor design. Encoders must integrate a number of characteristics that make them suitable for outdoor applications. These include robust housing, a wide temperature range, high resistance to shock and vibration, insensitivity to interference or magnetic disturbances and long service life.

Customizability. It is important for encoder manufacturers to work together with engineering teams to design custom control or motion solutions for solar. Depending on the application, the encoder may need to work with a wide variety of additional sensing systems, integrated drives or other types of feedback devices. To make integration easier, look for encoders that support SSI, BISS-C or common Fieldbus protocols.

 

pneumatics

Real World Examples: Pneumatics

Pneumatic systems can be divided into two general categories: systems that are powered by a rotating rotor and systems that are powered by a reciprocating piston. Devices powered by a rotating rotor contain a housing compartment, vanes, and a central spindle. Air enters the housing and applies pressure to the vanes, which causes the spindle to rotate. Then, the mechanism that is attached to the spindle begins to move. Essentially, pneumatic systems work by compressing air to a higher pressure. The high pressure then forces a spindle or piston to move, which powers a tool or motor.

They are most commonly found in buses, trucks and other large vehicles. They use a type of friction brake that allows compressed air to press on a piston, which then applies the pressure to the brake pad which stops the vehicle.

Air Brakes

Air brakes on buses and trucks are formally known as compressed air brake systems. These systems use a type of friction brake in which compressed air presses on a piston and then applies the pressure to the brake pad that stops the vehicle.

Air Nail Gun

In an air nail gun, air pressure flows into the gun from a compressor which the air pressure is then stored in a “chamber” until the plunger which is located at the muzzle is depressed and the trigger is pulled.  When the plunger is depressed, the air pressure is then allowed to flow through the chamber, above a piston that is attached to a blade. Located above the piston is under the plunger. The compressed air then forces the plunger up and allows access to the top of the piston.

Bicycle/Ball Pump

Air is compressed and forced into the ball or bicycle inner tube as the handle is pumped on top of the cylinder. Pneumatic pumps have offered a “lower total cost of ownership” compared to traditional pumps.

Jackhammer

This device is fed with compressed air as a source of power and uses pumps to deliver air to drill through hoses. Although this is commonly known as a drill, this machine is actually more like an automatic hammer in it’s method of working and because of that, it is known as the air-hammer or jackhammer.

Orbital Sanders

This is a popular tool with body shops. The tool is comprised of a handle that fits into the palm of the hand, and a block that holds sheets of sandpaper. It spins the sandpaper in random orbits, hence the name orbital sander, which prevents the tool from leaving noticeable swirls or hot spots. This tool is very useful for someone who needs to finish an uneven surface without spending a lot of time sanding by hand. An orbital sander can generate more than 10,000 rotations per minute.

Robotic Technology Creates Cost-Effective Method to Study Missouri Crops

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI, MARCH 13, 2017

A two-pronged robotic system pioneered by University of Missouri researchers is changing the way scientists study crops and plant phenotyping.

Gui DeSouza, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and his Vision-Guided and Intelligent Robotics (ViGIR) Laboratory have partnered with researchers from the College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources to study the effects of climate change on crops in Missouri. The effort is part of a larger study, funded by the National Science Foundation, to understand the overall effects of climate change in Missouri.

AirAutomation_pneumatics-robotic-technology-cost-effective-study

To accurately create 3-D models of plants and collect data both on regions of crops and individual plants, the research team developed a combination approach of a mobile sensor tower (in background) and an autonomous robot vehicle equipped with three levels of sensors and an additional robotic arm. Photo courtesy of Gui DeSouza.

To accurately create 3-D models of plants and collect data both on regions of crops and individual plants, the research team developed a combination approach of a mobile sensor tower and an autonomous robot vehicle equipped with three levels of sensors and an additional robotic arm. They’re used to complete a complex process called plant phenotyping, which assesses growth, development, yield and items such as tolerance and resistance to environmental stressors by correlating these to physiology and shape of the plants.

“The Vinobot collects a large variety of data,” DeSouza said. “For example, it uses three sets of sensors to collect temperature, humidity and light intensity at multiple wavelengths, and it collects those at three different heights of the crop.”

The tower inspects a 60-foot radius of a given field to identify areas affected by environmental stresses, while the vehicle collects data on individual plants. Additionally, the vehicle has a robotic arm that it uses to move around the plant and create a 3-D model of each individual plant.

The names of both robots are a combination of the ViGIR lab and their given function — Vinobot (ViGIR pheNOtyping roBOT) for the vehicle, Vinoculer (ViGIR pheNOtyping trinoCUlar observER) for the tower.

“We can measure from the tower if the plants are under any stress, such as heat, drought, etc,” DeSouza said. “Then the tower can tell the mobile robot to go to a particular area of the field and perform data collection on the individual plants.”

While the tower covers only a relatively small area, it can easily be moved around to cover an entire field. The cost-effectiveness of the towers means it wouldn’t be expensive to have more than one operating at a time.

Cost-effectiveness and efficiency are key to this new system. Using unmanned aerial vehicles such as quadcopters can take time, as those devices often require Federal Aviation Administration clearance and experienced pilots to operate over a field. Those vehicles also can be expensive, driving the cost up to between $16,000 and $80,000 as opposed to Vinoculer’s estimated $5,000 price. Those figures were outlined in the team’s recent paper, “Vinobot and Vinoculer: Two robotic platforms for high-throughput field phenotyping,” published in Sensors.

“They are not only inexpensive; they are also available 24/7, and can generate a lot more data than any aerial vehicle” DeSouza said.

~Ryan Owens

To read the complete article, click HERE.

Exhibition charts 500 years of evolution of robots

LONDON — Inspired by his belief that human beings are essentially terrified of robots, Ben Russell set about charting the evolution of automatons for an exhibition he hopes will force people to think about how androids and other robotic forms can enhance their lives.

Robots, says Russell, have been with us for centuries — as “Robots,” his exhibit opening Wednesday at London’s Science Museum, shows.

From a 15th century Spanish clockwork monk who kisses his rosary and beats his breast in contrition, to a Japanese “childoid” newsreader, created in 2014 with lifelike facial expressions, the exhibition tracks the development of robotics and mankind’s obsession with replicating itself.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s unstoppable Terminator cyborg is there, as is Robby the Robot, star of the 1956 film “Forbidden Planet,” representing the horror and the fantasy of robots with minds of their own.

There are also examples of factory production-line machines blamed for taking people’s jobs in recent decades; a “telenoid communications android” for hugging during long-distance phone calls to ease loneliness; and Kaspar, a “minimally expressive social robot” built like a small boy and designed to help ease social interactions for children with autism.

“When you take a long view, as we have done with 500 years of robots, robots haven’t been these terrifying things, they’ve been magical, fascinating, useful, and they generally tend to do what we want them to do,” said Russell, who works at the science museum and was the lead curator of the exhibition.

And while it’s human nature to be worried in the face of change, Russell said, the exhibit should help people “think about what we are as humans” and realize that if robots are “going to come along, you’ve got a stake in how they develop.”

A total of 100 robots are set in five different historic periods in a show that explores how religion, industrialization, pop culture and visions of the future have shaped society.

For Rich Walker, managing director of Shadow Robot Company in London, robotics is about what these increasingly sophisticated machines can do for humans to make life easier, particularly for the elderly or the impaired.

“I’m naturally lazy and got involved so that I could get robots to do things for me,” Walker said. His company has developed a robotic hand that can replicate 24 of the 27 natural movements of the human hand.

As humans have a 1 percent failure rate at repetitive tasks, committing errors about once every two hours, the hand could replace humans on production lines, he said.

Walker concedes further erosion of certain types of jobs if inventions such as his are successful, but says having repetitive tasks performed by automatons would free up people to adopt value-added roles.

“The issue is to rebuild the economy so that it has a holistic approach to employment,” he said.

This in turn leads to questions, raised at the exhibition as well as by the European Union, of whether or not robots should pay taxes on the value of their output as part of the new industrial revolution.

By LYNNE O’DONNELL The Associated Press