Guides and actuators reduce machine downtime

Hepco review_tmbAldephi’s System F filling machine received the Highly Commended award for the Most Innovative Processing & Packaging Machine. HepcoMotion provided the machine’s guides and actuators for the liquid filling and capping machinery manufacturer. The System F-1800’s design is focused on reducing downtime, increasing productivity, and offering customers greater flexibility and convenience. For the linear motion, HepcoMotion provides the SBD and SL2 products for the multi-axis nozzle carrier movement.  The nozzle carrier uses Hepco products on all three axes. The SBD belt-driven actuators with connecting shaft, couplings and motor connection kit provides the vertical movement enabling nozzles to dive into bottles of varying depths. A vertical counterbalance design is supported by two Hepco SL2 stainless steel slides. The SBD actuators provide a higher level of performance in terms of load capacity and life than other comparable sized linear actuators, says the company. Mike McGuire, HepcoMotion sales engineer explains: “SBD fits this application perfectly thanks to its high capacity re-circulating ball guides providing improved moment load capacity and longer life in high duty linear applications”.

The duty is quite high for this application as the main nozzle bar is raised and lowered frequently and quickly. The weight of the nozzle apparatus, piping, and product being dispensed also need to be taken into consideration. Products need to be able to cope with this high duty and be low maintenance.

The System F caters for a number of industries, including food production, medical, and cosmetics packaging, with varying environmental conditions depending on the type of liquid that is being filled. Both the SL2 and SBD offer surfaces that can be easily washed and wiped down during cleaning routines. The need to wipe and wash down machines, together with high production rates is a combination that only the toughest systems can provide, says the company.

Corrosion-resistance is another key requirement for any liquid filling application. On the nozzle adjusters, where mechanical components are close to the filling process, corrosion resistance is essential for liquids such as oral dose pharmaceuticals and food items. The SL2 stainless steel bearing wheels are sealed for life units, negating the need for lubrication so the system can run dry, and eliminate product contamination. System F has been developed as a hygienic and versatile inline filler, capable of accurately dosing products with a range of viscosities, and even those with large particulates. Solid and liquid particles such as dust and liquid droplets are handled by the V guide system has a self-cleaning action, ensuring a smooth and accurate movement. SBD also has a stainless steel sealing band which prevents dirt ingress, ensuring a low maintenance solution.

The modular machine can meet the needs of the customer. For example, it can fill volumes from 20ml to over five litres on one machine, without modification. Three- wheeled SL2 carriage plates with a trigger release system enables rapid nozzle pitch adjustment down to just 40mm. This allows very small containers to be accommodated. Another application of the SL2 and rollers is in a ‘raking’ axis. This gives the ability to move nozzles between multiple parallel conveyors, and to eliminate the need to adjust two conveyor guide rails during container changeover routines, reducing downtimes and increasing output by minimising the negative impact of container gating time.

The number of components in the machine has been reduced, for a quicker build time, shortened lead times and reduced cost.

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Thermal imager camera is compact

Optris ReviewClaimed to be one of the most compact thermal imaging cameras available, the Optris PI 640 as an optical resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. The company claims the VGA infra red camera delivers pin-sharp radiometric pictures and videos in real time.

The body measures just 45 x 56 x 90mm (1.77 x 2.20 x 3.54 inches) and weighs only 320g (11.3 oz), including the lens.

Operating temperature range is -20 to +900°C or -4 to 1652°F, which can be extended to +1500 °C (2732°F).

The spectral range is 7.5 to 13µm and the frame rate is up to 125Hz.

The camera can be delivered with industrial thermal imager equipment and it comes with an extensive license-free thermography software package.

Collaboration yields passive pallet system

Clinc reviewContract design and manufacturer, Clinc, was involved in the development and supply of components for an innovative passive pallet shipper system. Working closely with the client throughout the development phase, the company offered valuable engineering and DFM expertise on a wide range of aspects for the final design.

The system is now in production and Clinc is pleased to be manufacturing many of the major components which include complex aluminium/plastic extrusions, a precision welded aluminium door frame, CNC machined components and various injection moulded parts.

Displays are in all shapes and sizes

MIDAS REVIEWNew TFT products exhibited at Southern Manufacturing 2018 by the Midas Group included micro TFTs, high resolution IPS TFTs, portrait orientation letterbox units, and all round view angle (ARVA) types. Standard RGB and mono devices were demonstrated, alongside the display enhancement products such as cover glass, multi-touch capacitive and resistive multi-touch screens (RMTS)

Round and micro OLEDS complement the company’s traditional mono and RGB OLEDs, VA technology LCDs, high resolution graphic LCDs, alphanumeric LCDs, and ultrasonic sensor ranges.

Comprehensive technical assistance services the product development, working closely with the customer to find the best solutions for a specific application. This is supported by a range of interface, interconnection, and driver board products, designed to work with a range of industry standard processors and controllers such as Raspberry-Pi, UC32, and Arduino.

Technical business development managers offer on-site demonstrations for all display products, to reduce a customer’s project concept stage. The UK-based engineering team can support the chosen product evaluation time by supplying technical support including the initialisation code. The company says it aims to minimise a customer’s time and effort in realising a new product and presenting it to an end market.

Midas also offers over 700 lines stocked through distributors Farnell, RS Components, Rapid, and Maplin, making availability for prototyping and low volume production exceptionally easy

Pneumatic cylinders improve efficiency

main_largeNew products from the Norgren family were shown at Southern 2018 by IMI Precision Engineering. The range of products on display included air preparation equipment, pneumatic cylinders and valve islands, suitable for a range of markets including automation and process control.

Among the products showcased was ISOLine, a range of ISO VDMA pneumatic cylinders featuring the company’s adaptive cushioning system (ACS), designed to help users save time and improve efficiency. Also on show was Excelon Plus, an innovative modular range of air preparation equipment manufactured in the UK.

There were also demonstrations of the Norgren Express app, developed to help user’s find and order replacement pneumatic components quickly.

Independent distributor showcases international range

JPR Electronics ReviewElectronic component and accessories distributor, JPR Electronics, showcased components and enclosures from among the 70 plus brands it stocks at Southern Electronics 2018. All are supported by an experienced sales team and securely shipped from the EN ISO 9001:2008 approved warehouse.

Major suppliers on display included Schützinger, manufacturers of the Kelvin four-wire measurement connectors which remove any effects on measurements due to transition resistance and any thermovoltages found in standard measuring leads.

Enclosures from Hammond and CamdenBoss showed examples of industry standard BIM boxes, ergonomic handheld, multi-purpose and instrumentation cases, instrumentation desktop, and 19-inch enclosures, Raspberry Pi, Banana Pi and Arduino product cases, DIN rail fittings, potting and diecast metal boxes, heavy duty and electrical enclosures, custom designed enclosures and IP65 waterproof options.

Over 1,000 different models from Salecom include toggle switches, rocker switches, push buttons and slide switches. Versions are available from ultra-miniature and sub-miniature to miniature, and available for through hole and SMT assembly and supplied sealed, washable and dustproof, depending on product.

A range of relays from Hongfa and Finder include standard and low profile, PCB socket mounted relays and DIN rail versions with SPCO and DPCO contacts available with current ratings from 1.25 to 16A. Operating voltages are five, 12 or 24V DC and 110 and 230V AC.

Opto-electronic components from Kingbright and Winstar displays offer designers low profile, wide viewing angle surface mount LEDs in red, green, yellow and blue colours with a super-bright red option. Reliable LCD module displays including OLED display modules, monochrome TN/STN/FSTN character modules LCD and graphic LCD modules, COG LCD, FSC-LCD, VATN LCM modules and TFT LCM displays were also exhibited.

Finishing media selection optimises processes

Rosler-reviewA pre-condition to achieving, consistent and cost-effective mass finishing results is choosing finishing media that is adapted to the component geometry, material and the finishing process. The key to selecting media is combining the best possible ratio of grinding performance and wear rate. With approximately 15,000 ceramic and plastic based media types, Rösler claims to offer the largest portfolio of mass finishing media in the world.

The media program is consistently high quality due to the numerous quality control procedures throughout the production process, says the company. This begins with the selection and control of eco-friendly raw materials. Raw materials for ceramic media are specially formulated, ensuring optimum performance at the lowest possible wear rates. Shaping of the media takes place in pug mills designed and built by the company. The results are not only the tightest tolerances in the market but also high process stability for any mass finishing application, says the company.

For the production of plastic media, the company uses raw materials which achieve such a fine finish that the components can be treated to a mirror polish in a subsequent dry polishing process. Mixing the raw materials continuously allows quick and precise product changes on the production line.

A new plastic media production line has doubled annual production capacity of 5,000 metric tons per year. The new plant, currently under construction will make the production process even more flexible and faster, raising the benchmark for stable, repeatable and cost-efficient mass finishing processes.

PCB services adapt to customer needs

1Fabrication services on rigid, flex and rigid-flex PCBs are provided by Hoiho PCB. The company provides a mix of volume and the availability of quick turn services, to cater for most PCB needs.

Quality and customers’ needs have led to investment in technology, automation and equipment for a stable supply of quality PCBs from technology innovative manufacturing zones in Guangdong Province, China.

Advanced moulding from Boddingtons showcases new plant facility

Boddingtons_reviewPlastics injection moulding manufacturer, Boddingtons Plastics, enjoyed its third successive appearance at Southern Manufacturing 2018. Since the new plant opening, capacity and production has steadily increased. The advanced moulding environment now includes expandable Class 7 cleanrooms, eight injection moulding machines, reduced bioburdens and particulates, white rooms with less fibres and contaminants and disaster recovery safeguards.

The company services all facets of the design and manufacturing process, guiding product ideas and steering projects to the right position in the market. All manufacturing programmes come on line through the company’s gated new production introduction (NPI) process. This helps ensure that the customer’s financial and timeline risks are minimised. Company services include the capacity to create finished components and shelf-ready packaged components.

Cable assembly services include automatic test

Pambry ReviewAutomatic cable tester and cable assembly manufacturing services from Pambry Electronics include manufacture of cable assemblies catering for commercial and military customers, working to either supplied specifications or client drawings. Production staff are qualified to IPC-A-620 wiring harness standard and have experience in cable constructions and connector types.

The latest cable stripping and crimping machines implement consistent and reliable terminations. If required the company can offer full procurement of components. All cables are tested using a customised digital cable tester which was demonstrated at the show. If over moulding is required there is a comprehensive suite of stock tools for commonly used connectors, and the company can adapt to differing cable sizes and connector types. For new designs, SolidWorks 3D software is used and the company liaises with suppliers if prototypes are required. Company logos can be added if appropriate.

Also demonstrated was a Personal Noise Dose Meter,  worn by employees to check they are working within government daily noise limits.