Gear wheels from igus can be 3D printed

igus- reviewCost-effective, lightweight and maintenance-free bearings and cable management systems for a variety of engineering applications were shown at Southern Manufacturing 2018 by igus.

Developed to combine the advantages of the E2/000 and E4.1 in one product range, the E4.1L lean features interior clip-in slotted separators that save up to 80% assembly time saving. The design of these lean separators enables layer-by-layer insertion of shelves and cables. Time savings are further increased by using the new lean honeycomb strain relief, says the company.

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, was another key focus during the show. The company’s online configurator enables engineers to configure gear wheels. Entering the specifications of the required gear wheel (tooth module, number of teeth, width and inner diameter) automatically displays a 3D model that can be exported as a STEP file and uploaded onto the online 3D printing service. With a mouse click, the customer can order printed parts for shipment within one to three days, or request a quotation.


Store and charge devices via the cloud

smartboxx-review_tmbManufacturer and distributor of store and charge solutions for mobile devices, Nuwco, showed TechGuard Connect featuring Bretford Connect, a cloud-based web portal on the Smartboxx stand. It allows for real-time locker management from anywhere, says the company.
The system raises the bar for management and tracking of assets, says the company, with a cloud-based service that enables remote locker management capabilities from anywhere.

TechGuard Connect paired with the cloud-based management software supports remote locker management from anywhere in the world. IT administrators are able to access real-time locker statistics, remotely unlock bays, and provide a full audit trail through data logging.
Software and firmware updates can be done remotely.

There are RFID card or keypad options to manage devices. To help create an audit trail, RFID access allows facility managers to monitor locker usage. The ability to check devices out and back in again is coming soon for enhanced accountability, says the company.

The lockers have 10 bays, RFID or keypad user access, wired or wireless data, and AC or USB power options to charge devices such as phones, tablets and laptops. There is also a selection of colour and branding options.

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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.

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Tutorials are accessible online

Evaluation_Workshop-crop_tmbTutorial videos are available to prospective customers of 123 Insight’s MRP/ERP system, either via a USB stick containing hours of tutorial videos or they can gain immediate access to the content online.

The videos are broken down by role, allowing department managers such as sales, purchasing, stores, quality and accounts to review the information that is critical for their jobs.

Guy Amoroso, MD says “The online versions can be viewed on a desktop, tablet or even a mobile. Each video is around 10 to 15 minutes in length – enough time to provide a great deal of information without significantly impacting on the working day. Breaking the videos down into job-specific content helps to answer the common questions and concerns that individual managers have, dispelling many of the traditional myths about the impact of implementing MRP.”

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EMC materials offer protection

Kemtron Preview edit_tmbBelieved to be the UK’s largest manufacturer of EMC materials, Kemtron offers a complete range of EMC gaskets, EMC ventilation panels, shielded windows and conductive adhesives.

The first level of EMC shielding is PCB design, however despite best efforts, the enclosure will usually need some form of shielding in the enclosure seams and openings, such as doors, windows and ventilation. It is imperative that EMC for enclosure design is considered at an early stage. Consideration should also be given to the environment the equipment will live in, as dust and water sealing can be incorporated into the EMC gasket. Types of gasket suitable for enclosure applications are conductive fabric over foam, knitted mesh or combination gaskets for really harsh environments. Beryllium copper fingers are suitable where high performance is required.

For smaller enclosures or machined parts, the most cost-effective method of providing an EMC/environmental seal is to use a conductive O ring in a groove, conductive elastomers are silicones or fluorosilicone filled with highly conductive particles. Where there is insufficient land to put a groove, the gasket can be directly applied to the surface with conductive form in place, this is a conductive elastomer paste applied through a syringe by an XYZ robot.

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Board test strategy benefits quality

Flying Test preview edit_tmbCombining the accuracy and test capabilities of Spea flying test ICT machines with integrated boundary scan, device programming and full functional testing, Flying Test Systems believes it achieves a level of test coverage, end-to-end cycle times and overall test efficiency that is realising significant improvements in both cost of test and final product quality for clients. It adds the benefits, whether they have in-house test equipment or use the company’s test, repair and return services.

Breaking away from the traditional circuit board test’s multi-stage process, with ICT machines, then board level functional, device programming and boundary scan as discrete processes with associated handling, data reporting and coverage / redundancy issues, the company adopts a layered test concept. Each system component, whether hardware or software contributes its strengths to the whole test cycle rather than solely to the individual process being considered. As an example, performing a board or system-level functional test inside a flying probe system can allow the use of strategically placed signals, even where no traditional test access is provided, to simulate external stimuli or to speed up a test which would take significantly longer in the functional test realm (injecting signals into time delay circuits and watchdogs, for example).

Using multiple test stages, with intelligent and adaptive sequencing inside one test platform enables a true one-stop-test solution, says the company.

Find out more on the Flying Test Systems website

Diversification in sheet metal

laserIn business for over half a century, Allsops is a sheet metal company that works with clients from industries as wide ranging as defence, travel, retail, energy, communications and manufacturing to bring their sheet metal ideas to life. It works closely with clients, with regular meetings and updates throughout the design and manufacturing process.

Services cover the complete range of sheet metal services, including design, punching, laser cutting, folding, welding, fabrication, powder coating and assembly. Customers enjoy its capacity to deliver every stage of the sheet metal production process, rapid turnaround times, modern equipment, competitive pricing and dedication to quality. The 84,000 sq ft manufacturing facility is in Honley near Huddersfield, perfectly placed, with its own transport fleet, to serve the whole of the UK.

The variety of products available includes shelving, retail spaces, shipping pontoons, signage, lighting, point of sale equipment, cabinets and kiosks. 

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Consultancy and audit preparation join IPC training offering

ART review_tmbEstablished in 1988, Advanced Rework Technology, claims to be the longest running electronics training and consultancy company in the UK.

It runs training courses to IPC standards and is an IPC authorised training centre, and offers training at both certified IPC trainer (CIT) level and at certified IPC application specialist (CIS) levels.

Two of the most widely used standards have been updated to keep pace with the ever-changing electronics industry. Training materials were released for IPC-A-610 and J-STD 001 Revision G, allowing companies to transition swiftly to the revision for all training requirements.

The company is also one of the only UK/regional IPC training centres who can offer all of the IPC training programmes, including certified interconnect designer (CID) and both the IPC-A-620 and J-STD space application training course.

Company expansion means it can offer consultancy and audit preparation. It presents courses at the training centre based in Essex and on customer’s premises.

As well as IPC training, it can offer specialised, bespoke, training in all aspects of PCB soldering and repair and rework.

Managing director, Debbie Wade, is the chair of the IPC-A-620 training committee, European Training and European Standards steering committees, helping write standards as well as the training programmes.

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PCB assembly support supports manufacture

ASK reviewFor fast turn, rapid prototyping, high technology, R&D or NPI PCB assembly, ASK Technology is able to offer placement accuracy down to 01005 (imperial) combined with comprehensive inspection using onsite x-ray and AOI.

Quality assurance processes (ISO-certified) enable customers to benefit from its focus through design for manufacture feedback.

Turnaround times ensure a product is delivered in the minimal assembly time possible. The company is able to offer flexible procurement options from full supply to complete free issue materials and PCBs.

The company can support low volumes from one board upwards, and has the capability to turn around complete assembly in 24 hours, as well as service regular or intermittent build requirements.

To support the initial design process, the company offers a comprehensive PCB assembly service.

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One-stop service for labelling projects

GSM Graphic Arts preview_tmbSamples of GSM Graphic Arts’ range of bespoke product labelling solutions captivated visitors to Southern Manufacturing 2018; examples covered everything from vinyl labels to anodised aluminium and etched stainless steel nameplates, 3D logo badges to graphic overlays and control panels.

The company offers a one-stop service, with experience gained from over 40 years in manufacturing. Whether rugged barcode labels, serial and rating plates, graphic overlays or 3D product logo badges the experienced sales team will listen to your requirements and ensure a product specification for the particular application.

It can also provide an in-house artwork and design service to ensure that not only do labels contain the required information but they look great on a product. Using the latest high resolution digital printing capability, it can reproduce full colour logos as well as unique data, either under-surface printed on plastic or fully anodised and sealed into aluminium.

Find out more on the GSM Graphic Arts website –