Category Archive: Safety Solutions

Mar
02

Mitsubishi – Which type of robot suits your application best?

With Robots becoming increasingly easier to use, and also suitable for a high number of industrial applications, they are also becoming more economical.  As us humans and robots increasingly share a common space in the manufacturing environment, we are naturally giving more consideration in the choice between a collaborative or cooperative machine.   Which type of robot suits your application best?

Collaborative Robots or Cobots are specially designed to implement safe human-robot collaborations such as Mitsubishi’s latest MELFA RV Series Assista articulated arm Robots.  Industrial Robots, which are cooperative Robots, are equipped with safety features such as Mitsubishi’s SafePlus safety system that use proximity sensors to safeguard personnel entering the operating space.  Cooperative Industrial Robots are generally associated with these applications based on these features due to their durability, high speed, payloads, accuracy and high repeat-ability, these are the ultimate requirements.  Programming is not performed by an operator and with set routines not changing frequently, then its at easy decision, cooperative would be your answer.

Due to recent advances in Collaborative Robots, the lines have started to blur when it comes to applications that require the same accuracy but the payloads are lighter, the batch sizes smaller.  When a Robot can be taught quickly by the operator to adapt or initiate a new routine, a better option can be the Collaborative.  There are many examples where a Robot may be a solution such as fine assembly work or sample transfers in bio tech applications.  The fact that there is now a cross over between a dedicated Cobot and an adapted Industrial Robot using a safety sensing system is relevant because the accuracy and repeat-abilty is now comparable.  Service lines are also similar which creates a new set of questions for the end user.

When defining the task with a new set of operating parameters, the first aspect that you should consider is the ultimate automation goal that you wish to achieve.  Knowing this helps you determine the type of contact between human operators and robots that is expected.  Humans and Robots sometimes have to work together on a common task and in this case, the work spaces of them both overlap both spatially and chronologically to combine the advantages and strengths of both parties.

In situations like this, Cobots would provide the best option, an example being Cobots are ideal when machines need to handle and hold parts whilst a human is working on them.  The ergonomics of a Cobot arm are very different to that of a human, the reach and repeatability are better, as is holding still for long periods.  Using Robot assistance in this type of situation can make a task far more comfortable for a human to complete.  Not only an improvement for the working environment, it also benefits quality and productivity.  Cooperative solutions would suit the application best if human operators and robots only briefly interact with each other.  This may also be the case for environments where humans are not working alongside the robot but require regular access to the Robot cell, examples of this are packing, palletising, loading machine tools and filling etc.

It is also important to consider the payload and cycle time requirements, both Collaborative and Cooperative Robot systems can be used when these aspects are not relevant.  Heavy components or fast processes can only be handled effectively by Cooperative Robots however.

You also have to consider the space available for the automation equipment.  Where position, speed and torque of the robot can be limited or stopped as a human approaches, it is possible to set up adjustable safety zones for Cooperative systems.  This is ideal for packing station where for example, a forklift has to come in an area to remove a pallet.  For assembly tasks where the operative is constantly working close to a Robot arm however, the arm would spend too long at a slow speed or be stopped.  Collaborative solutions offer improved efficiency if a task requires manipulation of a low payload and is located in a compact working space.

In order to define which Robotic solutions would best address their requirements, the end user needs to determine the level of flexibility in their automated processes.   Collaborative Robots can add flexibility easily to assembly processes that need to make lots of highly individualized products in low volumes and over short batch cycles.  Cooperative Robots are suited more for high volume production of items that may feature small variability.  The deciding factor is very often the ROI and sometimes this can be difficult to calculate, especially on new applications with lots of variables.

Which type of robot suits your application best?  If you are not sure, please get in touch and we can get you speaking with a Robot expert.

 

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Feb
11

Festo DFPI Linear Actuators

Easy to install, Festo DFPI Linear actuators are robust and reliable in operation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These actuators now have mounting interface to ISO 15552.  They are suitable for regulating air dampers, processing bulk materials as well as for regulating flow and fill levels.

  • Optional integrated positioner or integrated displacement encoder
  • Mounting interface to ISO 15552 or DIN 3358
  • Double-acting
  • Suitable for swivel motions
  • Robust plug socket to protect the pneumatic and electrical connections
  • IP65, IP67, IP69K

The standardised mounting interface with comprehensive accessories means it is easy to install in a wide variety of situations.
The sturdy collar nuts make it possible to mount process valves using stud bolts. The optimised piston rod guide enables
swivel motions, which are necessary for regulating ventilation flaps. eg: The DFPI easily absorbs the transverse forces on the
piston rod.   The DFPI is sturdy and reliable due to its compact design, high IP and corrosion protection and the integration of
the positioner or displacement encoder, even in places that were inaccessible previously.  The DFPI is a compact unit that is
easy and quick to install.

Available in 2 versions are the adjustable standards-based linear actuators DFPI-NB3P to ISO 15552: the DFPI-…-E-… with a
potentiometric displacement encoder which supplies an analogue voltage signal (proportional to the piston position) for an
external positioner. And the DFPI-…-C1V-… with fully integrated positioner.The DFPI-…-C1V-… has a factory set safety position
in case the operating voltage or analogue set point fails.  The position specification and feedback is provided by an analogue
set point signal 4 … 20 mA, while the travel speed is regulated by the integrated flow control screws. Its new piston rod guide
also permits transverse forces so that the DFPI is capable of swivel motions which are needed for regulating air dampers, for
example. The DFPI is also suitable for movement of linear-actuated process valves, such as knife gate valves, pinch valves or
proportional slides.So that you can master any situation, there are a wide range of accessories for a variety of applications.

Complete ISO 15552 accessories
• Piston rod attachments
•Swivel flange for end cap
•Flange and foot mountings
•Compensating elements
•Rod eyes, rod clevises
•Retainer for proximity switch
•Also available in corrosion resistant designs
DFPI-NB3 specific accessories
•Adapter for ext. positioner DADG-AK-F6-A2
•Pre-assembled connecting cable NHSB-A1
For some more technical information, Click Here 
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Jul
24

Sick – Safety light curtains TWINOX4

What are the benefits of Sick’s Safety Light Curtains TWINOX4?

 

 

  • Offer great flexibility and enables optimum integration into the machine design due to the small, elegant stainless steel housing that saves space.
  • For maximum reliability, the highest level of media resistance is offered
  • Efficient cleaning ensures high process and production quality and a low risk of contamination
  • Reduced storage needs and spare parts maintenance equal cost savings
  • Adjustable brackets ensure the highest availability
  • LED status indicators and quick on-site diagnostics that cover the entire protective field height

 

Sick’s Safety Light Curtains TWINOX4 overview at a glance

 

 

  • Easy to clean without undercuts and with rounded edges
  • Sender and Receiver in a single housing (twin concept)
  • Media resistance due to stainless steel housing
  • Beam coding, restart interlock & external device monitoring (EDM)
  • IP65 and IP67 enclosure ratings

Sick’s Safety Light Curtains TWINOX4 have a compact design for maximum reliability. The pharmaceutical industry require products that are highly resistant and rugged due to aggressive cleaning and decontamination agents used.  The TWINOX4 has been specifically designed for use in this industry and since it has no edges or gaps, its design is particulary  suitable for machines with stringent hygiene requirements.

What applications can you use Sick’s Safety Light Curtains TWINOX4?

 

 

  • Pharmaceutical industry: Primary packaging plants and filling machines with sterile conditions
  • Isolators
  • Restricted Access Barrier System (RABS)

 

An example being:-

Pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities need to guarantee maximum product protection. This is achieved by means of physical barriers that separate the product and users. Glove ports allow access to the process without the risk of contamination. To ensure that interventions only occur when processing has stopped, the TWINOX4 safety light curtain protects the access points. Thanks to its stainless-steel housing, the TWINOX4 is suitable for all common decontamination processes.

For more information get in touch or see attached datasheet

 

 

 

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Jul
27

Mitsubishi MELSEC iQ-F Series

Mitsubishi MELSEC-F Series has now been reborn as the MELSEC iQ-F Series, offering enhanced high speed bus, expanded built-in functions, advanced SSCNETIII/H support and improved engineering environment. Program and parameters are set with the GXWorks3 engineering melsec-iq-fsoftware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From stand-alone use to networked system applications, MELSEC iQ-F brings your business to the next level of industry

In the Mitsubishi MELSEC iQ-F Series, the FX5U model provides a cost effective solution that boasts ease of use, functionality and high performance in a small panel footprint.  The FX5U and FX5UC controllers enable faster decision making with access to real time data and improved accuracy and throughput, ideal for small to medium machines.  They are key also to a more profitable manufacturing environment.

KEY BENEFITS

  • To reduce costs, motion control capability in a compact control platform
  • Enhance security options
  • With Ethernet, Modbus and serial communications options, gives open connectivity and flexible networking
  • Faster machine speeds and increased productivity
  • To standardize a variety of applications, flexible architecture and expansion options

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE & DRIVE CONTROL

  • Embedded Ethernet port
  • Built in SD card slot
  • Large memory capacity
  • Embedded analog
  • Inverter Control
  • Positioning
  • Simple motion module

Mitsubishi MELSEC iQ-F Series can easily be configured using GX Works3.  Programming languages are supported and can even be used in the same project at the same time allowing the user to program in the most efficient manner for their application.  Using the Simple Motion module, GX Works3 eliminates the need for additional software.

Click here for a brochure or get in contact for a quotation or further details.

 

 

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Feb
18

Phoenix Contact RIFLINE Complete

Phoenix Contact’s RIFLINE Complete is a one stop shop relay system.  Why use multiple relay ranges when you can carry out all standard relay applications using just the RIFLINE Complete relay system?  RIFLINE Complete is Phoenix Contact’s new cost effective modular ice cube relay series.  The relays range from a slim 6.2 mm coupling relay to a small power contactor replacement. The most powerful relay can switch voltages up to 440 V.

 

Whether you want to isolate, multiply or amplify signals, it doesn’t matter as you will only ever need the one system.

Phoenix Contact’s RIFLINE Complete can be assembled individually or ordered as a complete module.  All components in the modular system can be ordered individually depending on the application.

The advantages of RIFLINE Complete include:

  • tool free push in connection technology saves wiring time
  • easy function extension as 3 time functions can be selected in a time range 0.5 seconds to 100 minutes
  • high availability ensuring quick replacement
  • Ability to bridge multiple types of relays using standard jumpers from the CLIPLINE Complete range

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch or click here 

 

 

 

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Nov
20

Intelligent Fluid Level Solutions from Sick UK

The LFP Cubic Level Sensor from Sick UK is one that uses TDR technology (time domain reflectometry), so can be used in oil- and water-based liquids without calibration.

sick fluid probe

The LFP’s guided radar uses time-of-flight technology to measure electromagnetic pulses. The time difference between the sent pulse and the reflected pulse is used to calculate the level, both as a continuous value (analog output) and a freely positionable switching point (switching output).

Due to its flexible probe that can be changed or cut, the LFP Cubic Level Sensor from Sick UK can integrate quickly into any application. The LFP Cubic can work in deposit forming and foaming liquids. The sensor’s intuitive setup uses four buttons and a display to ensure quick and easy adaptation to the application. Remote amplifier, IO-link interface and versions with a process connection in titanium are additional features for versatile use.

At a glance;

  • Level sensor for fluids
  • No mechanical moving parts
  • Manually cutable and exchangeable probe with lengths from 200 mm up to 2,000 mm or rope probe up to 4,000 mm
  • Resistant to deposit formation
  • Process temperature up to 100 °C, process pressure up to 10 bar
  • 3 in 1: combined display, analog output (acc. NAMUR NE 43) and binary output
  • High enclosure rating of IP 67, rotatable housing and remote amplifier version

Your Benefits;

  • Rugged design increases service life
  • High flexibility due to cutable and exchangable monoprobe or rope probe
  • Cost savings due to multiple output signals: one system for both level detection and continuous level monitoring
  • Time and cost savings due to low maintenance and quick commissioning without calibration
  • Titanium process connection brings high chemical resistance
  • Compact and rotatable housing or remote amplifier ensures flexible installation
  • No crosstalk when several sensors are mounted next to each other
  • Advanced technology enables adjustment-free measurement

Click here for products and if you require a quotation, please get in touch !

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Oct
28

Phoenix Contact new PSR mini

PHOENIX PSR

Phoenix Contact’s new PSR mini relays are the narrowest safety relays in the world with force-guided contacts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having a width of just 6 and 12 mm, Phoenix PSR mini offer the same performance as a large safety relay. Thanks to the newly developed relay technology from Phoenix Contact, the highly compact design is possible. With its combination of unique features, PSR mini has been specifically optimized for use in machine building and the process industry.

Your advantages:-

  • Thanks to the compact design and maximum flexibility of the safety relays with force-guided contacts, space savings up to 70%.
  • Thanks to innovative relay technology from Phoenix Contact, maximum safety and high switching loads of up to 6A.
  • Thanks to global approvals, access to all relevant markets.
  • Thanks to the installation of safe coupling relays directly in Ex zone 2, simplified creation of distributed concepts.
  • Thanks to fine-grained architecture with one enabling contact or more, modular configuration of safety concepts.
Highly compact PSRmini safety relays with force-guided contacts

Highly compact PSRmini safety relays with force-guided contacts

Phoenix PSR mini is the new generation of safety relays and the range comprises of 28 products in 6 mm and 12 mm versions. Despite the narrow design, thanks to comprehensive approvals and much more, the products offer maximum performance: they switch loads of up to 6A, are compatible with many signal transmitters and safety-related controllers and are versatile.

The compact design quickly pays for itself, as numerous signals can be processed in a confined space, thereby utilizing the space in the control cabinet to optimum effect. The fine-grained architecture makes a modular design of safety concepts possible: the 6 mm version is available with 1 to 2 enabling contacts, the 12 mm version with 2 to 3.

With PSR mini, you save on space and gain flexibility, without the need to make compromises in the application.

Groundbreaking new relay technology 

Phoenix Contact’s centrepiece of the new PSR mini device family is the relay technology developed by them. Just 6 mm wide, the elementary relay with force-guided contacts impresses with its numerous technological details and is as reliable as safety technology should be.  It is its robustness, reliability and diagnostic capability that sets it apart from a standard elementary relay.  All individual parts of the relay are manufactured by Phoenix Contact to ensure high production accuracy and to meet their stringent quality requirements.

Classic safety functions, new safety concepts

Scalable safety relay solution for machine building with PSRmini

Scalable safety relay solution for machine building with PSRmini

In addition to the low space requirements, the new PSR mini safety relays offer the following advantages, particularly in the field of machine building.

There is a complete range, compatible with many signal transmitters such as emergency stop equipment, safety door switches and light grids.  Thanks to the provision of just one enabling contact, they have a modular structure of safety functions.  As well as comprehensive approvals for global markets, the contacts are force-guided for maximum safety levels up to PL e according to ISO 13849 and SILCL 3 according to IEC 62061.

Full SIL3 performance in potentially explosive areas

Phoenix Contact’s PSR mini coupling relays are used for signal amplification and electrical isolation in conjunction with the outputs of a safety controller. Adapted to the relevant process control systems, the new product range offers SIL-certified coupling modules for safe deactivation (emergency shut-down) and safe activation (fire and gas).

In addition to reduced space and material requirements, PSRmini offers numerous other advantages:

  • Shorter down times during scheduled maintenance phases, thanks to simple, fast diagnostics directly at the device or the controller.
  • Use of safe coupling relays in potentially explosive areas for the simpler creation of distributed concepts.
  • System cabling using customer-specific Termination Carriers for fast, error-free startup and connection in the field.

Get in touch if you require more info !

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Sep
25

Phoenix Contact Industrial Bluetooth

Phoenix Contact’s industrial Bluetooth modules allow you to wirelessly transmit control data to mobile or logodifficult to access automation devices quickly and easily.  Bluetooth communication is characterised by particularly robust transmission under difficult ambient conditions. This allows you to establish functionally safe communication via PROFIsafe or SafetyBridge technology.

Having quick and easy implementation, Phoenix Contact’s Bluetooth is the ideal solution for reliable wireless communication with automation components.  Industrial wireless communication via Bluetooth offers easy and inexpensive Ethernet connection in automation.

Using Phoenix Contact’s Bluetooth, the advantages of this technology can benefit your application.

  • Easy and safe installation, thanks to largely automatic configuration
  • Extremely reliable and rugged data transmission, thanks to redundant transmission channels and integrated error correction
  • Interference-free parallel operation of multiple Bluetooth wireless paths or Bluetooth wireless paths and WLAN systems, thanks to the efficient use of frequency gaps
  • Long range of up to several hundred meters, thanks to transmission in the license-free 2.4 GHz band

If you use a Bluetooth wireless connection as a wireless control cable.  You can communicate reliably with rotating or moving modules, with minimal effort, eg cranes, robots, scraper bridges.  When in parallel operation with other wireless systems, Bluetooth is most impressive.

Using Bluetooth as a multipoint connection, you can provide wireless Ethernet access for up to seven devices per wireless cell.   Therefore you can communicate safely and reliably with I/O components, scanners or PCs in a machine.

For further information, click here.  If you require any further information or a quotation, please get in touch.

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Aug
04

Phoenix Contact Apps

Phoenix Contact have developed their mobile apps to keep you up-to-date with their latest news and new products but they also want you be able to access your systems anytime, any place.

 

Phoenix Contact Mobile Apps

 

catalogue app

Using Phoenix Contact “Catalogue App” you can search their whole product catalogue, by catagory or using search keyboards.  If you would like to create a wish list, there is also a facility to do this, allowing you easy access to your favourite products.  You can even download datasheets or link directly to that product on their website.  All Phoenix Contact latest news is also regulary refreshed to keep you up-to-date.

Available on iPhone and iPad.

 

Available on iPad only is Phoenix Contact “Magazine App” that allows you to interactively browse through their latest new products and highlights brochure on your tablet,

 

safety appPhoenix Contact “Safety App” is a useful tool to give you an overview on how far your machine/system complies with the requirements of the 2006/42/EC Machine Directive.

There is a check list to help guide you through the essential points of the machine directive, you can also determine the performance level or ascertain the MTTFd value for a safety function.

Available for iPhone and iPad

 

Visu+ appPhoenix Contact “Visu+ app” enables you to extend your system visualisation on to your smartphone or tablet, thus allowing you to access your system at any time and from any location.

The Visu+ web server required for the app is already pre-installed in various devices from Phoenix Contact, such as touch panels. IPCs with Visu+ simply need to be extended with the web license option.

Available for iPhone and iPad

 

MINI Analog Pro App
mini analog pro app
Phoenix Contact “MINI Analog Pro App” enables wireless communication between your smartphone and Mini Analog Pro signal conditioners via bluetooth or NFC (Near Field Communication). The app offers various functionalities depending on the mobile device and product type:

  1. Calling module information
  2. Calling DIP switch setting help
  3. Configuration of the multifunctional modules
    • Via NFC with your Android device, without any need for further accessories
    • Via Bluetooth with your Android or iOS device and the Bluetooth adapter
  4. Monitoring and optimisation of process data in the multifunctional modules –
    • Via Bluetooth with your Android or iOS device and the Bluetooth adapter

Available on iPhone

 

marking systems appPhoenix Contact “Marking App” only available on Android devices. The app allows you to create your device or equipment marking on your tablet or smartphone. There is a product scanner to quickly identify the marking materials you require from the bar code on the product packaging.

Once your project is complete, you can also send your print job directly to a Thermomark Line Printer using a bluetooth adaptor.

 

For further information, get in touch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jun
11

RITTAL EC SPEED CONTROL UNIT

Rittal EC speed control unit for their EC fan & filter units are now available.

 

 

You can now ensure that your cooling solution is maximising its efficiency and protecting critical equipment from high temperatures, this benefits you from 60% energy savings over previous models.

Rittal EC speed control units monitors the speed of and accepts an output signal from up to 4 EC fan and filter units and raises an alarm if they are not turning.

Using Rittal EC speed controls unit in conjunction with EC fan and filter units benefits include:-ec speed control unit

  • Reduce noise levels
  • Demand based cooling
  • Temperature improved stability
  • Remote monitoring – allows immediate reaction to loss of cooling
  • Reduced running costs and energy consumption
  • Reduced maintenance costs and filter changes
  • Extended service life

 EC Speed Control Unit Datasheet

For a quotation, give us a call !

 

 

 

 

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