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Jun. 26, 2015 - Omron Automation and Safety has introduced compact single-phase, Class I Division 2 rated S8VK-G switching power supplies which it says will provide a space-saving alternative for panels used in oil/gas extraction, grain handling and other explosive, hazardous environments. They promise to provide stable operation over a wide temperature range, from -40 C to 70 C, for enclosed outdoor use in addition to general industrial control applications. Using gravity ventilation in all sizes, the S8VK-G series was designed with the heat-generating components near the top to ensure less heat buildup in the panel allowing longer life for the power supply and surrounding components, notes Omron. A momentary Power Boost of 120 per cent of rated current increases S8VK-G life when it is used in inductive load applications, meanwhile, built-in overload and overvoltage protection also help ensure stability, it adds. The S8VK-G power supplies are available for 15W, 30W, 60W, 120W, 240W and 480W DC output from 100 to 240 VAC input. All models mount to DIN rail track. http://www.omron247.com
Jun. 26, 2015 - Falcon Electric has expanded its SSG Series Industrial uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) product line to offer power levels from 1kVA to 6kVA, which address a broad range of demanding industrial and process control applications, it says. Like Falcon’s other SSG models, the 4 to 6kVA units are rugged, rackmount online UPSs that carry UL 1778, UL 508, cUL listings and CE certification, it says, adding that these certifications assure reliable, code-compliant operation over a -20 C to 55 C temperature range. The SSG family also features hot-swappable 10-year rated backup batteries when installed in a 25 C environment. With double the average UPS battery life, this advancement reduces battery replacement and cost, it notes.
Jun. 26, 2015 - Micromo has announced PiezoMotor Uppsala AB, a provider of linear and rotary high end positioning systems, is releasing the latest drive option for the high precision Piezo Legs motor series. The DMC-30019 is a single-axis controller based on architecture from Galil Motion Control. The motion controller operates stand-alone or can be networked to a PC via Ethernet. Features include PID compensation with velocity and acceleration feed forward, program memory with multitasking for concurrent execution of four programs, and uncommitted optically isolated inputs and outputs for synchronizing motion with external events, says the company. Modes of motion include point-to-point positioning, jogging, contouring, PVT, electronic gearing and electronic cam. According to Galil, these controllers use a simple, English-like command language which makes them very easy to program. Meanwhile, PiezoTools software further simplifies system set-up with real-time display of position and velocity information, it adds.
Jun. 26, 2015 - The Productivity2000 is one of AutomationDirect’s newest addition to the Productivity line of industrial controllers. The Productivity2000 is a modular, rack-based system with a full lineup of discrete, analog and specialty I/O modules. Promising to be high-performance, the CPU boasts 50Mb memory, fast scan times and five communication ports. The P2-550 CPU features LED status indicators as well as a four line x 10 character high-resolution OLED diagnostic text display with keypad for status, configuration, system alarms and user-defined messages. Five onboard communications ports, including Ethernet, USB and serial, support communications protocols including Ethernet/IP, Modbus TCP and ASCII.  A micro USB 2.0 (type B) port provides plug-and-play connection for programming, online monitoring and firmware upgrades.
Jun. 26, 2015 - Daisy Data Displays, a hazardous location and ruggedized computer manufacturer, has unveiled a PC designed to operate in hazardous locations such as those found in refineries, drilling, fracking or oil drill rig locations and more. The series 4120 features either a 19-in. display (1280 x 1024 resolution) or 15-in. display (1024 x 768 resolution). Promising to be smaller, lighter, faster and fanless, the series is less than 19 pounds for increased ease of use and features a resistant touch screen (glass on glass) or optional multi-touch Projected - Capacitive (P-Cap). WiFi antenna is also optional. Because the units are fanless, the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) is lengthened as the number of movable parts has been reduced, says the company. The COM e module is available with either Quad Core Atom or i7 processor and Solid State HD, up to 256GB. It offers up to 16GB of memory (4GB is standard), four USB ports, two network ports, keyboard and pointing device PS/2 ports. All units come with a variety of different mounting options and the ability to modify the unit to fit into each unique space, adds Daisy.
Jun. 26, 2015 - Rittal says its fan-and-filter units with EC (electronically commutated) motors are the preferred choice for energy efficiency in enclosure climate control, as the operating ratio is significantly higher than standard AC fan-and-filter units. Using fan-and-filter units always makes sense, says Rittal, if the difference between the outdoor temperature and the internal enclosure temperature is large enough to dissipate the thermal output of the installed components. Further optimization potential exists with an advanced solution using fan-and-filter units with temperature-dependent speed control, says the company, adding that with a new sensor for controlling the speed, power consumption can be drastically reduced yet again. The sensor measures the temperature within the enclosure and controls the fan speed as needed, right up to independent shutdown at below 20 C, it notes.
Jun. 23, 2015 - MicroPower Direct describes its MPU-250S series as a family of high performance, 250W AC/DC power supplies packaged in a compact 5 x 3.2 in. U-Channel. These power supplies are specifically designed to provide the robust features, high power density, safety approvals and compact size required by a wide range of applications in a variety of industries, says the company. Four standard models operate from auto-ranging inputs of 90 to 132 VAC or 180 to 264 VAC, providing regulated single outputs, it notes. Outputs are factory set to 12, 15, 24, or 36 VDC. Standard features include FCC class B emissions, power factor correction to EN 61000-3-2 A, I/O isolation of 3,000 VAC, and 20 mS hold-up time. All models are protected for over temperature, over load, over voltage & short circuit faults, it adds. Interface signals for Power On and Power Good are provided, as well as a driver output for an external fan. All models are approved to EN 60950.
Jun. 23, 2015 - Allied Motion, a designer and manufacturer of motor and servo motion products, has released the Megaflux 170i, the company’s newest all-in-one brushless torque motor. The MFH170i series of 170-mm (6.7-in) diameter housed brushless torque motors is comprised of the 170 series brushless torque motor, a digital servo drive and a programmable high-resolution optical encoder — each integrated into a rugged machined aluminum housing with duplex bearings. According to the company, the series features a 63.5-mm (2.5-in) large-bore through shaft and is characterized by a very high torque-to-inertia ratio. There are three stack lengths in the series with peak torque ranging from 8.5 up to 16.9 Nm (75 up to 150 lb-in) and rated speed up to 1000 RPM. The standard winding voltage is 48 V. The motor is is designed as a rotary actuator ready for use in semiconductor equipment, automated test equipment, scanners, gimbal systems and similar applications where a rotary actuator with a large hollow shaft is of benefit, says the Allied Motion.
Jun. 23, 2015 - B&R Industrial Automation says it has “completely revamped” its 8LS series, making it “more powerful than ever.” Boasting a more compact housing, optimized design and additional sizes, the company says the motors are now more universal. For example, size 2 and 3 motors with the same technical data are now much more compact, guaranteeing maximum compatibility with a higher power density, says the company, adding that size 5 and 7 motors are available in additional lengths, thereby offering more flexibility in terms of dynamics and torque. According to B&R, the 8LS motors use new inductive encoders that promise precise data compared to previous encoders. In combination with the digital EnDat 2.2 interface, the most common safety functions can also be used with hybrid motor cables where the encoder and motor cables are grouped together, reducing wiring effort and costs, it notes.
Jun. 8, 2015 - Siemens says it has developed a whole new range of automation controllers — an enhancement that has expanded the deployment options for the current generation of Simatic controllers considerably, it notes. The main focus is on the enriched offering for Safety Integrated with failsafe CPUs, now not only for all Advanced Simatic S7-1500 controllers, but also for the first time for Basic Simatic S7-1200 controllers and ET 200SP Distributed Controllers. For the first time, the range includes a software controller based on Simatic S7-1500 available for PC-based automation. New to the distributed controllers is the compact Open Controller featuring a PC-based software controller, visualization and central I/O in a single device. The company says there are now two fail-safe CPUs available for the Simatic S7-1200 Basic Controller in the form of the 1214FC and 1215FC, in addition to a whole series of fail-safe I/O modules. The enhancement is supplemented by the first 1510SP F and 1512SP F CPUs for modular, fail-safe automation with distributed controllers, it adds.
Jun. 8, 2015 - Wieland Electric says it has enhanced its non-contact magnetic safety switches with integrated LED technology, providing machine operators with an immediate indication of a safety door’s interlock status to reduce the incidence of unscheduled equipment downtime with its SMA series tamper-proof interlock switches. Rated for safety applications up to PL e/Category 4 (EN ISO 13489-1) standards, the series features three sets of contacts: (NO / NO / NC), with an actuating distance of 7 mm (on) to 20 mm (off). The SMA 0249 switches are designed with an industry standard M12 connector, while the SMA 0243 devices have a 3m open-wire cable integral to the unit. Both are sealed to IP67 standards, notes the company.
Jun. 8, 2015 - The SI series of safety limit switches from Banner Engineering claims to effectively monitor the position of a wide variety of guards, gates, covers and other moveable machine fixtures and tooling. “The switches are ideal for monitoring sliding gates and guards on machines in safety fencing systems, in addition to solving simple position monitoring such as end-of-travel and home-position,” said Mike Carlson, technical marketing manager (Safety Products), Banner Engineering. The series is available in three models — SI-LM40, SI-LS31 and SI-LS83 — offering various actuating systems, contact arrangements, housing and mounting configurations to satisfy diverse industrial applications, notes Banner. Featuring a limit-switch style, the series complies with Type 1 per ISO 14119 standards with actuating elements integrated with the enclosure. When properly interfaced, or used with an appropriate safety controller/module, two safety switches monitoring an individual guard can achieve a category 4 level of safety, per ISO 13849-1, it says. Models are available with die-cast aluminum or plastic housing with IP65 glass-reinforced thermoplastic switch housing.
Jun. 23, 2015 - A nice prize for all! All precision and CNC machining competitors — qualifiers and winners alike — at the 2015 National Skills Canada Competition (SCNC) have been given a KBC Tools and Machinery gift certificate as a reward for the “hard work and creativity demonstrated” at this year competition said Paula Bass, KBC president.
Jun. 17, 2015 - A North Island College, B.C., employee’s love for his son has lead to an invention that will soon allow all grade school kids in the Comox Valley access to Lego robotics online all year long. Two years ago, Albert Balbon’s son came home from his Grade 5 class excited about being able to experiment a travelling kit of Lego robots.
Jun. 16, 2015 - For two days in May at the 21st Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) at Prairieland Park, Sask., the best and brightest students and apprentices in skilled trades and technologies were tried, tested and judged.
May 26, 2015 - Dr. Lesley Shannon for the British Columbia/Yukon region and Dr. Eve Langelier for the Quebec region have been announced as new Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering during the Creating Connections 4.0 conference at Simon Fraser University (SFU).
Apr. 27, 2015 - Stratasys, a provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, has selected winners for the 11th annual Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge.
Apr. 27, 2015 - The members of WorldSkills Team Canada 2015 have been officially announced! Congratulations! The 29-member team represents the country’s best youth in skilled trades and technologies competing in Brazil this August at the 43rd WorldSkills Competition.
Apr. 23, 2015 - Seneca College, with the support of the Ontario government and Siemens Canada, says it is creating the first Mechatronics Simulation and Demonstration Centre (MSDC) in the province.
Apr. 22, 2015 - The Government of Canada’s budget announced an additional investment of $56.4 million over four years, starting in 2016-17, to support industrial research internships for graduate students through the Mitacs Accelerate program.
Feb. 27, 2015 - “With how the worldwide manufacturing industry is changing, you see more and more technology from the IT world coming into manufacturing: the Internet of Things, new tools and new processes,” says Robert Hardt, president and CEO of Siemens Canada. “Young people will face a totally different set of requirements in the near future. We need to make sure, as companies and as a society, that both secondary and post-secondary schools start to adapt to these systems.”
Feb. 17, 2015 - Last week, Siemens Canada signed two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Seneca College and Sheridan College, highlighting the Mechatronics programs and strengthening the cooperation between Siemens and the two Ontario institutions.
Feb. 2, 2015 - Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters British Columbia, Canada Makes, and Emily Carr University of Art + Design have announced a partnership on additive manufacturing, which they say will allow for a convergence of academia and industry. The agreement will also provide leadership at the forefront of material exploration and digital making in Canada and British Columbia, they added.
Jan. 22, 2015 - Following a successful inaugural year that saw five students across North America receive financial support and on-site learning experience, Intertek has renewed its scholarship and internship program for students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.
Jun. 23, 2015 - Downtime, both planned and unplanned, can have pronounced impact on packing line efficiency and throughput. This downtime, caused by film roll changes, registration errors, catastrophic film failures, bottlenecks, and more, is costly, and may seem impossible to avoid. Taking appropriate steps to streamline processes wherever possible can help to mitigate the repercussions of downtime, improving your overall line efficiency and therefore profitability.
Jun. 16, 2015 - As overseas labour costs continue to rise — and long supply chains grow more expensive — the once-popular trend of offshoring is on its way out in many sectors. Rather than searching for the cheapest labour to manufacture their goods, companies are finding that true financial value lies in better servicing local markets. For many, this means bringing manufacturing operations back to the home of their prime customer base — North America.
May 23, 2015 - W&H Systems Inc., a full-service integrator of material handling systems, announces the opening of Southern Wine & Spirits of America’s highly automated warehouse in Union City, Calif.  Developed in partnership with W&H Systems and Westfalia Technologies, the new facility houses four automated storage and retrieval (AS/RS) systems that refill pallets automatically.
Apr. 27, 2015 - In the past two years, eight automakers have opened or announced new plants or expansions in Mexico. Just this month, Toyota moved its Canadian production of the Corolla to a new plant in Guanajuato, while Ford unveiled plans for Mexican engine and transmission factories.
Apr. 20, 2015 - Magna International has confirmed its Canadian plants are not included in its decision to sell its interiors operations to Spanish auto parts manufacturer Grupo Antolin for about $525 million.
Mar. 13, 2015 - The bottling facilities of Nestlé Waters Canada, a beverage manufacturer and distributor, have achieved Excellence in Manufacturing standing from the Canadian Bottled Water Association (CBWA).
Feb. 27, 2015 - PC-based control systems for industrial applications have been around in various forms for as long as PCs themselves. In fact, PCs have been relied upon for machine control just about as long as PLCs have. In certain circles, however, there continues to be a misunderstanding about the reliability and capability of an Industrial PC (IPC) for “real” machine control applications.
Feb. 23, 2015 - Our January/February issue staple is back — Manufacturing AUTOMATION has compiled the top trends and technologies Canadian manufacturers should watch out for in the upcoming year, as predicted by a handful of industry experts. While last year’s responses centred on additive manufacturing (3D printing) and the Internet of Things, this year’s experts offer a more diverse mix of predictions. Most noted are sensors, smart and connected networks, and mobile technology as major trends of the year. As Kevin Prouty of Aberdeen Group told us (the second expert listed), he believes 2015 is about “consolidating the gains in automation and information systems, and pushing the boundaries in other areas.” That said, is your business ready to take on the New Year?
Feb. 23, 2015 - Fifteen years from now, there will be a collaborative robot in every single manufacturing environment in the world. For sure. That prediction comes from Jim Lawton, chief marketing officer of Rethink Robotics, a Boston, Mass.-based robotics company.
Feb. 10, 2015 - Siemens’ blade manufacturing facility in Tillsonburg, Ont., has achieved a milestone in its operations — the completion of the 1,000th blade produced at the factory.
Jan. 16, 2015 - Based on its analysis of the human machine interface market, Frost & Sullivan has recognized GE’s Intelligent Platforms business with the 2014 Global Frost & Sullivan Company of the Year Award, saying the company’s foresight in using real-time operational intelligence (RtOI) to evolve plant floor processes has enhanced customer value.
Dec. 9, 2014 - Cascades has acquired and installed two new printing presses in its Quebec plants, Norampac – Vaudreuil and Norampac – Drummondville, which specialize in manufacturing corrugated packaging products.
Jun. 30, 2015 - Rack and pinions are linear actuators that play a critical role in a wide range of linear motion control applications. While rack and pinions are commonly thought of as a timeless technology, several new developments have helped provide significant performance improvements in specific applications. One new approach — the roller pinion system — replaces the traditional rack and pinion with bearing supported rollers, increasing positional accuracy, speed and durability. The latest development goes one step further by constructing the rack from thermoplastic, which provides corrosion resistance, eliminates the need for lubrication, and reduces weight and cost. The latest generation of rack and pinion gears helps adapt this tried-and-true technology for dusty environments, food industry applications that require washdown, outdoor equipment, and many other applications that are not well served by traditional metal gears.
Jan. 6, 2015 - Roxul has announced a new strategic direction for the North American Industrial, Marine & Offshore business. Effective January 1, 2015, the Roxul Industrial & Marine team will integrate into a global platform with Rockwool Technical Insulation (RTI), and the North American Industrial, Marine & Offshore division will be known as Roxul Technical Insulation.
Dec. 5, 2014 - Lightweight metals player Alcoa says its new Micromill aluminum technology will give the lightweight metal a better chance to replace steel in car doors and fenders.
Nov. 5, 2014 - KSB Pumps is expanding its presence in Western Canada with a new office and service facility in Edmonton, Alta.
July 25, 2014 - The boards of directors of the Fieldbus Foundation and the HART Communication Foundation have approved unifying the two foundations into a new industry organization dedicated to the needs of intelligent devices and their integration in the world of process automation.
The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting a press briefing at the Hannover Fair on Monday, announced significant progress in its discussions with the HART Communication Foundation on the potential for merging the two organizations into a single industry foundation dedicated to the needs of intelligent device communications in the world of process automation.
The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting a press briefing at the Hannover Fair on Monday, commemorated its 20th anniversary.
A white paper from InduSoft, an Invensys company, describes in depth the benefits multi-touch HMI offers the automation world.
The term "dry wine" has a new meaning at Vincor International's Quebec bottling operation since soap-and-water lubrication have been eliminated from the conveyor line by installing a new conveyor chain and wear track.
To stay competitive with large-scale agricultural producers, today’s small, privately owned farms are turning to automation as a way to improve the efficiency of their operations.
Process automation projects are most often driven by bottom line results, return on investment and an appropriate value position or justification.
AutomationDirect has released a new white paper that explains how businesses benefit from the in-depth information that new PLCs and PACs can provide on processes, machines and manufacturing operations. 
Jun. 26, 2015 - From prototyping to complete automation solutions, Armo-Tool Ltd. (Armo Tool) complements a company’s development team with its generations of tool making tradecraft. For more than 40 years, Armo Tool has been building long-term relationships with manufacturing companies throughout North America by helping these companies bring new products to market, improve production processes, and repurpose their machinery and equipment. Clients rely on Armo Tool to solve their machining, tool and automation problems, and help them get innovative ideas to market.
Jun. 25, 2015 - Big Bang ERP, a Montreal, Que.-based consulting firm that specializes in cloud ERP solutions, says it has partnered with Plex Systems to support deployment of the Plex Manufacturing Cloud for Canadian manufacturers. Built from the ground up for the cloud by manufacturing experts, Plex delivers ERP and manufacturing automation to more than 400 companies across process and discrete industries, it says.
May 26, 2015 - Today, companies are continuously looking for ways to introduce order-processing technologies designed to improve inefficiencies. When your company’s client base spans across the globe, it is not uncommon that you run into discrepancies in aligning your new technologies with existing customer’s business operations.
May 20, 2015 - Peter worked long, frustrating hours trying to keep production moving. He moved from crisis to crisis trying to hunt down materials that were supposed to be in inventory, changing the production schedule on the fly to adapt to the latest obstacle. Peter wasn’t bad at his job, he just didn’t have the information he needed to do his job properly.
Apr. 13, 2015 - Siemens Canada said its product lifecycle management (PLM) software grant will give students at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., the opportunity to use the same technology in its design and manufacturing research programs that businesses around the world employ to design some of today’s most sophisticated products.
Mar. 27, 2015 - Downward pressure on the loonie and steep drops in oil prices are creating export-friendly market conditions. Canadian manufacturers and exporters will undoubtedly look to convert these export opportunities into stable, recurring, long-term business.
Mar. 9, 2015 - Siemens and Western University have announced an academic partnership which they say will give students the opportunity to use the same technology in its Faculty of Engineering classrooms that businesses around the world employ to design today’s sophisticated products.
Jan. 26, 2015 - Manufacturing is dramatically different than it was even a decade ago—and it will change even more radically and rapidly in the next few years, with far more emphasis placed on speed and customization.
Dec. 2, 2014 - InspectionXpert has released the InspectionXpert OnDemand for CAD, describing its as a new quality planning and documentation software platform that supports both 3D model-based and 2D print-based formats.
Nov. 27, 2014 - Configure One, a provider of web-based product configurator and CPQ (configure, price, quote) software, has announced a partnership agreement with SolidCAD Solutions, a Toronto, Ont.-based technology solution provider for the manufacturing, plant, visualization, civil and building industries.
Nov. 26, 2014 - Cégep de Sherbrooke in Sherbrooke, Que., announced today that it has selected Genius Manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for hands-on training in its mechanical engineering techniques (manufacturing option) program.
Oct. 24, 2014 - Consumer power has reached an all-time high, and businesses have felt the impact across their supply chains globally.  
Jun. 30, 2015 - The future of manufacturing is application dependent and two examples of this come to mind. One is the understanding of black holes, and the other is regarding Google’s internal organization.
Jun. 30, 2015 - Advanced Integration Technology (AIT) is a 20-year-old supplier of turnkey industrial automation systems for the aerospace industry. The company’s strength centres on the design and build of complex, fully integrated manufacturing, tooling and assembly systems for commercial and military aircraft produced by Boeing, Bombardier, EADS, Lockheed Martin and others. AIT operates six locations in Canada, the U.S., Sweden and Spain to serve its growing customer base.
Jun. 25, 2015 - This thought has been on my mind quite a bit lately, perhaps it’s because I just visited a 90-year-old friend in his new retirement home. Or perhaps it’s just because everything that gets started has to end sometime. We are counselled “to begin with the end in mind”, but that’s easier said than done. We get caught up in the here-and-now, and the relentless petitions of what needs to get done next, that we take our eye off of the horizon and forget to calibrate our sites on the point at where we hope to end up. In this age of continually emerging game changing ideas and technologies, it is not only hard to do this, it’s critical to do as well.
Jun. 23, 2015 - The Manufacturing AUTOMATION June  2015 issue is now LIVE, with features and columns on lean manufacturing, machine safety, education and a cover story of our annual editorial advisory board roundtable. CLICK HERE to read the issue now!
Jun. 18, 2015 - As I write this editorial, I am restlessly sitting on a Boeing 777 from Thailand to Toronto for what feels like an eternity of flying. It will take me about a combined 24 hours of travelling to get home after a hectic four-day press junket in Bangkok. Organized by the Thailand Board of Investment, the press tour brought together five North American journalists (myself included) to visit a handful of manufacturers and institutes in the area. We also attended Intermach and Subcon Thailand, the largest industrial machinery and subcontracting exhibition in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Jun. 16, 2015 - My reading list includes more than physics books. I do read “guy” stories, and in recent columns, I have talked about my Saturday forays into the movie theatre to see a “no-content” movie. It helps relieve and empty the stuff running around my head.
Jun. 15, 2015 - While the Internet of Things, big data and the cloud may be the buzzwords du jour — manufacturing industry participants should be aware of these other trends as they will affect many aspects of industrial automation going forward.
Jun. 12, 2015 - One of the big challenges that control systems designers and safety engineers face is the relationship between machinery risk and control system reliability. Machinery safety standards began introducing the idea of control reliability, more often called functional safety, back in the early 1990s. The earliest standards used a prescriptive approach, introducing circuit architectures with names like single channel, single-channel monitored, and control reliable. In the mid-1990s, CEN in the European Union brought in some similar, but slightly different, architectures which were called out as “Category B” and “Categories 1 through 4.” Unfortunately, while this was an important advancement, it also introduced a lot of confusion for designers.
Jun. 12, 2015 - We all know how the growth of technology has hugely impacted the 21st century, but how important is it to consider the fast pace of this advancement? On one of the first sunny days this spring, Manufacturing AUTOMATION’s editorial advisory board gathered for its yearly roundtable to discuss the outlook of the sector as a whole, fuelled by the spread of technology, the new age of workers and increased collaboration between industry members. Thanks to this “snowball effect,” the face of manufacturing will continue to evolve faster and faster with both positive and troubling repercussions, say our members.
May 20, 2015 - We live in a precarious time. As some get richer, many others drift towards unsustainability, and our middle class is shrinking. When people slide into unsustainability, it often becomes the responsibility of government to meet their needs. Many people in the middle class don’t even realize it, but they too have slid into positions of unsustainability, where they can’t accomplish the critical things on their list without some form of government aid; things like subsidies for their children’s tuition, relief from debt, extra allowances or benefits just to make ends meet every month.
May 20, 2015 - In March I attended my very first Automate show, and what a show it was! There were dozens of robot demos and various machine vision and safety set-ups. According to Jeff Burnstein, president of the Association for Advancing Automation (one of the event sponsors), this year’s tradeshow was 80 per cent larger in terms of floor space and attendance was up 50 per cent from 2013.
Mar. 27, 2015 - I saw Elvis last night, not the Elvis, but a play at the Grand Theatre in London, Ont., that chronicled his life, music and relationship with Tom Parker (the Colonel). I was not a big Elvis fan growing up, but the play moved me and the story it told left me with a simple thought: his was a remarkable life, and an unfortunate death. I wanted to know and experience more, so I did what many of us frequently do; I started YouTubing him.

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