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Mar. 23, 2015 - Renishaw’s EZ-IO software for the Equator Flexible Gauge claims to make it easy for automation integrators to configure communications between Equator systems and a cell controller. The software allows for various intelligent functions, such as automatic re-mastering when the Equator detects a change in shop floor temperature, then directing a robot or shuttle system to load the master part into the gauge. It features a process monitor display, which provides a chart of the history of feature measurements, an “invaluable feature for controlling manufacturing processes,” it says. It also enables management of the mastering process according to temperature, time or number of parts measured. According to the company, it can switch between parts in seconds, making it ideal for flexible manufacturing processes or accepting parts from multiple machines.
Mar. 23, 2015 - Spectronics describes its OPK-441 industrial leak detection kit as a starter kit designed to pinpoint the exact source of all leaks in hydraulic equipment, compressors, engines, gearboxes and fuel systems. The kit features the Optimax 400 violet light LED flashlight, a high-intensity unit that reveals leaks in small- to medium-sized industrial systems, even in cramped areas. Also included is an 8-oz (237-ml) twin-neck bottle of Oil-Glo 44 concentrated fluorescent oil dye, which is compatible with synthetic and petroleum-based fluids. When a leaking system is scanned with the flashlight, the dye glows a bright yellow/green at leak sources to reveal the location. Rounding out the kit is an 8-oz (237-ml) spray bottle of Glo-Away dye cleaner, dye treatment tags, and fluorescence-enhancing glasses.
Mar. 23, 2015 - InnovMetric Software has announced the PolyWorks|Talisman mobile app is now available for Android mobile devices. The app promises to boost 3D measurement productivity on the shop-floor, while allowing probing and laser scanning operators to remotely control PolyWorks through a Wi-Fi connection. While being in front of their part, operators can directly connect to their probing or laser-scanning device, configure measurement modes and parameters, launch a probing operation, and perform typical probing actions, such as measuring a point, ending object probing, deleting the last probed point, or reprobing an object, says the company. The operator as a result, says the company, is then able to measure a part twice as fast by eliminating back-and-forth trips to the computer running PolyWorks. The app can be downloaded from Google Play.
Mar. 18, 2015 - Servotronix Motion Control has announced the softMC, multi-axis motion control software and hardware package, promising extensive programming capabilities that have been successfully implemented in a variety of automation and robotic applications. Operated by Linux with real-time extensions, the softMC runs on a qualified industrial PC for an open and modular machine control environment. Various motion and robotics functionalities support standard robot types such as Delta, Puma and Scara, as well as for other non-standard robotic kinematics, such as traverse, scissors, etc. Customized software solutions can be designed per customer’s hardware or embedded in other industrial PC platforms upon special request.
Mar. 18, 2015 - Baldor Electric Company has introduced an addition to its washdown family of enclosed gear reducer products – the Baldor•Dodge Ultra Kleen Tigear-2. According to the company, the unit showcases a new standard for stainless steel gear reducers with an all-new sanitary design that is completely sealed against high pressure, high temperature and caustic washdown environments. It boasts all stainless steel construction, including a laser-etched nameplate for permanent, sanitary product identification, input ratings up to 5HP, and five available case sizes. The reducer is protected by a two-piece harsh duty output sealing system that includes an axial sealing lip for superior wear and contamination exclusion, and a rounded housing to prevent water pooling, it adds.
Mar. 18, 2015 - Kvaser has introduced a five channel high-speed CAN to USB interface and datalogger that allows users to monitor and log data from multiple CAN channels using only one device. The Kvaser Memorator Pro 5xHS not only time synchronizes the data transmitted and received across all five buses, but also automatically synchronizes with other Kvaser interfaces connected to the same PC, resulting in simpler, more accurate multichannel data capture, says the company. The device has a 26 pin HD DSUB that connects to a splitter with five 9 pin DSUBs, and one USB connector that links to any USB port on a host computer. Only one USB port needs to be allocated when monitoring multiple CAN buses, which helps reduce the need for an external hub in many applications. It is suitable for use in a range of industries, such as machine control, automotive development, and industrial network connectivity.
Mar. 18, 2015 - Schaefer has unveiled its low-profile TERa series of advanced thermal technology AC-DC power supplies, offering three output power classes of 700W, 1200W and 2000W that are sealed in a heat-conducting potting material. With a temperature range of -50 to 85 degree C, the units claim to be the perfect solution for space critical projects that demand reliable and shock resistant performance in the harshest operating conditions. All models are designed for easy-to-connect parallel/series operation if higher power or redundancy is needed, says the company. Other features include high power density, Power Factor Correction (PFC), 100 - 242VAC universal inputs, galvanic isolation, single or multi-output operation, output voltage adjustment and compliance to EN55022 Class A (Class B with filter).
Mar. 18, 2015 - B&R Automation’s portfolio of products featuring integrated safety technology has received IEC 61508, IEC 62061 and ISO 13849 certification. In particular, functional safety certification by UL verifies compliance with applicable North American standards such as ANSI/UL 1998. Having successfully completed the certification process, the company’s portfolio of integrated safety technology is now UL-listed in the FSPC category (Energy and Industrial Systems Certified for Functional Safety), as well as the corresponding FSPC7 category for Canada.
Mar. 18, 2015 - AutomationDirect’s safety products offering now includes non-contact locking safety switches. IDEM’s MGL safety switches combine magnetic locking and radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to provide non-contact operation promising a high degree of anti-tamper protection, “making them virtually impossible to override,” says the company. Heavy-duty or medium-duty holding force models are available in either master coded or uniquely coded actuation configurations. The safety switches feature plastic, die cast metal or stainless steel housings; stainless steel housings have an IP69K rating for use in food processing applications. Additional features include two normally-closed overload-protected safety outputs and one normally-open auxiliary output for door open indication; two LEDs, clearly visible on either side of the cable exit point, indicate all the possible switch states.
Mar. 17, 2015 - BitFlow is inviting visitors to explore its new website located at www.bitflow.com, which it says is redesigned to provide the ultimate user-friendly experience. The site features improved navigation and functionality throughout, allowing BitFlow customers to access product information with the option to compare its frame grabbers to those from several other manufacturers. Technical specifications, detailed photography and application notes work together to provide an overview of the company’s capabilities across a range of sectors, including machine vision, robotics, medical, military and scientific imaging. News, events and a schedule of tradeshow participation will also be featured.
Mar. 17, 2015 - Alliance Sensors Group has expanded its sensor product offering by adding the LP-22 series of linear potentiometers, describing it as a cost-effective solution to sensing requirements in the factory automation marketplace. LP-22 series potentiometers claims to be expertly constructed to satisfy applications like robotic control, X-Y table feedback, injection moulding machine slides, press or die arm position, control valve shaft position, and mil/aero test stands. Swivel rod eye ends are standard to facilitate self-alignment during installation. Depending on range, the series is powered with a maximum input of between 12 and 36 Volts DC at 12 mA or less, and the maximum output resistance varies between 1 and 5 kilohms.
Mar. 13, 2015 - IDEC Corp. has released the EU2B family of safety devices including pushbuttons, pilot lights, selector switches and ammeters, all of which comply with ATEX, C-UL, IEC and UL/NEC safety standards for use in hazardous areas. The devices are fully sealed to prevent the release of sufficient electrical energy which could ignite explosive gases or particles in the environment, says the company. The pushbuttons are available in flush, extended and mushroom styles, and contain up to three sealed contact blocks, each rated up to 10A, in normally open or normally closed configurations. Emergency stop pushbuttons feature push-to-lock and turn-to-reset operation, and are supplied with a yellow body and a standard red mushroom head. Multiple contact configurations are available. The pilot lights are available in amber, green, pure white, red, blue, white and yellow, and can operate from a 110Vac, 220Vac or 24Vdc power source. Selector switches are available with two or three selector positions, and with a variety of spring return options and circuit configurations. A key-operated selector switch is also available. AC ammeters, DC ammeters and DC voltmeters are available with a wide choice of measuring ranges.
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.
Jan. 19, 2015 - Mohawk College officially opened its Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre last Friday, the first of its kind in Ontario to serve as a test lab for advanced manufacturers and a living lab for students, it says.
Jan. 13, 2015 - The government has launched an initiative that provides apprentices registered in a Red Seal trade program with access to loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training. Through the Canada Apprentice Loan program, the loan remains interest-free until after the recipient completes or leaves their apprenticeship training program, for up to a maximum of six years.
Our 16th annual listing of automation education and training options in Canada.
Jan. 6, 2015 - A report by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA) suggests that with 91 per cent of educators convinced skilled tradespeople will always be in demand, there is a strong case for connecting students to hands-on activities and accurate employment data.
Nov. 25, 2014 - Four manufacturing organizations say they have banded together for a new “by industry, for industry” learning program to actively hire and train unemployed/underemployed youth to help address a “critical” shortage of CNC machinists.
Nov. 19, 2014 - Ontario says it is investing $4.2 million to help build the Niagara College Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre, a permanent, high-tech facility that will provide hands-on applied learning and innovative business solutions.
Nov. 4, 2014 - Skills Canada launched its 10th National Skilled Trades and Technology Week today, which it says aims to create awareness for students and educators of the “incredible career opportunities” available in skilled trades and technologies across Canada.
Oct. 7, 2014 - A $1,050,000 gift from Dow Canada will support student success and campus expansion at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). Dow’s investment includes $800,000 for NAIT’s Centre for Applied Technologies, and $250,000 to sponsor a biennial seminar at NAIT showcasing the field of power engineering.
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.
Nov. 5, 2014 - A new national award from Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) recognizes “organizations that exceed traditional health and safety practices by the shared value created to have an impact on a broader community dimension beyond their workplaces.”
Oct. 9, 2014 - Increasingly individualized products and more intelligent, networked components are transforming the world of production, and Festo is embracing the changes. That was the message from Dr. Eberhardt Veit, chairman of the management board of Festo AG, during Festo’s recent International Press Conference at its headquarters in Esslingen, Germany.
Oct. 7, 2014 - While at Festo's recent International Press Conference in Germany, Manufacturing AUTOMATION sat down for an interview with Dr. Eberhardt Veit, chairman of the management board, to discuss recent investments the company has made, the economy and which markets he's seeing growth in.
Oct. 7, 2014 - Manufacturing AUTOMATION recently attended Festo's International Press Conference at the company's headquarters in Esslingen, Germany. During the conference, Dr. Eberhardt Veit, chairman of the management board of Festo AG & Co. KG, discussed Industry 4.0 and Festo's view of future production.
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. 
  With the arrival of the latest generation of KSB’s Movitec pumps, KSB Canada has widened its portfolio of small size centrifugal pumps. The 2013 Movitec series feature optimized laser welded hydraulics.
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.  
Sept. 29, 2014 - The Company: August Electronics is an electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider headquartered in Calgary, Alta. They have a long-standing track record of customer satisfaction and productivity, as shown by their yearly recognition in Profit magazine’s PROFIT 200 — Canada’s top 200 fastest growing companies. As an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, August Electronics is committed to a philosophy of continuous quality improvement.
Sept. 29, 2014 - The Company: Privately held and based in Ottawa, Ont., TrueNorth Avionics is an airborne connectivity company that designs, develops and manufactures satellite communication solutions for high-end corporate jets and VIP aircrafts.
Sept. 29, 2014 - Kaizen — translated loosely from the Japanese, it means “good change.” Masaaki Imai, founder of the Japan-based Kaizen Institute, defined kaizen as: "...continuous improvement in the personal life, home life, social life and working life." Even more profoundly, Imai taught that kaizen was a “...state of mind that encourages everyone to consider it unusual when conditions do not continuously evolve.”
Sept. 29, 2014 - The Company: Iggesund Tools is a tooling company with a proud heritage spanning more than 300 years. Today, its core business is the design and production of specialized tooling for the forest products industry. In each of the sectors it serves — debarking, lumber production, chipping technology and chip analysis — Iggesund Tools is recognized as a world leader.
Sept. 26, 2014 - The Company: Hammond Power Solutions (HPS) is the largest manufacturer of dry-type transformers in North America. The company engineers and manufactures a wide range of standard and custom transformers that are exported globally in electrical equipment and systems, and supports solid industries such as oil and gas, mining, steel, waste and water treatment, and wind power generation. Headquartered in Guelph, Ont., HPS has five manufacturing facilities and 11 distribution centres located throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Mar. 24, 2015 - The Manufacturing AUTOMATION March/April 2015 issue is now LIVE, with features and columns on energy management, machine safety, cybersecurity and much more. CLICK HERE to read the issue now!
Feb. 27, 2015 - Last November, I had the pleasure of visiting Atlanta for a tradeshow (FabTech) we were exhibiting in. It’s been a long time since I had been there, and much had changed. I was impressed with its parks and buildings, its air of confidence, and the friendliness of its people. When it comes right down to it though, great cities are made by the people that live there.
Feb. 23, 2015 - The Manufacturing AUTOMATION January/February 2015 issue is now LIVE, with features and columns on emerging trends and technologies, education, machine safety, control systems and much more. CLICK HERE to read the issue now!
Feb. 23, 2015 - Happy New Year! It’s a real pleasure to introduce myself to you as the new editor of Manufacturing AUTOMATION. I come to the publication from the Electrical Business Magazine Group, a sister magazine group at Annex Business Media where I spent four years as the associate editor covering Canada’s electrical and energy markets.
Feb. 4, 2015 - You know that desperate feeling when the battery in your phone dies? How the minutes seem to drag on forever while you wait for the charger to re-connect you to the world?  Imagine living in a time where the availability of energy is erratic and unpredictable. When, for example, flipping the switch doesn’t always turn on the light. In the developed world, this may be a worst case scenario, but the reality is that an energy crisis resulting from a widening gap between demand and supply is entirely possible.
Dec. 15, 2014 - The Manufacturing AUTOMATION November/December 2014 issue is now LIVE, with features and columns on robotics, innovation, machine safety, automation software and much more. Join editor Alyssa Dalton as she highlights the cover story of collaborative robots, an emerging trend of operator and robot working together. CLICK HERE to access the digital edition.
Dec. 3, 2014 - Growth in the global product lifecycle management (PLM) software market continues to depend strongly on regional economic and industrial trends and is experiencing significant variability. Currently, there is significant business activity across certain global regions, most notably North America, and industrial sectors, most notably upstream oil and gas. While overall growth in the PLM market slowed slightly from 2012 to 2013, some offsetting factors and technology trends will drive growth in the PLM market in the coming years, according to a recent ARC Advisory Group report, Product Lifecycle Management Global Market Research Study.
Nov. 24, 2014 - Almost everything in automation needs sensing and measurement. There’s definitely a bright future here. That’s why I’m focusing this month’s column on future trends in sensitivity and measurement — a fitting topic as we say goodbye to another year and look at what’s ahead.
Nov. 24, 2014 - With all of the continuous improvements being made in process control and automation through more effective alarm management systems, better HMIs and improved control theory and algorithms, we often forget that a control system is only as good as the field measurements and final control elements used to monitor and control the process. Fortunately, the new HMI standards take this into consideration by providing suggestions on how equipment health can be incorporated into tag display information. Similarly, field device manufacturers have agreed on methods to communicate device status for both analog- and fieldbus-based systems.
Nov. 24, 2014 - Finding that fine line between safety and production efficiency is a constantly evolving process. Companies continue to expand their efforts to ensure employee safety and still make gains in their production output.
Nov. 24, 2014 - I reviewed Radica’s Electra back in 2006. The fact that the product is still active says something about the company and the relevance of the product.
Nov. 24, 2014 - Up until the industrial revolution, the typical working man (forgive the political incorrectness for now) was able to easily measure the achievements of his efforts by, for example, how much wood was chopped; how many cows were milked; how many miles of fences mended or rows tilled; how much seed was sown and how much crops were harvested. The payoff for every day’s effort invested was not just the tactile results, but also the pride and satisfaction that went with it.