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May 5, 2015 - Moxa is helping connect Profibus devices with its ICF-1180I and ICF-1280I Profibus-to-fiber converters, which now feature Class 1 Div 2, IEC Ex, and ATEX certification for deployment in hazardous locations including upstream and downstream petrochemical processing, chemical plants, and other areas where explosive vapours are present. The industrial-hardened units offer 2 kV isolation protection for the Profibus system and dual power inputs to ensure non-stop communications, says Moxa. Rated for operation in environments ranging from -40 C to 75 C, both units are capable of distances up to 4 km (2.5 miles) on multi-mode fiber, or up to 45 km (28 miles) on single-mode fiber in both ordinary and hazardous applications, a first for the industry, it adds.
May 5, 2015 - Weidmuller has introduced two new licensed frequency data modems that promise powerful long-range communications (up to 40 miles) to extend Ethernet networks into difficult-to-access locations. Its design features built into the new wireless Ethernet modems claim to provide dynamic network optimization and intelligent routing for high reliability, lower latency and deterministic power management. They support 360 to 512 MHz and 928 to 960 MHz configurations; can operate in Access Point/Client configuration; function as a network Bridge/Router; or serve as a Serial Server (RS232/485). The WI-MOD-450-E-5W and WI-MOD-950-E-5W modems are ATEX/IECEx hazardous area approved, and offer DIN-rail or wall-mount options. Ideal for industrial networking applications, they integrate with Weidmuller wireless and wired networks to connect remote sensors, actuators and instrumentation to mission critical monitoring and control systems.
May 5, 2015 - Softing, an industrial automation and electronics provider, is now offering the WireXpert 4500 cable certifier to the North American market. Originally introduced by Psiber Data GmbH, WireXpert branding will change from Psiber to Softing over the coming months as a part of Softing AG’s acquisition in January 2014. WireXpert’s dual control system enables one technician to run tests from either end of a cable saving time and money, it says. According to the company, the cable certifier’s proven accuracy and a 2.5GHz range make it one of the only testers capable of certifying today’s TIA cabling standards as well as the new 2.0 GHz Category 8 standard currently under development. It has optional test adapters for all categories of copper patch-cords, multi-mode MPO cables, simplex encircled flux compliant multi-mode and single-mode links, industrial Ethernet cabling systems (1G and 10G), coaxial cables, and more.
Apr. 27, 2015 - Myers Spring Company has added the Wafios 25 wire forming machine to its line of equipment, the first of seven new machines to be added over the next few months it says. The machine is capable of producing simple wire spring at a rate up to 4,000 per hour, dependent upon the spring being produced, and it claims to be able to do the work of four older wire forming machines. Two or three parts of the spring can also be formed at the same time with this machine. Changing attachments for the Wafios 25 can be done in around two hours and can be started while part of the machine is still producing springs.
Apr. 27, 2015 - ACS Motion Control has launched a control module that claims to manage networks with up to 32 axes and thousands of I/Os. The SPiiPlusCMHV is a line of EtherCAT master motion controllers with one/two axes of integrated drives that operate from 3-phase 230Vac to 480Vac, or 320Vdc to 670Vdc. It offers currents from 5/10A (continuous/peak) to 20/60A (continuous/peak). Each control module consists of a motion controller and EtherCAT master, one or two servo drives, and a power supply. The company says the line is best suited for motion centric industrial applications, medical scanners, new generations of large FPD positioning tables, and other applications where high servo performance is required.
Apr. 27, 2015 - Bedrock Automation, a subsidiary of Maxim Integrated, says its new cyber secure industrial control system (ICS) is the world’s most secure. Designed to be simple, scalable and secure, Bedrock’s ICS promises unprecedented levels of computational performance and cybersecurity, while reducing cost and increasing reliability. According to the company, it can be used as a secure root of trust and when used in conjunction with the Device Lifecycle Management system, security can be extended up to the network and down to the sensors. This, it says, is an example of how the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) can be secured.
Apr. 24, 2015 - With the addition of UL Type 4X and Type 13 approvals, IDEC 5.7-in. HG2G HMIs help protect against corrosion, dust, spraying water, oil, non-corrosive coolant and damage from external ice formation. A bright LCD screen (800cd/m²) with 65K colours display images in light and at an angle. According to the company, the high-performance HMIs allow users to remotely monitor, control and troubleshoot an application from a PC, tablet or smartphone. They support an SD memory card and USB flash drive, providing you extra room to store and transfer project data, images and video files. All models are Class 1 Div. 2 rated for hazardous locations, as well as being ABS, LR and NK approved, CE-marked, cULus listed and IP66 rated; 5.7-in. HG2G basic models also offer Type 4X and Type 13 approvals.
Apr. 24, 205 - The C-more HMI configuration software version 6.0 from AutomationDirect offers more alarm and recipe features, additional math and tag logic, and improved Windows compatibility. This newest version is compatible with all previous C-more projects. New tag combinations added to the event manager allow for simple logic with multiple events, it says. Users can combine up to four different tags to trigger actions based on logical results, going beyond alarm and message functions. The event manager allows actions to be taken on a screen change, a set date or time, a single tag status or value, and now on a combination of tag status or values.
Apr. 24, 2015 - The Faulhaber 3274 BP4 brushless DC servo motor from Micromo measures 32 mm in diameter and 74 mm in length, and promises to deliver continuous torque of 165 mNm. The four‐pole servo motor is best suited for applications such as humanoid robots, electric grippers used in process automation, and high‐performance traction drives used in inspection robotics. The company says the 3274 BP4’s operational lifetime is many times longer than that of a conventional DC micro motor. The slope of the motor characteristic curve is just 3 rpm/mNm, with a stall torque of 2.7 Nm. Promising to be overload‐resistant, it equipped as standard with digital hall sensors. High‐resolution optical and magnetic encoders can be attached to the rear multifunction flange.
Apr. 24, 2015 - Pittman Motors, part of Ametek Precision Motion Control, has added PLG24, PLG42K, PLG42S, PLG52 and PLG63 planetary gearboxes to its product offering. Available with brush and brushless DC motors, the new gearboxes boast high torque loads and come in diameters from 24 to 63 mm and output torques to 100 Nm (74 lb ft). They are suitable for a range of motion control applications, including pan/tilt functions, indexing, pumping, conveying, and traction applications. Reduction ratios range from 4:1 to 710:1 with more than ten standard ratios available in each size. OEMs can specify custom output-shaft features, lubrication, and reinforced output-shaft assemblies for differentiated solutions tailored to specific application requirements.
Apr. 24, 2015 - With the acquisition of the Baldor linear motion product line, H2W Technologies has begun manufacturing brushless linear motors. Offering “extensive experience” in designing and building custom linear motion systems, and now with the tooling necessary to produce both ironless and iron-core brushless linear motors, H2W is delivering a complete line of standard and custom brushless linear motors. They operate at speeds up to 240 ips [6 m/s], and can be controlled when coupled with a linear encoder. Zero cogging in brushless linear motors make them ideal for applications requiring smooth motion at both low and high speeds, notes the company, adding that it can provide motors with precision linear encoders or with hall effect sensors for trapezoidal commutation. 
Apr. 24, 2015 - Groschopp says its family of brushless DC motors and gearmotors have been tested for pairings with the brushless DC control product line, offering engineers a package designed for optimal operation. Claiming to be 85-per-cent efficient, the motors boast 2,600 – 3,800 RPM and 1.8 – 10.8 in-lb torque. The closed loop controls are designed to deliver commutated power and variable speed control, maintaining excellent speed regulation over a wide range of loads, it adds.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.  
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.
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.