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Apr. 20, 2015 - Assured Automation’s 26 series is a full port, 316 stainless steel, NPT threaded end automated ball valve. Available in 1/4-in. to 3-in. line sizes, it can be equipped with a manual handle or with direct mount pneumatic or electric actuators. The series is suitable for a variety of applications, including: process control, bottling and dispensing, ink and paint dispensing, sterilizing and air drying equipment. The company says the direct mount actuators eliminate the valve-actuator mounting kit, which adds unnecessary height and expense. Users can choose from a full range of accessory items such as limit switches, solenoid valves, positioners and manual override devices.
Apr. 9, 2015 - Conec has added an overmoulded variant of the DT connector series to its portfolio of valve connectors. The series is assembled in-house and overmoulded, and boasts optimal protection against external influences in harsh environments, including underground applications, low temperatures and dusty, hot conditions. Designed as cable to cable connection, the series is latched and locked via a latch with the mating connector. To unlock, the latch must be pressed down. Thus a quick and safe IP67 tight connection can be established. Optionally the overmoulded DT connector series comes with an LED to indicate the signal status and protection circuit. A unique feature, says the company, is the 360 degree visibility of the LED. As well, the protection circuit keeps switching and interference voltage away from the LED and connected systems. To provide additional protection for the connecting cable in harsh environments, overmoulding is done in the typical Conec shape to provide the opportunity to clamp a protection hose directly to the overmoulding, notes the company. Optionally, the protection hose may be directly connected to the overmould via an M12 nut. The DT valve connectors are available as two-pole and three-pole versions as male and female connectors.
Apr. 9, 2015 - RLS, Renishaw’s affiliate company, has introduced a series of three miniature magnetic encoders for embedded OEM motion control applications. Suitable for optics positioning, robot control, 3D printers and handheld devices, the miniature encoders come in four different shapes and provide linear resolution up to 0.244 µm, or 753,664 cpr for rotary applications. The encoders consist of a miniature sensor and a magnetic scale or a ring. The sensors are available in a potted housing or as PCB board level sensors. Position information can be output in incremental quadrature TTL or RS422, as well as parallel in SSI and BiSS-C formats, with the option of a unique or periodic reference mark. The series includes: RoLin, for integration into small motion systems; RLC, with two designs for direct PCB installation or cable soldering; and RLB, with FPC flat cable connector.
Apr. 9, 2015 - Cicoil has announced its new “lightweight and ultra flexible” Cat 6A cable, which promises exceptional reliability when flexed, twisted or routed through tight spaces thanks to its flat design. Compared to other Cat 6A cables, the cable’s design allows for easy stripping and a significant decrease in cable prep time, adds the company. According to Cicoil, the extrusion process allows four individually shielded 28 AWG 100 Ohm pairs to be placed in a small, flat profile, precisely controlling the spacing of each component, insulation thickness and the overall cable shape. Cable assemblies, complete with connectors, are offered in 3-ft, 6-ft and 12-ft lengths.
Apr. 9, 2015 - OleumTech, a manufacturer of wireless industrial automation systems, has launched the DH3 Ethernet Wireless Gateway with AES encryption for securing RF traffic. The new wireless gateway is a primary data collection point for OleumTech Wireless Automation Networks, offering remote viewing of Modbus data, data logging and trending capabilities and Ethernet connectivity. According to the company, it is an optimal solution for eliminating costly conduit and wiring while enabling 24/7 monitoring and control of process conditions. Other benefits include improved safety, improved reliability, and on-site and remote access to logged data, says OleumTech.
Apr. 9, 2015 - The Platinum series of microprocessor-based PID controllers from Omega boasts unparalleled flexibility in process measurement. Describing it as an “extremely powerful and versatile CE, UL and cUL compliant” series, the company says the units are intuitive to use. Each model features a three-colour (red, green, and amber) nine segment LED display, full autotune PID with fuzzy Logic Adaptive Control, up to 99 chainable Ramp Soak programs with 16 Ramps and Soaks including Ramp/Soak Events, USB communications, and built-in excitation firmware selectable at 5V, 10V, 12V and 24V. The series is best suited for factory automation, laboratory and chemical industries.
Apr. 9, 2015 - The new Power Transmission Handbook eBook from the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) offers content that has been adapted from the fifth edition of the handbook, a reference on power transmission motion control products and the processes where these products are used. The eBook is currently available in both Apple and Kindle formats as searchable, bookmark-able, transportable content for users on the go. It features nearly 400 pages of vetted content, graphics and application examples. Chapter highlights include: adjustable speed drives; bearings; clutches and brakes; controls and sensors; linear motion; and conveyors and components.
Apr. 9, 2015 - Nexen Group describes its Precision Ring Drive indexer (PRD) as a highly flexible, durable and efficient alternative to direct drive motors with faster indexing. Promising to start and stop at any incremental position, the motion profile can be changed by loading a new servo drive program into the system. As well, it mounts in any orientation. According to the company, the PRD’s design minimizes maintenance requirements and helps users maximize machine and process productivity. The PRD table is supported by a cross-roller bearing rated for loads up to 1575 kN. It is capable of speeds up to 94 RPM and claims to handle peak torque inputs at any time.
Apr. 7, 2015 - Automated systems provider Harry Major Machine (HMM) displayed a new cable-less robot gantry technology for the manufacturing industry at Automate 2015, the first of its kind available in North America, it says. With the cable-less gantry, power is supplied to the system via an insulated trolley and collector arm and its communication is powered by an optical Ethernet transmitter using infrared light. The system can work at faster speeds than traditional cabled gantries and has the ability to handle up to five carriages on a single track, it notes. The line configuration and programming claim to be easy to change, since no cable-laying is required, even if the beam length is changed due to line modification.
Apr. 7, 2015 - Rethink Robotics has introduced Sawyer, a single-arm, high-performance robot designed to execute machine tending, circuit board testing and other precise tasks that have “historically been impractical to automate with traditional industrial robots,” says the company. Sawyer runs on the Intera software system, the same platform that powers the Baxter robot, which works like humans by adapting to real-world conditions on the plant floor and integrating into existing work cells, noted Rethink Robotics. Sawyer boasts a “face” screen, embedded sensors and train-by-demonstration user interface – while providing the smaller footprint and high precision performance needed for tasks that require significant agility and flexibility. It weighs 19 kg (42 lbs), and features a 4kg (8.8 lb) payload, with 7 degrees of freedom and a 1-meter reach that can maneuver into tight spaces.
Apr. 1, 2015 - Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced four Simple Switcher nano power modules that claim to redefine power supply design for space-constrained applications. The 17-V and 5-V modules boast high performance in what they say is the industry’s smallest packages. The 17-V, 0.65-A LMZ21700 and 1-A LMZ21701, and 5-V, 1-A LMZ20501 and 2-A LMZ20502 DC/DC power modules promise to achieve an overall solution size of up to 40-per-cent smaller than a discrete implementation, and are suitable for servers, factory automation, test and measurement, and network security cameras. The modules offer high efficiency with high density and reduce EMI, even while operating at low power, says the company, adding that low component count simplifies design and increases system reliability.
Apr. 1, 2015 - Harting has launched the Han Ex industrial connector portfolio for explosion-proof applications with a series of five size 3A sets, each comprised of a hood, housing and high pin count insert. The Han Ex rollout is for use exclusively in intrinsically safe circuits of categories “ia”, “ib” and “ic” of explosion protection method “Ex i”, and is suitable for Zones 0, 1 and 2 for gas and Zones 20, 21 and 22 for dust, says the company. The “Ex i” protection method assures intrinsically safe electrical circuitry that is limited for maximum voltage, current, capacity and inductance, it adds. The sets are available with 4, 7, 8 or 12 contacts. There are three variants with crimp termination and two with Han-Quick Lock termination technology.
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.
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.
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.
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.