Canadian companies that focus on expanding into competitive global markets outside of North America—and orient their innovation efforts to compete globally—reap the best bottom-line results. However, only about one-sixth of Canadian firms adopt an innovation strategy that focuses on competing in international markets, according to “2012 Survey Findings: The State of Firm-Level Innovation in Canada,” published by The Conference Board of Canada's Centre for Business Innovation. "Few companies pick the most successful innovation strategy of expanding to provide products and services to new international markets, even though these firms earn between 10 and 30 per cent more net income than their counterparts using other approaches," said Bruce Good, executive director of the Centre for Business Innovation. "Most Canadian firms prefer to operate within provincial or national borders—or in North America—rather than competing in international markets."
Published in Automation in Action
The power supply units from Phoenix Contact Canada are arranged according to functionality and performance: Quint Power, Trio Power, Mini Power, Uno Power, Step Power. Units offer a broad array of specifications covering AC or DC input, DC output, single- and three-phase capabilites.
Autodesk recently announced the availability of Fusion 360, a cloud based 3D CAD service poised to usher in the next generation of product design. Fusion 360 is designed to let users quickly develop designs from initial concepts to detailed engineering in a cloud-based environment. Designs can then be accessed and shared from anywhere at any time and the platform ensures that all data, models and information is automatically achieved, versioned and managed.
Published in Software
Siemens looks into the future of machining, manufacturing and IT infrastructure at the factory of tomorrow.
Do you know how to properly relubricate bearings? This video from Motion Industries and Rexnord is designed to show you how. “Improper bearing lubrication is the most common cause of bearing failure,” says Randy Breaux, Motion Industries’ senior VP of Marketing, Product Management & Strategic Planning. “And this informative demonstration takes us through the CLEAR Method, which is smart to do in just about any ball or roller bearing application.”
Omron Automation & Safety is breaking new ground in North America by using automation—the same automation used in a manufacturing facility—in a whole new way. Omron and its strategic partner, Auto Park-it, LLC, opened the very first fully automated parking facility in Southern California.The automated parking system lets drivers pull their car in to a bay, jump out and let the machines take over. A structural steel system of lifts and shuttles moves vehicles up, down, back and forth on pallets through one under- and three above-ground levels of parking stalls. The system allows twice as many cars to fit into a parking structure, because there’s no need for room to open car doors, and no need to leave roadway space for vehicles to drive through the garage.Now developers, civic officials, building operators and end users have an option that’s green, safe, secure, affordable and convenient. Watch this video to see how it’s done.
WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 represents Canada's 12th participation in a WorldSkills Competition, a biannual international event which brings together the world's most talented skilled trades and technology competitors. Team Canada 2013 represented one of the largest delegations Canada has ever sent to WorldSkills, with competitors in 32 of the 46 skills categories.
Canada Fibers has unveiled the new Arrow Road MRF Complex, the largest material recycling facility of its kind in North America—equipped to recycle both industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) waste and residential waste.
If there’s one thing manufacturers can do to thrive in today’s economy, it’s collaborate with one another. That’s one of the main messages that came out of Manufacturing AUTOMATION’s annual editorial advisory board roundtable meeting. Take a look at what our board members had to say about collaboration and the benefits for manufacturers.
For the first time in several years, the economic outlook for manufacturers has shifted from cautious to decidedly optimistic. It’s a whole new world out there for Canadian manufacturers, and it’s time to take action. This was among the topics discussed when our board members got together in April for the seventh annual roundtable meeting, which is the cover story for our June 2013 issue. Take a look at some of the highlights here.
On May 30, the CAW and CEP unions announced Unifor as the name of the new union that will be formed on Labour Day weekend, 2013. Watch the CAW-CEP new union name and logo video revealed.
Moore Industries has released a new video showing the advantages of wireless I/O solutions in industrial facilities. In the video, journalist and industry expert Peter Welander relays several reasons engineers are increasingly integrating wireless I/O as part of their process control solution and steps through ways they benefit from it.More industrial facilities are realizing substantial benefits from implementing wireless I/O solutions as part of their overall process control strategy. By moving away from cable and embracing a wireless I/O solution, engineers gain flexibility and safety while reducing the costs of equipment replacement and maintenance. In the video, Welander shows how the WNM works: • In a Point-to-Point System to send wireless signals from a Remote to a Master• In a Point-to-Multipoint System with multiple WNM units configured as repeaters to relay signals when a direct line of sight does not exist between a Master and Remote module or to significantly extend the transmission distance allowable within a WNM networkThrough the use of animated diagrams, Welander shows how the WNM can extend a plant’s control and monitoring system. In addition, wireless I/O solutions help engineers significantly reduce installation and maintenance costs related to traditional wiring along with creating a system that is easily expanded as plant specifications change.
A team of undergraduate students from the University of Waterloo has won a significant microrobotics competition, and they did it in less than one second. The Mobile Microrobotics Challenge took place at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Karlsruhe, Germany. The Waterloo team won the Autonomous Mobility Challenge, where the microrobots must autonomously navigate a track in the shape of a figure eight. "This winning team consists of engineering students who were supported by colleagues from arts and math. The fact that they worked together so well to win this competition speaks to the collaborative spirit and multidisciplinary approach we take at Waterloo,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. “They surpassed graduate students and postdoctoral candidates from other top universities, which is indicative of their work ethic and high skill. I congratulate them on their victory." The microrobots were 500 micrometres in size—less than the thickness of a credit card—and competed in an arena measuring 3.5 millimetres by 2 millimetres. Waterloo's team finished three runs with a winning average time of .33 seconds. Organizers set up a microscope over the tiny arena and projected the race onto a large screen so that spectators could see the action. Matthew Maclean, a third-year student in software engineering, was the controller for the Waterloo team—much like being the driver for a racing team. He controlled the microrobot with computer code, and says precise movements are critical in order to avoid catastrophe. "When you have something that small, if you are a few milliseconds too slow when controlling the robot, it could end up off the course at a distance 100 times its size," said Maclean. "We do lose the robots from time to time when testing because it's like trying to find a speck of dust." The implications of this performance can lead to progressive leaps in the development of micro-scale applications including targeted drug delivery, minimally invasive surgery and advanced electronics manufacturing. The Waterloo team consists of about 45 undergraduate students, and works under the University of Waterloo Nanorobotics Group, or UW_NRG. The students defeated six other teams from Canada, the United States, France and the Czech Republic. This is the second year a Waterloo team has won this competition.
Siemens Canada's national tour series stopped in Oakville, Ont., on May 16 to showcase the company's latest TIA Portal V12 software and next generation controller family SIMATIC S7-1500. Watch as Joris Myny, Siemens Canada Ltd. vice president, Industry Automation and Drive Technologies divisions, discusses how these innovations fit in with Siemens' overall innovation goals and how the company is become a true "software company." www.siemens.ca
Published in Automation in Action
In this Q&A, Dr. Karl Tragl, chairman of the executive board at Bosch Rexroth AG, discusses his company's economic position in North America, innovations around Integrated Industry including Open Core Engineering, condition monitoring and industry trends such as energy efficiency. www.boschrexroth.ca
Rittal Systems benefits customers with partners in its Ri4 Power Technology modular low-voltage systems for electrical distribution & motor control, according to Wolfram Eberhardt of Rittal GmbH corporate communications. These partners were featured at the company's booth at Hannover Messe 2013. www.rittal.ca
Wolfram Eberhardt, corporate communications at Rittal, explains the economics and energy efficiencies of the RiMatrix S modular data centre system introduced at CeBit 2013 and Hannover Messe 2013. Wolfram Eberhardt of Rittal: RiMatrix S is Rittal’s concept for a standardized data centre construction. With immediate effect, data centres can be quickly configured, delivered, and put into operation. Every unit in the process chain, from consulting to service, benefits from the prefabricated elements. In addition, Rittal ensures that the system has a high energy efficiency. RiMatrix S is the perfect solution for modern, standardised data centre infrastructures with uniform interfaces and continuous automation. “We want to fundamentally change the rules of the market with this worldwide novel approach to standardized data centres,” said Friedhelm Loh, Rittal’s owner and CEO. Data centres are traditionally one-off solutions. Often they are jointly designed and implemented with the customer to meet specific needs. Nevertheless, in the modern Web 2.0 society, there are large and growing numbers of “standardized units,” as well as services that differ from one company to the next. Standard services on standard hardware are supplied with electricity and air conditioning via a standard infrastructure. For a long time now, many data centres have been largely similar in many aspects. Rittal-RiMatrix-S TechnikHowever, in terms of design, implementation, and operation, elaborate, custom-made concepts still dominate. This is not only time-consuming, but also expensive, as hardly any standardized processes and components can be defined once and then be called again up repeatedly. Rittal is addressing precisely these needs with its RiMatrix S, a world first. RiMatrix S complements the existing RiMatrix product line as a modular system with predefined modules of server and network enclosures, and for climate control and power supply. The smallest RiMatrix S variant, the Single 6, consists of six racks to accommodate servers and an additional frame for network technology. The larger version, the Single 9, has eight server racks plus one rack for network technology. Both can be combined to form larger units. What sounds merely like a minor change in data centre construction is in fact a revolution: “With the RiMatrix S, Rittal is making a paradigm shift in the IT world, because never before has a complete data centre been available under a single Model No.,” explained Bernd Hanstein, Vice President Product Management IT at Rittal. RiMatrix S has a delivery time of only six weeks. The extremely short delivery and commissioning times are a direct consequence of the data centre modules’ high level of standardization. While consultants usually draw up the sizes and expansion stages of individual racks in detail with the customer, RiMatrix S is assigned in blocks. Operating costs are calculated in advance because Rittal delivers a defined promise of performance for the PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) value. If the server modules are used in conjunction with a cooling unit from Rittal, the system specialist guarantees an excellent PUE of up to 1.15. For each kilowatt of power that the servers take up, only 15% of additional energy is used, for instance for climate control and uninterruptible power supply. The high level of efficiency also stems from the fact that Rittal has combined the results of research and development projects in RiMatrix S. Thus findings from the AC4DC project, concerning the overall control of all climate control components in a data centre, ensure that the modules function at the optimum operating point in terms of climate and server load. Despite this, the RiMatrix S module solution is flexible. Customers can connect their own resources via the clearly defined transfer points for energy, climate control, and network. Yet the benefits of quick installation and commissioning do remain. If RiMatrix S is installed at the customer’s facilities, all the components are in the correct order and can be mounted immediately. This way, customers have a functioning infrastructure and can make use of their applications and services within a very short time. The return on investment (ROI) is faster and time to market is minimized. Rittal RiMatrix S StrategieRittal offers a specially developed RiMatrix S Configurator on its website, where interested parties can calculate in advance whether speed, ease of installation, and standardized processes outweigh any possible disadvantages from the reduced customization. This is not to say that RiMatrix S offers a fixed concept permitting no changes. Experience has shown that changes in the data centre take place at fixed intervals; a 19" enclosure alone is installed in the rarest cases. Individual activities are performed on one combined maintenance or conversion date. Because the Single 6 or Single 9 modules are erected much more quickly and easily than comparable systems made from free-standing enclosures, the time spent on rebuilding and extension work is kept to a minimum. Uniform components not only simplify the mechanical construction, but also provide benefits in system administration. Administrators can use the same monitoring and control tools with each RiMatrix S module, even if the modules are mounted at different locations. This reduces training time, makes service and IT-management easier, and ties up fewer of the administrator’s resources, which then become free for other tasks. www.rittal.ca
This year’s prestigious international Hermes Award goes to Bosch Rexroth. Presented annually at Hannover Messe, the award singles out outstanding innovations pioneered by individual companies. In this video, Bosch Rexroth chairman Dr. Karl Tragl explains why the company was chosen in 2013 for its Open Core Engineering system. “This year’s HERMES AWARD has been won by Bosch Rexroth, an internationally successful manufacturer of high-tech products. For many years the company has exhibited at HANNOVER MESSE in order to present its dynamic innovation processes to decision-makers. The award-winning solution makes a major contribution to ‘Integrated Industry’ and will accelerate the trend towards networked industrial production,” explains Dr. Jochen Köckler, Member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe AG. Bosch Rexroth has received the HERMES AWARD for its Open Core Engineering project, which unites the previously separate worlds of programmable logic controllers (PLC) and information technology (IT). Bosch Rexroth has created a seamless solution based on open standards, software tools, function packages and the Open Core Interface. Traditional PLC-based engineering can now be combined with the enhanced capabilities of high-level programming languages. In addition, innovative functions can be run as native applications on external devices such as smartphones. Via these native apps it is possible to read data as well as to write data directly to the controllers. This gives OEMs an opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors by creating customized software functions without the direct support of the respective controller manufacturers. The HERMES AWARD was presented by the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Dr. Johanna Wanka, at the HANNOVER MESSE Opening Ceremony on 7 April. “Industry is on the threshold to a fourth industrial revolution. The Open Core Engineering project is an outstanding example of the potential of Industry 4.0 for innovative and efficient communication in the field of production,” Minister Wanka emphasized in her prize-giving speech. “The Jury of the 10th HERMES AWARD has singled out a software product for the first time. In the context of Industry 4.0 more and more factory automation functions are being transferred to software. The award-winning solution will simplify the migration from today’s factory-based world to the Internet of Things. Open standards will ensure that the digital product memory will be available everywhere in real time,” added Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, Chairman of the Jury and CEO of the Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). The independent Jury nominated Top 5 Along with the winning firm, Bosch Rexroth AG based in Lohr am Main, the following companies were also nominated for the 2013 HERMES AWARD: Ebm-papst GmbH & Co. KG, Mulfingen; Hirschmann Automation and Control GmbH, Neckartenzlingen; KAESER Kompressoren AG, Coburg; and Schildknecht AG, Murr. The award-winning and nominated products/processes will be on display at the companies’ stands during HANNOVER MESSE 2013. In addition, “tech transfer – Gateway2Innovation“ in Hall 2 (Stand D12) will present detailed information about all the nominated submissions and companies. www.boschrexroth.ca
Beckhoff Automation chief technology officer Gerd Hoppe provides an overview of the latest PC-based control products based on 25 years of experience in the market, including the innovative eXtended Transport System that is aimed at logistics, assembly and transportation applications. www.beckhoff.ca
Mechatronic solutions consultant Sean-Patrick Mulherrin of EPLAN previews functionality coming Fall 2013 in Version 2.3 of EPLAN software. A new Preplanning Module interface is shown that bridges the gap between a design concept "napkin" sketch and engineering a complete electromechanical system with drawings. www.eplancanada.com
Published in Software
Motor & Drive Systems 2019
January 23-24, 2019
2019 Automation and Technical Showcase
February 4, 2019
ARC World Industry Forum
February 4-7, 2019
Hannover Messe 2019
April 1-5, 2019
April 8-11, 2019
Advanced Design & Manufacturing (ADM) Canada
June 4-6, 2019