Videos
Harting displays two recent additions to its Han industrial connectors line – one for up to 10,000 mating cycles and another for temperatures up to 200 degrees C. Frank Quast, Head of Product Management Connector Han at Harting, demonstrates the benefits of these robust, cost-cutting industrial connectors. www.harting.ca
Published in Factory
Joris Myny, Siemens Canada Ltd. vice president, Industry Automation and Drive Technologies divisions, outlines how Siemens provides the technology for the 5 necessary stages to successfully create products: design, planning, engineering, execution and services such as condition monitoring. www.siemens.ca
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Stephan Langer, Business Unit Networking product manager at Balluff GmbH, demonstrates the versatile IO-Link factory automation platform that goes beyond the company's traditional sensor business. IO-Link provides a system platform for industrial networking, connectivity, identification, object detection, linear postition sensing and measurement, condition monitoring and fluid sensing. www.balluff.com
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Festo safety specialists Dirk Glere and Klaus Gabriel discuss safe products and systems for factory automation applications. www.festo.ca
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Festo Energy Efficiency consultant Roland Volk of Festo AG demonstrates the options for machine designers deciding on electrical vs. pneumatic technology for their projects. www.festo.ca
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Highlights of activities at the Phoenix Contact booth at Hannover Messe 2013 cover products from plug-in connectors to wireless connectivity devices, as well as industry and educational initiatives. www.phoenixcontact.ca More Phoenix Contact Hanover Fair Videos
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Festo Canada Inc. and Festo AG have faced challenges due to the economic crisis, but have weather the storm with new technologies and strong business practises. Canadian president and CEO Thomas Lichtenberger and chairman of the management board of Festo AG, Dr. Eberhard Veit, weigh in on topics such as the recent Federal Budget in Canada, as well as opportunies from Festo's innovations in edrives and process automation. www.festo.ca
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B&R Automation marketing manager Stefan Schönegger outlines the safety products necessary to protect humans and their machines from each other. From the B&R booth at Hannover Messe 2013, he also details SafeLOGIC-X, that uses the openSAFETY communication protocol, the first open – and only 100% bus-independent – safety standard for all Industrial Ethernet solutions. www.br-automation.com
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At Hannover Messe 2013 in Germany, newly appointed vice president of SEW-Eurodrive Co. of Canada Ltd. Anthony Peluso describes the company's broad line of drives, gears, motors and controls for applications in natural resources, packaging and food & beverage sectors. www.sew-eurodrive.ca
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Han-Eco® is HARTING’s new heavy-duty, modular industrial connector series – the highly configurable connector with a lower weight and price point than metal, thanks to its rugged thermoplastic hoods and housings. Han-Eco® accept all Han-Modular modules.
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Torsten Ratzmann, HARTING Senior VP of Production & Logistics, details how the company maintains such high quality at its 11 plants around the globe. HARTING facilities are benchmarked with the best companies in the world, explains Ratzmann.
Published in Factory
Swarms of robots acting together to carry out jobs could provide new opportunities for humans to harness the power of machines. Researchers in the Sheffield Centre for Robotics, jointly established by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, have been working to program a group of 40 robots, and say the ability to control robot swarms could prove hugely beneficial in a range of contexts, from military to medical. The researchers have demonstrated that the swarm can carry out simple fetching and carrying tasks, by grouping around an object and working together to push it across a surface.  The robots can also group themselves together into a single cluster after being scattered across a room, and organize themselves by order of priority.
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With the BionicOpter, Festo has technically mastered the highly complex flight characteristics of the dragonfly. Just like its model in nature, this ultralight flying object can fly in all directions, hover in mid-air and glide without beating its wings. The BionicOpter is being featured at the Festo booth at Hanover Fair 2013, April 8-12. www.festo.com/en/bionicopter
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Research at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden has resulted in a new type of machine that sorts used batteries by means of artificial intelligence (AI). One machine is now being used in the UK, sorting one-third of the country's recycled batteries. “I got the idea at home when I was sorting rubbish. I thought it should be possible to do it automatically with artificial intelligence,” says Claes Strannegård, who is an AI researcher at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. Strannegård contacted the publically owned recycling company Renova in Gothenburg, Sweden, who were positive to an R&D project concerning automatic sorting of collected batteries. The collaboration resulted in a machine that uses computerised optical recognition to sort up to ten batteries per second. The sorting is made possible by the machine's so-called neural network, which can be thought of as an artificial nervous system. Just like a human brain, the neural network must be trained to do what it is supposed to do. In this case, the machine has been trained to recognize about 2,000 different types of batteries by taking pictures of them from all possible angles. As the batteries are fed into the machine via a conveyor belt, they are 'visually inspected' by the machine via a camera. The neural network identifies the batteries in just a few milliseconds by comparing the picture taken with pictures taken earlier. The network is self-learning and robust, making it possible to recognise batteries even if they are dirty or damaged. Once the batteries have been identified, compressed air separates them into different containers according to chemical content, such as nickel-cadmium or lithium. “For each single battery, the system stores and spits out information about for example brand, model and type. This allows the recycler to tell a larger market exactly what types of material it can offer, which we believe may increase the value through increased competition,” says Hans-Eric Melin, CEO of the Gothenburg-based company Optisort, which has developed the machine. This means that besides the environmental benefits of the machine, there are commercial benefits. Today the collection and sorting companies are actually paying money to get rid of the batteries. But Melin thinks that real-time battery data could spark a new market for battery waste, where large volumes are traded online. So far, the company has delivered two machines – one to Renova in Gothenburg (where half of all the batteries collected in Sweden are sorted) and one to G&P Batteries in the UK. The interest in Optisort and its machine is rising and Strannegård, who founded the company, is very happy his idea is turning out to work so well in the real world. “This is sparking further research and development so that we will eventually use artificial intelligence to sort all types of waste,” he says.
Motion Industries and Ansell team up to help manufacturers choose the right safety gear for their employees in this instructive video. www.mihow2.com
Published in Factory
A distributed I/O network can provide a universal and modular way to connect a wide range of signal input and control output possibilities. Hosted by journalist and industry expert Peter Welander, this video shows the benefits of using a distributed I/O network to send information between instrumentation devices in their and control elements in a control room or on a factory floor. Connecting field devices to the network saves time and expenses associated with the installation and repair of wiring. The modular nature of distributed I/O networks makes it easy to add expand operations or integrate legacy process sensors. In addition, peer-to-peer systems are redundant, meaning that a break in a wire pair will not affect signal transmission.
Published in Process
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan’s Analysis of the North American Submersible Pumps Market research finds that the market earned revenues of $264.5 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach $364.7 million in 2018.
Published in Process
With its EasyHandling mechatronics platform, Rexroth is said to address the need for increasingly economic approaches to the automation of handling tasks. Systematic and seamless integration of all drive and control technologies with linear actuators, standardized mechanical and electrical interfaces, and new start-up and commissioning tools dramatically simplify the automation process. EasyHandling is more than just a modular system and reduces the total time required to assemble, configure and commission an installation by up to 80%. The Rexroth EasyHandling system solution is based on a three-level architecture, which includes basic, comfort, and advanced versions. These cover all levels of automation – from mechatronic actuators, to intelligent axes, through to complete preconfigured system solution. www.boschrexroth.ca
Published in Factory
One would think a high school competition featuring basketball playing robots would be safe from controversy. The team from Orchard Park Secondary School in Hamilton thought so—until their robots were hacked. Could it happen to your robots on the shop floor?
Published in Factory
Demonstrating the overclocked, liquid-cooled 3DBOXX 4920 XTREME at SolidWorks World 2013, renowned SolidWorks and modo expert Anna Wood (the design engineer behind SolidMuse and RenderBay.com) discovers a new workstation for desktop rendering.
Published in Factory

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