automation

Technology

Tightly integrated safety: the fourth dimension

No one doubts the importance of functional safety in modern automation systems. Safety is a responsibility that all plant operators take seriously because of the potential impact on personnel, systems and the environment if “something goes wrong”. A system failure or mal-function that is not detected immediately can have dire consequences. Today, machine safety is
Creators

Lean manufacturing helps Aqualectra stay ahead of the competition

‘I would be lying if I said the market for panel builders was booming at the moment, but we are still managing to hold our heads above water”, says Tom Stringer, general director of Aqualectra in Heerhugowaard. Stringer is a keen advocate of ‘lean manufacturing’, which enables panels to be produced as efficiently as possibly.
Technology

Remote access enables global support for machines

In our globalised economy, packaging machines made in France could be sold to a food manufacturer in the Netherlands for installation in Brazil. The customer will, of course, be looking for good back-up as part of the deal, and for the machine maker, providing active and long-term support offers a major sales advantage, leading to
Machines

Robotics integrates with vision, motion and PLC in single platform

A delta robot solution that is no more difficult to integrate into your system than any other standard automation component? Mark Simms takes a look at the latest part of Omron’s innovative Sysmac platform. These days machine builders who develop machines for the packaging industry are facing ever increasing challenges to provide designs that will
Technology

Safety first: making the difference in automated production

It’s sometimes easy to forget that production safety is not just a question of obeying the law: it can actually have a direct and positive impact on productivity, reliability and output quality. That’s been proven in practice by Helios Energy Europe (Heliene), one of Spain’s leading manufacturers of high-output photovoltaic energy systems. These generate electricity
Future

A new wave of collaborative innovation

This year’s KPMG survey found that collaboration is becoming more important to global manufacturers, especially where innovation is concerned as a majority of respondents to increase collaborative their efforts with partner companies, key customers, and suppliers. This year’s survey found that 72 percent of respondents worldwide believe the “next wave of transformational innovation” in manufacturing
Creators

Five reasons why collaboration makes sense

ATM Group, based in Salem, Germany, specialises in test systems for photovoltaic and semiconductor industries and has enjoyed considerable success since it was established in 2005. ATM’s CEO, Schadnusch Nejad, attributes this success to a range of factors, but emphasises in particular a policy of close co-operation with the company’s key suppliers. The five key