There was a time when virtually every manufactured product was built to withstand anything that could be thrown at it. There were lots of reasons, not least the fact that design knowhow was rather limited, so over-specifying was much the safer option. Of course, improvements in engineering, design, materials science and so on changed all
Moore’s Law – the observation that computing power doubles approximately every two years – can be applied in amended form to a whole range of products and technologies. The cars we drove 15 years ago look positively old-fashioned today, while a desktop PC that was the new century’s latest development (remember Windows 2000?) is now
Considerations of input and output – I/O – are fundamental to machine design and configuration, and different implementations can have significant impacts on both operational efficiency and in-service maintenance. Virtually every machine from a laptop to a production-line robot has I/O at its heart, and equipment and system suppliers have put a lot of energy
A one of a kind chain reaction with human dominoes and ten tons of overseas container in the Hamburg harbor.
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
Gert van Wensen, director of Wepan in De Lier, is an idiosyncratic business man with a very outspoken opinion on the running of a company and how to deal with employees and clients. As a fitter and panel builder, he knows that flexibility and speed are important for many clients, but he refuses to compromise
‘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.
Marcin Jakubowski built a tractor in six days. Then he told the world how to do it: he made the designs, the budget and an instructional video available free online. A farmer and technologist and the founder of Open Source Ecology, Jakubowski has identified the 50 most important machines required for modern life—from the soil
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
Retaining freshness is of key importance for all food packaging, but how about keeping coffee beans in just-roasted condition for three years or more? It’s a major challenge, because the maxim in the business is that it takes 50 beans to make a perfect coffee – and only one to ruin it. The right raw
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
Energy efficiency is a key design driver in everything from smartphones to cars, and from dishwashers to houses. And an experimental solar-powered house, designed by Valencia’s Cardinal Herrera University and sponsored by Omron, has shown just how far it is possible to go with energy efficient buildings. It was created for the 2010 Solar Decathlon