ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Experts examine the rise of the modern energy manager FOOD AND BEVERAGE: How automation is enhancing food and drinks plants MAINTENANCE, SERVICE AND REPAIRS: How a failed mixer drive at Baxters plant was replaced Drives&Controls SEPTEMBER 2023 www.drivesncontrols.com #1 ENGINEERING MAGAZINE FOR AUTOMATION, POWER TRANSMISSION AND MOTION CONTROL INSIDE KEEPING BUSINESS MOVING FOR 50 YEARS READ INSIDE TO FIND OUT MORE Scan to watch the Control Techniques 50th Anniversary short film Visit the website at www.controltechniques.com
Quick to install and quick in the process. Are you searching for maximum efficiency? Then you will love the O2I multicode readers! Simple to set up with an intuitive mobile phone app plus touch to teach button. The O2I has interfaces to TCP / IP and Ethernet / IP or Profinet making it easy to integrate with the PLC. For efficient process and product control, the O2I takes on everything that passes its lens at up to 7 m / s and a frequency of up to 40 Hz: 1D or 2D codes, printed, lasered or needled, glossy or matt, single or multiple codes at the same time - the multicode reader processes all of this without breaking a sweat ifm – close to you. The multicode reader O2I: Capable and compact! years WARRANTY onifmproducts ifm.com/uk Go ifmonline
50 CONTENTS n 22Drives & Controls is a controlled circulation publication. If you live in the UK and want to subscribe phone 0333 577 0801 or fax 0845 604 2327. Alternatively for both UK and overseas subscriptions please subscribe online at www.drivesncontrols.com. If you have any enquiries regarding your subscription, please use these numbers. The content of this magazine, website and newsletters do not necessarily express the views of the Editor or publishers. The publishers accept no legal responsibility for loss arising from information in this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be produced or stored in a retrieval system without the written consent of the publishers. Paid subscriptions UK: £110 per annum Europe: £145 per annum Rest of World: £180 per annum Printing: Warners Midlands PLC., PE10 9PH ISSN 0950 5490 Copyright: DFA Media Group 2023 NEXT ISSUE The October issue of Drives & Controls will contain a special section devoted to developments in machine-building, as well as round-ups of recent applications in precision engineering and motion control, and news from the water industry. UPDATE 14 Comment 15 ABB Back to Basics 46 Gambica column 47 New Products 49 Multimedia and Design Data 50 Products & Services IN DEPTH Follow us on X @DrivesnControls Drives Magazine Web site www.drivesncontrols.com Follow us on LinkedIn @ Drives & Controls Join us on Facebook Drives & Controls Drives& Controls REGULARS DfAmedia group 38 30 24 16 5 49 DRIVES & CONTROLS September 2023 Vol 39 No 8 Editor Tony Sacks t: 01732 465367 e: email@example.com Consultant Editor Andy Pye t: 07808 137312 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Production Manager Sarah Blake t: 01233 770781 e: email@example.com Operations Manager Emma Floyd t: 01732 370340 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing Executive Hope Jepson t: 01732 370340 e: email@example.com Financial Finance Department t: 01732 370340 e: firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING Sales Director Damien Oxlee t: 01732 370342 m: 07951 103754 e: email@example.com Sales Manager Peter Sayer t: 01732 370341 e: firstname.lastname@example.org DFA Direct Ian Atkinson t: 01732 370340 e: email@example.com Italy Oliver & Diego Casiraghi e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: +39 031 261407 f: +39 031 261380 Managing Director Ryan Fuller t: 01732 370344 e: email@example.com Chief Executive Officer Ian Atkinson t: 01732 370346 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Reader/Circulation Enquiries Perception-MPS Ltd t: 01825 701520 e: email@example.com HEAD OFFICE DFA Media Group 192 High Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1BE t: 01732 370340 f: 01732 360034 e: firstname.lastname@example.org www.drivesncontrols.com 5 News A round-up of the latest business and industry developments from around the world. 16 Technology Cutting-edge innovations in motion, power transmission, controls and related technologies. 24 Motors A race is on the find alternatives to controversial rare-earth materials whose supply and prices are currently controlled by China. What are the options for these materials which are vital for high-performance permanent magnet motors used in electric vehicles and elsewhere? 27 Energy efficiency Three experts examine the changing responsibilities of energy managers as a new generation of engineers brings fresh ideas and attitudes to the role. Plus we take a look at new energy-saving-as-aservice business model for selling VSDs. 35 Food and beverage How a Carlsberg brewery has slashed its energy consumption by up to half, as well as saving water and cutting carbon dioxide emissions, by upgrading its VSDs. Plus how a Japanese confectioner is saving the equivalent of £50,000 a year by monitoring its energy use. 42 Maintenance, Service and Repairs How the rapid replacement of a failed mixer drive at a Baxters food factory helped to avert costly downtime. And a case study from Oman on how a meat processor tackled power supply problems caused by soft-starters on its refrigeration screw compressors. 44 PPMA Show preview The PPMA processing and packaging machinery show takes place at the NEC later this month, with more than 300 exhibitors promoting the latest manufacturing technologies from 2,600 brands. 48 40 21,157 Average net circulation January to December 2022 46 44
DIGITAL METERING INSTRUMENTS DMG SERIES WIDESCREEN COLOUR LCD HIGH ACCURACY LEVEL FOR MEASUREMENTS POLAR DIAGRAM INTEGRATED COMMUNICATION NFC CONFIGURATION EXPANDABILITY FOR INTEGRATION WITH SIGNALS FROM THE FIELD WEB SERVER STATISTICS ACCORDING TO EN 50160 PLC LOGIC VOLTAGE AND CURRENT HARMONIC ANALYSIS UP TO THE 63rd ORDER INTEGRATED DATA MEMORY 10 LANGUAGES t: 01384 899700 • e: email@example.com • www.lovato.co.uk
NEWS n 5 Microsoft finds Codesys flaws that could affect thousands of PLCs CYBERSECURITY RESEARCHERS AT Microsoft has discovered several “high severity” vulnerabilities in the software development kit (SDK) for the Codesys control platform which is used in around 1,000 automation devices, including PLCs from more than 500 manufacturers. Microsoft warns that exploitation of these vulnerabilities – which affect all versions of Codesys V3 before version 22.214.171.124 – could put operational technology (OT) infrastructure at risk of denial-of-service (DoS) and remote code execution (RCE) attacks. A DoS attack against a device using a vulnerable version of Codesys could allow the attackers to shut down plants, while remote code execution could create a backdoor allowing attackers to tamper with operations, causing PLCs to run in unusual ways, or to steal critical information. Microsoft’s researchers reported their discovery of 15 vulnerabilities to the Germanbased Codesys organisation in September 2022 and worked closely with Codesys to help develop patches that Codesys released earlier this year. In a blog on its discovery, Microsoft “strongly” urges Codesys users to apply these updates as soon as possible. It points out, however, that to exploit the vulnerabilities would require user authentication, as well as a deep knowledge of the Codesys V3 protocol and the structure of the services that the protocol uses. Codesys is a vendor- and platform-independent development environment that helps automation device manufacturers to implement the IEC 61131-3 programming standard. It can be used to create both hardware- and softwarebased controllers. For their research, the Microsoft analysts examined the structure and security of the Codesys protocol, focusing in particular on Schneider Electric’s Modicon TM251 and Wago’s PFC200 PLCs – both of which are Codesys-based. Other automation suppliers that use Codesys include ABB, Advantech, Bosch Rexroth, Delta Electronics, Eaton, Festo, Hitachi, ifm, Inovance, KEB, Lenze, NUM, Opto 22, Parker Hannifin, WEG and Weidmuller. There are reckoned to be more than 200,000 Codesys end-users worldwide, with several million Codesys devices in service. www.drivesncontrols.com September 2023 THE NUMBER OF “advisories” about cyber-security vulnerabilities in ICSs (industrial control systems) dropped by 9.8% in the first half of 2023 compared to 2022, but more than a third (34%) of the new vulnerabilities do not have any patch or remediation available, compared to just 13% in the first half of 2022. The figures come from a new report produced by the US industrial asset and network monitoring company, SynSaber, in collaboration with the ICS Advisory Project – an open-source project that provides data from the US Department of Homeland Security’s CISA (Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency) ICS Advisories visualised a dashboards for use by the OT/ICS community. The report analyses the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) reported via CISA ICS Advisories in the first half of 2023, provides insight and identifies trends in the sector, while comparing the first half of 2023 to previous years. CISA reported a total of 670 CVEs in the first half of this year compared to 681 in 2022. Of these, 88 were rated as being of “critical” severity, 349 as “high”, 215 as “medium”, and 18 as “low”. Manufacturing and energy were the two critical infrastructure sectors most likely to be impacted by the CVEs reported during the first half of 2023, accounting for 37.3% and 24.3% of the CISA advisories, respectively. Siemens products received the largest number of CISA advisories (41) of any ICS manufacturer during the first half of 2023. “The number of CVEs reported is likely to continue increasing over time or at least remain steady,” predicts SynSaber’s co-founder and CEO, Jori VanAntwerp. “It is our hope that this research helps asset owners prioritise when and how to mitigate vulnerabilities.” https://synsaber.com www.icsadvisoryproject.com ICS cyber-threat numbers fall, but a third are unpatched As part of its research into Codesys vulnerabilities, Microsoft examined PLCs from Wago (left) and Schneider Electric The total number of advisories issued by CISA for ICS vendors, and their severity. The graph comes from a “dashboard” produced by the ICS Advisory Project
n NEWS September 2023 www.drivesncontrols.com 6 THE WELSH DRIVES-MAKER Invertek is planning to create at least 250 new jobs over the coming five years at its global headquarters and manufacturing facility at Welshpool, Powys. The roles will be in innovation, production and other areas as the company invests in the design and production of variable-speed drives. It will also expand the development of careers through college and graduate training programmes. The announcement comes after the company, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, revealed a 45% year-on-year sales growth during 2022, generating a turnover of £76.3m. Invertek has increased its workforce significantly in recent years, and currently employs 380 people at its UK base. “We’re already in the process of building a 2,750m2 extension to our existing 5,500m2 manufacturing and distribution facility which will allow us to increase production capacity to more than 1.2 million units annually,” says Adrian Ellam, who was appointed CEO of Invertek Drives earlier this year. “This will come on stream in early 2024. “As a result of this, we’ll be creating a range of roles in the areas of production, distribution, and manufacturing engineering to support this. “In addition, we will are planning to significantly expand our innovation and r&d teams to create next-generation electric motor control technology,” he adds. “This includes a new Innovation and HQ Centre at our UK base.” Shaun Dean, chairman of Invertek Drives chairman and senior vice-president of its parent, Sumitomo Drive Technologies (SHI), says the investment demonstrates SHI’s commitment to Invertek and this “green energy” segment. “Since Invertek was acquired in 2019, SHI has invested more than £30m into the business at Welshpool,” he reports. “We have an amazing team and facility that is a world-leader in the development and manufacturing of variablefrequency drive technology. We anticipate significant growth in this area.” Invertek plans to create 250 jobs in Wales over the next five years p The global market for automation hardware will expand from $38.7bn at present to $64bn by 2033 (a CAGR of 5.1%), according to a new analysis by ABI Research. PLCs are the biggest segment of the market, with sales projected to be worth $30bn by 2033, $5.6bn of this coming from large PLCs (with more than 1,024 I/O), which ABI identifies as being the fastest-growing PLC segment, with a CAGR of 6.1%. Together, Mitsubishi, Rockwell, Emerson and ABB account for 42% of the automation market. www.abiresearch.com p The US motion control specialist Allied Motion Technologies has changed its name to Allient and is aiming to almost double its revenues to more than $1bn. The company, which employs more than 2,250 people globally, designs and makes precision and specialty motion, controls and power products and systems for targeted industries and applications. It generates revenues of $557.8m and has a market capitalisation of $540.6m. Since 2017, it has been growing by an average of around 15% a year. p The UK manufacturing sector experienced the second-highest number of administrations of any sector in the country during the first six months of 2023, according to the law firm, Shakespeare Martineau. There were 91 administrations in the sector – 22% more than in 2022 – with only the retail sector seeing more, with 118 administrations. In the first half of 2023, a total of 759 UK firms went into administration (compared to 621 in 2022), with manufacturing accounting for 12% of these. p Nearly half (47%) of UK manufacturers plan to invest in digital technologies to decarbonise their business, according to research published by the manufacturers’ organisation Make UK and the cloud business management specialist, Sage. Almost a quarter have already invested in digital systems with a further 23% planning to do so in the coming 12 months. Make UK is calling for the Made Smarter digitalisation programme to be rolled out across the UK, and for its remit to be expanded to include industrial decarbonisation. p Collaborative robots (cobots) will account for more than 20% of all industrial robot sales by 2032, according to a new study from Interact Analysis. The cobot market is expected to expand at around 20% a year until then, driven partly by new applications and the growing importance of the logistics market. www.interactanalysis.com NEWS BRIEFS THE BURGEONING USE OF mobile robots will drive the global market for ultra-low-voltage (ULV) motors to $6.5bn by 2027 – representing a CAGR of 12.6% between 2022 and 2027 – according to a new report from Interact Analysis. Demand for these motors, which have operating voltages below 60V, is also being driven by battery-powered applications and by the need for more flexible manufacturing processes. The three top suppliers in the sector are currently Maxon, Ametek and Minebea Mitsumi, but Interact predicts that the supplier landscape will change dramatically. The market is highly fragmented and its development will depend on which technologies the various suppliers decide to develop for different sectors. One trend that Interact identifies in the manufacturing sector is the need for more flexible machines because of the growing number of product variations that automated machines need to handle. This will result in more small actuation points requiring ULV motors. There is also a significant trend towards integrated motors and drives, particularly for mobile robotic applications. “The growth opportunity for integrated motors is staggering,” reports Interact Analysis research manager, Blake Griffin. “We estimate the growth of revenues for this product to carry a CAGR of 45% between 2022 and 2027. By 2027, integrated motors will account for 14% of the motors used in mobile robots. While the mobile robotics segment only accounts for 3% of motor shipments today, by the end of 2027 the sector will account for 15.6% total market shipments”. www.interactanalysis.com Mobile robots are driving sales of ULV motors above $6bn An architect's impression of how the extension to Invertek Drives’ manufacturing facility will look when completed in 2024.
CREATE. CONNECT. CONTROL. Create your panels faster with innovative,open software Connect fast, easily and safely with smart connection technology Take control with constant monitoring EVERYTHING FOR THE COMPLETE CABINET 50 to be won! £600 PRIZE BOX Win one of 50 prize boxes... Including: • Power Supply • TopJob® S • Relays • ECB’s • Signal Conditioners • Tooling • Smart Marking Booklet ...worth over £600! WIN A PRIZE BOXWORTHOVER£600
n NEWS September 2023 www.drivesncontrols.com 8 Rockwell Automation has announced plans build an automated 6,780m2 hydroponic vertical farm inside its US headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by the summer of 2024. It is collaborating with a US start-up Fork Farms to create the farm which will be able to produce 540,000 plants and up to 6,7585kg of food annually – the equivalent of more than three acres (1.2ha) of conventional farmland. Hydroponic farming is a technique that grows plants without using soil. Instead of planting crops in the ground, it uses containers filled with nutrient-rich water to nourish the roots of plants, thus avoiding the need for large areas of land. Rockwell’s installation, called Clock Tower Farms, will be will be located on the fourth floor of its headquarters. More than 70 of Fork Farms’“Flex Acres” systems will be installed. Each Flex Acre is a 3m-high by 3m-long and 1m-wide growing system capable of producing more than 45kg of leafy greens and other vegetables every month. They require less than two hours of maintenance a month, and use 98% less water and 98% less land than traditional farms. “We’re partnering across our industry and within communities to create sustainable impact and change,” says Rockwell chairman and CEO, Blake Moret. “Clock Tower Farms will engage employees and the community while serving as a showcase for manufacturers spanning diverse industries who want to see sustainable solutions in action.” Systems developed by Fork Farms will control the farm’s HVAC, power, dehumidification and water handling needs, allowing crops with differing requirements to grow in the same area at the same time. The farm will use Rockwell technologies to monitor and automatically adjust nutrient, pH and water levels. Rockwell is installing a hydroponic farm at its US HQ INSTALLING ROBOTS CAN cause a company’s profit margins to fall – initially, at least – but as more are added, their margins will start to rise. This is the finding of a team of University of Cambridge researchers who analysed industrial data from the UK and 24 other European countries between 1995 and 2017. The researchers found that at low levels of adoption, robots have a negative effect on profit margins. But at higher levels of adoption, they can help increase profits. According to the researchers, this phenomenon is due to the relationships between cutting costs, developing new processes and innovating new products. While many companies adopt robotic technologies initially to cut costs, this can be copied by competitors, so at low levels of robot adoption, companies focus on their competitors rather than on developing new products. But as levels of adoption increase and robots are integrated fully into a company’s processes, the technologies can help to boost revenues by innovating new products. Firms using robots are likely to focus initially on streamlining their processes before shifting their emphasis to product innovation, which allows them to differentiate themselves from their competitors. “If you look at how the introduction of computers affected productivity, you actually see a slowdown in productivity growth in the 1970s and early 1980s, before productivity starts to rise again, which it did until the financial crisis of 2008,” says the study’s co-author, Professor Chander Velu from Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing. “It’s interesting that a tool meant to increase productivity had the opposite effect, at least at first. We wanted to know whether there is a similar pattern with robotics. “We wanted to know whether companies were using robots to improve processes within the firm, rather than improve the whole business model,” adds coauthor, Dr Philip Chen. “Profit margin can be a useful way to analyse this.” The researchers examined data for 25 EU countries (including the UK, which was a member at the time) between 1995 and 2017. While the data did not drill down to individual companies, the researchers were able to look at whole sectors, mainly in manufacturing. The researchers compared the findings with data from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) to analyse the effect of robotics on profit margins at a country level. “Intuitively, we thought that more robotic technologies would lead to higher profit margins, but the fact that we see this Ushaped curve instead was surprising,” Chen comments. “Initially, firms are adopting robots to create a competitive advantage by lowering costs,” Velu explains. “But process innovation is cheap to copy, and competitors will also adopt robots if it helps them to make their products more cheaply. This then starts to squeeze margins and reduce profit margin.” The researchers suggest that if companies want to reach the profitable side of the U-curve faster, their business model needs to be adapted at the same time as they adopt the robots. Only after robots are fully integrated into their business model can they fully use them to develop new products, driving profits. Adopting industrial robots can cut manufacturers’ profits – at first As companies integrate more robots they tend to become more profitable Image: UR/Hirebotics
www.unisgroup.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org + 44 1604 499 777 Lose your expensive downtime! Let us help you keep your profits Are your industrial electronics not working properly? UNIS Group is an international service organisation in the field of repair and sales of industrial electronics. Our technical specialists repair at component level, supported by advanced measuring and testing equipment. Fixed prices for repairs No cure, no pay Up to 2 years warranty Emergency repairs possible Exchange service Benefits of repair by UNIS Group: Request a repair quote!
September 2023 www.drivesncontrols.com 10 The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) has appointed Tony Bowkett as acting president. Bowkett is the founder, CEO and president of the precision engineering firm Nikken Kosakusho Europe, where he has worked for more than 33 years. He has previously served as the MTA’s financial director and vice-president. Fox Robotics, the Farnham-based robotics and farm services supplier, has appointed Gary Livingstone as parttime CEO, succeeding Ben Butlin. He will spearhead a new phase at Fox and help to develop its autonomous agri-tech and fruitpicking robot systems, and to launch a rough terrain robot in 2024. Livingstone will keep his roles as managing director of LG Motion, Minitec UK and Precision Acoustics. Livingstone co-founded Fox Robotics in 2017 with Henry Acevedo. The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) has appointed Cliffe Warne as its new executive director. Warne started his career as a trainee at Mars Confectionery, and worked for more than 20 years at the pumps, mixers and heat exchangers supplier AxFlow, including roles as UK sales manager and commercial director. Fanuc Europe has appointed Marco Ghirardello as its president and CEO, succeeding Shinichi Tanzawa, who led the company since 2016 and is returning to Fanuc’s headquarters in Japan. Ghirardello has been with Fanuc since 1994, most recently as senior vice-president, where he led the factory automation business. Fanuc Europe achieved record sales of over €1bn in the year ending March 2023, and has more than 2,000 employees n NEWS A SWISS COMPANY HAS emerged from a period of stealth development to offer a new service for creating large components using technologies such as robots, 3D printing and machine vision. Lupfig-based Saeki, which was founded in 2021, has attracted $2.3m of seed funding to build automated plants that will produce large-scale components for industries such as automotive, construction, aerospace, marine and energy. Currently, to develop items such as lightweight carbon fibre components, or to build concrete floor slabs, buyers may have to wait months to receive a first sample, and can only then build a prototype – let alone correcting any flaws. Saeki’s robots-as-a-service model aims to remove this bottleneck, allowing buyers to innovate rapidly, and expand their services and offerings in ways that has previously been impossible for large-scale items. For example, the company has developed a new method for producing concrete formwork, allowing builders to turn complex designs into reality, without costly, time-consuming manual production of formwork, while also reducing the use of concrete and cutting CO2 emissions. “There is a need for large, one-off (custom) components, that are mostly used a couple of times at most, then scrapped,”explains Saeki cofounder, Andrea Perissinotto. “Manufacturing these parts, from the moulds to make concrete elements to the tooling required to build composite rockets, is labour-intensive, has long lead times, and is very expensive. Moreover, these factors delay hardware iteration to get to the final product. “For vast swathes of industry it’s not practical to own and manage robots that can create what you need quickly,” he adds. “We are at the forefront of addressing this and democratising access to the best tools and creating productive, sustainable and effective outcomes for industry. “Long lead times for large components will be a thing of the past and we can provide faster and cost-effective iterations,” Perissinotto continues. “Our comprehensive approach sets us apart – it’s not just about being faster or cheaper; it’s about providing a complete solution that caters to the entire spectrum of challenges.” Saeki predicts that its platform that will allow customers to break the limits of traditional manufacturing. Size, complexity and efficiency will no longer be obstacles, “but catalysts for progress”, it declares. The company aims to become the leading technology provider for components from 0.2m to 10m or more, using robotic microfactories: selfcontained facilities that can perform every manufacturing step. Saeki is currently building its first production hub, which will be the blueprint for a network of facilities around the world. The hub will combine several manufacturing technologies including 3D printing, milling and inspection, using low-waste production process and recyclable materials. https://saeki.ch Robot microfactories will create large parts Saeki’s co-founders Oliver Harley, Matthias Leschok and Andrea Perissinotto, with one of their robots. EVENTS PPMA Show 26–28 September, 2023 NEC, Birmingham The PPMA Show returns to the NEC Birmingham, targeting the production line market. The organisers at the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association say there will be something for everyone involved in processing and packaging machinery, robotics and industrial vision systems. They add that more than 2,650 brands will be represented at the event. www.ppmashow.co.uk MachineBuilding.Live 4 October, 2023 National Motorcycle Museum, Coventry A new event aimed at machine-builders, systems integrators and OEMs. The organisers are expecting more than 100 suppliers to be exhibiting more than 1,000 new products. A series of free seminars is planned. www.machinebuilding.live Engineering Design Show 11–12 October, 2023 Coventry Building Society Arena Described by its organisers as “the UK’s biggest event dedicated entirely to engineering, electronics and embedded design”, the show gives design engineers access to the latest products, services and innovations in the sector. www.engineeringdesignshow.co.uk Advanced Engineering UK 1-2 November, 2023 NEC, Birmingham The organisers of “the UK’s largest exhibition for engineering and manufacturing professionals”say that more than 90% of the exhibition space has already been sold, and the show has been expanded to make space for new exhibitors. The zones present at previous shows are being removed to emphasise cross-industry working and to avoid segregation. www.advancedengineeringuk.com The Manufacturer Live 14-15 November, 2023 The Exhibition Centre, Liverpool, UK The annual gathering of the manufacturing industry will include the MX Awards, The Manufacturer Director’s Forum, and the Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit – a two-day conference during which experts and influential discussion leaders will share ideas, innovations and real-world experiences. https://info.themanufacturer.com/themanufacturer-live SPS 2023 14-16 November, 2023 Nuremberg, Germany The organisers of the Smart Production Solutions show are adding two new halls to this year’s show, taking the total to 16. They are expecting around 1,300 exhibitors at the Nuremberg venue, compared to the 999 for the 2022 event, which attracted 43,813 visitors. https://sps.mesago.com/nuernberg/en
DELIVERING THE AUTOMATION & ROBOTICS SKILLS YOUR WORKFORCE NEEDS TO FUTURE-PROOF YOUR BUSINESS Get in touch to find out more and book your place w the-amtc.co.uk/training T 02476 701774 E email@example.com Automation has been proven to increase levels of competitiveness, profitability and productivity. Our specialist courses are designed to support your business to utilise technologies of the future and sustain your competitive advantage. Our Automation & Robotics training courses: • Automation Beginner Bootcamp • Developing the Business Case for Automation Adoption • Implementing Automation & Robotics • Introduction to Robot Programming • Introduction to PLC Programming Face-to-Face from Coventry, Oxford & Liverpool E-Learning Online & Live On-Site Get 15% Off With Promo Code - DC15 Claim 15% off the listed Automation and Robotics courses booked until the 31/12/2023. Terms & conditions apply. Discount code is not valid in conjunction with any other voucher code or offer, unless otherwise stated. Delivery to suit you at your location
RECRUITING ENGINEERS ‘HAS NEVER BEEN THIS TOUGH’ The skills shortage in the UK engineering sector seems to be getting even worse. A recent article in The Observer reported that young people with technical degrees are opting for better-paying jobs in “sexier” sectors such as IT and financial technology. It quoted Liz Chapman, director of technical design services at the engineering services business Stantec, as saying that she had “never known it to be this tough to find engineering staff”. According to the jobs Web site Indeed, mechanical engineers are now the second-hardest employees to find in the UK (behind vets), with electrical engineers in fourth position and industrial engineers in seventh. Meanwhile, the job search engine Adzuna reports that the number of engineering vacancies grew from 86,550 to 91,255 in the first half of this year, bucking the national trend that saw vacancies across all sectors fall from 1.3 million to just over a million over the same period, with some companies withdrawing job ads because of the high levels of interest rates and uncertainty over the state of the economy. Although average salaries in the engineering sector have risen by 6.3% over the past year to £41,473, they are still some way behind the £50,000 or more that new data science graduates can demand as starting salaries – with some investment banks and financial technology firms being willing to pay far more. Even if they do embark on an engineering career, young people are often tempted away by better pay and benefits packages in other sectors. Adzuna points out that young people are more inclined to change jobs sooner, with a “churn” that has reduced average job tenures in the UK to under five years. The difficulty in recruiting young engineers is also likely to hold up important national projects such as upgrading the UK’s water infrastructure, and expanding the electricity grid to accept more renewable energy sources and to provide enough power to charge the growing fleet of electric vehicles. As has often been said before, engineering needs an image change and this has to start at the school level. The Observer article quotes Dr Hilary Leevers, CEO of Engineering UK, as saying that she doesn’t believe that pay is the main factor limiting interest in engineering jobs, but rather “the perception that engineers must wear hard hats at all times and get their hands dirty”. Young people “who make the connection between engineering and sustainability are seven times more likely to be interested in an engineering career,” she adds. We have been complaianing about the UK’s engineering skills shortage for decades now, but nothing ever seems to change. As we have seen, things may actually be getting worse. And yet, if we cannot manage to turn things around, then the UK’s future as an effective contender on the global technological stage is looking bleak. Tony Sacks, Editor n COMMENT Small & precision brushed and brushless motors, stepper motors, frameless torque motors Stepper motor drives, intelligent & integrated stepper and servomotor drives - StepSERVOtm Integrated AC servo- and stepper motors - MAC motor® & ServoSteptm Robust incremental and absolute encoders for speed and posi琀onal feedback Harsh industrial, vacuum and UHV, cryogenic and space rated stepper motors and gearboxes Small & precision stepper, brushed and brushless motor applica琀ons Precision resolvers, AC and DC servomotors, high-precision sensors, IMUs and gyros High performance, mul琀-axis mo琀on control technology Planetary and spur gear units Slip ring assemblies Geared DC motors Vacuum and harsh industrial posi琀oning systems Applica琀on-speci昀c mo琀on control +44 (0) 1252 531444 firstname.lastname@example.org www.mclennan.co.uk Custom engineered mo琀on systems Servo motors & drives Stepper motors & drives Feedback devices Gearboxes Mo琀on controllers & so昀ware Mechanical components As a leading supplier of precision mo琀on control products for over 40 years, we have a commitment to technical excellence and customer service and adopt a partnership approach to business. We o昀er our customers a professional speci昀ca琀on and design & build service, backed up with quali昀ed and experienced technical sales and applica琀ons support sta昀. The Place For Precision Mo琀on Control Challenge Us To Provide You With A Complete Solu琀on
Drives&Controls & BACK TO BASICS n SPONSORED BY What else could your drive be doing for you? For applications that require basic logic programming, but where a PLC might be overkill, a drive’s adaptive programming function can provide the answer, as Liam Blackshaw, UK product manager for ABB LV Drives, explains. There’s more to the modern drive than merely starting and stopping a motor. For simple applications they can also take on some limited PLC functions to provide more advanced control. Adaptive programming is a function that can be used to alter a drive’s performance. It allows you to give the drive an input and manipulate it to provide a certain output. You might want to cause it to trip intentionally, or for it to generate a specific fault or warning under certain conditions. Crucially, adaptive programming allows you to customise the behaviour of your drive and motor to the needs of the application, without having to invest in additional control equipment such as a PLC. Say, for instance, you have an automatic door that you want to open when a movement sensor is triggered, and for it to stay open for a set amount of time, before closing. Even a simple sequence of events such as this will require a start and a stop, and then a start and stop in the opposite direction. If the movement sensor is triggered while the door is closing, you may also need the motor to change direction rapidly. To give another example: imagine a winding process in which cable is being wound around a spool. Depending on the tension, the length of the cable, or the amount of cable either already on the spool or still to be wound, you can speed up or slow down the process quickly and easily. At the start of the process, you might want it to wind more quickly, and then slow down as it reaches the end, or slow down when a certain tension is reached to prevent damage. Adaptive programming can achieve this, all using the drive’s in-built functions. In HVAC applications, you can trigger certain behaviours once certain temperatures are reached, or when filters are dirty. In a mixer, you can program several different recipes, so that Recipe #1 mixes at a certain speed in a certain direction for a certain amount of time, while Recipe #2 triggers a different mixing pattern – and so on. For more complex programming with a wider range of variables, you may still wish to consider using a PLC, but for simple applications, adaptive programming can allow you to customise your drive’s operation, and get your motor behaving exactly the way you want it to. Adaptive programming in standard on ABB’s new ACS180 machinery drive. To find out more, visit: https://new.abb.com/drives/low-voltageac/machinery/acs180 Lamonde Automation Limited Quality Products: Expert Advice +44 (0)20 3026 2670 email@example.com | www.lamonde.com Easy installation and terminals that make wiring-up simple AS EASY AS COMMANDER S CLICK, WIRE, GO
n TECHNOLOGY September 2023 www.drivesncontrols.com 16 SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC HAS LAUNCHED a family of collaborative robots (cobots) in five sizes, with payloads from 3–18kg, working radii from 626–1,327mm, operating speeds from 1.5–3.5m/s, and positioning repeatabilities from ±0.02mm to ±0.03mm. The Lexium cobots are claimed to have some of the smallest footprints in the industry, requiring 30-40% less space than traditional robots. The six-axis cobots, which have already been demonstrated at various trade exhibitions including the PPMA Show in 2022, are designed to work alongside humans. They take safety into account with built-in collision detection, rounded edges and low weights, reducing the risk of injury. Simple programming, quick set-ups, and ease of use and training are said to help recover investment costs quickly. Installing the IP54-protected cobots requires minimal changes to existing layouts. They can be mounted on floors, walls or ceilings. The cobots can be taught motion profiles by guiding the arm manually. This handguided teaching simplifies programming and eliminates the need for detailed parameterisation of motion settings. The cobots are ready to use quickly and can be adjusted to new conditions at short notice. Specialised knowledge of programming or commissioning is not needed. Graphic programming can also be used to change applications and to adapt to production changes. The cobots integrate with Schneider’s open EcoStruxure plug-and-play platform, cutting design, development and commissioning times, and making delivery and start-up quick and easy. They can link with the EcoStruxure Machine Expert Twin tool which provides simulation and digital twin functions. “The release of the Lexium cobot marks a crucial step in next-generation robotic systems,” says Mike Teller, Schneider Electric’s global OEM strategy and sustainability leader. “Traditional industrial robotic systems must be designed into processes from day one. Although they can be very effective at accurately and consistently performing operations which are repetitive and arduous for workers, their speed and power make them unsuitable to work alongside people. “The Lexium cobot, on the other hand, is intentionally designed to work with people, and offers a fast return on investment, easy integration without the capital costs of major process rework, and helps make plant more agile, productive, and safe environments.” https://drivesncontrols.news/nk29ec A BRITISH DRIVE DEVELOPER – MiltonKeynes-based Helix – has produced an electric motor that weighs only 28kg, yet is capable of delivering 650kW of continuous power and 398Nm of continuous torque. The 261mm-long and 206mm-diameter motor has a maximum speed of 25,000 rpm. Helix developed the SPX177 motor for a hypercar manufacturer which wanted to power a vehicle with a single 650kW motor. The motor weighs less than 1/7th as much as the latest, boosted internal combustion engines, producing an equivalent continuous output. Helix’s X-Division engineered the motor to minimise losses and heat generation, especially at high speeds. They wound the motor to reduce losses through resistance, creating a low-inductance machine. “It’s small and weighs just 41kg, including the 13kg inverter,”says Helix’s chief engineer, Derek Jordanou-Bailey. “It is a 2 x 3-phase motor, so its current is shared across two inverters – a necessary approach to meet the phase current demands at‘normal’DC voltages at this extremely high power level. Both the motor and inverter have extremely high power densities. Six high-voltage cables connect the inverter to the motor, while an LV connector carries the various control signals. “The customer told us what peak power they wanted and demanded a very high steady-state output,” Jordanou-Bailey recalls. “Right now, it is tricky to deliver sufficient energy to maintain that level of output, but in time it is likely to be possible and the customer wanted to ensure their flagship model was ready for that. “We needed an architecture that minimises losses and the heat generated, especially at high speed, and that meant quite a change in the way the motor was wound, since minimising resistance losses results in a very low-inductance machine,” he adds. “The switching in the inverter can generate lots of noise and harmonics and this is more challenging with a lowinductance motor. The software team did a great job developing a new way of controlling the phase currents.” On a test stand, the motor has delivered a peak of more than 700kW. “It could potentially deliver more, we didn’t push it,” says Jordanou-Bailey. He concedes that the vehicle’s battery will weigh much more than an engine’s fuel store, but argues that the motor’s low mass allows flexibility in terms of where it is installed, helping to optimise the car’s architecture for a low centre of gravity and cleaner aerodynamics, for example. There is a proposal to build a small initial batch of the motors. https://www.ehelix.com UK-developed 28kg motor delivers 650kW and 398Nm Six-axis cobots can handle payloads of up to 18kg Schneider’s Lexium cobots are designed to work safely alongside humans Helix’s low-inductance motor (seen here with its twin inverter) produces a 650kW output
Award Programme Partners The BPMA’s annual Pump Industry Awards programme has been recognising and rewarding the achievements of pump businesses, large and small for over two decades. Throughout that time it has become one of the leading events to serve the industrial and commercial arena. So, if you or your company have a pump related success to shout about, these awards provide the perfect platform. The gala presentation dinner caps off the awards programme in style, providing excellent networking opportunities, great food and superb entertainment. It’s your chance to celebrate with colleagues, interact with peers, entertain customers and be part of the pump industry’s biggest and best celebration. Manufacturing and distribution prowess, product development and application, environmental consideration, skills development and customer support will all be acknowledged through this wide reaching awards programme. So why not consider which of your engineering successes are deserving of industry wide recognition, and be sure to join us at our wonderful venue - the home of English football - on Thursday 14th March 2024. Organised by on behalf of The 2024 entry forms open on the 1st August, so be sure to visit the Pump Industry Awards website to review the award categories and decide which ones you will be entering! Venue: Hilton at St George’s Park, Burton upon Trent Date: Thursday 14th March 2024 Event Calendar Nominations Open: 1st August 2023 Nominations Close: 5th January 2024 Judging Session: Mid-January 2024 Voting: 12th-16th February 2024 Winners Announced: 14th March 2024 PUMP INDUSTRY AWARDS 2024 NomiNatioNs opeN 1st august www.pumpindustryawards.com Here’s your chance to shine! Dale Croker, BPMA President, says of the Pump Industry Awards, “The pump industry continues to be a hotbed of competitiveness, where the constant search for greater operational performance and improved efficiencies amongst its broad customer base, demands all those operating within this important sector to be at the top of their game. This BPMA backed awards programme allows the pump industry to come together in celebration of that drive for engineering excellence.”
n TECHNOLOGY FLUKE NETWORKS HAS launched an industrial Ethernet tester designed to verify cable performance up to 10Gb/s and to help find the causes of network failures. The LinkIQ Cable+Network Industrial Ethernet Tester (LinkIQ-IE) can identify connected switches, port and VLAN data, run targeted “ping” tests, and confirm the presence and capacity of available PoE (Power over Ethernet) sources. Around 70% of new factory automation nodes now use industrial Ethernet. According to Fluke, many industrial Ethernet service calls result from cablerelated issues, and technicians must be able to verify cabling performance to ensure that network traffic will reach its destination. “Troubleshooting industrial Ethernet problems often involves the use of complex tools such as protocol analysers or trial-anderror approaches such as running bypass cable in the hope of solving the problem,” explains Fluke’s training manager, Robert Luijten. “We designed the LinkIQ-IE to provide answers to key troubleshooting questions in seconds through an easy-touse gesture-based interface – at a price that puts it within the reach of factory maintenance teams.” The instrument has a single test function and displays results automatically on a colour touchscreen, based on what it is connected to. It comes with adapters for most common industrial Ethernet connectors. The tester’s functions include: n Network testing Users can verify connections and response times for network devices with one touch of the screen. n Two-pair cable tests Cable performance up to 100Mb/s can be tested for two-pair cables. n Open cable attached Wire maps and the lengths of each pair is displayed. n Remote ID attached to cable end Performance up to 10Gb/s is shown. n Cables connected to a switch port The LinkIQ-IE will show the name of the switch plus the VLAN, port name, speed, and duplex. In PoE applications, the instrument can show the power and class (up to 90W or Class 8) and load the switch to verify that the power can be delivered. A new version of Fluke’s LinkWare PC software can generate reports including the expanded network testing, allowing users to document their work. Jaap Westeneng, product manager for asset and inventory mangement at Endress+Hauser, says the new instrument ”fulfils a need for data troubleshooting and is the ideal tool for maintenance engineers to eliminate cabling issues quickly”. www.flukenetworks.com/MeetLinkIQ Industrial Ethernet tester helps to find causes of network failures Fluke Networks’ industrial Ethernet tester helps to discover the causes of network failures
TECHNOLOGY n RENISHAW HAS DEVELOPED a series of products to solve industrial automation problems such as such as achieving accuracy and repeatability when setting up, calibrating and maintaining robots. The British company says that its RCS products will transform the commissioning and servicing of automation technologies. The range initially comprises three products, supported by a software suite: n the RCS L-90 ballbar device, which improves robot system accuracy, shortens deployment times and monitors robot health using software-controlled routines; n the RCS T-90 tri-ballbar system, which helps to identify the root causes of poor robot performance, with further tests to capture critical information – such as remastering joint offsets to calculated positions, running master-recovery routines, and plotting 3D path performance; and n the RCS P-series, which integrates a permanent probe into a robot cell to apply in-process metrology and automatic recovery to automation processes. The new products – categorised as either “in-field” or “in-process” – bring Renishaw’s metrology expertise to a sector that has challenges with accuracy and repeatability. They simplify robot set-ups, health checks and the recovery of robot applications after collisions. Working with the company’s RCS Software Suite, the products support robots from a variety of manufacturers. “The existing processes surrounding robot set-up and maintenance are largely manual for an industry built on automation,” points out Dr Kevyn Jonas, director of Renishaw's Industrial Automation Products Division. “With no existing fully comprehensive solutions, these methods have been accepted, until today. Robot integrators and users now finally have a solution for a quick, simple and traceable means to manage their robots.” “Our success over 50 years has been built on providing robust and reliable products that solve manufacturing problems across a wide range of industry sectors,” adds Renishaw CEO, Will Lee. “With the global growth in the use of robots, which are increasingly being used for precision production applications, we are seeing significant challenges with aspects of robot operation. We believe we can address these based on decades of experience providing solutions for calibration and set-up within the machine tool and motion control industries.” www.renishaw.com/ industrial-automation Renishaw product family aims to solve automation problems Renishaw’s RCS T-90 robotic diagnostic system, shown here in a robot cell.
n TECHNOLOGY September 2023 www.drivesncontrols.com 20 PARKER HANNIFIN HAS announced two new series of mid-range AC drives for applications ranging from fan/pump and conveyor controls, to multi-drive production lines requiring speed-following and winder calculations. The new AC15 and AC20 drives fit between Parker’s existing AC10 and AC30 families. They provide functions such as onboard Web servers, SD card slots, a fire mode, two independent PID loops and multi-stage sequencing functions, but they avoid the extra cost of “system drive” functions that are not always needed. The AC15 series are compact, low-cost drives for open-loop motor control applications. They are backwards-compatible with the AC10 series and its predecessors, and offer Safe Torque Off to SIL2/PLd and Ethernet communications as standard. The drives are available in 230V single-phase, and 230V and 400V three-phase versions, with power ratings from 0.37–30kW. They have high I/O counts and configurable internal block diagrams, and support both induction and permanent magnet AC motors. The AC20 series adds more functions and spans power ratings from 1.5–180kW in 230V single-phase, and 230V and 400V threephase versions. The drives support both EtherNet/IP and Profinet IO communications via an onboard Ethernet port. Further fieldbus options are supported via a communications option slot. Expansion options include low-cost encoder speed feedback cards and I/O expansion cards. These cards can be fitted in either of two option slots, allowing closedloop motor control with simple speedfollowing, an open-loop drive with a high I/O count, or a combination of the two. The AC20 also adds an onboard display, winder functions and more than 100 programmable internal wiring connections. The new drives are programmed using Parker’s DSELite software, which uses intuitive block diagram programming, with each block representing a drive function. The blocks can be linked to one another using simple “wiring”. DSELite has been upgraded to allow programming and real-time online monitoring of applications via Ethernet when used with the new drives, and now includes an oscilloscope function with a data-logging facility. www.parker.com Two drives families promise power without cost and complexity ROCKWELL AUTOMATION has announced a range of distributed servodrives that it says will result in leaner, greener and more powerful machine designs. The scalable ArmorKinetix servodrives, with outputs up to 5.5kW, are available either as distributed drives or as integrated drive-motors. The new drives offer a simple architecture that mounts outside an electrical cabinet, allowing machines to be more modular, while reducing cabinet sizes, cabling and cooling requirements. They incorporate vibration and heat sensors that can detect potential machine issues before they can cause problems, thus increasing uptime and productivity. Rockwell product manager Jon Vanderpas says the drive is “special” because “it not only provides industryleading performance and precision to individual processes, but it also enables a more optimised way for people to design and operate automation equipment. This device is available in a wide power range that addresses the diverse needs of manufacturers across the industrial landscape.” The IP66-protected servodrives, which are an extension of Rockwell’s Kinetix 5700 platform, are claimed to offer “best-in-class” power density with minimal derating. They have integrated safety technology capable of achieving SIL 3 levels of safety, and offer CIP Security capabilities. www.rockwellautomation.com Distributed servodrives will result in leaner, greener machines Rockwell says that its distributed servodrives will lower system costs, boost productivity and increase uptime. They are available with or without motors. Parker’s new AC15 drives are compact, low-cost devices for open-loop motor control applications