MEP talks robot responsibility in Cranfield visit

2017-02-Cranfield - Alex Mayer MEP visiting Intelligent Automation laboratory - teaser - red - 01

Alex Mayer MEP East of England visited Cranfield University today to tap into the university’s expertise in autonomous systems and their safe integration with humans ahead of a European Parliament vote this month.

The legal status of robots is under review.

Systems integrator selection: How to pick the right one for your automation project

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In the UK, there are many companies that specialise in automation projects. Some design and provide the technology, components or sub systems – these are usually called OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). Others provide the full turnkey applications. Then there are system integrators – people or companies – that are specialists in crafting solutions, overseeing the engineering of automated systems, ensuring all the elements on a manufacturing and packing line work harmoniously together to optimise productivity, reduce waste and address rising manufacturing labour costs.

Automated plasma surface treatment package available from Intertronics

Relyon PB3 plasma treatment system from Intertronics

Visitors to the Intertronics Technology Centre in Kidlington near Oxford will have noticed the enclosure containing a robot-mounted Relyon PB3 Plasmabrush plasma surface treatment system. Intertronics have created an integrated plasma surface treatment package which is being used for customer demonstrations and evaluations, and is also available for purchase as a turnkey automated workstation.

Applied Motion Products stepSERVO™ now available with EtherCAT®: Innovative new servomotor technology expands further


AMP (Applied Motion Products Inc.) has launched EtherCAT® communications versions of its innovative StepSERVO™ closed loop stepper technology products. Available with full support from Mclennan, AMP’s

European distribution partner, the range covers three EtherCAT network intelligent drives with continuous output current of 3, 5 and 10 Amps together with 14 matched StepSERVO stepper motors from NEMA size 11 to 34. This combination offers automation systems and machine builders an unprecedented range of high performance intelligent drives with greater torque, acceleration, and throughput than traditional step motor systems and also enables highly precise axis synchronisation through EtherCAT – the leading real-time communications network for industrial Ethernet.


J D Neuhaus (JDN) will use the forthcoming LogiMAT exhibition (Stuttgart, Germany 14-16 March) to present visitors with examples from their extensive range of materials handling equipment. Among the highlights on stand 9C51 in hall 9 will be a light crane system, being shown for the first time, along with a Mini 250 hoist. A team of JDN experts will be on hand to discuss any specific questions from visitors regarding their materials handling requirements.

TE Connectivity Thermoplastic Docking Frame Assures Alignment for Heavy Duty Connectors


DARMSTADT, Germany – February 7, 2017 – TE Connectivity (TE), a world leader in connectivity and sensors, is launching the HDC Thermoplastic Docking Frame for the company’s HMN series of heavy duty connector (HDC) inserts. It enables blind mating of the inserts in drawers, allowing the connectors to guide themselves into the correct mating positions in environments where direct visibility or access is limited. No tools are needed to unlock the modules either. Applications include motor control centers, medium voltage switchgear, and power rack systems in such areas as energy storage.

Retrofitting production line machinery with HARTING’s MICA ‘open source’ industrial mini-computer extends lifetime, improves process efficiencies, saves cost

HARTING MICA retrofit injection moulding

Central machine monitoring and process optimisation is the best way to ensure that production lines and their associated constituent part machinery operate more effectively and economically.  Many machines in well-established production lines, which may be between 15 and 30 years old, can still perform their main functional tasks successfully, however they do so much less efficiently than their modern day counterparts.  For example, they don’t have the same level of computing power, enough memory capacity to record and store the relevant data, or ability to communicate with their modern equivalents.  In many cases, these machines also use data formats and protocols from the 80s and 90s, which are no longer used by today’s PLCs and industrial PCs.


Steve Schofield

In August 2018 the WEEE2 Directive (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) will come into force in the UK.  Under the existing WEEE Directive, pumps (other than garden pumps) have NOT been included within scope.  However, this first revision of the Directive has now brought into play many products that were previously out of scope, including pumps.

New Chairman for UKIVA


Paul Wilson, Managing Director of Scorpion Vision Ltd has become the new Chairman of the UK Industrial Vision Association (UKIVA), taking over the reins from Ian Alderton. Wilson took up his new position at the recent UKIVA Annual Members’ meeting held at Arena MK.

Expansion at Specialised Imaging Ltd.


Specialised Imaging Ltd., market leader in ultra high-speed imaging technology, announces a move to new larger business premises following a very successful 2016.

Commenting on the move – Mr Wai Chan (Managing Director) said “ Our move into new custom built premises not only offers us improvements in workflow efficiency but also the 300% increase in floor space accommodates our planned workforce growth and investment in better testing and manufacturing facilities”.

TE Connectivity Enhances its M8/M12 Connector Portfolio with New Shielded Versions, Improved Sales and Technical Support

DARMSTADT, Germany – February 2, 2017 – TE Connectivity (TE), a world leader in connectivity and sensors, is adding shielded M8 connectors in three and four positions to its expanding portfolio of M8/M12 connectors for industrial automation and control applications. Technical and commercial support for the entire package is also being enhanced.

FLIR Introduces Quartet of Research-grade Infrared Cameras


FLIR Systems has introduced four high-performance infrared cameras for science and research applications at the Photonics West convention in San Francisco (USA). These new full-featured products – the FLIR X6800sc, FLIR A8200sc, and FLIR X8500sc midwave infrared (MWIR) cameras and the FLIR A6260sc shortwave infrared camera (SWIR) – provide the flexibility,fast frame rates, and high sensitivity required for the most demanding scientific research applications.