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August News in Brief

01 August, 2012

♦  Festo has launched an online technical forum giving customers access to its experts, and allowing them to interact with each other, to find answers to automation and machine-building problems. After a simple registration process, customers can post technical questions online and respond to other users’ queries to share best practice. The Festo Support Community is split into six searchable topic areas covering subjects such as pneumatics, electric drives, sensors and vision, and directives and standards.

♦  The Austrian bearings manufacturer NKE is offering a special galvanic anti-corrosion coating for bearings and metal parts that are exposed to humid or corrosive environments. The SQ171E coating is thinner and provides longer-lasting protection against corrosion than previous versions. The 2–4µm thickness means that coated and uncoated parts are interchangeable. The coating can be used for standard or special bearings, as well as for machined surfaces, such as races.

♦  Aaxeon Technologies has released a high-speed RS-232 over CAT-5 extender that transfers data to serial devices over distances of up to 1.2km, thus extending significantly the typical RS-232 range of only 15m. The SED-1010S industrial extender has built-in surge protection and can be used without a power adapter. An optional power supply is available for applications that need more power than the host can provide.

♦  Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions has announced a rapid prototyping service for leadscrew assemblies, spline and guide rails, and linear rails. The company has invested more than $1m in manufacturing resources, including quick set-up CNC machinery that enables it to produce prototypes within a week of design release. The service includes assemblies using high-performance composite polymers and TFE coatings. Stainless-steel leadscrew assemblies are available in diameters from 2–24mm and dynamic load ratings up to 225kg.

♦  Emerson Process Management is offering a free online planning tool to help users get started with wireless installations. The Web-based application allows them to upload images of their plants to design a customised wireless network to IEC-approved WirelessHart network standards. The Smart Wireless Planning Tool encourages users to test out plant network configurations and application possibilities in their facility before investing in physical wireless technology.

♦  The US controls manufacturer Control Technology Corporation has developed a free app for iPhones and iPads that allows users of its 2700 and 5000 series controllers to monitor their status, to configure them and to optimise their operation, both locally and remotely. The qMon app can access I/O, registers, flags and can reset counters, change setpoints, or review production data. The app can be downloaded via iTunes. CTC is represented in the UK by Inmoco.

♦  Users of Zero-Max couplings, drives and linear actuators can now download CAD files of these items via the TraceParts 3D digital engineering service. To select a coupling, for example, a designer enters the coupling size or maximum torque capacity and the two bore sizes. TraceParts then renders the coupling configuration for interactive viewing, which can then be downloaded in various CAD formats. The files can be imported into drawings and quotes requested without needing to modify a generic drawing.

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