A high performance servomotor suitable for hygiene or washdown applications

The Kollmorgen family of high torque density servomotors provides the widest range of features and options in the industry. These robust ranges allow users to select exactly the right motor for an application but without having to over specify and over pay.

The food industry regulations place numerous, often very stringent but necessary demands on system manufacturers and machine builders. However, depending on the application, the specific requirements for the motion components can range from simple to complex. It costs too much money to install an over specified motor especially in a washdown application. However it takes too much time and effort to modify a housing for a hygienic application. The Kollmorgen solution to overcome this expensive approach or indeed any other motor that doesn’t perform in the way that is required to, is to offer the correct product.

With this powerful and diverse selection customers do not have to settle for just any motor. Engineers can select the exact motor for their application and get the job done right, achieving optimal results.

Whether the motor application is near a wet area or is required to be exposed to high-pressure washdown, the Kollmorgen family of servomotors provides a correct fit for a specific application. Customers can select from the robust line-up of AKM™, including the exclusive AKM™ washdown, AKM™ food grade models and stainless steel W series – all with a proven track record for dependable, superior functionality and high-performance.

The benefits of these industry-leading high performance motors are considerable. First there are certifications ranging from basic IP65 up to IP69K and FDA approval. Secondly there are thousands of model options as standard as well as severe washdown options. Then importantly, available are all stainless options up to 300 and 17-4PH grade.

Micromech is a UK leading expert in positioning and speed control supplying a wide range of motion control products plus associated equipment to industry, research, defence and manufacturing. The Kollmorgen range includes the re-branded PacSci (Pacific Scientific), Slo-Syn® (Superior Electric) and Thomson ranges. All can be supplied as components or complete packages or put together as sophisticated multi-axis systems.

For more information about these exciting products contact Alan Spinks on 01376 333333 or alan@micromech.co.uk

‘Micromech your Kollmorgen Silver Motion Partner’

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Extended Yaskawa Warranty

News Flash!

Micromech is pleased to report the announcement by Yaskawa they have extended the warranty for YASKAWA A1000 drive

To underline YASKAWA’s reputation as global leader in quality and reliability, Yaskawa Europe has extended the A1000 product range warranty to an amazing 60 months at no additional charge.

The new warranty is valid for all A1000 products and related option cards shipped from 1st May 2013 to the Yaskawa channel partners.

The liability under this 5 year warranty is limited to repair or replace defective products, which failed due to poor workmanship in design, or manufacturing or defects in parts used.

The warranty of course has the normal restrictions such as damage or unauthorised modification or repair, improper application, installation or operation.

The drives are available now from Micromech!

Micromech is the UK distributor and systems integrator for Yaskawa motion products, for more information contact Stirling on 01376 333333 or smorley@micromech.co.uk

‘Affordable Automation’

Efficient and cost effective automation solutions from motion partners Micromech Systems and Parker Electromechanical

To achieve progress with systems integration you need the expertise and experience of specialists. Specialists from the fields of electronics, electrics, mechanics and systems technology work hand in hand towards success. This integration of development, production and service ensures resources are utilised efficiently to achieve maximum cost-effectiveness. The specialists at Micromech and Parker combine technological innovation with state of the-art automation concepts in an effective manner to create robust, practical solutions to automation problems.

The consistent policy of pursuing system based concepts enables us to deliver a comprehensive range of cost-effective, standardised automation solutions. Linear and gantry robots, stock palleting units and handling systems for high-bay shelving are examples of just some of these solutions.

It goes almost without saying that our automation specialists develop and manufacture special purpose solutions. Maximum flexibility with low cost is achieved by integrating standardised electronic and mechanical components from the extensive range of system modules.

There can be confidence in the systems-based philosophy when conceiving and implementing successful automation systems. Numerous satisfied users are convinced of the performance capability of Micromech and Parker’s modern automation solutions. They are to be found in the food production and pharmaceutical industries, automotive engineering, construction materials and prefabrication as well as in the fields of mechanical engineering and the plastics industry.

Components – Concepts – Systems
Modules for greater cost-effectiveness

Components developed and produced at Parker form the basis of eminently practical concepts and systems for automation purposes where the basic module is an aluminium linear actuator. To achieve high dynamic performance and load characteristics, there are belt, rack and screw drive options. The benefits of these automation systems are particularly convincing when moving heavy loads at high speeds over extended distances.

An extensive range of servomotors with fully digital servo control delivers the necessary performance to our equipment. Real-time capable bus systems link servo amplifiers and control units making possible very short cycle times even for time-critical processes. Industrial computers acting as Man-Machine-Interfaces provide clear text dialogues, offering maximum convenience in programming and for the operation of complex automation systems

To achieve comprehensive data communication with higher level controllers and PLC systems, a tried-and-tested bus system is employed which is fully compatible with the most commonly used IT standards which uses standardised interfaces to ensure that all components comply with the partnership‘s system-based philosophy. This makes them flexible and cost-effective to use in conjunction with an extremely wide range of systems and user-specific automation equipment.

Productivity – the systematic approach
Standardised gantry robots

Linear gantries – the ideal way of loading and unloading machines, conveyor belts and pallets, they combine the highest standards of cost-effectiveness with seamless automation.

Standardised gantries arranged around a production area form the key to comprehensive automation of the material flow to production equipment, transport and packaging equipment.

Since they are able to move into any position within the working area, it is also possible to integrate measuring and testing stations. Their cost-effective design delivers economical solutions to automation problems and depending on the requirements, the gantry robots can use standard grippers or specially developed grippers for defined tasks.

This enables them to grip anything from the proverbial egg and flexible rubber or plastic parts to robust, heavy steel components in a totally reliable manner. Decades of experience in dealing with the widest imaginable variety of work pieces and materials enables the customer to develop the optimum gripper for each handling function.

This is especially important when dealing with applications that have complex material flow operations; careful coordination is therefore vital. To utilise gantry robots in a cost-effective manner, programming them must be a quick and easy task. Digital servo controllers and industrial computers serve as operating and programming terminals and are all integral components of the overall concept. Users benefit from turnkey equipment, which can be installed rapidly and put into service without delay and assure you of productivity and reliability from day one.

Efficient solutions
Palletising robots made to measure

Speed and flexibility are naturally the most important factors in a palletising operation but short throughput times at high travel and positioning speeds can be achieved using palletising robots. Flexibility primarily demands an open control system, which offers clear text dialogues, making it easy to programme for various tasks.

An industrial computer acts as a Man-Machine-Interface where a graphical display of the approaching palletising samples on a screen allows for easy and comfortable programming. The sequential programmes are generated and monitored automatically by the integrated, fully digital servo control unit. To provide reliable transport for pallets, packaging and work-pieces made from every conceivable material in a wide range of shapes; the palletising systems are equipped with application-specific grippers. If various tasks need to be handled in an automatic sequence, gripper changeover systems give short re-tooling times and ensure maximum flexibility.

Stock control at the touch of a button
Shelf-picking units

Any modern inventory management system capable of coping efficiently with stock movement needs to have good quality high-bay stock handling equipment. Nowadays cost-effective, automated high bay stock handling systems are able to deal with a broad range of tasks and require very little intervention by human operators. Here are a few examples: retrieving small parts to make up an order, moving raw semi-finished materials into and out of stock, perhaps via buffer stock areas located beside production, and storing documentation and other data in archives.

In order to achieve rapid stock transfer, high-bay stock handling equipment must be able to cover extended distances at high speeds and at a high dynamic. The Parker high-bay stock handling systems meet these requirements, and are equipped with belt or rack drive units powered by high-performance servo motors and fully digital servo controllers. Telescopic or push/_pull-type lifting systems are able to move a tremendously wide variety of units into and out of stock. Integrated PC control units enable goods moving into and out of stock in the automated high bay storage areas to be monitored and documented reliably and since they run under the Windows operating system, they have no problem in being incorporated into standard computer networks (e.g. Novell via Ethernet). This capability enables them to exchange data with supervisory host systems, demonstrating the outstanding benefits of a systems-based philosophy. The ‘highbay’ stock handling equipment has the in-house material flow situation firmly under control.

Open and closed-loop control
Automation systems

There is virtually no limit to the number of ways in which mechanical and electronic components can be combined to create customer-specific automation systems. A perfectly matched, modular and high-performance range of components allows the equipment to be employed in every major industrial sector.

This enables the development of high-performance industrial plotters, able to function over large surface areas, for example when cutting film, applying sealants and adhesives, milling grooves, marking out, plotting and scribing metal sheets and wooden panels. The user friendly, PC-assisted programming interface provides a solution for every contouring problem. Reflecting in a mirror axis, rotating, enlarging, reducing, spline interpolation, DXF file transfer – using these features, you can work quickly and simply on just about every concept.

Micromech is Parker’s motion partner and can offer a bespoke solution to meet all of your motion control needs, for more information contact Alan Spinks on 01376 333333 or alan@micromech.co.uk

‘Micromech Systems and Parker are forces in motion’

Yaskawa and Micromech, a moving partnership

For the latest in technology of speed control and positioning products, Yaskawa are probably the best in the world

Episode 4: Food Dispenser and Packager

A mechanical cam indexer was limiting production throughput and a quick changeover for different container dimensions and volumes was crucial. A new system had to be small, interface its motion control with a specified PLC and have machine safety and e-stop recovery.

The OEM makes a variety of equipment to serve the packaging industry and this application (rotary dial indexer) required 3 axes of servo to perform a filling operation of food into either 1 or 2.5kg containers which are then sealed with an ultrasonic welder. The main benefit of the solution is to gain 3 axes of motion control while keeping the original Micrologix PLC platform as a logic and HMI interface device. The MP2300Siec features Ethernet/IP protocol support which allows this connection. By using a servo to drive the dial plate the relationship between index/dwell can be infinitely variable, and therefore maximizes the throughput of the machine even when changing container sizes. Additional servo control via linear actuators on the container de-nester and product dispenser allows instant changeover with a minimum of mechanical parts. Programmable volume, speed and drawback on the dispense pump improves fill accuracy and machine throughput.

The performance achieved was a throughput of forty 1kg fills/min and twenty-five 2.5kg fills/min, the index speed is 0.5 sec with an accuracy of <= 7 arc/min. The differentiating features of this solution were the prewritten communication for the Allen Bradley Micrologix PLC, programmable fill settings and variable index/dwell ratio of servo driven dial plate.

The resulting benefits of this solution are a proven core code reducing commissioning, much reduced project risk, improved product size flexibility and fill accuracy. There was also greater throughput when switching to larger container size, increased dwell time, flexible number of stops and reversing is made possible.

Micromech is the UK distributor and systems integrator for Yaskawa motion products, for more information contact Stirling on 01376 333333 or stirling@micromech.co.uk

‘Affordable Automation’

Surgeons in London have carried out the first ‘warm liver’ transplant using an organ which was ‘kept alive’ at body temperature in a machine.

As a supplier to OrganOx we are proud to bring news of the current success of this project as reported on the BBC. We are therefore delighted, with kind permission of Fergus Walsh, Medical Correspondent of the BBC to relate the details from his article.

Surgeons in London have carried out the first ‘warm liver’ transplant using an organ which was ‘kept alive’ at body temperature in a machine. Usually donor livers are kept on ice, but many become damaged as a result. The patient, 62-year-old Ian Christie from Devon, is doing well after the operation at King’s College Hospital.

The technology was developed by scientists at Oxford University who hope it could increase the number of livers available for transplant. Prof Peter Friend Co-inventor and surgeon quotes “it provides an environment where the donor liver hardly knows it has left the body”.

Its inventors are an engineer and a transplant surgeon.

Prof Constantin Coussios of the Department of Engineering Science has been working on the project for 15 years in partnership with Prof Peter Friend, of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences.

After being removed from the donor, the liver is placed in the machine and tubes are connected to the main blood vessels. Oxygenated blood and nutrients are pumped through the liver which continues to function and produce bile.

Prof Peter Friend said: “It provides an environment where the donor liver hardly knows it has left the body. Instead of cooling it to slow its metabolism we keep it functioning at normal temperature and with oxygen and nutrition.”

At present many donor livers are rejected for transplantation because they are damaged. Some have been deprived of oxygen while others contain too much fat and do not survive the cooling process.

The Oxford inventors say their machine allows the liver to recover from damage it has sustained and enables medical staff to test the viability of the organ to see whether it is likely to work before being transplanted into the patient.

Ian Christie, the first patient to receive a liver using the new technique contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion 25 years ago, before blood could be screened for the infection. He developed liver cirrhosis and was told last year that without a transplant he might have about 18 months to live.

Mr Christie, who had the surgery last month, said: “I feel very proud and lucky to have been part of this medical advance. My health is better than it’s been for years and I feel I can go on now instead of thinking that life is finished for me.” A second patient who received a liver using the same technique is also said to be doing well.

The livers given to Mr Christie and the other patient were preserved for five and nine hours respectively, but the Oxford team believes its system could allow donor livers to be maintained for much longer.

This will save lives

About 700 liver transplants are carried out in the UK each year, but more than 100 patients a year die while on the waiting list.

Prof Coussios said: “In experiments we have shown we can preserve a liver and monitor its function outside the body for periods up to 24 hours. By contrast livers kept on ice have to be transplanted with 10-12 hours at most.”

If livers could be preserved for longer it would allow teams to organise transplant surgery more effectively and to find the ideal recipient.

King’s College Hospital performs more than 200 liver transplants each year making it the largest unit in Europe.

European trial

Wayel Jassem, transplant surgeon who performed both operations, said: “I was impressed to see how quickly each liver started to function following the transplant. This technology has the potential to be hugely significant and could save lives.” But the inventors in Oxford and the transplant team in London stress it is too early to draw any firm conclusions as to the benefits of ‘warm liver’ transplantation. A further eight patients will receive livers using the new technique at King’s College Hospital. Following this initial safety trial a broader study across three European countries is planned. It may be several years before liver specialists can tell whether the technique has proven benefits.

Five years ago Oxford University set up a spin-out company, OrganOx, to commercialise the technology. It has financial support from the Royal Society and a venture capital fund. The company hopes its device will get European approval via a CE mark later this year.

The concept of keeping donor organs at body temperature and preserving their function is also being tested in heart and lung transplants.