Mark Stone's Latest Posts

Money Down the Tube?

13-Oct-2017 05:02:00

You’re probably confident you’re doing all you can to cut back your energy use. But if you have manifold-mounted, plug-in pneumatic valves, you could be using energy you don’t need, and wasting money you can’t afford to waste.

The problem is that most circuits have two air lines from valve to actuator: one for extend and one for retract. For each valve cycle the actuator is pressurized on one side or the other. This means the tube that connects the valve and actuator also has to be pressurised. Yet the tubing isn’t doing any work at all – just transferring the compressed air energy to the actuator.

And what seems like an insignificant tubing volume can add up to quite a significant energy use, and cost. 

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Topics: News, Innovation, Efficiency, Fluid Power, Transfer & Control, Pneumatics

The Finest Fittings at a Push

07-Jul-2017 06:27:00

The new range from FLEXION offers some of the best stainless steel push-in fittings and adaptors you can buy, for use in the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries – or anywhere with aggressive washdown regimes.

Designed to withstand corrosive environments and substances, the FLEXION range includes push-in fittings for tube sizes from 4-12mm, and adaptors for 1/8 – 1/2 tube sizes. Quick and easy to install, they feature an FDM seal capable of withstanding temperatures up to 150°C, and all taper threads come pre-coated with PTFE.

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Topics: News, Chemical Industry, Food & Beverage, Fluid Power, Transfer & Control, Pneumatics

The Icing on the Ice Cream

05-Jul-2017 06:47:00

The makers of Magnum ice cream wanted to maintain their high-volume production levels, but at the same time reduce their compressed air consumption. However, part of the problem was not knowing just what that consumption was.

Until Festo were involved, Unilever had never known how much compressed air any one of their Magnum production lines consumed. However, with each of the five lines at the Heppenheim, Germany plant extruding one Magnum core per second, and over 20,000 of the ice creams on a stick being produced every hour, the guess was that consumption would be high.

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Topics: Innovation, Best Practice, Food & Beverage, Fluid Power, Transfer & Control, Pneumatics

Flexibility in Festo’s Factory of the Future

18-May-2017 13:14:23

The factory of the future will be networked and extremely flexible. Those are two of the developments which come under the heading of “Industry 4.0”. But is there more to “the next industrial revolution” than just technological developments? Festo believe so. 

According to Festo, people – and their qualifications and training – will also play a critical part in the success of the factory of the future. Which is why, in all of their activities surrounding Industry 4.0, Festo focus on the benefits for the actual users of automation technology.

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Topics: News, Innovation, Best Practice, Automation, Industry 4.0

Introducing ISOLine™ from IMI Precision

04-Apr-2017 07:03:00

IMI Precision Engineering is releasing a new platform pneumatic actuator range, ISOLine™ at this years Hannover Messe. Built on reliable and robust IMI Norgren technology, ISOLine™ offers a ‘fit and forget’ system that simplifies installation, increases service life and reduces maintenance costs.

Enhancing the movement of man’s most marvellous machines, the ISOLine range introduces the IMI Norgren Adaptive Cushioning System (ACS). ACS automatically adjusts the cylinder cushioning for changing loads, so manual cushion screw setting is not required. It also removes the need for specialist knowledge and simplifies the installation process, for safer, smoother operation.

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Topics: News, Innovation, Fluid Power, Transfer & Control, Pneumatics

Less Work, Less Cost, Less Stress

10-Feb-2017 06:22:00

As engineers spend 40% of their time sourcing parts why waste precious limited resource sourcing parts rather than fixing the job in hand?

A recent project ERIKS collaborated with Festo, shows how having the correct parts ready can not only save you precious time but also can reduce the cost and length of failure!

 The initial problem

ERIKS were contacted by a customer who was experiencing issues when building parts in one of their machines which were large, difficult to handle and time consuming to assemble.

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Topics: News, Fluid Power, Transfer & Control

All in Good Taste

21-Dec-2016 06:02:00

Filled antipasti specialities are becoming increasingly popular, and an ever-expanding range of these products can be found on our supermarket shelves.

The job of filling these tiny delicacies used to be done by hand, and was therefore time-consuming and costly. A new machine from Karb Maschinenbau GmbH has made this process easier. Equipped with cylinders, valves and valve terminals from Festo, it fully automatically fills peppers and other choice foods with cream cheese.

Peppers, chillies and olives are classic Mediterranean antipasti. Many consumers are familiar with
Mediterranean cuisine and therefore expect high standards from these delicacies – they must be fresh,
tasty and a feast for the eyes.

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Topics: News, Innovation, Efficiency, Fluid Power, Transfer & Control

Save 60% in Your Pneumatic Systems

13-Dec-2016 12:44:31

Where some people see energy being wasted, others see potential energy savings. So if you have pneumatic or compressed air supply systems – especially if they’ve been installed for any length of time – you’ve got a significant source of wastage. But you’ve also got a source of savings of up to 60%. 

Energy costs represent the biggest chunk of the total cost of setting up and running compressed air systems. In fact, they account for around 75%. So allowing poor design, inappropriate use, incorrect settings and leaks to create inefficiencies and air losses can add up to a substantial waste of energy – and money – over the life of a system.

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Topics: News, Innovation, Best Practice, Efficiency, Fluid Power, Transfer & Control, Pneumatics

New Stopper Cylinder Range from SMC

28-Nov-2016 06:02:00

To ensure market competitiveness most manufacturers, including supply chain experts, are recognising that improved productivity is often linked with increasing the levels of automation in their manufacturing facilities.

However, it's not quite this simple

For example, when adding more automation in a production and handling system the current “holy grail” is the need to consider future flexibility - making even individual component level selection a critical factor.

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Topics: News, Innovation, Fluid Power, Transfer & Control

Top Tips for Improved Air Preparation from Festo

09-Aug-2016 13:44:05

Efficient use of compressed air is an area where many manufacturing operations can make considerable savings, and it doesn’t have to be difficult, paying attention to a few simple guidelines in the design and maintenance of pneumatic air preparation systems can generate significant savings.

Below Festo provides specific tips on how to reduce your use of compressed air and in turn reduce your energy bill.

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Topics: News, Best Practice, Efficiency, Savings, Fluid Power, Transfer & Control

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