2017 Could Be the Year of the Smart Factory

18-Jul-2017 11:08:44


According to YCF, a member organisation supporting the manufacturing industry, 2017 could be the year of the smart factory. 

The organisation stated that the next 12 months will be a critical time for manufacturers to understand the importance of Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT), but will crucially be the time they begin to implement new machinery encompassing automation and data exchange.
Yet, despite this positivity, there is concern over the manufacturing and engineering skills gap as this new technology will require new skills.

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Topics: News, Innovation, Industry 4.0

6 Sins that Reduce Storeroom Efficiency

12-Jul-2017 06:07:00

eriks-man-in-storeroom.jpgEfficiencies, productivity and profitability are usually terms saved for your production lines. However as stockrooms up and down the country are becoming less effectively used, we must shift our focus onto these potential financial black holes.

With companies regularly facing small daily inefficiencies, overtime this adds up ultimately effecting their business operations.

Andy Silver, ERIKS IS Commercial and Operations Director for the UK, stresses the importance of an ‘effective storeroom management’. By implementing a better layout, housekeeping duties, stock identification and relocation, return handling and collection points we can dramatically enhance the stockroom.

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Topics: Best Practice, News, Onsite Solutions, Stores Management, Efficiency

The Amount of Aggregates Transported by Rail Is Increasing

10-Jul-2017 10:09:54

The movement of aggregates by rail is rising in the UK, according to a report by BDS Marketing Research, which also suggests that the trend is set to continue, with a recent increase in depots and more in planning.

This is despite an overall decrease in the volume of freight moved by rail in recent years.

The report, entitled ‘Estimated outputs of aggregates moved through rail depots in Great Britain’, estimates the volumes and market shares of companies operating aggregate rail depots in Great Britain and includes information on those recently opened as well as planned.

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Topics: News, Innovation

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

Fast, Flexible Motors from Dunkermotoren

03-Jul-2017 07:14:00

Developing tubular linear motors that allow machines to operate at increasingly higher speeds whilst maintaining pinpoint precision, using less energy and with low noise and minimal maintenance is a key focus for Dunkermotoren.

Its new ServoTube XTA25 and XTBA25 options are good examples of close working relationships with customers with the objectives of improving processes, cutting energy costs and boosting profitability.

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Topics: News, Power Transmission, Motors

Back to Basics: The Ball Bearing

01-Jul-2017 04:00:00

First, a bit of history. The earliest recovered example of a rolling element bearing is a wooden ball bearing that supported a rotating table from the remains of a Roman Ship in Lake Nemi, Italy. The wrecks were dated back to 40BC.

Over a millennium and half later, Leonardo da Vinci incorporated drawings of ball bearings for cart axles around the year 1500. The first modern recorded patent on ball bearings was awarded to Philip Vaughan, a British inventor and ironmaster who created the first design for a ball bearing in Carmarthen in 1794. His was the first modern ball-bearing design, with the ball running along a groove in an axle assembly.

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Topics: News, Bearings & Lubrication

Joined-up Thinking on Couplings

30-Jun-2017 05:41:48

Flexible couplings do more than just connect two pieces of rotating equipment. With surveys showing that 80% of coupling failures are directly caused by misalignment, a coupling which successfully compensates for it will also help to increase equipment Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF), which in turn reduces downtime and cuts costs.

So how should you go about ensuring you choose the right coupling for your application?

First things first – literally. The coupling is a crucial component, and should be considered as part of any new system design right from the start, not just added later as an afterthought. It’s also essential to choose the coupling according to the job it has to do, not just based on previous choices or cost.

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Topics: News, Best Practice, Couplings, Power Transmission

No Parts, No Window, No Time. No Problem

29-Jun-2017 08:23:01

Most repair and maintenance jobs in industry have to be carried out against the clock. Unplanned downtime is a cost, and planned downtime a rarity.

But in one subsea manufacturing plant, it’s not just a rarity. It’s completely non-existent.

The facility produces the underwater umbilicals used for transporting gas and oil pumped from offshore rigs back to dry land. Serving customers are far apart as the North Sea and Brazil, the company has a full order book and manufactures around the clock to meet demand. So when the gearbox on their coiling machine began to have problems, the company called in ERIKS Drives Technology Centre Team and outlined the problem:

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Topics: News, Power Transmission, Marine, Repairs, Engineering

Smarter than the Average Plastics

23-Jun-2017 14:08:34

If Industry 4.0 is all about making factories smarter, then you don’t get much smarter than embedding intelligence into motion plastics. By integrating sensing, monitoring and communications, igus® has created high performance engineering plastics products, based on e-chains, cables, and bearings, that can increase plant availability, maximise uptime and reduce costs.

igus® motion plastics are already self-lubricating and maintenance-free, as well as being harder-wearing and more energy efficient than traditional materials. There’s a long list of conditions and contaminants which they can resist, including rain, salt, extreme temperatures, UV, oil and chemicals. They’re also extensively tested, enabling igus® to accurately predict service life and offer comprehensive reliability guarantees.

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Topics: News, Innovation, Health & Safety, Industry 4.0, Power Transmission, Efficiency

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