Drives and Control Solutions

Motors, Control Solutions, Power Transmission and Advanced Motion Technology                                                                 

PB 26 Allied logo 400August 4, 2020

The fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, builds off the computerization and digitization of previous shifts and employs artificial intelligence, IoT, cloud computing and remote dashboards that measure and monitor parameters and minute data points related to industrial operations.

Industry 4.0 offers endless possibilities as more production lines are designed and configured with quality sensors. Those who utilize the right sensors, in the right place, for the right amount of time should experience improved system maintenance..

Such maintenance affords today’s production landscape and its many stakeholders improved maintenance possibilities.  It comes about through predictive or scheduled maintenance, via an early warning for imminent, unplanned maintenance.

As more firms embrace Industry 4.0,   compliance standards for networking connected devices will need to be implemented. IO-Link, for example, is an industrial communications networking standard (IEC 61131-9) commonly used to govern the connections of digital sensors, actuators and other devices with a digital platform to consummate industrial automation and enable scheduled maintenance.

Automation allows plant and equipment managers to better measure equipment and system wear, degradation and performance. With this information, managers gain visibility and control of an industrial environment, as well as improved maintenance.

Through information gathering and aggregation, voluminous operational performance data may be captured and analyzed via sophisticated business analytics.  This allows for accurate predictions of when parts, machinery and other equipment may be due for service or replacement.

 

Scheduled Versus Unscheduled Maintenance  

Scheduled maintenance on a part, equipment or system is proactive, but often static, and based on history and the manufacturer’s recommendation.  The service may include assessments such as vibration monitoring, oil sampling and analysis or other action performed on the equipment or system. This may lead to a maintenance action or part replacement.

Unscheduled maintenance is obviously an unplanned activity and can be troublesome from both a timing and cost perspective. With Industry 4.0, better dashboards, virtual monitoring and digital twins (a virtual replication of a system, machine or other physical entity) aggregate more data, in real time, with good sensing. These tools help users avoid unscheduled maintenance.

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A maintenance schedule, when accurately created, leads to a better use of automation, sensors and network-connected devices.

Such maintenance may include programs like vibration monitoring, fluid sampling, data gathering and analysis. Data logging is used to record parameters such as temperature, pressure, throughput and anything else that can be physically measured.  Applying algorithms and machine learning to such data can help detect degradation or early signs of failure. Information retrieved via sensors and connected devices feeds into programs that work in tandem with maintenance schedules and predetermined maintenance requirements – usually through cloud-based software integrated with a remote user-friendly platform.

Today, there are countless sensors able to detect almost anything – motion, light, temperature, current, proximity, position, ultrasonic vibration and much more.  They are part of the newfound industrial landscape where input and output become the basis of monitoring and measurement.  Maintenance is now more predictive and scheduled than ever before.

When sensors, IoT and remote platforms converge, they help industrial operations stay ahead of operational trouble and material failure. Manufacturers avoid unplanned maintenance, failures and lost productivity. Accurate monitoring and greater efficiency are achieved through fewer operational interruptions. Allied4

Automation for Quality and Efficiency

As more companies embrace Industry 4.0 and automate the production floor with high-quality sensors, actuators and other connected devices like wireless piezo sensors that measure vibration levels and report those measurements back to the mainframe where the information can be acted upon, maintenance on the production floor will improve.

“Automation customers want to produce products at an increased rate, with higher quality, and be more efficient doing it,” says Russ Freeman, product portfolio manager with Allied Electronics & Automation in Fort Worth, Texas.

“No matter what control platform they choose to accomplish these goals, they are all dependent on repeatable, high-speed and accurate feedback from their sensors.”

Operational performance improves through better monitoring and accurate prediction of maintenance intervals. Time-to-failure becomes clearer. With good historical data acquired through quality sensors and connected devices, useful information becomes available to help drive better decisions on the production floor.


Editor's Pick: Featured Article


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New woodlands are being created in the UK with the help of Mid Wales-based Invertek Drives through the Forest Carbon project to offset its carbon footprint. The company, which manufactures variable frequency drives (VFD) at its global headquarters at Welshpool, Powys, has worked with a local printing company to purchase ‘carbon balancing’ paper for all of its in-house printers, including the printing of its products’ handbooks.

Forest Carbon plants woodlands for companies wanting to mitigate the impact of their greenhouse emissions, as well as making a contribution to wider environmental benefits. It is the only UK-based carbon standard and is supported by the government.

The woodlands are planted at locations where they would not otherwise be commercially viable. The paper purchased by Invertek Drives is currently helping plant trees on land near Carlisle, Cumbria.

The new woodlands will not only help capture CO2, but also provide benefits for local biodiversity, landscape, flood management, water quality and recreation.

Referring to companies like Invertek Drives, Carbon Forest states: “These are companies who already avoid and reduce their emissions as far as they can and want to finish the job by capturing the remaining balance.”

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Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) was recently pleased to announce that Electrocomponents plc, a global omni-channel solutions partner for electronics, industrial and automation customers and suppliers has joined the association as a global member, along with its subsidiaries Allied Electronics & Automation (Allied), a distributor of automation and control, electronic, electrical, mechanical, and maintenance products in North America and RS Components (RS), a global distribution partner for industrial customers and suppliers involved in designing, building or maintaining industrial equipment and facilities.

Electrocomponents will be represented on the ECIA by Chris Beeson, Senior Vice President of Electronics at RS. Peter Malpas, EMEA Regional President for RS; Sean Fredricks APAC Regional President for RS; and Ken Bradley President of Allied in the Americas will represent their respective regions.

“We recognize the importance of partnering with other industry leaders in electronics manufacturing and distribution to stay on the cutting edge of technology for the wide-ranging benefit of our customers,” said Beeson. “Membership in ECIA allows Electrocomponents, Allied and RS to have a seat at the table with other global distribution and manufacturing leaders to solve problems and advance our industry.”

“We are excited to work alongside our distributor peers and suppliers as ECIA tackles critical industry issues and global technical standards,” said Bradley. “This is an excellent opportunity to focus our collective power on customer-facing challenges we can solve together.”

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New Product

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The second generation of safety light curtains, PSENopt II, provide safe access to the production process and provide finger, hand and body protection, depending on the requirement. The first Type 3 safety light curtains are specifically designed for applications up to PL d of EN/IEC 61496-1. Type 4 light curtains are also available for applications up to PL e of EN/IEC 61496-1/-2.

As the units are so robust, PSENopt II sensors provide protection against shock, collision and vibration and so are suitable for use in rugged industrial environments. The operator can evaluate the essential causes and system defects responsible for the machine stop by means of the LEDs. Downtimes are reduced as a result.

The safety light curtains are available in lengths from 150 mm to 1800 mm. In combination with the configurable control system PNOZmulti 2 you have a safe, complete, one-stop solution. Compatible accessories range from installation assistance through to mirror columns.

New: Accessory for the light curtain PSENopt II to prevent restart

With our new accessory PSENopt II lockout for the PSENopt II range of light curtains you can prevent the machine restarting. This is necessary, for example, when carrying out maintenance work within the danger zone. PSENopt II lockout consists of an assembly unit that is attached to the side of the light curtain like a swivel arm. If the danger zone is accessed, the swivel arm can be folded out in front of the light curtain’s field of vision and fitted with a lock. As a result the light curtain no longer has a free field of vision, so start up is prevented.

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