Mechatronics Canada
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Latest Articles

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Cybersecurity costs businesses a lot of money – and with no measurable monetary income as a result. ...
Chances are, you’ve heard the expression “drowning in data.” And if you’re in the CPG industry, ...
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In a global business environment characterized by disruption, change and volatility, the digital ...
Last month we looked at decoding all those M12 connectors from A to Y-Coded and narrowed things ...
If you were around in 1980’s you will probably remember walkmans, vcrs, mix tapes and big hair ...
There re quite a few repetitive tasks in manufacturing. If all of these tasks must be performed ...
Vention, a manufacturing automation platform (MAP), recently announced its partnership with OnRobot ...
Endress+Hauser Group, in keeping with its role as global leader in measurement instrumentation, is ...

Featured Article: Decoding the Most Versatile Industrial Connector in the World


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If you were around in 1980’s you will probably remember walkmans, vcrs, mix tapes and big hair bands on MTV, amongst other things. The decade started with the release of PacMan, the Rubiks Cube and a Hollywood actor called Ronald Reagan winning the US Presidential election. It ended with the first episode of the Simpsons, Timothy Berners-Lee inventing the World Wide Web and the Berlin Wall coming down to symbolize the end of the Cold War.

Some notable 1980’s inventions included the first artificial heart, CD players, the Apple MacIntosh computer, Microsoft Windows, the Nintendo Gameboy and the first GPS satellite to be launched into space.

But there was one more invention of the 1980s that wasn’t really noticed by the general public, but ultimately paved the way for fast, easy and reliable electrical connections that we often take for granted in control systems today. We are talking about the M12 circular connector that was launched at the Hannover Fair in 1985 and has since become one of the most popular industrial connectors in the world.

These days, you will be hard-pressed to walk into any manufacturing plant without seeing an M12 connector. They are used to connect sensors to I/O modules, vision systems to Ethernet switches, light curtains to safety controllers and much more. Originally only available in 3-pole and 4-pole versions with an A-Coded keyway for power and I/O signals, the M12 connector is still evolving and has become one of the most versatile circular connectors available.

Now, more than 35 years since it was launched, there are many different types of M12 connectors for signal, data and power connections.

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Featured Article: Strategies for Increasing Production Line Modularity


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In today's competitive business environment, customization is key. Manufacturers in all industries are expected to provide a wide range of sizes, colors, styles and assortments, and they are finding it essential to implement flexible manufacturing strategies in order to stay competitive.

The goal of these strategies is to reduce the effort required to change over from one product version to another. Let’s take a look at a couple of ways in which this can be accomplished.

Find ways to minimize rigidity

To determine how to make a system more flexible, it helps to find particular elements that are highly rigid and see how these could be made modular with cutting-edge technology. One example of an inflexible element is a conveyor belt. If conveyors connect production line stations, it can be extremely difficult to rearrange the line or add new stations.

Employing autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) with integrated conveying functionality can dramatically increase flexibility. These robots can take care of materials transport needs without requiring fixed pathways or any other changes to the factory floor. Today, we even see AMRs with integrated collaborative robotic arms that comprise a full pick-and-carry solution.

Avoid excessive part orientation hardware

Traditional parts feeding solutions, such as bowl feeders, typically require parts to be oriented in highly precise ways prior to feeding. Unfortunately, this calls for specific hardware that must be redesigned whenever a new type of part is being produced, dramatically increasing costs and lengthening the time required for a changeover.

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Products

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Using B&R automation technology in maritime environments is now easier and more flexible than ...
Designed for compact machines, the CP1H is the advanced high-speed all-in-one compact PLC.Four ...
Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. recently announced the release of its LoadMate Plus engineered ...
Sensors and actuators are the eyes and ears of your equipment. Your machines and processes are ...
Parker Hannifin has recently announced that its mechanical flange system for machines and plants ...
The new device connector clearly sets a signal for the future in the area of pluggability, as there ...
To meet the need for highly accurate and reliable level measurement in hygienic applications, ...
When it comes to Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things and digital transformation, the ...
Lumberg Automation Sensor/Actuator Connectors include M8 and M12 connectors and cordsets with ...
New versions of the safety laser scanner PSENscan enable even greater productivity for safe ...

Featured Product: FLIR A50 and A70 Thermal Cameras Offer Turnkey Solutions for Efficient Data Analysis


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When decision makers seek to integrate new hardware into their automation process, they are often looking at a few key areas – the ease of use, price point, features, and the ability to utilize the hardware at multiple points throughout their system. The new A50 and A70 thermal cameras come in three options – Smart, Streaming, and Research & Development to fit the needs of professionals across a variety of industries – from manufacturing to utilities to science.  The new cameras offer improved accuracy of ±2 °C or ±2% temperature measurement, compared to the previous accuracy of ±5 °C, or ±5% temperature measurement. The cameras all include an IP66 rating, along with a small, compact size with higher resolution options compared to previous versions.

Featuring a thermal resolution of 464 x 348 (A50) or 640 x 480 (A70), professionals can deploy the A50 or A70 cameras in a variety of capacities. These include condition monitoring programs to maximize uptime and minimize cost through planned maintenance, or when used in early fire detection applications to safeguard the lives of workers and secure the profitability of the business by protecting materials and assets. With improved temperature measurement accuracy of ±2 °C, professionals can rely on consistent readings over a period of time, or through varying environmental factors, eliminating any guesswork from data analysis.

The IP66 rating for both the A50 and A70 provides protection from dust, oil, and water, making the cameras ideal for tough, industrial environments. This ruggedness is especially helpful when the camera is being moved from one application to the next. Whether the camera is fix-mounted inspecting a production line or when required for bench testing, professionals benefit from its versatility.

A50/70 Smart

Designed for condition monitoring programs to reduce inspection times, improve production efficiency, and increase product reliability, the A50 and A70 Smart cameras introduce “on camera / on edge” smart functionality.

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