The powerhouse Assembly Technology Expo proved that big trade shows can still be vibrant, drawing 600-plus exhibitors and more than 10,000 attendees to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont IL. The conference and trade show, which ran from Sept. 25-27, drew the automation world's heavy hitters, such as Bosch Rexroth Corp., Sony Manufacturing Systems America and Cox Automation, to name a few. The show, which will join with National Manufacturing Week in September 2007 to create a mega-conference, was highlighted by a kick-off keynote speech from Dilbert creator Scott Adams.
Entry-Level Vision Sensors
At the show, Cognex Corp. demonstrated its DVT 515 and DVT 535 vision sensors, similarly aimed at machine vision. The sensors, introduced in the summer of 2006, enable users to measure, count, find features and compare patterns of manufactured products on automated production lines. They are targeted at industrial situations ranging from simple part inspection to defect detection, including high-resolution and color applications. The new vision sensors incorporate Cognex's Intellect software, which facilitates setup, integration and maintenance. They include built-in Ethernet connections for factory networks and software.
Multi-channel assembly monitoring
Also at the show, Promess Inc. showed its multi-channel monitoring and test system for assembly operations. The new unit provides multi-channel non-synchronous monitoring, integral data acquisition, sensors, data point storage and software. Known as the Pc-Pro, the new unit can monitor such process variables as force, position, torque and pressure, as well as air and fluid flows. Its standard configuration includes a shop-floor-rated industrial enclosure, mini-keyboard with trackball and a 12-inch color touch screen.
Vision in harsh environments
Banner Engineering Corp. demonstrated its PresencePlus Pro vision sensor by operating it inside a fish tank. Banner is targeting the new sealed unit sensor with integrated light at users who need camera-based, complex visual inspection systems. It's for customers who want to introduce vision to the factory floor in rugged application, notes Chris Benson, marketing manager at Banner. Often, industrial customers want completely sealed units, so that factory floor contaminants don't cause problems for their products. The sensor is priced at $2,300.