A variety of rather unusual products meet the need to add value to pneumatic products in industrial applications. By identifying users' requirements for increased functionality, suppliers have developed intriguing solutions using pneumatic technology. The unconventional pneumatic products in this section remove static electricity, operate without a central computer and precisely monitor workpiece position.
To avoid damage to critical components, Humphrey Products Co.'s Koganei Blow-Type Ionizers remove static electricity. Available in one-head, two-head and compact models with a variety of optional solid and flexible nozzles, the ionizers cover a wide area to as close as 1 mm from the workpiece. The range of options allows mounting the unit away from harsh temperature extremes, while providing accurate static electricity removal. A low voltage dc source powers a high voltage ac transformer in the unit producing a high frequency ac field with ion balance that does not damage sensitive devices. The ionizers can be used in a broad range of applications.
PNEUMATIC PART MONITOR
Using an air jet from a sensor nozzle to scan the presence, position, shape, and dimensions of test objects, Rexroth's MS01 pneumatic modular system provides measuring accuracy of up to 0.01 mm. Since automatic feeding workpiece processing often depends on exact part positioning, the unit simultaneously monitors previous pressures and sends out electrical signals, which are displayed on the module, and either accepts the workpiece or stops the process. The monitor and a CD01 valve system can be integrated into any machine control system. Insensitive to primary pressure fluctuations, the system requires only minimal effort for assembly and installation. Equipped with an integrated air blowing function that prevents the measured results from being incorrectly influenced by contaminants such as shavings or coolant, the unit regulates the air blowing function to minimize compressed air consumption. In addition, this function ensures regular surface cleaning. The pneumatic part monitor can be used in multiple industries, especially automotive or machine tool manufacturing.
VALVE MODULE WITH PROGRAMMED LOGIC
In Humphrey Products' GEN2 System, each valve module has its own on-board processor allowing direct module to module communication and independent decisions based on internal program instructions. The newest Dual-Zone GEN2 System incorporates two pneumatic valves and Independent Intelligent Control™ into a single module. Independent Intelligent Control enables multiple sequential control operations and eliminates complex programming. The company's Plug & Run, quick disconnect, technology reduces installation time and allows users to reconfigure the system without reprogramming. Even though the system does not require a central computer, it can be connected to the LAN to provide status and diagnostic information. Designed for pneumatically powered accumulation conveyors, the system can be applied to non-pneumatic conveyor systems and a range of sequential and proportional control applications in other industries.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.