Five major pavilions representing core supply chain business processes comprised the industry's first-ever SupplyChainLinkExpo, October 17-18. Visitors to the virtual trade show could browse through the Design, Plan, Source, Make, and Move pavilions, or simply use Exhibitor Search to find vendors.
Each pavilion was divided into product "aisles," each aisle lined with interactive, multimedia exhibits. At their leisure, showgoers could take in video presentations, listen to audio presentations, download information and product specifications, or enter the exhibitor's chat room for a personal consultation on the issues important to their job functions. With the click of a button, they could also request that a company representative contact them immediately.
Among the technologies represented in the Design Pavilion alone: electrical/electronic components and test equipment; engineering software and computer hardware; fastening, joining, and assembly components; fluid power and fluid handling devices; materials and materials fabrication; motion control components and systems; and power transmission components. Product design engineers who were unable to attend on October 17 or 18 need not worry. The exposition is archived at www.supplychainlinkexpo.com. Welcome to the world of virtual tradeshows.
Hardware for assembly. THK's Caged Technology was on display, highlighting three product groups: Caged Ball, Caged Roller, and Caged Technology Ball Screw. In each, Caged Technology isolates the load-carrying, re-circulating elements in an individual cage or pocket, preventing ball-to-ball or roller-to-roller contact and the associated friction.
Carr Lane Mfg. Co. demonstrated its interactive online catalog. The company manufactures more than 100,000 products for design and manufacturing, including pins, hoist rings, handles, knobs, screw clamps, spring-loaded devices, supports, rests, feet, locators, toggle clamps, fasteners, clamp straps, plug gauges, and threaded inserts.
Information about a new clean room compatible cable and hose carrier, called KleanTrak™, was available at the KabelSchlepp stand. Boasting a 15× reduction in carrier wear and a similar reduction in friction-generated particulate deposits, the new product aims to eliminate the need for expensive air management systems in clean rooms.
For those showgoers involved with servers, data storage, router and switch, or LAN cabinets, a trip to the Southco stand was imperative. The company presented its portfolio of access solutions, including the Door Edge Multi-Point Compression system, designed to accommodate a wide range of enclosure sizes and dimensions.
Floating panel fasteners and low-profile panel fasteners were among the product updates presented by PEM® Fastening Systems. The former, called HYBRID™ Type PFF, compensate for up to 1.52-mm mating hole misalignment. The latter, Types PF50™ and PF60™, feature fully captive screws and are designed with a large head and Phillips recess for tool or finger operation.
Sensing and measurement. Banner Engineering promoted the L-GAGE® LT3 Time-of-Flight Sensor. A Class 2 laser distance-gauging device, the new product can precisely measure the distance to an object at long ranges up to 50m. It pulses one million times per second, and its microprocessor averages 1,000 pulses every 0.001 second to provide extremely precise measurement data. TURCK showed off its new Amphibian™ inductive proximity sensors. The liquid-sealed devices withstand high-pressure, high-temperature washdown in repeated wet cleaning operations, and resist cooling lubricants and oils present in heavy machining operations.
Software solutions. Clicking into the ANSYS booth, visitors could learn about AI*Workbench, the first of the new AI*Solutions™ advanced technology suite. AI*Workbench is a new application development platform designed to bring customized simulation and Web collaboration to the product development process, allowing users to create simulation templates.
VI Logger was the focus at National Instruments. With intuitive dialog windows, users can configure logging tasks to easily acquire, log, view, and share data. VI logger does not require any programming; it is stand-alone, configuration-based software.
Pro/COLLABORATE, a free service hosted by PTC for companies that use Pro/ENGINEER, provides on-line collaborative product development workspaces where engineers can share their designs with non-engineers, globally dispersed colleagues, contractors, and suppliers who need visibility into a company's product development process.
Motor/drive equipment. At the Pittman stand, visitors could learn about the company's LO-COG® series of low-cost, high-performance, 22-mm diameter, brush-commutated dc motors. Ideal for use in applications requiring the power of a "coreless" motor without the associated cost, these motors are available in two lengths, operate at speeds to 8,200 rpm, and have encoder resolutions from 16 to 256.
From the highly-flexible, general purpose MOVITRAC® inverters to the company's MOVIDRIVE® intelligent controllers, SEW-Eurodrive presented its complete range of electronic speed controls, all matched to the company's modular line of high performance brakemotors and speed reducers. Omron's new MV and JV series variable speed drives were also on display, offering motor speed control in a compact package, and supporting fractional motors up to 5 hp.
Gates Rubber Company showed off its Poly Chain GT2 polyurethane belt drive system, which it claims is the optimum choice in meeting user needs for low-speed (below 500 rpm), high-torque drive applications. Over at the Amacoil stand, visitors to the Design Pavilion could view the company's line of "rolling ring" linear drives, designed for linear motion application requirements in positioning and reciprocating operations. They offer fixed or variable pitch, can achieve speeds up to almost 4 m/sec, and travel distances to almost 5m — with an accuracy of 0.10 mm.
Yaskawa touted the LEGEND, a 100% digital, sinusoidal PWM torque mode amplifier designed for applications where motion controllers reside upstream, closing the velocity and position loops for complex servo motion.