Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Assembly station lowers photonics production costs

New component assembly workstation significantly improves yield and lowers manufacturing costs a broad range of applications in photonics equipment manufacture.

EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering (NASDAQ: EXFO, TSE: EXF) announced today the launch of a new semi-automated assembly workstation for array-type devices. The ProAlign 5000 Component Assembly Workstation is designed to lower the cost of manufacturing complex photonics components by increasing yield, product quality and throughput. The new ProAlign 5000 Component Assembly Workstation handles a broad range of applications including one-sided, two-sided and right-angled planar lightwave circuits (PLCs); optical switches; pitch converters; transceivers; echelle gratings and arrayed waveguide gratings (AWGs); and devices with 90-degree as well as angled faces.

Developed in conjunction with leading photonics component manufacturers, the Component Assembly Workstation offers numerous industry firsts.

The ProAlign 5000 system is the first workstation designed with cost-of-ownership (COO) criteria in mind; the first to include automated first-light detection (patent pending); and the first to incorporate a single six-axis NanoRobot unit moving the device to be assembled.

Together, these unique features increase production yield for photonics component manufacturers and, as a result, lower costs.

Other important features of the new ProAlign 5000 workstation include machine vision using motorized optics for rapid coarse alignment with minimal user intervention; rock-solid stability for superior alignment and bonding; and force sensors for absolute determination of part separation ensuring repeatable process control.

All aspects of the ProAlign 5000 workstation were developed with the goal of increasing product quality and yield for component manufacturers, thereby increasing throughput.

'EXFO is the only company with the broad-ranging expertise, including nanoalignment, automation, testing and bonding, needed to translate customer requirements into solutions,' said David Farrell, President of Burleigh Instruments, a wholly owned subsidiary of EXFO.

'Our new ProAlign 5000 Component Assembly Workstation redefines what an assembly workstation should be for the global telecommunications industry.

'It provides photonics component manufacturers with the most advanced solution on the market today.' About EXFO EXFO, which derives its name from EXpertise in Fiber Optics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of fiber-optic test, measurement, monitoring and automation solutions for the global telecommunications industry.

EXFO markets more than 80 product families to 2000 customers in 70 countries around the world.

EXFO and its subsidiaries develop products for two main markets.

The Portable and Monitoring Division provides handheld and modular instruments for the physical-, optical- and protocol-layer testing needs of telecommunications carriers and network service providers.

The Industrial and Scientific Division offers an extensive line of high-performance instruments, test automation systems and manufacturing automation equipment for optical component and transmission system vendors as well as for research and development labs.

Products cover conveyors, linear motion and gears

Bearings, gears, linear motion, aerospace and conveyor products are the five main product groups that R A Rodriguez will be featuring on its exhibition stand at Drives and Controls 2002.

Bearings, gears, linear motion, aerospace and conveyor products are the five main product groups that R A Rodriguez will be featuring on its exhibition stand and each will benefit from a new addition. New to the long established Kaydon range of Reali-Slim thin section bearings is the recently introduced metric series. An industry standard for applications that call for simplicity, compactness and minimum weight, Reali-Slim is now stocked by R A Rodriguez in more than 350 different sizes.

Copies of the 3008 KHK Stock Gear catalogue will be available from the stand, a new edition that contains details of several new products including sintered metal spur gears, Fairlock hub acetal spur gears, tapered racks and pinions and spiral bevel gear boxes.

Also new are the KHK hypoid gears.

Available ex-stock, this MHP range is able to produce an exceptional speed reduction of 200:1 in a single pass.

A compact gearing body replaces several stages of reduction gears, cutting component cost sharply.

A number of configurations demonstrating the versatility of the Werner linear motion programme will be joined by a new linear guideway with patented circulation and lubrication systems.

Developed by R A Rodriguez in Germany the guideway has a four-row bearing structure that affords significant benefits over systems based on four point contact bearings.

High accuracy, high stiffness and low torque are characteristics of this new range.

The aerospace sector has always been a prime target market for many R A Rodriguez products.

Kaydon and Spirolox bearings are typical of this application-specific range.

The company also represents the Kahr Bearing company which manufactures spherical and journal bearings for landing gear and helicopter rotor dynamics.

A new addition to the aerospace portfolio is Valve Research and Manufacturing, a company that designs and manufactures miniature fluid control valves, solenoids and manifolds.

A selection of its products will be displayed on the stand.

Representative of the conveyor products and new to the range are the Zetasassi tensioning devices and overload clutches.

Variants include manual and automatic adjustable chain tighteneners and manual swivelling chain tighteners; nine models of safety clutches for torque up to Nms are also available.

Couplings designed to reduce factory downtimes

Grid, gear, disc and elastomer couplings are all designed to ensure long life and smooth operation on the factory floor, minimising costly downtime.

WYKO Industrial Services has added Grid, Gear, Disc and Elastomer couplings to its world-renowned Falk Couplings range. The new additions are all designed to ensure long life and smooth operation on the factory floor, minimising costly downtime. They provide a combination of easy installation, high load capacity, minimum maintenance requirements and the ability to effectively dampen vibration and reduce the effects of shock loads.

One of the major strengths of the Falk range is the variety of coupling types to suit different applications and variable operating conditions.

Whether the operating requirement is more flexibility, lower maintenance, higher torque, improved load protection, simple cost-effective performance or something else, there is most likely a Falk coupling to suit.

This facility is further extended with Wyko's new introductions, which include: Steelflex Grid Couplings, Wrapflex Elastomer Couplings, Freedom Disc Couplings and Lifelign Gear Couplings.

All are offered in a wide range of sizes and have torque and bore capacities to satisfy a whole host of application parameters.

A simple and cost effective alternative to gear couplings, the Falk Steelflex Grid range combines the high load capacity with the flexibility of an elastomer design.

The Falk Steelflex Couplings offer simpler installation than gear types, but sacrifice nothing in torque performance with ratings up to 932,000Nm.

They also provide protection against shaft misalignment and effectively dampen vibration and reduce the effects of shock loads by as much as 30%.

The unique 'replace in place' Grid Spring design of the Steelflex couplings eliminates the need to move hubs or re-align shafts, reducing Grid Spring change-out time.

Added to this, low initial cost and a guaranteed five-year , no-maintenance run time - with the use of long-lasting lubricant - assure the lowest lifetime operating cost in the torque range.

Setting new standards for reducing downtime, Wyko's new Falk Wrapflex coupling is a low cost, low maintenance, non-lubricated elastomer unit.

With Wrapflex, quick and easy installation and replacement is guaranteed because motors don't need to be moved.

The 'replace-in-place' elements at the heart of the design even eliminate the need for time-consuming realignment of power transmission components.

Available in 3 styles and 9 sizes the Wrapflex couplings have bore capacities up to 186mm, operate in the torque range to 15,000Nm and are backed by a three-year warranty.

WYKO's Falk Freedom Disc Couplings are a practical alternative to lubricated and elastomer couplings in many applications.

They are unaffected by extremes of temperature and moisture - which can be real problems for elastomer couplings - and their operating life is not reduced by exposure to sunlight or ozone.

Designed to provide continuous high-speed service with virtually no maintenance, the Freedom couplings have no moving parts, so lubrication is not required and production time is optimised.

Easy to install, the Freedom couplings are designed incorporating unitised Stainless Steel discpacks which ensures simple maintenance and a 'no backlash' connection.

The final new introduction to the WYKO-Falk range, Lifelign gear couplings, provide a low cost, long lasting solution to both large and small coupling requirements.

Designed to AGMA standards to achieve wide interchangability, and triple-crowned for maximum capacity, Lifelign couplings offer the highest bore capacities and ratings and are built to last longer as a result of such factors as superior lubrication (Long Term Grease) and a four point seal, both of which extend life and reduce maintenance.

Available in four types, with either flanged or continuous sleeves, the Lifelign couplings are suitable for a wide range of applications on such equipment as bulk handling systems, fans, pumps, cranes mixers, crushers, coilers, feed rolls, straighteners, as used in Steel and Paper making applications etc.

Shrink sleeving system achieves speeds of 150ppm

Shrink and stretch sleeving equipment features a radiant heat chamber and is capable of speeds up to 150ppm.

Aetna UK launched the AXON range of shrink and stretch sleevingequipment at the PPMA Show at Excel last September. Theyintroduced the EZ-130 shrink sleeving system complete with theEZ-24-SR radiant heat chamber, which is constructed fromstainless steel. This machine is capable of speeds up to 150ppmand has a sleeve layflat capacity from 15mm to 130mm.

Thisparticular model created a great deal of interest, particularlyfrom the dairy, food and body care industries, and by year endthe system was placed with one of Aetna's existingcustomers, where it is proving to be very effective.

AXONCorporation was founded over 10 years ago and today they are aworld leading manufacturer of automatic equipment offering achoice of machine speeds to meet the needs of all customers fromstart-up businesses to the largest multi national.

They can alsodesign custom machinery to meet specialised packaging needs.

Axonis the only manufacturer in the world to offer standard machinescapable of processing round, square or other shape productsranging from 20mm to 650mm in sleeve/band size, at speeds up to750 parts per minute for a single head system.

A major bottlemoulding company has placed an order for the first Axon/Styrotechsystem model ST-1030 which will be installed in March 2002.

If itproves successful, an order for a second machine will follow.Aetna are UK market leaders for pallet stretch wrap and have acustomer base of over 1000 companies.

These include a crosssection of customers in the food, drink, dairy and body careIndustries who already purchase machinery from the DIMAC range ofshrink wrapping equipment, and they intend to introduce thesecustomers to the Axon/Styrotech range.

Initial results arepositive and Aetna believes there is a good opportunity for aversatile range of quality machines, at very competitive prices.They fully expect to create a market niche for both stretch andshrink sleeving in 2002.

Aetna currently employ 10 fullyexperienced service engineers and hold a large stock of spareparts.

As further proof of their confidence in finding a seriousmarket segment in the UK for the Axon /Styrotech range, they havemade further investment in a newly created position, that ofCustomer Care Manager Currently celebrating their 10 yearAnniversary, Aetna are extremely proud of the reputation theyhave established since the company was launched and firmlybelieve they offer the very best technical and after-salessupport in the UK today.

How and where to use heated hoses

A twenty-page brochure dedicated heated hose systems and technologies provides technical information on the design, rating and specification of heated hoses.

Tyco Thermal Controls has produced a twenty-page brochure dedicated to its range of Isopad heated hose systems and technologies. It provides technical information on the design, rating and specification of heated hoses for process applications in industrial environments. Isopad heated hoses are suitable for use in a wide range of industrial processes to solve difficult handling problems - especially where substances are temperature critical.

Their construction provides resistance to high temperatures, pressures and aggressive materials, enabling substances to be transferred within plant where the use of fixed lines, with constant temperature control, is impractical.

Hoses can be tailored to provide application specific solutions and, for this purpose, the brochure contains a comprehensive briefing form to create the optimum construction for the individual process requirement.

19 inch front panel frames for diversity

Elma's 19 inch front panel frames are designed for applications that include building automation, security systems, telecoms and control cabinets for machine tools.

ELMA is well known for the great diversity of its 19' structural assembly parts. There are now 19' applications that do not specify the inclusion of complete card frames. The 19' front panel frame is aimed at these applications.

Patch fields, displays, interfaces and other front panel designs can be built up in combination with this solution.

Typical markets include building automation, security systems, telecoms and control cabinets for machine tools.

The visible side of the front panel frame is made of clear anodised aluminium with a hard and highly wear resistant surface.

It has a useable width of 84 HP and there are also 3 U and 6 U versions available with or without handle mountings.

As well as mechanical processing, ELMA's front panel service is available for electroplating, silk-screening and assembly - a comprehensive, single-source service.

Automated lubrication systems reduce wear

R J Herbert has incorporated Bielomatik automated lubrication systems into its packhouse machines to reduce component wear.

To help reduce component wear and achieve a smooth, quieter operation for many of its packhouse machines R J Herbert has incorporated Bielomatik automated lubrication systems. Once installed they deliver precise quantities of oil or grease directly to the required point of lubrication, using less lubricant, without overspill, without polluting the surrounding area and resulting in extended operational life of some machines by as much as 35% before requiring overhaul. R J Herbert design and build extremely robust packhouse machines, these can be found at many stages in the food preparation cycle, automated box tippers which raise, rotate and empty raw boxed root crops such as potatoes, parsnips and carrots at the start of the cycle, to highly efficient product size graders.

The nature of the business gives packhouses a reputation for placing high demands on machinery suppliers in terms of loading, reliability and performance.

To ensure free movement of sliding and rotating components grease nipples were originally mounted at various points throughout a piece of equipment.

Often being inaccessible, these relied on regular attention and the correctly specified lubricant, if a machines performance was to be maintained.

Today, many of the R J Herbert machines are fitted with a Bielomatik single line lubrication system.

Featuring piston metering valves, this automatically delivers controlled quantities of oil, in the case of the root crop grader machine to individual roller carrier links, not only reducing the noise level of moving components but also adding to machine reliability and longevity.

Large box tippers from R J Herbert are fitted with grease and oil systems from Bielomatik.

The oil system lubricates the roller bed drive chains, whilst the grease system lubricates the major bearings and hydraulic clevis points.

The little and often approach maintains a supply of grease to the bearings and helps stop the ingress of dirt and dust, one of the main contributors in premature bearing failure.

The lubricant is held in small storage tanks and is pumped to metering valves strategically positioned about the machine.

Bielomatik offer a choice of electrically or pneumatically operated pumps for automatic systems, whilst a hand pump is available for semi automatic manual systems.

After discharge of a precise quantity of lubricant, the metering valves recharge automatically, ready for the next lubrication cycle.

Many organisations are now finding that where component lubrication is necessary, frequent, small measured dosing, applied as the machinery is moving is far more effective and it has a tremendous cost advantage.

It eliminates that 'forgotten occasion' when multiple point manual greasing is overlooked.

After careful trialling to discover the appropriate amount of lubricant required the Bielomatik system is happy to be left alone.

Maintenance is minimal and down time low.

The only human intervention is to replenish the main oil reservoir when a low level warning is raised.