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In addition to numerous introductions of sensors and controls for temperature, pressure, and position, this year’s NPE brings an unusually large crop of plantwide process and production monitoring systems, including both high-end and entry-level versions. Portable machine-monitoring terminals also count among the new entries.
Eyes on your plant floor
New monitoring networks are the big newsmakers at this show. All the familiar names are bringing out new versions. Both Syscon-PlantStar and RJG are coming out with two plant-monitoring systems each—a low-end and a high-end version. Mattec and Hunkar Laboratories also have new versions of their Windows-based monitoring systems. And Moldflow will show off its new Moldflow Manufacturing Solutions (MMS) 1.0, which integrates into one platform the monitoring functions of its former Shotscope product with the control capabilities of the Moldflow Plastics Xpert (MPX).
Among the less-familiar names introducing new monitoring systems are Atrix International, showing its new Plant Floor Alert System, and Automation and Control, Inc. with its new Factory Intelligence Network. In addition, Plastisoft Corp. will introduce its new Mold Manager job-costing and scheduling software for moldmaking operations.
American MSI is showcasing a production-records management system designed specifically for the product-liability and regulatory concerns of medical-products manufacturers. Celltrak PROT records, archives, retrieves, and transmits data needed to comply with the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) requirements. It records recipes, setpoints, and actual process values, as well as any equipment changes—including the who, what, where, when, and why for all changes.
At the show you’ll also find newly enhanced ERP systems designed specifically for plastics. DTR Software International is introducing the new version of its software suite, and IQMS will bring the newest addition to its Enterprise IQ suite, the web-based IQ Quality Management module (see PT, Feb. ’03, p. 69). New from Canada is version 3.0 of the JobTrack web-based ERP system, designed by Cyframe International for injection molders and extruders of blown film, sheet, and profiles.
When it comes to monitoring one machine at a time, Priamus System Technologies is showing the new Mobile DAQ portable data-acquisition unit and its Priamus Tool Box software for mold set-up and machine analysis.
News in controls
In new temperature sensors and controls, Watlow will arouse interest with its new SD Series controller that’s addressable by a Palm PDA. Watlow’s new Infosense technology allows the user to input sensor characteristics into the controller based on data that comes with the sensor. This is said to improve accuracy at least 50%.
Meanwhile, Gefran’s new combined temperature and power controllers save space and wiring. Look for other new temperature controls at the booths of Ogden Manufacturing, RKC Instrument, and Tempco Electric Heater.
Low-cost pressure sensors are new from Terwin Instruments, while RJG is introducing piezoelectric cavity-pressure sensors and Gefran has new digital melt-pressure transmitters. Dynisco is bringing out networkable hydraulic- and melt-pressure transducers, as well as new pressure and process indicators that are smaller, faster, and less expensive than before.
Gefran also has new non-contacting, magnetostrictive position sensors, and Turck is introducing new position encoders. New motion controllers are to be seen at the booths of Delta Computer Systems, Moog, and Siemens Energy & Automation.