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Innovative Thinking

Premier Automation

Recent Posts

Learning about 3D Printing

 

3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing that allows for quick and easy prototyping of components to speed up a design process. While there is still a lot of work that goes into making a part, it is much faster than sending the work elsewhere, and allows the creator to have a full-sized model in hand in a few hours. 

SUCCESS STORY: Premier Automation gets Robotic Workcell up and Running

What is the Problem?

Harmony Castings is a job shop for cast aluminum parts. Several secondary operations are required after the casting process: gate and sprue cutting, heavy flash grinding, and surface finish grinding. Each operation is performed by an operator using hand-held equipment. This leads to strain from repetitive tasks, and increased labor.

Types of NEMA Ratings

 

Control cabinets are installed in many types of environments. To specify what conditions an enclosure will withstand, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, or NEMA, define a list of standards. These standards look at factors such as ability of an enclosure to resist dust, water, the formation of ice on the surface, submersion, corrosion, and other factors.

Types of Circuit Protection

 

Circuit protection should always be used to prevent damage to systems in the case of a power surge or a short circuit. Buildings have breaker boxes that help protect and distribute power. Plug strips and other devices fed from these breakers have their own protective components to provide local control and protection for the devices plugged into them. In control panels, protective devices are usually the first device in the circuitPower is then safely distributed to all other components in the system, and there are usually smaller protective devices further on in the panel for protection of specific devices. There are different types of protection for different loads and applications. 

Panel Certifications & Dumm Awards

 

Most products that you come across in your day-to-day life have been certified to meet certain safety standards. A certification is documentation provided by a certifying organization to show that a product meets all the requirements of that specific organization. If you look at your phone charger or most other electronics, you will probably notice the markings of UL, CUL, or some other certifying organization saying that your specific product meets their requirements. Control panels also have their own subset of certification. 

Dumm Contactors & Dumm Relays

 

Contactors and relays are switches that allow control of a system by opening and closing under power. There are two major components that make up these devices: a coil and contacts. When a small current is applied to the coil, it creates a magnetic field that pulls a contact into the opposite position. The contacts come as either normally open (NO) or normally closed (NC) and they allow different control states within a circuit. A normally open contact on a relay doesn’t allow current to flow in its natural, unactuated state; when power is applied to the coil, it then allows current to flow. A normally closed contact functions in the opposite way - it allows current to flow in its natural, unactuated state, and stops the flow of current when actuated. Contactors and relays can be purchased with many different configurations of contacts.

SUCCESS STORY: Premier Automation Engineers Get Robotic Cell Up and Running!

Recently, one of Premier Automation’s Senior Automation Engineers visited a customer in Ridgway, PA to assist them with their A2 robotic cell machine. The machine was brought into the U.S. from an OEM in Germany that is no longer in business. Traditionally, German code writing can be complex, which led to subsequent challenges for the customer. 


In addition, the system has a Siemens PLC with an FM357-2 module in it that was not functioning and needed to be replaced. These modules are not readily available—only from Siemens as a spare repaired unit. Once the module was replaced, it still needed to be configured, which not many people know how to do.

In conjunction with Siemens’ Hotline support, two of Premier Automation’s Senior Automation Engineers were able to determine the issues and get the machine back up and running. After several days of debugging and working through the code, Premier Automation was able to get the machine back into production.


To learn more, please visit premierautomation.com.

5G in Manufacturing

You may have heard of Industry 4.0 — the fourth Industrial Revolution — that’s been transforming the manufacturing world through the use of technology. Well with the introduction of 5G networks, Industry 4.0 is about to explode.

This new network has been gaining global popularity and acclaim in recent times, as it seems to be capable of changing the entire world of technology. 

Predictive Maintenance in Robotic Systems

As Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry, robotics and automation are becoming more and more popular. 

The factory of tomorrow is here today, and it’s here to stay. Robotic systems are typically able to work more effectively and efficiently than a fully human workforce. And if they can’t replace the standard workers entirely, bringing in a collaborative robot (cobot) can help a worker perform their job more effectively.

No matter how we look at it, robotic systems and automation in the factory are the way of the future. But what about maintenance? All these new robotic systems will need constant attention to ensure the system is working correctly and no parts are failing, right?

Of course they will! 

Except... that process is also becoming automated itself, thanks to the advent of predictive maintenance in robotic systems.

Automation in the Factory

With the advancements of robotics and automation in recent years, entire manufacturing systems and processes can be automated these days. A manufacturing process that’s able to monitor itself and run efficiently is something that you would’ve only seen in science fiction movies just a short few years ago.

But that dream is now a reality, with robots today able to handle more complex tasks than ever before. No matter what people’s thoughts about automating the workforce are, it is the way of the future. Automation in the factory is going to happen, it’s just a matter of whether or not factories and companies take that in stride and use it to their advantage or not. 

While we could go on for days about the advantages of automation in the factory and how it will help transform the world, let’s take a look at a few of the biggest benefits that it provides.