Automation of Industrial Processes

The rapid expansion of a huge international market requires the industrial sector to optimize production processes to achieve a greater market share and increase competitiveness. To achieve this, engineering has promoted the development of areas such as mechanics, electronics and robotics to manage and consolidate the automation of industrial processes.

Automation is the implementation of intelligent systems and technologies to operate machinery and control production processes, regardless of human operation in jobs that require greater effort and represent a huge risk to the health and welfare of workers. Currently, there are three types of automation in accordance with the degree of production and needs of a certain industry:

Fixed Automation:

Designed for large-scale manufacturing: A specialized machine or equipment is used to produce a part of a product or the product itself, in a fixed and continuous sequence. This type of automation is ideal for producing large volumes of products that have a long-life cycle, an invariable design and a broad consumer demand. Its main limitations are the high initial cost and the lack of flexibility of the equipment to adapt.

Programmable Automation:

Suitable for a smaller production volume, segmented by batches, programmable automation allows to change or reprogram the sequence of operation, by means of a software, to include the variations of the product. Among the most used equipment for this type of automation are numerical control machines, robots and programmable logic controllers.

Flexible Automation:

Designed for an average production level, flexible automation is the extension of programmable automation. It reduces the programming time of the equipment and allows to alternate the elaboration of two products (in series) when mixing different variables. Flexibility refers to the ability of teams to accept changes in the design and configuration of the product, thus reducing costs for companies.

Advantages of Industrial Automation

  • Decreases manufacturing costs
  • Increases the efficiency of the production process.
  • Speeds the response to market demands.
  • Replaces the man with complicated industrial processes that endanger his physical integrity
  • Favors business competitiveness.
  • Improves the security of the processes and the quality of the production.

Disadvantages of Industrial Automation

  • Generates technological dependence
  • Requires a large initial investment
  • Lack of trained personnel to manage the equipment
  • Susceptibility to technological obsolescence
  • The resistance of the workers to the change

One of the main challenges of the implementation of automated systems in industries is to balance the work done by computerized equipment and robots with the work performed by the operators. While technology helps to optimize processes and limits human intervention, it does not replace it completely. The error is to associate industrial automation with unemployment since human presence is necessary for the management, supervision and control of complex production processes.

Invention Blueprints

Patent Drawings

Patent drawings are one of the most important and key features required from the USPTO while an Inventor files for a patent. These invention blueprints, or patent drawings consist of dimensions, views, and other information to help relate not only the inventions look, but also its functionality. CAD is the tool in most cases that is used in order to design patents. Any Inventor should definitely familiarize themselves with CAD because it is a staple within any type of design now a days, and especially within Inventions and prototype design.

CAD Designers

Invention designers or CAD designers are the ones who actually manipulate CAD software into creating something known as a 3D model. 3D models are used for several different things, and invention blueprints as well as patent drawings are just a few. These complex design files hold all the necessary information to instruct machines that manufacturer rapid prototypes and inventions how to operate. These CAD files are extremely diversified in the sense that one 3D model can perform several task. In the end if an Inventor chooses the right Invention Designer this fact will permit them to save money by purchasing more than one service from the invention design company.

3D Modeling Services

The majority of 3D modeling services perform only certain types of design in which inventions and prototypes are not usually within. 3D modeling services will generally only perform design task such as architectural work, mechanical, electrical, or some specialty field. If you’re interested in finding a CAD design service who specializes in invention design, your best bet would be to search online. Invention design services are out there, but if you’re not careful it’s easy to get mixed up with the wrong one who can turn your patent mission into a complete nightmare.

CAD Prototype

So within the first steps an Inventor takes they are normally notified that they will need a CAD Prototype. Unless an Inventor creates the prototype from hand a CAD file will surely be needed. In all reality when someone thinks of the word prototype they normally associate a high dollar amount for cost with it. Really this is the furthest thing from the truth if you can find an honest invention design service or rapid prototype service to perform your needs. Really an Inventor should look for one service to not only design the prototype, but also make the prototype. If found this service should produce reduced cost to the Inventor since they are purchasing more than one service from them.

What You Need to Know About Live Overhead Lines

Sometimes these overhead lines are just not visible on a cold, foggy evening or when they merge with the surroundings or they hang parallel below other lines resulting in accidents.

Overhead lines termed as ‘distribution’ or ‘transmission lines’ hold wires which can be bare though some may have insulation covers. However, sometimes the insulation covers can be damaged or worn out and hence, while working in their close proximity precautionary steps needs to be taken. The law states the minimum height required to be kept for the lines which is dependent upon the voltage carried by them.

Avoiding Risk of Contact with Overhead Lines
Whenever there is going to be work in close vicinity of the lines then there is a need for proper consultation with the involved parties to take place and with adequate planning and good management accidents can be avoided. Options of switching off the lines can be explored during the tenure of your work and if this is not possible then alternative means of avoiding the risks have to be thought of. In this context, understanding the distance between the equipment and the overhead wires that can guarantee safety clearance and determining the competency of the people working in close proximities to the lines is important.

Making Use of Overhead Line Cover
One option which allows a safe working environment below the lines is to use an overhead line cover. This is a wraparound stuff of medium voltage that is applied around the lines and acts as a bespoke fitted insulation for overhead electrodes. This helps to eliminate the occurrence of electrical failures caused by birdlife or trees touching the distribution lines. The material that goes into its manufacture is top grade Non Tracking Polyolefin and this is responsible for insulating the bare lines without incurring expenses on expensive conductor replacement hardware. Selective installation of this line cover is also possible. Insulation covers of this kind offer total electrical safety while work is being carried out under the lines.

Another important electrical accessory besides the insulation covers and overhead line cover is the screened separable connector. Screened separable connectors offer touch proof terminations and are widely used in underground distribution power lines or electric substations besides other applications.

What You Should Know
Every individual needs to be aware of the dangers that can arise from a live overhead wire. Firstly touching the live overhead line is not a sole necessity for the occurrence of accidents; moving in close proximity of the line can lead to a flashover that can be fatal. Overhead held on wooden poles should not be confused with telephone lines. It should be remembered that rubber or wood in a damp condition will not act as a safety tool.

It is therefore highly important to make use of the right electrical accessories in all the related work for ensuring safety of life and property.

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Different Types Of Transformer Cores And Their Working

In today’s fast-paced landscape, electricity is important and so are electrical appliances. To ensure their hassle-free working, you need to supply them the right amount of power that calls for the installation of a device that transmits power. And a Transformer is the one you can rely on for this. It is a static device that is designed to meet the purpose of transmitting power from one source to another through electromagnetic induction. It consists of cores and windings, which make the device working. There are different types of cores used in its construction and here are some important details that you need to know about them.

What Are Transformer Cores?

These are pieces of magnetic material with a high magnetic permeability, which is used to guide magnetic fields in transformers. They play a very important role in ensuring the smooth transmitting of power, thus, you have to be attentive while making the selection. These are made of different materials and having a proper knowledge related to it is important, to invest in the right solution. If you are a novice, here are some of its different types and their working as well.

  • Steel Laminated Cores: These types of transformer cores are known for their permeability, which reduces magnetizing current and makes them suitable option to use in transmitting voltage in the audio frequency level. It is available in several designs and each of their design serves a different purpose and has its own advantages to offer.
  • Solid Cores: These are basically the one with the highest magnetic permeability and electrical resistance. They tend to use in electrical transmission, where the frequency is more than just high and require smooth and safe performance. As their name says, these are solid in nature and have a long-serving life.
  • Toroidal Cores: These are used as an inductor in electric circuits because of their circular design. These are very much effective and efficient in handling the high level of energy load. With this design option, windings cover the entire surface.

These were the few transformer cores that are used in the construction of the device. Now before you make any investment in the device, make sure it fulfills your requirements and let your device work properly. To minimize your chances of getting the wrong option, always buy this static device from the Transformer Manufacturers. Their price is not so high and can fit in your stipulated budget, so, you should invest in them to ensure power supply throughout the appliances.

5 Challenges Facing the Industrial & Manufacturing Sector

  • Changing Compliance Regulations & Traceability
  • Relevance
  • Skills Gap
  • Healthcare
  • Environment Concerns

The industrial and manufacturing sector keep evolving and that evolution doesn’t just happen. It’s almost always a direct result of overcoming the challenges that threaten the very existence of the sector. So, are there any challenges that the sector is dealing with currently?

Well, here are 5 challenges the manufacturing sector is currently trying to overcome.

Changing Compliance Regulations & Traceability

Changing regulations have always haunted manufacturers. But, they’re there for a good reason. Without compliance standards, manufacturers could very well end up cutting corners, which ultimately ends up affecting the end consumer.

So, for the sake of things such as quality control or proper waste management, compliance standards need to exist. However, complying with new standards isn’t an easy task for manufacturers. More often than not, they’re a burden and thanks to globalization, manufacturers are also forced to deal with regulations that are unique to each territory.

Manufacturers are also tasked with tracking compliance as well. This means that have to go through the entire supply chain to check for compliance, right from vendors to the end-product that’s sent to the customer.

Relevance

As technology evolves, the rate of innovation increases. But, this also means companies have to rush and that can lead to all kinds of temptations. The urge to skip a step or avoid certain tests can be hard to resist when the goal is to market the product as soon as possible.

But, the last thing a manufacturer needs is to put the business at risk with a low-quality product. So, innovation management becomes a must in these situations. Preferences change by the day and any delay in delivering appropriate solutions can mean the end of everything.

So, manufacturers have to establish a system that allows for the consistent delivery of new ideas and innovation. Only this can sustain manufacturing success.

Skills Gap

As one generation exits the workforce, it makes way for a new generation of workers. This transition is, in itself, quite a challenge. But, things are very different today.

Manufacturers face the challenge of filling up those positions with equally skilled members from the current generation. However, the new generation of employees is simply not skilled enough, making the challenge even harder to overcome. As a result, manufacturers have to develop strategies such as working with the education sector to offer the skills training necessary to fill these positions.

Some manufacturers are also retaining skill by extending the retirement age.

Healthcare

As healthcare costs go up, it becomes very difficult for manufacturers to manage their budgets. For instance, in the US, it’s manufacturers who foot healthcare bills for their employees. But, with costs going up, it is simply not feasible and there are no viable alternatives.

Environmental Concerns

Regulations with regard to sustainable and environmentally safe processes and practices put more strain on the manufacturing process. Whether it’s waste disposal or the regulation of materials, more resources are needed to follow best practices.

Precision Carbon Steel Pipe Pickling Process

In the rolling of seamless steel tubes, especially in the production process of precision seamless steel tubes, how does the acid pickling process proceed? Today, the mysterious veil is unveiled for you!

The use of an acid solution to remove scale and rust from steel surfaces is called pickling. Iron oxides (Fe3O4, Fe2O3, FeO, etc.), such as scales and rust, chemically react with the acid solution to form salts that are dissolved in the acid solution and removed. Pickling acids include sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, nitric acid, and mixed acids.

Mainly impregnated pickling, jet pickling and acid paste rust removal. In general, the impregnation pickling method is generally used, and the spray method can be used in mass production. Steel parts are generally pickled in 10% to 20% (by volume) sulfuric acid solution at a temperature of 40°C. When the iron content in the solution exceeds 80g/L and the ferrous sulfate exceeds 215g/L, the acid solution should be changed. At room temperature, pickling of steel with 20% to 80% (by volume) hydrochloric acid solution is not prone to over-corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement. Due to the great effect of acid on metal corrosion, corrosion inhibitors need to be added. After cleaning, the metal surface becomes silver white, and the surface is passivated to improve the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel.

In order to eliminate the surface adsorption of the diatomaceous earth carrier and reduce the tailing of the chromatographic peaks, the carrier must be acid-washed or alkali-washed prior to use. Pickling is carried out by dipping the carrier with 6 mol/L hydrochloric acid for 2 hours or heating with concentrated hydrochloric acid for 30 minutes, filtering, washing with water to neutrality, and drying. Pickling removes impurities such as iron, aluminum, calcium, and magnesium on the surface but does not remove silanol groups. Pickling supports are suitable for the analysis of acidic samples.

Degreasing and derusting the surface of precision seamless steel tubes to prepare for the next process. In the production process, the pickling process is to remove the surface oxide skin, after the lubrication treatment (carbon steel – phosphorus saponification, stainless steel – tallow lime, copper aluminum – oiled), with the old process – copper plating), and then Carry out deep processing. If the steel pipe is not pickled and there may be oxides and oil on the surface, the phosphating solution cannot remove them and the quality of phosphating will be reduced.

Top 4 Ways of Forming Plastic and Their Advantages

Plastic manufacturing has emerged as one of the biggest industries today. From packaging material to heavy-duty industrial parts, uses of plastic are widespread. To a general onlooker, most kinds of plastic materials may look the same. Yet, their core material and Plastic Fabrication processes may vary greatly. Given below are some of the Plastic Manufacturing Processes and their advantages.

Injection Molding
Injection Molding is one of the most popular methods used by Plastic Manufacturers. The biggest edge of Plastic Molding is in its cost-effectiveness. Plastic Manufacturing Companies can produce goods at a large scale in the lowest costs. It also produces the least amount of waste and hence it is an ideal process for Plastic Manufacturing Companies. From small kitchen appliances to large bathroom fittings, this process is suitable for manufacturing all kinds of Plastic Profiles.

The process
The process is very simple. Resins are heated to their melting point. Then they are pushed into the mold. The molten plastic is pressed to take the form of the mold. It is an ideal process for manufacturing a large quantity of material at low cost. However, preparing the mold is very expensive. This process wouldn’t be feasible if the quantity of goods required is low.

Blow Molding
This is a highly adaptable process used in the Plastic Industry. It is commonly used for manufacturing bottles, containers and other kinds of hollow lengths. It is a fast and inexpensive process for making thin-walled hollow shapes. You can obtain complex shapes through this process.

The process
Air pressure is used in this process to expand the molten thermoplastic into the desired shape. It is a good process for obtaining seamless hollow shapes.

Custom Plastic Extrusion Molding
Custom Plastic Extrusion is an ideal method for getting Plastic Profiles with strict tolerance. You can work with a variety of materials and shapes in Custom Plastic Extrusion method. Accuracy and consistency are the biggest plus points of this method.

The process
The plastic resins are melted and passed through a die. You can get fixed plastic shapes with desired IDs and ODs. You will also have complete freedom to choose the shape and size of the material. The process uses dies and tools and hence it is very economical if the quantity of the order is high. Preparing the dies and tools is expensive and hence it may not remain a feasible option if the order size is small. Yet, if accuracy and consistency are your prime requirements then this process is for you.

Rotational Molding
The rotational molding method is also used for making hollow objects like blow molding. However, the raw material used in this process is different. It uses plastic powder instead of plastic resins. Nylon, ABS, polyethylene,and PVC are some of the common materials used in this process. This is an ideal process if you are trying to create large, hollow or concave shapes. It produces seamless and stress-free finished goods. The process uses simple and inexpensive tools,however, the tools need to be replaced frequently. The quality of finished goods obtained through this process is average and it is not an ideal process for precision forming.

The process
In this process, the plastic powder is placed in the mold and heated on a furnace. Once hot, the mold is continuously rotated to facilitate thorough coating of the mold’s inside. Once done the mold is removed and cooled in a controlled environment. Both heating and the cooling processes need to be monitored with great precision as quick temperature differences can lead to the formation of bubbles and warps.

Plastic Manufacturers use several other methods too like vacuum forming, compression molding, and thermoforming for making Plastic Profiles. The choice of process largely depends upon the kind of shape, consistency and order quantity required.

How to Perfect Your MIG Welding Techniques

Want to perfect your MIG welding technique?

Then here is what you need to know. The reality is there are only 4 main techniques used:

  • Side to side
  • Whipping
  • Circles
  • Weaving

Guess what? None of these effect the quality as much as:

  • Joint preparation
  • Machine set-up
  • Getting comfortable

Most welders get so caught up in techniques that they over look the basic foundations of preparation. Once you spend enough time practicing your eye and hand coordination will do all of the work!Joint preparation

MIG welding requires a clean joint! If you have rust, mill scale, moisture, oils, paints or any substance that is not clean shiny metal then there is no welding technique that can help you! Remember welding is about following procedures and there is nothing more important then joint preparation. The World’s best welders cannot make a decent weld if the joint is not properly prepared. Take a robot that produces x-ray quality welds and then add a little grime to the weld area and all of a sudden that robot won’t be able to make a half decent weld!

If you don’t prepare your joint properly you will end up doing twice the work in repairs and it will never look right.

Machine set-up

Machine set-up is the most important part for producing a good weld. Voltage and wire feed speed can make or literally break a weld. When learning how to weld the most important exercise you can do is learn how to set-up your machine. Better yet try a new machine every day you weld so you force yourself to learn proper machine set up. A good exercise is to take the MIG gun and weld on a scrap piece of metal without looking. The sound alone can tell you if your machine is set right. squeeze the trigger and listen. You want the sound of an egg sizzling on a hot frying pan. Play with both the voltage and wire feed speed until you master every combination possible. Don’t be scared and take some risks! Thats the only way you will learn. On a side note every welding machine runs a little different. You need to learn how to adapt.

Getting comfortable

When it comes to the actual welding technique there is one rule you need to follow! Get comfortable! Lean and brace yourself so your hands are rock solid. If you need to tack on a piece of metal to lean on then do that. I like to keep a channel lock that I use as a shelf to lean on. As time goes by and you break a 1000 hours of practice you will learn your body’s ability. For example when I weld regularly I can weld overhead left and right handed without looking and produce a picture perfect weld. When I started I could barely keep the arc lite because my arms would fall from the gravity pulling on them.

In the end it does not matter how skilled you are because you still need a clean joint, the right voltage and wire feed speed settings with the comfort to steady your body and focus on your eye and hand coordination.

5 Different Types of Printed Circuit Boards

A printed circuit board (PCB) is a standard component in many different electronic gadgets, such as computers, radars, beepers, etc. They are made from a variety of materials with laminate, composite and fiberglass the most common. Also, the type of circuit board can vary with the intended use. Let’s take a look at five of the different types:

Single sided – this is the most typical circuit board and is built with a single layer or base material. The single layer is coated with a conductive material like copper. They may also have a silk screen coat or a protective solder mask on top of the copper layer. A great advantage of this type of PCB is the low production cost and they are often used in mass-produced items.

Double sided – this is much like the single sided, but has the conductive material on both sides. There are many holes in the board to make it easy to attach metal parts from the top to bottom side. This type of circuit board increases operational flexibility and is a practical option to build the more dense circuit designs. This board is also relatively low-cost. However, it still isn’t a practical option for the most complex circuits and is unable to work with technology that reduces electromagnetic interference. They are typically used in amplifiers, power monitoring systems, and testing equipment.

Multi-layer – the multi-layer circuit board is built with extra layers of conductive materials. The high number of layers which can reach 30 or more means it is possible to create a circuit design with very high flexibility. The individual layers are separated by special insulating materials and substrate board. A great benefit of this type of board is the compact size, which helps to save space and weight in a relatively small product. Also, they are mostly used when it is necessary to use a high-speed circuit.

Flexible – this is a very versatile circuit board. It is not only designed with a flexible layer, but also available in the single, double, or multi-layer boards. They are a great option when it is necessary to save space and weight when building a particular device. Also, they are appreciated for high ductility and low mass. However, the flexible nature of the board can make them more difficult to use.

Rigid – the rigid circuit board is built with a solid, non-flexible material for its layers. They are typically compact in size and able to handle the complex circuit designs. Plus, the signal paths are easy to organize and the ability to maintain and repair is quite straightforward.

Plastic Injection Molding In Manufucturing

Injection molding is an essential stage in the manufacturing of many materials that are made from their molten forms. In this process, the raw form of the object to be made are carefully put under high temperatures to melt and then injected into a mold and during the solidification process, the mold takes the desired shape.

Examples of materials that are used in this process are; plastics commonly known as thermoplastic and other polymers, glasses, metals in a process known as die casting and elastomers. Many manufacturing companies carry out this process since it is used in the manufactures of things such as home appliances automotive, parts, among many other daily essential gadgets that we come across.

What sets Injection Molding Manufacturers apart?

Despite such a step being the only way manufacturers get their end product, variations do occur and the following several aspects are the reason this happens.

The best companies always keep up with the technology; this has greatly affected the quality of those that have adamantly refused to embrace it. There are new and faster ways of doing things as opposed to how they used to be done, and therefore quality and customer preference has improved with technology.

Manufacturers require a dedicated team of engineers who design products that are in compliance with the law and those that are self-marketing. This is a huge standard that has widened the gap between different manufacturers.

There is the standard way of doing things such as mixing of the right materials in injection molding plant for one to get the right end product. The cost of these raw materials may be costly but only the best companies will ensure this is not a reason to compromise on their product.

A team of dedicated individuals, this allows minimal supervision and encourages accountability; hence everything is made with the right amount of precision, maintaining a high-quality product.

Manufacturers have always learned to maintain such an impressive portfolio by ensuring they do timely prototyping, lagging at this has consequently affected the performance and the overall rating of any company. Injection molding companies are typically supposed to prototype their product before the actual manufacture to ensure they get the desired product when the process commences.

Conclusion

This crucial process carries the weight when we come to the manufacturing of any product, and thus observing such guidelines as the ones that have enabled companies to scale big heights is encouraged. Take time to research on those that are highly ranked and have gotten accreditations from the manufacturing authorities and have great products in the market.