Machine Design

Backtalk 10/04/2012

Vector Award winners
igus, E. Providence, R.I., announced the winners of the third annual Global Vector Awards. The finalists were chosen from 162 entries received from 27 countries. Judges for this year’s competition were expert scientists and engineers from ZVEI (the German Central Association of Electrical Engineering and Electronics), WZL (Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering), the Institute of Technology at RWTH Aachen University, and TÜV Rheinland, an international service group that documents the safety and quality of new and existing products, systems and services.

Gold Winner – Kuka Cobra:
Kuka Systems, Sterling Heights, Mich., received the award and $6,475 for its Kuka Cobra machine, which loads and unloads presses at lightning speed. Consisting of a robot and a linear axis, the machine increases press-output capacities and reduces the distance between presses. The machine uses an igus’ E6 Energy Chain cablecarrier featuring special connectors to make the design compact and deliver quiet operation with little vibration.

Silver Winner – The Amoras project:
The award and $3,237.50 went to Joury van Gijseghem from Dredging, Environmental and Marine Engineering for the Amoras project — a plant that handles nearly 50,000 tons of sludge/yr that is dredged up for shipping routes in a harbor in Antwerp, Belgium. High-performance mobile pumps are fastened to an arch-shaped, rotating, 492-ft bridge. The pumps force sludge from a sedimentation basin through enormous hoses —up to 12 in. in diameter — for additional treatment. igus’ E4-350 plastic cable carriers guide the hoses over the whole length of the bridge.

Bronze Winner – Edge-banding machine:
Fabio Ferri from SCM in Italy, received the award and $1,295. SCM creates, produces, and distributes technologically advanced solutions to process a variety of materials. The company used igus’ Twisterband — a rotary cable carrier — to guide cables and hoses on an edgebanding machine. The tool processes wood, PVC, polypropylene, and aluminum using a number of different movements to follow the contour of the given material. The machine rotates up to 1,440° on its own axis in both directions, requiring a carrier that is lightweight and can cope with the complex movements. Twisterband replaced a costly and heavy electropneumatic distributor, which was not flexible enough. Lightweight Twisterband can handle rotary movements up to 3,000°.

Contest winners
Agilent Technologies Inc., Santa Clara, Calif., has announced the two grand-prize winners of its Test of Time power-supply contest. Richard Factor of Little Ferry, N.J., and Simon Jensen of Husum, Germany, will receive an Agilent N6705B dc power analyzer and three modules.

Engineers using vintage HP/ Agilent power supplies were asked to write a short story about their power supplies, describing how the instrument has been used over the years and how they are using it today to overcome test challenges.

Factor told about using a 1970s HP 6186B dc-current source to develop and monitor a system he devised that uses his Toyota Prius to supply power to his home during power outages. Jensen wrote how he used the current-sink capability of an Agilent 6632B dc-power supply to create an inexpensive load to test a switching power supply he built.

© 2012 Penton Media, Inc.

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