News from the Trenches: Highlighted Tech at Automation Fair 2022
Last week, we went boots on the ground and hit the streets in Chicago (ok, hit the show floor) to find out what exciting trends and technologies will be addressed by the leading manufacturers in 2023.
In the control system engineering space, different tasks require vastly different product lines to achieve success. From wiring, to designing, to networking, to cloud-based programming, each operational area demands speed and efficiency.
After the show, we compiled a list of some of the newest technology trends setting the pace in these functional areas. Every company has a need for a wide variety of solutions, and we are here to explore and address them all.
The following list summarizes a few of those products and innovations, and then I hope you stick around to enjoy the pictures from the show floor.
Plant Electricians - Hubbell
Increase speed when building and repairing wiring terminals. Twist-Lock receptacles and plugs use a spring-loaded clamp system to instantly secure and easily release wires when making field connections, reducing commissioning and repair time dramatically!
Material Conveyance Designers - Itoh Denki
Using the motorized roller conveyor modules, easily access either side or cross the path of a conveyor without an overhead metal bridge or crawl space underneath using the Slide-Open Gate, or SOG.
Servo Motors - Wittenstein
Servo motors provide maximum precision for many rotary and linear motion applications, and when paired with an appropriate gearbox and drive controller, the system is compatible with nearly any logic or process automation controller.
Electrical CAD Engineers in Panel Shops - nVent Hoffman
Machine control center design involves a lot of steps and experienced hands, from the initial CAD to the final fabrication. Design-to-Engineering software by Zuken in partnership with nVent Hoffman automates everything from component placement, to schematic design, to wire and enclosure cutting.
Energy and Utility Control Engineers - Schweitzer
High voltage energy generation and transmission systems involve components on a whole different scale than those in a machine control center. SEL provides components, including feeder protection relays, to monitor and control crucial infrastructure.
Control Networking and IT/OT Engineers - ProSoft
One of the most important questions in the industrial IT/OT space is, How do I get data from one system to another securely and reliably? Protocol conversion gateways and modules can interface even the oldest legacy systems with the newest standard protocols, including Wi-Fi and bluetooth when necessary.
Cloud Data Access for Software Developers - HMS Networks
Data collection is not useful at all without an end goal. That goal may be automated optimization, but at an introductory level, it may be simple monitoring and displaying of critical process data and uptime. WEBfactory by HMS Group can help to fashion data dashboards to let you view your process information and make better decisions.
Education for Teachers and Company Training Managers - Amatrol
Control systems trainers solve challenges not only for schools (both high schools and colleges) but also for companies wishing to invest in upskilling and retaining talent. The workforce challenges have been a discussion for the past few years, but there are solutions!
And now, we hope you enjoy a selection of some of the pictures from the shop floor and see some of the tech that might someday boost productivity and efficiency in your own facility!
Automation Fair, Chicago, 2022
The FANUC 200iD can be controlled with the new tablet pendant
Cutaway view of a servo motor
Servo motor, drive, power supply, and PLC system
Material conveyance system
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a program for middle to high school students to engage with technology
Automatic CNC cutouts for electrical enclosures based on mech/elec CAD data
Protocol conversion gateways and networking equipment
Comau robotic arm solutions
VFDs for various applications and power outputs
Remote and field I/O module options
Servo drives controlling a 6-axis robotic arm
The AC clamp meter is an extremely useful tool!
Process sensors monitor flow, temperature, pressure, level depth, etc.