Plant & Works Engineering
RFID: is it more than a smart barcode?

While there are some similarities between RFID tags and barcodes, there are also significant differences. Tony Coghlan, Managing Director at Turck Banner explains how his company is specialising in harvesting these extra benefits.

Are counterfeit bearings on the rise?

A petrochemical processor was recently forced to make an emergency shutdown to reveal that it was being supplied with counterfeit bearings. Most people do not fully appreciate the scale of the counterfeiting problem or the risks it creates. At a time of rising demand and growing pressures on supply chains, Chris Johnson* asks if the problem of counterfeiting may be on the rise.

Roller chain upgrade reduces costs for pizza manufacturer

Roller chains used to drive food packaging machines have to ensure stable motion. With produce destined for demanding supermarkets, conveyors driven by roller chains must maintain the quality of packaged produce, as well as high throughput. PWE reports.

Valve position sensors: making the right choices

If you think that valve position sensors are uninteresting devices and that there’s little to choose between them, read on, says Andy Walker of ifm electronic.

Optimising a new thermal fluid system

Clive Jones* explains how to optimise a new thermal fluid system.

Wireless pump monitoring and control for reservoirs

How would you expect to monitor water levels at a group of water reservoirs dispersed over a large area reservoir and control water pumps accordingly? Ian Loudon* spoke to PWE about what is needed for industry to overcome these challenges

Comprehensive belt ratings: a new level of predictive accuracy

With the launch of Gates’ GT4, the company highlights how it has conducted the most comprehensive ratings development plan in its history in order to provide its customers with the most accurate predictive tools in the industry. PWE reports.

Stepper motor versus servo motor: which is right for your application?

Mike Keefe* explains the differences between stepper and servo motors and when it is appropriate to use each technology

For prototyping and testing – 3D printing has the answers

Andy Pye reports on the final Talking Industry session of the year. It covered the burgeoning applications of additive manufacturing (3D printing). Additive manufacturing (AM) uses CAD data or 3D object scanners to deposit material, layer upon layer, in precise geometric shapes

A fine solution for cheese production

The Swiss company Kaesaro connects sensors and actuators in cheese cellar robots with Murrelektronik’s F&B Pro connectors designed for the food industry. This in turn has benefited both cleanability and longer maintenance intervals. PWE reports.

Pumps increase recovery rates

Fifteen water injection pumps are optimising production at Iraq’s largest oil field. PWE reports.

Thermal fluid or steam?

Clive Jones* gives advice on choosing the right heat transfer system for your application.

Transforming the factory floor

We’ve seen a gradual increased presence of robots on manufacturing factory floors, and industries that have embraced automation have seen an increase in efficiency and productivity. Gary Livingstone* reports

Identifying pump failures

From worn bearings to a damaged seal, seemingly minor issues can quickly escalate and lead to the shutdown of an entire pump system. Luckily, a careful preventive maintenance strategy can help pump owners identify potential threats before disaster strikes. Brian Tait* explains how.

How to maintain your seals during periods of no use

It is vital to check your seals constantly whether the machinery is being used or not. Especially during periods of no use, this is the perfect time to check your seals for any signs of damage and wear that you may need to address. It’s important to do this as seal failures can lead to equipment problems which may be detrimental to your equipment and business.

Maximising the opportunities of automation

The fifth in the Talking Industry series of online panel discussions focussed on developments in, and issues surrounding, robotic and advanced automation technologies. Andy Pye, who chaired the session, reports on some of the highlights of the lively session.

Pumps solutions

PWE reviews the concepts of mine water and mine water management as well as the most common pumping applications.

MegaSys hydraulics lineup expanded

Gates (NYSE: GTES), a leading global provider of application-specific fluid power and power transmission solutions, has announced it has introduced MEGASys MXT with XtraTuff

Achieving plant resiliency

Sean Robison* explains what modern technologies to implement that can improve overall equipment effectiveness and operational resiliency.

Cables: Adapting and transforming the manufacturing industry

In a wireless age, the use of cables may be losing its function in some industries, however for others, the role they play is as important as ever. In the case of the manufacturing, as technology becomes increasingly integrated, so does the prominence of cables. Stewart Beer* reports.

A catalyst for digital transformation

Chris Evans* looks at the effect the pandemic could have on the future adoption of automation in manufacturing within SMEs.

Surround yourself with pump expertise

Most pump failures are maintenance or installation-related and that is good news because it means that a lot can be done to minimise the risk. Proactive maintenance is key to eliminating common failure. It extends the useful life of the pump and increases both its efficiency and reliability. Bob Orme* reports.

New boiler installation at pet food manufacturer

A Babcock Wanson BWD40 Fire Tube Boiler has been installed in the Real Petfood Company’s manufacturing facility in Bodelwyddan, north east Wales, where it is being used to heat retort cookers and mixing vessels for high quality baked semi-moist pet treats and super premium biscuit products.

How to keep gearbox maintenance to a minimum

Marek Lukaszczyk* explains how gearbox manufacturers help reduce downtime and keep maintenance to a minimum.

Standing tall

Used throughout the water, petrochemical and power generation sectors to move large volumes of water, vertical suspended pumps are essential assets. By optimising performance and efficiency in these important pumps, both operating and maintenance costs can be significantly reduced. Jason Simcoe* and Seth Tate*look at how various aspects of vertical pump performance can be improved.

Taking responsibility for repairs to Ex-rated motors

Karl Metcalfe, technical support for the AEMT, looks at the knowledge and responsibilities that are expected when it comes to managing electric motors in zoned areas.

Optimising pump performance

Luca Lonoce, pump retrofit specialist at Sulzer, looks at the benefits of a pump retrofit project.

Increasing automation in the post-COVID Era

The theme of the second in the series of Talking Industry panel discussions was Increasing Automation in the post-COVID era. Chairman Andy Pye reflects on a session which set out to look forward to the opportunities, but couldn’t quite shake off the barriers from the past.

Maximising energy savings through the systems approach

Various countries around the world have taken different approaches towards energy usage and possible energy reduction. Across Europe, the Commission has concentrated on components within the Energy Related Products Directive (ErP).

Finding the best bearing solution for water treatment blowers

The turbocompressor has become a mainstay of modern water treatment technology. Ideally suited for the production of large volumes of compressed air at relatively low pressure, they rely on bearings that can spin at high speeds with minimal resistance and for extended periods. Today, the market is dominated by two rival technologies: air foil bearings and active magnetic bearings. Edward Paro of Sulzer compares their strengths and weaknesses.

How to prime your operation for an effective restart

John Smith* gives guidance to help optimise machine performance coming out of lockdown.

Collaboration with Bolton University announced

Bondlok UK a leading adhesives and sealants company has announced it has “bonded” with the University of Bolton which will help students to learn the latest in motorsport industry techniques.

Pumps and Valves: New normals, new challenges

While end users in the process industries began to digitise their plants decades ago with the introduction of “smart/intelligent,” digitally integrated process transmitters and final control devices, pumps and valves have often been last in the queue. Andy Pye, consultant editor for PWE, reports.

COVID-19 – how business is adapting in the face of adversity

Alistair Binks, general manager of technical and life sciences translation specialists Albion Languages, explains to Plant & Works Engineering how the COVID-19 pandemic has driven businesses to focus inwards, looking with a critical eye at their more “fragile” business areas, or those markets which they may have relied upon too heavily so far.

Understanding static electricity in Industrial environments

Steven Horn, European product manager, Mueller Electric Europe takes a look at static electricity and grounding in the industrial workplace.

Slow speed bearing inspection with ultrasound

Vibration analysis has long been the instrument of choice to use for bearings and other rotating equipment. More commonly, ultrasound is being used in conjunction with vibration analysis to help technicians confirm the condition of mechanical assets. PWE reports

Process control valves - making the right choice

Modern process control valves offer a wide range of features and benefits for industries that require precise control over fluids, steam and other gases. With so many control valves on the market, it is important to establish the features that will deliver the most cost-effective design for a particular application. Damien Moran, field segment manager, hygienic -pharmaceutical at Bürkert, looks at some of the basic differentiators as well as some recent design developments

Hydraulic fluid helps plastics packaging manufacturer achieve 7% energy saving

Case Study: A switch to Mobil DTE 10 Excel hydraulic fluid has helped MPact Polymers reduce the energy used by processing equipment at its Pinetown site by 7%. The move also helped optimise equipment performance, which reduced unscheduled maintenance, while the hydraulic fluid’s long life cut waste oil disposal costs.

Accurate modelling widens the use of hybrid bearings

A new modelling approach for hybrid bearings gives a more accurate picture of their performance and helps engineers justify their use in the correct application, writes Guillermo Morales-Espejel, Principal Scientist at SKF Research and Technology Development.

Extended Product Directive – a pump is not a light bulb

The aim of the EU Eco-Design Directive is to improve the environmental impact of energy-intensive products by optimising their design. Since pumps require a lot of energy, some inevitably fall within scope of this directive. Better design could significantly reduce their energy consumption. However, considerably more can be achieved if the pump is not viewed in isolation, but as part of the overall system along with its electric motor and controller.

Robots or cobots; Which to choose?

Jonathan Wilkins, director of industrial automation parts supplier, EU Automation, discusses what manufacturers should consider when choosing which type of robot to invest in.

Southern Manufacturing returns

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics returns to Farnborough between February 11th-13th 2020, and will again include a range of exhibitors spanning the full panorama of engineering activity. PWE reports.

Managing food waste

Tobius Antius, CEO of food process automation company Novotek AB, explains how, with automation and systems, manufacturers can help to minimise the creation of food waste in manufacturing.

The benefits of retrofitting pumps

PWE takes a look at the potential benefits that can be achieved when retrofitting pumps.

Conveying the benefits of split spherical roller bearings

When it was first introduced a little over a century ago, the heavy-duty belt conveyor revolutionised the mining, quarrying and cement industries. Maintaining this machinery, however, has always been a slow, expensive and dangerous task. PWE reports.

PPMA Total 2019 to showcase latest packaging and processing solutions

Staged every three years, PPMA Total Show (1-3 October 2019, National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham) is the UK’s largest processing and packaging machinery exhibition. PWE reports.

Extending pump life expectancy

Chris Muscavage, field technical service engineer, at Sulzer, looks at the importance of pump performance testing and how it can improve plant reliability.

Addressing piston seal failure

Are you taking the risks of hydraulic piston seal failure seriously enough? PWE takes a look at the heavy demands placed on these seals and describes the development of new solutions to overcome their challenges.

Challenging dosing tasks solution

In modern paper and cardboard production there are endless dosing tasks, for which precision and high reliability are especially critical. Mindful of these factors, European carton maker Moritz J Weig GmbH is increasingly turning to Qdos peristaltic pumps from Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group (WMFTG). PWE reports.

Sensor solutions

Precision sensor technologies are not only proving their value during the production and testing of wind turbines, but also in the real time condition monitoring of operationally active onshore and offshore wind farms, says Chris Jones, managing director of Micro-Epsilon UK.