Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

April 15, 2020 

EIN Electromate logo 400Founded by Warren Osak, Electromate specializes in Robotic and Mechatronic Solutions, distributing AC & DC Servo and Stepper Motors, Drives, Controls, Positioning Systems & Robots to the industrial automation market. They are also ISO9001:2015 Registered Company and LEAN Process accredited. You can find their full offering HERE.

Electromate was founded by Osak in 1986 and have become a leader in the industry on the strength of their technical engineering expertise combined with Osak’s extraordinary work ethic, approach to business management and philosophy of continuous improvement.

In the Q&A below, Warren discusses considerations for automating processes and provides some thoughts on the current motion and drives industry landscape.

What are some of the key things for a manufacturer to consider when introducing automation and control into a production process?

First, start with the end in mind.  Define your requirement before you define your budget.  Since the cost to increase the precision of a system jumps exponentially with every 10-fold increase in precision, it’s wise to first define your requirement in terms of the needs of the process.  Far too often customers approach us asking for submicron bidirectional repeatability only to balk at the price.  Then when we review the customer’s actual requirements, we often see that micron level repeatability is more than satisfactory. 

Secondly, define what you hope to accomplish.  Are you looking for localized control or distributed control?  Localized control (at the machine level) is generally quicker to implement but has the limitation of no interoperability.  By contrast, distributed control systems are more complex to set-up but offer connectivity to an entire production line which has many benefits such as managing Kanban or Demand Flow production processes.

Lastly, are you looking for a turnkey plug & play solution, or a custom solution specific to your needs?  If the latter, it’s critical that you have onsite engineering support to maintain the operation of the machine.

How have advancements in Motion Controllers enhanced the capabilities of automation in manufacturing?

Over the last 10 years we’ve seen a convergence of Machine Control and Motion Control, whereby PLC’s are now performing more complicated motion control tasks, and Motion Controllers are now handling 500+ remote I/O points.

Additionally, the ability of Motion Controllers to perform algebraic functions have dramatically improved the capabilities of Motion Controllers, especially in the realm of Robotics.  Forward kinematic equations have given way to advanced inverse kinematic equations where the positioning of a robot arm can now be calculated using trajectory planning for positioning the arm in any three-dimensional space. 

What are some of the challenges of the current industry landscape, from your perspective as a distributor and solutions provider?

The Motion Control industry was born in the 1980’s, and as such is now considered a mature growth industry.  While the industry continues to grow at a modest rate, it lacks the sex appeal of newer millennial industries, such as the IT/Cloud/Software Technology industry which is primarily controlled by the FAANG oligopoly comprising Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet (formerly known as Google).

For many established companies in the Motion Control industry, competing for talent against these software behemoths has become a serious concern, especially as many of these companies have started or acquired their own Motion Control manufacturing divisions ie. Google’s Boston Dynamics robotics division.

What importance do you place on granularity with respect to products that are tailored specifically for a particular industry segment?

I wouldn’t say Electromate’s business is becoming more granular or segment oriented by choice.  Rather, the nature of the products we offer tend to sell better in demanding applications, and thus our customers look to use to solve their engineering challenges.

www.electromate.com

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EIN Rittal webinar 400Rittal is putting on a free webinar for their Canadian customers discussing how IoT enabled climate control solutions can help reduce energy costs by 75%. 

Time & Date: Tuesday, May 12 at 2PM EDT

Go HERE to register

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OntarioThe Ontario government has introduced grant funding for apprentices to purchase tools, protective equipment and clothing for their trade, along with forgiving previous loans to purchase tools. Which will be available later this year. The announcement also included support for laid off and unemployed hospitality workers.

The announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

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Worker RiskMany of us take risks in their daily lives, such as using our cell phone while driving or exceeding the speed limits, while fortunately avoiding any potential injury and damage. We are rewarded by a certain convenience when we take risks, such as apparent time savings as well as the tacit approval of observers who do not oppose our risky behaviour.

To reduce injuries in the workplace, we must all recognize that we are accepting certain risks on a daily basis and acknowledge the factors influencing risk tolerance.

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Sean SilveyBy Sean Silvey

More than 70% of workers believe there is an opportunity for more electrical safety training in the workplace, according to a January 2020 Fluke survey of 162 electrical workers. Three reasons why electricians may feel they don't get enough safety training for their jobs are because effective programs take a lot of time to set up, employees are often not engaged in the training or safety meeting, and safety isn’t talked about in a way that builds toward a strong safety program. Here’s what you can do to create a stronger training program.

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Louis Poulsen Lamp SeriesIn 2020, Louis Poulsen and BIG Ideas present a comprehensive new lamp series, Keglen, especially characterised by its distinctive design as well as classic superior lighting quality.

The key pieces in the Keglen series are four pendants (Ø175), (Ø250), (Ø400) and (Ø650) that each provide their very own diffusion of light using a curved glass insert, which is built into and adapted to each version of the shade.

The main feature of the lamp is the organic shaped glass that sits perfectly beneath the cone as a small water droplet shaped by physics and cohesive forces in nature, says Jakob Lange, Partner, BIG Ideas.

 

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Universal Lighting EVERLINE PWX LED DriversUniversal Lighting Technologies recently introduced 180W PWX LED drivers. These drivers are ideal for outdoor luminaire applications, such as street, roadway and site area lighting, as well as, indoor highbays using non-Class 2 drivers.

“As the outdoor and industrial lighting segments continues to expand, Universal is focused on providing solutions that help our customers capture more market opportunities by increasing controllable options,” said Kevin Boyce Director of Product Management for Universal. “The PWX drivers are available with 12Vdc or 24Vdc auxiliary power for lighting applications with on-board sensors or radios.”

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HazmastersHazmasters was founded with a dedication and focus on creating safer work environments. It is distributor of safety products servicing customers in the industrial, construction, commercial, institution, and government markets.

The company supplies safety products, conduct safety inspections and tests, as well as service and repair safety products it. A company that educates and trains. A company that delivers every aspect of workplace safety to the employer and follows up to make those solutions easy to implement and sustain.

 

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