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surface grinder upgraded

Controller Upgrade for Surface Grinders

In: Machine upgrade, Blog

The MAP programming language now supports hydraulic valve operated axis. A new MAP command makes it easy to control valved controlled linear axis such as are often found on surface grinders. This type of axis is designed to Oscillate between two limit switches, the system works by changing direction when the axis reaches a limit switch. The switches can be moved by the machine operator to control the distance of travel and the table offset. The new command allows the user to start an axis in either forward or reverse direction or stop at the forward or reverse switches and of course stop altogether. The machine safety is also included and double switch failure detection is automatically enabled.

By: Tony McDonald August 15th 2016

LVD2014/35EU The EU rolls out new rules to prevent unfair competition

As of April 20 2016 there is a new version of the Low Voltage Directive (LVD). This new law effects electrical equipment designed for use with a voltage rating of between 50 and 1000 V for alternating current and between 75 and 1500 V for direct current, other than the certain specified equipment. This directive is designed to enhance safety and prevent unfair competition in the market so so is likely to be good news for us. Here are some of the key points:

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Product marking: The important point is that there must be specific numbering must allow making a clear link to the relevant documentation that demonstrates the conformity of the specific type of product, in particular the declaration of conformity. This section is the same virtually the same as the section below, however it refers mainly to products that are sold under a brand or label other than the manufactures label in which case there has to be clear specific information given regarding the specifications as per the line above.

Manufacture and product information: Importance is given to the numbering system and making a clear link to the relevant documentation that demonstrates the conformity of the specific type of product, in particular the declaration of conformity.

Manufacture or importer marking: The manufacturer or importer must indicate their name, registered trademark and Name and address on the product. Article 6.6 (3) a single contact postal address on the product or, when not possible If lack of space, would be possible to indicate the name because of the size or physical characteristics of the product, on its and address within the product? packaging and/or on the accompanying documentation.

Safety instructions: Instructions and safety information need to be provided, whether the Instructions and safety information product is intended for consumers or other end-users. The Low Voltage Directive does not make a distinction on who is the user of the product. The documentation should include all the necessary information for the safe use of the product, to enable the user to assemble, install, operate, As Low Voltage Directive covers safety matters only, store, maintain, repair, and dispose of the product.

Importer Article 8.2: Before placing electrical equipment on the market the importer has an obligation to ensure that the appropriate conformity assessment procedure has been carried out by the manufacturer. The importer does not have to have a copy of the technical manufacturer documentation, but but has to ensure that the technical documentation can be made available to competent national authority upon request. Equipment bears the CE marking and is accompanied by appropriate marking. Even if there is no explicit obligation, the importer is advised to seek formal assurance in writing from the manufacturer that the documents will complied with the requirements set out in Article 6(5) and be made available when requested by the surveillance authority. But the (6)” technical documentation can be given directly by the manufacturer to the surveillance authorities. What is important is that the authorities receive the How do we interpret “the market importers shall documentation and that at importer's request the manufacturer provides the ensure”? Does it mean that the importers must have a information to Member States. copy of the declaration of conformity and the Technical Documentation

Instructions article 8.4: “Importers shall ensure that the electrical equipment is accompanied by instructions and safety information in language which can be easily understood by consumers and other end-users, as determined by the Member State." This does not mean that instructions need to be translated into the language of the local market. However manufactures would be well advised to seek the advice of their distributors as to the best practice for that market place. Sometimes the costs of not having good instructions exceed the costs of writing and translating instructions and other documents. Sometimes good intuitive screens can prevent the need to translate both the instructions and screen content for products with a user interface. However if in doubt do both!

Technical Data: “Directive 2014/35/EU Annex III.2 requires from the documentation start a risk analysis of the specific risks of the product to address them in manufacturer to include an appropriate risk analyses and order to comply with the essential requirements of the Directive because Annex III.2 evaluation in the technical documentation without providing any further details.”

All this means is that if you buy equipment it should have a risk assessment and that with this risk assessment you do not need to do your own risk assessment.

What does this mean to machine builders? Basically most things concerning machinery are covered in the machinery safety directive. But in some respects the directives overlap and so the best this is to make sure that where possible electrical items in reach of the operator are low voltage and pose no risk of shock etc.

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upgrade an old machine

Good as new?

In: Machine upgrade, Blog

Sometimes old machines can be much better than new ones, they are often sturdier and more reliable. But sometimes when a motor controller fails a valuable machine can be doomed to go to the scrapheap. With this in mind the automation Manufacturers alliance have launched a new service where we will provide free advice to assist our readership in retrofitting an old machine. We will provide advice even if we cannot provide a solution. Even better if your machine is common and we can sell the solution to others with the same equipment we will even pay you commission. All you have to do is read our magazine!

By: Tony McDonald June 15th 2015
Staffs University test rig

University uses PMC4 for ground breaking research

In: Science & Technology, Blog

The Biomechanics team at Staffordshire University in the UK, has used the PMC4 and an Alliance turn key control system to enable them to under take ground breaking research into the soft tissue damage in diabetic foot. The controller is used to apply forces to a volunteer's foot and then up to 500 samples are taken per second. The university took advantage of the combined services provided by MAP. Because there is no scan time, complex tests are able to be undertaken while data logging uses a background task.

By: Tony McDonald 10 February 2016
UK embassador

UKTI helps organise a training session In Bogota

In: Training, Blog

Organising a training session in another country is not easy but working with UKTI the first Automation training session organised and took place in Bogota. Our thanks to the British Embassy Rodriguez y Urbina Ltda who hosted the event. The photo shows The British Ambassador to Colombia, Aleyda who helped organise the event and Paul UKTI

By: Tony McDonald 16 May 2015
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