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Initiative Automation, CNC and Motion Control solutions

LVD2014/35EU Low Voltage Directive

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 is likely to be good news for us that manufacture equipment in the EU and bad for companies that import cheap products from the far east. Please clip below to see 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.

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: “Before placing electrical equipment on the market to keep it for 10 years after a product has been placed on the market. Article 8.2 importers shall ensure that the appropriate conformity assessment procedure has been carried out by the The importer does not have to have a copy of the technical documentation manufacturer. They shall ensure that the manufacturer has but has to ensure that the technical documentation can be made available to drawn up the technical documentation, that the electrical the competent national authority upon request. Equipment bears the CE marking and is accompanied by Even if there is no explicit obligation, the importer is advised to require the required documents, and that the manufacturer has 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 the instructions and safety information. Manufacturers, importers and accompanied by instructions and safety information in a distributors have the obligation to ensure that the product is accompanied language which can be easily understood by consumers by instructions in a language which can be easily understood by consumers and other end-users, as determined by the Member State and other end-users, as determined by the Member State concerned.”

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. This is good news for all companies that buy equipment

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.


Upgrade for Surface Grinders

August 2016


Surface grinders with obsolete controllers can be upgraded easily

There are many older but good surface grinders around these days. Many of these have obsolete control systems, this can make the machine almost worthless once the controller has failed. The PMC4 controller is now able to directly replace many of these older controllers.

Things have moved on and your old machine can be made as good as a new with quite a modest budget. Many surface grinders have a hydraulic X axis and either a hydraulic or servo controller Y axis. Normally the hydraulic axis oscillates between two switches, but by changing the X axis hydraulic valves with a proportional valve it is possible to achieve very high accuracy and perform CNC grinding. This also makes the machine easier to operate safer and more reliable.

The old valve controlled axis had a manual speed control so the controller could not change the speed of the table between course and fine cuts. The position of the table was set using switches between which the machine would oscillate. By fitting a proportional valve the controller can precisely control the table making it possible to grind patterns into the surface, not only that by reducing the speed of the axis between course in fine cuts the quality of the finished product can be improved. For those who do not want to fit the proportional valves MAP now supports oscillating axis, making it easy to upgrade old surface grinders. There are some nice new commands in MAP that make it easy to control oscillating valve controller axis like the type used on grinders. If you have an old machine we will be pleased to advise you on how to upgrade it.

High accuracy optical encoder

August 2016


VIONiC™ series, a new family of ultra-high accuracy, incremental encoders.

Designed for the world's most demanding motion control applications, this development brings together Renishaw's renowned filtering optics with a new custom interpolation and monitoring ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) that enhances dynamic signal processing and improves signal stability. This achievement has allowed Renishaw to create its highest performance incremental encoder system so far, at the same time combining all necessary interpolation and digital signal processing inside the read head to eliminate the requirement for additional external interfaces.

The VIONiC range has been designed to reduce overall system size to the minimum achievable for a high-performance system, whilst delivering class-leading performance in terms of cyclic error, jitter and accuracy. Customers can choose between two VIONiC read head variants. The standard VIONiC read head features a Sub-Divisional Error (SDE) of <±30 nm, a range of available resolutions from 5 µm to 20 nm, and speeds beyond 12 m/s. Alternatively for the most demanding performance requirements, customers can select VIONiCplus™ with best-in-class SDE to <±10 nm, low jitter to 1.6 nm RMS and resolutions from 100 nm down to 2.5 nm. Low SDE encoders are essential to minimise velocity ripple, which is important in constant-velocity applications such as laser scanning.

VIONiC series encoders are available with the same linear and rotary (angle) scale ranges as the TONiC™ series, such that existing customers may choose to install VIONiC as a drop-in replacement. Available scale types include metal tape, spar, and rotary rings (including ultra-high accuracy REXM). All VIONiC scales come with customer selectable IN-TRAC™ reference marks embedded in the incremental channel and dual-limit switches in the case of linear scales.

Our new monthly newsletter

July 2016

July 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to the new monthly news letter from the Automation Manufacturer's Alliance (AMA). The aim of the AMA is to promote awareness of Automation issues, including benefits, safety, power saving and quality enhancements. The AMA can provide many of the components needed by a typical automation engineer including: Electronics, motors, drives, encoders and sensors to provide a "one stop shop". We are here to help and offer to try to resolve questions you might have within 72 hours.

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World leading research from Staffordshire University

February 2016

Staffs University

Staffordshire University successful research to help in the management of diabetic foot

The Biomechanics team at Staffordshire University is focused on utilising biomechanics to enhance the clinical management of diabetic foot. For this purpose a novel in-vivo mechanical testing device was developed to enable the in-depth study of the biomechanical characteristics of the soft tissues of the diabetic foot. This custom device combines medical ultrasound and dynamometry to enable real-time imaging of the soft tissues of the foot during mechanical testing.

Full story can be read in next months news letter

Automation enhances quality and reduces costs

Automation has many benefits including enhanced safety, consistent quality, reduced manufacturing cost and ease of manufacture. Some companies however find the technical side can be daunting, we are here to help your automation plans come to fruition. The Automation Manufactures Alliance is a group of UK manufacturers working together to assist companies with general automation right through to complex machine and motion control. This site is designed is designed to assist the reader to find the services they need on the relevant manufacturers websites. We are here to help we will try to get back to you within 3 working days, please use our services we want to help you

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