Road accidents and mishaps involving trucks and freighters lead to heavy casualties in both urban areas as well as highways. Usually when trucks have a trailer behind them, at least it takes 420 feet to stop from normal highway speed. When the time and distance is not adequate, rigs roll over anything that is in their paths. Drivers of big trucks are among the most skilled drivers with a very high level of endurance and high standards of training, so it is not that accidents are always caused by negligence on their part as they cover thousands of miles every day. As per the latest data by the US Department of Transportation (DOT), casualties are decreasing over the years and with the advancements in automotive technology, it is not impossible to altogether eliminate them. If a car or any other vehicle suddenly changes lanes and comes right in front of the big truck, it is really difficult even for the most professional and experienced truck drivers to stop safely. This is where LiDAR plays an important role in further thwarting the possibility of an accident.
Most high-tech vehicles have started employing LiDAR or other sensors for looking at obstructions ahead and for an accurate forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Though the range and capacity of these sensors vary from according to the size of the objects, but they are more efficient and reliable than human drivers. Application of LiDAR sensors is not only limited to detecting hurdles or roadblocks ahead, but it also provides blind spot monitoring, lane changing assistance, and adaptive cruise control.
Heavy Truck companies have also recognized the potential of LiDAR in trucking for making highways safer than ever.
Velodyne is among the LiDAR companies that are working with many truck companies. Another major advantage of LiDAR in trucking is that unlike the normal human eye or a camera, it provides a comprehensive 360-degree view for more than a thousand feet.
Velodyne’s Lidar technology for trucking, for instance, uses infrared lasers, which work at night or in low-light situations and can even see through fog and rain. In a camera, there is a limit of focus and high resolution. But in a LiDAR, we can increase power to get the desired resolution.
LiDAR any day scores over cameras and others sensors when it comes to measuring speed, distance and calculating size of the object ahead. In heavy trucks, LiDAR is usually mounted at an elevation that provides a complete bird’s eye view of the road.
Due to its capacity, LiDAR can measure physical distance with five, six cars ahead on the road ahead on the road. This not only saves time but also provides accurate info.
LiDAR measures distance using reflection and so in advance it can measure the distance without relying on brake lights when the car is just ahead. Most accidents are caused on highways because of low stopping distance and with LiDAR this is limited totally.
Despite all of its benefits one reason that has slowed the pace of LiDAR adoption in trucks is the cost factor. Currently, LiDAR systems for trucks are costly but a lot of companies are working on mass popularization of the technology that will substantially bring down costs and prompt more trucking companies to adopt the technology.
How to Leverage CAD Computer Software to Get Product Insights Faster
Years ago, I was the in-house Creo Parametric support person in charge of process development, training, and user support for Amazon’s Lab126 division. If you’ve never heard of Lab126, it is the Silicon Valley-based hardware division, responsible for designing tablets, readers, Fire TV, and Amazon Echo.
Amazon prides itself on being a data-driven company, and this can be seen in its success from its flagship website to Amazon Web Services (the cloud), to its electronics products. (The Echo is almost everywhere these days and “Alexa” has become part of our cultural lexicon.)
Why is being data driven so critical to success? Because harnessing data-- specifically, data about your products and how your customers use them - provides you with product insights. And computer-aided design (CAD) software can help you with this. What Are Product Insights?
Product insights tell us how our products are being used and more importantly how we can make them better. Product insights get to the truth about our customers.
Software- and internet-based companies have traditionally had an advantage in harvesting these insights over companies that make physical products. Software and apps can send in-depth usage reports back to the home company via internet and cloud solutions. Physical and hardware products didn’t have those capabilities - at least, not until the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT).
In the past, once a physical product left the factory, product development organizations had no direct knowledge of how the product was being used. To gain product insights, companies solicited information from customers in the forms of surveys, interviews, questionnaires, service reports, and so on, hoping the responses truly represented their audience. This approach obviously has flaws and limitations.
With the advent of smart, connected products, devices can now provide the information directly to us. (Amazon discovered this secret years ago; virtually every product from Lab126 from Day One has been smart and connected.)
Using CAD to Design Products That “Call Home”
How do we use CAD to gain better product insights fast? There are essentially two ways, and they are related:
Design products with internet connectivity. For customers, connected products can receive software updates and provide a broad-range of wireless features. For product developers, connectivity can report on which product functions our customers access and how long they engage with the product.
Embed sensors directly in our products to measure performance and health. Sensors can measure quantities like strain, pressure, and temperature so we can understand the operating environments of our products. Add some of internet connectivity, and sensors provide data we can then feed back into our CAD models as load cases to our simulation and analysis models.
Including these electronics as part of our design pays off. They help us quickly see:
Opportunities to cut the number of physical prototypes and tests needed during development. What changes we need to make to our existing products - while they’re in the field.
What products to make in the next generation.
Tips and Tricks for CAD Designers
To locate these smart components, we apply Middle-Out design techniques. That is, we add devices like antennas, receivers, transmitters, and processors, as well as sensors for measuring product health, just as you would aftermarket elements like fasteners and cabling.
Electrical clearance and creepage analysis within the CAD system can validate that we’re placing these components in the right place.
To make the most of the data, we also add analytics to help make sense of the what products are trying to tell us.
The density attribute is extremely important for oil analysis in predictive maintenance as it plays a key role in the lubricant performance and therefore in the performance of the machinery. See in the following post how this occurs and the importance of oil density analysis to ensure the functionality of your systems. What is the analysis of oil density and how important is it?
Density is a key property of a fluid and is given by the ratio of its specific mass to a known volume (d = m / V). The water, reference standard, has a density of 1, 000 kg / m³ by definition. Already the oils vary between 700 kg / m³ and 950 kg / m³. That is why most oils float in water: they are less dense than it. Some Group IV base oils of the API system, however, may be more dense and sink into the water.
That is why, when there are excess moisture problems in your lubrication system, water decants at the bottom of the tank and can be drained first when the lid or valve is opened. In the case of denser oils, such as those in Group IV, the opposite occurs, and water floats on the lubricant.
For the API classification, however, the density measure is made differently, using an inverse scale comparison. In this system, the value 10 is assigned to water, and any fluid having a higher value than it has a density less than water and will float therein; Anything less than 10 will be heavier and will sink.
An important characteristic of the density is that it varies according to the temperature of the oil in reverse: the higher the temperature, the lower the density.
The density value of a fluid is used in calculations of viscosity, the most important property of a lubricant. This is therefore the main reason for performing the oil density analysis: without such information, it will not be possible to determine the viscosity.
How does density affect lubricants and machines?
As mentioned, to know the viscosity of a fluid, one must first know its density. Knowing this value, we can verify that, with increasing density of a lubricant, the fluid becomes thicker. One of the consequences of this is that any particles dissolved in this fluid will take longer to decant.
In relation to hydraulic systems, this information is extremely important as it means that the mechanism will be exposed to particulate contamination for longer. Hydraulic assemblies are very sensitive to any type of contamination, and longer residence time of these suspended particles can cause problems such as cavitation, corrosion and clogging of the valves by formation of sludge in the oil.
On the other hand, high density fluids can help control contamination. In this case, the longer period of flotation in the liquid facilitates the removal of particles through filtration or other mechanisms, aiding the process of cleaning the assembly.
In this context, hydraulic pumps are the equipment that suffer most from changes in density. Among the problems that can be caused are:
Increased cavitation propensity at pump suction and outlet ports.
Increased pumping power (consumption of more energy, causing engine wear).
Increased stress in the pumping elements.
Commitment of pumping capacity due to increased fluid inertia (oil does not flow as it should).
The erosive potential of the fluid also increases with increasing density. At points in the system where there is great turbulence (or great velocity of fluid passage). That is, the greater the density at locations where the fluid has high velocity, the greater the likelihood that the fluid will erode pipelines, valves, or any other surfaces in its path.
Other contaminants such as air and water in the oil will also be affected by the change in lubricant density. In fact, changes in oil density, on the other hand, can indicate air and water contamination, since these two contaminants affect this property. Changes in said property also indicate oxidation. In this case, the density rises with the advancement of the oxidative process. All this information can be verified more clearly once the analysis of the oil density is carried out.
Benefits of Oil Density Analysis for Operation
Since it is a function of temperature, variation in oil density may be indicating overheating in the machine parts. In this sense, the analysis of the oil density must be done whenever there is observation in the field of changes in the performance of hydraulic pumps or overwork in them. That is, if you noticed that the pumps are wasting more energy, it may be that the oil density is changed. If so, it is necessary to perform different types of oil analysis in order to detect exactly what the problem is.
This indication is made because the pumps are designed for a specific type of oil density. Therefore, as the density changes, loss of pumping efficiency occurs, causing production losses and increasing costs. Performing oil density analysis, in this case, is crucial.
In short, density plays a key role in lubricant performance and machine performance, especially in the case of hydraulic system pumps. This is because these equipments are designed according to the oil density to be used in the system, and any change in this property will compromise its performance.
Similarly, higher densities in the oil will indicate longer residence time of the suspended particles. On the one hand, this can be a problem, since it exposes the system to the harmful presence of contaminants. On the other hand, it can help to clean the set for the same reason. In addition, density changes, and is also altered by the presence of air and water, contaminants that can cause significant damage to equipment, such as corrosion, cavitation and valve clogging because of the formation of sludge.
Take the oil density analysis quotation and find out how soon your oils are suitable for optimizing your production process.
Construction robots have the potential to prevent accidents and transform the industry — if they’re used properly. Last month, FORT exhibited at CONEXPO — North America’s largest construction trade show, held every three years in Las Vegas. Across the sprawling show grounds, we saw smart machines everywhere. From remote-controlled bulldozers and tele-operated excavators to demolition robots and autonomous compactors, innovation took center stage.
Just three years ago, robots and unmanned equipment were harder to spot at this event. Automation technology has taken longer to make its way into construction than other sectors, such as manufacturing or material handling. But the industry has reached a tipping point and the construction world is looking to smart machines for solutions to some of its biggest problems.
Worker Shortage Meets Increased Demand
Those problems are significant. Construction has faced a shortage of skilled workers for years, with hundreds of thousands of positions left unfilled. A 2019 survey by the Associated General Contractors of America and AutoDesk found that 80% of firms reported difficulty hiring. As a result, construction productivity has plummeted as demand for housing has soared.
So how can construction companies build more and work faster, with smaller budgets and fewer workers? Enter robotic solutions. As AI continues to improve, smart machines can step in to supplement smaller construction crews, allowing them to make strategic use of their limited number of skilled workers. These machines can take on heavy lifting — literally and figuratively — to reduce downtime, save money, and increase productivity. A Safer Way to Work
But robotic technology can do more than simply boost productivity. When used properly, it can save lives. Construction continues to be one of the most dangerous industries for workers. In 2018 it led the nation with the highest number of fatal worksite injuries, accounting for 20% of all workplace fatalities.
This is where robotics and remote operation may have the most meaningful impact— by taking on the tasks that are most dangerous to keep humans out of harm’s way.
1. Remote Operation: Remote controls let work happen wherever it’s safest. A remote-controlled excavator or bulldozer takes an operator out of the cab to work from a stable location with the best visibility, protecting both the operator and others on the site.
2. Heavy Lifting: Lift robots can aid in laying bricks by eliminating strenuous labor and allowing humans to focus on the more skillful part of the process.
3. Repetitive Tasks: Smart machines can also take on repetitive tasks, reducing the risk of vibration fatigue and repetitive motion injuries. These advancements show that emerging technology is poised to do what we’ve always hoped it would: take on the world’s most dangerous jobs, empowering workers and saving lives.
But despite this potential, construction robots face a perception problem. A recent survey of construction workers found that while 30% thought new technology could make their work safer, 46% were concerned about perceived safety risks with robotic technology. There is still some education needed to show how robots can be used safely, with proper protocols and cybersecurity measures in place.
For robots to play a part in a meaningful transformation, the industry will need to consider what safety really means for the connected worksite. Our understanding of protection must extend beyond hard hats and goggles to include the functional and operational measures that allow people and machines to collaborate safely across the workflow. This also means implementing cybersecurity for new connected machines to manage access and reduce hacking opportunities at every endpoint.
The Future Is Here
At FORT, we help customers in construction and other industries mitigate risk across complex worksites that run a variety of autonomous and manual machines. Our remote controls have built-in safety features like certified emergency stops and drop sensors, and our wireless communication system ensures reliable safety commands and secure data pipelines. We also make it easier to manage different workers, machines, and permissions with access control that ensures that only trained, authorized users are able to operate the equipment.
While the COVID pandemic has temporarily shut down construction across Pennsylvania and much of the nation, this time is an opportunity to pause and ask important questions about the future of safety and autonomy for construction. FORT is here to solve for the new safety and security challenges posed by smart machines today, and to help you build a strong foundation for the worksite of the future. We’re excited to see the impact that robotics will have in building an industry that’s smarter and safer than ever before.
Construction use case for the FORT Robotics Oversight platform.
A Man Made Electronic Arm: Global SCARA Robots Market in 2017-2021
With the involvement of human workforce in every process in the manufacturing industries, there are increased chances of errors, frequent failures, and problems in maintaining the productivity and quality of products. Owing to these circumstances, implementation of SCARA robots becomes very essential for manufacturing firms. SCARA robots are horizontally configured robots with fewer backend-programming requirements. These robots can accelerate cycle times, increase throughput, and eliminate bottlenecks. SCARA robots in industries has numerous advantages such as decreased manufacturing cost, shorter cycle time, improved quality and reliability, better floor space utilization, reduced waste, increased safety and overall expertise in multiple applications. The analysts at Technavio forecast global SCARA robots market to reach above 54 thousand units over the period from 2017 to 2021, growing at a CAGR of 5 plus percent.
The electronics, electricals and automotive industry are the major growth drivers for global SCARA robots market amounting to nearly 50 percent of the market share together.
SCARA Robots: Faster, Reliable and Productive
Manufacturing industries including automotive, pharma, electrical and electronics, metals, rubber, food and beverages are compulsorily adopting automation in their plants to prevent human errors, wastage of materials, repetitive jobs, and exhaustion of human workforce with continues work on the floor. Thus, resulting in increased demand for robotics.
The critical applications in the manufacturing firms entails the replacement of human workforce by robots to ensure the safety of human workers and to improve efficiency of work. Hence, the rising adoption of robotics in manufacturing industries is a major driving factor for the global SCARA robots market.
SCARA robots are highly used in mechanical operations such as packaging or stacking items on pallets or surfaces. The rigid parallel joints in the structure of SCARA robots that are positioned vertically, including the payload capacities and arm movements makes these robots flexible while stacking up material accurately on the required platform. These outstanding features in SCARA robots escalates their market demand.
There are many vendors in the market manufacturing SCARA robots at a low cost. Manufacturing firms avail tremendous advantage by purchasing these robots owing to low cost and high-speed capabilities. KUKA and Toshiba are the leading firms manufacturing cost-effective SCARA robots.
*The Prominent End-user Industries
*Electrical and electronics industry
*Rubber and plastic industry
*Food and beverages industry
*Heavy machinery industry
Advances in Grippers and Collaborative Robots: Highlights from A3’s Executive Roundtable
What’s easy for humans can be so hard for a robot. But innovations in gripping, software, and collaborative robots are leading to rapidly improving capabilities -- while increasing the number of possible applications. It’s now simpler, quicker, and cheaper to automate sophisticated solutions in manufacturing, assembly, logistics, warehousing, packaging, and surface finishing. On May 12, as part of a series of roundtables hosted by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), four industry leaders discussed how these technologies can be applied in your business and explored potential use-cases.
Joe Campbell, Senior Manager, Strategic Marketing & Application Development, Universal Robots
Jim Cooper, Executive Director - Global Accounts, FANUC
Kristian Hulgard, General Manager, Americas, OnRobot
Tom Reek, Vice President, Automation, SCHUNK
The panel was moderated by Robert Huschka, the director of education strategies at A3.
More than 400 attendees watched the discussion live, which was sponsored by FANUC, OnRobot, Schunk, and Universal Robots. If you missed the webinar, you can sign up here to watch the replay.
Here’s an edited summary of some of the key topics that were covered:
Looking towards the end of the COVID-19 crisis, economists are forecasting larger use of robotics and automation, which potentially means a lot of new customers. What would you tell business leaders about getting started with grippers and collaborative robots?
Kristian Hulgard: There's plenty of information, whether it's on-demand webinar, from the different manufacturers, or if it's specialized video content. There's so much out there and hats off to all the manufacturers, all the distributors and partners out there who are creating this content, so you as a manufacturing company can go in and get the information that you need to make the right decisions. First for getting out of the crisis, and then ramping up to automation. Joe Campbell: What we're really seeing a big surge in right now are companies that have never really automated in the past, small-medium enterprises, which make up 90% of the manufacturing capacity in the US. And we generally counsel them to find the dirty and dangerous jobs. Don't try to go and solve all your problems, all in one step. Look for the $75,000, $100,000 problem and solve it, you know, kind of build some muscle memory in automation, especially for people who are just new to it. Jim Cooper: I certainly recommend people use this downtime for planning. Many are predicting that when we come out of it, we’ll come out stronger. There’s quite a bit of discussion on re-shoring, so this is the time to be looking at that. Collaborative robots and advances in technology are creating a new class of customer – one that might not have considered automation. How do you counsel those companies? Tom Reek: We all want to be successful in the USA on our manufacturing course, so it’s really important the users are successful, and if we can help them on the onset of their projects, we’re advising them to stay, take a look at what they want to achieve with automation and sets clear goals where they can measure. Then second, we’d ask them to prioritize. Then we can get something working and build on that success. Industrial manufacturing and advances in gripping are opening up new areas of opportunity, like in food and agriculture, plastics, and medical.
Kristian Hulgard: We’ve seen growth with smaller companies that might not have been used to automating, pulling the trigger faster on projects. Guiding your customer in all the steps and getting them through the whole process instead of just having the component and saying “that can solve the problem” I think is essential. The key to getting out of this crisis really strong is everyone working together to provide that to the customers.
How do you ensure ease of use implementation for collaborative robot applications? Joe Campbell: There's a real interest in doing it yourself applications with collaborative robots that can be very successful if you have the resource and if you have the right energy plugged in, you're trying to get your first applications up and running quickly. You're trying to get a quick return. You want to build a little confidence in your financial side of the house. We quite often recommend the lead integrator. These are typically small footprint companies that turn very quickly. And we're seeing them, deliver projects from purchase order to start on three and a half to four weeks is very common. And that kind of builds confidence in the whole program and lets companies, move beyond the first robot.
How do you advise customers on picking a partner for integration?
Jim Cooper: There's a lot to be said for the value a systems integrator can provide, they have the experience of past applications. Probably most important in all of that is understanding the safety aspect, and the risk assessment, and making sure that it's a safe application, and RIA offers safety training and safety tools, but you know it ultimately comes down to what's the best use for the end customers’ time to users’ time and, and also we try to help guide people through them.
How should a customer go about selecting the right gripper?
Tom Reek: The best thing is, think about the worst-case going into the application or the project, and usually have some processes happening to that work is being machined, is being assembled is being tested, and something is going on with that part and the robot is somehow navigating that part through in and out of that process. Well, that's usually pretty straightforward but many times, the parts don't come in that way, they may come in in a chaotic fashion, they may have been grouped in with a lot of different parts or they may be all nested into a bin where they're all neatly separated, but they're still very tight together, and they only look different from one end. So, we don't only consider the part but we have to consider how it's fed and the orientation, and how it feeds into the process.
Each company had the opportunity to present a demonstration of their collaborative robot and gripper applications. Sign up to watch the recording to see each demonstration.
Kristian Hulgard: Tom pretty much nailed it. I want to add that I think software is extremely important. You give the user confidence and showing them that these different products here, they actually work together and can work together on certified work. I want to make sure the customer controls it, and make sure the software is compatible and making sure the products have ingredients in the application that can work together.
How can you quickly generate an ROI, and how can you talk customers through ROI.
Kristian Hulgard: Don’t start with a huge crazy formation, start on the simple task you want to automate. When you look at ROI from a tool perspective, it may not be from the initial investment.
Tom Reek: 100% agree with Kristian’s answer, that you have to put some time in upfront. I think it's important to make sure that you know when you do initial design, as you feel comfortable that you're going to have near perfect reliability, because any machine cost you have down the line costs the customer money.
What is quick-change tooling?
Tom Reek: We have devices that will allow you to very accurately within a few microns, be able to rigidly reattach a robot to another platform. So now it can be able to get that repeatable position for programs get off and running. Other quick changes in the tool itself so at the end of the arm, they're having some manual quick release or automatic release that would allow you to go to different types of tooling grippers or other end effectors that that will allow you to exchange it for different applications.
What gets you excited about grippers now, or from what advances are around the corner?
Jim Cooper: It's opening up a tremendous number of new applications, some of those you can see here in this webinar. We're really excited about how we're making investments in the fiber department, because again since expanding robotics into whole new set of customers that are able to look at things now that may be weren't at the right ROI in the past.
Joe Campbell: I am excited every day by working with SMEs (small medium enterprises). In spite of the COVID-19 crisis we’re still laboring under, there's still an underlying labor challenge in manufacturing, and eventually we're going to get back to normal and things will look a little bit different, but we're going to go back to that normal with a shortage of manufacturing labor in this country. In many cases we find the ROI is not driven by labor replacement or labor reduction, it’s driven by machine utilization, because the companies can't hire enough manufacturing workers to keep their machines operational. And if a robot can help do that, that's a huge payback.
Tom Reek: What really excites me is how the robot companies are coming together and offering their customers ways of making it easy to have off-the-shelf solutions with our partners. If you can think of a gripper application, somebody out there has already come up with it, kind of like the App Store on your phone. All these solutions are making it easier for customers to buy and successfully install robots fast.
Kristian Hulgard: I’m excited that manufacturers are really starting to work together on solutions, and not on single products or portfolios or components. Together we can really help the companies, whether it’s SMEs or large companies, deploy applications faster and more effectively.
Many types of AC motors are used in industrial applications. But without a doubt, the workhorse of modern industry is the standard AC induction motor. So that’s what we’ll focus on in this post. AC induction motors
So what’s an AC induction motor and how does it work?
An induction motor is a type of AC motor where power is supplied to a rotating shaft by means of electromagnetic induction.
AC induction motors have two basic electrical parts:
*Rotor (the part that rotates)
*Stator (the part that generates the magnetic field that drives the rotor)
AC motors function based upon the principle of having polarities within a rotating magnetic field. If you were to crack open an AC motor, inside you’d find stationary electromagnetic coils or staters positioned around a movable magnet, called the rotor. The stator is made up of layers of iron that are stacked together in such a way that they form an electromagnet with a hollow cylinder in the middle.
One pole of each magnet faces toward the center of the group. Copper wire is then wound clockwise and counterclockwise around the poles to create coils that face the center of the electromagnet.
When current flows through the the coils, they form a North and South pole pair and create a directional flux. The direction of the flux depends on the current and winding direction of each coil. The magnet's polarity changes every half cycle of the AC power supply, creating an alternating magnetic field.
The rotor is the rotating electrical component, and it's located inside the hollow cylinder of the stator, which is stationary. The rotor consists of magnets arranged around a cylinder, with the poles facing toward the stator poles.
As the magnetic field of the stator alternates with the frequency of the AC power supply, the rotor is naturally attracted to the magnetic field and follows the stator direction, causing the rotor to spin.
The speed of an AC motor is typically determined by how many cycles of alternating current it receives each second. For example, here in the U.S. our electrical grid runs at 60 Hz.
Benefits of AC induction motors
AC induction motors have many beneficial traits, including:
*Very low maintenance; extremely reliable. This is especially true in the case of the squirrel-cage induction motor, as there are no brushes or slip-rings (DC motors and synchronous motors both require brushes, which wear out).
*Approximate constant speed (dependent on the motor slip) at no-load and full load. Motor slip is the difference between the synchronous speed of the magnetic field of the stator and the rotor shaft's rotating speed. Motor slip increases with an increasing load, thus providing a greater torque.
*Relatively inexpensive to manufacture.
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