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Control & monitoring.

'Windows' will be everywhere you look, from new CIM systems to control software.

For better or worse, it's becoming a "Windows" world, and process-control and monitoring products for plastics equipment are no exception. At this year's show, you'll see familiar PC-based process-monitoring systems appearing in new versions for Windows 95 or NT. The show will also highlight a range of new controllers and transducers, some with PC-based software for configuration and data-collection tasks. (For news in controls that relate to a specific process like molding or extrusion, see the show preview on that process.)


Hunkar Laboratories Inc. in Cincinnati will introduce a new "open-architecture" CIM system for Windows 95 or NT. Called "Source-CIM," it enables users to create customized CIM systems from a combination of Hunkar's "Expert" programs and off-the-shelf Windows applications. A related introduction, called Matrix, allows users to configure and program their process-monitoring terminals to monitor exactly what, when, and how they choose. User-programmable databases include an SPC database for 100 items, an MIS database for 200 items, and databases for programming user input codes, alarms, and reports.

Hunkar will also introduce a new type of plant monitoring called the Environment Logistics Monitor. It looks at the "molding environment" - coolant temperature, plant temperature, humidity, voltages, and air pressures - which can have a critical effect on production quality. Upper and lower limits can be programmed for each parameter. Trending graphs are displayed for all parameters, and built-in "pre-control" alarms warn before a deviation reaches a critical level.

Hunkar will also bring out "Win-PPM," a low-cost, Windows-based CIM system. Finally, Hunkar will introduce a Machine Qualifier Kit, which includes Class-Meter module, sensors, software, and a palmtop computer that can communicate with the machine monitor via infrared without need for a network. The palmtop can print out a performance certificate of machine capability.

Mattec Corp., Loveland, Ohio, will showcase new Release 2.6 of its ProHelp Millennium process and production monitoring system. It includes new inventory and bill-of-materials capabilities. Also new from Mattec is a Pro-Help Millennium system for extrusion, an SPC Machine Analyzer, and a stand-alone shop-floor scheduler.

Nicollet Process Engineering of Minneapolis will show its newest Windows NT-based production data-collection and management software. The company will also show other new CIM products based on Windows 95 or NT, including a modular data-collection system, a production-monitoring/reporting system, and an entry-level system for up to 32 machines.

And the show will also spotlight other new Windows NT releases, including the Shotscope process-monitoring system from Branden Technologies, Inc. of Wilsonville, Ore., and the latest process-monitoring system from Epos Corp. of Auburn, Ga.

Barber-Colman Co. of Loves Park, Ill., will show a range of new products suitable for various plastics processes. At the high end is its new I/A Series Windows NT-based plantwide control and monitoring software with pre-configured screens for injection and blow molding and extrusion. The company will also introduce the Optima family of color flat-panel operator stations and Lite monochrome LCD operator stations - both for MACO control systems. Other introductions include Windows-based relay-ladder programming software for MACO systems to let users create and edit sequence logic.


Data Technical Research (DTR) of Jacksonville, Fla., will release the Windows NT version of its Manufacturing Manager, an integrated manufacturing, distribution, and financial-management software package for plastics processors.

IQ Management Systems, Inc., Paso Robles, Calif., will introduce enhancements to its IQ/Win 32 plant-management system for Windows 95 or NT. New features include an inventory-control and order-entry module, costing-and-quoting module (available as a stand-alone package), and real-time production-monitoring capability.

Mascon of Schaumburg, Ill., will be showing the latest version of the AIMS Windows-based manufacturing software. And a new version of Tracker production-monitoring software from Bear Technologies of Rochester, N.Y., will also be on display.


A host of new temperature controllers will be introduced at the show:

* A new barrel-temperature control module and a temperature module with RTD inputs from Allen-Bradley Co., Mayfield Heights, Ohio.

* NXT Series of temperature controllers in 1/16, 1/8, and 1/4 DIN sizes from Athena Controls, Inc. of Plymouth Meeting, Pa. Other Athena entries are a 1/4 DIN process controller and DIN-rail temperature controllers.

* A new l/16 DIN process controller and 1/8 DIN indicator from West Instruments, Greenwich, R.I.

* ETR-3200 1/32 DIN process controller, a fully programmable model with universal inputs, from Ogden Manufacturing Co. Arlington Heights, Ill.

* Model 3300 1/32 DIN temperature/pressure controller with digital interface from CAL Controls, Inc., Libertyville, Ill. The company will also bring out Windows-based software for trending, monitoring, and remote adjustment of 3300 controllers.

* SRM1 microcontroller (along with new photoelectric sensors) and new C200H Alpha mid-sized PLC from Omron Electronics, Inc., Schaumburg, Ill.

* TLM-8 multi-channel temperature monitor and Series 96 temperature controls from Watlow Electric Manufacturing Co., St. Louis.

New developments in fuzzy-logic control include the PX Series of nine Fuji autotuned process controllers from Total Temperature Instrumentation Inc., Williston, Vt., and new 1/4 and 1/8 DIN process controllers from West Instruments. Kistler Instruments, Inc., Amherst, N.Y., will show new versions of its Intelligent Process Control software for fuzzy-logic control of injection molding.

As for infrared temperature sensors, look for new models from Ircon Inc. of Niles, Ill. The company will introduce a miniature hand-held model and will demonstrate thermal imaging of a moving process. Raytek of Santa Cruz, Calif., will also show new i-r non-contact thermometers and brand-new Windows 95 or NT-based thermal-imaging software for its Thermalert MP40 infrared linescanner.


The second biggest category of new control products at the show is pressure and position transducers.

* Mercury-free pressure sensors: Extrusion melt-pressure transducers with a ceramic-impregnated diaphragm are new from AIM Transducers of Matthews, N.C. Sensotron Inc., Huntington Beach, Calif., will introduce mercury-free melt-pressure/temperature transducers. And Dynisco Measurement/Control of Sharon, Mass., will introduce a pressure transducer with an organic fill material.

* Other pressure sensors: Dynisco will show the latest IPX Series Intelligent Pressure Transmitters, which self-correct pressure measurements for temperature effects over a range from 25 to 400 C. Dynisco will also introduce a 1/4 DIN pressure controller/indicator, a solid-state pressure switch, a mechanical pressure gauge, and a pressure transducer with a small (6-mm) sensing tip.

RJG Technologies, Traverse City, Mich., will have new cavity-pressure transducers for injection molding.

New versions of sapphire nozzle and mold transducers will be shown by Sensotron.

Germany's Schlaepfer Sensors Ltd. will have a new nozzle melt-pressure and "touch-force" sensor that combines quartz and strain-gauge technology.

Kistler Instruments will have new silicon melt-pressure sensors for extrusion.

Terwin Instruments of Grantham, Lincolnshire, England, will introducing a space-saving pressure transducer with 1/8 DIN microprocessor controller.

GP:50 gNew York Ltd. of Grand Island, N.Y., will bring out the Spike pressure transducer for cyclic applications subject to transient pressure spikes.

* Linear transducers: Balluff Inc. of Florence, Ky, will show the first model in a new line of lower-cost, compact magnetostrictive transducers. Called BTL-5R, these sensors are a drop-in replacement for linear potentiometers.

* Proximity sensing: Carlo Gavazzi Inc. of Buffalo Grove, Ill., will bring to the show a new line of capacitive proximity sensors with Tripleshield protection against electromagnetic and electrostatic disturbance.

What to look for

* Windows NT-based process and production monitoring debut.

* Controllers span a wide range of sizes.

* Self-correcting pressure transducer tackles temperature effects.

RELATED ARTICLE: New Manufacturing Software

New software packages at the show provide solutions to a variety of manufacturing problems:

* Energy efficiency - Coined of Oak Brook, Ill., will show Energy Tracker software that monitors energy consumption.

* Maintenance management - Westland Corp. of Wichita, Kans., will introduce Maintenance Notebook in Windows and DOS versions for tracking maintenance of injection molding machines and related components.

* Costing and quoting - Injection Molding Industries of Orion, Mich., will show new Calcmaster mold-quoting software.
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Title Annotation:NPE '97; includes related article on new manufacturing software; process-control and monitoring equipment for plastics machinery to be shown at the 1997 National Plastics Exposition
Author:Ogando, Joseph
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:May 1, 1997
Previous Article:Chemicals & additives.
Next Article:Heating & cooling.

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