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What's new in controls, CIM & CAD.

CIM and CAD/CAM systems are becoming more "open" and "friendly"; pressure and transducers are getting "smart"; adn there's plenty more to look for in sensors and controls.

Computer systems for factory supervision (CIM) and for design/engineering (CAD/CAE) are moving toward more open systems, whether that means accommodating a choice of operating systems, being easy to link up with other supplier's systems, or adopting more standard types of user interface.

There's also lots going on in general-purpose sensors and controls (controls for specific processes are covered in those sections of this report). The advent of "smart" melt-pressure transducers, and continuing progress in packing eve more temperature-control features into smaller, affordable packages are other key trends to look for.


Data Technical Research, Jacksonville, Fla., is embracing open systems. It's introducing a new computer language that's said to enable its system to be more "hardware-independent." The new Progress language reportedly will enable DTR's Plastics Management System to run on smaller Intel 386 and 486 Unix-based PC as well as a number of larger minis and mainframes (currently the systems runs only on DEC VAX computers). DTR is also developing interfaces for its MRP-II, scheduling and financial-management software to work with commercial software from several other suppliers for process monitoring, barcode reading, and SPC/SQC.

PlatStar Div. of Syscon International, Inc., South Bend, Ind., is introducing the Focus-100 Version 10.0 production and process monitoring system. It's said to feature a "manufacturing cell concept," a cell unit being either a group of machines or a machine with several auxiliaries, all of which are monitored. Enhanced graphics for process management, PLC interface for uploading and downloading information and job parameters, and network compatibility have been added. PlantStar is also showing recently introduced interfaces between Focus-100 and several MIS/MRP systems, SPC, and maintenance software packages, as well as other new features added in the last year or so (see PT, March '90, p. 88; May '90, p. 15; Dec. '90, p. 20; Feb. '91, p. 13).

Barco Automation, Inc., Charlotte, N.C., is introducing a graphic display terminal for easier machine-operator interface with its BarcoCIM system for injection molders. The 8 x 5 in. LCD display is mounted in a Barco Data Unit on each machine to allow detailed information to be sent to the operator. CIM data can be presented textually or graphically at the press, allowing information such as setup recipes, production detail, histograms and real-time SPC charts to be viewed machine-side.

Mattec Corp., Loveland, Ohio, will demonstrate its newest process and production monitoring software release, ProHelp 3.2. It has enhanced SPC, high-resolution graphics, and production-scheduling features. Mattec is also introducing ProHelp 1000, a high-speed network capable of monitoring up to 300 machines. Also new is MRP II software for material requirements planning, machine capacity loading, labor utilization, and inventory control; and a bag and box labeling system that facilitates computerized parts traceability.

Fisher Controls International, Inc., Austin, Texas, is introducing an interface between its Provox system and Allen-Bradley's Pyramid Integrator. Also new: an interface to Advanz Technologies gauging system and an Expert System Data Server.

Agape Computer Systems, Wilmington, Del., is introducing seven software modules for its Manufacturing Profit Maker III system, including Power Scheduling, Power Materials and Power Labor, Power Capacity, and two accounting modules. Also new is an interface to the PlanStar machine-monitoring system, and an enhanced Manufacturing Reporting System.

Camis Systems, Inc., Erie, Pa., is introducing Management Information System financial and inventory software for the IBN AS/400, which can interface with Camis' shop-floor monitoring system. Camis is also showing a new Preventive Maintenance module and Process Pack SPC system.

Hunkar Laboratories, Inc., Cincinnati, is showing the latest enhancements to its family of CIM components, including the recently introduced PDAT programmable data-acquisition terminal, which can serve as a node on a network or a stand-alone machine monitor (PT, Feb. '90, p. 23). Hunkar will also highlight its new CIM and "World Class Manufacturing" consulting services (see Industry Newsfocus).

Epos Corp., Auburn, Ala., is showing machine interface units for its recently introduced Series 300 and 4000 production and process monitoring systems. The q-c laboratory system, integrated into the overall monitoring system, will also be on display.

IQ Management Systems Inc., Riverside, Calif., is showing its realtime MRP systems for plastics along with new barcode-reading capability for data collection.



What's claimed to be the plastics industry's first "smart" melt-pressure transducer will be unveiled by Dynisco, Sharon, Mass. (see story p. 44). The ST184 is a microprocessor-based sensor that linearizes and corrects pressure measurement for snout temperature effects.

A new Silicon-On-Sapphire (S-O-S) melt-pressure transducer for extrusion will be shown by Sensotron, Inc., Huntington Beach, Calif. S-O-S technology reportedly eliminates the need for the mercury filling used in most transducers. These transducers are also said to be unusually durable (PT, Dec. '90. p. 117).

A nonfilled high-temperature (750 F) melt-pressure transducer will be featured by Industrial Sensors Inc., Winchester, Mass. Being unfilled reportedly makes it particularly suitable for food-packaging applications.

New melt-pressure transmitters will be on hand from Gentran, Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif. The GT79 features nonlinearity of less than 1% of full scale and repeatability of better tahn 0.1% of full scale. In addition, Eurotherm Corp., Reston, Va., will introduce the Model 818S melt-pressure controller.



With advances in electronics, controls suppliers are able to pack more features into a smaller package at modest cost. New from Barber-Colman Co.'s Industrial Instruments Div., Loves Park, Ill., is the compact MA Series temperature controllers in 1/4-, 1/8-, and 1/16- DIN sizes, which are said to offer a wide range of features at a low price. These include Touch-Tune auto-tuning at the touch of a button; manual sensor offset, which adjusts the measured temperature when it differs from actual process temperature; power-failure memory that saves setpoints if power is lost; and optional internal Insta-Set storage of as many as eight sets of recipes, including control setpoint, tuning constants, load-line setting, alarm setpoint, and deadband setting.

Cal Controls, Libertyville, Ill., claims it will be showing the "world's smallest" heating and cooling temperature controller for the first time.

S and B Controls, Norristown, Pa., will introduce a rack-mounted Series 1000 multizone temperature-control system that combines multiple four-zone control modules and a single local master terminal.

The Local Master Unit is a "dumb" terminal that mounts directly on relay racis and permits local access with or without a computer or PLC. Also to be shown: new compact series 4000/8000 four- and eight-zone temperature controllers featuring auto-tuning computer interface.

Athena Controls, Plymouth Meeting, Pa., is showing its new Series 1990 controllers, consisting of the 1/8-DIN, 1/4-DIN, and open-card configurations. Model 1996 allows multizone PID heating or heating/cooling control via a series of economical single-point card-configurable controllers.

New controls from RKC of Japan will be on hand from Syscon International, South Bend, Ind. They include the REX-C2000 with auto-tuning for four or eight zones; REX-C3000 eight-zone, open-board controller; and REX-Z2500 with memory card for up to 120 channels of PID control. Syscon will also introduce its Century series of controllers for heating and/or cooling.

Single-zone controllers of 1/4-DIN and 1/16-DIN size will be introduced by Love Controls, Wheeling, W.Va.Eurotherm will show its new Model 94 1/8-DIN controller with alarm.

Ogden Manufacturing Co., Arlington Heights, Ill., is introducing a 1/16-DIN auto-tuning temperature controller, the ETR 9080, whose 3 1/2-in. panel depth is said to be the shortest available. Tempco Electric Heater Co., Wood Dale, Ill, is introducing a full line of programmable, PID auto-tuning temperature controls 1/16-, 1/8- and 1/4- DIN sizes.

Fast Heat Element Mfg. Co., Elmhurst, Ill., will show its recently introduced Conductor Series modular, auto-tuning controls, now available with SPI Communications Protocol.

Love Controls Corp., Wheeling Ill., is showing its recently introduced 300 Series temperature controls with Lovelink software for SPC and supervision.

A line of i-r thermometers will be introduced by Squre D Co., Niles, Ill. The ScanIR line-scanner thermometer measures temperatures from 300 F to 1000 F in up to 10 different zones on a continuous or discrete target. Other relatively new i-r thermometer displays will include the Modline Plus unit that operates in a range of 50-1500 F; Ultimax portable thermometer for spot temperatures between -50 F and 1820 F; and Modline 4 two-wire transmitter for ranges from 0 F to 2500 F.

In addition, Dynisco will exhibit its new MTT i-r melt-temperature sensors, as well as its new Autoprobe I and II microprocessor-control, retractable melt thermocouples.

Techne Inc., Princeton, N.J., will introduce its Model DB-300A temperature calibrator to check heat-indicator readings. The calibrator reproducts any temperature from 100 F to 592 F; the operator simply immerses the temperature sensor into a machined hole, and compares the readings of the calibrator with that of the temperature indicator.

A portable "Cal Pal" simulator/indicator thermocouple that can read and generate signals in Celsius or Fahrenheit will be introduced by Thermo Electric Co., Inc., Saddle Brook, N.J.

Pyromation, Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind., is introducing a nozzle-temperature sensor for injection molding. It's also showing a new indicating bayonet cap for testing temperature sensors.
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Title Annotation:National Plastics Exposition '91; computer-integrated manufacturing; computer-aided design; includes related article
Author:De Gaspari, John
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:May 1, 1991
Previous Article:What's new in chemicals & additives.
Next Article:What's new in materials handling.

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