What is the Industrial Internet of Things?

The industrial internet of things is the network of industrial devices connected by communication technologies that result in systems that can monitor, collect, exchange, analyze, and deliver data. Simply put, Industrial Internet of Things refers to smart machines and devices a business uses that are connected to the internet and provide real time data and analytics. It brings together machines, analytics, and the people that make it all work. It can be as advanced as a fully automated mass production line that tracks maintenance, productivity and even ordering and shipping information across a huge, multi-layered network. This data can be used to improve existing work practices and business processes as well as creating entirely new ways of doing things.

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LED Lighting v. Tungsten Lighting: Choosing What's Best for Your Operation

Although it seems like a simple thing, choosing lighting for your environment is important for your operation and can have interesting consequences. Finding the best solution may not be as obvious as it seems. It is definitely important to weight the pros and cons and have knowledge of the environment and applications before choosing a system that is best for your operation.

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Options for Machine Guarding in Manufacturing

In the manufacturing industry, safety is critically important. With the use of large-scale automated machinery and robotics, having a safety barrier between operators, technicians and the equipment plays a big role in keeping humans safe as they work alongside machines.

Guards should prevent contact and not create a hazard. They should also not interfere with machine operations and should be secure and tamper-proof. Let’s look at three common machine perimeter guards that create a safe area around the outside of a machine.

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Common Threats to Manufacturing Safety and How to Prevent Them

Safety is a critical part of any operation but it is especially important in a manufacturing environment. In manufacturing, there are many aspects of the process that can present safety concerns for employees if proper procedures are not managed and maintained. There are regulations for safety that need to be followed in order to provide a safe and productive working environment for employees and to prevent OSHA fines and penalties. In addition, poor safety can result in rising insurance costs, increased workmans’ compensation claims and medical expenses.

Let’s talk about a few common safety issues and how to best prevent them from becoming a liability in a manufacturing operation.

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Eight Selection Criteria for Actuator Components

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When deciding between fluid-driven and electromechanical linear actuators, close consideration of long-term benefits to the intended end user can help original equipment manufacturer (OEM) system designers maximize both product value and return on investment (ROI).

Fluid-driven actuators translate electric energy motion through a column of air, gas, oil or other media. While the motion they provide is simpler than with other type actuators, the infrastructure required to support them is not. Hydraulic actuators require an external system of pumps and valves; Pneumatic actuators require complex air delivery systems. For both, stroke length is defined by a mechanical hard stop.

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What is Welding Arc Flash?

Welding arc flash is a burn of the outer layers of the eyeball caused by the intense ultra-violet radiation generated by welding. A common cause of arc flashes in the industrial industry is when someone looks directly at the welding area without wearing protective eye gear. Directly looking at the UV radiation generated by the electric welding arcs causes a painful inflammation of the cornea. This is commonly referred to as ‘welder’s eye’ or ‘arc eye.’

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Working Through Challenges to Increase Supply Chain Efficiency

There are many opportunities to increase supply chain efficiency. There are also many challenges that impact the ability to run efficiently. By working through some of the challenges with some practical methods that have a big impact on supply chain management, any organization can increase their supply chain efficiency, regardless of industry.

Let’s start by exploring a few of the challenges to supply chain efficiency that impact most industries.

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What is a Manifold?

In the industrial industry there are many instances where two or more requirements must be fulfilled at the same time. Combining gases or fluids, controlling multiple valves, operating pneumatic and hydraulic systems can all demand that multiple functions be performed simultaneously. Incorporating a manifold into a fluid power application in hydraulics or pneumatics can provide an easier and more efficient performance.

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Is It Time to Cut the Cable?

The decision to go wireless for machine communication comes down to how much the benefits outweigh the challenges.

 

Wireless communication in our everyday electronic mobile devices has become so pervasive that it’s difficult to remember when such connectivity didn’t exist. Conversely, this level of connectivity has yet to dominate the factory floor. However, with the increased focus on IIoT, this may soon become a reality.

Pneumatic solenoid valves for many decades have been controlled through discrete wiring, with each solenoid individually wired and connected to a common cable, such as a 25-pin D-sub connector. This has progressed to fieldbus for quicker installation times, reduced wiring errors, and more importantly, diagnostic feedback capabilities.

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What is a Solenoid Valve?

Controlling the flow and pressure of liquids and gases is an important part of many industries. Industrial, engineering, and manufacturing facilities rely on this capability. The main component that allows them the ability to do so are valves. Valves can vary in size, design, function and operation. But all have the purpose to control flow and pressure of liquids and gases. One of the most common and frequently used valves are solenoid valves.

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