Emerging Technologies

Innovative tools of the trade

By Hunter Burney

Improved process control

As industrial engineers, we value process control. Wait, scratch that – we expect sophisticated process control. And often we are tasked with improving or replacing the equipment used in our processes. Banner Engineering and Nordson EFD offer the latest in sensors and fluid dispensing.

Banner Engineering has made a stepwise improvement to its vision sensors, launching the iVu Plus Gen2 sensors in both visual inspection and bar code reader models. Use the visual inspection sensor to compare products passing the sensor versus a template product that you program into the unit. Perhaps the bar code reader is needed for items moving through a process or checkpoint in the handling process.

Banner boasts a better response time and a wider range of resolution in these new models, along with a host of other advantageous features. The units keep the same intuitive interface as the previous models and are available in integrated or remote models. The integrated models have a touch-screen display attached to the unit, whereas the remote models provide the flexibility to mount the display separate from the sensor should the sensor reside in a congested area. The Ethernet connectivity also provides a quick way to download data, program or troubleshoot. Consistent with the conversion to being mobile in industry, there is no PC required to program or monitor. Similarly, setup is simple with menu-guided steps.

The TG model has four different sensor types, which allows flexibility for the end user application: area, blemish, match and sort. The BCR model is equipped with a new coarse mode option that provides faster bar code read rates.

The rugged housing sets the bar high with an IEC rating of IP67, which means it is dust-proof and can be immersed in water for short periods of time.

With a versatile yet simple operation, the new line from Banner puts more intelligent sensors in your inspection processes.

Switching gears, Nordson EFD’s new fluid dispensing controller, the 7160RA ValveMate, sets itself apart with its unique microprocessor circuitry that allows for precise control through an improved interface. In other words, you get the powerful combination of precision and convenience.

The 7160RA ValveMate can be obtained in either radial spray or radial spinner models. The radial spray uses a low-pressure, low-volume control with a built-in air pressure regulator, important for minimizing overspray. The radial spinner works with low- to medium- viscosity fluids such as lubricants and silicone oils and functions by dispensing a controlled amount of fluid onto a spinning disk.

Nordson EFD designs and manufactures precision fluid dispensing systems for benchtop assembly processes and automated assembly lines.

It is nice to see new products hit the market that provide improved process control and provide a user-friendly way to do it.

Hunter Burney is in a leadership development program at General Cable Corp. and is a member of the IIE Young Professionals. His B.S. in industrial engineering is from Tennessee Tech University.