Panel Builder System Integrator

Industry Insights WarrenJune 11, 2019

By: Owen Hurst

In this issue of Industry Insights with Owen I had the opportunity to sit down with Warren Osak, founder and CEO of Electromate.

Speaking with Warren it is very clear he is a straight shooter with an abundance of knowledge, and passion for robotics, mechatronics and the general motion and motion control industry. Warren has a HBSc in biochemistry from the University of Toronto that provided him an ability to understand the complex calculations required to work with motion control. And understand it he did, authoring a text book in 1996 titled Motion Control Made Simple.

Warren first worked for several prominent motion control producers in the early 1980’s however at the time there was still some hesitancy among manufacturers about the future of motion control. However, Warren acting on suggestions put forward by some of his colleagues that recognized the value and future of the motion industry, founded Electromate in 1986 to serve the Canadian market. The goal was to ensure that these important products and growing market was advancing in Canada, and Warren has been working to ensure this ever since.

Digging deeper Warren provided some very rich and interesting information regarding integrated motion in WarrenCanada and about his company Electromate.

Electromate’s core message states that you provide ‘motion control at the speed of technology’. Do you ever feel that the technology is outpacing the industries ability to implement it?

No…certainly early adopters of the latest technology have a first mover advantage which makes their machines more competitive globally, but eventually the rising tide of the advancing technology raises the technology bar in all industries.  The challenge Industry faces is finding the right talent to embrace and employ the new technology.  

Once the technical people component is in place, Industry quickly embraces the latest technology, which by the way, is generally less expensive and has higher performance.

Electromate is not just a distributor but a solution provider that also offers turnkey onsite installation. Is this a trend among industry distributors and do you think we will see an increase in distributors offering full solution options?

Personally I don’t see a trend among distributors to ramp up their value-added services such as onsite installation.  It’s specific to Distributors in certain technology spaces, such as Vision System Distributors who are usually required by their customers to provide a ‘proof of concept integrated solution’, and Robot Distributors who need to accessorize their product offering with safety systems and end effectors to provide a complete solution mandated by their customers.   

The entry cost for a Distributor to get into the Integration Business is quite high which is a natural deterrent, plus Distributors run the risk of competing with their Integrator Customers which is never a good idea.

There has been some interesting advances among the use of roller-screw actuation devices, what advantages do these offer over more traditional methods of actuation?

Roller Screws  (also called planetary roller screws) have very high force transmission capabilities since roller screw components are designed with a fine pitch thereby providing more points of contact and a larger contact radius resulting in less stress per point of contact.   As a result, they can deliver very high force, operate at high speeds, are long-lasting and require little maintenance.  The use of planetary roller screws allows engineers to specify electric actuators in applications that were once the sole domain of hydraulic cylinders.  

The adoption of Roller Screws in high force linear motion applications has been slow to take off, but as we saw with the adoption of Electric Rod Style Actuators to displace Pneumatic solutions, it will take some time but will eventually become a universally acceptable preferred solution.  Currently the total cost of ownership of a hydraulic cylinder is already higher than a Roller Screw Actuator, although the unit cost is not.

There has always been and will likely always be some level industry discussion surrounding product miniaturization and standardization, what benefits do feel these offer?

We don’t hear much discussion surrounding miniaturization in the automation space primarily because the trend is an unstoppable force of nature.  Moore’s Law has held true for over 50years.  Simply put, companies that don’t miniaturize their products (or at least increase their power density in the same footprint) will see their market share dwindle quickly. Companies who generate 40% or more of their revenue from products that are over 6years old are at the greatest risk.

Standardization is another matter altogether.  Here there is considerable industry discussion, and rightly so.  New universally accepted Safety Standards, Open Source Communication and standardized Distributed Fieldbus Protocols have homogenized a once fragmented industry.  Interoperability is a huge benefit to customers in all industries and is the primary driver of the fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 is a name given to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.   It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing.  Without industry standardization, Industry 4.0 doesn’t exist.

What is the most revolutionary trend you are currently witnessing in the motion control industry?

Two revolutionary trends stand out.  Innovative changes in Motors & Feedback Device construction and design.

There have been big advancements in the construction of servomotors.  The physics of optimizing the magnetic flux generated from rare-earth magnet assemblies (and new production techniques) have leveraged improvements in motor designs.  So, we’re seeing continued improvement in the torque density of servomotors well beyond what I once believed achievable. 

 In layman’s terms, the torque output one could get out of a NEMA-34-frame servomotor from eight or 10 years ago is now achievable with a NEMA-23-frame servomotor.  In the same way, torque output of a NEMA 23 frame servomotor from eight to 10 years ago is now what today’s NEMA-17-frame motors can produce.  So, motors are definitively more power dense than in the past — and in fact for a given package size, there’s 50 to 100% increase in torque output versus motors produced a decade years ago.

 Sensor technologies seem to be advancing about twice as fast as other components used in motion-control systems.   New developments for feedback devices also outnumber those for servo drives, rotary actuators, linear actuators, and motors — and I don’t know why that is.  There’s certainly a lot of cutting-edge R&D in the world of feedback devices … so the pace of advancement in Encoder (especially inductive and capacitive types), Resolver, and Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT) designs has just been astounding.

Further to the questions asked above Warren was happy to chat about other developments he sees that will alter or act as a disrupter to the industry. The primary point he noted is the rise in 3D printing. 3D printing is so far beyond making simple objects now, to the point where we are now seeing components being printed for motors and motion technology. As this continues to grow it is likely that we will see disruption in the primary production methods. 3D printing is something to keep a very close eye on over the next few years.

Connect with Warren on LinkedIn -  https://www.linkedin.com/in/warrenosak/

Changing Scene

  • Prev
The CenterLine Machinery Division designed and built this fully automated assembly system in just ...
“Mission Technical Solutions was formed to enhance our OEM, Industrial, Contractor and distribution ...
Automated processes introduce unique safety challenges that require actively monitored protection ...
From equipment selection to wiring methods and installation requirements, the safe installation of ...
Last year Eplan welcomed around 1,400 attendees from 73 countries to its international Virtual ...
Attend this webinar to solve your automation challenges and become more productive.   ...
Safety, efficiency, and smart design are essential when designing panels and systems.   ...
Eclipse Automation had the pleasure to host Premiere Doug Ford, Minister Victor Fedeli, and caucus ...
The HARTING Technology Group continues to briskly advance the pace of digital transformation. “The ...

Upcoming Webinar: PILZ

PILZ WebinarAutomated processes introduce unique safety challenges that require actively monitored protection for the machine operator, the machine itself, and the product that is being produced.

This often requires machines to be fenced-in with access being provided via lockable doors, however, a lockable door can also present its own hazard.

 

 

 

Read More

 

Module_Divider.png

All Happening Live: the Eplan Virtual Fair

Rittal and EplanLast year Eplan welcomed around 1,400 attendees from 73 countries to its international Virtual Fair. Impressive figures – and that in times before such virtual formats had become the standard almost everywhere. This year the interest in new, innovative Leadership Talks, practice-oriented webcasts and worldwide chats for talking shop with other users is likely to increase again.

This year’s Eplan Virtual Fair has a full sixteen-hour programme planned. This year marks the fifth edition of the global “trade show on the net”, which has enjoyed a continually growing number of visitors from all around the world. The fair will be broadcasting, presenting and chatting live from 6.00 am to 10.00 pm (CEST). 

Read More

 

Module_Divider.png

Safety Scanner or Safety Mat? How to Choose the Right Safeguarding Device.

 

Omron Safety ScannerYou've done your risk assessment, and now it's time to implement a risk reduction strategy using engineering control measures. Since physical barriers can be costly and impractical, many manufacturers opt for what are known as presence sensing devices, a category that includes technologies like safety light curtains, safety laser scanners, and safety mats.

Because they don’t physically prevent an operator from reaching the hazard zone, presence sensing devices only work for machines that can be stopped anywhere in their cycle. Each device must be positioned far enough away from the machine that it’s extremely unlikely for anyone to be able to reach the danger area after triggering the safety response.

Read More

 

Module_Divider.png

Pandemic Creates New Job Roles and Fosters Automation Investment

Pandemic Job RolesBy Pat McGibbon, Chief Knowledge Officer, AMT

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This observation was made by philosopher George Santayana in 1905, but can help manufacturers today avoid mistakes in responding to the impacts of the pandemic. History shows that there are two likely outcomes of the current crisis which relate to manufacturing.

First, automation and digital manufacturing technologies will expand sooner and faster than the manufacturing technology market as a whole over the next two years. Second, this growth spurt will lead to changes in the manufacturing workforce throughout the recovery.

Read More


 

Albesol Looks to Build off Schneider Electric Premset Medium Voltage Switchgear Partnership in Canada

 

AlbesolBy Sarah Pickard

As a Premset Medium Voltage Switchgear and modular system electrical cabinets manufacturer and service provider, Albesol INC is the first licensed partner on the Premset offer for Schneider Electric in Canada. Albesol’s Canadian operations were founded in 2018 when the company expanded its operations from Albania, where they worked primarily in the energy and power sector.

The Canadian arm of the company is centered around Premset Switchgear, which is applicable across a number of industry segments: mining, data centres, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings, as well as portable substations.

 Read More


 

Product News

  • Prev
MENNEKES' new CDS Series is the industry’s first non-metallic, curved-top disconnect switch. This ...
Wi-Fi instability is a common workplace challenge. In material handling applications with devices ...
After careful preparation and extensive beta testing with users and system integrators worldwide, ...
Festo’s heavy duty VTSA series valve terminal family keeps expanding – this time, it’s the ...
Responding to the challenge municipalities face with tightening effluent requirements, ...
The new FLIR GF77 Gas Find IR Series provides professionals with the flexibility to use one ...
Insulation type MTW machine tool wire is now available in 22-gauge from AutomationDirect. Existing ...
PLANET ICS-210xT Serial Device Server series is specially designed to convert RS232, RS422 or RS485 ...
Cleaning time is downtime, and Cleaning-In-Place (CIP) cycles to eliminate product buildup in a ...
Discover the new compact MV Switchgear featuring SF6-free Shielded Solid Insulation (2SIS) and ...

Condition Monitoring Sensor With Integrated Data Preprocessing

Condition Monitoring SensorUnscheduled stops and faults in the production process can be avoided using our new multi-functional condition monitoring sensor. This intelligent sensor provides you with condition information which you can use for automating costintensive manual inspections. This condition data is also an essential component for implementing smart and flexible manufacturing – a key to IIoT.

The Balluff condition monitoring sensor detects various physical variables such as vibration, temperature, relative humidity, and ambient pressure, processes them, and provides the desired data to a host system via IO-Link.

Read More


 

 

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2020 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil