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Rexnord adds to its Autogard Torque Limiters with the XG Series

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Rexnord’s Autogard Torque Limiters lead the industry in overload protection with proven reliability, dependable expertise and a broad range of options that offer bi-directional protection, lower total cost of ownership, increased accuracy of torque limitation, and longer life at high speeds.

The most recent update to the Rexnord Autogard Torque Limiter range— the XG Series —provides our best ever protection from unexpected torque spikes for extruders. Designed to disengage the driving motor from the extruder gearbox in the event of a process jam, the XG Series was developed based on over 30 years of industry experience in conjunction with leading machine builders and users. Able to instantaneously separate damaging inertias over a pre-set level and featuring easy-to-adjust torque setting, drop-out options, simple manual disconnection and disengagement sensors, the XG Series is the mechanical fuse for extruders.

“Rexnord Autogard Torque Limiters currently protect thousands of machines and production lines around the world,” says Rob Hucker, Product Manager of Shaft Management Solutions. “We’re particularly proud of our heritage in the extrusion industry and are very excited to be offering this new solution to improve extruder and compounding machine up-time even further.”

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Industrial Hardware and Machine Parts

ABB’s award winning solar inverter

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At Intersolar Europe, ABB’s new PVS-175-TL string inverter, which delivers up to 185 kW active power has been recognized by industry experts as the leading PV product innovation at the 2018 Intersolar Awards.

Delivering up to 65 percent savings on installation and logistic costs for ground mounted utility scale applications, the ABB PVS-175-TL delivers the largest capacity on the market for a 1500Vdc string inverter.

The unique capabilities of ABB’s new PVS-175-TL lie in its ability to generate up to 185 kW active power and the judging panel was impressed by the high modularity of the product, which improves yields and reduces operational maintenance costs. Judges praised the string inverter as the next step in improving the overall efficiency in PV systems and recognized its high power density and operating temperature range between -20°C and up to 60°C.

Together with all the key benefits of traditional string inverters, its innovative modular design means that up to 65 percent fewer inverters are required to complete the optimal power block, without the need for AC recombiners. This delivers up to 65 percent savings on installation and logistic costs, improving Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for utility-scale installations.

The three-phase PVS-175-TL with advanced digital capabilities through ABB Ability™, ABB’s comprehensive cross-divisional digital offering, delivers up to 185 kVA at 800 Vac and ultra-high-power density of 1.3 kW/kg. This not only maximizes the ROI for ground-mounted utility-scale applications but also reduces Balance of System costs for small to large scale, free field ground mounted PV installations.

“As demand for higher voltage and higher power class ratings continues to grow, we are very excited to bring to the solar energy industry a scalable and versatile solution. We are delighted to be recognized at the highest possible level in our industry, particularly with the market shifting towards new technologies to enhance solar power generation in a reliable, safe and cost-effective manner,” commented Giovanni Frassineti, who heads up ABB’s Solar Business Unit. “This latest product not only supports higher power densities, but also improves installation with reduced commissioning time. It also benefits from advanced communication and digitalization for condition based monitoring and proactive maintenance for the operator.”

Quick and easy installation, improved accessibility and visibility, advanced digitalization monitoring through ABB Ability™, bigger PV clusters and modular combiner free design are just some of the many advantages of the PVS-175-TL.

Presented at Intersolar Europe for the first time, the PVS-175-TL is a plug-and-play inverter with easy install directly onto the existing PV modules’ mounting system, using the same process as installing a DC string combiner box.

A dedicated Installer App provides simple and quick plant installation instructions and gets all inverters employed, in a single cluster, and commissioned in less than 20 minutes.

The high performing PVS-175-TL delivers:

  • High power density – largest on the market for a 1500 Vdc inverter, offering up to 65 percent savings on installation and logistics costs.
  • Installer friendly, reducing OPEX costs by 30-40 percent with quicker installation as the existing PV module’s mounting systems can be used to install the inverters, with no need for other devices like DC and AC combiner boxes, saving time and cost on site preparation and hire of plant.
  • Greater capacity without compromising on versatility – through its 12 MPPT input channels – the largest range available on the market – PV plant design flexibility and yields are increased in complex installations. The design friendly inverter solutions can be easily adapted for free field ground-mounted installations, ensuring that installers and developers are no longer locked into legacy systems.
  • Modular and combiner free design – up to 24 strings can be directly connected to the wiring compartment which, thanks to the integrated DC disconnect and AC wiring section with optional AC disconnect, eliminates the need for separate DC combiner box and AC 1st level combiners.
  • Enhanced O&M – can be achieved during the operating life of the plant through its unique Advanced Cooling Concept. The internal fans (which are not heavy-duty inverter cooling fans) can be easily removed during scheduled maintenance cycles, whilst the power module can be easily replaced without removing the wiring box. This preserves the lifetime and reliability of the product and minimizes O&M costs.
  • Digitalization – featuring ABB Ability™ to deliver improved user experience, reduced time on site through remote monitoring and predictive maintenance, future proofing the system via automatic upgrades, compliance and integration with new IP protocols. Multiple data streaming and services can be run in parallel.

ABB is consistently investing in R&D with extensive testing and development of its portfolio to deliver integrated technology and service solutions which optimize performance, reliability and return on investment of any solar installation and fulfill the requirements of local markets.

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Industrial Hardware and Machine Parts

Is PAT the paradigm-shift that process manufacturing has been looking for?

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Manufacturers worldwide are taking a closer look at how they can deliver cost-optimised, high-quality products. But will a paradigm shift to real time in-process quality testing allow more manufacturers to embrace the massive cost and productivity benefits available for both batch and continuous production?

Martin Gadsby, Director at Optimal Industrial Technologies, discusses how process analytical technology (PAT) can be a gamechanger in quality management for process manufacturing.

Conventionally, the quality of a batch manufactured product is controlled using manual laboratory testing on samples collected after each unit operation. This is called “Quality by Testing” (QbT). However, traditional quality control has limitations that hinder manufacturing efficiency as QbT takes place too late in the process to prevent scrap and rework. One methodology that has the potential to address this issue is PAT. This provides a real time quality prediction and assurance methodology that enables the process to be continually monitored and optimised, increasing product quality.

By assuring product quality automatically on a live, continuous basis, using multivariate models for instrument calibration, virtually all process manufactured products can be produced far more quickly, more cost effectively and to a higher quality.  QbT is no longer required, as timely automated process adjustments can be made to optimise the product quality and reduce or possibly eliminate rework and waste. Using a holistic PAT process model and the right management software, timely measurements of raw and in-process materials can also help contribute to improved process resilience and adaptability.

Why conventional quality control is obsolete

Traditional quality control can often identify issues in the manufacturing process only after the unit operation or batch is finished. In contrast, with PAT-led production the final quality is not tested into the product, but rather built into the product as process adjustments can be made in real-time. It is a “Quality by Design” (QbD) approach. Re-work of sub-standard product batches and wastage caused by the empirically-derived assumption that raw materials are all of a consistent quality is potentially eliminated by adopting a QbD approach. Also, “Real time Release Testing”, where product can be released for sale immediately after production, becomes a reality. The risk of lost sales or direct recall costs and brand damage is also removed.

The role PAT can play in different manufacturing industries

In a highly regulated industry such as biotech and pharmaceuticals, using a PAT based process model means product can be released straight from production into the distribution chain without any further tests or confirmation being required.  The significantly reduced development and production time leads to massive savings in production cost and manufacturing time and brings huge advantages in reducing the overhead of Work-In-Progress materials.

The benefits to using PAT for manufacturers of high-value goods are instantly apparent, as any sub-standard batches cause great financial losses due to the large amount of expensive off-spec material produced when things go wrong. Producing lower value product, but at very high speed and in large volumes has the same cost implications in this scenario, so other manufacturing industries such as FMCG can also substantially improve their production processes and reduce losses related to sub-standard products.

Manufacturers of high-volume low-value goods are arguably under more pressure to improve their productivity, speed up production times, reduce rework and scrap while improving the consistency of quality. Real-time QbD processes can also make a difference by allowing bulk producers to use a wider range of potentially lower-cost raw materials, slight variations to in-feed materials can be compensated for with recipe changes that can keep final quality controlled to a much tighter tolerance.  PAT is the one technology that has the potential to deliver improvements in all these areas.

Key drivers for PAT-led production

One main concern that may prevent manufacturers from investing in a new technology is whether it is approved by regulatory authorities. In the case of PAT, the shift from testing final batches to building quality into the product is promoted by regulatory bodies that see PAT as a way to foster manufacturing efficiency and product quality, while harmonising regulatory expectations. For example, since the early 2000s both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have promoted the adoption of PAT to support the proliferation of QbD in the pharmaceutical industry.

This holistic approach does however require an effective data and knowledge management tool that allows users to monitor the production critical attributes in real time and enable timely process improvements to optimise quality. Centralised and distributed systems that are designed specifically for PAT, that ensure regulatory compliance and that are helping to drive the PAT revolution are available. One of the most advanced and well-proven PAT data management tools on the market is synTQ, by Optimal. Its market status is underlined by the fact that over half the world’s top-ten global pharmaceutical manufacturers already use it.

At the tipping point of innovation adoption

Industry trends show that manufacturers who have already implemented PAT into their production processes are increasing their market responsiveness, productivity and production capacity whilst also improving the consistency of quality. Other industries are taking note of these successes; thus, the technology is now beginning to gain more widespread acceptance beyond pharmaceutical manufacturers that are effectively the ‘early adopters’. It is now beginning to gain interest among manufacturers of low-volume high-value and high-volume low-value goods. As its visibility increases and the technology matures, its adoption will become ever more widespread to a point where PAT is likely to become an industry standard in many sectors.

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Industrial Hardware and Machine Parts

New dedicated automotive stud welding system provider created

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A unique, dedicated supplier of stud welding systems to the global automotive sector has been created following the sale of the former Nelson Fastener Systems business by leading international component manufacturer Doncasters Group.

The automotive division of the business – now known as Nelson Automotive – has been retained by Doncasters as part of the Group´s focus and commitment to the global automotive sector. It will continue to supply the sector with the market-leading stud welding systems, service and consumables for which the Nelson name has become renowned worldwide.

Its global customer base already includes many of the leading OEMs and well as major Tier 1 suppliers, all of whom will continue to benefit from unparalleled levels of innovation and service.

Products will continue to be manufactured in Gevelsberg in Germany, where a dedicated team is focused on the development of the next generation of stud welding systems, pushing the boundaries of speed, performance and durability.

The company is at the forefront of innovation in the sector, with its SPEEDPORT feeding system enabling a single unit to weld more than 40,000 studs in a day. It also offers an extensive range of manual and automatic systems, as well as robotic weld heads for high production environments.

Nelson Automotive boasts global reach with a complete product portfolio backed up by outstanding local service. It enjoys strong synergies with other companies within Doncasters´ Speciality Automotive division.

A spokesman for the company commented: “Our systems are used by leading players in the automotive sector in Europe, Asia and the Americas, where our service-led approach and commitment to innovation sets us apart.

Remaining within Doncasters´ Specialty Automotive division give us access to extensive resources in the area of research & development, equipping us ideally to meet the challenges faced by automotive manufacturers seeking outstanding stud welding performance at best cost.

The future is very bright for the business and we look forward to extending existing partnerships as well as embarking on new ones, whether customers are seeking systems for new production facilities or as upgrades to existing plants.”

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