Plastics News senior reporter Bill Bregar reported the following items during National Manufacturing Week, held March 3-6 in Chicago. The event is host to six shows.
RMA software helps with resin selection
Autodesk Inc. showed RMA, a resin evaluation tool from Resinate Corp. of Andover, Mass.
Resinate introduced version 4.0 of RMA, which stands for Resinate Material Advisor. Autodesk demonstrated RMA in conjunction with its three-dimensional mechanical design software called Autodesk Inventor.
RMA streamlines the plastic-material selection process by integrating a material database with leading computer-aided-design software. The modeled parts and assemblies can be assigned the correct plastic material properties directly, using a database of more than 13,000 materials. The information then can be used downstream easily without manually inputting the data.
Version 4.0 users can access the material database over the Internet. Previously, the core software was installed on each workstation, with updates coming via the Web. RMA provides real-time material data, sorted by supplier, grade and/or price.
Vistagy adds EnCapta to CAD software line
Vistagy Inc., best known for its FiberSim computer-aided-design software for composite parts, is branching out to a broader industrial market with EnCapta.
EnCapta allow designers to include notes and other critical information that needs to follow the three-dimensional CAD file, such as the type of fasteners needed. Users can develop specific files and lists on customizable templates.
In other news, Vistagy in Waltham, Mass., announced it sold $1.4 million worth of FiberSim software and training services to the Renault F1 racing team in Enstone, England, to design and manufacture composite parts for race cars.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. of Fort Worth, Texas, bought more than $1 million of FiberSim. Lockheed uses the software for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Another recent customer is Rex Composites, which makes complex fairings for helicopters and the all-composite Linceau aircraft in Issoire, France. Vistagy did not disclose how much the company spent.
GE Fanuc introduces PAC controllers line
GE Fanuc Automation North America Inc. rolled out its PACSystems family of controllers, which stands for programmable automation controller.
GE Fanuc said PAC can be customized to meet the needs of machinery builders and manufacturers. Users can choose the hardware and programming language that best suits each application. Bill Estep, vice president of automation equipment, said the controllers give ``control convergence'' instead of merely integrating individual pieces.
GE Fanuc will release the first platform, called RX7I, in the second quarter of this year.
Charlottesville, Va.-based GE Fanuc is a joint venture between General Electric Co. and Fanuc Ltd. of Japan.
In other news, GE Fanuc released iHistorian version 2.0, an upgrade of its plantwide data history software.
Version 2.0 has improved data management and information sharing capabilities, and runs more efficiently, the firm said.
Dorner conveyors sport new features
Conveying equipment maker Dorner Mfg. Corp. of Hartland, Wis., said its 3200 series is designed for plastics, rubber, electronics and medical manufacturing.
Conveyors in the 3200 line, which debuted last year, are available in widths between 6 and 48 inches, in 2-inch increments, and in any length. Features include new, optional V-guided belts for positive tracking; an optional small-parts transfer pulley; and a new quick belt-change center drive.
The conveyors can handle loads of up to 1,000 pounds, running at a belt speed of 600 feet per minute.
Dorner also announced a new drive system for its 2200 line of conveyors, which move small parts through manufacturing and shipping.
Called gang drive, the design lets one drive shaft run multiple conveyors, using special pulleys. That minimizes the number of motors needed and reduces the amount of space needed, Dorner said.
Bosch Rexroth touts digital controller
Bosch Rexroth Corp. announced a new hydraulic controller, the DPQ digital controller for hydraulic injection cylinders that have analog feedback.
Features include user-selectable injection profile control, easy setup and flexibility for use with most injection molding machines.
Transfer from injection velocity to pressure control can be triggered by position or by mold cavity pressure.
The DPQ includes Rexroth WinHost software, which does data acquisition and generates real-time graphs.
A personal computer interface is optional, because the DPQ can be run by using the faceplate display and push buttons on the controller.
The company also introduced a series of hydraulic cylinders called CDT4, for cylinder differential tie rods, designed for plastics machinery and other types of equipment.
With pressure ranges up to 3,000 pounds per square inch, the cylinders feature a single removable rod bearing made of ductile iron, for reduced wear and long service life.
Bosch Rexroth also showed fixed-displacement hydraulic pumps and the GTM/GTMR series of gearboxes.
Bosch Rexroth's Industrial Hydraulics unit is based in Bethlehem, Pa.