Promat 2007: Material handling, motion, related sensors


Motors, machine, networks

Program the Sick CQ28 proximity sensor with a pushbutton or a control wire teach-in function.

Chicago —Trends and technologies in material handling are among the topics under discussion this week at ProMat 2007 , Jan. 8-11, at McCormick Place. Motors, drives, and motion control-related technologies—including proximity sensors, robotics, and conveyors—are among prime movers.

The Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) organizes the show, which has a conference, exhibits, and technology demonstrations. ProMat is a U.S. Department of Commerce International Buyer Program event with more than 700 exhibits covering 300,000 sq ft. Attendees are expected from the U.S. and more than 80 other countries. Exhibits include manual equipment and computerized, automated systems, in four sections: equipment and components for manufacturing; fulfillment and delivery; information technology (IT); and assembly logistics and support.

The Educational Conference features a Keynote Forum with top executives from Buck Knives, New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., and Ariens Co. From 9-11:30 a.m. today, they're expected to explain that the concepts of "lean" and "continuous flow" can transform the supply chain when combined with strong, visionary executive leadership, and teamwork, offering results. Among key advice:

  • Make a commitment at the top and effectively communicate that commitment through the organization;

  • Evolve from the old ways of doing business to new work processes;

  • Employ tools to support those processes;

  • Integrate the process changes with fundamental supply chain changes; and

  • Support workers who make it happen.

More than 70 show-floor educational seminars and three educational workshops outline equipment and technologies. More than 25 companies are holding free 45-min. seminars in theaters on the show floor in the ProMat Knowledge Center, including Accu-Sort Systems, FKI Logistex, ifm efector, and Schneider Electric.

FKI Logistex is discussing trends in integrated European material handling, automated replenishment, and selecting and integrating order-fulfillment methods and technologies for a distribution center.

MagneMotion , a developer and manufacturer of assembly automation, material handling, and transportation technologies, is exhibiting its new modular track designed for material handling and assembly automation. The track uses linear synchronous motor (LSM) and maglev technologies to create faster, more efficient, longer lasting, and more affordable automated manufacturing and transportation, including elevators. MagneMover DB 1.0 track has a 1 m turn radius.

MHIA gives its annual "State of the Industry" press conference today at 2 p.m., room 401A, covering the $125 billion material handling and logistics industry. Begun in 1945, MHIA helps shape the movement, storage, control, and protection of materials and products throughout the process of their manufacture, distribution, consumption, and disposal.

Sick Inc . is showing controllers and sensors. Recent introductions include a new UE410 Flexi Controller, is modular and safety-rated. It provides configurable logic without using any software, saving time and simplifying setup. It can be used for interconnecting up to approximately 10 safety operations, with 50% reduction in the control cabinet, wiring reduction and communication with Profibus, DeviceNet, and CANOpen, with planned integration with Ethernet. The Sick CQ28 capacitive proximity sensor has a sleek design and two LEDs (tolerance and output). It is said to reliably detect liquids and bulk materials through non-metallic walls in sensing distances of up to 10 mm. The CQ28 is available as PNP or NPN switching output.

Click here for information on the ProMat 2007 Educational Conference.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Mark T. Hoske