Product Roundup: Manufacturing controls and automation

Instrumentation and controls make plants more efficient.

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After a big rise in December, January’s U.S. manufacturing technology consumption fell slightly, but once again showed significant progress over the previous year’s numbers, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association (AMTDA, www.amtda.org) and the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT, www.amtonline.org).

As reported by companies participating in the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Consumption (USMTC) program, January technology consumption totaled $371 million. This number is down about 16% from December, but up more than 188% over the $129 million reported for January 2010.

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“Despite the slight decline in orders from December, the January USMTC report confirms that U.S. manufacturers are reinvesting vigorously to improve productivity,” says Peter Borden, AMTDA’s president. “As equipment deliveries grow longer and commodity prices increase, factories may continue to make these investments before inflation and other factors raise prices further.”

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Manufacturing technology is called upon to perform other functions. Consider that the automation umbrella now covers process reliability, condition monitoring to provide early warning of impending mechanical problems, and safety instrumented systems that incorporate multiple devices to perform a single control function. Wireless data transfer is becoming a common mode of communication because it eliminates the headaches associated with rewiring the plant in the event of equipment relocations or major process revisions. Such flexibility is needed in an environment characterized by volatility in energy prices, electric utility pricing based on instantaneous demand and time of day, and variable quality in raw materials.

Automation has financial value. With so many products and options available, you should be able to identify several options that can improve manufacturing operations and make them much more reliable and safe.

Eaton's XV and XP Series operator interfaces offer Visual Designer software for interoperability, simplicity and security

Eaton's XV and XP Series operator interfaces offer Visual Designer software for interoperability, simplicity and security
Eaton's XV and XP Series operator interfaces are engineered to offer flexibility in design, communications and application. Each model comes equipped with Eaton’s Visual Designer software, which is designed for interoperability, simplicity and security, and allows for the design and implementation of graphical user interface (GUI) solutions.

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AutomationDirect's Productivity3000 Programmable Automation Controller features 115,000 I/O points

AutomationDirect's Productivity3000 Programmable Automation Controller features 115,000 I/O points
AutomationDirect’s Productivity3000 Programmable Automation Controller combines the features and capabilities of a PC-based control system with that of a typical programmable logic controller (PLC). Productivity3000 is a modular, rack-based system of up to 115,000 I/O points with local, expansion and remote I/O bases, and a lineup of discrete, analog and specialty I/O modules.

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