Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

April 15, 2020 

EIN Electromate logo 400Founded by Warren Osak, Electromate specializes in Robotic and Mechatronic Solutions, distributing AC & DC Servo and Stepper Motors, Drives, Controls, Positioning Systems & Robots to the industrial automation market. They are also ISO9001:2015 Registered Company and LEAN Process accredited. You can find their full offering HERE.

Electromate was founded by Osak in 1986 and have become a leader in the industry on the strength of their technical engineering expertise combined with Osak’s extraordinary work ethic, approach to business management and philosophy of continuous improvement.

In the Q&A below, Warren discusses considerations for automating processes and provides some thoughts on the current motion and drives industry landscape.

What are some of the key things for a manufacturer to consider when introducing automation and control into a production process?

First, start with the end in mind.  Define your requirement before you define your budget.  Since the cost to increase the precision of a system jumps exponentially with every 10-fold increase in precision, it’s wise to first define your requirement in terms of the needs of the process.  Far too often customers approach us asking for submicron bidirectional repeatability only to balk at the price.  Then when we review the customer’s actual requirements, we often see that micron level repeatability is more than satisfactory. 

Secondly, define what you hope to accomplish.  Are you looking for localized control or distributed control?  Localized control (at the machine level) is generally quicker to implement but has the limitation of no interoperability.  By contrast, distributed control systems are more complex to set-up but offer connectivity to an entire production line which has many benefits such as managing Kanban or Demand Flow production processes.

Lastly, are you looking for a turnkey plug & play solution, or a custom solution specific to your needs?  If the latter, it’s critical that you have onsite engineering support to maintain the operation of the machine.

How have advancements in Motion Controllers enhanced the capabilities of automation in manufacturing?

Over the last 10 years we’ve seen a convergence of Machine Control and Motion Control, whereby PLC’s are now performing more complicated motion control tasks, and Motion Controllers are now handling 500+ remote I/O points.

Additionally, the ability of Motion Controllers to perform algebraic functions have dramatically improved the capabilities of Motion Controllers, especially in the realm of Robotics.  Forward kinematic equations have given way to advanced inverse kinematic equations where the positioning of a robot arm can now be calculated using trajectory planning for positioning the arm in any three-dimensional space. 

What are some of the challenges of the current industry landscape, from your perspective as a distributor and solutions provider?

The Motion Control industry was born in the 1980’s, and as such is now considered a mature growth industry.  While the industry continues to grow at a modest rate, it lacks the sex appeal of newer millennial industries, such as the IT/Cloud/Software Technology industry which is primarily controlled by the FAANG oligopoly comprising Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet (formerly known as Google).

For many established companies in the Motion Control industry, competing for talent against these software behemoths has become a serious concern, especially as many of these companies have started or acquired their own Motion Control manufacturing divisions ie. Google’s Boston Dynamics robotics division.

What importance do you place on granularity with respect to products that are tailored specifically for a particular industry segment?

I wouldn’t say Electromate’s business is becoming more granular or segment oriented by choice.  Rather, the nature of the products we offer tend to sell better in demanding applications, and thus our customers look to use to solve their engineering challenges.

www.electromate.com

Changing Scene

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LDS Aug Products Eaton AL Series Dimmers 400Eaton's Wiring Devices AL series dimmers offer a versatile option for any dimming application - fine tune the dimming performance to match your exact needs and change colors as needed to suit any décor.

Color change kits come with three color faceplates, offering design flexibility within one product. Select models are available in 4 different color combination packs.


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IdealIDEAL Industries recently put together a new supply catalogue focused on panel builders and pre-fabrication. The Panel Builders and Pre-Fab Supplies Catalogue, which can be found here, highlights IDEAL’s extensive product offerings for panel builders and pre-fabrication projects.

Panel building pre-fabrication is a growing industry in Canada, in part due the increasing complexity of panel design as well as being a streamlined and efficient process favourable to ROI. 

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Latest Articles

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Case Study: EikoPro Electric LLC had a customer that had just constructed a new horse barn and was looking to light it quickly. The barn was designed to be lit with ten high bay lights for maximum efficacy and efficiency. Together with EiKO’s distributor partner, Platt Electric Redmond located in Redmond, Oregon, Pro Electric selected the EiKO 200W BAY-C high bay fixture, which puts out an impressive 30,000+ lumens at a 5000K color temperature. This high lumen output and the long life of the fixture – 72,000 hours – made it an ideal choice for the application.

Obviously, when lighting a barn, the security and safety of the animals, riders, and care givers is paramount. EiKO’s LED high bay products fill the space with light, eliminating shadows and blind spots.

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SafetyAppearing below is a fact sheet on electrical tool safety compiled by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).* This is one of many easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion.

When and how should you inspect powered hand tools?
• Inspect tools for any damage prior to each use.
• Check the handle and body casing of the tool for cracks or other damage.
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Product News

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BRI-THIN In-Floor Heating UnitsBri-Thin cables are an alternative to floor heating mats for tile and stone flooring. With high heating efficiency, they are a more economical option to floor heating mats and suited better for irregular shaped rooms.

The cable can be easily formed and adapted to almost any geometrical layout. Bri-Thin helps to maintain the aesthetics of new interiors and their thin construction makes them apt for renovations of homes, offices, corridors or large areas. The heating cable is so thin that it will add little more than 1/8” additional depth to the finished installation.

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Meredith HalfpennyBy Aaron Kothiringer 

Meredith Halfpenny is a Wind Site Technician with Boralex where she inspects, maintains, and repairs both wind turbines and their infrastructure for the 230 MW Niagara and the 10MW Port Ryerse wind energy projects. Boralex is a power producer whose core business is dedicated to the development, building and operation of renewable energy power facilities.

In 2018, the Corporation was operating an asset base with an installed capacity of 1,909 MW in Canada, the North-Eastern United States and France.

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Rutul Bhavsar 1 400By Blake Marchand

Rutul Bhavsar is a final year Electrical Engineering student at Mohawk College. He recently co-authored a whitepaper on Mohawk College’s Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation discussing the technologies utilized in the state-of-the-art zero-carbon/carbon-neutral facility. Rutul was the lead author on the project, supported by Dr. Mariano Arriaga, General Manager of Mohawk’s Energy and Power Innovation Centre (EPIC) and Dr. Tony Cupido Research Chair, Sustainability at Mohawk College. Rutul’s interests lie in the more progressive areas of the industry, automation, control, and energy efficient technologies.

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