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


      Salex Welcomes New Partner: Senso by Lumini                    

LDS Salex Spotlight 400Salex is pleased to announce a new partnership with Senso by Luminii – a Canadian manufacturer of locally made LED fixtures. As of August 6, Salex will represent their lighting products in the Southwestern Ontario region.

With every product, Senso Lighting pursues a vision of providing flexible and environmentally conscious lighting solutions to upgrade the typical fluorescent office. For over ten years, the Canadian manufacturer has specialized in LED technology and embarks on a mission to illuminate commercial spaces with custom solutions that are beautiful, economical and sustainable.


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Changing Scene

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With the world changing at an unprecedented pace, companies today must respond quickly, responsibly. Discover the best strategies and latest technologies to help you thrive in the new normal. 

 

 

 

 

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BCEA SparkBCBCEA's next Professional Development series will be on 2018 Updates & 2021 Code Changes with Ted Gilbert. Ted Gilbert is a well-known industry expert and a certified Master Electrician with over 30 years as an electrical contractor, electrician, code change instructor and Safety Officer with Technical Safety BC. He is a Senior Instructor with SparkBC Technical Training and currently teaches code change courses across BC.

Ted’s presentation will focus on the new or revised Rules pertaining to safety of personnel and protection of electrical equipment. These Rule changes are found in the BC Electrical Code in Sections 2,4,8,10,12,16,26 and 78.

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AEAThe Alberta Electrical Alliance have partnered with Mansfield Technical Services to provide training on the 24th Edition of the Canadian Electrical Code. 

The course will cover changes in the Canadian Electrical Code to keep you current with safety standards for the installation and maintenance of electrical equipment.

Participants will learn:
  • 2018 Canadian Electrical Code 24th edition
  • Over 535 rule changes and 76 table changes
  • 69 new or revised special terminology and definition changes

 

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Michelle BraniganBy Michelle Branigan

In the past few months, the term “she-cession” has been used to refer to the disproportionate impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on women’s participation in the workforce. Current Canadian numbers show that more women than men have lost their jobs, and fewer women than men have been able to get them back as workplaces re-open.

In Canadian electricity, women make up 26% of the workforce before taking into account the effects of the pandemic. In this situation, even small losses to women’s participation in electricity will have a detrimental impact on the sector.

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Terry BeckerBy Terry Becker

I was reminded again over the past few weeks in working with clients on electrical safety program development, following up on LinkedIn posts, and reviewing IEEE 1584 based arc flash hazard incident energy analysis study P.Eng. reports for clients that industry doesn’t understand the CSA Z462 Workplace electrical safety standard and has been misinformed in P.Eng. arc flash hazard incident energy analysis study reports issued to them.

 

 

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Jesco No-Pixel Flexible LED Strip• A continuous band of flawless light output with no pixelated hot spots – even without a lens
• 3-Step MacAdam LED binning for uniformity in both color and intensity
• 2oz. PCB thickness for optimal thermal management
• Solder pads are gold plated providing exceptional electrical connectivity and are corrosion-free.
• Field-cuttable
• Cut ends can be linked with connectors. No soldering required.
• Easy installation with 3M® adhesive tape

 

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FLIR Systems Exx-Series Handheld Thermal CameraFLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) today announced four new additions to its Exx-Series of advanced thermal imaging cameras: the E96, E86, E76 and E54. Compared to predecessor Exx-Series cameras, the new cameras offer enhanced thermal resolution for more vibrant, easy-to-read images and on-camera routing capability to improve field survey efficiency.

The new Exx-Series cameras are designed to help professionals detect the early signs of building issues, identify hot spots, troubleshoot electrical and mechanical systems, and prevent problems before they cause damage that leads to expensive repairs.

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Dee DurantDee Durant is an industrial electrician apprentice attending Conestoga College and an Ambassador for Kick Ass Careers. As an ambassador for KickAss Careers she spent time shadowing mentor and KickAss founder Jamie McMillan attending events for the organization.

The advancement of women in male dominated industries is an important endeavor for Durant, inspired by her mother, who was the first woman on the Brantford Police department. In EIN's interview with Durant, she discussed the future of electrical work, and how the ongoing pandemic is affecting our country’s students.

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ABBFor more than a century, ABB has been investing in Canadian technologies and products to support the development of local businesses.

Canada has been known around the world for its delicious maple syrup and warm winter coats. But it is also a place for innovation, certainly for technology leader ABB, which has partnered with several Canadian customers to foster industrial transformation and manufacture products that suit their specific needs for over a century. Across Canada, ABB experts build the most trusted products in North America.

 

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