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Predicting the 2011 thriller

18 February 2011

Each year, one award stands out as a real thriller, where the finalists are so evenly matched it's impossible to predict a winner. This year that category is Technological Development of the Year.

The five finalists in this year's category include Mitsubishi Electric, Atlas Copco Compressors, Cablofil, Bosch Rexroth and Burkert.

Below is the information attached to each finalist.

Mitsubishi provided sophisticated modern drive and control equipment to WMH Automation UK so it could develop a servo-based system that irons out the inaccuracies of batter pumping for a frozen food manufacturer. The objective was to produce the perfect Yorkshire pudding. The system comprises of a 10 axis J3 servo drive arrangement. Each servo is linked with Mitsubishi’s high-speed SSC net. Nine of the axes are dedicated to the depositors, each driving 32 pump chambers. The servos are each programmed with a map of known volume to be dispensed and the required number of rotations can be calculated depending on the required product settings.

Burkert worked with a European drinks producer, providing intelligent process valves to its new facility. The drink manufacturer uses these valves across the production area in a decentralised control solution with communications via an AS-interface. Hygienic seat valves controlling the product flow, on-off valves for the auxiliary circuits for water, steam, sterile air and cleaning are automated in a decentralised mode by means of intelligent valves. Moreover, with this decentralised system the only tasks remaining with the central process control system are control and status monitoring, resulting in savings in overall system project costs and improved transparency in system operation.

Cablofil helped Nestlé enhance efficiency and reduce risk of production line contamination at its York factory, following installation of more than 3km of the Cablofil steel-wire containment system as part of a plant refurbishment. Health and safety, product quality and taking as many precautions as possible to avoid risk of product contamination were key and Cablofil ticked the boxes. Supplied in standard lengths of 3m in varying widths ranging from 50-600mm, it’s designed to offer maximum flexibility and is suited for industrial applications where the complex bends and joints required can be achieved quickly and simply onsite using ordinary bolt-cutters.

Atlas Copco Compressors has launched retrofit energy recovery kits for its GA11-90 rotary screw compressor range which enable up to 94% of the energy from wasted compression heat to be recovered. For use across a broad spectrum of process industries, the range of standalone, plug-and-play energy recovery units, ER S -1,-2, and -3, can achieve between 72-94% of energy recovery in the form of hot outlet water, at temperatures of up to 90°C. The recovery kits comprise a complete stainless-steel oil/water heat exchanger designed for simplified installation, fast commissioning, reduced service downtime and increased safety and environmental conditions.

Bosch Rexroth’s non-contact transfer system (NCT) offers a special type of handling. Objects and work pieces with a weight of up to almost 1kg can be lifted and moved without touching the surfaces. Its NCT-PK version is suitable for the transfer of food products (FDA/EC compliant), and is highly resistant against diverse chemicals used in the food industry and suitable for all conventional CIP (Cleaning-In-Place) and SIP (Sterilisation-In-Place) processes.


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