“Scalability” and “flexibility” in manufacturing are no longer just management buzzwords. Multipurpose machinery that can grow and change as needed is becoming a high priority, if not an outright demand from end users. Consider these expert tips and tools to limber up your designs.

Quick-change conveyor makes reconfiguring a snap

The 5200 Series QWIK Conveyor lets end users modify track length, or even add or remove a curve, to adjust to changing applications. Production lines change frequently and the 5200 Series is designed to change along with them. One person with just a few tools can shorten or extend the conveyor in as little as 10 minutes. Here's how it works: To shorten or lengthen the conveyor, remove the plastic chain belt and simply cut the conveyor with a saw to the desired length. Remove enough belt links to fit the new length and tighten the screws with an Allen wrench. To add length, remove the tail and insert a new section of pre-ordered frame, and tighten with a wrench. Changing curves is just as easy. The conveyor comes in straights, curves, and cleats, and works in a wide variety of industrial, automation, and packaging applications.
Dorner Mfg. Corp.
www.dorner.com
(800) 397-8664

Flexible controller integrates precision motion control

The eZMP SynqNet standalone controller incorporates precision motion with a flexible, expandable, and upgradeable industrial computer capable of autonomous machine control and user interface operation. The controller supports up to 64 axes of motion and up to 17,000 points of I/O control and features Ethernet, USB, video, and PCI connectivity. The eZMP is also a SynqNet motion network master for plug and play SynqNet amplifiers and I/O devices, and uses the Windows XPe operating system as an open and scalable machine control platform. Support for other real-time operating systems is also available.
Danaher Motion
www.DanaherMotion.com
(866) 993-2624

Custom parts allow unlimited design scalability

Custom components sound great in theory, but long lead times and minimum order requirements can make even the best design intentions go awry. Not so with this manufacturer's CAD configurator and web ordering system, which allow engineers to order as few as one custom product, with no tooling charge, no minimum order, and in most cases, same day shipment. To get an idea of product offerings, the latest catalogs are available in metric and inch versions, and feature thousands of new products plus orders of magnitude more stemming from new sizes, shapes, and material compositions.
Misumi USA Inc.
www.misumiusa.com
(800) 681-7475

Flexible cable stands up to challenging environments

The Olflex Power Multi flexible cable is designed for flexible use and offers STOOW hard service rated cordage for hazardous areas. The oil resistant cable offers flexible power and control with exposed run approval. Highly crush resistant, the cable complies with the NEC hazardous area standard 501.10 (A) (2) and 501.140 (B) for flexible cables for use in Class I, Division 1 locations. Olflex Power Multi also conforms to RoHS requirements and is one of the only Type TC cables with a wet rating approval as well as cordage approval. It is also UV resistant and approved for direct burial, and is designed for use in all electrical equipment in dry, damp, and wet conditions.
Lapp Group
www.lappusa.com
(888) 456-3539