New Site details linear actuators, push-pull mechanisms

The new serapid.us — website of SERAPID Inc. — is now redesigned with a product-centered focus. Working in conjunction with serapid.com, it features smoother navigation to products and technical information. Included are new standard specifications for the Telescopic Mast, and product demonstration animations for heavy-duty mechanical linear actuators, telescopic push-pull systems, and lifting columns.

Repository easier to search

DirectIndustry.com is redesigned with expanded content and new search capabilities. In addition to 172,000 products, the site details 63,000 catalogs and technical spec sheets, 10,000 press releases, and 6,800 product and corporate videos. Improvements to the site's architecture have streamlined the search process; in addition, the site now prominently displays product images.

  • Content can be freely downloaded.

Free ring and spring samples

Smalley Steel Ring Co. now offers free samples of stock parts, so engineers can try out the pieces in actual applications. Select from more than 9,000 standard retaining rings, snap rings, and wave springs in carbon and stainless steel at smalley.com/samples.

  • Ordering requires registration.

New brakes website

Friction-brake information is now at marathonbrake.com. The new site of Marathon Brake Systems allows research of linings, with an interactive application guide to assist visitors in determining the best friction material for an application. A Support Center helps with brake-shoe identification, hardware kits, potential brake failure, and overall brake maintenance. High-density brake linings are also detailed at the site.

  • The library of technical information allows free access.

Fun flat-cable configurator

A convenient tool at cicoil.com/cables/configurator.asp allows users to quickly design their own custom cable online. Users simply drag and drop cable-connection symbols from a menu to an empty cable template; then a drawing and quote are displayed. Once the cable is ordered, Cicoil promises to ship any custom cable within one week. Cables can be constructed of shielded power conductors and signal conductors, video and coax wires, tubing for fluids or gases, and even fastening strips. Any of these elements can be combined in a flat cable, so millions of designs are available for immediate production — even cables up to 3.75-in. wide.

  • Ordering requires registration, but anyone can play with the cable-configurator tool.

System diagnostics via the web

Users can now access information about hardware and software from anywhere in the world, and from diagnostic applets that can be integrated directly into applications: The latest System Diagnostics Manager (SDM) from B&R Industrial Automation Inc. incorporates more diagnostics. It can be launched from any PC's Web browser, and its appearance can be customized to match the look of the machine or manufacturer branding.

Speed, position, onboard input status, and other drive values are accessible; an axis error list reports outstanding and acknowledged issues. Checking the status of I/O channels on hardware with an integrated I/O viewer simplifies commissioning; testing I/Os using electrical wiring is eliminated. System-dump capabilities also make support easier.

Customize panels online for free

A new Panel Designer application also allows users to design panel exteriors — with only a few clicks and some creativity. From the smallest visualization panel to the largest B&R Panel PC, layouts can be designed in minutes. Once an operator panel is selected, myriad arrangements, colors, logo insertions, button assignments, and fonts are possible: Selections are saved as a PDF, and then B&R provides a quote.