Shows line up their star attractions

Written by: Tom Shelley | Published:

What can visitors expect to find at the 2008 MTEC and Machine Building shows

? Tom Shelley looks ahead

Free seminars and workshops will once more be the star attractions at the 2008 MTEC sensors, Measurement and instrumentation exhibition and the adjacent Machine Building show, to be held at the NEC Birmingham on 13-14 February 2008.
This year’s events will be organised by the British Society of Strain Measurement, the AS-Interface Expert Alliance and the Profibus Group. The BSSM will stage a series of workshops on: ‘Strain gauges in biotechnology, including wireless systems’, presented by Ian Ramage of Techni Measure; ‘Optical full field deformation measurement’, by Ralf Lichtenberger of LIMESS Messtechnik & Software; ‘Field-proven high integrity data collection – problems and solutions’, by Anton Chittey of Vishay Measurements Group UK; ‘Optical Bragg grating strain gauge – a replacement for metal strain gauges?’, by Sebastian Klein of HBM UK; and ‘Large scale structure and fatigue testing using transducer electronic data sheets’ by Peter Allum of VXI Technology.
Under the title of ‘Industrial networks for automation’, there will be presentations on the subject of choosing, designing and using AS-Interface products and networks, while Andy Verwer from the Profibus International Competence Centre will present an overview of Profibus and Profinet systems. This will be followed by a practical demonstration of a Profibus and Profinet system, from configuration to data exchange.

The exhibitions
There are more than 100 exhibitors currently registered for MTEC and a further 350 in the co-located events: Machine Building, IPOT (Image Processing and Optical Technology), Practical Vacuum and Semiconductor Processing, the Contamination Control and Cleanroom Products Exhibition and Medtec UK – formerly the MDT (Medical Device Technology) Show.
Typical new products on display at MTEC include the RDP Model TJE pressure transducer from RDP Electronics. This features a design that uses a second, welded diaphragm to hermetically seal the strain gauge from external contamination. An ‘Absolute’ version has an all-welded vacuum reference chamber to ensure long-term stability. Versions available cover the range from 5 psi (345 mBar) to 60,000 psi (4137 bar). In applications where integral electronics are not appropriate, the transducers can be used with an inline amplifier, such as the RDP S7DC, for greater flexibility and security.
In the adjacent Machine Building event, Baldor will show a new version of its ‘All-in-one’ motion automation solution on stand 2100.
The ‘NextMove-ESB2’ can control four stepper and four servo axes, and has onboard I/O and fieldbus connectivity. It is based on a DSP core, and supports servo loop closure times of 100 microseconds on the four main axes, with six-term closed loop control for accurate positioning. A further free encoder input may be used as a master axis. Depending on the drives chosen, the module's stepper outputs may also be used for servo motor control, making the module capable of controlling up to eight servo motor axes. The four stepper axes provide pulse and direction outputs at up to 500 kHz.
Onboard I/O comprises 20 digital inputs, 12 digital outputs, two 12-bit differential analogue inputs, a CANopen-compatible fieldbus port, and two serial ports, including a 12 Mbits/sec USB interface.

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