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July 18, 2014 | By Renee R. Bassett
Quality management of Eli Lilly medical devices got faster and more accurate with the use of an advanced vision system incorporating a 5 Megapixel camera and telecentric lens that inspects at the point of assembly.

For many industries and applications, implementing inspection at the point of assembly improves quality of the supply chain while reducing the impact of downstream detection of defects. Eliminating non-compliant material from entering final assembly increases yield, decreases factory losses, and has the potential to increase revenue. But doing accurate inspection at production speeds can be a challenge.

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July 11, 2014 | By Renee R. Bassett
A packaging problem led to the voluntary recall of 96,000 pounds of hot dogs across the U.S. in April. The Apriso software addresses such a problem.
Through its Delmia Apriso manufacturing operations management software, Dassault Systèmes is addressing packaging accuracy and better access to more detailed traceability metrics. The new application delivers KPI and other data to smartphones and tablets for quicker decision-making.

When attendees to The Automation Conference 2013 attended Tom Braydich’s session, they learned how Campbell Soup Co. spent about 13 years using and optimizing an automated data collection and review system to create a centralized mobile workforce and decision support system that maximizes real-time visibility into the performance of manufacturing assets.

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July 11, 2014 | By Renee R. Bassett
National Instruments' VirtualBench is being used in TechShop locations.
New VirtualBench hardware and an NI Electronics Lab within some TechShop locations provide opportunity for learning, exploring and creating electronic components.

Automation pros have a proud history of do-it-yourself creativity and innovation. They’ll build their own programming tool if the one they’re envisioning doesn’t exist. They invent new machines and processes for their companies and customers.  But even do-it-yourselfers don’t go it totally alone—they want access to good tools and other creative minds.

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June 30, 2014 | By Renee R. Bassett
Ultra detectable plastic polymer Hydex 4101 UD Blue PBT is made by Ensinger.
Engineers designing parts for food processing equipment can better support quality control efforts aimed at detecting contaminants.

A new ultra-detectable PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) plastic is available for food equipment engineers seeking to better support their customers’ quality control efforts. Hydex 4101 UD Blue PBT is visible to optical, x-ray and metal detection systems—three methods of quality control typically used to keep food products free from foreign particulates.

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June 25, 2014 | By Renee R. Bassett
High performance PC-based controls and ultra fast industrial Ethernet unite to boost case packer machine functionality.

OEMs that serve the food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries have a lot of decisions to make regarding the automation they put into their machines. They need to innovate to succeed, but they also must consider what best serves their customers in terms of cost, speed and ease of use. Bosch Packaging Technology, based in New Richmond, Wis., has long leveraged the latest automation technologies to boost the performance and package quality of its machines, which are designed for the food, confectionary and pharmaceutical industries.

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