Archive | December 2019

A strong impression.

Hardness testers are used to check whether materials have the desired characteristics. These days, this is done in a fully automated, networked process.

A material’s hardness can be used to gain information on various other properties, and the history of using hardness measurement to identify, analyse, or improve materials goes back over a hundred years. The principle has remained more or less the same – at least when it comes to metals. With a defined amount of force, a diamond or other testing object is pressed against the material to be measured. Measuring the penetration depth or the size of the impression then allows conclusions to be drawn about the hardness, which in turn can be used to derive other valuable insights about the material.

Since quality control plays an increasingly important role in industry, hardness testing today is a standard step in many labs, production facilities, and incoming and outgoing goods stations. The machines used for the task need to be smart, precise, and fast. In the age of Industry 4.0, networking capability and secure digital data archiving are also key.

The Austrian company Qness has tackled these challenges. Since 2010, Qness has been developing and producing hardness testing devices for a wide variety of applications in the automotive and aerospace industries, in medical technology, and in research. In the words of Robert Höll, General & Technical Manager, the relatively young company with 40 employees has “struck a nerve” with its products.

The latest generation of the company’s micro testing devices are used mainly in the laboratory and are able to perform hardness testing automatically. They are operated via a PC-based software, have an automatic tool changer, and support the usual testing methods (Vickers, Knoop, and Brinell). “We are also the first in the industry to integrate 3D representations into the user interface and enable the import of 3D data into the software,” says Robert Höll. This achieves a very high level of user friendliness.

The devices are able to perform a long series of tests automatically. Test sequences can be stored in the form of programs and reused as templates. The measuring results are evaluated to generate and document statistics and hardness curves. The results can be digitally archived and are available anytime and anywhere. This is an important factor in the digital age of networking.

However, all this is useful only if the measurements are accurate. High accuracy is therefore another important goal of Qness. “Our accuracy is now significantly better than that required by the standard,” says Robert Höll. To achieve this, the company uses only high-quality products – such as DC motors from maxon. Up to six of them are used per device, for positioning workpieces and tool turrets, as well as for tool-changing systems.

Qness relied on maxon from the start. The company particularly appreciates the online configurator, which allows customers to build specific drive systems. The requirements are clear: long service life, low noise, and short lead times. “The drives need to be very precise. After all, they need to move the slide with micrometer accuracy. We can’t afford compromises.”

As a next step, Qness wants to further expand its international sales and continue working on new innovations in the field of analytic devices. Robert Höll says: “As a developer, there is nothing more exciting than designing a machine concept, getting the first prototype to run, and to test whether it fulfills the expectations.”

For further information please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

Emirates brings the America’s Cup world series to Portsmouth.

Emirates is pleased to announce its appointment as official ‘Presenting Partner’ of the Emirates America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) event in Portsmouth, taking place in June 2020.

As Official Presenting Partner of the ACWS Portsmouth, Emirates has helped secure the event during which world-class America’s Cup sailors will return to the Solent for a thrilling preliminary regatta from 4 to 7 June 2020 as part of the competition to win the oldest sporting trophy in the world.

The 2020 America’s Cup World Series will see all participating teams race their AC75 America’s Cup class yachts. The first ACWS event will take place in Cagliari, Sardinia from April 23 to 26 2020, the second in Portsmouth, then concluding in Auckland as part of the Christmas Race from December 17-20. The ACWS is then followed by the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series which will determine which foreign yacht club will take on the Defender of the America’s Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand, in the 36th America’s Cup Match presented by Prada from 6 to 21 March 2021 in Auckland.

“Emirates is proud to expand its commitment to the United Kingdom, which we service with over 130 weekly flights, by bringing world-class sailing boats to the shores of the UK and giving Portsmouth City the chance to host and show its visitors the most sensational event in the sailing calendar. The America’s Cup has grown to become one of the world’s greatest major sporting events and we look forward to use this great platform to share and grow the passion for sailing as a sport and bring communities together,” said Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates airline.

Having raced at the two previous ACWS events in Portsmouth, Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton said, “Portsmouth was a fanatically supportive city for the ACWS in 2015 and 2016, so we are looking forward to getting back there. The difference this time is the racing will be in the new AC75’s which will be a spectacle like nothing seen before on the Solent.

With the dates now also confirmed for the ACWS to climax in Auckland between 17-20 December next year, as part of the Christmas Race, we are now really set up for an intriguing year in 2020 as the run in to the main event in 2021.”

Councillor Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member for Portsmouth Culture and City Development, said: “We’re delighted that Portsmouth will be part of the prestigious Emirates America’s Cup World Series yacht racing again in June next year. America’s Cup events attract a world-wide audience and we’re looking forward to the city’s waterfront being centre stage for this esteemed international sailing event. The event is also significant for raising the profile of Portsmouth and its marine and maritime businesses across the globe.

Portsmouth is home to INEOS TEAM UK, led by Sir Ben Ainslie, and I am sure fans will show huge support to the British team when they race in front of their home crowd on the Solent in their quest to challenge for the 36th America’s Cup. When Portsmouth hosted the events in 2015 and 2016, 250,000 spectators enjoyed the spectacle, the events delivered £15.6m in media value and £38.7m in economic benefit.”

Sir Ben Ainslie, Team Principal and Skipper, Ineos Team UK commented: “We are really looking forward to competing in front of our home crowd again. The 2015 and 2016 America’s Cup World Series events in Portsmouth saw an estimated 250,000 fans line the Southsea waterfront. It’s so great that Portsmouth has been chosen as only one of two locations outside of New Zealand where people can watch the AC75 foiling monohulls in action. We are confident the racing will deliver a true spectacle.”

 

maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

maxon motor Australia is an Official Supplier to Emirates Team New Zealand. We follow the progress of their journey as Defender in the 36th America’s Cup campaign, March 2021.

 

Here comes a new servo control kit for robotics.

Two leading names in motor control work together to ease development challenges for engineers and students. They jointly created a plug-and-play servo control development kit for drives, robotics and automation.

STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, is working with maxon, a leading precision-drive specialist, to accelerate the design of robotics applications and industrial servo drives. The companies demonstrated a jointly developed servo control kit at sps 2019 trade show in Nuremberg.

The EVALKIT-ROBOT-1 is a plug-and-play solution aimed to help users easily approach the world of precise positioning and high-end motion in servo drives and robotics. A maxon 100-Watt BLDC motor with built-on 1024-pulse incremental encoder is included in the kit, embodying the company’s expertise in magnetic design in precision motors that ensures smoothness and balance to allow fine control even at low rotor speeds.

The servo control board supplied with the kit contains ST’s STSPIN32F0A intelligent 3-phase motor controller and a complete inverter stage built with ST power transistors ready to connect to the motor. Motor-control firmware is also included, making it easy for users to start the motor and begin sending commands.

“Our motors are trusted worldwide to deliver high quality, precision, and accuracy,” said Felix Herger, Head of Business Development Industrial Automation at maxon. “Teaming with ST has created a platform that makes these attributes more easily accessible to a wider variety of product designers.”

“Designing high-end motion controls with accurate positioning capabilities is complex and time-consuming, demanding specialist skills. Working with maxon, we have now put those skills in a box for our customers,” said Branimir Ivetic, Motion Control Product Marketing Manager, STMicroelectronics. “The EVALKIT-ROBOT-1 kit accelerates development of next-generation robotics and automation that delivers advanced capabilities and dexterity with excellent reliability and ease of use.”

Further technical information:

ST’s STSPIN32F0A system-in package contains critical circuitry for motor control, including an STM32F031C6 microcontroller and three-phase inverter driver in a compact 7mm x 7mm VFQFPN package. The microcontroller comes loaded with plug-and-play firmware for MODBUS communication and field-oriented control (FOC) with precise positioning capabilities. Power management and current sensing circuitry are also embedded in the device making it more flexible and versatile.

The maxon EC-i 40, 40mm-diameter, 100-Watt brushless (BLDC) motor embeds a maxon ENX 16 EASY 1024-pulse incremental encoder for precision control. Hall sensors for detecting rotor position are included. The motor features an optimised design for high output torque with low cogging torque, which permits smooth motion across the speed range and enhances positioning precision.

The 3-phase BLDC inverter power stage features ST’s STL7DN6LF3 60V, low on-resistance, N-channel MOSFETs, capable of 6A maximum output for driving the motor. The kit is available now at ST.com

For further information please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

The hero of Notre Dame.

In the European spring of 2019, the famous cathedral of Notre-Dame was damaged in a devastating fire. The Paris fire department prevented the complete destruction of the building – with the help of a special unit in their ranks.

April 15, 2019, 7:50 p.m – In front of the eyes of an aghast public, the spire of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris collapses. To firefighters, this isn’t just a cultural tragedy: The collapse means that the structure of the church is further destabilised by the flames. From this point on, entering the cathedral to fight the fire from within is very dangerous. The incident commander decides to send the robot Colossus into the cathedral.

Colossus was built by the French company Shark Robotics. The company employs 20 people and builds high-tech robots to assist or even replace humans in especially dangerous environments. Their robots are capable of moving in rough terrain. Equipped with an articulated arm, they assist firefighters or help with defusing explosives or removing other dangerous objects.

A modular system as a recipe for success

Colossus was developed in collaboration with the Paris fire department. It’s not just suitable for fighting fires, but also for rescuing people after the collapse of a building, or for removing biohazards. Since the tasks vary so much, Shark Robotics decided to use a modular design. A base unit is equipped with tools suitable for the mission.

In addition to a fire hose, the robot can be equipped with a 360° pivoting HD camera, for example. The robot can also be equipped with sensors that measure parameters like temperature or radiation exposure and detect the presence of toxic substances. Colossus can also take point, carrying a smoke extractor to make a seat of fire accessible to human firefighters. The gripper arm enables it to clear a path into an area. Not least, Colossus can be equipped with a stretcher, a rescue cage, or a ram. These applications put high demands on the quality and resilience of the materials. That’s why Colossus is completely made of steel and aluminium alloys that are also used in aerospace applications. Two 4,000 W motors and six batteries make sure that it is able to work continuously for up to twelve hours. It is completely sealed against dust and water and resists powerful heat radiation.

3,000 litres of water per minute

During the fire of Notre-Dame, the fire hose of the robot was used to keep the inner walls of the church and the structural elements of the building wet and prevent the fire from spreading. Via a supply hose, the robot was provided with almost 3,000 litres of water per minute – without the slightest danger to human personnel. Colossus is operated via a remote-control module with a display.

Designing a robot like this is a technological challenge. For this reason, Shark Robotics contacted mdp – maxon France. For the gripper arms of the robot, the designers were in search of motors that are compact, powerful, and efficient. “Our robots need highly resilient motors that are suitable for extreme operating conditions,” says Jean-Jacques Topalian, managing director of Shark Robotics for R&D. “The decision to use maxon was an easy one for us: The company has an excellent track record, and its motors have already proven themselves in hostile environments.”

Shark Robotics currently uses 19 different maxon products and obtains the motors directly from the drive specialist’s website. Oh, since we mentioned hostile environments: The same electric motors are built into the European rover that will start roaming planet Mars in 2021.

maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

Youth America’s Cup announced.

Youth Americas Cup.jpg

A reinvigorated Youth America’s Cup regatta is announced today which will be raced in a brand new class of foiling mono-hull, the AC9F, in 2020 and 2021.

The Youth America’s Cup is a joint initiative between the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS), the China Sports Industry Group (CSIG), and Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ).  The multi-leg event will begin with a fleet racing seeding event in China in November 2020 and then a match racing event in Auckland from February 18th – 23rd 2021 with the finals held between March 8th – 12th 2021 right outside the RNZYS in the shadow of Auckland’s iconic Harbour Bridge.

In line with the original America’s Cup Deed of Gift it is designed to be a ‘friendly competition between yacht clubs of all nations’.  Unlike previous editions, multiple entries from various countries will be allowed.

The age restriction for the crews is they must be between 18-24 years of age.  To encourage diversity at this high level the teams will consist of a mixed crew of four sailors on each boat, including two females and two male sailors with a maximum crew weight of 311kgs.

“The Youth America’s Cup is something we have been eager to see established since we won the America’s Cup and also introduced foiling monohulls to the America’s Cup with the AC75. The Squadron has presented a concept that we believe will add something special to the 36th America’s Cup.” said Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton.

“Through the partnership between RNZYS, CSIG, and ourselves, it is really exciting to now be able to see it become a reality.”

“Probably the most important aspect of this is that through the establishment of the Youth America’s Cup event, in conjunction with the exciting AC9F boat, a pathway or vital stepping stone for the best young guys and girls from around the world has been created to progress one step closer to sailing on an AC75 in the future.  It is hard to go past the evidence of our current team that is now made up of a number of crew members from the winning 2013 Youth AC team.”

The AC9F is a nine-metre foiling monohull which has been designed by New Zealand boat building company Yachting Developments (YDL) with valuable input from the Emirates Team New Zealand design team, Southern Spars, North Sails and significant support from the wider New Zealand Marine Industry highlighting the industries commitment to innovation.  The fleet of one-design boats will be built primarily at YDL in Auckland.

RNZYS Commodore and Yachting Developments owner Ian Cook says the yachts are designed to be extremely exciting to watch and will provide a great challenge for the skilled youth sailors on board – “We are incredibly happy with the design of the AC9F. We believe they will generate great competition and an even playing field for all the teams involved, whilst also leading from the front in terms of modern yacht design, and importantly, creating a great product for fans around the world to observe.”

“We are very excited to introduce the Youth America’s Cup into China.” Wang Weidong, Chairman of China Sports Industry Group said. “The America’s Cup has been the holy grail of the sport of sailing for over 160 years, and is a stage that all athletes dream of. China is set to participate in the America’s Cup, but has to recognise the patient process of achievement. From an overall perspective, it is vital we pay more attention to fostering the next generation of top-level racers, developing them from the more basic level. China has a plethora of athletes with the potential along with the required diligence and learning skills, but lacking experience at global professional competitions. We hope that Youth America’s Cup will be the first step for these young Chinese talents to take as they strive to catch up with their leading peers in the world.

“Cross-sector collaborations are vital to develop the advanced design and manufacturing technology that are behind the monohull foiling yacht used in the Youth America’s Cup. In the meantime, the manoeuvres and performance of athletes require enormous data support. Its value chain includes not only the management of the race, team or club, but also naval architects and marine engineers, and other behind-the-scenes offices of law, media, meteorology, internet so the vibrant growth of an industry should be all-encompassing, as one department would thrive with another. We hope the Youth America’s Cup becomes a unique opportunity to encourage more Chinese to try and practice in this sport and inspire them to initiate the evolution of the Chinese sailing industry.”

The RNZYS celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2021 and Vice Commodore Aaron Young says they really wanted to bring an event to the table that will create a superb legacy for the Squadrons’ 150th celebrations and for the future of youth sailing.

“We are extremely proud to present the Youth America’s Cup in 2021. We believe the format and boat that we have created encourages diversity and leaves an insurmountable legacy for our 150th year as well as for the future of youth sailing and a pathway for the future of the America’s Cup. The development of future talent is paramount to the success of yachting around the world and as the current America’s Cup trustee, we  intend to have this event permanently embedded into future AC events. It is a good practice run for the main event for those aspiring to reach the pinnacle of our sport. We look forward to receiving entries and hosting, what is guaranteed to be an enthralling event in 2021.”

An initial entry period for yacht clubs and youth crews is open from December 12th through to 29th February 2020.  The entry protocol is intentionally very similar to the America’s Cup Challenger series and match and an entry memorandum can be found here.  A notice of race can be found here.

Expressions of interest can be sent to challenger@youthamericascup.com

More Youth America’s Cup information can be found online at www.youthamericascup.com.

maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

maxon motor Australia is an Official Supplier to Emirates Team New Zealand. We follow the progress of their journey as Defender in the 36th America’s Cup campaign, March 2021.

Burling and Tuke on top of the world again.

After 5 days of racing in their home waters in Auckland Peter Burling and Blair Tuke won their fifth 49er World Championship.

A difficult week for the fleets racing at the 49er Worlds due to mixed sailing conditions and a tense last day for Peter Burling and Blair Tuke that started with a gear failure causing them to pull out of the opening race, followed by a third place in the next race.

At the start of the medal race Burling and Tuke were eight points clear, needing to finish within four places of the second placed German team also intent on winning the championship. The drama peaked when Peter Burling slipped off the back of the boat and into the water when tacking on the first upwind leg of the medal race, plunging the New Zealand pair to the back of the fleet.

The Kiwi – duo though fought their way back to finish fourth in the Medal Race and to win the gold medal by six points overall.

“It’s definitely the top, no doubt,” Tuke said when reflecting on a fifth world title. “We said going into it that racing a world champs on your home waters would be right up there with the Olympics. It feels pretty good.

“It always feels good when you do it in that fashion, when it comes down to the wire as well. We would have liked to have won by more but you take it any way you can. We’re really proud that we came back in the end there.”

“It was a bit annoying,” an understated Burling said of his swim in the medal race. “It was the same thing we did in the first race when we snapped the tiller extension. It was really choppy out there and hard to get the timing quite right.”

Tuke added: “It certainly wasn’t part of the plan. We would have ideally sailed a bit better in the morning and wrapped it up but, whichever way we get it, we’re pretty happy and we knew that if it came down to this we would be able to step up. To do it in front of our friends, family and supporters is very, very special.”

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have an intense schedule ahead as they will combine their Olympic campaign with their America’s Cup commitments.

With little time to reflect on today’s win, tomorrow they’ll be back at work with Emirates Team New Zealand sailing the teams AC75 back on the very same waters of their latest world beating accomplishment.

maxon motor Australia is an Official Supplier to Emirates Team New Zealand. We follow the progress of their journey as Defender in the 36th America’s Cup campaign, March 2021.

maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

Safety Training.

Preparation is paramount when sailing any vessel, but when pushing the boundaries of innovation and speed in an America’s Cup Class boat, it takes on an additional level of importance to ensure the wellbeing of all crew and the boat itself.

For the Emirates Team New Zealand sailing and on water support team the safety procedures are an evolving process of constant improvement and adaption to minimise risk and damage from everything between a worst-case scenario and an untimely nose dive which buries the boat in white water before lifting off to take flight again and carry on its way.

Unexpected events on the water can come from a number of areas, be it human error while learning to optimise sailing technique, to gear breakage, or urgent action as can happen from time to time, but what the crew of Emirates Team New Zealand have been learning is the AC75’s are inherently forgiving with the odd mishap, but nevertheless always require everyone to be well and truly on their toes to get the maximum out of the boat on the water.

“Some incidents look far worse from off the AC75 than they are onboard,” said Chris Salthouse who is the head of on water operations for the team.

“There have been one or two moments witnessed that to the outsider seem like a major incident, but the guys on board just take it in their stride and carry on sailing. We are in constant verbal communication from the chase boat with the crew on the boat and with the data stream coming off we can see when things are on the edge or entirely under control. But none of this stops anyone on the water dropping their shoulders for a second.”

Prior to even launching ‘Te Aihe’ the Emirates Team New Zealand sailing team ran through a comprehensive water safety course lead by grinder and former Surf Life Saver Steven Ferguson.

“It may seem simple, but the lessons you learn and the little bits of information you gather simply by running through processes and discussion when bobbing around a freezing cold pool are invaluable.

It’s never something that is very comfortable for anyone thinking about and preparing for the worst, but it is vitally important that we do this as a group and acknowledge the risks, maximise the safety and minimise the impact on the sailors and the boat itself.”

“In the case of a capsize the first thing to do is quickly and accurately assess the situation.” Said Ray Davies.

“We run a buddy and numbering system with each of us onboard the boat, as well as a signal system to communicate with the chase boat and first response team so everyone can prioritise who is OK and who needs help first.

“We are certainly taking our safety seriously. All the boys get in the pool to see what it’s like with all the sailing kit on, to see how the buoyancy feels and to get comfortable using the spare air oxygen bottles if needed under the water.

With all the precautions the team takes, it is always important to be ready to adapt, because it is rare that things play out as expected.

“All of our guys are generally very comfortable in the water, but the more time you spend doing something that’s not normal for you is important.” said Blair Tuke. “But it’s key to get together, and put ourselves through a couple of scenarios, that first response stuff in case we do have a big wipe out.”

But at the end of the day, this is sailing and we are no different to offshore or Olympic sailors, or even your average bloke fishing from his boat on the Hauraki Gulf, everyone should take safety at sea and all necessary precautions seriously to get the most amount of enjoyment out of what they are doing.

 

maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

maxon motor Australia is an Official Supplier to Emirates Team New Zealand. We follow the progress of their journey as Defender in the 36th America’s Cup campaign, March 2021.

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