Innovation on show

Taking place, from 6th-7th April at the NEC, Birmingham, The Medtec, MDM and MTec Shows will feature innovation from a range of sectors. Here, Eureka looks at a selection of what will be on display.

• Albis is a UK based manufacturer and distributor of thermoplastics polymers and compounds for the medical, health care and associated industries. It compounds under licence for many world-class producers, including Bayer, Material Science, LanXess and IneosABS, as well as being an official distributor for the above plus other global leaders such as Eastman, LyondellBasell, BASF and Solvay. Albis UK is a subsidiary of the German-based Albis group of companies, operating three manufacturing sites in Europe and a global distribution business.

• Carclo Technical Plastics has completed a new injection moulding and assembly cleanroom within its Mitcham (Surrey) facility to support a major customer. Having assisted the customer in the development of its innovative dry powder inhaler, Carclo Technical Plastics has completed a new class 7 cleanroom for moulding the components in production volumes. The facility also has the capability to laser mark, ultrasonically weld and camera inspect a sub-assembly. The full device will be filled by the ultimate customer and will be used in the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

• Loctite adhesives from Henkel allow design benefits, better performance, cost effectiveness and improved quality in the production of medical devices. Medical specialists will be on the stand to demonstrate the range of instant and light cure adhesives that comply with ISO 10993 or are USP Class VI approved. In addition, Loctite robotic benchtop equipment, dispensing units and the UV Curing Station will be on display.

• Lee Products will be exhibiting two ranges of its fluid control components. Industrial microhydraulic (IMH) components comprise check valves, Betaplugs, safety screens, shuttle valves and restrictors for high volume, low cost applications in automotive, industrial and medical markets. Press-in check valves for installation into plastic manifolds; restrictors in Luer adaptors; check valves, restrictors and relief valves in disposable plastic fittings. Check valves can now be supplied pre-installed in plastic fittings for disposable medical applications (eg angioplasty).

Typically, two 2.5 or 5.5 mm diameter check valves are used, one to provide an inlet check valve function; the other to provide a pressure relief function to prevent over-pressurisation of the angioplasty balloon. The company's electro-fluidic systems comprise miniature chemically-inert, solenoid valves and pumps, nozzles, tubing, fittings and manifold systems for medical and scientific instruments and ink jet printing applications. Very high speed (VHS) solenoid valves for micro-dispensing and custom manifold assemblies.

• AIS supplies and installs market leading ISO/IEC 1D and 2D bar code verification solutions and 100% label inspection systems. AIS is the Master European Distributor for Label Vision Systems (LVS), the world's leading manufacturer of Barcode and Label print inspection solutions. The company also supplies the full range of Datalogic bar code scanning equipment and CAB label printer applicators.

• Bruker will show its new AcuityXR, a novel optical surface profiler mode that combines unique, patent-pending Bruker hardware and software technology to enable select ContourGT non-contact, 3D optical surface profilers to break the optical diffraction limit and deliver lateral resolutions that were previously considered impossible to achieve. Many nanoscale applications in the semiconductor, medical and precision machining fields have miniscule surface features and defects with dimensions that limit detection or identification due to the optical diffraction limit.

Bruker optical surface profiler systems equipped with the new AcuityXR mode have shown resolution of features below 130 nanometers in width, which is unprecedented in optical microscopy and is nearly three times finer than for systems without this technology. Furthermore, AcuityXR enables this new level of precision while preserving the wide field-of-view and high performance benefits of Bruker non-contact, 3D optical surface profiling.

• Renishaw will feature an extensive range of precision encoder products, including the revolutionary RESOLUTE absolute optical encoder that is capable of 1 nm resolution at speeds up to 100 m/s, and a new component level magnetic encoder. On show will be new additions to the popular TONiC range of incremental optical linear and rotary encoders including a 1 nm resolution option, UHV compatible formats, and a Dual Signal Interface (DSi) version. Other optical encoders displayed include the SiGNUM RESM angle encoder, which offers accuracy, resolution, and repeatability event at high speeds and high temperature environments.

MTEC will also see the first UK showing of Renishaw's new RoLin component level magnetic encoder, which consists of an RLM readhead and MS magnetic scale or MR ring. It has been designed for embedded motion control applications as a position control loop feedback element. The actuator is a periodically magnetised scale or ring with a pole length (P) of 2 mm. Radial or axial reading of the ring is possible, and applications are expected to be for high-volume, miniature axes in a wide range of industry sectors.

• Alrad Imaging will display products from its large range of machine vision and industrial imaging cameras, frame grabbers, lighting and lasers. On display will be the latest linescan cameras from e2v like the AViiVA EM4 which sets new standards for line scan cameras in term of speed and image quality. With resolutions of up to 4096 pixels, and the design of new CCD image sensors, it delivers state-of-the-art performance without compromise.

The EM4 benefits from e2v's long experience in imaging, reliability and high-precision mechanical design. Also on display will be some of a wide range of frame grabbers and intelligent cameras from Matrix Vision. The recently introduced mvBlueFOX-MLC module is a fully featured compact single-board camera perfectly targeted for space and cost sensitive OEM applications. A superior image quality in combination with a very high frame rate make the camera ideally suited for embedded applications. The driver in combination with the FPGA represents a perfect team which reduces the PC load to a minimum.

• The very latest digital industrial cameras from Sentech America include The Sentech STC-GE/GEC camera series including both colour and monochrome cameras. These offer a digital GigE output and are available in two configurations: 'Standard' and 'Power Plus' – the latter incorporating Xilinx or Altera based User FPGA. Coherent's world-renowned Lasiris SNF laser transforms the familiar laser dot into a wide range of structured light patterns including single and multiple laser lines with uniformity down to ±15%. Straight laser lines are projected by allowing one dimension of light to fan out while maintaining tight control over the other.

• Bronkhorst will exhibit several new technology developments that further strengthen its position as a European market leader in mass flow and pressure control. The Coriolis product range continues to push the boundaries in mass flow control with new sensors and updated software being released. Measurement ranges commence in the thousands of kilograms per hour and now extend down to full scale ranges of less than one gram per hour. The further enhanced Cori-Fill technology adds yet more features for the dosing, filling and batching of fluids.

The company's third-generation digital PC Board is being rolled out across its full range of thermal mass flow and pressure instruments for both gases and liquids. Response times can now be measured in tens of milliseconds, further process variables can be accessed via additional output signals and additional bus protocols are now available.

Paul Fanning

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