eWON router monitors wind turbines on Bali and Sint Helena

ewon-router-wind-turbine-baliA solution story from eWon.

Wind Energy Solutions (WES) is based in Holland. Wind turbines built by this company stand today on islands in Indonesia, in the far reaches of Canada, and on Caribbean islands. Thanks to eWON routers and Internet links, WES remains in constant contact with its wind turbines so it can provide immediate help in case of problems.

Frank Hoogers, managing director of WES: “Our wind turbines are located at distant sites. Of course, we always use local installation companies, but we also have to support these companies.

Especially right after a wind turbine has been installed; we maintain frequent contact with the control system in the turbine from our site in Opmeer. We equip 90% of our wind turbines with an eWON router, which is connected directly to the turbine control system. In the outward direction, the router makes contact via a fixed cable connection or via GSM with GPRS.”

Event and data analysis

The WES company primarily retrieves the history of alarms and events from the system.

“We can log all sorts of data about the operation of the wind turbine and then upload it. We can also display this data in graphic form and use this to analyse a logged series of events.

This information is very important as an aid to support the local user. If the wind turbine has just been put into service, we can use the analyses to carry out remote fine tuning. Sometimes you have to readjust the settings, and we can do this ourselves from here over a very wide range. We can also update the software in the IPC and the inverters of the wind turbine from here.

The local installer can also upload data directly using the eWON router, and so can the end user (the electricity company). However, every access is protected by a password, and we distinguish different types of users, so they don’t all have the same privileges.”

eWON perfect compatibility

The eWON 2101 router used by WES is an industrial modem router and a member of a large family of routers. An important feature of this router is that it has several modems, which enables it to support conventional dialup connections such as PSTN, ISDN, GSM, GPRS, EDGE, and 3G/UMTS. Connections of this sort are initiated by an administrator or an employee of the maintenance department. However, the modem can also independently take the initiative to send a message via GPRS.

The router also has various ports for local Ethernet, local serial or MPI/Profibus networks and Modbus RTU. This wide variety of options is important. There aren’t many competitive industrial routers that can handle the combination of Ethernet and a serial, Modbus RTU or Profibus network. With its ability to let users access « old » and « new » controllers at the same time, the router is also a choice in situations where different types of control interfaces are used, which occurs in a lot of companies.

Another advantage is that the customer is directly prepared for the future. A customer who has an existing Profibus controller and switches to Ethernet or Profinet can continue to use the same modem. An attractive supplementary advantage of the eWON router is that it can communicate with all major brands of PLCs and IPCs.

“Actually, this is all possible thanks to the advent of the Internet. That also applies to the success of our company. Ten years ago, none of this would have been possible. Without the Internet, I would never have sold so many wind turbines, and without the Internet I wouldn’t be able to support them.”

Tri-Phase Automation is a eWon/HMS distributor in Wisconsin.

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American Water Technology – Reduces project IT lead time by 40-50% with eWON

A solution story from eWon

ewon-waste-plant-monitorAmerican Water Technology is a turnkey manufacturer of water treatment facilities located in Redding, California. Serving the markets for everything from small water districts to industrial process water, they provide one-of-a-kind engineered solutions to meet the specific needs of their varied client base. Designed to minimize the capital expense of the large and complex systems used to control this vital resource, their solutions produce maximum ROI.

Operating with a team which includes professionally certified engineers, software developers, licensed system operators, fabricators and conceptual designers – they are responsible for the efforts required to evaluate, design, test, and maintain the water systems they produce.

eWON and the Talk2M solution

American Water Technology is an early adopter of the value created through eWON and the Talk2M solution. Right from the start, they discovered that the eWON solution established a 20% reduction in hardware costs associated with remote connectivity. They quickly learned that use of the simplified connection created an inherent ability to reduce new project IT lead times by 40-50%. American Water Technology learned this point to be a competitive edge in the tough water treatment market.

Direct secure remote connection

Depending on the geography distribution of their clients, American Water Technology uses multiple eWON products. According to Darian Slywka of American Water Technology: “Some of our projects are located in remote isolated areas. In these areas, we might take advantage of a 3G cellular modem build in the eWON to create a direct secure remote connection to our interactive logic controllers and water systems.” However, eWON is best known for devices capable of smoothing out the issues associated with using the customer’s LAN infrastructure.

“As you might imagine, there are significant issues with security relating to utility infrastructure. Opening ports in a firewall creates concerns for both the customer and for our own systems,” continues Mr. Slywka.

ewon-water-equiptEasy and secure VPN remote access

The eWON solution, along with companion service Talk2M, allows American Water Technology to assign engineers and programmers based on workload, project dynamics and business requirements. They monitor not only equipment access but log the time they spend working remotely. eWON’s easy and secure VPN remote access allows engineers to monitor, debug and later troubleshoot literally any device with an Ethernet connection – things like ILC’s, Drives, instrumentation and other devices can be connected as easily as if they were within arm’s reach.

Easy to configure

With the built-in PLC protocols for all major PLC vendors (including Allen Bradley, Siemens, and Modbus) it is very easy to configure the eWON unit to monitor key parameters such as: PH-value, PSI, water quality and others. The system can automatically send alarms to customer engineers or developers back at the American Water Technology facility. As a matter of fact, “our” staff can remotely troubleshoot and diagnose a water system from their laptop anywhere they have an internet connection.

American Water Technology’s customers are often affected by governmental regulations which require data logging as part of their system architecture. The next step forward is implementation of this feature which will allow further simplification of their design. Mr. Slywka believes this point will reduce yet more cost from their overall system price and ultimately deliver new services to customers with very little or no added cost. Think of it as a free performance report. Quick easy start-up, efficient adjustments along the way, remote monitoring and historical data logging are the future. eWON is creating the future now.


• Reducing the hardware costs of remote connectivity by over 20%
• Minimizing new project IT lead times by 40-50%
• Providing attractive new customer services with minimal development

Tri-Phase Automation is a eWon/HMS  distributor in Wisconsin.
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Heineken brewery upgrades production line with VLT® FlexConcept®

A customer success story from Danfoss Drives

The famous Austrian brewery, Wieselburger constantly aims to use the newest technology to ensure high product quality and efficiency. Danfoss VLT® FlexConcept® helps them secure flexibility, fewer motor variants and energy efficient operation.

The brewery in Wieselburg can look back on years of tradition. Starting as an independent brewery in 1650 it is now the cornerstone of today’s Austrian beer metropolis, Brau Union Österreich Group, which is owned by Heineken. Skilled brewers and newest technology ensure a sustainable and environmentally friendly production in order to achieve the highest quality.

Efficient Upgrade of Fill Line

The brewery in Wieselburg can look back on years of tradition. Starting as an independent brewery in 1650 it is now the cornerstone of today’s Austrian beer metropolis, Brau Union Österreich Group, which is owned by Heineken. Skilled brewers and newest technology ensure a sustainable and environmentally friendly production in order to achieve the highest quality.

Unchained Advantage

One of the main benefits of installing OneGearDrives is that the factory no longer needs chains to connect the gearbox to the conveyor shaft, as the drive is mounted directly on the conveyor shaft.

“Chains alone introduce system efficiency losses of up to 10%. Also, they are cumbersome to fit and add additional maintenance costs for spare parts and lubrication. The OneGearDrive solves this elegantly and efficiently by simplifying the installation. The hygienic design of the drives also makes it easier to clean, as there are no cooling fins, sharp edges and other areas where dust can accumulate,” explains sales engineer Michael Hitter from Danfoss.

Easy Integration

By sharing the same design and operation principles as the brewery’s many other VLT drives, the new drive solution was relatively easy to integrate into the existing setup. The brewery already had positive experiences with the Danfoss frequency converters that were already installed in a central control concept, where the frequency converters are grouped in switch rooms or panels.

Tri-Phase Automation is a Danfoss distributor in Wisconsin.
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Solar Panel Production: Mondragon found the right solution with In-Sight vision

cognex-mondragonMondragon Assembly in Spain designs and manufactures systems and equipment for automation and robotic guided assembly processes in the solar sector. They needed a reliable solution for their solar cell manufacturing equipment in order to ensure the quality inspection of solar cell panels while in production. A powerful vision solution was required that could handle high-speed production while performing different inspection tasks all the while ensuring that the delicate product remained intact. In-Sight® vision systems from Cognex are now performing the inspection tasks ensuring zero fault production.

Tackling the alignment issue

Solar cell production is expensive and involves a high level of automation in large volumes. Therefore, quality is critical to maintain a competitive advantage and solar cell alignment has been a great challenge. In addition to centering the solar cell properly, the system performs defect checks, such as inspecting for broken edges or cracks, verifying dimensions, positioning in relation to the edges, etc.

Machinery for assembling and handling solar cells and panels requires high precision inspection and positioning systems. Mondragon Assembly inspection applications increasingly require stability, robustness and greater flexibility in their machines. Cognex In-Sight vision systems offer flexible programming capacity for machine operation. This flexibility, coupled with robust In-Sight hardware, afforded Mondragon the necessary stability they sought. The first systems were developed and integrated with the support of local Cognex partner integrator Ikusmen Artificial Visión, S.L..

Vision systems bring flexibility in the guiding and handling of solar cells and panels with high precision. Vision systems consistently detect extremely small defects in damaged or badly soldered cells for nearly 100% quality control.

In-Sight brings ease of use

In-Sight offered advantages such as ease of connection and configuration as well as the programming power of the “spreadsheet”. Vision also controls the positioning of the cell and with adequate calibration, indicates its position by a robotic arm. Furthermore, Cognex innovation ensures that regular improvements, software updates and the latest vision tools are available for In-Sight systems. The powerful, patented PatMax® tool is the innovative industry standard part location algorithm from Cognex that provides accurate and reliable location of parts significantly reducing or eliminating fixturing requirements and costs. With such innovation, Mondragon can be assured that the solar cells being produced in their machines are 100% quality inspected.

The best vision system for the task

“We were able to find the solution to the problem,” confirmed Jean Philippe Aguerre, Project Leader for Robotics at Mondragon. “The Cognex In-Sight system’s technical capacities such as the Ethernet port, real-time remote operation, fast processing, and In-Sight Explorer software were fundamental to solving the problems we were confronted with. The software is easy to use and has an optimum adjustment range. At the end of the day, the price was not what mattered most, but rather the quality and expert support.”

Motivated by their success with the Cognex In-Sight, the engineers at Mondragon continue to place their trust in the quality of Cognex products for other production lines.

Tri-Phase Automation is a Cognex distributor in Wisconsin. We offer machine vision evaluations and technical support to help our customers solve their applications.

Vision-guided robots help automate vial and syringe filling

vision-guided-robots-cognexAutomated Systems of Tacoma, Inc. (AST) was asked by a life science research company to develop an alternative to conventional pharmaceutical filling machinery having the capability to fill and finish all their small-scale clinical trial products with a single flexible platform.

To solve this problem, AST had to develop a machine with the flexibility to be able to handle various sizes of prefilled syringes, vials, cartridges and IV bags with minimal product changeover times.

The basic concept is a system that positions ready-to-use “nests” of a particular container within the operating envelopes of two robots, the Cognex In-Sight® Micro vision system is used to precisely locate each container and stopper and provide the robots these locations prior to processing.

This approach allows for rapid changeover from one container type or size to another by loading a new robot program, replacing the products carriers, and instructing the robot to change out the end of arm tooling. The system’s use of disposable materials is used on all process contacting parts which also reduces the changeover time, and eliminates the risk of cross contamination.

Integration of vision and robotics is critical. Read more about this success story

Tri-Phase Automation is a Cognex distributor for Wisconsin.
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Vision system enables fast and inexpensive upgrading of tablet printing systems

ackleyAckley Machine Corporation, a global leader in tablet, caplet, capsule (hard and soft), and candy printing technology based in Morristown, NJ, USA was confronted with a serious challenge to its tablet printing business. Ackley Machine needed to be able to inspect all printed products in order to identify and reject bad items to comply with the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) mandate that each printed tablet be identifiable. The company’s existing technology was not suitable for meeting this requirement, being too time consuming and too costly. Ackley solved this problem by switching to Cognex In-Sight® vision systems, a solution that incorporates both camera and image processing in a single enclosure.

“Switching to a new vision system now requires only a short and simple validation procedure that ensures the new vision system provides the same functionality as the old one,” said Mark Ford, Engineering Manager for Ackley Machine. “The In-Sight vision system also is much easier to program because its PatMax® pattern matching algorithm easily finds the printed image on the tablet with a single command.” Ackley deployed this solution in its latest system, which prints and inspects over 400,000 tablets per hour, much faster than other machines, while providing unique single tablet rejection capabilities.

Tri-Phase Automation is a Cognex distributor in Wisconsin.
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