Quality Assurance and Thread Check with SMAC

The requirement for strict specification and acceptance of all automotive parts and components has greatly increased in recent years. Thread inspection is no exception. Some of the common practices are eddy current probes, lasers, proximity sensors or vision systems that are only partly successful as they only inform you of the presence of a thread, not if it’s correct or within tolerance. Watch the video

The automated thread checking solution from SMAC enables a 100% detailed inspection and verification of all parts. It also identifies tooling wear sooner, and allows SPC data acquisition for process control and quality systems. All of this translates to higher quality and throughput, lower costs and increased customer confidence. This is typically an inline inspection operating at production rates.

SMAC Automatically Checks:

  • Minor diameter
  • Major diameter
  • Pitch diameter
  • Pitch
  • Foreign objects (e.g. broken tap, swarf etc)
  • Thread depth
  • Missing threads
  • Counterbore presence

This application is from SMAC.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SMAC distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Fuel Injector Plug Gauging

The bore inside a fuel injector part is in a deep-drawn metal part inside of a plastic injection molded body. Sometimes during the injection molding process, the bore is crushed. Gauging, performed by LVDTs, load cells and air cylinders, left marks on the fuel injector plugs being measured, causing all of them to be rejected by the end customer, a major automobile company. The parts manufacturer turned to SMAC for a solution.

Gauging is now done with a plug gauge on the end of an LAL20-25 (with a maximum of 100 grams force) to detect if the hole is undersized, crushed or dented in, without marking the part during the process. The customer states that with the SMAC technology applied, that they are able to detect obstructions in the bore as small as five to 10 microns.

Delicate touch means that contact surfaces can still be measured even if they have different shapes, texture or compressibility.

This application success story is from SMAC.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SMAC distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Detection of LCD polarizing plate

LCD industry:

Polarizing plate pasting machine in the process of supplying LCD Polarizing plate, we would like to detect the last one plate to supply the following polarizing plates without stopping machine.

Robot arm is working for supplying polarizing plates, so the space around plates can’t be used for setting sensors. Since it’s minor change of existing machine, we don’t want major change of design.

Solution Fiber Sensor
We punch a hole in the base. We set sensors to be OFF when there are more than two plates by setting threshold. On the other hand, when there is last one plate, it’s ON and outputs. Therefore, we can know time for supply.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Panasonic/Sunx products in Wisconsin. Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Foam Sculpting CNC Router

Giant blocks of foam with the help of MOOG Animatics’ SmartMotor™ and JenCNC can be created into masterpieces.

Blockwire specializes in EPS foam cutting: a popular method for designing and producing high quality expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam core monuments, 3D signs, sculptures and prototypes. The router is used to transform bland blocks of foam into any shape imaginable, from ivy detail on roman columns to replica sculptures, jagged rock walls and beyond. Blockwire utilizes four

SmartMotor servos on their router: 2 on the X-axis, 1 on the Y-axis and 1 on the unique 18-inch Z-axis. Not a single failure occurred from the SmartMotor that wasn’t explainable by some programming error or outside cause. Plus, since it is an integrated servo it is easier to get the machine working without learning all the inner working of the motor which saves time.

This is an application of MOOG Animatics
Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of MOOG Animatics in Wisconsin.  For more information, contact Tri-Phase Automation Sales or Get A Quote

MAAC machinery saves 50% of support cost using eWON remote access

Remote access enables MAAC machinery to connect to their machine just as if they were beside them and to have access to PLC’s, Drives and HMI devices and any other device connected to the machine subnet including an IP camera.


  • Save maintenance trip
  • Deliver a cutting-edge service
  • Improve flexibility
  • Quick and efficient troubleshooting

Re-posted from eWon’s success story June 4, 2017
Read the Success story MAAC machinery saves 50% of support

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of eWon in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Injection Molding Company Increases Throughput and Eliminates Mess and Maintenance with Integrated Electric Actuators

An application story from Exlar

Injection Molding:
Ejection of molded parts from mold.

A plastic bottle cap manufacturing company located in Europe.

Throughput goals were not attainable with existing hydraulic and pneumatic cylinder solution. In addition, the existing solution required significant maintenance over the life of the machine resulting in an unacceptable amount of machine downtime.

Exlar GSX electric linear actuatorThe customer selected the Exlar®GSM and GSX Integrated  Motor / Actuator due to their high power density and speed. In addition, the compact form factor of the GSM and GSX  (comparable to a hydraulic cylinder) required minimal engineering design changes to accommodate.

According to the customer, in addition to offering a superior product solution the Exlar service and support team provided a high level of communication throughout the project and specifically addressed all needs of the application.

Converting to the Exlar GSM and GSX products resulted in a significant increase in machine productivity, both in terms of increased throughput and reduced machine maintenance/downtime. Additional benefits of the Exlar solution include increased part quality and reduced scrap.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Exlar in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Automatic Milking System

aaeon-automatic-milk-systemApplication Story from AAEON

Removing milk with no more effort than flipping a switch

Traditionally, we picture milking as a farmer sitting beside an udder of a cattle or sheep as he/she laboriously pull down the teats of the animal, spouting milk into the bucket below. However, the practice of hand milking has long since been retired from being the sole way of milk extraction to recreational activities for some “good old days” experience. The dawn of Industry 4.0 has ushered in a digital revolution that gives many traditional industries, such as dairy farming, a technological facelift and propels its operations towards a very promising prospect. In Australia, for example, removing milk from cattle needs no more effort than flipping a switch

AAEON’s Solution GENE-A55E Subcompact Board

GENE-A55E Subcompact Board

Automatic Milking Systems, or Robotic Milking Systems, existed since the 20th century with the rise of computer technology. Programs and software that drive these machines are often the results from many hours of trial and error, troubleshooting and experimentation. Furthermore, specific requirements from different farms mean that programs have to be specially written, leading to additional testing efforts. The cost, size, as well as sophistication of the machines themselves often translate to the fact that total replacement is not a practical, or even viable, option for smaller dairy farmers.

To address the above mentioned concerns, AAEON provided the solution in form of the GENE-A55E subcompact board, whose main highlight is its support for legacy software and hardware.

Supporting the long-standing but still widely used Industrial Standard Architecture (ISA) bus, the board offers its users the ability to directly program buses without the need for drivers that are required in newer systems. This feature allowed users to leave their tried-and-true programs and software untouched as instructions are written straight into the bus with no additional modifications necessary to the program’s code. The support of the ISA bus also opened up capabilities such as precision motion control (of the robotic arm and teat cups), digital I/O (for functions such as emergency stopping and LED indications) and CAN BUS (for communications).

Also present on the board is Ethernet technology that grants a true Industry 4.0 experience. With it, any factors that might contribute to an unfavorable milking condition, such as unconducive weather or poor cattle health, can be made known to the user via wireless means so that appropriate measures can be taken even before milking begins. And after it does, data such as the amount of milk collected, the cattle’s physical condition and duration of the process will be sent in real time to a companion app in the user’s PC, tablet or smartphone. In addition, via the onboard expansion options, capabilities including cleaning the cattle before milking to ensure untainted milk and sampling of the collected milk can be added easily.

As an added benefit, and especially applicable in a farm setting, the board’s fanless design negates problems stemming from moving parts. On top of that, the computing unit of the machine, where the board is housed in, can be built completely enclosed, preventing the entry of dust or other matter and allowing it to be washed with water without compromising its functionality. Users of the GENE-A55E may expect a long product life cycle of more than 5 years.


AAEON’s continued support for legacy hardware helped dairy farmers modernizes their operations without the need for a complete overhaul of their assets. Its feature rich board design enhances performance of their machines to include the latest technologies.

Read the fully story: Automatic Milking Systems

eWON/HMS Remote Networking Solutions

eWon/HMS Remote Networks

This solution allows system integrators to establish secure industrial networks linking multiple remote sites to central control rooms through permanent VPN connections. Benefit from a seamless access to your remote sites data at any time.

What does Remote Networks solutions allows you to do?

  • Quickly set up a VPN-based extranet network
  • Replace your legacy modem or radio solution and benefit from the reliability of the Internet connectivity
  • Interface your PLCs to your SCADA/supervision system

Water and Wastewater Solution With WAGO

WAGO, the pioneer of CAGE CLAMP® spring pressure connection technology, offer an extensive range of automation solutions such as the fieldbus independent WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM, interconnect and interface technology.


Tough demands are placed on technical equipment in the water and wastewater sector: Toughness in aggressive atmospheres, high resistance to shock and vibration and easy installation and handling for reducing installation and maintenance time are just a few of the modern challenges at hand.


WAGO  components equipped with Cage Clamp
Convenient fault detection of decentralized pump stations and a cost-effective connection via radio technology, e.g., from the scraper bridge to the control technology, demand practical and low-maintenance solutions to benefit wastewater plant employees. Reliability, quality and ease of use combine to play a decisive role in processing automation efficiency.

Daily, WAGO components equipped with CAGE CLAMP® Spring Pressure Connection Technology prove their value under the harshest conditions. Over the years, WAGO has developed an enviable safety record, including approvals for use in potentially explosive environments, an impressive array of robust components that readily withstand aggressive environments and safe, truly maintenance-free connections.

ID Readers Enable Part Traceability of Direct Part Mark Products

cognex-id-reader-enables-part-tracebility-of-direct-part-mark-productWhen Canadian energy services company Packers Plus needed to read challenging dot peened codes on a variety of parts, they specified Cognex® DataMan® handheld ID readers. The company’s StackFRAC® system consists of many parts, each marked with a unique 2D Data Matrix code that enables traceability throughout its useful life.

Traceability delivers two important benefits for Packers Plus. First, it reduces rework costs by providing better manufacturing process control and ensuring that the right parts are used at every stage of production. Second, it enables Packers Plus to quickly retrieve information on 100% of the parts in every system that has been shipped out their door, including production history and quality control information.

In the past, Packers Plus manually recorded information such as lot numbers, heat numbers, quality control measurements and other information in a spreadsheet. “This was a very time-consuming manual process that took approximately four hours for each product, so we only did it when necessary,” said Marlon Leggott, Director of Manufacturing for Packers Plus. “Another problem with the manual process is that it is susceptible to mistakes, such as data entry errors.”

Selecting marking and reading tools

Packers Plus considered a number of different options for improving traceability when it installed its new ERP system. Kurtis Weber of iTech Tool Technology helped Packers Plus design the traceability solution. “We looked at labels with standard line bar codes but determined they would have to come off during assembly, which would negate many of the advantages of serialization,” Weber said. “RFID tags don’t work well with various metal parts because of interference with reading and writing the tags. Laser marking overcomes all of these problems but laser marking machines begin at $50,000 and have to be enclosed — which causes problems when used to mark large pieces — and cannot easily be moved from place to place. We recommended a dot peen marking system because it is permanent, does not rely on fragile RF transmissions, costs only about $10,000 per machine, and is available in fixed or mobile models. The mobility allows us to easily move around the plant and successfully mark any size part in a variety of orientations.” With dot peen marking, a carbide or diamond-tipped stylus pneumatically or electromechanically strikes the material surface.

Packers Plus then faced the difficult challenge of reading the marked parts. The challenge arises from the fact that Packers Plus makes parts with curved surfaces and many different materials and coating combinations. Nearly any reader can be adjusted to provide perfect accuracy on a particular combination but Packers Plus wanted a reader that could deliver high levels of accuracy on any part. “We recommended Cognex DataMan handheld readers because they adjust the lighting to match the part and use the industry’s most  advanced algorithm  for picking out the 2D Data Matrix code from the background,” Weber said. “This is the only product I have seen that is capable of accurately reading the wide range of parts used by Packers Plus.” 

Read More:

ID Readers Enable Part Traceability for Direct Part Marked Products