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Fully electric automated pallet truck 08/03/2021

NEW FROM K.Hartwall is an AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot) called A-MATE, reported to be the first fully electric free-lift pallet AGV with omnidirectional drive on the market. A-MATE is an extremely versatile mobile robot that will bring a new level of automation to intra-logistics, and to the movements of different load carriers, from pallets to roll containers and foldable cages or 'gitter' boxes.

The proven free SLAM navigation combined with the innovative fleet management allows our customers to have a full overview of and control over their internal logistics operations. Furthermore, safety has been a central point of focus in the development of A-MATE as AMRs become an integrated part of the overall logistics process. The result is that A-MATE is the only 360° safety pallet AGV on the market—not only when fetching load carriers but also when transporting them.

A-mate offers clear advantages compared to existing AMR products on the market through its increased load capacity of 1000 kg. One of the key advantages is its ability to lift a load of up to 1 ton to a height of 1 meter without using supportive scissors below the forks. This allows for very close access when loading or unloading both conveyors and pallet racking. Furthermore, thanks to its slim design, A-MATE can move freely in both narrow aisles and within pallet stacks.

With A-MATE, K. Hartwall reinforces its market leadership in logistics equipment for warehouses and industrial manufacturing. The combination of traditional load carrier solutions, such as roll containers, Lean adaptor pallets and dollies or foldable cages, with mobile robots demonstrates how the Finnish company is looking to the future of logistics.

“A-MATE is proof of how to combine autonomous mobile robots with traditional load carriers to help our customers achieve both greater efficiency and increased safety. With K.Hartwall’s logistics solutions portfolio, you can now automate the movements of your load carriers in a very easy way,” says Jerker Hartwall, CEO of K.Hartwall.

A-MATE and our other AGVs offer our customers a new way to reduce costs and increase efficiency in their logistics processes by allowing them to decrease their dependence on skilled labor and reduce costly process errors and the risk of accidents.


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Free Ultrasound in the IIoT webinar 20/01/2021

CDA'S SISTER title, IP&E has announced its latest free-to-attend webinar. Brought to you in association with leader in ergonomically designed portable ultrasound devices, UE Systems, 'Ultrasound in the IIoT: Monitoring & Lubricating Bearings Remotely' will take place on Wednesday 24th February at 10.30am.

Remote condition monitoring of bearings and precision lubrication executed anywhere, anytime, and from any device, is already a reality. Pairing the Internet of Things with Ultrasonic sensors has brought the development of innovative maintenance solutions that will take condition monitoring of assets to a whole new level, allowing maintenance teams to stop most bearing failures at its tracks.

Presenter, UK and Ireland Manager at UE Systems Europe, Christopher Hallam, will take attendees through the technology and how it can be best applied to help achieve premature failure detection, reduction or even elimination of downtime, increased productivity and reduced overall replacement cost.

Hallam is an electrical engineer and trainer by trade, from Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. He has spent the last five years at UE Systems supporting industry in implementing predictive maintenance programs and energy savings schemes, utilising ultrasound technology.

With his extensive experience, skills and knowledge of maintenance activities in industrial facilities, Hallam has become the foremost UK and Ireland reference when it comes to ultrasound technology applied to predictive maintenance and energy savings.

To register for this CPD Accredited webinar visit http://events.streamgo.co.uk/Ultrasound-in-iiot/register?redirect=%2FUltrasound-in-iiot

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IP&E Live - must attend online conference on maintenance and reliability 10/11/2020

TAKING PLACE on Tuesday 17 November, the inaugural IP&E Live online seminar will feature a packed programme of presentations aimed at anyone with an interest in industrial maintenance and reliability.

As well as information from event sponsors Omicron and Megger, there will be presentations from the United Kingdom Lubricants Association (UKLA), the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA), and British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), as follows:

 - Verifying Criticality of Industrial Power Equipment, presented by Florian Fink Product Manager, Omicron - The motto of industrial power grids is ‘production must run!’, as unplanned production stops can cause serious stress and expense. By analysing the grid, we can detect issues with critical equipment in advance to prevent potential power outages that cause production to stop. In this paper, we will give sample use cases to show how the grid can be hardened against outages through monitoring critical equipment with asset management and smart testing solutions.

 - Electrical Testing of your Critical Motors, presented by Mike Herring, Regional Sales Manager, Megger - Electric motors are critical assets in many Industries and environments. Whilst vibration analysis, acoustic analysis, thermography and oil analysis are technologies that are commonly employed as part of a predictive maintenance programme, the motor’s winding is often given little consideration, other than a simple insulation resistance test, and perhaps a phase to phase winding resistance test.

This seminar will investigate the benefits and limitations of these two electrical tests, and discuss the additional tests that will help improve the detection of developing insulation faults. We will also look at dynamic motor testing, which is used to help understand condition of the entire driven system – power supply, motor and the load, simply by analysing the voltage and current of the three phases.

- Are you working safely with metalworking fluids? presented by Matt Bloomer, UKLA and Fiona McGarry, HSE -Metalworking fluids (MWF) can cause occupational asthma, occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis and dermatitis. This webinar will improve your ability to manage the health hazards from MWF. It is aimed at health and safety managers, factory managers and engineers and will include:

• A case study of an HSE investigation

• A summary of the requirements for protecting the health of workers

• An outline of the guidance published by UKLA and HSE

• A summary of the testing which must be performed on metalworking fluids, to maintain its quality and prevent risks to health

- Through Life Engineering Services, presented by James Selka, CEO, MTA - Through Life Enginnering Services (TES) is a set of tools and techniques, business thinking and network behaviour that enables reliable and predictable improvement of value in-use and also enables reliable and predictable reduction of cost in-use.

This session will explain how TES will increase the in-use value and reduce the in-use cost of long life engineered assets to the benefit of the user and provider.

- Importance of Thorough Examination of Lifting Equipment, presented by Benjamin Dobbs MSc BEng Hons, Head of Technical Services at The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association - This session will cover


• Approved codes of practice

• Competent persons

• Defined scopes of examination

• Supplementary testing in support of an examination

• Written schemes of examination

Pressure Systems Regulations and Training, presented by Roy Brooks, Technical Development Officer at British Compressed Air Society (BCAS).

All attendees will receive CPD points. Register to attend for FREE at https://events.streamgo.co.uk/IPE-Live

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Metal additive manufacturing for high temperature applications 08/10/2020

HONEYWELL AEROSPACE assess the use of a new high temperature alloy with its in-house laser powder bed fusion metal AM technologies. Will Dick-Cleland, Process Technology Team, Alloyed, reports

The aerospace sector has long been recognised as an early adopter when it comes to cutting-edge technology inventions, and as such it is unsurprising that the use of additive manufacturing (AM) as a production tool is relatively familiar in many of the leading aerospace OEMS and their supply chains.

The sector is typically not a mass production industry, but is instead characterised by complex low-volume manufacture which plays directly to the strengths of metal AM (and specifically the Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) process) when compared with traditional metal manufacturing processes. In an area that is highly competitive, where conventional manufacturing processes are costly — especially for metal components produced in relatively low volumes —  and with supply chains constantly under pressure to conform to ever more stringent environmental performance restrictions, the aerospace sector needs to become more agile. Metal AM processes, with the ability to manufacture innovative geometrically complex parts in a timely, local, and cost-effective way, have a huge part to play.

AM in aerospace

AM’s disruptive for potential for the aerospace sector is widely acknowledged, holding out the opportunity to break the typical compromise between scale and scope in manufacturing first by reducing the capital expenditure required to achieve economies of scale, and second by increasing the variety of designs that a given amount of capital expenditure can produce. One AM platform can at the same time build a number of complicated parts with variable designs, and this means that large centralised factories with assembly lines are not always required, and with AM complexity, production change overs, and customisation are cheaper.

As AM technologies continue to develop and secure a stronger foothold in production scenarios, there is simultaneous development ongoing across the sector to refine associated parts of the AM ecosystem, with a great deal of emphasis being placed on in-process monitoring for traceability and validation purposes, as well as automated post-processing technologies. A further, vital area of development is materials, particularly metal powders for AM that meet — and exceed — the functionality and performance of existing production materials as well as meeting the requirements of specific applications.

Alloys for high temperature applications

It is fair to say that, to date, metal AM processes have not performed well with the highest temperature materials — that is to say, materials for components that operate at the top of the temperature range within jet turbines. In the aerospace sector such applications would include, but are not limited to the critical areas of a turbine engine such as the back-end of the compressor, the combustor, the high and low pressure turbine areas, and the exhaust.  All parts in these areas of the engine are exposed to high temperatures and higher levels of oxidation.

For such high temperature applications, the aerospace sector typically uses nickel (Ni) alloys such as IN738, IN713 and MarM247. However, these alloys are incompatible with welding techniques due to their chemistry, as they do not respond well to rapid thermal gradient changes and it is virtually impossible to control the amount of cracking during the weld process. Therefore, these alloys have historically been processed using casting methods where the cooling rates are relatively low.

This is the conundrum facing users of metal AM within the aerospace sector looking to capitalise on the advantages that the process has to offer for high temperature applications. It is this that has driven further exploration of alternative materials that could replace traditional high temperature alloys without compromising structural integrity while at the same time being compatible with AM. The advantages of AM-compatible alloys for high temperature applications derive from the fact that the components assembled in hot sections of engines are usually some of the most expensive, and due to the harsh environment in which they work have short life-cycles. Using the L-PBF process with high temperature alloys offers manufacturers the opportunity to benefit from better inventory management, reducing late penalties due to tooling delays, and creating more intricate shapes, often allowing the integration of several components in a sub-assembly into one.

It was to address this requirement that Alloyed worked with leading aerospace OEM Honeywell to test a new high temperature nickel alloy — ABD®900AM — with the L-PBF process, to determine if it could serve as a replacement for existing high temperature casting alloys. The purpose of this effort was to discover at a high level if ABD®900AM showed promise and warranted further development.

Honeywell & Alloyed collaboration

Honeywell Aerospace has a long and rich heritage of innovation that spans more than a century. The company has one of the industry’s broadest and most advanced portfolios including world-class engines, cockpits, cabin design, wireless connectivity and enterprise performance management services.

Honeywell first engaged with metal AM processes in 2007 when the company had several prototype parts manufactured by external vendors. Over the ensuing years, the company has continued to assess and implement the technology for applications where there is a need for a rapidly manufactured metal parts, including for test bed components. In 2014, led by the efforts of Engineering Fellow Donald Godfrey, the company opened its first $5 million AM facility in Phoenix, AZ, USA, with a focus on L-PBF and electron beam PBF technologies. In the same year AM facilities were also opened in Bangalore and the Czech Republic.

Today, the Honeywell AM operations have grown significantly in both size and capacity and incorporate tensile, LCF, and creep testing equipment, powder characterisation equipment, and a vacuum furnace for stress relief and heat treatment. In Arizona, more L-PBF machines were added in 2020, and now the lab is fully equipped to manage end-to-end powder and mechanical characterisation, pre-production builds, and a full range of R&D activities.

Honeywell is using the pilot-production facility as a means to either develop parts for production that will be sent to a supplier for manufacturing or working with a supplier to cooperate in the development of components for production.

As an organisation, Honeywell collaborates with universities and companies around the world with the intent of developing new technology and exploring new technologies as they emerge. After an initial introduction to Alloyed by a third party, Honeywell recognised the potential of the Alloys By Design (ABD) system brand developed by highly respected metallurgists from Oxford University and this stimulated further interest in the ABD®-900AM material and its potential for high temperature aerospace applications as it was not prone to cracking.

The result of this initial collaboration was a dedicated project that would see Honeywell build a limited number of test specimens in its additive manufacturing laboratory located in Bangalore, India.  Honeywell would build and test the material to determine if the results merited continued investment and development.


ABD®-900AM is an age-hardenable, nickel-based superalloy designed specifically for use as feedstock in the L-PBF process. It is optimised for environmental resistance and high-temperature tensile strength, with a working temperature range up to 900°C (1652°F) in its age-hardened state. ABD®900AM not only offers a higher operating temperature but also significant long term stability. You can access the datasheet here.

Exhibiting excellent creep strength, ABD®-900AM has also demonstrated superior resistance to cracking during manufacture and heat treatment, enabling complex part design. It is designed to be free of solidification, liquidation and strain-age cracks, and showcases exceptional printability for a 40% γ’-phase strengthened alloy. The ABD®-900AM alloy also shows high as-printed part density of >99.9%.

Key material properties

Mechanical (900˚C)

  • Yield strength/MPa                     574 Z, 568 XY
  • Ultimate tensile strength/MPa    582 Z, 593 XY
  • Elongation at failure / %             13 Z, 7 XY
  • Area reduction at failure / %      12 Z, 7 XY

Thermo-physical (25-1200˚C)

  • Thermal conductivity                11.0 – 30.1
  • CTE (Linear)/ x 10-6oC-1          11.4 – 19.2


  • Density / g cm-3                        8.395
  • Melting range2 / ˚C                   1305-1380

Test results

The scope of the collaborative project between Alloyed and Honeywell was the assessment/qualification of the ABD®-900AM Ni-alloy powder for the next generation of additively manufactured high temperature applications. Honeywell has undertaken a series of tests to confirm and optimise the properties of the alloy with some extremely positive results.

From a broad perspective, the project provided a manufacturing assessment and a mechanical property assessment of the alloy:

Manufacturing Assessment

Additive manufacturability. It was important to assess how the alloy behaved when processed on a L-PBF machine, and whether the welding operation involved — with all this implies in terms of rapid thermal gradients — would deleteriously effect the integrity of the final part. Various test geometries were trialled on an EOS metal system, and component scale testing was undertaken. It was found that there was no part distortion on cracking in the “as-printed” condition, there was good surface finish, and a wide processing window.

Powder Recyclability. The ability to be able to re-use unsintered material from build-to-build is obviously an important factor when looking at the economics of using metal AM processes. Because of this, it was decided to manufacture and test parts made with “used” powder, and it was found that there was  no significant change of properties in the parts made with used powder compared with virgin ABD®-900AM powder.

Post processability. It is often the case that parts must undergo a variety of post-processing activities after the AM build, which can affect the mechanical properties of the material and therefore, the functionality of the part. To assess how ABD®-900AM behaved parts were subjected to vacuum heat treatment and Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) often used on metal AM parts to eliminate internal voids. There was no “post-weld” cracking detected on parts made from ABD®-900AM.

Mechanical Property Assessment

Tensile testing. ASTM standard tensile tests were undertaken on the ABD®-900AM parts measuring tensile strength, breaking strength, maximum elongation and reduction in area between 427 oC and 927oC in both build directions. The test showed good repeatability of test points, with high temperature strength of the ABD®-900AM comparable with “legacy” cast Nickel alloys which cannot be manufactured crack free in AM.

Low cycle fatigue testing. Low cycle fatigue (LCF) is low-cycle endurance testing, where components are subject to mechanical cyclic plastic strains that cause fatigue failure within a short number of cycles. ABD®-900AM was subjected to LCF testing at 650oC, the results showing that Non-HIP-ed ABD®-900AM had superior performance to HIP-ed alloy 718.


The results of the work between Alloyed and Honeywell show that ABD®-900AM is an alloy that demonstrates great potential for high temperature applications. The material welds and fuses extremely well, particularly when compared with other high temperature nickel alloys. While ABD®900AM is not a replacement for CM Mar-247 in most cases due to the oxidation capabilities, it does exhibit very good mechanical properties at high temperatures when compared with Mar 247 or IN792 or IN713 or IN738.


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