Wednesday, June 29, 2016

About Frontline Enviromental Technologies Group, Inc.


We are specialists in automation & control technologies, communications and power distribution. We provide the industrial, petrochemical, municipal, commercial building and manufacturing communities with a single source solution for complete engineering and technical support services.

The major distinction that separates our firm from others is the combination of specialized engineering education and years of "hands on" field expertise.

We provide a comprehensive package of engineering and technical services that deliver innovative solutions for unique and difficult problems. We deliver real value, expertise and continuity to our customer's project or operation.

Our "on time" and "on budget" installations coupled with our full range of engineering and technical problem solving skills, have provided a proven track record of achievement.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Industrial Automation - Help your Robotic Project Succeed


Investing in robotic equipment can be a big leap for a small business. Industrial robots have been automating tasks since 1961. The first industrial robot, the Unimate, worked with the die casting machines at a General Motors plant. In the last decade there has been a surge of robots being integrated into mid-sized and smaller companies. One reason is the growth and affordability of the used robot market. With the leaps made in controls technology, companies are upgrading robots before the current model has finished its life-span. However, the overall functionality of the six-axis articulated arm has not changed in the last decade. As companies consolidate and reorganize, the factory surplus is sold.

Automation benefits include saving money and reducing production time. Automation also leads to an increase in part quality and reliability. These are some tips to help you get started implementing automation onto your factory floor.
  1. Involve the Shop Floor Workers Consulting the workers that currently produce the part is a good starting point. This is the person who has the experience to know what works and what had not worked in the past. They often have helpful insight into the process that you can not gain by simply watching. Requesting their participation in the robotic welding project will help it be more successful. The workers who manually perform the process can provide advice on the configuration and specifications of the equipment up front, avoiding the possibility that the equipment is not as ergonomically friendly or productive as it could be. Failure to involve them disregards the insight they have gained though experience with the process.
  2.   Choose your Robot Operators and Robotic Programmers Carefully Most industrial robots are controlled by the use of teach pendants. Several of these pendants now are programmed with an interface that resembles a personal computer. An individual that is computer-literate will have less trouble learning how to instruct the robot and moving it to accomplish the desired tasks such as welding or material handling. For instance, the challenge of transforming a manual welding process to a robotic welding process is best handled by someone with a solid background in manual welding. This would be an ideal person to select for programming or operating the robotic welder. When choosing robot operators, programmers, and technicians, special consideration should be given to motivated employees that are willing to learn and advance their skills.
  3. Make Training a Priority It is important when purchasing a robot integrator to choose one that provides training on the robotic system. This allows your company to be able to fully utilize the robot and minimize later down-time due to mechanical problems. Ideally the person chosen to receive the training should be the future programmer or operator. With the proper training, the programmer should be able to reliably produce efficient and effective robot programs. Basic groundwork training is a minimum, with the real learning happening on the shop floor. Generally your robotic integrator will program your robotic system to interact with your current equipment and leave you with a turnkey solution that requires only a push of a button. It is still ideal to have trained personnel on hand should a future problem arise. Routine maintenance, such as an annual grease replenishment and battery replacement, is also an issue that you will want a trained individual to perform. Many robotic systems have been destroyed by well-meaning maintenance by individuals that do not understand the complex nature of the robotic system.
  4. Watch Part Fit-Up and Repeatability The most problematical issue with welding robots is part quality. Robotic systems are designed to repeat the same sequence of events. If the robot system has been damaged, repeatability can become an issue. Robotics systems sold feature a repeatability measurement and that should be taken into account along with payload and reach requirements. Used robots should be tested for accuracy and repeatability during the reconditioning process. When performing properly, robotic systems are more reliable and produce parts far superior in quality than manually welded parts. Touch sensing and seam tracking can be used to compensate for weld joints that are not static, but robots are limited by the laws of physics. The use of quality equipment in conjunction with robots improves the part fit-up. Attention should be paid to lasers, welding and cutting torches, welding power supplies, raw consumables, and other variables that could lead to a loss of quality in the finished product.
  5. Calculate Estimated ROI There has been a steady growth in the robot industry over the past decade. Experts predict that this growth trend will continue in future years. Welding robots are still the majority of the market, but many applications can be handled by robots. The general rule-of-thumb is that a robotic welder can do the work of four manual welders. Therefore when production is increasing, the choice to add robotic welders is easily justified. It will also improve efficiency, productivity, and part quality. Higher quality leads to a greater demand for your product. Improved efficiency will enable you to be more competitive in your market. The improved productivity will allow you to meet your production demands without a larger workforce.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Christi_Hart

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Factory Automation System


Factory automation is based on the application of computers. It involves various technologies. These technologies are applied by persons highly qualified in automation engineering. The technologies involves in factory automation are motor control and drive system, robotics system, machine vision system, programmable logic control system and manufacturing executive systems. These are also known as automation tools without which automation is not possible.

Factory automation facilitates creativity and perspective to implement robot technology. It makes many manufacturing processes possible without human interference. Automation integrates logic, power, information technologies and process into one drive system. Automaton applied in the factory uses machine vision system. It uses robotic machine handling process to perform identification, orientation and decoding tasks. The programmable logic control system one the important automation tools facilitates the successful implementation of the automation control system. This system is capable of controlling all types of machine controls, web handling lines, paper machine and pulping processes. It also works as conveyor system and does the functions such as packaging and mixing, blending and batching.

There is need to unify the business with plant floor system in the present global scenario. The factory automation makes it possible. It also provides flow of information to instruct people and machines to deliver the product as per requirement. Some important functions performed under the automation include operation scheduling, resource allocation and status, labor management, quality management, process management and performance analysis.

Today the performance of an organization is based on two things namely effectiveness and efficiency. Effectiveness means ability to recognize and do everything that can contribute to the organization's development. Efficiency refers to the ratio of output to the input of any process or system. The efficiency and effectiveness of a factory or manufacturing unit are greatly advanced by the automation system. It contributes in increasing the production of the factory as well as makes the manufacturing process more flexible.

The quality control through factory automation is the key issue behind the application of automation. The global economy has made the economy more competitive. In this economic environment there is emphasis on the better quality of products. The automation system in the industries can play a major role in the quality enhancement. But running after the technological advancement with the revolution in information technology has raised many issues. A major section of workforce has been rendered jobless due to the automation system operation. Besides, the whole operation of the factory has become more and more dependent on the machines and instruments. It has opened the way for any major debacle at any time.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Robin_Brain

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Finding Big Data Opportunities in Industrial Automation


Here we are in the world of Big Data and all of its possibilities. Just look at all the data we have available to us: production, maintenance, distribution, personnel, finances - real-time, historical and predictive. There is more data being collected more quickly and from more sources than ever before. We are swimming in it.

So, now what? Now that we've gathered all of this data, what does it mean to us? Personally, having reams of integers, floats, strings and timestamps in my hands doesn't make me feel any smarter. As the old adage goes: Data is not information. Data without context offers no insight. Data without structure reveals no opportunities. How do we get from data to information? How do we get from information to knowledge? And how do we get from knowledge to action?

Finding the Anomalies

The US Department of Defense employs a process known as Activity-Based Intelligence (ABI) to find useful details in large sets of data. For example, in 2013, when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, investigators immediately had at their disposal hundreds of hours of surveillance footage, cell phone photos, and time-stamped video from dozens of angles. To manually review all of this media would require thousands of man-hours - time that is obviously not available in a situation like this.

To make use of this constellation of data, investigators were forced to find a way of automating the investigation. They decided to establish a specific set of details they wanted to locate in all of these photos and videos. Namely, they were looking for any individuals at the scene of the bombing who were not running away or looked unafraid. The behavior recognition technology existed, so it was a simple matter to enter a set of variables into a program and to let the software review the footage in an effort to find the activity that matched these variables. Soon, two suspects were revealed.

While it would have been nearly impossible for human analysts to review all of this footage in a timely fashion, investigators discovered that Big Data could in fact be very useful if combined with a mechanism to compare and contrast the thousands of data points being reviewed.

A similar technique is now being employed in cancer research. A so-called "Big Mechanism" has been created to review the vast and complex medical records of cancer patients that have been established over the years to find overlapping patterns or consistencies that can lead to a new understanding of root causes or precipitating circumstances. By automating the research, we are now able to analyze data sets of much greater size and complexity than would be possible using only human analysts.

Can Similar Techniques be Employed in Industrial Automation?

Today's industrial enterprises find themselves in a situation similar to those described above. Huge amounts of data are being recorded and opportunities for improvement are known to exist, but how do we know what to look for and how do we find it? The same sort of ABI employed by the DoD may well have a place in the commercial world.

If we can review our historical process data to define the circumstances surrounding certain conditions (unplanned downtime, spikes in energy consumption, etc.), we may be able to recognize repeated patterns or anomalous activity related to these specific circumstances, thereby enabling us to take action to correct the situation before it happens again. By finding the data that stands out from the rest, detailing the characteristics of that data, and looking for those characteristics elsewhere, we may be able to pinpoint causal relationships that were previously obscure or misleading.

On the flipside, the same techniques can be employed to define the circumstances surrounding periods of extended productivity or energy efficiency. The same techniques used to discern the cause of deficiencies can be used to optimize asset performance and improve the quality and efficiency of our processes.

By creating analytic mechanisms aligned with the principles of ABI, we are able to create a safer, more efficient, more productive work environment. Of course, some of this runs counter to the way most of us are programmed to think. We tend to put more stock in consistent, reliable information, while discounting the anomalies. ABI encourages us to find the anomalies and focus on them.

The key to navigating the world of Big Data may not lie in the massive set of data, but in the tiny subset of data that teaches us about the abnormalities or anomalies we find. Look for the data points that stand out from the rest and ask yourself why. Consider the circumstances surrounding the collection of that data; can we map certain plant floor conditions to specific results?

Thus far, the Big Data movement has been a combination of hype and optimism, with very little practical value in daily operations. Some companies are finding ways to take advantage of the opportunities, while others have fallen behind.

Can you find the opportunities?


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rich_Hunzinger

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Friday, June 17, 2016

The Differences Between Software Development and Software Engineering


Software development and software engineering go hand in hand when it comes to the implementation of software. Software development deals more with the creation of the software and when this is complete, software engineering takes over with the creation of software systems. Both of these disciplines are at times interchangeable and without much difference to the layman. If you just want to have one specific piece of software designed, such as database software that will keep track of your bird watching hobby, then you'll just need software development. If, however, you want your bird watching database to be able to support multiple functions, such as delivering a report with statistics and results, then you'll more likely need the expertise of software engineering.

Software engineers will implement and design software applications through the use of many mediums. These software applications will then be used for a variety of purposes that include business practices to entertainment purposes. It is these software applications that allow users to make their time on the computer as functional and productive as possible. Types of software applications include language applications, office applications, entertainment packages, and applications for education.

The cost of hiring a software developer will be significantly less than hiring a software engineer. Before you make your final decision about what you want the software to do you need to plan you budget, your timeline, and determine what you want the end result to be. The industry of software development continues to grow each year as more and more businesses are having their own software developed for them that is specific to what they do and what they want the software to do. Most companies will already be using some type of software application, such as Office Suite, and most likely won't need another application developed for them. For most intents and purposes you'll be fine hiring a software developer for you and your business needs.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=James_Hunt

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fire and Explosion Caused by Human Error and Equipment Failure



I’ve spent much of my 40+ year career in the petroleum and chemical industries. One might say I’ve pretty much seen it all when it comes to accidents. Unfortunately, I’ve have firsthand experience with the loss of good friends and coworkers due to what I call the human factor.

The human factor is at work every second of every day in every type of business and personal setting. It’s when hard working, good people get careless while performing routine everyday tasks. For whatever reason, a procedure intended to protect personnel is intentionally bypassed or carelessly forgotten and in most instances it involves only one or two steps being bypassed or forgotten that allows all of the stars to line up, and then tragedy strikes without warning which in most cases lead to serious injury and sometimes death.

I’ve spent much of my career using technology to create iron clad solutions that overcome human error and equipment failure in hazardous types of operations found in every day businesses that we are all familiar with. One such business is the loading of fuel onto large tanker trucks that take fuel to the local gas station that all of us pump into our cars. One such iron clad solution developed by Frontline Environmental addresses the more than 1500 spills that happen every day throughout the United States in truck, marine and aviation fuel loading facilities. The GuardDog™ is a patented technology designed to overcome human error and equipment failure during the loading of fuel at high transfer rates of more than 10 gallons per second. In “real-time” GuardDog™ continuously monitors the fuel delivery equipment to determine if it is performing properly or not. If not, the GuardDog™ will take a preemptive action to prevent the spill accident within 750 milliseconds. The Department of Defense and the USAF determined GuardDog™ to be 100% effective in eliminating spills over a 12 month period during a case study and real world test conducted at Travis Air Force Base. Due to its success Travis AFB has since standardized on GuardDog™ and is protected 24/7 365 days a year from spills.

For more on GuardDog™ and other bullet proof solutions that protect life, the environment and assets give me a call at 707-331-3503. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Fike Featured on Manufacturing Marvels



On January 6, 2012, Fike Corporation was showcased in a nationally syndicated film series called "Manufacturing Marvels". Manufacturing Marvels airs on The Fox Business Network at 8:35pm EST, and is produced by award winning producers Bob and Jerry May. The 2-minute profiles spotlight selected American manufacturers, their products, and the company's manufacturing and testing processes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Need For Automation Engineers In Your Enterprise


However, it is not enough to feel happy with the number of increased orders for your product it's your responsibility to satisfy the customer with the best quality of each and every product that you sale no matter how many number of orders you get. So, it's important to measure and improve the quality of your products and this job is done by the automation engineer in a manufacturing industry. Automation service is a specific development for automation control. The automation engineers provide a lot of service to the industry by building and designing test system and automation assembly for every application and they are talented enough to test all kinds of motors which are require in automation control system. The engineers in this field integrate the hardware and software components or systems to develop a final integrated system which can be depended upon to carry out various operations of the industry. This engineering deals with complicated assembly systems which includes testing, component parts etc which are processed step by step to get the accurate results. They are well equipped and have the required techniques to provide the efficiency and durability to the products manufactured.

The systems used for automation are precise and fast enough in testing the components which reduce the time of the test cycle. The engineers in this field are expertise in all kinds of programming platforms, operating and control systems. They design the system in such a way that no one finds difficulty in using it as they are provided with helping guidelines through documentation. This system has built various control and testing skills. The control engineers contribute a lot to the manufacturing industry for the purpose of efficient production, computer control and improving quality. The vital features of automation control are its components and design.

Thus, Automation has now become a basic need for any business right from canning, packing, bottling to assembly to meet the consumers demand. Almost all the repeated processes are now automated to produce large and efficient products. If you satisfy the customer with best quality and speedy production within less time then larger the orders you get and larger the profit you enjoy. So, include automation in your business and recruit the best control engineers to run your business smoothly and efficiently.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ollie_Goldsmith

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Different Types of Fire Alarm Systems For Your Business


There are many different fire alarm systems to choose from when it comes to protecting your business and valuable assets in the event of a fire. Not all are created equal and depending on the nature of your business there are many considerations when choosing a system that is right for you.

For most office buildings, the standard fire alarm system is adequate protection in the event of a fire and usually involves a centrally located panel that controls the system. Utilizing sprinklers to put out the fire, the sprinklers are activated when a fire is detected through the use of a smoke or heat detector. Since most smaller office buildings don't use chemicals to suffocate or smother the fire, this is usually the least expensive and cost effective solution.

For larger companies with varied work environments, the fire alarm system must be more sophisticated and designed with diversity in mind to protect not only the structure itself, but also the equipment and data it contains. In the case of a datacenter, standard sprinklers would cause significant damage to computer systems so many companies use a fire suppression system that removes oxygen from the room, effectively starving the fire. This method leaves both the equipment and data in tact and in most cases only leaves a fine powder to clean up after deployment. Since this particular method deprives the area of oxygen, there would need to be some sort of warning mechanism in place so that employees would have time to evacuate the area before deployment.

For businesses dealing with hazardous chemicals such as in the case of manufacturing, there are fire alarm systems that are specialized to effectively suppress fire that involves toxic chemicals. Understandably, there are tighter laws governing the use of these chemicals and the fire suppression technology needed to insure that any fire in this environment poses a minimal risk to employees and the public in general. Many of these chemicals can be explosive in nature when on fire and it is essential that all safety precautions possible be utilized when providing protection for the business.

Obviously the larger the business, the more complex the fire alarm system would be. Often, the system is set up to monitor and deploy only for specific zones. This way, if there were a fire in one side of the building, the sprinklers or fire suppression chemicals would only be deployed to that portion of the building. This minimizes damage to valuable equipment and furniture by fire retardant or water in locations that are untouched by the fire.

An important aspect to any fire alarm system is the human element involved. Yes, you want to make sure that assets are protected as much as possible, but you also need to consider the impact of any fire suppression deployment on anyone who might be in the location at the time of deployment. Obviously water is the safest for human exposure in the event of a fire, but safety becomes even more paramount when using chemicals. Additionally, there should be visual indicators of fire in addition to audible alarms. This way, those who are hearing or vision impaired will be notified of the fire and know that they need to evacuate the building. Most fire alarms involve the use of audible sirens or bells, but having visual indicators such as flashing lights assists those who may be hearing impaired.

Completing a careful analysis of what has higher priority in terms of needing protection in the event of a fire will help you determine which of the fire alarm systems will provide you with the protection you need while keeping your costs at a minimum. Keeping the company's essential data protected should be a high priority as equipment and furniture can be replaced but customer lists, accounting data or inventory numbers can be impossible to replace. Fire alarm systems are an essential and often legally required way to protect both your business and the people who work there in the event of a fire.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Steve_Mike_Levy/1117836

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Fine Dust Explosion - Lycopodium Powder



Steve Spangler gives you slow-motion look at creating a ball of fire using lycopodium powder. This shows the dangers of a fine dust explosion.