PowerbyProxi > Industrial Applications

Wireless Power for demanding applications

July 7, 2016 / 0 Comments / 305 / Industrial Applications

PowerbyProxi continues to examine a world where wireless power is a part of everyday life – a world where the last cable has been unplugged.  In this video we extend our vision to healthcare and demanding, mission critical Industrial environments.  We consider Factory Automation, Wind Turbine, Materials Handling and Marine applications and the added value that Wireless power can play in driving greater efficiency, safety and productivity.

Transcript for the video is included below:

PowerbyProxi continues a look into a world where the last cable has been unplugged.  A world where wireless power promotes efficiency, safety and reliability in mission critical and demanding industrial environments.

In hospitals and healthcare settings, wireless power creates a cleaner and more hygienic environment where devices and machines can be easily re-configured.  There is no longer the hazards associated with power cords which can collect grime and dirt and act as a physical obstacle. Combined Power and Data solutions further improve the ability for medical practitioners to make accurate diagnoses.  Wearable technology and internal devices powered wirelessly, will monitor and transmit information of a patient’s health, aiding early detection and prevention of diseases.  Surgical instruments no longer require physical connectors, enabling hermetical sealing for all tools and contributing to a more sterile and safer operating environment.

Wireless Power also provides opportunities to drive greater efficiencies in manufacturing environments.  Without the masses of cabling required to power multiple machines and automation, factory lines and sensor networks can be easily reconfigured to adapt to changing volumes and workflows.  Similar to hospitals, removal of the power cable has created a more sterile environment for cleanroooms – reducing the risk of product contamination.

Significant benefits are also seen in industries where physical connectors are high maintenance, for instance in Marine environments, where contactless power transfer provides for robust and repeatable recharging of subsea vehicles and sensors. OR Oil drilling and Wind turbine applications where wireless offers a reliable and long-lasting solution to supply power to rotating equipment.  Even in the warehouse where the logistics of charging is problematic, greater efficiency and less downtime is achieved.  Consider for instance, opportunistic wireless charging of automated and electric vehicles, OR power and data transfer on moving equipment to enable added intelligence on lift trucks.  Even smaller devices like RFID and Barcode readers can be remotely monitored for battery levels and be set up to initiate charging at certain times.

Wherever the job is considered difficult, dirty or dangerous, wireless power delivers reliable and sustainable power and data transfer.  As a leader in the innovation of resonant wireless power solutions, PowerbyProxi is looking forward to reducing the reliance on physical connectors and finally unplugging the power cable.

Trends in Automation Connectivity

May 1, 2013 / 0 Comments / 142 / Industrial Applications

Wireless power as the new companion to wireless data for process automation is the subject of a great paper presented by Jonathan Jacobs from Automation Week 2012.  In his paper, Jonathan presents a brief overview of the technology and discusses the applications and value derived from wireless power/data combination systems.

PowerbyProxi has worked with over 50 different companies since 2007 to define wireless power and data solutions for their industrial applications, however, as Jonathan noted, the use of the technology is still in in its infancy.  Why?  Well until a few years ago, wireless power had limited ability for control of variable loads and failed to be able to transfer working levels of power in small form factors.

Today it is a different story.  Innovative technologies like our Dynamic Harmonization Control (DHC) and unique coil designs matched with small form factor electronics continue to allow large, higher power transfer in smaller and smaller product footprints.  Our latest example, an M12 diameter connector that supports analog control signals and 6 watts of power,  is now being introduced by our partner TE Connectivity.  This connector, targeted for sensor and control systems on operations like robot grippers or injection molding machines, offer new levels of productivity and reliability in harsh and mission critical environments.

Yes, there are others in the market developing wireless power and data products, but none can match the size versus performance ratio that DHC and PowerbyProxi’s many years of wireless power know-how are bringing to industrial automation.  Ask TE Connectivity.  As a leader in industrial connectors, they are committed to helping their customers realize the return on investment from wireless power/data systems.  Jonathan is spot on when he says that wireless power will fuel the next wave of productivity and performance in industrial automation.

David Terkosky is VP of Business Development – Industrial Technologies

Follow the Leader

April 23, 2013 / 0 Comments / 147 / Industrial Applications

You’ve heard the old saying, “Can’t see the forest for the trees”.   Well, TE Connectivity with more than 40000+ SKUs of contacting connectors certainly had their share of “trees” and as the leading seller of connector products globally, the forest was large.

However, in 2010, TE understood the need for defining a next connectivity platform to support the innovation of their global customer base.  TE and PowerbyProxi teamed up to explore the ways that wireless power/data products could free their customers of limitations in design or system performance that might limit the productivity of their next generation of products.  This vision and exploration have led to TE and PowerbyProxi forming a strategic partnership for the development of a family of non-contacting (wireless) connectors that TE call the Ariso platform.

Now, isn’t it time you saw through the trees and into the new forest of contactless connectivity.  Let your mind envision the new ways that your products or systems can deliver even greater performance, freeing you of the limitations that contacting connectors inflict on you.

Join TE Connectivity, the leader in global connectivity, and PowerbyProxi, the leader in wireless power solutions, in the technology innovation revolution.

David Terkosky is VP of Business Development – Industrial Technologies

Non-contacting, wireless power connector revolution

January 7, 2013 / 0 Comments / 200 / Industrial Applications

PowerbyProxi has been leading the way in educating industrial manufacturing and products companies on the value of non-contacting, wireless power connectors and slip rings for the past four years.  We have developed systems for more than 30 applications, 25 of which have been for Fortune 500 companies like John Deere.  Now, the leading manufacturer and sales company for connector products globally, TE Connectivity, has announced the launch of a new line of non-contacting connectors, (http://www.connectorsupplier.com/111912-Specifier-IN-TE-Launches-Game-Changing-Technology) focused on the needs of manufacturing automation, process control, industrial machinery and robotics.   With this launch PowerbyProxi’s message that for reliability and the ability to introduce unique product capabilities, using loosely coupled inductive wireless power transfer offers the best solution has been further validated.

PowerbyProxi remains the leader in the development of non-contacting, wireless power solutions with a full line of capabilities from milliwatts to kilowatts, all with the ability to also have integrated data communications.  Our expertise in harsh environment, flexible system architectures, one-to-one or one-to-many power transfer, and our unparalleled Proxi-Ring products for rotating applications, can help any company solve their critical electrical power reliability or design constrained applications.  Isn’t it time you started looking at how non-contacting wireless power can help the performance of your plant or product?  Join us in the revolution to achieve new levels of reliability and productivity!

David Terkosky is VP of Business Development – Industrial Technologies

The answer is blowing in the wind

December 4, 2012 / 0 Comments / 128 / Industrial Applications

Now that the U.S. election is over, there is renewed activity to push Congress and the President to extend the Wind Energy Tax Credit (PTC).  Advocates from both sides of the aisle, governors and industry groups have combined to implore Congress to act before the end of the year.  See the article here.

So what does this have to do with PowerbyProxi and wireless power? One key issue is the cost of power generated by the wind turbines currently in operation and the on-going cost for turbines that will be erected under the tax credit.  PowerbyProxi has been intimately involved in designing solutions that address one key source of turbine downtime and maintenance costs, the slip ring on the turbine pitch control system.

The pitch control system is the key safety system on an operating turbine.  The reliability of this system directly impacts uptime and power production efficiency.  Proxi’s wireless slip ring, the Proxi-Ring, has just completed its two year trial on a wind turbine in Spain with zero downtime. This is compared to what the operator previously experienced with necessary downtime for cleaning and maintenance on the mechanical slip ring being 6 times during a comparable period.

With this extended reliability testing behind us, PowerbyProxi will be moving to full commercial roll out in 2013 to help reduce operating costs on current wind turbine installations, and working to get OEMs to include high reliability Proxi-Rings on new turbines.  In doing so, we can secure the value of the Tax Credit investment and provide low cost power to the consumer.  As a Green Energy company, we ask that you support the PTC and continued expansion of clean energy technology.

David Terkosky is VP of Business Development – Industrial Technologies

The hidden price of fruit

September 26, 2012 / 0 Comments / 172 / Industrial Applications

In our consumerist, open market economy, we have been taught to shop for the best price.  You’ve heard the statement, “nobody pays list retail price anymore.”  At the same time people will tell you to be careful when looking at two items to make sure you are truly getting an “apples to apples” comparison.

Today, the majority of industrial companies have professional buying organizations whose job it is to make sure they get the best price on components they buy. However, many times when they go shopping they get lost in the fruit aisle and come home with a lemon instead of an apple.

So why does this happen.  These are very conscientious people working hard to save money for their company and get what the production team needs to optimize the business.  The problem is that sometimes the price tag covers up the fruit and they don’t realize how good or bad it is until they get it home.  To make better decisions it is necessary to look behind the price tag.  This is called Product Lifecycle analysis.

Here’ a basic example, you buy a mechanical connector for $30 and it takes an electrician to install it that costs you $45.  From the simple price tag view this connector cost you $75.  However, this connector experiences a failure once a year due to corrosion or frictional wear. So the next year you have to buy another connector for $30, it takes an electrician to replace the old one, only this time it is at night and you have to pay call time, so it costs you $100 to replace.  Also, while that connector was failed, the production line was down for 1 hour that cost you $160.  So that $75 connector in a 12 month period has actually cost you $365.  And guess what – that keeps occurring each year, so after 48 months you have spent $1,235 on that connector choice.

Compare that with a Proxi-Point non-contacting connector.  Let’s say you buy the unit for $300, 10 times more than the other connector. You then pay $45 to install it.  The non-contacting connector, with all of the traditional causes of connector failure eliminated, lasts for 48 months with no maintenance.  When you look at your fruit bill over the four years, the traditional, less expensive connector has cost you $1,235 while the non-contacting one has cost you $345.  That’s a lot more fruit you could have purchased.

So, next time your purchasing team is looking to help you buy connectors, steer them down the aisle to true savings.  Go contactless, go Proxi-Point.

David Terkosky is VP of Business Development – Industrial Technologies

Wishing won’t make it so

September 19, 2012 / 1 Comments / 190 / Industrial Applications

Often times we find ourselves wishing that things were different.  We play the “what if” game. Unfortunately this isn’t limited to our personal lives, it also applies to the way we approach our jobs.

Often times, we know that we have a problem that just keeps occurring and we assume that it is just how it has to be.  It’s always been that way, smarter people than me have tried to change it, but it is still happening.  I find this to be true with engineers when it comes to electrical connectors.  Their local connector distributor comes in with the latest design that they guarantee will fix the problem.  They are skeptical, but try it.  When they first put it in it seems better, but at the worst possible time, the new connector fails just like the old one did.  Maybe it lasted two months longer, so a little improvement, but it just cements the thought that this problem just cannot be fixed. You hate being called to the plant in the middle of the night to fix it, but what else can you do?

PowerbyProxi has worked with companies to develop non-contacting connectors called the Proxi-Point.  The Proxi-Point can be sealed to IP 69 level, deliver power from watts to kilowatts, has no moving parts or frictional connection, allows for the direct replacement of current mechanical connectors while offering a high reliability, no maintenance solution.

I know, you’re saying, why try it, it will just end up like every other connector I have tried. Unlike the next generation contacting connector, a non-contacting connector truly eliminates the sources of connector failure.

Isn’t it time you show everyone that those other people really weren’t smarter than you?

David Terkosky is VP of Business Development – Industrial Technologies

Get disconnected for better connectivity

September 12, 2012 / 0 Comments / 149 / Industrial Applications

We live in a connected world.  You’ve surely heard about the theory of 3⁰s of separation.  New connection platforms arise every day, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Skype or mobile phones.  Our ability to reach beyond what we ever imagined 15 years ago is now accepted as a standard part of life, especially for the 30 and under crowd.  I am still amazed at the people I see in airports and restaurants that are connecting on these platforms almost continuously.  To be honest it wears me out.

So why has connectivity in industrial applications lagged behind? Oh, I’m not talking about communication; I am talking about power delivery.  The mechanical connector has served us well over the last century, but isn’t it time we pulled the plug.  Today’s highly automated manufacturing and industrial machinery offer significant capability that again was never envisioned 15 years ago, let alone 100 years ago.  To walk through an automobile assembly plant today, robots are picking, placing, welding, sealing, rotating, aligning, and finishing assembly processes that were at one time tedious human processes.  I’m not here to discuss or argue the positive or negative impact this has had on the cost of products or the middle class workforce; we will leave that to our politicians.

What I will say is that the continued use of traditional contacting mechanical connectors limits the continued advancement and utilization of these technologies. Has there been mechanical connector innovation and improvement over the past 100 years?  Absolutely.  Has there been enough?  Absolutely not.

Our next generation non-contacting, or wireless power Proxi-Point based connectors allow transmission through an air gap to eliminate the chances for corrosion or mechanical failure. It eliminates the limitations that mechanical contact demands, while offering new degrees of flexibility in design of automated equipment. The system is fully automatic, so as the transmitter and receiver are brought into close proximity the power is instantly flowing powering up all of the controls, sensors and actuators.  This allows for moving parts to maintain a high reliability connection or to have interchangeable parts or components to rapidly come online during a change out.   The system also integrates bi-directional data transfer through the same wireless connector.

We applaud the innovation that has occurred in the field of process and equipment automation, but isn’t it time you eliminated the next barrier to even greater gains and applications.  It’s time to get disconnected, to allow new levels of connectivity.

Join in the discussion below or contact us for more information.

David Terkosky is VP of Business Development – Industrial Technologies

The rotating machinery spin game – just a little bling

September 6, 2012 / 0 Comments / 138 / Industrial Applications

When you talk rotation in industrial equipment and machinery, the current solution proposed in most applications is a mechanical slip ring. However in the word mechanical you must read contacting, friction, heat, moisture susceptibility and maintenance.

If you’re a manufacturing person, this means downtime. If you read the websites of leading slip ring manufacturers, they want you to believe that the maintenance is gone, that the environmental factors don’t affect their system and they will run forever.

As you read further, you hear about the use of precious metals and new fiber components that eliminate the wear, corrosion and moisture effects on their systems. I will agree that these have helped improve their performance, but in no way eliminated the environmental issues – this is just their spin game. Ask any wind turbine operator and you will still hear of frequent slip ring problems that are driving way too much downtime.

You did notice the word PRECIOUS in their solution.

What is really precious is your maintenance dollars and your operating uptime. You’re only making money when the system is operating. Their new and improved technology is still old methods with the same issues, but in a shinier package. Please pardon my language, but you’ve probably heard the saying, “even if you gold plate a turd to make it look better, in the end all you still have is a turd”. I rest my case.

With PowerbyProxi’s Proxi-Ring, all of the environmental factors are truly neutralized. No contact, hermetically sealed up to IP68, rated for temperatures from -40 to 185⁰F. The system will transfer power and data over an air gap through any non-metallic material.

So, let’s save precious metals for jewelry and protect your precious operating uptime with a superior Proxi-Ring solution that keeps environmental conditions a subject for the local weather forecaster.

David Terkosky is VP of Business Development – Industrial Technologies

All wrapped up and no place to go

August 20, 2012 / 0 Comments / 135 / Industrial Applications

I’m not sure why the telephone seems to be a common factor in all my blogs. Maybe people’s need to communicate and be heard is the source of all problems, and all solutions. I think I’ll hold that thought for my next counseling session.

Today, the majority of residential telephones have gone cordless. What does that mean? It means that the cable between the telephone receiver and the handset has been eliminated. And oh how wonderful that is. As a teenager (and yes they had telephones back then, but the telephone number in the US was a letter and four digits, not the 7 digit one of today, but I digress), I remember wanting privacy to talk to some young lady or the other, so I put this very long coily cord on the phone to allow me to stretch the handset into my room so I could close the door. This cord was always a tangled mess, and with the continuous stretching it would, over time, fail. Now the battery powered cordless phone comes along and all of that mess is gone. Hallelujah! But this left the coily cord manufacturers looking their declining market straight in the eye and saying, “we need to find someone else to use our product or we’re out of business”.

Enter materials handling and other construction equipment where technology innovation was looking to put sensors and controllers on moving components like clamping attachments on forklifts or alignment sensors on road paving machines. The coily cord industry was saved. Now the telephone cord issue of my youth is the nightmare of industrial equipment manufacturers. Instead of a privacy issue, they have a productivity issue. One forklift attachment company has said “no more”. They contacted PowerbyProxi and we worked with them on the special application of our Proxi-Point system with both power and data transfer to eliminate the coily cord and this source of downtime and customer frustration.

In closing, I want to say I have nothing against coily cord manufacturers and in fact wish them great success in creating another market while we are fixing this one. Then we’ll meet them there. Ah, the circle of life.

Join in the discussion or contact us for more information.

David Terkosky is VP of Business Development – Industrial Technologies
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