Friday, 20 April 2018
In 1993, Daifuku developed the world's first monorail system that utilized a non-contact power supply*, which has garnered attention as the next-generation transport system to create a clean environment. The system supplies electric power to moving objects without coming into contact with them. The first system was delivered to the Iwate Plant of Kanto Auto Works, Ltd. in 1993 (photo). Since then, Daifuku's non-contact power supply transport systems have been expanding from the automobile industry to other industries, including semiconductors, food, and pharmaceuticals.
The noncontact power supply system was named HID, an acronym from High Efficiency Inductive Power Distribution Technology.
A Brief History of DevelopmentThe elementary technology of HID was invented in 1990 by a group of researchers at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, led by Professor John Boys. Daifuku conducted research and development jointly with the university and successfully put HID technology into practical use. Our HID technology solved drawbacks of the conventional contact power supply technology using trolley lines and collectors, including collector wear, wear debris, and sparks generated by line separation. Daifuku signed a technical license agreement with the University of Auckland and has the exclusive rights to the use and sale of HID in the material handling market. At present, the HID technology is patented in many countries.
Configuration and the Roles of Components of HID systemThe HID system consists of the following four components.
HID Power Supply PanelThe power supply panel converts the commercial power supply to a frequency suited to noncontact power supply and feeds electric power to the induction cable.
Induction CableThe induction cable is a special electric line installed along the rail of a moving object. A magnetic field is generated around the cable in order to efficiently transmit electric power to a moving object.
Pickup CoilThe pickup coil is installed on the side of the moving object opposite the induction cable and receives electric power from the magnetic field around the induction cable.
Power Receiving UnitThe power receiving stabilizes electric power that the pickup coil receives and feeds quality electric power to inverters and servo drivers.
Features and Patents of the HID System
FeaturesThe features of the HID system are that the induction cable and the pickup coil are non-contact and that the induction cable is covered by insulating material. It has the following benefits.
(1) High reliability and durabilityCollectors for non-contact power supply require a refined 3D mechanism in order to achieve stable contact. The HID has a simple structure and its noncontact configuration allows stable electric power supply for an extended period of time.
(2) Maintenance-freeConventional collectors may be increasingly worn out depending on the surrounding environment. Since the HID is non-contact, its collectors and trolley lines never become worn, and thus significantly reducing maintenance costs.
(3) Applicable to clean environmentsThe system never generates dust that contact collectors often produce. It is therefore indispensable for environments where no dust is allowed, such as clean rooms.
(4) Applicable to environments where oil mist and/or water vapor occursContact power supply may not always be used in places where dust, oil mist, and/or water vapor occur. HID systems can be used in such places without problems.
(5) Safe power supply systemThe power supply cable is entirely insulated and has no exposed parts, so there is no risk of electric shock. Electric power is supplied to the moving object by electromagnetic coupling and electric sparks will not be generated, making this is a very safe power supply system.
PatentsThe idea for non-contact power supply can be found in a USA patent granted some 100 years ago. This technology is based on the accumulated knowledge of forerunners, including the law of electromagnetic induction. On the other hand, the development of simulation technology, the invention of elements which can be used in high frequency ranges, and advanced circuit technology were necessary to refine a non-contact power supply system to a practical level.Since the tie-up with the University of Auckland, Daifuku has applied for tens of patents in major countries. The following are the core patents.
(1) Patent relating to the form of pickup coils and the configuration around induction cablesWith the assumption that moving objects will travel in three dimensions, simulation was performed to determine the support of induction cables and the optimum form of pickup coils. As a result, the present E-shape core has been employed (Figure). This patent relates to the configuration that provides a good balance between power receiving efficiency and facility costs and is most suited to moving objects.
(2) Patent relating to power receiving unitsThe power receiving unit must supply stable power to control devices, such as inverters and sequencers, when the number of moving objects is changed or when electric power is changed at the moment of motor startup or the occurrence of regeneration. This patent relates to how efficiently and simply several kilowatt electric power can be controlled.
ConclusionThe HID system is widely used not only in the automobile, semiconductor, and flat panel display industries, but also in the optical fiber, food, and food container industries. In short, what many users want from their facilities is high availability. Specifically, this means that maintenance is unnecessary or minimal, only a short time is needed to change the facility's layout, errors and breakdowns do not occur, and recovery from problems is very quick. In addition, the mitigation of effects on the global environment and the provision of comfortable environments to human workers are significant concerns. We believe that our HID system will be broadly used in many industries as an important support technology to meet these requirements.
Wednesday, 18 April 2018
Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Monday, 16 April 2018
While hiring through references, we get TWO kinds of people –
Category #1 – X has worked with Y. X vouch for the knowledge, work commitment, trustworthiness and professionalism of Y. When X makes a career move, he refers Y to his new employers, as and when there arises a suitable opportunity OR X refers Y to his contacts when his employers start the process of restructuring or downsizing, which might result in job loss for Y.
Category #2 – X has NOT worked with Y. He has no idea about the knowledge, skills or work-ethics of Y. Y is either a distant relative of X OR Y has been referred to X by Z. X and Z are relatives/friends. None of them has worked with Y. They want to help Y, who is unable to find a job on his own. They want to do it to impress or to return a favor or to be in the good books of their distant relative or friend.
While Category #1 is highly recommended (it saves on recruitment cost and ensures employee engagement as well as retention); hiring by Category #2 is highly risky – uncertain and unstable.
I have done hiring through both kinds of references and let me share with you, hiring Category #2 kind of people is detrimental. It is being said that if you get a job and you don’t have the skills to do the job, take the job and then learn the skill. However, in most of the cases, I have seen, these employees neither have the skills nor have any inclination to learn. Most often they behave like
Let me share one incident. Once there was a candidate being referred by our CFO. I was informed that one of his uncles had helped the organization in recovering over several million INR of sales tax from government authorities and hence was instructed to hire him. “But the candidate has very poor communication skills, cannot operate on MS Office and has very weak subject knowledge”, I told the CFO. “I will hire in my team and coach to develop the necessary capabilities”, the CFO said with confidence. We hired the candidate. FIVE months later, the CFO realized that the new employee could not be trained. He was unwilling to learn. Many managers in the team tried to coach him, but he was just not willing to learn. He was also told that if he won’t learn and do the required work, he would get terminated. The threat didn’t help. In fact, he was overheard, going around and telling others in the company that no one dared fire him because he had been referred by XYZ and he was related to our CFO. Two weeks later, we fired that employee before he could complete his probation period of SIX months.
I believe that had he focussed on his learnings and developing skills, he could have stayed and grown in the company. What are your thoughts?
Hiring through references of employees has always been seen as a great way to ensure employee retention and increase productivity at workplace. However, do not dilute your hiring processes to fit in a candidate referred by your senior, no matter how senior he has been.
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