Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Announcing TS17: FPE Automation's Technology Showcase. Save the Date!

FPE Automation Presents TS17

Our biggest event of the year! It's #FPETS17


All happening on one day only: Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Save the date!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

FPE Automation/Panasonic Promo 2017: Light Curtains, Measurement Sensors, Area Sensors, Ionizeers

FPE Automation and Panasonic have teamed up to offer you special pricing on select items!

Get the new 6-page brochure!  It's full of great savings, but it's exclusively for FPE Automation customers only. Just fill out the contact form below, and we'll get you a copy.

Your Name + Company Name:

Your Email: *

Message: *

Worthwhile solutions become even more so when you can get them at an exceptional price! 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Piab Adds New Friction Cups

Small, oval and extremely nimble friction cups have been added to Piab’s line-up.

Piab is introducing a number of new cups in a variety of shapes, sizes and configurations, all with the exceptional durability and elastic memory that are the hallmarks of Piab’s friction cups.
Available in four different sizes, the new BXF family features a total of 36 cups. The cups have additional bellows and offer an improved level compensation performance. As a result, they're easy to program for de-stacking applications where the rack positions of sheets or other objects might vary slightly.

Bellows with extra flexibility make the BXF friction cups very forgiving when they pick objects, allowing for the variations often seen in auto-racking applications. The flexible and nimble cups eliminate the need for expensive and cumbersome spring brackets/plungers to be fitted on ejectors or robot end-of-arm tools, resulting in simpler and less expensive installations.

Small oval shaped friction cups are the star performers of two other new families introduced by Piab. Featuring either one bellow or no bellow, the OBF/OCF families’ smallest members measure only 15 x 35 mm and are available in a high and a low configuration. Also available with the dimensions 15 x 65 mm, the cups are specifically designed to enable a safe and secure grip on very small surfaces. That allows the cups to lift and handle objects by their edges where the cups’ unusual shapes maximize the suction area.

The OCF family’s flat, bellowless cups offer less inner movement for applications that require optimal stability. The OBF/OCF families each include 36 new friction cups.

Piab is also increasing the number of available fittings and threads for its line of friction cups. The introduction of new dimensions, including a 3/4 inch thread, enables Piab to meet 99% of all customer requirements.  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Happy 60th Anniversary to PHD!

FPE Automation would like to congratulate PHD Inc. on 60 years of making top quality products that are making a difference in countless sectors in American manufacturing. You might not realize it, but at some stage in the game, PHD touches a lot of what you buy. Happy Anniversary, PHD!

PHD hosted a 60th Diamond Anniversary & Distributor Sales Meeting in June. It included baseball, a realistic game show and a lot of other fun & celebratory events. Among them, some special recognition for FPE Automation that we'd like to share with you.

Above, just a handful of people were invited to participate in Star Breakout Sessions. Among them are our very own Art Gesell and Steve Kocmond. We're very proud of the fact that we had not just one but two stars!

Here's Art (left) sharing his testimonial with the crowd. Way to go! 

On a completely different note, FPE's Dale Miller is in the PHD 10K Club for June twice! Art Gesell, Andy Button and Joe Judge also won the honor for the month.Congratulations, gentlemen!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

FPE Automation Wins Bimba Top Partner Performance Award

Yesterday, FPE Automation's Joey Bardos (left, Director of Sales) and Dave Bardos (right, President) accepted the Top Partner Performance award at the 2017 Bimba Distributor Meeting.

FPE Automation would like to sincerely thank Bimba for this honor.

We also realize, behind each award is a dedicated staff collaborating on a daily basis with our valued customers to get the right products to them, at the right time. We would like to thank our team for their efforts in making this achievement a reality.  There are no shortcuts. Success like this can only be accomplished through dedication to our customers and their individual needs. 

For more than 50 years, FPE Automation has been committed to delivering solutions. We're proud of that, and we look forward to the successful partnerships that lie ahead.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Piab Application Videos: piCOMPACT 23, Suction Cups and Kenos Grippers

Piab vacuum products designed for robotic integrators

piCOMPACT 23 - innovative vacuum generators with fully integrated controls for smart manufacturing.
Piab suction cups for direct food contact.
Kenos grippers for palletizing and depalletizing.

Piab's line of vacuum products can easily be used on all robotic systems to meet your requirements for efficiency, productivity and quality.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

FPE Automation Wins an Unprecedented Four Mac Distributor of the Month Awards in June 2017

We're celebrating a real milestone here at FPE Automation today! 

Every time FPE Automation wins even one MAC DOM award, it means we architected a game-changing solution for one of our valued clients that was significantly more efficient, more cost-effective, and often both! 

Four awards and a sweep for the month: two singular, never-before-in-history achievements. 

We would like to thank our team for their efforts (names included in the video), and of course  MAC Valves, whose superior products allow us to approach our clients with a concept that really does make a difference.

We're exceptionally proud. We put together this playful mini movie to explain it in a little more detail!


Monday, June 26, 2017

PHD Series EGRR Electric High Capacity Parallel Gripper

PHD is pleased to announce the release of the new Series EGRR high capacity ELECTRIC gripper. 

Built on the field-proven Series GRR chassis, the electric version offers many of the same benefits as the pneumatic. Plus, you receive the design flexibility of Your Motor, Your Way features. The EGRR provides high grip force, long jaw travels, and high jaw loads. This heavy duty end effector’s rugged design and jaw construction can withstand high impact and shock loads. Series EGRR Grippers are designed for gripping large objects in demanding industrial applications.

Download/view the EGRR catalog (PDF format).

Major benefits.
  • Servomotor provides acceleration, velocity, and position control and feedback. 
  • Compact design provides high grip force, large moment capacities, long jaw travel, and low overall weight for applications with limited space. 
  • Rugged construction withstands high impact and shock loads in demanding industrial environments.
  • Three large diameter jaw guides spanning the length of the gripper provide stable jaw travel, long allowable tooling length, and high moment capacities. 
  • Robust rack and pinion jaw drive provides repeatable jaw positioning. 
  • Your Motor, Your Way allows motor and controls flexibility at no additional cost. 
  • Optional PHD-supplied Kollmorgen® motor matches performance of popular pneumatic Series GRR Guardian® Gripper. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

MAC Valves Fluid Valve Technology - Micro Dosing

The Liquid Bullet Valve® is the latest design innovation from MAC Valves.
With fast response times, reliable shifting forces and repeatable results – due to its patented balanced design - the MAC LBV is ideal for applications that demand reliable, low-leak performance. The LBV performs with both gas and liquid*, and is engineered to perform at the highest level throughout its life. The MAC LBV employs D-Flex™ technology to provide an exceptionally tight seal; preventing leakage and saving you product and money.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

How to Use Collaborative Robots

Collaborative robots are more user-friendly than you might think!

If you always thought robotic automation was beyond your reach, it may be time to look again. 

Universal Robots...

  • Fit into any size production environment
  • Work safely side by side with people
  • Give you a competitive edge, along with a surprisingly low cost of ownership
  • Are easy and intuitive to program, and the FPE Automation team of experts is here to help
  • Are portable, lightweight and compact in their design

Simple, flexible and affordable, for a wide variety of applications.

Here's where collaborative robots are already being used.

  • Pick & place
  • Molding
  • Machine tending
  • Dispensing
  • CNC
  • Assembly
  • Quality inspection
  • Case packaging and palletizing
  • Fastener insertion
  • And more!

Here's how FPE Automation can make it easy.

When you're ready to automate, selecting the right partner, with full service support, is crucial. We have a  friendly team of some of the industry's top experts to assist you. We offer:

  • Application evaluation
  • Proof of concept valiation
  • Light integration
  • Pre-configured robotic hardware solutions
  • Custom end-of-arm tooling solutions
  • Support
  • Training

It could be the best conversation you've ever had about improving your  manufacturing processes.

You've probably already heard. Collaborative robots are making that much of an impact. Let's talk! We will bring our demo robot to you for a fascinating look at the future of manufacturing.


How to Measure Light the Right Way for Vision Systems

Smart Vision Lights' head of engineering, Matt Pinter, discusses luminance, inverse square relationships as they relate to different light configurations, and some of the more technical factors you need to consider when choosing an LED light for a machine vision system.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bimba Announces Blue and Improved Flat-1 Launch

Announcing the release of Bimba's new "Blue and Improved" Flat-1®. Years of research and development was put into how to best improve their core product in the compact cylinder space. 

Bimba will begin shipping shelving models of the new design this week. The Blue and Improved Flat-1® features 19 new product enhancements, such as permanent grease lubrication, an improved bumper design and hard chrome-plated piston rods with an option for stainless steel.

View the catalog.

View the official press release,
issued May 9, 2017 by Bimba

Win a trip to Vegas
with Flat Charlie!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

the world’s most flexible vision system: introduced

A one-day hands-on seminar you won’t want to miss.

Cognex in-sight Gen2/Profiler event

attendees will receive An in-sight gII lab kit ($13,215 Value)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

10:00 am - 2:00 pm

FPE Automation Training Center
110 Gordon Street
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

$4500 registration fee includes training, one Cognex lab kit per company, and lunch. Up to three people from your company can attend at no extra charge.



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

PHD Releases Optimax Series ORQ Compact Rotary Tables

In a continuing effort to expand the Optimax® product line, PHD is pleased to release the new drop-in replacement compact rotary table.

Series ORQ Compact Rotary Table is a double rack and pinion system with increased output torque that eliminates backlash at the end of rotation. 

•   Available in 6 sizes
•   Standard adjustment screws with integral shock pads
•  Standard thru mounting holes in body are threaded to provide versatility and ease of mounting (direct replacement for SMC Series MSQ)
•  Double rack and pinion drive system increases output torque and eliminates backlash at end of rotation
•  Hollow pinion allows pass thru from back of unit to output hub
• Drop-in replacement for other manufacturers

Download/view the PHD Optimax Series ORQ Compact Rotary Table brochure.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Piab Cups on 60 Minutes

PiGRIP is in the news! 

Here are a couple of images from a segment on 60 Minutes that originally aired on Sunday, April 9, 2017. It featured Chobani yogurt at various stages during the manufacturing process. In a couple of scenes, Piab cups were very prominently featured. 

FPE Automation is one of Piab's premier distributors. It's an award-winning partnership that has lasted for decades.  We're very proud of their success.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

FPE Automation MAC Valves Commonly Ordered Products Catalog

Introducing the all-new MAC Valves Commonly Ordered Products Catalog

I (Sandia) worked with a team of experts* here at FPE Automation to develop a brand new, updated catalog. We've made it even easier to spec and order MAC Valves and several other related products. Check it out!

Download/view the FPE Automation MAC Valves Commonly Ordered Products Catalog. 

*Sometimes, It takes a team effort! This 45+ page catalog has been a work in progress for some time now and we're thrilled to launch this latest edition. I'd like to thank Scott Massie, Joey Bardos and Ed Nowak, along with very helpful assists from Dave Bardos, Dan McCullough and Darryl Onak. 


Thursday, March 16, 2017

FPE Automation Live with Universal Robots at a Local St. Louis School

FPE Automation's Samir Shaikh and Jason Vilmer are helping out a local St. Louis school today, doing a live spot on robotics with Universal Robots A/S collaborative robots.

Whether their purpose is to win a skills contest, vacuum the floor, perform surgery, or deliver a package, robots today are much more versatile than their scary counterparts from 1930’s science fiction films. How are robots designed and built to succeed at so many diverse tasks? What does it take to program a robot? And what is the future of robots, what will they be able to do tomorrow that they can’t do today? Explore these questions and more as we investigate The Science Behind Robots on March 16, 2017. To obtain more details about the program including related curriculum standards, program objectives and agenda, pre and post program learning activities, and additional video and web resources related to the program, click on Educational Material. This program is targeted to students in grades 6-9.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


The way the world manufactures is currently undergoing a revolution. While it's true that robots will replace humans in some capacities, the trend of technology enabling corporations to employ less people has been around since the industrial revolution. We've all known it was coming since the Jetsons had a robot housekeeper!

What's new, is that advances in automation will allow the USA to keep manufacturing jobs here, on American soil. Automation allows companies to be more competitive, which benefits the worker by decreasing our dependence on offshore laborers.

FPE Automation is at the front lines of that revolution. We're your partner for automation controls, vision systems, collaborative robots and much more. We are also very active in our market (the state of Illinois, Quad Cities, Iowa region and greater St. Louis and surrounding counties) in providing our valued clients with the training and preparedness they need to embrace these new technologies.

The automation revolution has arrived. Are you in? 

Cognex's Andrew Wassef shows of an FPE automation revolution t-shirt in from of the autommation revolution banner.
Cognex's Andrew Wassef shows off an
automation revolution t-shirt at FPE
Automation's Elk Grove Village, Illinois
office, while standing in front of the
coordinating banner. Cognex manufacturers
sophisticated vision systems that are already
in use in manufacturing plants across the

country and around the world. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Replace Your Hydraulic Cylinders for Increased Performance

Tolomatic's RSX extreme force electric actuators replace hydraulic cylinders.
Eliminate the risk of hydraulic fluid leaks while improving position control, accuracy and repeatability.

Tolomatic's RSX096 actuator, the first release of the RSX product family, is capable of thrusts up to 133.45 kn (30,000 lbf) and is an ideal choice for replacing hydraulic cylinders.
  • Designed & tested for 100% duty cycle
  • Roller screw ensures long, consistent life
  • Compatible with servo motors and gearboxes up to 215 mm frame size
  • IP67 rated for challenging environments
  • Designed and rated for extreme conditions including cold-weather operation.
Have an application that you would like to discuss? Let us know.

RSX Extreme Force Hydraulic Class Electric Actuator

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

PHD Releases New Universal Nozzle Cylinder

Series BCZUD Universal Heat Set Nozzle Cylinder – Available Now!

NEW! From PHD:
PHD is pleased to release the Series BCZUD Universal Nozzle Cylinder for the plastic bottle blowing industry. 

The new Series BCZUD (heat set) Cylinder complements the BCZUS (cold set) Cylinder, and expands our proven series of Sidel® solutions. 

Series BCZUD Universal Nozzle Cylinders are direct replacements for Sidel Universal Heat Set Machines. 

These cylinders mount in the same space with matching bolt patterns, provide significantly longer service life, and reduce maintenance and downtime in stretch blow molding applications. Units are field repairable and feature improved geometry over OEM units to reduce component fatigue. 

Series BCZUD Benefits: 
  • Designed to operate for 20 million cycles 
  • Drop-in replacement for OEM 
  • FDA-approved materials used throughout 
  • Lube-free in both high pressure and low pressure sections • Optional internal detent to keep unit in retract position with loss of air pressure and during service reducing chance of damaged transfer arms 
  • Composite, high wear resistant, rod scraper 
  • Tooling kit available for in-field rebuild  

Need more info/pricing? Contact FPE Automation.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Eliminate Static with Panasonic Ionizers


Electrostatic charges disturb smooth operation.Fortunately, Panasonic offers a variety of ionizers to eliminate static. 

ER-X ionizer

  • For wide area applications
  • Charge removal also without compressed air
  • Automatic mode
  • Available in four different lengths

ER-F ionizer

  • Low-volume fan type or standard type ionizer
  • Easy maintenance of the discharge needle
  • Each main body includes long distance and wide area louvers

ER-Q ionizer

  • Very compact size for limited space installations
  • Volume adjuster to change fan blowing
  • LED display the maintenance of the ionizer

ER-TF ionizer

  • Safe design
  • Flexible setup: overhead, desktop, in front
  • Blowing direction can be adjusted easily
  • Air flow can be set to 4 different speeds

EC-G02 ionizer

  • Charge removal time of 0.5s
  • Light-weight, ergonomic design for operator comfort
  • High emission pressure (range 0.5 - 5bar), maximizing cleaning speed

ER-V ionizer  (PDF)

  • Ultracompact
  • No controller needed
  • Nozzle variations are selectable for different applications

ERVW ionizer  (PDF)

  • Charge removal layout freely selectable
  • Easy side-by-side connection for wide areas
  • Excellent ion balance due to high frequency

EF-S1 - electrostatic sensor  (PDF)

  • Easy data management using analog output
  • Easy-to-read 2-color dual display
  • Lightweight and compact for easy setup in any location

More information