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in brief

01 January, 2007

In Brief

• The power semiconductor specialist Semikron claims that soft-starts could shrink to a sixth of their current size by using a new range of thyristor modules which exhibit less than half of the thermal contact resistance of previous modules. The Semistart modules are available in various sizes, the largest of which can handle 3kA overloads for up to 20s. Maximum blocking voltages are 1.8kV.

• The Ethernet PowerLink Standardisation Group has announced a version of EPL that operates ten times faster than before. Gigabit Powerlink does not need new Ethernet chips — upgrading to the faster performance requires minor hardware modifications and a better cable.

• Mitsubishi`s Semiconductor Division has developed a fifth generation of IGBT modules for applications such as inverters and servo drives. The 1.7kV-rated A-series modules offer improved thermal performance for 757V and 690V applications with rated currents from 75-400A.

• Rockwell Automation has signed an agreement with OSIsoft to use its technology in Rockwell`s FactoryTalk production and performance suite. OSIsoft`s PI system and related components collect detailed control system data and provide sophisticated analysis and reporting functions.

• The OMAC Packaging Workgroup committee has approved version 3 of the PackML packaging machinery language guidelines designed to make it easier to integrate packaging lines and to cut engineering costs. Version 3 can handle manual and semi-automatic operations as well as the previous automatic modes.

• After less than a year of development, Profibus International has completed its TCI (tool calling interface) specification. TCI allows dynamic parameters to be loaded to Profibus and Profinet devices without having to exit an automation engineering tool. It should make it easier and quicker for users to configure their systems.

• International Rectifier has introduced a sensorless platform for controlling permanent magnet synchronous motors in variable-speed pump applications up to 300W. IR claims that the platform — which includes a controller, intelligent power modules, and software — will result in quieter, more efficient operation with smoother start-ups.

• Emerson Process Management has formed an alliance with the US rotating machinery expert, RoMaDyn, to offer an enhanced vibration monitoring service to protect rotating machines. The two companies have also created a new training course on machinery diagnostics.

• Omron has developed a family of touch sensor chips designed to be integrated easily with any capacitive touch interface. The B6TS chips incorporate self-teaching, auto-thresholds, and intelligent filtering to simplify system design and to improve performance. They compensate continuously for long-term drift.

• Adept Technology has launched a vision guidance system for its robots that integrates an objection location tool for parts recognition, with other inspection and recognition tools. By allowing parts recognition and inspection tasks to be performed in conjunction with robot guidance, the PC-based AdeptSight Guidance tool is said to cut materials-handling and assembly costs and to boost performance.




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