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In Brief

01 April, 2006

In Brief

The US company Raser Technologies has developed an integrated starter-alternator (ISA) designed to replace the separate starter motors and alternators used in current vehicles. The 30kg ISA, based on Raser`s Symetron AC motor technology, produces 48kW of peak power and 230Nm of torque, with a peak efficiency of 94%. The 107mm-long machine also produces 20kW as a generator. It is designed be used both in conventional vehicles and in hybrid electric models.

The member companies of the SafetyBus p Club International have decided to rename the organisation Safety Network International. The step will allow the organisation to cover the new Ethernet-based SafetyNet P system, as well as the original SafetyBus p technology.

• HMS Industrial Networks is collaborating with Siemens to develop a range of communications modules with embedded interfaces for Profinet with IRT (integrated real-time) functions. The interfaces, based on Siemens IRT chips, will have integrated two-port switches. They will complement HMS` Anybus family of communications modules which already support 18 different fieldbuses and five different industrial Ethernet technologies.

The power module specialist Semikron has teamed up with the power semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics to develop integrated power modules for the industrial, automotive and consumer markets. The collaboration will create new opportunities for power devices, including ST`s ESBT technology which combines bipolar and Mosfet structures to offer HV operation at high frequencies. Potential applications include drives and power supplies.

• 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.

• Performance Motion Devices has announced a range of motion control chips with machine monitoring capabilities for recording and reacting to performance and safety-related conditions. The programmable Magellan chips are designed for controlling DC brushed and brushless, microstepping and stepper motors. Users can define and initiate actions such as smooth or abrupt stops.

• Baumüller has developed a software package for dimensioning installations of up to six of its drive systems, consisting of motors and converters. The sizemaXX software can be downloaded form the company`s Web site (www.baumueller.de), which also offers an interactive tour of its drive technology.

• Allegro MicroSystems Europe is offering a range of unipolar, two-phase stepper motor driver chips that it says will simplify the design of peripheral circuitry and save space. The SLA7070M chips have built-in current-sensing resistors as well as short- and open circuit protection. They cover output currents from 1-3A.

• Siemens has joined the highest level of the ZigBee Alliance, the organisation promoting a global, open standard for wireless control of devices for use in industrial, domestic and commercial environments. Siemens has joined the Alliance`s board which also includes representatives from Honeywell, Mitsubishi, Motorola, Philips and Texas Instruments. It plans to implement ZigBee technology in sensors for manufacturing and process automation, alongside its Profibus and Profinet products.

The ISA is developing a wireless communications standard for industrial automation. The ISA-SP100 committee, which includes representatives of suppliers and end-users, also intends to issue technical reports, recommended practices and other information that will define procedures for implementing wireless systems in the automation and control environment.

• 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.




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