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16 December, 2017

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YuMi cobot loses an arm to create a smaller version

15 December, 2017

ABB has unveiled a single-arm collaborative robot (cobot), based on its YuMi dual-arm cobot, which it launched in 2015. Like YuMi, the new robot has a 500g payload and is designed to be integrated into small-parts assembly lines to boost their productivity.


Sensors built into spindle bearings will reduce failures

13 December, 2017

Schaeffler has developed range of sensors for monitoring machine-tool spindles that are built into the spindle bearings. It says that the first-of-its-kind system will reduce spindle failures, while extending their lives.


Production transport system is ‘first’ to handle batches of one

08 December, 2017

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, ABB’s recently-acquired subsidiary, B&R Automation, unveiled an “intelligent” transport system designed to bring new levels of flexibility to the movement of production-line components at high speeds, using independently controlled shuttle carriages.


Servodrive system uses motors with built-in SiC devices

06 December, 2017

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, Beckhoff unveiled a distributed servodrive system based on compact motors with built-in high-efficiency silicon carbide (SiC) power electronics – the first of their type, according to the company.


Smaller, lighter drive is 'more cost-efficient than a servomotor'

24 November, 2017

The German drives specialist, Stöber has developed a compact, efficient electric drive that is much lighter and smaller than an asynchronous drive, yet has the same output as a more expensive servodrive. It describes the LeanMotor as a robust, cost-effective AC motor replacement for users seeking higher performance at a lower cost.


Cloud-based motor monitoring will help to avoid shutdowns

22 November, 2017

At next week’s SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, Siemens will be demonstrating a system for monitoring low-voltage motors by sending sensor data from them to the cloud where it is analysed and used to plan preventive maintenance.


AI software will allow anyone to teach robots complex tasks

21 November, 2017

A Californian start-up company has raised $7m in seed funding to develop AI (artificial intelligence) software that will make it easy for anyone to teach robots new, complex skills. Embodied Intelligence – a spin-out from University of California Berkeley – has been set up by a team with 30 combined years of experience in artificial intelligence, deep learning and robotics.


AI module sits in a controller, looking for application problems

16 November, 2017

Rockwell Automation has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) module that fits inside an industrial controller, “learns” the application that the controller is managing, and builds a model of it. It then monitors the operation continuously, looking for anomalies. If it spots a problem, it can trigger an alarm on an HMI screen or dashboard. Future versions will go beyond diagnostics to guide users on how to remedy the problem, or adjust system parameters automatically to fix the problem without human intervention.


Servo-inverter merges drive- and controller-based automation

14 November, 2017

The German automation and drives manufacturer Lenze is launching an industrial controller which, it claims, removes the boundaries between controller-based and drive-based automation. It says that users of its new i950 servo-inverter will no longer need to choose between a centralised automation topology, a decentralised one, or a combination of the two. And from the software engineering point-of-view, it will not matter whether a servo-inverter is integrated into a machine’s topology as a simple actuator, as a parameterisable axis, or as a freely programmable axis.


Mechatronics concept will ‘revolutionise’ industrial automation

03 November, 2017

Yaskawa Electric has made a rather cryptic announcement in Japan about a new “solution concept” aimed at achieving “a revolution in industrial automation”. It adds that it is about to offer solutions that will merge software with hardware, and will create new value for customers.


Start-up raises $12m for tech that turns robots into cobots

30 October, 2017

A US start-up that is developing technologies to convert traditional industrial robots into safe “collaborative” systems, has attracted $12m of funding from backers including GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Next47, a venture capital firm created by Siemens.


1 in 4 wireless IIoT connections will use LPWA by 2025

25 October, 2017

Low-power, wide-area (LPWA) communications technologies will account for about a quarter of wireless IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) connections by 2025, according to a new forecast from the IoT analyst, ON Power. It predicts that the number of LPWA devices being used for industrial wireless sensing, tracking and control applications will climb from around 35 million in 2016, to close to half a billion by 2025.


Alternative to inverter filters cuts losses, weight and size

23 October, 2017

A pair of US researchers have developed an alternative to passive filters for inverters which, they say, will cut losses, as well as saving costs, space and weight.


Is your lubricant running low? Just add water

19 October, 2017

The German lubrication specialist, Klüber Lubrication, has developed a water-based lubricant which, it predicts, could revolutionise the future of specialty lubricants. Its Hydro Lubricant technology could transform the maintenance of industrial gearboxes to simply topping them up with water. The fluids, in which water forms a homogeneous solution with water-soluble oils, could also eliminate contamination problems, and make plants safer and cleaner.


Automated lubrication could extend guide lives

18 October, 2017

Schaeffler has demonstrated a system which determines when linear recirculating roller bearing and guideway assemblies need lubrication, and relubricates them automatically, thus extending their lives and minimising the risk of failure.


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