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19 August, 2017

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Database covers more than 80% of all IO-Link devices

10 August, 2017

A recently-launched database containing technical descriptions of IO-Link devices is claimed to cover more than 80% of all known IO-Link devices. The IODDfinder service, launched by the IO-Link community earlier this year, is being supported by more than 30 manufacturers of IO-Link devices who, between them, have stored about 1,900 IODDs (IO-Link Device Descriptions), which can be used to parameterise more than 3,900 different IO-Link devices.


Technique cuts linear stage thermal errors by up to 90%

31 July, 2017

Aeorotech has come up with a software-driven technique that, it claims, can eliminate up to 90% of the thermal errors that can affect the accuracy of precision linear positioning stages. It can be applied to both linear motor and ballscrew-driven linear stages, and operates regardless of the range of temperature change.


Bluetooth adds a mesh networking capability

31 July, 2017

The Bluetooth wireless communication system now supports mesh networking, allowing “many-to-many” device communications. The new version, announced by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), is optimised for creating large-scale networks of devices such as sensors, where tens, hundreds, or thousands of devices need to communicate with each other reliably and securely.


PLCopen releases safe motion specification to plug a gap

27 July, 2017

PLCopen has released version 1.0 of its PLCopen Safe Motion specification which fills a gap in specifications released earlier by PLCopen’s motion and safety activities, which only partially described the safety aspects involving motion.


Multibeam antenna boosts RFID accuracy and reliability

24 July, 2017

German researchers have developed a multibeam antenna for RFID (radio frequency identification) systems which, they claim, provides high levels of accuracy when capturing data from transponders, as well as improving reliability, especially in challenging environments. The antenna, which is compatible with all common RFID readers, is about to start pilot trials.


First servomotor with built-in GaN amp ‘is half the size’

20 July, 2017

Yaskawa Electric says it has developed the world’s first servomotor with a built-in amplifier equipped with gallium arsenide (GaN) power semiconductors. It claims that the motor and amplifier are half the size of the amplifier portion of a conventional servopack, and will lead to smaller and more efficient servodrive systems.


Sensorless motor control system solves problems with others

19 July, 2017

A German start-up company is marketing a sensorless technology for determining the position of rotors in electric motors that, it claims, overcomes problems with other sensorless control technologies, such as reduced bandwidths, high noise levels, and difficulties transitioning between high and low speeds. The company, Bitflux, says that these drawbacks have limited sensorless control applications, and made them expensive to develop.


Camera captures 3D snapshots without an object having to move

14 July, 2017

The German sensor specialist Sick has announced an industrial camera that captures high-resolution 3D images of stationary or moving objects with a single “snapshot”. Unlike systems based on laser triangulation, the Visionary-T camera captures 3D images using a single shot of light, without needing to profile a moving object.


Nine-seater electric aircraft will have a range of 965km

29 June, 2017

At the recent Paris Air Show, an Israeli aircraft developer unveiled a prototype of an all-electric aircraft that could carry nine passengers and two crew a distance of up to 965km (600 miles) at speeds of up to 445 km/h (240 knots). Eviation Aircraft hopes to start trial flights of its Alice Commuter plane in late 2018 and to put it on sale in 2021.


Planetary motor-gearbox could raise power density by 50%

27 June, 2017

Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) have developed a novel motor with an integrated gearbox. Instead of a single rotor, four mechanically linked rotors are used, creating what the developers call a “planetary motor”. They say that it offers high efficiency, a power density up to 50% higher than that of a conventional motor of a similar size, ease of use, and failsafe operation, at a relatively low cost. The motor made its global debut at the Hannover Fair earlier this year.


Berlin will get world’s first rope-less, direct-drive elevators

22 June, 2017

The world’s first rope-less, direct-drive elevator system, using cabins that can move sideways, as well as up and down, is to be installed in a project in Berlin, Germany, described as “the world’s most sustainable office building”. The first functional version of the Multi system, developed by ThyssenKrupp Elevator, is being tested in a 246m-tall tower which the company has just inaugurated in Rotweil, Germany.


Anti-sloshing tech moves liquids faster without spills

16 June, 2017

B&R Automation has announced a technology that, it says, will allow liquids to be moved quickly on production and packaging lines without any spillages. It claims that its Super-Trak linear transport system is the only one on the market to offer an anti-sloshing technology.


Tinder inspires automation diagnostics app

16 June, 2017

At the recent Hannover Fair, Rockwell Automation was demonstrating a variety of automation concepts that make use of consumer technologies such as virtual reality headsets, social media apps and interactive “bots”.


Software tool sends sensor data direct to higher-level apps

15 June, 2017

The sensor manufacturer ifm has developed a software tool that transmits data from IO-Link-equipped sensors directly to high-level systems, such as SAP, for applications including predictive maintenance and energy management. Ifm argues that argues that around 90% of the sensor data required for such applications is not needed for control tasks and is not available from shopfloor PLCs.


Kit ensures that human-robot interactions are safe

15 June, 2017

Pilz has come up with a package for measuring forces and pressures in accordance with ISO/TS 15066 to ensure the safety of human-robot collaborations (HRCs).


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