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27 March, 2017

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System senses expansion inside machine tool spindles

23 February, 2015

The German sensor manufacturer Micro-Epsilon has developed a displacement measurement system for that is small enough to fit inside the spindle of high-speed milling and grinding machines to measure thermal and centrifugal force extension of the spindle. These measurements can be output to a CNC system as correctional values, allowing the machine to compensate for any spindle positioning errors.


Novel barcode technology boosts 2D read rates

11 February, 2015

Cognex has developed a technology for reading 2D matrix and DPM (direct part mark) barcodes even when they do not have visible perimeters. The texture-based PowerGrid location algorithm takes “a unique, inside-out approach” to reading codes, and is claimed to increase read rates “dramatically” in applications where a part’s geometry, poor lighting or print-registration errors make it difficult to capture an image of the entire code.


Drive module ‘overcomes problems’ for commercial EVs

11 February, 2015

German researchers have developed an electric axle module for commercial vehicles that integrates a high-speed motor, gearbox and power electronics, and is claimed to be smaller, lighter and more cost-effective than most alternative technologies.


EV motor bearing has built-in incremental encoder

29 January, 2015

SKF has developed a bearing with a built-in encoder designed to provide smooth, accurate motor control for the next generation of electric and hybrid motor vehicles, including starter-alternators for stop-and-start duties.


Toyota starts road trials of EVs with silicon carbide devices

29 January, 2015

Toyota is starting to road-test two electric vehicles in Japan that are using silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors in their motor controls and voltage converters. It says that SiC devices could lead to significant efficiency improvements in hybrids and other vehicles with electric powertrains.


Motor 'delivers rare-earth performance without rare-earths'

21 January, 2015

The US motor manufacturer UQM Technologies has been granted a US patent for an electric and hybrid electric vehicle motor design that uses non-rare earth magnets and is claimed to deliver a similar performance to motors that use rare-earth magnets. The patent covers a “unique” rotor design and magnet geometry that enables the use of non-rare earth magnets and avoids the demagnetisation issues that would occur with these magnets if used in conventional motors. It also covers a motor manufacturing method.


New track shapes open up production line options

06 January, 2015

By adding new track shapes to its linear-motor-based XTS (eXtended Transport System), Beckhoff says it has opened up many new potential applications for transporting items on production lines. For example, the new sections, with radii of 22.5 degrees, can be used in combination with the existing straight and curved modules, to create tracks in the form of circles, squares with rounded corners, or S shapes.


Sensorless control for stepper motors is ‘world's first’

05 January, 2015

The German motors and drives manufacturer Nanotec, claims to have developed the first sensorless control for stepper motors. It uses a “virtual encoder” to determine the speed of the rotor, allowing the stepper motor to be operated as a servomotor, with no lost steps, no resonance and no risk of overheating.


Effects combine to ‘redefine’ magnetic encoders

23 December, 2014

Pepperl+Fuchs has developed a new type of magnetic rotary encoder that, it says, “redefines the boundaries of magnetic encoder technology”. The ENA58IL absolute encoder, designed for use in tough conditions, is claimed to achieve accuracies better than 0.1 degrees, and single- or multi-turn resolutions of up to 16 bits.


Nidec develops ‘first magnet-free motor with SiC inverter’

22 December, 2014

The Japanese motor-maker Nidec claims to have developed the first motor-drive system in which a magnet-free switched reluctance (SR) motor is powered by an inverter incorporating silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor devices.


Google Glass gives a new angle on plant monitoring

22 December, 2014

At the recent SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Germany, the Italian software developer Progea was demonstrating a prototype version of a virtual reality application that uses Google Glass to view the parameters of an automation system in real time, via WiFi or a mobile broadband connection.


Flexible-finger gripper gets the thumbs-up

22 December, 2014

Festo has developed a hand-like flexible gripping system that uses opposable “thumbs” to adapt to a variety of objects. The MultiChoiceGripper, aimed at robotic and assembly tasks, combines two developments: adaptive fingers using Festo’s Fin Ray technology; and a mechanical linkage that changes the position of the fingers from “opposing” to “surrounding”.


Siemens drops its IPC OS for a commercial product

22 December, 2014

After using an in-house-developed operating system in its industrial PCs for many years, Siemens has moved to the VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS), developed by Intel subsidiary, Wind River.


New-generation matrix converter aims for much wider use

05 December, 2014

Yaskawa has unveiled a new generation of its high-efficiency matrix converter drive technology with integrated energy regeneration, harmonic suppression and a high power factor. The company is hoping that the new version will be used much more widely than earlier models, especially in applications involving large amounts of braking energy.


System recovers servodrive energy to cut peak demand

05 December, 2014

Mitsubishi Electric has developed a capacitor-based system that stores regenerative energy from servomotor installations and allows it to be re-used later. The company demonstrated a pre-production version of its Energy Assist Unit (EAU) at the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany.


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