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23 April, 2018

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German plant is ‘first’ to combine Industry 4.0 and IIC platforms

22 March, 2016

A German plant producing hydraulic valves has become the first in the world to combine the technical standards of Germany’s Industry 4.0 platform with those of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC). The Bosch plant in Homburg is using the technologies to manage and optimise its processes to avoid consuming electricity at expensive peak times.


Bodies collaborate on an IP networking standard for IIoT

21 March, 2016

LonMark International – the non-profit organisation that enables interoperable systems for products based on the ISO/IEC 14908 standards – has announced plans to develop a new control-networking standard for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in cooperation with Echelon Corporation, the CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) Technical Committee TC-247, and LonMark Germany.


Specification will make it easier for smart factories to talk

16 March, 2016

Two organisations working to standardise smart factory operations – the OPC Foundation and AutomationML – have released a specification intended to make it easier to achieve interoperability in future factories.


Project will use 5G phone technologies to enhance production

07 March, 2016

Three Swedish organisations – SKF, Ericsson and Chalmers University – have embarked on a two-year, government-backed project that will combine next-generation (5G) mobile communications with manufacturing technologies. The aim of the 5G Enabled Manufacturing (5GEM) project is to improve speed, quality and information flows in advanced production systems.


Robot uses mocap technology to track human guide

04 March, 2016

A US research organisation called Madlab.CC is developing software that allows humans to interact with industrial robots using intuitive gestures.


Low-cost concept takes Ethernet to the sensor level

01 March, 2016

Innovasic, the US developer of industrial Ethernet silicon products, has demonstrated a “low-complexity” Ethernet concept designed to take Ethernet to the edge of industrial, building, transport and automotive networks.


Profibus International announces encoder certification testing

29 February, 2016

Profibus & Profinet International (PI) has introduced certification of products that use its encoder profile, thus ensuring the interoperability of drive and motion control applications. Together with PI’s PROFIdrive profile, the encoder profile defines interoperable application interfaces for various drive and motion control technologies based on Profinet and Profibus.


Industry leaders join forces to test TSN infrastructure

26 February, 2016

Leading automation suppliers, including Bosch Rexroth, Kuka, National Instruments and Schneider Electric, have joined forces with the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) to develop the world’s first Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) testbed. The aim is to demonstrate the new Ethernet IEEE 802 standards – referred to as TSN – being used in manufacturing applications.


Vibration isolators can vary stiffness 100-fold in less than 10ms

23 February, 2016

A Californian research-and-development organisation owned by Boeing and General Motors has developed an active variable-stiffness vibration isolator capable of 100-fold changes in stiffness and actuation times of less than 10ms, independent of the load.


£1.7m project will use magnetic gears for marine propulsion

09 February, 2016

Three UK companies are collaborating in a £1.7m project to develop compact, efficient electric drives for marine applications. Rolls-Royce, the magnetic gear developer Magnomatics, and the high-voltage motor manufacturer ATB Laurence Scott, will design, manufacture and test a 2.5MW magnetically geared propulsion motor (MGPM), using Magnomatics’ Pseudo Direct Drive (PDD) technology. The project is being co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.


Soft gripper can pick up fragile objects of almost any shape

03 February, 2016

Swiss researchers have developed a flexible gripping technology that can bend to pick up delicate objects such as eggs and paper without needing to know anything about the type of object or its shape. It could, for example, be used to handle food, to capture debris in outer space or be incorporated into humanoid robots.


New cooling technology ‘shrinks motor sizes by 75%’

27 January, 2016

Two US companies have announced plans to produce electric motors with a novel cooling technology that results in them being 75% smaller, and much lighter, than conventional motors with a similar power rating. They say that the motors, aimed principally at automotive applications, will deliver the power and torque to drive a passenger car from a package the size of a one-gallon can of paint.


Control system cuts robot programming times to ‘minutes’

21 January, 2016

A Finnish research organisation has developed a control system for the industrial robots that, it claims, can cut the time taken to set up and program robots to “minutes”, rather than the hour or more needed when using traditional programming methods.


PI announces plans to merge Profibus PA with Profinet

20 January, 2016

Profibus and Profinet International (PI) has announced plans to merge its Profibus PA and Profinet technologies to allow plant operators to continue using installed technologies while giving them access to the latest technologies, including Industry 4.0.


Control system extends the lives of grinding rollers

08 January, 2016

ABB has developed a torque and speed control system for high-pressure grinding rollers (HPGRs) used in mineral-crushing applications that, it says, will improve their lives and performance.


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