An Italian vehicle transmission specialist, Oerlikon Graziano, and a UK controls specialist, Vocis Driveline, have jointly developed an electric vehicle transmission system that uses two traction motors in a compact powertrain that provides four speeds and operates with an efficiency of around 90%.
German researchers have embarked on a three-year collaborative project aimed at improving the power-to-weight ratios of electric motors by incorporating lightweight materials such as fibre-reinforced plastics.
The German government is providing €10m of funding for a collaborative project aimed at integrating electronics into electric motors, thus improving power-to-weight ratios by up to 50% and cutting system costs by up to 40%, compared to using separate sub-systems.
Japanese developers have produced a tiny, precision current sensor that, they predict, could lead to lighter, smaller, more efficient inverters. The GCBC sensor uses a proprietary magnetic sensing element that eliminates the need for a core to concentrate magnetic flux, resulting in a board-mounting device that weighs just 3g.
The EtherCat Technology Group (ETG) has released a new profile for semiconductor manufacturing applications which, it says, provides a starting point for a new generation of tools and could lead to dramatic developments in the industry.
German researchers are developing a new generation of high-efficiency motors for electric vehicles (EVs) with the aim of challenging two perceived limitations of EVs – their limited ranges and high purchase prices.
The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) has awarded BAE Systems a $34.5m contract to take development of an electromagnetic railgun to the next stage. These long-range “guns”, which work on the same principle as a linear motor, using electromagnetic energy instead of explosive chemical propellants, could launch a projectile farther and faster than any previous gun.
The Fieldbus Foundation has announced a technology development initiative, called Project Gemstone, intended to make digital fieldbus automation easier to use than analogue control systems in every way, from device setup to device replacement and daily maintenance practices.
Kollmorgen has developed a range of power storage modules incorporating a novel capacitor technology designed to improve the performance of servo motion systems by re-using braking energy and bridging short power outages safely.
Three Japanese companies – Honda, TDK and Japan Metals & Chemicals – are working together on a scheme to recycle rare-earth metals extracted from batteries to produce magnets for new electric vehicle motors.
General Electric claims to be offering “the first big data and analytics platform robust enough to manage the data produced by large-scale, industrial machines in the cloud”. It says that the platform, built to support the Industrial Internet and turn big data into real-time insights, will benefit industries such as energy production, transportation and manufacturing.
The Finnish elevator manufacturer Kone has developed a lightweight carbon-fibre-based lifting rope that will allow elevators to travel through heights of up to 1km – twice as far as is possible at present. The UltraRope hoisting technology will also result in energy savings of up to 45%.
Japanese researchers have developed a new insulating material for motor coils that allows a motor to operate at maximum power for more than twice as long as conventional insulation. The new material also improves the motor’s efficiency by about 1%.
Researchers in the US have demonstrated an open-source software technology that collects and communicates real-time information from manufacturing processes and factory-floor equipment supplied by a variety of vendors.
Swedish researchers have integrated an electric vehicle’s motor and inverter with its battery-charging circuit in a way that reduces charging times from eight to two hours, and cuts the EV cost by around $2,000.