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22 September, 2017

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Software bridge links robots and machine tools

25 June, 2013

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.


Integrating EV motor with charger saves time and cuts costs

25 June, 2013

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.


Hybrid aircraft drive ‘could scale up to 100-passenger planes’

18 June, 2013

An aircraft powered by a serial-hybrid electric drive system has been shown at the Le Bourget air show in Paris, France, this week, with the claim that it could cut fuel consumption and emissions by up to 25%, as well allowing quiet takeoffs.


Sensor is ‘first’ to monitor grease in running bearings

10 June, 2013

Schaeffler has developed a technology that, for the first time, analyses lubricating grease in rolling bearings while they running. The FAG GreaseCheck sensor monitors the condition and quantity of the grease and sounds and alarm if levels fall too low.


Magnetic bearings are on a roll

10 June, 2013

Schaeffler has developed an active magnetic bearing technology that uses rolling bearings to support large shafts if the power fails and the magnetic levitation effect is lost. In the past, most large-diameter magnetic bearings have relied on plain bearings to act as back-ups but, following a failure, these usually need to be replaced or repaired.


Compact rival to cable drums has a novel twist

10 June, 2013

The energy chain specialist igus has come up with a novel, space-saving way to pay out and rewind working cables, tubing and other media over distances of up to 14m, without needing sliprings.


Inductive coupler carries IO-Link signals and power through the air

10 June, 2013

Balluff has developed a contact-less inductive coupler that can transfer energy and IO-Link signals across an air gap of up to 55mm. The bidirectional coupler can be used where fixed wiring of sensors and actuators would be difficult, or subject to wear caused by fatigue – for example, on rotary tables and interchangeable tools.


Ceramic spindles offer advantages over steel

10 June, 2013

Maxon motor has produced a pair of spindle drives with the option of wear-proof ceramic spindles that, it claims, offer many advantages over steel spindles or costly ballscrews.


Sercos releases IO-Link mapping guide

10 June, 2013

Sercos international has published a guide that will help automation engineers to integrate sensors and actuators with an IO-Link interface into a sercos system. It has also released an updated specification for the sercos III real-time Ethernet-based bus.


Software helps to find MEPS-compliant motors

14 May, 2013

ABB has launched an on-line tool and an iPad app that help to select motors to meet minimum energy performance standards (MEPS). The Optimizer tool assists users to compare motor running costs and to obtain documentation on the motors.


Electric ship propulsion could cut fuel bills by 10%

14 May, 2013

GE has developed an electrically powered marine propulsion system that, it believes, could result in fuel savings of up to 10% compared to conventional azimuth propulsion systems, as well as lower emissions. It says the development “could change the way the maritime industry views propulsion technology”.


Wear-free rotary encoder is ‘first non-contact system’

08 May, 2013

Turck claims to have developed the first high-resolution, non-contact universal encoder that is immune from magnetic fields and free from wear. The encoder has separate inductive sensor and positioning elements that are are encapsulated (to IP69K) and work together without making contact.


Programmable light tower ‘will revolutionise the market’

07 May, 2013

Balluff believes that it will revolutionise the light tower market with the first system that can be adapted freely to almost any requirement without complex hardware reconfiguration. The software-configurable Smart Light, which can include up to 20 360-degree LEDs arranged vertically, can do much more than simply signal predefined operating states using three colours.


Profile scanner is ‘30 times faster than its rivals’

03 May, 2013

Keyence claims to have made a breakthrough in profile measuring technologies with a system that it says is about 30 times faster than its closest rival. The LJ-V system can measure 12.8 million points (or 64,000 profiles) in a second, and can scan targets moving at speeds of up to 6.4m/s in 0.1mm steps.


Electric Fiesta is powered by wheel-hub motors

01 May, 2013

Schaeffler has joined forces with Ford to build an experimental electric version of the Ford Fiesta that is driven by two 40kW motors built into the rear wheels. The liquid-cooled wheel-hub drives also contain all of the components needed for motor control, braking and safety, including the power electronics.


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