Swedish researchers say that they can cut the energy consumed by industrial robots by up to 40% by using an algorithm that optimises the movements of robot arms. The algorithm reduces the arms’ acceleration and deceleration, as well as the time they are at a standstill because they continue to consume energy when not moving.
The German motion control specialist Trinamic has announced what it claims is the world’s first EtherCat slave controller to integrate real-time, latency-free I/O peripherals. The TMC8460 chip is the first in a family of EtherCat-compliant interface products that Trinamic is developing, based on its membership of the EtherCat Technology Group (ETG).
An Austrian company has developed a range of PLCs (programmable logic controllers) based on the open-source Arduino platform and backed by $65,829 of crowd-sourced funding, raised via a Kickstarter appeal.
GE is entering the cloud services market with “the world's first and only cloud solution designed specifically for industrial data and analytics”. Its Predix Cloud service will capture and analyse machine data within a secure, industrial-strength cloud environment.
SKF has developed an oil- and contact-free magnetic drive system for centrifugal compressors used in chillers that, it claims, can deliver energy savings of at least 10% compared to conventional compressors.
Atlas Copco has developed a range of VSD-controlled vacuum pumps that, it claims, will deliver average energy savings of 50% compared to conventional fixed-speed oil-sealed and dry vane vacuum pumps, as well as achieving “best-in-class” noise levels and oil retention. The company says that the development represents “a quantum leap in rough vacuum” which could result in payback periods of a few months in some applications.
Machine vision cameras with an Ethernet interface accounted for half of global camera revenues in 2014, according to a new report from IHS. The research, carried out during the first half of 2015, found that the interfaces with the next-largest camera revenues were Camera Link and Camera Link HS combined, which together accounted for 18.9% of sales, and USB 2 and USB 3 combined (on 15.7%).
A German startup company has developed a contactless optoelectronic sensing technology that, it claims, will lead to new levels of precision and robustness in industrial applications. Munich-based Konux says that its patented technology can be used to measure at least nine different types of variable, including position, pressure, acceleration, angle, level and force.
A Californian company, Bedrock Automation, has announced a “revolutionary” industrial control system that, it says, frees users from the constraints of traditional automation systems. The new system is based on a patented architecture with a pin-free, electromagnetic backplane and embedded cyber-security. Bedrock says it will reduce the risk of cyber-attacks, cut lifecycle costs, and simplify engineering, commissioning and maintenance.
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has released an industrial Internet “reference architecture” which provides a common language for the elements of industrial Internet systems and the relationships between them. The IIC says that this language will help developers to decide which elements they need for their systems, thus saving time.
A four-month trial of a train powered by a traction inverter incorporating silicon carbide (SiC) devices, has demonstrated a 40% reduction in power consumption compared to a similar train using conventional circuitry.
RS Components has expanded its free DesignSpark Mechanical 3D design software by launching two optional paid-for modules that add the ability to export designs in standard file formats, and enhance the package’s drawing capabilities.
Schaeffler has developed a magneto-elastic torque-sensing technology that converts stresses in a shaft directly into torque signals. Because the torque is recorded where it is applied, the technique is said to allow applications to be monitored and controlled more precisely than other technologies.
The German gripper specialist Schunk has developed a lightweight robotic arm which, it claims, is the most compact of its type. The 12kg arm, which can handle loads of up to 6kg, incorporates its own controller, avoiding the need for an external controls or PCs, and making it easy to move the arm from one location to another.
Pepperl+Fuchs has developed a technology that turns smartphones and tablets into operating and monitoring devices for industrial sensors. The SmartBridge system consists of an adapter and an app that runs on Apple or Android devices.