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24 March, 2017

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Optimising robot moves can cut energy use by 40%

27 August, 2015

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.


EtherCat slave chip is ‘first’ with latency-free peripherals

17 August, 2015

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).


Kickstarter funding backs ‘first’ Arduino-based PLCs

13 August, 2015

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.


Cloud service is the ‘first designed for industrial data’

11 August, 2015

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.


Magnetic drive cuts compressor energy use by 10%

03 August, 2015

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.


VSD control halves the energy used by vacuum pumps

27 July, 2015

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.


Prospects for USB 3 in machine vision look limited

22 July, 2015

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%).


Precise non-contact sensors could open up new applications

15 July, 2015

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.


'Revolutionary' control system uses a pin-free backplane

15 July, 2015

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.


Industrial Internet architecture will speed IoT progress

30 June, 2015

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.


Train trial shows a 40% energy saving for SiC inverters

29 June, 2015

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 adds paid-for modules to its free 3D CAD software

10 June, 2015

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.


Non-contact torque sensors improve control precision

10 June, 2015

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.


Apps are used to program ‘most compact’ robotic arm

09 June, 2015

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.


Technology turns smartphones into sensor monitors

09 June, 2015

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.


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