Two US companies have stepped in to offer substitutes for controls products that Rockwell Automation has made obsolete. Real Time Automation is offering a replacement for the Allen-Bradley 1761-NET-AIC communications interface, which Rockwell discontinued in January, while AMCI (Advanced Micro Controls Inc) has an alternative for the Allen-Bradley 1746-HSTP1 motion module for SLC500 PLCs, also made obsolete recently.
The German sensor-make Sick has announced an open software platform that allows systems integrators and OEMs to develop tailor-made applications based on the company's programmable devices, including smart vision systems and intelligent sensors. The AppSpace platform is supported by a multi-core processor, called the SIM4000 sensor integration machine, that can integrate multiple cameras and sensors together with powerful image processing.
Rockwell Automation has announced a line of permanent magnet servomotors with efficiencies of at least IE4, designed to deliver high levels of continuous torque at high speeds for long periods of time, thus helping manufacturers to achieve high machine throughputs. The Allen‑Bradley Kinetix VPC motors are aimed at processes such as converting, printing and web-handling.
Siemens has developed functions for its Simotion motion controllers that, it says, will improve the speed, reliability and quality of the winding operations used in converting applications such as processing corrugated cardboard or web materials, and manufacturing battery electrodes.
Wind River, the Intel-owned specialist in IoT (Internet of Things) software, has announced a platform that will allow ageing control systems, not originally designed to support the IoT, to link into IoT networks.
Festo has developed a dynamic gantry system that, it claims, is 30% faster than conventional Cartesian handling systems, with initial costs that are comparable. The EXCH planar surface gantry is aimed at high-speed assembly operations where small, light mass-produced items need to be positioned quickly and flexibly.
At next month’s Hannover Fair, Siemens will unveil an easy-to-commission servodrive system which uses a single-cable connection between the drive and motor which is just 9mm in diameter. The new system, based on the company’s Sinamics S210 converters and new-developed Simotics S-1FK2 servomotors, covers ratings from 50–750W in five sizes.
GE Automation & Controls has announced a range of modular industrial PCs (IPCs) which, it says, usher in “a new era of customised computing platforms”. The new PCs, which will make their debut at the Embedded World exhibition in Germany later this month, allow a higher level of customisation to suit users’ needs. According to GE, they mark the end of the era of maximising standardisation in IPCs.
The Swiss conveyor drives specialist Interroll has announced a new generation of modular drum-motors aimed principally at conveyor belt applications. The motors, offering a choice of synchronous or asynchronous technologies, will be available first in 80mm-diameter formats and will then be rolled out across the rest of the company’s portfolio.
The engineering plastics specialist igus has launched a service that will 3D-print bespoke carriages and end-blocks for linear axes to customer requirements. The components are printed using a laser sintering process within 48 hours of an order being placed, using a plastic said to be three times more abrasion-resistant than conventional SLS (selective laser sintered) materials.
The German controls manufacturer Vipa has announced a micro-PLC which, it claims, is the fastest on the market. It says that the Micro PLC sets new standards in terms of its size (at 72mm wide, it is up to half the size of other microcontrollers), channel density (it has 30 built-in digital and analogue I/O channels) and status display (users can view essential system information at a glance).
Danfoss Drives claims to have produced the world’s smallest air-cooled, standalone drives, with the highest power density, by redesigning the E-sized enclosures for its VLT drives, and making then 73% smaller. As well as saving space, the new design is said to be easier to install, commission and service.
At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, WEG unveiled a new range of medium-voltage drives which it plans to sell as complete systems integrated into cabinets, along with isolators, fuses, and multi-level feed transformers. This means that purchasers of the MVW3000 drives will not need to buy additional MV switchgear.
At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, the Taiwanese automation manufacturer Delta announced a range of IP55-protected vector control variable-speed drives for fan, pump and water treatment applications. The CFP2000 VSDs span ratings from 0.75–90kW and come with built-in EMC filters, DC chokes, real-time clocks and 10,000-step PLCs.
A new version of the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer has been announced which is targeted at engineers developing embedded control systems. The Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Module (CM3) is based on the latest Raspberry Pi 3 architecture, with an ARM quad-core processor running at up to 1.2GHz, 1GB of LPDDR2 RAM and 4GB of on-board eMMC Flash storage. It has the same pin-out as the original Compute Module (CM1).