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24 April, 2018

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Five years of r&d simplifies large enclosure systems

23 April, 2018

After five years of development, Rittal has launched a new generation of large enclosures designed to simplify designs and cut costs through the use of a consistent 25mm pitch pattern and symmetrical layouts. The new VX25 system was unveiled at the Hannover Fair and among the first people to see it were the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the Mexican president, Peña Nieto. Mexico is the Fair’s country partner for 2018.


Scalable safety controls allow ‘right-sized’ designs

20 April, 2018

Rockwell Automation has announced a pair of controllers for industrial safety applications, that can be scaled to support safety levels from SIL 2 / PLd to SIL 3 / PLe. It says that this will help engineers to optimise safety system designs and potentially to cut costs, while adhering to the latest machine safety regulations.


Low-cost remote PLC, RTU and edge control is cyber-secure

18 April, 2018

Bedrock Automation, the Californian controls developer that specialises in cyber-secure automation platforms, has announced a lower-cost controller that combines PLC, RTU, edge control, cyber-security and universal I/O functions in a compact, standalone module suitable for remote monitoring and control applications. The Bedrock OSA (Opens Secure Automation) Remote is configured using the company’s IEC 61131-3 engineering tools, and offers a wide operating temperature range (–40°C to +80°C), a hardened metal enclosure, and prices – starting at $2,900 – said to be lower than those of conventional mini-PLCs or RTUs.


Micro-PLC scales to reduce the need for different PLCs

03 April, 2018

Rockwell Automation has announced a micro-PLC that supports applications with up to 304 I/O points, 280kB of memory and 20,000 program instructions. The Allen-Bradley Micro870 PLC can be scaled to match an application, thus helping machine designers to optimise control architectures in large standalone machines or systems.


Contactors with universal coils make motor control easier

28 March, 2018

Rockwell Automation has released a family of Nema and IEC contactors to help machine-builders design smaller, more energy-efficient panels for global markets. The Allen-Bradley Bulletin 300 Nema contactors and Bulletin 100-E IEC contactors are designed for applications of 300A or higher. They replace the earlier Allen-Bradley Bulletin 100D IEC and Nema contactors which catered for applications above 100A.


Joint effort delivers easy-to-use, vision-guided cobot

27 March, 2018

Sick has joined forces with the collaborative robot (cobot) producer, Universal Robots, to develop an entry-level, vision-guided cobot system for pick-and-place, quality inspection and measurement applications. The URCap kit combines Sick’s Inspector PIM60 2D vision sensors with Universal Robots’ UR3, UR5 or UR10 robots to deliver an adaptable vision-guided cobot that is quick and easy to program and configure, without needing special software expertise or a separate PC.


Wireless monitor checks bearings are getting their grease

26 March, 2018

A Swedish company that specialises in lubrication technologies has developed a wireless system that monitors that bearings are being fed with the right amount of lubricant at the right time. Assalub says that its WLubeMon system will prevent expensive bearing failures by alerting users if the lubrication is inadequate.


System saves space when making cable connections

26 March, 2018

igus has developed a plug-in system for connecting electrical cables, fibre-optic cables and pneumatics, where large numbers of cables need to be connected in a small space. The system, called module connect, allows several plug housings to be assembled together to form a module that contains individual plug-in and separation points.


Pocket-sized PC collects data at the edge

26 March, 2018

Advantech B+B SmartWorx has developed a pocket-sized PC for collecting data at the edges of industrial networks. The UNO computer acts as a smart gateway and supports the Ignition platform developed by Inductive Automation, which is designed to connect data and deploy applications, such as Scada, IIoT and HMIs, throughout an industrial enterprise, without any limits.


TSN-supporting controllers offer sub-µs synchronisation

05 March, 2018

National Instruments (NI) has announced a range of industrial controllers that incorporate TSN (Time Sensitive Networking) and NI-DAQmx, and offer deterministic communication and synchronised measurements across standard Ethernet networks. The controllers, part of the CompactRio  family, will allow users to synchronise distributed systems across networks, eliminating the need for costly synchronisation cables. NI says that they will boost performance, help to improve productivity, and make installations more flexible.


Hybrid switching soft-starters can talk to the cloud

27 February, 2018

Siemens has announced a new generation of soft-starters that use an efficient hybrid switching technology, and can communicate with the company’s cloud-based MindSphere open IoT operating system. The Sirius 3RW5 devices are designed to soft-start three-phase asynchronous motors from 5.5kW to 1.2MW.


New-generation photo sensors are ‘the first with Bluetooth’

27 February, 2018

The German sensor-maker Sick has launched a new generation of “smart” photoelectric sensors designed to be easy to use and to detect objects reliably. The W16 and W26 proximity, reflex and through-beam sensors incorporate several new technologies including an alignment assistant called BluePilot which uses a line of five LEDs on top of the sensor for quick, easy and accurate alignment of the light spot, even over long distances.


Technology allows a network of devices to communicate as one

20 February, 2018

Turck has announced a technology that allows a network of up to 33 devices (one master and 32 slaves), or 480 bytes of data, to appear to a PLC as a single device on a single connection using a single IP address. By reducing the number of connections that the PLC sees, it will allow users to create high-density I/O networks with low-cost PLCs with fewer connections.


Failsafe PC-based controller is 'first' with independent OS

09 February, 2018

Siemens claims to have developed the world’s first software controller to offer failsafe PC-based control which functions independently of the operating system. The Simatic ET 200SP Open Controller CPU 1515SP PC 2 combines the functions of a PC-based software controller with visualisation, Windows applications and central I/Os in a single compact device. It is aimed at standard and failsafe applications up to Performance Level e


‘World’s fastest’ high-load ballscrews will cut cycle times

05 February, 2018

The Japanese bearings and ballscrews manufacturer NSK claims to have developed the world’s fastest high-load ballscrews, capable of linear speeds of up to 3m/s – twice as fast as conventional ballscrews, according to the company. The ballscrews have been designed to achieve faster accelerations and higher final speeds in applications such as clamping and dynamic axes for all-electric plastic injection-moulding machines.


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