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24 March, 2018

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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.

Modular 400V servodrives are ‘the world’s smallest’

22 December, 2017

Nidec Control Techniques used the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany to preview a new generation of modular servodrives which, it claims, are the smallest 400V servodrives available. A 40mm-wide EtherCat variant of the Unidrive M750 will support five axes in the same width as a sheet of A4 paper, with 10mm to spare. The drive is also designed to fit into shallow 200mm cabinets.

IP67 controller supports IIoT edge applications

22 December, 2017

National Instruments (NI) has announced its first IP67-protected industrial controller. The IC-3173 controller can be used as an IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) edge node in harsh locations, including washdown manufacturing environments, test cells and outdoor locations, without needing a protective enclosure.

Inductive system gauges distance between actuators

20 December, 2017

The German automation manufacturer Pepperl+Fuchs has developed an inductive position-sensing system that can detect the absolute position of one actuator, or the distance between two actuators in complex applications. Simultaneous measuring and switching functions in one device avoid the need for extra sensors.

Hiperface DSL encoders expand uses for digital protocol

13 December, 2017

The German sensor manufacturer Sick has expanded applications for its Hiperface DSL digital motor feedback protocol by introducing two new ranges of encoders that support the protocol.

Slim hybrid motor controls save up to 75% space

12 December, 2017

Small, enclosure-mounted drives rated up to 9A are usually protected by conventional motor circuit-breakers. However, when space is limited in the enclosure, it can be difficult to accommodate enough protective devices. Rittal has therefore developed a range of motor controllers which perform the functions of direct starter and reversing starter in a single device.

‘First’ IP67 safety PLC can be mounted directly on machines

11 December, 2017

The German industrial safety specialist Pilz claims to have developed the world's first safety PLC with IP67 protection, allowing it to be mounted directly onto machinery. It says that the PSS67 PLC will save space and reduce wiring as well as offering users more flexibility when implementing decentralised control architectures.

‘World’s smallest’ servodrive doubles output to 10kW

06 December, 2017

The Israeli motion controls manufacturer Elmo Motion Control has doubled the power of its tiny Gold Twitter servodrive – which it already claims is the world’s smallest – so that it can now deliver more than 10kW of “qualitative” power from a package that weighs a mere 33 grams.

12-gramme EtherCat servodrive is ‘the world’s smallest’

24 November, 2017

The Swiss precision motion specialist Technosoft claims to have produced the world’s smallest EtherCat servodrive. The iPOS2401 MX-CAT drive weighs only 12g and measures 19 x 50 x 10mm. It can be used in precision positioning applications based on any motor technology  – brushless, stepper, DC/voice coil or linear – that needs no more than 1A continuous at 24V.

Twin-channel contrast sensors solve many problems

21 November, 2017

The German sensor-maker Sick has launched a new generation of contrast sensors which, it claims, break new ground in terms of reliability, accuracy and versatility for print, labelling, converting and packaging applications, even in challenging conditions. With switching frequencies of up to 70kHz and jitter rates down to 3µs (a level never previously achieved), the KTS and KTX sensors can cope with up to 250 packs per minute and compensate for high-speed flutter on reel-to-reel material edges.

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