The Swedish industrial networking specialist HMS has announced a series of “edge connectivity” gateways designed to make it easier for automation and IT specialists to communicate with each other’s networks. The gateways allow real-time data from industrial machinery to be presented to .Net-based IT applications, giving .Net programmers direct access to data from PLC systems, while automation engineers keep full control over what the IT side is allowed to do. The first of the .Net gateways are for the Profibus and Profinet networks.
At the Hannover Fair in Germany in April, Siemens will unveil what it claims is the world's only software controller with failsafe PC-based control that is independent of the operating system. The new Simatic 1507S F controller is essentially a S7-1500 software controller with built-in safety.
The German sensor-maker Sick says it has achieved a step change in sensing performance and value with a range of distance sensing, proximity and object detection sensors that, it claims, can detect any object on a high-speed production line. The family of four PowerProx sensors, which are based on laser time-of-flight (ToF) technology, cover a distance range from 50mm to 3.8m and can replace most distance and proximity sensors in a production plant. The family includes what is claimed to be the world’s smallest ToF sensor.
The British vibration monitoring specialist, Sensonics, has developed a sensor specifically designed to monitor vibrations on slow-speed machinery – typically rotating at less than 300 rpm. It says that traditional piezoelectric-based velocity vibration sensors are susceptible to various forms of interference in low-frequency applications that can result in spurious readings and alarms.
Sick’s first 3D vision sensor, the TriSpector 1000, unveiled at the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, is now available. The self-contained, plug-and-play device performs real-time 3D quality inspection and is said to be easy to install and use.
Rexroth has announced an IP65-protected control module that combines PLC and I/O functions and can be mounted directly onto a machine, avoiding the need for a protective cabinet. The IndraControl FM handles up to 36 digital and analogue I/O from devices such as sensors and actuators, as well as Modbus RTU for direct activation of frequency converters.
The German precision drives specialist Wittenstein has developed what it claims is the first fully scalable servo-actuator platform. The flexible platform, called premo, made its debut at the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany. Wittenstein says that it “sets new benchmarks in terms of size and power density”.
The Japanese precision motor manufacturer Nippon Pulse has collaborated with the German encoder-maker Siko to produce what they claim is the first linear motor to incorporate a non-analogue magnetic linear encoder. The scale-less SL083 motor is aimed at positioning applications that need the repeatability, reliability and robustness of a linear motor, with a resolution and repeat accuracy of up to 5µm.
Cognex has announced a family of compact, standalone vision systems that deliver data at PC-like speeds, without needing a PC. The In-Sight Micro 8000 cameras include the “world’s smallest” self-contained 5-Megapixel vision system.
At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, Yaskawa, and its German controls subsidiary Vipa, unveiled a system that implements motion control functions directly in PLCs.
ABB has entered the competitive market for Scara (selective compliance articulated robot arm) robots for the first time with a family of three modular robots capable of handling loads up to 6kg and achieving reaches from 450–650mm.
At the recent SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Germany, Yaskawa unveiled the first model in a new generation of frequency inverters, claiming that it is among the smallest on the market, as well as being easy to set up and operate. The GA77 drives, available in ratings up to 630kW, can be used to control asynchronous, permanent magnet, or synchronous reluctance motors, without needing auto-tuning.
Danfoss has added an optional software function to its VLT AutomationDrive FC 302 that, it says, will deliver the precise positioning and synchronisation of a servodrive – without the cost and complexity. An FC 202 equipped with the new Integrated Motion Controller (IMC) function can be used to control asynchronous or permanent magnet motors, with or without encoders.
Sumitomo (SHI) Cyclo Drive has collaborated with the Swedish motor manufacturer HDD Servo Motors to develop a compact, precision, hollow-shaft motor-gearbox that, they claim, is half the length of conventional rotary drives with comparable performance.
The Swedish industrial communications specilaist HMS Industrial Networks has developed a PC interface card that supports numerous industrial Ethernet standards, allowing users to connect PC-based slave applications to EtherCat, EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP, Profinet IRT/RT, Powerlink and standard TCP/IP.