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24 March, 2018

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Vision system ‘speeds up with each camera added’

11 November, 2016

The machine vision market-leader, Cognex has announced a family of smart vision systems for multi-camera applications which, it claims, gets faster with each camera added.

System drives use new technology to boost performance

09 November, 2016

At its annual Automation Fair in the US, Rockwell Automation has announced a family of modular system drives that use a new field-oriented control technology called TotalForce which, it claims, will deliver superior motor control through precise, adaptive control of velocity, torque and position. The technology incorporates several patented functions designed to optimise the operation of systems and to boost productivity.

Linear axes are set up via a Web browser ‘in less than a minute’

03 November, 2016

The German motion plastics specialist igus has developed an easy-to-use, Web-based system for programming the movement of linear axes, that avoids the need for special software or apps.

Single-beam safety light barriers are ‘world’s smallest’

02 November, 2016

The German machine safety specialist Schmersal claims to have developed the world’s smallest safety light barriers with built-in evaluation functions. The single-beam SLB 240/440/450 barriers measure 28 x 32 x 72mm (or 91mm long for versions with connector sockets), and can be mounted quickly in confined spaces.

200 FA devices support CC-Link IE Field Network Basic

31 October, 2016

Mitsubishi Electric has announced in Japan that it is releasing more than 200 factory automation (FA) devices that support the CC-Link IE Field Network Basic open field network, which uses standard 100Mbps Ethernet communications. The devices will include programmable controllers, servo amplifiers, HMIs and inverters.

Compact VSD gets wireless comms option

25 October, 2016

Siemens has added a wireless commissioning and operating option to its Sinamics V20 range of variable-speed drives (VSD) which, it claims, are the smallest of their type on the market. A Web-server module mounted on the VSD allows users to access the drive from a laptop or mobile device via a secure WiFi connection.

Current-limiting MCCBs react ‘up to three times faster’

24 October, 2016

Rockwell Automation has announced a new line of current-limiting, moulded-case circuit-breakers (MCCBs) which, it says, react to circuit overloads two to three times faster than standard breakers. The Allen-Bradley Bulletin 140G breakers protect against overloads, short-circuits and ground-fault conditions.

Space-saving motor protection relays are Atex-certified

21 October, 2016

Siemens has announced a new generation of motor-protection relays designed to protect motors against overheating by measuring the temperatures at points at risk of overheating in a motor using PTC (positive temperature coefficient) thermistors integrated into the windings. The Sirius 3RN2 relays replace the earlier 3RN1 series and, with widths of 17.5 and 22.5mm, need less space in control cabinets.

Tuning-free VSD promises a 6% efficiency boost

18 October, 2016

Yaskawa has released a new range of general-purpose variable-speed drives that can control induction, permanent magnet (PM) or synchronous-reluctance motors without needing any tuning. The GA700 drives, which were previewed at the 2015 SPS IPC Drives Show in Germany, incorporate a “smart power saver” function claimed to boost the efficiency of induction motors by 6% at 20% speed, as well as improving the efficiency of PM motors by up to about 2%. Another function, called MPTA (maximum torque per ampere), minimises the current drawn, according to the load.

Industrial security appliance 'overcomes firewall limitations'

17 October, 2016

Rockwell Automation has announced an industrial security appliance incorporating new security technologies designed to protect plant-floor systems. It says that the Allen-Bradley Stratix 5950 overcomes limitations of most IT firewalls, which cannot protect against threats to industrial network traffic.

15,583 products include ‘fastest' small machine controller

03 October, 2016

Omron in Japan has announced a total of 15,583 controls products, in seven categories, forming a second wave of factory automation control devices built on a common design platform for unified product specifications. The products include many items for use in control panels – such as relays, switch-mode power supplies, pushbutton switches and terminal blocks, and power monitors – as well as a compact machine controller which executes Ladder Diagram (LD) instructions in 3.3ns, said to be the fastest in its class.

Control system offers ‘next-gen platform for Industrial Internet’

03 October, 2016

GE Automation & Controls has announced a modular control technology that integrates with the industrial Internet to deliver what it claims are new levels of productivity. It says that early adopters of the Industrial Internet Control System (IICS) have reported 7% gains in asset performance and 22% increases in efficiency. It also expects the IICS to cut maintenance costs by around 40%.

Tiny PLC platform supports Industry 4.0 applications

28 September, 2016

California-based Maxim Integrated Products has announced a pocket-sized PLC development platform that, it asserts, will redefine how factories operate, as well as enabling Industry 4.0 applications. In a volume of less than 10in3 (164cm3), the platform provides 30 IOs (including four analogue inputs, one analogue output, eight digital inputs and eight digital outputs), four IO-link ports, three motion controllers, and diagnostics. It incorporates what are claimed to be the industry’s smallest brushed DC motor drivers, as well as incremental encoder inputs.

Laser alignment tools for belts and shafts are easy to set up

19 September, 2016

NSK has announced a pair of laser-based systems for aligning belts and shafts which, it says, are easy to set up, even over long distances. The tools have been developed in response to the fact that more than half of machines run out-of-alignment, causing higher loadings than necessary, and reducing performance.

Wireless access point bolts onto machines to give remote comms

19 September, 2016

The Swedish industrial communications specialist HMS Industrial Networks has announced a wireless access point that is designed to be mounted on a machine or cabinet like a bolt to provide wireless access via a WLAN, or Bluetooth or Bluetooth Low Energy. The IP67-protected Anybus Wireless Bolt can be used to configure a machine remotely, to replace cables, or to connect the system to a cloud service.

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