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In Brief

01 October, 2005

In Brief

Magnetek has developed a family of digital lift drives that can control both AC and DC lift motors. The Quattro drives allow lifts to regenerate almost as much power while they are descending as they consume when they ascend, saving energy and cutting building operating costs. Harmonic filters prevent the lift drives from interfering with other building systems.

A Team from the University of Belgrade has won first prize in a global competition organised by the IEEE to create an efficient, low-cost, single-phase variable speed motor for use in energy-saving appliances. An award for outstanding design innovation went to a team from the University of South Carolina. Both winners presented brushless DC drive designs using power stage modules from International Rectifier.

US-based PPT Vision has developed an "intelligent" camera that can be used as a drop-in replacement for obsolete or under-powered vision systems. The T22 camera, which incorporates an image processing computer, provides 100% real-time inspections while re-using existing optical and lighting components.

• Emerson has developed an energy-limiting fibre optic Ethernet switch which, for the first time, allows fibre cables to be used in Zone 1 hazardous areas without protective sheathing. The 24V DC DIN-rail-mounting switch has one fibre optic port and four 10/100 MB TX Ethernet connections.

A free seminar on how Profibus can help to solve problems in the process and hybrid industries, will be held in Daresbury, UK, on 4 November. The event will include live demonstrations and will cover issues such as asset management, interoperability and interchangeability..

An 86-year-old Russian professor has won the 2005 Tribology Gold medal from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Prof Dmitri Nikolaevich Garkumov founded a new movement in tribology, based on two discoveries - the "no-wear" effect, and hydrogen wear of metals.

UK-based Westcode Semiconductors has developed 3.6kV and 4.2kV thyristors with average current ratings of 3.36kA - claimed to be the best in their class. The thyristors could be used to improve the efficiency of medium-voltage drives, DC drives and soft-starts.

Ford is doubling the size of its 300-strong hybrid vehicle development team as part of plan to boost its global production of petrol-electric hybrid vehicles ten-fold, to reach 250,000 by 2010. It is also planning to develop hybrid battery and transmission technologies in-house in an attempt to overcome supply bottlenecks for key parts.

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