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In Brief

01 April, 2005

In Brief

Profibus International says that it is on target to double the number of installed Profibus nodes from 10 to 20 million in the four years from 2004 to 2007. Last year 2.6 million nodes were installed, generating a 30% increase in turnover for Profibus manufacturers. The process sector has been expanding particularly quickly with 2.1 million devices in use by the end of 2004, about 400,000 of them supporting the Profibus PA profile. The number of installed PA devices has doubled in the past two years.

The Engineeering Centre for Power Electronics (ECPE), set up two years ago, has changed its name to the European Centre for Power Electronics. The ECPE - whose backers include ABB, Bosch, Danfoss, Semikron, SEW Eurodrive, Siemens and Tyco - aims to establish a European research network. It has also introduced a special, lower cost membership for smaller companies.

ODVA - formerly the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association - has brought forward its European "PlugFest" event from 2006 to Autumn 2005. The event will allow users to explore design recommendations and validation tests to ensure EtherNet/IP device interoperability. Originally, it was intended to be the culmination of a series of European implementer workshops, but these have been successful and the interest in EtherNet/IP is growing so fast that the PlugFest is being brought forward.

• International Rectifier has launched a range of 16A and 20A, 600V integrated power modules said to simplify the design of power stages of variable speed drives used in efficient appliances such as air conditioners and freezers. The 85-253V IPMs, which are part of IR`s iMotion family, integrate high-voltage chips with three-phase inverter power stages. The 16A devices address applications from 0.75-1.2kW, while the 20A devices span 0.75-2.2kW.

The British Automation and Robotics Association (Bara) is organising a conference on machine and functional safety aimed at specifiers and designers of machinery and safety-related control systems, as well as managers and engineers responsible for machinery safety. The event, at the University of Warwick on 11 May, follows earlier seminars but will focus more on functional safety. Speakers will include three from the HSE.

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