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In brief

01 June, 2003

In brief

• Several European sensor manufacturers including LEM. Sensorex and RDP Electronics, have joined a programme to develop and promote "plug-and-play" analogue sensors conforming to the proposed IEEE P1451.4 standard. This standard calls for the addition of low-cost memory chips containing a standard "transducer electronic data sheet" with sensor data and scaling parameters. US sensor manufacturers, led by National Instruments, set up a similar collaborative initiative last year.

• Two US companies, Socket Communications and Isochron Data Corporation, have teamed up to produce Bluetooth-based products for wireless communications between industrial equipment and hand-held Pocket PCs. They say that by allowing personnel to monitor and control equipment from mobile computers, these products will add a new level of integrity and accuracy to data collection, system security and accountability.

International Rectifier has introduced an integrated design platform for sensorless control of permanent magnet motors. This is the second in IR`s iMotion family of application-specific design platforms for motion control in high-speed spindles and other precision machinery. IR has also introduced a new chip set for the analogue stage of the platform, including a linear current-sensing chip and a three-phase inverter-driver chip.

• The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (Nema) in the US has release a document providing guidance on the differences between Nema and IEC devices for motor service. The document (ICS 2.4-2003) is a revision of a publication first issued in 1989, listing differences in Nema and IEC design philosophies for contactors, thermal overload relays and motor controllers. Details can be found at

• Following Pepperl+Fuchs` recent claims to have launched the first all-metal proximity sensors, Contrinex has pointed out that its Series 700 range of inductive sensors are machined from a single piece of stainless steel, including the sensing face. Their sensing distance is said to be three times longer than conventional sensors, with an M8 non-flush sensor having a range of 6mm.

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