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In brief

01 December, 2002

In brief

• ExxonMobil has received a US patent for a process to manufacture a type of bearing grease that reduces noise levels in electric motors. The Polyrex EM grease is designed to be used in noise-sensitive applications such as air-conditioners and domestic appliances.

• Parker Hannifin will soon launch a system that uses the Bluetooth wireless communications technology to allow personnel to operate and monitor its Moduflex pneumatic valve islands from handheld computers. At a recent Bluetooth conference, it demonstrated a prototype of this technology as well as a Bluetooth-based version of its Smart Cylinder pneumatic actuator.

• Siemens has started to phase out its 20-year-old Simatic S5 range of programmable controllers, which now accounts for less than 10% of its PLC sales. Phasing out of individual models started last October and will extend over a ten-year period, during which time, technical support and field service will continue. The S5`s successor, the S7, introduced in 1995, is said to be the world`s best-selling PLC.

If you buy one of Mitsubishi`s Q series PLCs in the UK before the end of March, you will also receive a free CC-link fieldbus module, allowing you to create peer-to-peer or master-slave networks. If you also buy an FX micro PLC, or an FR series variable speed drive, you will be given an extra free CC-link interface, allowing you to connect it as a slave.

• Allegro Microsystems has introduced a motor control chip for PWM control of low-voltage stepper motors. The A3965 device is a dual full-bridge driver capable of output currents of ±500mA and operating voltages to 20V. Low power consumption is aided by a "sleep" mode which disables all circuitry and typically draws less than 1µA supply current.

• PR electronics claims to be the first company to offer a process transmitter that supports two bus protocols. Its PR5350 transmitter, which is suitable for either temperature or level measurements, combines the Profibus PA and Foundation Fieldbus protocols. Shifts between the protocols occur automatically using a patent-pending switching principle.

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