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17 May, 2024

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June News in Brief
Published:  04 June, 2007

º  Sercos International has announced the availability of licence-free software for low-cost FPGA chips, which will allow the Sercos III protocol to be integrated easily in I/O slave devices. The Easy-I/O software is aimed at applications such as encoders, sensors and valve clusters. Sercos sees this as an important milestone in establishing Sercos III as a universal, low-cost, real-time version of Ethernet for motion and I/O. Easy-I/O can be downloaded from

º  Japan’s Oki Electric has developed tiny passive RFID (radio frequency identification) tags designed to be used with sensors measuring variables such as temperature, humidity and pressure. When an RFID reader is placed near the tag it transfers energy to a capacitor which powers the tag to transmit stored data to the reader.

º  Delta Air Lines has signed an agreement with WheelTug (a subsidiary of Gibraltar-based Chorus Motors) to help develop its fuel-saving technology which incorporates a powerful electric motor into an aircraft’s nosewheel to propel it around an airport without needing to use the aircraft’s engines. The agreement could see the motors being installed in Delta’s fleet of Boeing 737NGs by the end of 2009.

º  Industrial Defender (previously known as Verano) has launched "the industry’s first and only outsourced cyber-risk management and monitoring service for real-time process control and Scada environments". It acquired the Co-Managed Security Services (CMSS) platform from e-DMZ Security last year and has now integrated it into its cyber security lifecycle offering.

º  US-based Advanced Energy Conversion has been chosen from more than 1,000 entrants to win the Emhart-Nasa Design the Future award for its combined motor-pump which integrates the motor’s rotor with the pump’s impeller, resulting in a compact, more efficient and cheaper pump with 30–40% fewer parts than conventional designs. The pumped liquid cools the motor’s windings, allowing the motor to be smaller than usual.

º  American Superconductor and Nexans have successfully tested the world’s first power transmission cable to be made from second-generation high temperature superconductor (HTS) wires. The 30m-long, 138kV cable carried 435MVA using just 33 hair-thin HTS wires – a capacity at least 50% higher than conventional copper-based cables operating at 138kV.

º  International Rectifier has introduced a range of 200V motor driver chips for three-phase inverter and half-bridge applications based on motors with operating voltages in the range 24–100V. Typical applications include low-voltage servo drives and power tools.

º  A team from Lund University in Sweden has developed the world’s first industrial robot to be controlled using the Java language. It demonstrated the ABB FlexPicker robot at a recent conference in California. The robot is controlled from a PC via EtherCat drives. The EtherCat master was implemented in standard real-time Java in less than two months. The Lund team now plans to make the EtherCat Java master available as open source software.

º  Mitsubishi Electric’s semiconductor division has developed a power stage for controlling asynchronous motors up to 4kW, that integrates a three-phase rectifier, a brake chopper, a three-phase inverter and a thermistor, in a single dual-in-line package. The DIP-CIB module is available in 600V (20A and 30A) and 1.2kV (10A and 25A) versions.

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