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June News in Brief

01 June, 2008

º  Digi International has announced a range of battery-powered, long-life wireless sensors for integration into Drop-In or ZigBee networks. The XBee sensors are designed to measure temperature, humidity and light. Digi also offers sensors for Drop-In networks that measure distance, proximity, temperature and acceleration, among other variables.

º  The Cranfield Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre has announced a £2m project aimed at integrating the processes of additive manufacturing and multi-axis grinding. The Ready to Use Additive Manufacturing project could lead to the manufacturing of precision 3D geometries that cannot be produced using conventional techniques.

º  The International Electrotechnical Commission has launched a new service that provided a package of two versions of new IEC standards – one of which highlights the changes from the previous edition. The service, known as IEC Standards+, will make it easier for customers to identify changes made to a standard since it was last issued.

º  A French company, POS-Industry, is launching a training software package which it describes as "the only English-language, interactive Flash database for professional training in the automation, pneumatics, hydraulics and electrical engineering industries". The interactive package, called AutomationXpert, includes an electrical and pneumatics circuit editor, and a simulator linked to control panels.

º  Toshiba has launched a two-phase stepper motor driver with 1/16-step resolution – twice the resolution of its earlier microstepping devices. The TB6560 delivers peak output currents of 3.5A and incorporates on-chip PWM generation and encoding circuitry. In complex applications, it can reduce the control overhead on a stepper controller, allowing one controller to handle several motors.

º  CAN in Automation (CiA) has released version 3 of its device profile for generic I/O modules as a draft standard. The profile (CiA 401) allows the connection of digital and analogue I/O modules to a CANopen network and can address up to 8,128 I/Os. Analogue measurements with resolutions to 32-bit are possible.


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