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September News in Brief

01 September, 2008

º  ABB Robotics has demonstrated a technology that allows robots, working with machine vision systems, to pick randomly distributed items from bins. According to ABB, this task "is quite a challenge for a robot, given the potential for collisions and the challenges associated with finding the right part to pick from a container holding hundreds of parts".

º  US-based ON Semiconductor has announced a pair of Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) devices that can deliver up to 40W of regulated power to loads via Ethernet cables. ON claims this the highest PoE delivery capacity available. The chips, which include DC-DC converter controllers, are aimed at applications such as Industrial Ethernet.

º  A Sussex company, Computer Imprintable Label Systems (CILS) has developed a range of tough synthetic labels that can printed using standard laser printers and used instead of expensive metal rating plates. The metalised polyester labels adhere to plastics, powder-coated, textured, oily, cast-aluminium and curved surfaces. They are said to resist abrasion, oils, grease, chemicals and weathering.

º  Danaher Motion has entered into a development and production agreement with Volvo to produce hybrid systems for heavy-duty vehicles. Under the deal, Danaher will supply Volvo with electric motors and drives.

º  Toshiba Electronics has announced a three-phase sinewave PWM motor driver chip that it says will cut noise levels, improve efficiencies and reduce component counts in brushless DC motor drives. The chip combines commutation logic, PWM generation, Hall sensor amplification, and protection functions, and can deliver up to 1.8A to drive motors rated up to 45W.

º  The IEC has approved the WirelessHART communication protocol as a Publicly Available Specification – the first industrial wireless technology to achieve this level of recognition. The protocol, released last year, is claimed to be the first open, interoperable standard to provide reliable, secure wireless communications for real-world industrial plants.

º  The LonMark International trade association has reached an agreement with the EnOcean Alliance to combine LonMark’s open, interoperable device-level protocol for wired and unwired networks with EnOcean’s self-powered, wireless technology for low- or no-power devices. EnOcean’s technology needs no batteries and is designed to work with interoperable network technologies.

º  The IEEE and the IEC are extending their existing co-operation agreement to include a procedure that will permit joint, parallel development of projects by both organisations, leading to joint IEC/IEEE global standards. The addendum to a 2002 agreement establishes procedures for IEC and IEEE to develop standards jointly and for voting to approve those standards. It also includes processes for keeping standards up to date.

º  WMG, the industrial research and education group based at the University of Warwick, has agreed a multi-million pound deal with the US-based industrial software provider, PTC. The deal will establish a PTC Academy at WMG and give students and academics access to PTC’s process management software for use in a new £13m Digital Lab. PTC will also fund research into how visualisation can enhance product development

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