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March News in Brief
Published:  01 March, 2010

♦  Siemens` drive technologies division has integrated the Safely Limited Speed (SLS) function into its Sinamics S110 and S120 motion control converters without using an encoder, thus avoiding the need for complex wiring, and the commissioning of external encoders. The SLS function monitors the speed of induction motors in accordance with EN 61800-5-2. The encoderless system is also available for Siemens` Sinamics G120 and G120D inverters.

♦  Baldor Electric has produced a version of its Be$t energy-calculating software as an Apple iPhone application. The software can calculate the energy use of a group of motors and show the savings possible by changing to more efficient machines. It can also calculate the energy and CO2 savings that are possible by changing from fixed-speed motors to using variable speed drives. 

♦  Alps Electric has announced a magnetic sensor that, it claims, offers the industry’s longest detection distance – up to 35mm when used with a 20 x 10 x 6mm ferrite magnet. This is a 60% improvement on the detection distance (22mm) of Alp`s previous magnetic sensors under the same conditions.

♦  Software Toolbox has signed an agreement with Rockwell Automation to provide its Symbol Factory technology to enhance the graphics options available to users of Rockwell’s FactoryTalk View Site and Machine editions. Symbol Factory is a graphical symbol manipulation and management application with a library of more than 5,000 industrial automation graphics. Rockwell says the library will give users new choices for building operator screens more rapidly.

♦  UK-based Curvaceous Software has been awarded a grant by the South East England Development Agency to develop techniques for eliminating floods of alarms and to provide plant operators with the most significant alarms at a rate they can handle. MD Robin Brooks says the aim is “to transform alarm systems so they are truly valued and useful when most needed … instead of becoming the distraction that they so often are today”.

♦  The US-based motion control specialist Ormec has launched a family of indexer servo drives, with a built-in “motor wizard” to simplify the integration of non-standard motors, allowing users to commission unproven motors rapidly. The XD-Series drives can program 32 motion profiles which can be mapped to I/O points, one or two functions per point, initiated via Modbus/TCP, and chained or looped together. The 14 inputs and 8 outputs can be mapped to change from position, velocity or torque modes during program execution. The drives are available in continuous ratings from 3–60A.

♦  CAN in Automation (CiA) has published version 1.0 of its CANopen device profile for pumps, which specifies CANopen interfaces for generic and liquid pumps. The specification is based on the bus-independent pump profile developed by VDMA (the German association of machine-builders). The profile defines pump configuration data, control and status information, and alarms. Several pumps can be operated via the same CANopen interface.

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