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April News in Brief

01 April, 2010

♦  At the recent Hannover Fair, Molex announced a kit that will allow manufacturers of intelligent industrial products to implement the safety application layer needed to comply with the ODVA’s CIP Safety specification. CIP Safety provides a set of services to ensure the transportation of high-integrity data in compliance with IEC safety standards. Molex says its CIP Safety stack is the only product to support both DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP.

♦  Profibus and Profinet International (PI) has announced that 500,000 Profinet devices were bought during 2009 – 10% more than in 2008 – bringing the installed base to 2.1 million devices. The number of Profibus devices sold during 2009 was 3.1 million – 11% more than in 2008 – bringing the installed base to 31.4 million. But sales of Profisafe devices held steady at 220,000, bringing the total installed base to 850,000 devices.

♦  US-based Lanmark Controls has released software that eliminates the need to buy $500–600 PC cards to control stepper motors used in laser-marking systems. Previously, users were also limited to four predefined, hard-coded axis movements which increased the cost of rotating a part to mark it. With the WinLase LAN 5.0 software, users can send commands directly to smart motors such as IMS’s MDrivePlus device.

♦  A Danish company that has developed a technology for incorporating motors into printed circuit boards, has developed the technology further to cram more motors into a single board. PCB Motors says its new “jigsaw” stator technology allows motors to be mounted in, onto, or above, a PCB. The 20–70mm diameter motors can turn at 60–120 rpm and develop 1–70Nmm of torque.

♦  A 40-year-old harbour tour boat used in Los Angeles harbour is being retrofitted with a dual electric motor hybrid propulsion system which is expected to halve its energy use and cut its emissions by more than 95%. The 22m-long Angelena II is currently powered by two 350hp diesel engines. The $489,000 refit – thought to be the first of its type – will be paid for by the US Department of Energy.

♦  A German company Krause Parkett has developed a maintenance-free technology that generates electricity as people walk across a floor, and could be used to power small motors or wireless sensors. The system is based on piezoelectric materials in the floor that generate power when pressure is applied. The electricity generated is stored in capacitors.

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