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May News in Brief

01 May, 2010

♦  The power semiconductor specialist Semikron claims to have developed the most compact power electronic system for hybrid and electric vehicles. The SKAI2 system, which achieves power densities of 20kVA/litre, is available in various air- or water-cooled formats, using different power semiconductor technologies, and offering outputs of up to 250kVA.

♦  The EtherCAT Technology Group has announced that the EtherCAT slave sample code now includes the CANopen drive profile, making it easier for drive suppliers to incorporate EtherCAT into their products. The development is said to simplify setups, especially as the drive parameters have also been integrated into the EtherCAT conformance test tool.

♦  SEW-Eurodrive has launched a Twitter page which will carry items of company news, events, Web links and “interesting facts” about the company. The bilingual (German and English) stream can be found at
♦  HMS Industrial Networks has announced that a CC-Link variable speed drive profile is now available for its Anybus-CompactCom system. This will reduce the engineering needed by manufacturers and users to integrate drives into the CC-Link network. The AnyBus-CC system allows drive manufacturers to comply with all major drive profiles by using one standard software interface. An EtherNet/IP version is due soon.

♦  Innovasic Semiconductor claims to be offering the world’s first downloadable Profinet connection platform, allowing engineers to add Profinet to their automation products quickly and easily. The RapID platform can be downloaded free of charge from the company’s Web site for evaluation.

♦  ODVA has published new editions of the specifications for its Ethernet/IP, DeviceNet, CompoNet and ControlNet networks. Combined with updates published since November 2009, 46 enhancements have been made to the technologies over the past six months. For example, improvements to Ethernet/IP’s device-level ring make it easier to locate faults in the ring.

♦  The Swedish research organisation Acreo has signed an agreement with Denso Corporation to produce an efficient, power switch technology based on silicon carbide (SiC) with an operating voltage of 1.2kV and a current rating of 50A. The SiC-JFET switches could lead to smaller, more efficient power systems, one sixth of the size and weight of conventional silicon-based devices.

♦  Fläkt Woods is offering a range of air diffusers and valves with a nanotechnology coating that helps to repel dirt from their surfaces. This will reduce the need for maintenance and help the systems to operate more efficiently and economically. Although the surfaces will still need occasional cleaning, any dirt will be easier to remove.

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