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January News in Brief

01 January, 2011

♦  B&R Automation and the Ethernet Powerlink Standardisation Group have formed a partnership with the semiconductor supplier Altera which will cut the cost of providing Ethernet-based Powerlink communications to around €4 per device. This, they say, will allow Powerlink to be used for low-cost sensors and will undercut proprietary Asic-based systems, making it the cheapest way for component manufacturers to support real-time industrial Ethernet.

♦  The US-based Power Efficiency Corporation has been granted a US patent for an algorithm in its E-Save technology which reduces electric motor energy consumption by up to 35% by matching the power supplied to a motor to its load. The algorithm is used to reduce electricity use by motors when they are lightly loaded.

♦  National Instruments has announced that it is now easier to search for and download drivers from the more than 9,000 (from more than 350 vendors) available from its Instrument Driver Network. A new Instrument Driver Finder makes it easier to find LabView plug-and-play drivers that simplify and automate connections to standalone instruments.
♦  The Hong Kong based motor manufacturer Johnson Electric has developed a DC motor technology for automotive applications which it claims has the industry’s highest power density, cutting weights by 35% and sizes by 25% compared to standard DC motors. The motors have a four-pole design in a curved package and, by saving weight, should help to make vehicles more efficient.

♦  The Swedish wireless communications specialist connectBlue has announced a Bluetooth I/O module which will make it easy to control or read data from industrial equipment via an iPhone or Android mobile phone. The OB1411 module supports up to 16 digital I/O signals and four analogue A/D converters, with a latency of 5–8ms.

♦  Norbar has launched a free torque conversion calculator app for Android phones and iPhones which provides instant conversion of torque values between SI, metric and Imperial units.

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