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In Brief
Published:  01 November, 2006

In Brief

The standards-making body ISA has created an Automation Standards Compliance Institute which will assess how well automation products comply with standards. ISA says the non-profit Institute will form a link between the standards it develops and the way they are implemented.

• Oriental Motor, the Japanese manufacturer of AC and stepper motors, has eliminated the use of lead in all of its current standard motors. This has helped it to address one of the main requirements of the RoHS Directive, earlier than many other motor manufacturers.

• Dynex Semiconductor has been awarded two grants by the UK Department for Trade and Industry, together worth £530,000, for a pair of three-year projects to develop advanced high-power semiconductor devices. In one project, Dynex will work with Converteam, De Montfort University and Dudley Associates to develop high-power-density transistor modules for use in large motor drives.

• GE Fanuc has announced that it is building its next generation of Proficy industrial software on the OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) standard, just released by the OPC Foundation. It says that as industry standardises on ISA-95 for data models and OPC UA to talk to these models, it will become simpler for different vendors` products to work together.

Flat, compact inverter designs could result from a range of IGBT and rectifier modules based on a new low-loss chip technology, developed by Semikron. The Semix modules, spanning AC and DC applications from 15-110kW, can be connected using busbars instead of wires, cutting volumes by 15%, reducing stray inductance, and halving production times

The Automation Systems Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK has initiated a two-day introductory course covering the basics of PLC programming using the IEC 61131-3 standard. The £495 course is said to be suitable for those with little previous PLC programming experience.

• Teridian Semiconductor Corporation has entered the industrial automation and control market with the development of a low-cost precision measurement control chip with potential applications in PLCs, data acquisition, process instrumentation and temperature and pressure sensors.

• Mitsubishi Electric has abandoned the use of in-wheel motors for an electric car it is developing with three Japanese electricity companies. Instead it will use a single 47kW motor to drive the vehicle`s two rear wheels, simplifying the design and cutting costs.

• ExxonMobil has announced a new premium oil for industrial gearboxes that it says will deliver exceptional, long-lasting protection. The Mobilgear 600 XP oil is formulated to control micropitting and other forms of gear wear, to reduce the formation of oil degradation by-products, and to enhance the performance of all gearbox components.

Following three years of testing, Emerson Process Management has decided to use Dust Networks` low-power wireless sensor networking technology in its new Smart Wireless field networks and systems. It says that Dust`s self-organising mesh networking technology best meets users` needs for reliability, security, ease of use and long battery lives.

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