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16 October, 2019

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‘Soft’ magnetic materials could give lighter, faster motors

23 September, 2019

Researchers in the US are working on motor materials and designs that could reduce electric motor sizes by more than two thirds, while transforming the same amount of power.


Patented wear control avoids planetary gearbox adjustments

23 September, 2019

A German gear-maker has announced a planetary gearbox with an patented automatic wear control system that prevents the usual increase in torsional backlash caused by wear, thus avoiding the need to adjust or replace the gearboxes when their backlash exceeds tolerance limits. Hamelin-based Melior Motion claims that with this technology, its PSC gearboxes “virtually” ensure a backlash of less than 0.1 arc-min over their entire service lives.


Slam paves the way for new autonomous industrial robots

23 September, 2019

More than 15 million industrial and commercial robots that can navigate their paths autonomously will be in operation by 2030, according to a new analysis by ABI research. They will rely on a technology known as Slam – simultaneous localisation and mapping – to map their environment while positioning themselves accurately. ABI predicts that Slam will be a crucial driver for robotics over the coming decade and will enable the transition from AGVs (automated guided vehicles) to AMRs (autonomous mobile robots).


Servo-based vibration control dampens machine tool shakes

17 September, 2019

The numerical conrols specialist NUM has announced an accelerometer-based vibration control system for CNC machine tools that, it claims, will deliver “unprecedented” dynamic damping. Designed to improve machining by effectively eliminating tool head vibration, the system can help to boost productivity by maximising material removal rates (MRRs) and providing real-time feedback for predictive maintenance purposes. The system can be retrofitted to any machine tool that uses NUM’s MDLUX digital servodrives – part of its Flexium+ CNC platform.


Massive plain bearing links dredger to pipeline

16 September, 2019

The German bearings-maker Schaeffler has manufactured its largest-ever spherical plain bearing – a 600mm-tall, 4.7-tonne component with an outer diameter of 1.9m and a bore of 1.5m. The bearing was produced in three months for use on a cutter section dredger being built by a Dutch company, Royal IHC.


AR project tests interactive data glasses in factories

16 September, 2019

A group of six German companies and institutions, led by Siemens, has completed a three-year project looking at the use of augmented reality (AR) in industry. The aim of the project, called Glass@Service, was to use intelligent data glasses as personalised information systems, combining them with new types of interaction, such as eye and gesture controls, and innovative IT services. The first practical tests in real production and logistics environments have now been completed successfully.


Cloud-linked wireless nodes monitor rotating machines

29 August, 2019

Sulzer’s Finnish-based pump business has worked with Treon, a local specialist in wireless IoT hardware, to develop a wireless condition monitoring device for rotating machinery. The battery-operated Treon industrial node measures tri-axial vibrations and the surface temperatures of equipment such as pumps, motors and agitators. It is designed to operate as part of a wireless mesh network, making it easy and cost-effective to deploy on a large scale, or to retrofit to existing equipment.


Patented filters prevent bearing damage and cut EMI

21 August, 2019

A US company has developed and patented a series of EMI (electromagnetic interference) filters that, it claims, resolve many of the issues associated with PWM (pulse width modulation) drives – such as the high-frequency currents that can destroy motors’ bearings. California-based OnFilter says that in comparison with conventional reactors, which reduce these leakage currents by a factor of 2–3, its easy-to-install SF series dV/dt filters can reduce the currents by 50–100 times or more.


Project aims to transmit IoT data on beams of light

15 August, 2019

A consortium of EU businesses and academia partners has embarked on a three-year project to develop a next-generation wireless communications technology that will transmit Internet of Things (IoT) data using light rather than radio waves.


Swiss robot-maker to use ‘revolutionary’ direct-drive tech

15 August, 2019

Genesis Robotics, the Canadian company behind the “revolutionary” LiveDrive high-torque, direct-drive motor technology, has signed a joint development agreement (JDA) with the Swiss robotics pioneer, Demaurex, to integrate its motors into Demaurex’s latest delta robots.


Project develops methods for testing wireless comms

15 August, 2019

A multi-national group of researchers has developed a system for testing wireless industrial communications. They were aiming  to overcome the lack of standardised methods and test systems for measuring the reliability and performance of such systems. The three-year project, called ReICOvAir (Reliable Industrial Communication Over the Air), developed both software- and a hardware-based test beds for evaluating the reliability, latency and throughput of wireless communications systems.


‘First’ AI-based diagnostics will cut downtime and boost productivity

15 August, 2019

Mitsubishi Electric claims to have developed the world's first diagnostic technology that uses machine learning to analyse sensor data, thus detecting machine abnormalities rapidly and accurately, and helping to improve productivity. The development is based on the company's Maisart  AI (artificial intelligence) technology.


Ceiling-mounted LEDS guide AGVs around factories

15 August, 2019

A group of German organisations have shown that using beams of light to locate and guide autonomous vehicles, such as AGVs, is a practical, flexible and reliable technique. In a three-year collaborative research project, backed by the German Federal Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF), the researchers demonstrated that ceiling-mounted LED lights can be used to guide driverless transport vehicles reliably through production or storage areas.


Production transport system carries five times more load

09 August, 2019

Rockwell Automation has upgraded its MagneMover Lite production transport system, allowing it to move heavier products and support larger-scale applications. The system, which uses independent carts to move items along production lines, can now carry loads of up to 10kg ­­– five times more than before – and supports larger applications.


Future grippers will harness AI to operate autonomously

14 June, 2019

At the 2019 Hannover Fair, the gripper specialist Schunk announced that it is collaborating with the French artificial intelligence (AI) expert, AnotherBrain, to develop the world's first autonomous gripping system. The technology will allow handling operations to be performed without any manual programming.


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