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23 April, 2019

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Automation platform will link people, processes and things

06 March, 2017

Mitsubishi Electric has announced the launch of an open platform for factory automation that is based on edge computing. It says that the FA-IT platform will simplify connections between factories and value chains via the IoT (Internet of Things), enabling the rapid collection, analysis and utilisation of data for smart manufacturing.


IIC publishes guidance on IIoT interoperability

02 March, 2017

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has published its Industrial Internet Connectivity Framework (IICF) – a reference architecture for evaluating connection technologies when designing IIoT systems. The IIC says it developed the IICF to help unlock data in isolated systems, enabling interoperability between previously closed components and subsystems, and to accelerate the development of new applications within and across industries.


Cloud-based maintenance system acts in real time

01 March, 2017

Harman Connected Services has joined forces with Intel to offer a predictive maintenance system for rotating equipment that generates predictions based on real-time analyses of machine vibrations, rather than historical data collected over time. The system, called Quick Predict, uses an analysis algorithm originally developed by Intel to cut maintenance in its own plants.


Cyber-secure OS targets control systems

01 March, 2017

After 14 years of development, the cyber-security specialist Kaspersky Lab has launched a secure operating system for industrial control systems, network devices and the IoT (Internet of Things). Called KasperskyOS, the system has been built from scratch and is designed to minimise the risk of undocumented functions, thus thwarting the threat of cyber-attacks.


Cyber-security extends from controls to networks and apps

28 February, 2017

Bedrock Automation, the Californian manufacturer of cyber-secure controls products, has announced a firmware upgrade that extends its cyber-security protection to networks, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and third-party applications.


Real-time Ethernet chip supports a variety of protocols

28 February, 2017

Yaskawa’s Profichip subsidiary has developed a multi-protocol, real-time Ethernet communications chip that supports Yaskawa’s own Mechatrolink-III master/slave system, as well as Profinet IO RT/IRT, and EtherCat. The Antaios chip also supports Profibus, CANopen, RS-485 and USB, while Ethernet/IP adaptors are being developed.


19.9mm-tall robot cuts generator inspections to 6 days

28 February, 2017

Mitsubishi Electric has developed a 19.9mm-tall robot that can inspect electricity generators by passing through the narrow gap between the rotor and stator. By eliminating the need to remove the rotor for inspections, it cuts the time taken for these inspections – which typically happen once every four years – from around 34 days, to just six days.


Digitalisation will be applied to LV motor production

27 February, 2017

A group of four German companies and organisations, including Siemens and the Fraunhofer institute, have embarked on a 26-month project aimed at developing technologies, interfaces and infrastructures for implementing digital industrial production. At the end of the project, the partners plan to test the concepts on a line assembling low-voltage motors at a Siemens factory in Nuremberg.


‘New approach to automation’ uses robots to control cells

09 February, 2017

Rethink Robotics, the US company behind the Baxter and Sawyer collaborative robots, has developed a new software platform that, it says, can co-ordinate an entire work-cell from a single robot. A team of about 30 engineers has spent two years developing the Intera 5 platform, which reduces the need for conventional PLCs and for integration, allowing manufacturers to deploy automated work-cells in a matter of hours, rather than weeks.


UK technology will ‘revolutionise’ soft-starter market

02 February, 2017

A British soft-starter specialist has developed a new technology which, it believes, will revolutionise the global soft-starter market, which is predicted to be worth more than $1.6bn by 2020. Fairford Electronics’ patented technology allows two or more soft-starters to work together to control higher-power motors. It says that the technology, which it calls Fairford Pluss, will result in longer operating lives, cost savings and improved reliability for soft-starter applications.


PLC safety concept ‘can save $300,000 a year'

02 February, 2017

A new concept for safety PLCs can distinguish between a real reaction to a hazard – when the machine must stop – and those that trip a machine during non-critical events. Its developer, ABB, claims that it will cut downtime costs.


Holistic approach delivers predictive maintenance

01 February, 2017

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, Mitsubishi Electric demonstrated a condition-monitoring technology for rotating machines that combines and interprets data from smart sensors to provide an overview of the health of assets across an entire plant. The Smart Condition Monitoring (SCM) system integrates the smart sensors with an intelligent controller for a more "holistic" approach to condition monitoring and predictive maintenance.


Safety technology will allow changes with no reprogramming

31 January, 2017

The Austrian company B&R Automation is working on a technology that, it says, will provide seamless safety for production lines. It will allow machines or individual components to be added or removed from a machine network without having to reprogram the safety application.


Siemens links with Microsoft on cloud-based IoT platform

31 January, 2017

At the recent SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Germany, Siemens announced plans to make its MindSphere Internet-of-Things ecosystem available on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform during 2017. MindSphere allows industrial enterprises to improve the efficiency of their plants by acquiring and analysing large amounts of production data.


Maintenance system ‘spots 99% of potential problems’

31 January, 2017

Bosch Rexroth has developed a predictive maintenance technology that, it claims, will detect 99% of potential issues, compared to 43% for experts using traditional condition-monitoring techniques. The technology, called ODiN, uses machine learning to generate knowledge about the health of equipment from sensor data, and to produce reliable predictions about likely times to failure.


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