The global site of the UK's leading magazine for automation, motion engineering and power transmission
19 November, 2018

Product and Supplier Search

Facebook
News » Technology News 

Soft-switching boosts drive efficiencies and cuts size and costs

01 June, 2018

A Californian company has developed a technology which, it claims, effectively eliminates transistor switching losses in hard-switched architectures for almost any power converter topology. Pre-Switch says that its soft-switching technology will dramatically reduce the cost, size and weight of converters used in motor drive, renewable energy, electric vehicle, traction and server applications, while increasing efficiency and reliability. The reduction in switching losses is claimed to be 70–90% for any type of solid-state switch and any converter topology.


Hands-free wearable technology guides plant workers

14 May, 2018

Honeywell has announced a wearable, hands-free technology that, it says, will allow industrial workers to perform tasks more safely, reliably and efficiently. It uses a head-mounted visual display that responds to voice commands, and shows live data, documents, videos, work procedures, as well as health and safety information.


Integrating conveyors with smart transport is ‘a game-changer’

09 May, 2018

Just months after B&R Automation unveiled its AcoposTrak flexible production line transport technology at the SPS IPC Drives show, it has unveiled an enhancement that allows the technology to be integrated with conventional conveyors. The development, announced at the Hannover Fair, allows products to be carried almost entirely by low-cost conveyor belts – except for sections where they need to be handled and processed individually, where the AcoposTrak takes over.


‘World’s first’ 3D-printed motor can run at high temperatures

09 May, 2018

German researchers claim to have 3D-printed an entire electric motor for the first time. The researchers, from the Chemnitz University of Technology, demonstrated their machine at last month’s Hannover Fair.


Get ready for your machines to talk and listen to you

09 May, 2018

Beckhoff has developed a technology similar to Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, that allows automation systems to listen and speak. At the Hannover Fair, it announced a software module, called TwinCat Speech, that will give machines these capabilities, in addition to the existing visual capabilities offered by TwinCat Vision and the “intellectual” capabilities offered by its TwinCat runtime software.


5G demo heralds ‘wireless’ PLCs of the future

08 May, 2018

At the recent Hannover Fair, the Chinese electronics giant Huawei and Beckhoff Automation demonstrated a 5G technology that could lead to the use of wireless PLCs in the factory of tomorrow. In a proof-of-concept demonstration, the companies showed two PLCs communicating via a prototype 5G wireless network, instead of using cables.


DIN standard will ease IT to factory comms

04 May, 2018

A group of automation and IT organisations has joined forces to develop a standard to help ensure streamlined communications between IT systems and physical devices. Under the leadership of the German DIN standards body, they plan to draw up a DIN Spec standard – a way of fast-tracking the standardisation process, which could lead to the standard being completed by the end of this year.


Smaller LiveDrive actuator will open new applications

04 May, 2018

Genesis Robotics, the Canadian company which unveiled a “revolutionary” direct-drive actuator technology at the 2017 Hannover Fair, has developed a smaller version of its LiveDrive actuator, broadening its potential applications. Genesis has also announced that US-based Koch Industries has taken a controlling interest in the business, which will help it to commercialise its technologies.


AI software compensates for faults in motors

20 April, 2018

Two Canadian companies have joined forces to commercialise an AI (artificial intelligence) technology designed to detect, and compensate for, faults in electric motors. The technology allows motors to generate near-normal torque even when there are inverter or motor phase faults. It can be applied to permanent magnet synchronous motors and to brushless DC motors (three-phase or multi-phase).


Smart motor sensor is adapted to monitor pumps

19 April, 2018

ABB has collaborated with a Swiss pump-maker, Emile Egger, to adapt its smart motor-sensing technology to monitor pumps remotely.


Wireless predictive maintenance system is ‘world’s first’

19 April, 2018

A US company that specialises in wireless power transmission claims to have developed the world’s first wirelessly powered, predictive maintenance sensor technology. Nikola Labs’ PfM system captures vibration and temperature readings remotely to monitor the condition of equipment and to optimise maintenance in industrial and manufacturing facilities.


Cloud-based app analyses drivetrain performance

18 April, 2018

Siemens is launching a cloud-based app that monitors industrial drives and gives insights into the performance of machinery drivetrains. The Analyze MyDrives app captures and analyses operating data – such as power consumption, torque and frequency – to determine when maintenance is needed and to help cut energy consumption.


Fin-mounting motor monitor helps to predict problems

17 April, 2018

At the recent Drives & Controls Show in the UK, the Brazilian motor-maker WEG unveiled a device that attaches to an electric motor to monitor its performance in real time via an app running on a tablet or smartphone. The Motor Scan device measures vibration and surface temperature to detect any anomalies. It can also monitor running hours, and provide data on motor operating speeds and start/stop times. WEG is planning to add the ability to monitor loads, efficiencies, rotor imbalances, misalignments and bearing condition.


Safety comms system improves diagnostics and cuts wiring

16 April, 2018

Rockwell Automation has announced a safety communication protocol that, it says, will help users to improve machine diagnostics, reduce downtime and increase productivity, as well as cutting wiring by up to 38%. The Allen-Bradley Guardmaster GuardLink system allows safety devices to share diagnostics and status information with higher-level controls, allowing users to access information from an entire safety installation.


Superconducting motor uses solid-state cooling

09 April, 2018

At the upcoming Hannover Fair, Festo will be demonstrating a superconducting claw-pole motor with solid-state cooling. Details are sketchy, but the company says that the SupraMotor’s technology is characterised by a compact design, a high holding torque and a long-life, coolant-free electrical direct-cooling system.


Magazine
  • To view a digital copy of the latest issue of Drives & Controls, click here.

    To visit the digital library of past issues, click here

    To subscribe to the magazine, click here

    To see the latest Products & Services Directory, click here

     

Exhibition

Birmingham 2020The next Drives & Controls Exhibition and Conference will take place in Birmingham, UK, from 21-23 April, 2020. For more information on the event, visit the Show Web site

Poll

"Do you think that robots create or destroy jobs?"

Newsletter
Newsletter

Events

Most Read Articles