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22 October, 2020

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‘Sensorised’ skin helps soft robots to tell where they are

05 March, 2020

Researchers at MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in the US have built a soft robotic arm that understands where it is in 3D space using only motion and position data from its own “sensorised” skin.


1.5MW motors will power 186-seater electric plane

05 March, 2020

Wright Electric, the US aircraft developer which is designing an 186-seat all-electric passenger plane, has announced plans to develop a 1.5MW motor and 3kV inverter to power the craft. The UK-based budget airline EasyJet is partnering Wright in the project, which aims to put the plane, called Wright 1, into service from 2030.


Bearings are 'first' with built-in load-sensing fibre optics

04 March, 2020

SKF has developed what it claims is the world’s first commercial bearing to incorporate a fibre optic sensing technology that can measure loads on the bearing. The components, designed to be used in pumps and compressors, will take the guesswork out of product development, helping to speed up the designs by giving instant access to a variety of data.


Forklift vision system prevents storage and retrieval errors

04 March, 2020

The German forklift manufacturer Jungheinrich has a developed a networked machine vision system designed to be integrated into its vehicles' forks to read and compare barcodes on packaging and storage systems, thus avoiding storage and retrieval errors. The company says that the system will prevent items being stored in the wrong compartment, or the wrong pallets being retrieved from a rack.


Novel coil-winding technique cuts losses by up to 25%

04 March, 2020

The German wound components manufacturer REO has developed a more efficient way of winding coils that, it claims, can cut power losses by up to 25%. It also results in components such as chokes and transformers that are smaller and up to 10% lighter than conventional designs.


Smart machine sensors venture into hazardous areas

07 February, 2020

ABB has developed a new version of its smart condition-monitoring sensor technology that can be applied to rotating machines operating in hazardous areas. The wireless sensor, aimed mainly at applications in the chemical, oil and gas industries, will make its public debut at the Hannover Fair in April.


CC-Link TSN products are up and running within a year

06 February, 2020

Just one year after the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) announced its CC-Link IE TSN open networking technology which supports Time-Sensitive Networking, the organisation was demonstrating compatible products from several manufacturers on its stand at the recent SPS show in Germany.


Groups vie to offer single-pair Ethernet connectors

05 February, 2020

At the recent SPS show in Germany, two groups of companies were trying to persuade visitors to that they had the connector technologies needed to make industrial applications of single-pair Ethernet (SPE) a reality.


New generation of controllers will ‘stretch the limits’

05 February, 2020

The German automation and drives manufacturer Lenze has developed two control platforms that, it says, “stretch the limits of what is technically feasible”. The first is a dedicated controller said to be powerful enough to handle complex projects that previously required industrial PCs. The second is a combined PLC and IPC for tasks, such as database management, that require Windows capabilities.


GaN devices boost the efficiency of ELV servodrives

03 February, 2020

Siemens has adopted a power semiconductor technology based on gallium nitride (GaN) for a new range of extra-low-voltage servodrives that it launched at the recent SPS show in Germany. The GaN devices are said to deliver benefits in terms of power density, efficiency and robustness.


Laser etching cuts terminal rail marking times by 90%

03 February, 2020

Weidmüller has developed a laser-based system that marks pre-assembled terminal rails automatically, cutting the time normally needed for marking by up to 90%. The Automated RailLaser system can handle manually or automatically assembled rails up to 1.2m long.


Touch-free gripper uses sound waves to hold tiny objects

03 February, 2020

A Swiss researcher is developing a gripper technology that uses ultrasonic waves to hold and manipulate small objects without touching them. Marcel Schuck from ETH Zurich university believes that his invention could be used to handle fragile objects such as semiconductor devices and watch parts that could be damaged by conventional grippers.


PCB-stator motor with IE5 efficiency will debut in June

22 January, 2020

Infinitum Electric, the US company which has patented a new design of motor that uses PCBs (printed circuit boards) instead of copper windings for its stators, has announced that its first commercial product – a 15hp (11.2kW) motor aimed at HVAC plenum fan applications – will start shipping in June. The IoT-enabled IEx series motors are said to be a third of the size and weight of conventional motors, while delivering class-leading efficiency and IoT capabilities.


Linear-motor delivery system could remove trucks from roads

06 January, 2020

A British start-up is hoping to revolutionise the way that parcels and other small items are moved around by carrying them in pipes on carts propelled by a proprietary linear synchronous motor technology. London-based Magway reckons that its technology could cut the UK’s CO2 emissions by more than six million tonnes a year by reducing the number of delivery vans on the country's roads.


‘First private 5G industrial network’ is set up in Germany

03 January, 2020

Siemens and the communications specialist Qualcomm Technologies have implemented what they say is the first private 5G wireless standalone network in a real industrial environment using the 3.7–3.8GHz band. The network has been installed in Siemens’ automotive showroom and test centre in Nuremberg, Germany, where AGVs (automated guided vehicles) are developed and tested before being put into service at customer sites.


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