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4 December, 2023

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‘Quantum leap’ in enclosure cooling cuts energy use by 75%

20 April, 2015

The German enclosures giant Rittal has developed a new way of cooling enclosures that it describes a “quantum leap”. Initial results from a pilot installation at Audi are showing energy savings of 75% compared to Rittal’s previous TopTherm Blue e cooling systems. The new Blue e+ system is also claimed to deliver benefits in terms of flexibility, safety and ease of use.

Fixed-speed SynRM motors bring savings to smaller machines

13 April, 2015

At the Hannover Fair, ABB has unveiled a variant of its SynRM (synchronous reluctance) motor technology aimed at fixed-speed applications. Since the SynRM technology was introduced in 2011, it has been applied to variable-speed duties such as pumps, fans, compressors and extruders. But most of the world’s motors still operate at fixed speeds, so ABB argues that the new DOLSynRM motor will allow more users to benefit from the technology.

Festo floats three superconducting ideas at Hannover

10 April, 2015

At next week’s Hannover Fair, Festo will be demonstrating its latest ideas for using superconductor technology in industrial applications. In three different demonstrations, it will show how superconductors can be used: to store and move objects on suspended rollers (in effect, acting as superconducting bearings); to transport workpieces using a rotating helical conveyor shaft; and to achieve contact-free transfer of objects from one automation module to another.

Linear motors power flexible machinery transport system

31 March, 2015

Siemens and Festo have jointly developed a system that uses carriages driven independently by linear motors to transport items around production machinery. The flexible multi-carrier system (MCS) allows machine-builders and manufacturers to adapt their production lines and machines quickly to suit different product sizes and types.

‘First’ FDI tool slashes device integration time to 3 minutes

30 March, 2015

ABB claims that it will be the first automation supplier to offer a device management tool that supports the new FDI (Field Device Integration) specification, announced recently by the FieldComm Group. The first version of ABB’s “Field Information Manager” (FIM) software, which will make its debut at the 2015 Hannover Fair, is claimed to slash device management times from up to 90 minutes, to as little as three minutes.

IoT controller will link future factories via the cloud

30 March, 2015

Mitsubishi Electric is developing an industrial control technology that will use the Internet of Things (IoT) to collect shopfloor data and will link factory sites via the cloud. The IoT Factory Controller is currently being tested and is expected to reach the market in April 2016.

‘Revolutionary’ gearhead wins €100,000 technology award

27 March, 2015

UPDATED: The German motion specialist Wittenstein has won a €100,000 technology award for a new generation of compact, zero-backlash gearheads with independently movable teeth that, it claims, will outperform any previous gearhead technology in terms of torque density, torsional stiffness and energy efficiency. When the Galaxie gearhead is combined with a new high-speed motor and Industry 4.0 connections, it will pave the way to “an entirely new class of drive system”, says the company.

Bionic ants and butterflies head for Hannover

25 March, 2015

At next month’s Hannover Fair in Germany, Festo will unveil the two latest additions to its menagerie of bionic creatures: piezo-powered ants that collaborate with each other to perform tasks; and lightweight butterflies that use an infrared tracking system to fly around freely without colliding with each other.

Six-axis table-top robot gives a ‘third hand’ to workers

25 March, 2015

The Danish robot-maker Universal Robots has announced a compact, six-axis, table-top robot that weighs just 11kg, but has a payload of 3kg, 360-degree rotation on all wrist joints, and infinite rotation on the end joint. The company claims that these characteristics make the UR3 robot, the most flexible, lightweight, table-top robot available that can work safely alongside humans.

Record-breaking motor is ‘five times more powerful’

24 March, 2015

Researchers at Siemens have developed an electric motor that weighs just 50 kilograms, yet delivers a continuous output of about 260kW – about five times more than conventional drive systems of a similar weight.

Baxter robot gets a precision, one-armed brother

19 March, 2015

Rethink Robotics, the US developer of the human-friendly, twin-armed robot called Baxter, has announced a new device: a single-arm, high-performance robot aimed at precision tasks, such as machine tending and circuit board testing, that have traditionally been difficult to automate using conventional industrial robots.

Novel water-cooling system shrinks motors by up to 30%

18 March, 2015

AKH, the German motor manufacturer bought by WEG last year, has patented a water-cooling system for high-speed motors which, it claims, will result in motors that are 20–30% smaller and lighter than conventional water-cooled machines.

Novel linear actuators challenge hydraulic drives

16 March, 2015

Schaeffler has come up with a new form of linear spindle actuator that can support heavy loads at spindle pitches of less than 5mm. Called the planetary screw drive – or PWG – the new device has large enough power densities and load-carrying capacities to replace hydraulic drives in some applications.

Automation firms can now use FDI spec to develop products

10 March, 2015

The FieldComm Group – the standards-based organisation formed in January by the merger of the Fieldbus Foundation with the Hart Communication Foundation – has announced the availability of the Field Device Integration (FDI) specification, together with tools that will allow automation suppliers to develop products and host systems compatible with FDI.

14-gram device collects data from rotating shafts

02 March, 2015

A Californian company that specialises in data-recorders and sensors for crash-testing, has come up with a tiny device that can collect data from rotating components – such as drive shafts, rotors and reciprocating rods – without needing sliprings or telemetry.

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