The global site of the UK's leading magazine for automation, motion engineering and power transmission
26 March, 2019

Product and Supplier Search

Facebook
News » Technology News 

Groups of PLCs swap process and safety data in real time

06 February, 2018

ABB has launched a series of safety CPU modules that can function both as safety controllers and safety devices, allowing users to move from a single central PLC to multiple PLCs, each capable of communicating with many machines. Each machine controller can exchange large volumes of process and safety data simultaneously in real-time with more than one central controller.


Spray-formed magnets could cut electric motor costs

05 February, 2018

Two Canadian researchers have developed a new method of producing magnets for electric motors which, they claim, could lead to significant cost reductions, as well as leading to designs that are impossible using traditional magnet manufacturing techniques. Fabrice Bernier and Jean-Michel Lamarre, from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), add that magnets produced using their robot-controlled “cold-spray additive manufacturing” process have good mechanical and thermal properties.


Open controller heralds ‘a new era in automation’

31 January, 2018

A year after it announced its PLCnext “open” control technology, Phoenix Contact has released its first controller based on the technology. At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, Phoenix’s chief technology officer, Roland Bent, hailed the development as “the start of a new era in automation”.


Coupler is the first to link Profinet to CC-Link

29 January, 2018

The first device that can link Profinet and CC-Link networks made its debut at the recent SPS IPC Drives exhibition, less than a year after PI (Profinet and Profibus International) and CLPA (CC-Link Partner Association) agreed on the specification for such devices. The NT 151-CCIE-RE coupler, developed by Hilscher, was demonstrated on CLPA’s SPS stand linking PLCs from Mitsubishi and Siemens.


Drives perform condition monitoring without sensors

03 January, 2018

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, at least two drives manufacturers – Nord Drivesystems and Danfoss – were demonstrating VSDs (variable-speed drives) that can perform condition-monitoring functions without needing the usual sensors.


Easy-to-build servo platform offers architecture choice

20 December, 2017

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, Danfoss unveiled a modular motion control platform which can be used to create centralised or decentralised architectures. The VLT FlexMotion system is based on a multi-axis servodrive and can also include integrated and decentralised servodrives as well as integrated gearmotor-servodrive combinations.


YuMi cobot loses an arm to create a smaller version

15 December, 2017

ABB has unveiled a single-arm collaborative robot (cobot), based on its YuMi dual-arm cobot, which it launched in 2015. Like YuMi, the new robot has a 500g payload and is designed to be integrated into small-parts assembly lines to boost their productivity.


Sensors built into spindle bearings will reduce failures

13 December, 2017

Schaeffler has developed range of sensors for monitoring machine-tool spindles that are built into the spindle bearings. It says that the first-of-its-kind system will reduce spindle failures, while extending their lives.


Production transport system is ‘first’ to handle batches of one

08 December, 2017

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, ABB’s recently-acquired subsidiary, B&R Automation, unveiled an “intelligent” transport system designed to bring new levels of flexibility to the movement of production-line components at high speeds, using independently controlled shuttle carriages.


Servodrive system uses motors with built-in SiC devices

06 December, 2017

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, Beckhoff unveiled a distributed servodrive system based on compact motors with built-in high-efficiency silicon carbide (SiC) power electronics – the first of their type, according to the company.


Smaller, lighter drive is 'more cost-efficient than a servomotor'

24 November, 2017

The German drives specialist, Stöber has developed a compact, efficient electric drive that is much lighter and smaller than an asynchronous drive, yet has the same output as a more expensive servodrive. It describes the LeanMotor as a robust, cost-effective AC motor replacement for users seeking higher performance at a lower cost.


Cloud-based motor monitoring will help to avoid shutdowns

22 November, 2017

At next week’s SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, Siemens will be demonstrating a system for monitoring low-voltage motors by sending sensor data from them to the cloud where it is analysed and used to plan preventive maintenance.


AI software will allow anyone to teach robots complex tasks

21 November, 2017

A Californian start-up company has raised $7m in seed funding to develop AI (artificial intelligence) software that will make it easy for anyone to teach robots new, complex skills. Embodied Intelligence – a spin-out from University of California Berkeley – has been set up by a team with 30 combined years of experience in artificial intelligence, deep learning and robotics.


AI module sits in a controller, looking for application problems

16 November, 2017

Rockwell Automation has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) module that fits inside an industrial controller, “learns” the application that the controller is managing, and builds a model of it. It then monitors the operation continuously, looking for anomalies. If it spots a problem, it can trigger an alarm on an HMI screen or dashboard. Future versions will go beyond diagnostics to guide users on how to remedy the problem, or adjust system parameters automatically to fix the problem without human intervention.


Servo-inverter merges drive- and controller-based automation

14 November, 2017

The German automation and drives manufacturer Lenze is launching an industrial controller which, it claims, removes the boundaries between controller-based and drive-based automation. It says that users of its new i950 servo-inverter will no longer need to choose between a centralised automation topology, a decentralised one, or a combination of the two. And from the software engineering point-of-view, it will not matter whether a servo-inverter is integrated into a machine’s topology as a simple actuator, as a parameterisable axis, or as a freely programmable axis.


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