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5 December, 2019

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Eight-axis micro-PLC is ‘one quarter the size of others’

29 November, 2019

At the recent SPS show in Germany, Mitsubishi Electric unveiled its smallest and most powerful compact PLC to date – a multitasking device with a CPU module said to be a quarter the size of a previous models. Despite its diminutive size, the FX5UC Micro PLC can perform positioning and advanced motion control functions for up to eight synchronised axes, eliminating the need for dedicated controllers that would increase hardware and maintenance costs, programming time and equipment footprints.


OPC UA over TSN portfolio ‘makes batch-size-one real’

25 November, 2019

ABB’s Austrian subsidiary B&R Automation is using this month’s SPS show in Germany to launch a slew of products and technologies that support the open, real-time OPC UA over TSN (Time Sensitive Networking) protocol. It says it will be one of the first manufacturers to offer a comprehensive TSN portfolio, including PLCs, bus controllers, Ethernet switches and industrial PCs, and that these components will help to make economical batch-size-one production a reality.


Combined motion controller and drive saves space

25 November, 2019

Siemens has announced a space-saving device that combines a Simatic S7-1500 controller with motion control and safety functions, with a Sinamics S120 drive system. It says that the resulting Simatic Drive Controller will make it easy to implement powerful, compact and flexible automation systems especially in multi-axis applications such as packaging, printing and textile machines.


Servodrive can run without a controller, cutting costs

22 November, 2019

Rockwell Automation has announced a servodrive, motor and cable that can operate without needing a controller. The Allen-Bradley Kinetix 5100 servodrive has multiple control modes, supporting a wide range of high-speed, low-power motion control applications. It can be used by itself, or with a Micro800 or Logix controller, allowing OEMs to choose how to apply it in their systems.


Wireless vibration monitor predicts machine failures

22 November, 2019

Emerson has announced a low-cost, easy-to-deploy vibration sensor that analyses data from rotating equipment to identify failure modes and prevent potential problems. The AMS Wireless Vibration Monitor incorporates a triaxial sensor that captures data in three dimensions to generate a picture of the machine’s condition. It can be used to monitor motors, pumps, fans and other critical equipment to reduce downtime and achieve more reliable operations.


Drives uses on-board PLCs for predictive maintenance

22 November, 2019

The German drives-maker Nord has developed a condition-monitoring technology that uses PLCs built into its frequency inverters and motor starters to pre-process data which can then be used for predictive maintenance, avoiding the need to perform maintenance at fixed intervals.


Electronic solenoid interlock is ‘the world’s smallest’

21 November, 2019

The German machine safety specialist Schmersal has developed an RFID-based solenoid interlock which it claims is the world’s smallest. Measuring 119.5 x 40 x 20mm, the AZM40 interlock is ideal for small safety doors and flaps.


New generation of smart motor sensors ‘double performance’

28 October, 2019

The German sensor-maker Sick has unveiled a second generation of smart motor sensors for servodrives that support its Hiperface DSL single-cable feedback system, with the claim that they represent a “step-change” in resolution and dynamic performance. The EDS 35 single-turn and EDM 35 multi-turn encoders incorporate a newly-developed optical system with dual-channel scanning that achieves 24-bit resolution per single-turn revolution, and a 12-bit mechanical gear design that enables up to 4,096 revolutions for the multi-turn system.


ABB's smallest six-axis robot promises 35% faster cycle times

25 October, 2019

ABB has announced its smallest, lightest robot to date. It says that the new IRB 1100 machine weighs 20% less, has a 10% smaller footprint, and will cut cycle times by 35% compared to previous models, thus boosting productivity. It also offers “best-in-class repeatable accuracy”.


Compact VSDs boost efficiencies by ‘up to 6%’ over other drives

23 October, 2019

Omron has announced a compact drive with “advanced” on-board motor control algorithms that, it claims, can increase drive efficiencies by up to 6%, compared to conventional drives, when used with asynchronous motors, and by up to 2% with permanent magnet motors. The Q2V drive, available in ratings from 0.1–30kW, can be used with induction, permanent magnet or synchronous reluctance motors.


Mitsubishi enters cobot fray with precision six-axis arm

22 October, 2019

Mitsubishi Electric has announced its first cobot (collaborative robot). Although the company is entering the cobot market later than most other major robot-makers, it claims that its RV-5AS-D-S99 Melfa Assista will offer advantages in terms of accuracy and ease-of-programming.


Gearboxes for geared servomotors are ‘the smallest’

21 October, 2019

The German drives specialist Stober has announced a third generation of gearboxes for servo geared motors that, it claims, are the smallest on the market that offer their level of versatility. The company has reduced the lengths of the gearboxes “considerably”, resulting in smaller installation spaces, lower weights, higher torque levels, and a power densities that are up to 65% better than before.


Deep learning vision camera runs on-board neural networks

21 October, 2019

Flir Systems has developed what it describes as “the industry’s first deep-learning, inference-enabled machine vision camera with Flir Neuro technology”. The Firefly DL camera combines machine vision with deep learning to tackle complex and subjective applications such as recognising faces or determining the quality of solar panels.


All-in-one controllers bring IoT to small machines

21 October, 2019

Omron has announced a new family of all-in-one controllers that it says will bring the IoT (Internet of Things) cost-effectively to small machines. The CP2E Series controllers integrate axis controls, I/O ports and communications functions, and allow the performance of IoT-connected machines to be visualised using simple programming.


High-temp fan-drives will make buildings safer during fires

21 October, 2019

The fan-maker Fläkt Woods has collaborated with Danfoss to develop and certify a range of high-temperature fan/VSD packages that comply with the EN12101-3:2015 standard, making it easier to provide efficient, reliable smoke control in buildings during fires. The certified fan/VSD packages are the first of their type to reach the market.


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