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12 April, 2024

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Compact robots have 40% larger working envelopes

14 August, 2020

Kuka has announced a compact industrial robot aimed at production environments with limited space. The KR 4 Agilus arm has a 4kg load capacity and a reach of 600mm – resulting in a work envelope that is almost 40% larger than the previous generation.

IP67 motor controller simplifies roller conveyor installations

13 August, 2020

The German automation manufacturer Beckhoff has announced a compact motor controller for roller conveyor systems that, it says, will reduce cabling and improve diagnostics. The IP67-protected EP7402 EtherCAT Box can control BLDC (brushless DC) roller motors from any conveyor or motor manufacturer, simplifying control architectures and cabling. It can be used for roller conveyors in intralogistic and assembly applications, as well as in the packaging, food and beverage industries.

SIL overspeed protection system is 'game-changing'

11 August, 2020

A Dutch specialist in speed-sensing technologies has announced a “game-changing” overspeed protection system that, it says, will broaden the range of rotating machinery that is suitable for high-integrity overspeed protection, as well as satisfying the growing demand for SIL-certified systems. Istec, which has 50 years’ experience of this market, adds that its SpeedSys 200 system takes scalability “to a new level” to bridge the gap between what can and cannot be protected.

Acquisition leads to a new generation of box PCs and thin clients

10 August, 2020

Rockwell Automation has announced a new generation of box PCs and thin clients incorporating designs and technologies from the Italian manufacturer Asem, that it bought earlier this year. The Allen-Bradley VersaView 6300 PCs include palm-sized industrial computers – Rockwell’s smallest to date – allowing users to save panel space and cut costs.

Next-generation cycloidal gearboxes ‘open a new chapter’

10 August, 2020

The Japanese-headquartered precision gearbox manufacturer Nabtesco has announced a new generation of enclosed, modular servo gearboxes which, it says, open “a new chapter in the field of cycloidal gears”. The Neco gears, available only in Europe, have a hysteresis loss of just 0.5 arc-min, and are attached to a motor shaft using a radial clamping ring that reduces inertia by up to 39%, resulting in highly dynamic performance.

3D tool allows machine-builders to test controls virtually

31 July, 2020

The Canadian software developer Maplesoft has released a tool that connects directly in real time to most common automation platforms, giving machine-builders simulation-based debugging and 3D visualisation capabilities, and allowing them to perform simulated testing of their controllers. MapleSim Insight shows them how different control strategies will affect their machines, allowing them to adjust and fine-tune their designs virtually, and cutting the number of costly physical prototypes they will need.

Compact VSD cuts CO2 refrigeration costs by up to 25%

29 July, 2020

The Welsh drives-maker Invertek Drives has announced a high-performance variable-speed drive (VSD) which, it claims, can cut the energy used by CO2 refrigerant condensing systems by up to 25%. The Optidrive Coolvert drive allows OEMs to optimise the performance and lower the energy costs of brushless DC compressors used in heat pumps and condensers.

1,500kg capacity mobile robots can replace forklifts

24 July, 2020

Omron has announced a mobile robot with a payload capacity of up to 1,500kg, capable of carrying large components such as car bodies and pallets that would traditionally have needed forklifts to move. The HD-1500 robot’s on-board battery can recharge in 36 minutes and can handle a full shift on a full load, thus reducing downtime.

20 years on, gateways reach their second generation

22 July, 2020

HMS Networks has announced a second generation of its Anybus Communicator gateway family for connecting devices and machines to industrial networks, almost 20 years after the first generation was released. Millions of devices and machines now rely on Communicators for network connections in a wide range of industrial applications. The two generations will co-exist with separate lifecycle plans.

SIL 3 safety controller will cut costs and boost productivity

20 July, 2020

Rockwell Automation has expanded its family of safety controllers by adding a new device that brings the performance and cost-saving benefits of its Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix 5380 controllers to safety applications. Engineers can now scale applications up to and including SIL 3/PLe with 1oo2 architecture.

Platform-independent measurement software is ‘the first’

20 July, 2020

A German measurement technology specialist Delphin Technology has come up with a software product that, it claims, for the first time combines measurement technology functions with platform independence. The ProfiSignal 20 software allows data analyses and process visualisations to be viewed on smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs.

Ultracapacitors save braking energy to fend off power cuts

17 July, 2020

Siemens has announced a range of ultracapacitor modules designed to recover and store braking energy from machines to avoid peak loads and ensure that the machines continue to operate during power outages. The DLC UltraCap modules can store energy for machinery such as handling systems, robotics, machine tools, metal-forming technologies, and wood, glass and plastic processing systems.

Outdoor plastics enclosures ‘redefine’ the technology

15 July, 2020

The German enclosure-maker Rittal claims that it is “completely redefining” plastic enclosure technology with a new family of enclosures designed to protect electrical components even in harsh outdoor environments. The new AX enclosures – which replace the previous KS series – incorporate new mounting functions said to make rapid expansion possible and to provide more scope for installations using smart technologies. For the first time, says Rittal, they will transform plastic housings into enclosure systems, with enhanced scope for interior installation.

Water-cooled motors deliver 40% more power than TEFC

30 June, 2020

ABB has announced a pair of water-cooled motors that, it says, will deliver an average of 40% more power than fan-cooled designs. The constant cooling of the AXW 315 and 400 IEC frame motors extends their insulation and bearing lives, thus boosting uptime. Their small footprints save space.

5G router for private industrial networks is ‘the first’

29 June, 2020

Three companies – Phoenix Contact, Quectel and Ericsson – have worked together to develop and deploy the first 5G router for local industrial applications in private 5G networks. It will allow machines, controls and other equipment to be connected to private 5G networks to manage their behaviour and use of resources.

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