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Engineer of The Year is a German drives developer

12 June, 2019

A German engineer, Juan Carlos González Villar, was named Engineer of the Year at the Motion Control Industry (MCI) Awards ceremony, held last month in Solihull, UK. Villar, who is proprietor of Kabel.Consult.Ing, won the award for his patented “Energy Light” drive system and networked, continuously-variable transmission system, which he says, improves the energy efficiency of drive applications using a combination of a patented motor technology, advanced controls, and a lightweight construction using composite fibre materials. It is designed to minimise drive output during continuous operation, acceleration, delays, and braking, and to standardise the drive system.

Originally developed for machines that wind and unwind high-voltage cables, the principle can be applied to many other applications, including electric vehicles. Villar argues that many drives used in pushing, pulling and drawing applications use only one type and size of motor. His system minimises motor power and standardises the drive system, providing higher overall efficiency and allowing the use of smaller motors with lower operating costs.

The MCI awards, now in their fourth year, attracted 37 finalists and an audience of around 250. They were hosted by the broadcaster and journalist, Penny Smith.

SMC Pneumatics won the Technical Innovation of the Year award for its EX600W integrated wireless valve system, which it describes as “the world’s first integrated wireless valve manifold system”. Developed to provide robust wireless communications that can eliminate the need of network cabling, a single master network node can connect up to 127 wireless slaves. The EX600 is designed to communicate with intelligent valve islands with integrated digital I/O in applications known to be problematic for conventional industrial networks – such as tool-changing, rotary table automation and robotics.

The winners celebrate at the 2019 Motion Control Industry awards

ABB won the Contribution to Skills & Training award in recognition of its commitment to helping industries to tackle challenges from cutting energy consumption and CO2 emissions to reducing drinking water lost through leakage. ABB offers more than 30 courses, several of which are CPD (continuous professional development) accredited. They aim to improve engineering expertise, tackle technical challenges and improve operational knowledge of applying variable speed drives and motors.

Full details of all the winners and finalists can be found on the MCI Awards Web site. Entries for the 2020 awards will open later this year.

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