November News in Brief
♦ Sierra Wireless and the Eclipse Foundation open source community have formed an industry working group to define and implement an open standard platform for software development tools used to develop machine-to-machine (M2M) communications applications. Other founding members include IBM and Eurotech and the organisation is open to any vendor or user organisation with an interest in M2M systems. The founders say that open-source M2M tools and protocols will help to cut development time and costs and ensure that critical systems maintain interoperability over the lifetime of a project.
♦ Eplan is now offering a package of more than 1,000 hydraulic macros to bridge the gap between fluid and mechanical design. The macros are intended for intelligent rotating and mirroring of fluid elements – a function uncluded in an upcoming version of Eplan Fluid.
♦ Magnomatics, a UK company specialising in novel magnetic transmissions and compact, high-efficiency motors and generators, has secured contracts, backed by the Government-funded Technology Strategy Board, to work on projects with Caterpillar Engines and Ford. In the first, it will work with Caterpillar and the Sheffield-based magnetic materials specialist Arnold Magnet Assemblies, to scale up its magnetic power-split technology for large hybrid vehicles. In the second, it will work with Ford to develop the technology for hybrid passenger vehicles.
♦ Vincotech, a power module developer owned by Mitsubishi Electric, has designed an IPM (intelligent power module) for motor drives that allows manufacturers to use single-board designs with or without PFC (power factor correction). Conventional IPMs are limited by their lack of front-end converters and PFC boost converter sections, according to Vincotech.
♦ Fanuc Robotics America has released a YouTube video showing a robot rotating a basketball while another robot follows the lines of the basketball with a marble. The video demonstrates the company’s Constant Path software, which ensures co-ordination between multiple robots and is said to reduce cycle times. In the video, the robots work in co-ordinated motion and resume the same path after an emergency stop button is pressed. The robots can maintain the same path, location and orientation, regardless of static or dynamic speed over-ride changes.
♦ Emerson has supplied utility-scale power inverter technology for two adjacent solar power plants with a combined output of 10MW that have been operating in Sardinia since July. The inverters are converting the DC output from solar arrays into enough AC power for around 3,200 homes,