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Next-generation LabView caters for non-programmers

National Instruments (NI) has announced new generation of its LabView engineering system design software which bridges the gap between configuration-based software and custom programming languages with a new approach to measurement automation.

1.1kW synchronous drum motor is ‘the most powerful’

Interroll, the Swiss specialist in products for internal logistics, claims to have developed the world’s most powerful synchronous drum motor for belt conveyor systems. The new motor has an output of up to 1.1kW, delivers up to 100Nm of torque, and can achieve belt speeds of up to 3.34m/s.

Switch closes gap between unmanaged and managed devices

Rockwell Automation has announced an alternative to managed industrial Ethernet switches for manufacturers that use unmanaged switches but struggle with downtime or security concerns. The new “lightly-managed” Allen-Bradley Stratix 2500 switch provides the security, resiliency, segmentation and bandwidth-optimisation of a managed switch, without needing extensive configuration.

Tiny 700W drive launches ‘a new era for servodrives’

A Finnish drive manufacturer called Granite Devices claims to have set a new benchmark for servodrive compactness with a snap-on board-format 700W drive that measures just 70 x 37 x 7mm, yet has built-in motion control and SIL2 safety functions. Granite describes the Ioni drive as “the Swiss Army knife for motion control”, adding that it represents “a new era for servodrives” that will bring time and cost savings to machine automation.

Electronic cable-pull switch is ‘the world's most advanced’

Rockwell Automation has developed what it claims is the world’s first solid-state cable-pull emergency-stop device, which uses a microprocessor-based technology to monitor and compensate for any thermal expansion or sagging of the trip-wire.

Electrically activated e-stop buttons will save time and energy

The German safety expert Pilz has developed an electrically-operated emergency-stop pushbutton which, it says, can save time and energy, and allow machines to be returned to service more rapidly after a shutdown. The PITestop active device has a built-in light ring to indicate its status.

Manufacturers want to standardise push-pull M12 connectors

Molex, Phoenix Contact, Murrelektronik and Binder have agreed to work together to drive the standardisation of M12 push-pull connectors which interlock automatically when plugged in, avoiding the need for traditional screw connections. The interlock is based on Molex’s Brad Ultra-Lock technology, which is designed to bring the ease push-pull connections to IP67/68/69K sealed connections. It can be used without tools, simplifying mounting, especially in confined spaces.

Diagnostics tool shows all of the devices on a network

A Dutch specialist in Profibus and Profinet technologies has developed a diagnostics tool for Industrial Ethernet installations which can display all of the devices on a network and how they are connected, and provide an overview of the network’s health. Procentec says that its Atlas module will help to prevent unexpected and expensive downtime.

First hazardous area clamping enclosure is ‘97% faster’

Eaton has announced what it describes as “the first clamping enclosure for hazardous industrial environments”, and is hailing it as “a major safety enhancement” for explosion-proof enclosures.

Mechatronic drive targets materials applications

New from Lenze is a compact mechatronic drive that combines a motor with control electronics and software, and a gearbox that is integrated into the motor housing. The g350 drive is aimed, in particular, at materials-handling applications, where is it said to deliver high efficiencies.

EtherCat terminal system expands into hazardous areas

Beckhoff has expanded into process control applications with a series of EtherCat terminals with IS (intrinsically safe) I/Os that can connect directly to field devices in Zone 0, 1 and 2 hazardous areas. Using the company’s PC-based controllers, automation and process technologies can now be combined, and EtherCat benefits such as diagnostics applied in hazardous areas.

Modules plug gaps left by obsolete Rockwell controls

Two US companies have stepped in to offer substitutes for controls products that Rockwell Automation has made obsolete. Real Time Automation is offering a replacement for the Allen-Bradley 1761-NET-AIC communications interface, which Rockwell discontinued in January, while AMCI (Advanced Micro Controls Inc) has an alternative for the Allen-Bradley 1746-HSTP1 motion module for SLC500 PLCs, also made obsolete recently.

Open platform allows SIs to customise smart sensor apps

The German sensor-make Sick has announced an open software platform that allows systems integrators and OEMs to develop tailor-made applications based on the company's programmable devices, including smart vision systems and intelligent sensors. The AppSpace platform is supported by a multi-core processor, called the SIM4000 sensor integration machine, that can integrate multiple cameras and sensors together with powerful image processing.

IE4 servomotors deliver high torque and speeds

Rockwell Automation has announced a line of permanent magnet servomotors with efficiencies of at least IE4, designed to deliver high levels of continuous torque at high speeds for long periods of time, thus helping manufacturers to achieve high machine throughputs. The Allen‑Bradley Kinetix VPC motors are aimed at processes such as converting, printing and web-handling.

Compensation functions optimise winding applications

Siemens has developed functions for its Simotion motion controllers that, it says, will improve the speed, reliability and quality of the winding operations used in converting applications such as processing corrugated cardboard or web materials, and manufacturing battery electrodes.