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Third wave of space-spacing automation parts is released

Omron has announced a third wave of factory automation (FA) devices that comply with its Common Design Platform, saving space in control panels, or allowing panel-builders to include more components in panels and increase their functions.

Dual-channel AC motor controller is ‘world’s first’

The US robot technology developer Roboteq has announced what it claims is world’s first dual-channel variable-frequency drive (VFD), capable of driving two AC induction motors simultaneously. Each motor can draw up to 60A at up to 60V, or 3.6kW per channel.

Dual-format motion controls can handle up to 128 axes

Omron and its US subsidiary, Delta Tau Data Systems (DT), have collaborated to develop a range of programmable multi-axis controllers (PMACs) in both standalone and PC-based formats. The PMACs, which can control up to 32 axes in the standalone format and 128 axes in the PC format, allow users to program their own motion algorithms and motion control functions – such as trajectory calculations and position compensation – in C and other programming languages.

Diagnostics tool simplifies pneumatic cushioning settings

The pneumatics manufacturer Aventics has developed a tool that, it claims, will simplify and speed the adjustment of cushioning systems for pneumatic cylinders. Optimal adjustment of cushioning is important to achieve high cycle frequencies, quiet running and trouble-free operation of cylinders.

Robot controller can supervise entire machines

Schneider Electric has announced a robot controller that can control multiple delta robots and Scara robots, as well as third-party six-axis robots. The PacDrive 3 controller also provides discrete and motion control functions, allowing synchronised control of production lines from a central point, as well as providing integrated safety and simplifying machine topologies.

Plug-in modules tailor combined scope and data recorder

Yokogawa has announced a portable instrument for capturing, recording, analysing and displaying electrical and physical parameters. The DL350 ScopeCorder combines oscilloscope functions with those of a high-performance data acquisition recorder.

Plug-in modules give light curtains their ‘personality’

Rockwell Automation has announced a range of safety light curtains with a patented technology that uses plug-in modules to determine whether a transceiver operates as a transmitter or receiver. Once powered up, the Allen-Bradley GuardShield 450L transceivers adopt their functions from the module.

'First' four-layer cable can replace up to five e-chain cables

A German cable-maker has developed what it claims is the world’s first 500V drag-chain cable with four layers. Hradil Spezialkabel says that its 18.8mm-diameter, 61-conductor High-Endurance cable can replace up to five individual drag-chain cables, “massively” reducing the downtime when an energy-chain cable fails.

High-efficiency contactors ‘use up to 80% less energy’

Schneider Electric has announced a range of energy-efficient contactors with “best-in-class” electronic coils that, it says, use up to 80% less energy and generate up to 50% less heat inside cabinets than electromechanical contactors. The TeSys D Green contactors’ standard dimensions and terminal assignments allow them to be used as direct replacements for other standard contactors, regardless of manufacturer. They can also be combined with Schneider’s new TeSys LR9D electronic overload relays to help lower energy consumption and heat generation in cabinets.

Portable sensor and phone apps simplify machine monitoring

SKF has developed an easy-to-use machine-health monitoring technology based on a portable sensing device that is placed on a machine and transmits vibration and temperature data wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet where an app analyses the data.

Feeder system simplifies motor starter assembly

Eaton has announced a fast, cost-effective method of assembling motor starters for multi-motor applications. The Motor Starter Feeder System (MSFS) includes backplates with integral three-phase busbars rated at 125A, complemented by feed-in terminal blocks and adapter plates for motor-protective circuit-breakers, motor starter combinations, and soft-starters. Other components, such as measuring modules, can be added.

Easy-access separator ‘revolutionises’ energy chains

The German plastics engineering specialist igus claims that a new separator system that it has developed for energy chains will cut installation times by up to 80%. The system, which is easy to open and fill from any side, also simplifies the division of e-chain interiors. It is used in the E4.1L chain which igus describes as “the lightest cable-carrying e-chain on the market”.

Compact servomotors handle simple positioning tasks

At the 2017 Hannover Fair, Lenze launched a range of compact synchronous servomotors aimed at higher-power, medium-dynamic applications. The quiet, smooth-running m850 motors cover ratings from 2–9.2kW and, when combined with Lenze’s TopLine inverters, can deliver 4.8–200Nm of torque.

Wireless control panels link drives to smartphone apps

Danfoss’ VLT AC drives now come with a wireless operating panel that can communicate with mobile devices such as smartphones, making them easier to install, configure, monitor and control. The VLT Wireless Communication Panel LCP 103 (supplied with the company’s HVAC, Aqua and AutomationDrives) communicates with Danfoss’ MyDrive Connect app running on an IoS or Android device to display the same information as the panel with options for expanded graphic visualisations.

IP66-protected variable-speed drives can be used outdoors

At the 2017 Hannover Fair, the Welsh drives-maker Invertek unveiled a range of IP66-protected variable-speed drives that can be used outdoors. It was also demonstrating an app that allows users of its Optidrive VSDs to commission and monitor their equipment from their smartphones via a wireless Bluetooth link.