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Safety mat combines protection with machine control

The German industrial safety equipment specialist Pilz has developed a new type of pressure-sensitive safety mat, with built-in position detection that can be used to provide control functions, thus combining safe area monitoring with machine operation in one device. The company predicts that the PSENmat will lead to new machine control concepts.

Modular 400V servodrives are ‘the world’s smallest’

Nidec Control Techniques used the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany to preview a new generation of modular servodrives which, it claims, are the smallest 400V servodrives available. A 40mm-wide EtherCat variant of the Unidrive M750 will support five axes in the same width as a sheet of A4 paper, with 10mm to spare. The drive is also designed to fit into shallow 200mm cabinets.

IP67 controller supports IIoT edge applications

National Instruments (NI) has announced its first IP67-protected industrial controller. The IC-3173 controller can be used as an IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) edge node in harsh locations, including washdown manufacturing environments, test cells and outdoor locations, without needing a protective enclosure.

Inductive system gauges distance between actuators

The German automation manufacturer Pepperl+Fuchs has developed an inductive position-sensing system that can detect the absolute position of one actuator, or the distance between two actuators in complex applications. Simultaneous measuring and switching functions in one device avoid the need for extra sensors.

Hiperface DSL encoders expand uses for digital protocol

The German sensor manufacturer Sick has expanded applications for its Hiperface DSL digital motor feedback protocol by introducing two new ranges of encoders that support the protocol.

Slim hybrid motor controls save up to 75% space

Small, enclosure-mounted drives rated up to 9A are usually protected by conventional motor circuit-breakers. However, when space is limited in the enclosure, it can be difficult to accommodate enough protective devices. Rittal has therefore developed a range of motor controllers which perform the functions of direct starter and reversing starter in a single device.

‘First’ IP67 safety PLC can be mounted directly on machines

The German industrial safety specialist Pilz claims to have developed the world's first safety PLC with IP67 protection, allowing it to be mounted directly onto machinery. It says that the PSS67 PLC will save space and reduce wiring as well as offering users more flexibility when implementing decentralised control architectures.

‘World’s smallest’ servodrive doubles output to 10kW

The Israeli motion controls manufacturer Elmo Motion Control has doubled the power of its tiny Gold Twitter servodrive – which it already claims is the world’s smallest – so that it can now deliver more than 10kW of “qualitative” power from a package that weighs a mere 33 grams.

12-gramme EtherCat servodrive is ‘the world’s smallest’

The Swiss precision motion specialist Technosoft claims to have produced the world’s smallest EtherCat servodrive. The iPOS2401 MX-CAT drive weighs only 12g and measures 19 x 50 x 10mm. It can be used in precision positioning applications based on any motor technology  – brushless, stepper, DC/voice coil or linear – that needs no more than 1A continuous at 24V.

Twin-channel contrast sensors solve many problems

The German sensor-maker Sick has launched a new generation of contrast sensors which, it claims, break new ground in terms of reliability, accuracy and versatility for print, labelling, converting and packaging applications, even in challenging conditions. With switching frequencies of up to 70kHz and jitter rates down to 3µs (a level never previously achieved), the KTS and KTX sensors can cope with up to 250 packs per minute and compensate for high-speed flutter on reel-to-reel material edges.

Automation platform combines control and PC functions

Siemens has announced a multifunction platform that combines control and PC functions in a single, space-saving and easier-to-program device. The Simatic CPU 1518(F)-4 PN/DP MFP controller handles tasks that had previously been outsourced to PCs – such as model-based and high-level language programming, and database applications.

Free safety tool helps machine-builders to assess risks

RS Components has launched a free safety engineering tool as the latest addition to its DesignSpark portfolio of engineering tools. DesignSpark Safety is a risk-assessment tool that helps machinery developers to embed safety into their designs.

2MW aluminium-rotor LV motor ‘weighs 1,000kg less’

ABB has developed its most powerful low-voltage motor to date – a water-cooled machine in a compact 500 frame size, that can deliver up to 2MW. The M3LP 500 motor weighs about 1,000kg less than machines with comparable ratings, thanks to its use of a cast-aluminium rotor instead of the more common welded copper bar construction.

Scalable computing offers IIoT data where decisions are made

Rockwell Automation has announced a series of scalable industrial computing offerings aimed at giving access to real-time data to solve analytical challenges, and to adapt to changes at every level of an organisation. It says that that this will help to improve productivity and efficiency in connected enterprises.

Device combines current measurement and PLC functions

The Swiss measurement specialist Camille Bauer Metrawatt claims, for the first time, to have combined a device that measures large currents with a PLC (programmable logic controller). It says that this combination will allow the device to carry out energy-based automation tasks without needing extra components such as a separate controller or display.