Drives and Controls Magazine
Home
Menu
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.

Safety light curtain is ‘first to use industrial Ethernet protocol’

The Italian sensor manufacturer Datalogic has announced what it claims is the first light curtain that integrates with a high-performance, real-time and safe communication protocol based on industrial Ethernet – openSafety, which it describes as  “the most advanced and versatile protocol for functional safety on the automation market”. The SG4 Fieldbus curtain has a Powerlink Ethernet interface that makes it easy to integrate into existing networks and to communicate with safety controllers.

Photoelectric sensors offer many choices in the same housing

The German sensor-maker Sick has developed a family of user-customisable photoelectric sensors which offer a choice of laser light, red or infra-red LED technologies in the same housing, with the same mounting and set-up procedures. The SureSense sensors are claimed to detect almost any object reliably in any environment.

Tester can measure current and voltage without test leads

Fluke has developed an electrical tester which, it claims, can measure voltage and current without using test leads. It says that the T6 tester will allow users to troubleshoot electrical systems faster and more safely.

Machine controllers combine NC and PLC functions

Omron has announced a pair of integrated machine controllers that combine NC (numerical control) and PLC functions, and can synchronise NC processes with others at high speed, thus boosting machine productivity. The NJ501-5300 machine automation controller and NY532-5400 IPC (industrial PC) machine controller are claimed to cut the interlock time (the wait time during communications) between NC processes and others by up to 25% compared to using separate controllers. This can cut significantly the cycle times of machines that generate many interlocks.

SoftPLC runs on Linux platforms from Siemens and Wago

3S-Smart Software Solutions, the developer of the manufacturer-independent Codesys IEC 61131-3 automation software, has announced that its SoftPLC software is now available as a runtime environment for control systems based on the open Linux operating system, such as Wago’s PFC 100 and Siemens’ Simatic IOT2000.

CNC has built-in robot kinematics to simplify machining

Siemens has entered into a cooperative arrangement with the Italian robot-maker Comau to integrate robot kinematics with its CNC systems. At the 2017 Emo machine tool show in Hanover this month, the two companies are unveiling a jointly engineered product called Sinumerik Run MyRobot /DirectControl which, they say, will improve productivity, flexibility, dynamic responses and precision.

Controller is ‘first’ to bridge gap between DCS and PLC systems

Emerson has launched an industrial controller which, it claims, is the first to bridge small and large control applications, allowing manufacturers to scale its use up to DCS (distributed control system) applications, and down to PLC (programmable logic controller) applications. The DeltaV PK Controller offers scalable automation to process and discrete manufacturing users who have previously had to rely on complex, non-integrated PLCs with limited capabilities.

Automation system can run two operating systems at same time

B&R has released software for its automation systems that allows Windows or Linux to run alongside the company’s own real-time operating system. This allows users to combine control and HMI applications on one PC, for example, or to have an industrial PC double as both a real-time controller and an edge controller that sends pre-processed data to higher-level systems and the cloud via OPC UA.

RS adds rugged, easy-to-use drives to its own-brand line-up

RS Components has added a range of easy-to-install and use AC inverters to its RS Pro own-brand portfolio. The range consists of 17 AC inverter drives for single- and three-phase AC induction motors, most of them being IP65-protected for washdown duties, with two models being rated at IP50.