Drives and Controls Magazine
Home
Menu
Next-generation controllers will support the IoT

The Japanese automation manufacturer Hitachi has announced a new generation of industrial controllers, based on open standards, and optimised for use with the Internet of Things (IoT). In addition to four PLC-format controllers, there is also a pair of industrial PC-based systems aimed at high-end applications.

11.5mm-wide I/O slices are ‘the world’s thinnest’

GE Automation & Controls solutions has announced a modular I/O device based on 11.5mm-wide slices which, it claims, are the world’s thinnest. It adds that the RSTi-EP device has a smaller footprint than any other I/O device available today and will fit into the tightest spaces, while remaining easy to access and use.

Industrial controller delivers ‘45% more application capacity’

Rockwell Automation has announced a new member of its Allen-Bradley ControlLogix family of controllers which, it claims, provides up to 45% more application capacity than its previous controllers. The ControlLogix 5580 includes an embedded 1-gigabyte Ethernet port to support high-performance communications, I/O, and applications with up to 256 axes of motion.

App trio expands controls development environment

Rockwell Automation has added three new applications to its Studio 5000 development environment to help speed the development of automation systems. The applications bring more functions together into a single environment to help improve automation design productivity.

Rolled plain bearings are ‘biggest advance for 70 years’

The British bearing manufacturer Bowman International has announced a range of rolled bearings that it describes as the biggest advance in plain sliding bearings for more than 70 years. The BowMet bearings are said to offer higher load capacities and longer lives than comparable products, as well as providing good heat, speed and corrosion capabilities. They are manufactured from an alloy called ToughMet, developed in the US by Materion.

Rockwell claims that its IO-Link family is a first

Rockwell Automation has announced a new IO-Link master for its Allen-Bradley Point I/O system, as well as series of IO-Link-enabled sensors that, it says, go beyond detecting machine problems to enhancing machine productivity. It claims it is the only company to be offering controllers, an IO-Link master, and IO-Link sensors which, when used together, will simplify configuration, monitor machine health, and communicate data and diagnostics in real time using the IO-Link protocol.

Slip-resistant connection links encoders to motors

The motor manufacturer Kollmorgen claims to have come up with a new way of connecting motors to rotary encoders which, it says, will not slip, even when subjected to a 20-fold overload.

Compact EtherCat drive modules fit in tight spaces

ACS Motion Control has announced a series of compact EtherCat drive modules for use with servo, stepper and voice-coil motors. The UDMSD modules are based on a dual/quad-axis drive and are designed for motors with continuous power ratings from 10–100W (200W peak). Users can choose the type of motor, which can be set differently for each drive.

Servodrive controller is ‘first with IO-Link connection’

Festo has announced what it claims is the world’s first servodrive to be controlled via the IO-Link communication system. The low-cost CMMO-LK controller can be connected to any IO-Link master or Modbus TCP Ethernet port, making system integration simple across many applications. The built-in IO-Link connection (made via a cage-clamp connector) also makes it easy to replace the controller because as all of its parameters are stored in the IO-Link master. The controller was shown at the recent Motek handling show in Germany.

Safety-certified encoder will protect machine operators

The German sensor-maker Sick has launched a PLd / SIL2-certified incremental encoder that can be used to ensure safety in machinery requiring frequent operator involvement. The DFS60S Pro encoder allows operators to interact safely at slow speeds – for example, to load piece-parts or adjust machining centres – without needing to stop the machine.

Communicating motor starter warns of overloads

Eaton has announced a new generation of its multifunction electronic motor starter (EMS) which supports communications via its SmartWire-DT system. The new version adds current-measuring and overload warning capabilities to the actuation and feedback functions of the original model, launched in 2013. It also adds emergency-stop capabilities to direct-on-line and reverse starting, and supports tool-free, plug-in terminal connections – claimed to cut wiring time by up to 60% compared to screw terminals.

Check production line temperatures on a smartphone

The British temperature-sensing specialist Calex Electronics has developed a small, low-cost infrared temperature sensor that links to a smartphone to show temperatures on production lines. The non-contact PyroNFC sensor measures the temperature of surfaces in industrial processes, and by touching it with an NFC-enabled Android smartphone, users can read the temperature via a free app. The readings are updated continuously while the phone is touching the sensor.

Arc-resistant 50kA regenerative drive is ‘a first’

Rockwell Automation has announced a medium-voltage drive which, it claims, is the first arc-resistant 50kA MV drive with full regeneration capabilities. The Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 7000 drive incorporates a technology called ArcShield that redirects hazardous energy and gases created by arc-flashes away from personnel. When the drive is combined with an arc-resistant starter, it forms an integrated arc-resistant starter-and-drive system.

‘World’s strongest’ robot can lift 2.3 tonnes

The Japanese robot-maker Fanuc says it has broken its own record by unveiling the world’s most powerful robot at the EMO machine-tool show in Italy. Its new M-2000iA/2300 robot can lift 2.3-tonne payloads, thus outstripping the 1.7 tonne limit of the previous version of the robot.

Three-phase power loggers capture more than 500 parameters

Fluke has announced a pair of three-phase power loggers, which capture and log more than 500 power quality parameters automatically, and are the first of their type designed to work with the Fluke Connect wireless data-gathering system.