Drives and Controls Magazine
ABB makes its Scara robot debut

ABB has entered the competitive market for Scara (selective compliance articulated robot arm) robots for the first time with a family of three modular robots capable of handling loads up to 6kg and achieving reaches from 450–650mm.

Compact, new-generation VSDs are easy to set up and run

At the recent SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Germany, Yaskawa unveiled the first model in a new generation of frequency inverters, claiming that it is among the smallest on the market, as well as being easy to set up and operate. The GA77 drives, available in ratings up to 630kW, can be used to control asynchronous, permanent magnet, or synchronous reluctance motors, without needing auto-tuning.

Software upgrade turns VSD into a servo rival

Danfoss has added an optional software function to its VLT AutomationDrive FC 302 that, it says, will deliver the precise positioning and synchronisation of a servodrive –­ without the cost and complexity. An FC 202 equipped with the new Integrated Motion Controller (IMC) function can be used to control asynchronous or permanent magnet motors, with or without encoders.

Servomotor-gearboxes are ‘half the length’

Sumitomo (SHI) Cyclo Drive has collaborated with the Swedish motor manufacturer HDD Servo Motors to develop a compact, precision, hollow-shaft motor-gearbox that, they claim, is half the length of conventional rotary drives with comparable performance.

Cards bring multi-protocol Ethernet support to PCs

The Swedish industrial communications specilaist HMS Industrial Networks has developed a PC interface card that supports numerous industrial Ethernet standards, allowing users to connect PC-based slave applications to EtherCat, EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP, Profinet IRT/RT, Powerlink and standard TCP/IP.

Motor protection breaker is ‘smallest on the market’

The Brazilian motors and controls manufacturer WEG has launched a Class-10 motor protection circuit breaker which, it claims, is the smallest on the market. The MPW80 breaker is aimed at applications requiring high short-circuit switching capacities and compact dimensions.

Controllers aimed at IoT will simplify system designs

National Instruments (NI) has announced a family of industrial controllers designed to address the requirements of advanced Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The company says that the controllers will simplify systems, cut costs, and shrink footprints by integrating control functions, processing and various types of I/O – including vision and motion – into a single high-performance controller.

High-speed VSDs are affected by new ‘dual-use’ legislation

Emerson has added two new models to its Control Techniques family of variable-speed drives, which have been designed specifically to operate at high speeds. The Unidrive HS30 and HS70 VSDs are capable of output frequencies of up to 3kHz, and are thus controlled products under new laws in the EU and US that cover the export of “dual-use” technologies that are normally used for civilian purposes but may have military applications, or could be used in equipment such as high-speed centrifuges used to produce weapons of mass destruction.

ABB’s most powerful robot is ‘25% faster than rivals’

ABB has announced a multi-purpose industrial robot capable of lifting the company’s heaviest-ever payload, adding that it is also 25% faster than its rivals and has a lower total cost of ownership. The IRB 8700 robot can handle payloads of up to 800kg (or 1,000kg with its wrist down) and has a reach of 3.5m. There is a second version available with a reach of 4.2m and a maximum payload capacity of 550kg (or 620kg with the wrist down). Both versions have an unusually high moment of inertia of 725kgm2.

New-generation drives are aimed at machine-builders

Schneider Electric announced a new generation of variable-speed drives aimed at machine-builders, at the SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Germany. The bookshelf-format Altivar 320 and the compact–format Altivar 340 support open-loop control with torque-sensitive operation, even at low speeds, as well as closed-loop control for applications requiring velocity-sensitive operation or precise positioning.

Phone-like icons allow drives to be set up in 3 minutes

ABB has unveiled two new drives at the SPS IPC Drives show in Germany which, it says, will allow machine-builders to improve the performance of their machines, while cutting the costs of integration and maintenance.

PWM servodrive is ‘industry’s most advanced’

The Israeli controls specilaist ACS Motion Control has developed a PWM (pulse width modulation) single/dual servodrive that it describes as “the industry’s most advanced”. The NPApm drive, which supports two ±10V sine-wave current commutation commands, can operate with any motion controller to address the most demanding motion applications with regards to move and settle times, standstill jitter, and velocity smoothness.

Servo family adds 200V converters and low-inertia motors

Siemens has expanded its servodrive portfolio by adding 200V converters and motors with lower shaft heights and moments of inertia. The 200V converters are up to 25% smaller than the existing 400V Sinamics V90 versions, thus saving cabinet space.

Wireless insulation tester and DMM can be used to test drives

Fluke has announced a handheld tool that combines the functions of a wireless digital insulation tester with those of a true-rms digital multimeter (DMM), and includes a low-pass filter, allowing accurate measurements to be made on motor drives.

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.