The German manufacturer KTR has developed a coupling for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. Its Rotex Non-Sparking coupling uses a newly-developed conductive plastic which is injected into the hub of the coupling to produce a device that is said to be failsafe and maintenance–free.
Rockwell Automation has announced a mobile HMI (human-machine interface) that allows users to make real-time adjustments to out-of-view applications. The Allen‑Bradley MobileView tethered operator interface has a 10-inch colour display with a resistive touchscreen and is designed for uses such as setting up, maintaining and calibrating machines.
Cognex has announced a feature-location technology that “reinvents” its PatMax pattern-matching tool to maximise speed and performance. The PatMax RedLine technology, available in the latest version of its In-Sight Explorer software is optimised to run on Cognex’s In-Sight 5705, 8405 and 5705C five-megapixel vision systems.
Parker Hannifin has developed a device that, it claims, can halve the air consumed in air-blowing applications – which account for almost half of all the compressed air used in plants – as well as improving their efficiency.
The Brazilian motors and controls manufacturer WEG used the recent Hannover Fair to launch a series of electronic motor protection relays with a wide current adjustment range of 1:5, allowing OEM machine-builders to stock fewer spares and to save time that would be needed when designing machinery to accommodate different relays with narrower specifications. The RW_E relays are also claimed to dissipate 87% less power than conventional thermal devices, thus saving energy.
At last month’s Hannover Fair, ABB announced what it claims is the world’s first wireless temperature sensor that powers itself. The TSP300-W WirelessHart sensor needs no wiring, no external power supply and, in some applications, no replacement batteries.
Texas Instruments (TI) has announced a hardware and software kit that it says will make it easier to develop and evaluate drives for a variety of motor types, sensing technologies, encoder standards and communications networks. The DesignDrive kit can also be used to develop real-time Ethernet communications and functional safety topologies.
Rockwell Automation has announced the first AC drive designed specifically to work with its Logix-based programmable automation controllers (PACs). The Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 527 drive can be used in machines incorporating CompactLogix, ControlLogix or GuardLogix PACs, and Kinetix servodrives.
SKF has developed a shaft alignment tool which it claims is the first of its type to allow alignments using tablets and smartphones. The app makes it quick and easy to set-up motors, drives, fans, gearboxes, pulleys and couplings, even by operators who are using the instrument for the first time.
The German braking and torque limiter specialist Mayr Power Transmission has developed an electronic module that decelerates machines evenly and gently when they are braked. The “intelligent” braking torque control module is designed to be used with Mayr’s Roba-stop safety brakes.
At the recent Hannover Fair, the German sensor-maker ifm electronic unveiled a range of multi-role magnetic encoders with built-in microcontrollers and displays that, it says, offer a real alternative to traditional optical encoders.
At the recent Hannover Fair, ABB announced a pair of smartphone apps that, it says, will save time, ease troubleshooting and help improve the performance of its VSDs (variable-speed drives).
US-based AMCI (Advanced Micro Controls Inc) has expanded its SMD (stepper+motor+drive) integrated stepper motor family to include a function that allows coordinated motion control with Allen-Bradley servo systems, and a fault-tolerant device-level ring (DLR) topology with an embedded Ethernet switch, that allows direct SMD-to-SMD cabling, without external switches. AMCI says that these developments mark the biggest expansion of the SMD family since its launch in 2004, and will widen its applications.
Danfoss used the recent Hannover Fair to preview a new variable-speed drive that will eventually replace the VLT 2800, which has been on the market for nearly two decades. The new VLT MidiDrive FC280, which is due to go on sale in 2016, has new functions including support for PM motors, integrated safety, and parameter setting via memory modules.
The German wireless and safety specialist steute has developed a device that allows existing mechanical switching devices, such as cam switches, to be integrated into wireless networks. The I/O-Box, which was demonstrated at the recent Hannover Fair, can collect signals from up to four devices made by any manufacturer, and combine them in a shared wireless signal.