At the 2015 Hannover Fair, ABB unveiled a range of softstarters which, it claims, are the first in the world with a built-in pump-cleaning function designed to protect pumps from clogging, overheating and water hammer. It says that the function, built into the new PSTX softstarters, will increase the lifetime and reliability of pumps and associated equipment.
At this month’s Hannover Fair, Schneider Electric unveiled a range of engineered-to-order modular system drives incorporating a newly developed three-level harmonics technology that, it claims, cuts total current distortion (THDi) to less than 5%. The Altivar Process Drive Systems span ratings from 110–800kW, and there are plans to extend them to 1.5MW
Omron has announced a new machine automation controller which, it claims, offers the industry's fastest processing speeds, thanks to its use of an Intel i7 quad-core processor and 260MB of memory, allowing data collection and analysis to be performed in parallel with control functions. The Sysmac NX701 controller is aimed future production applications based on the Internet of Things (IoT), and is said to offer scalability beyond controllers such as PLCs.
At the Hannover Fair, Phoenix Contact has unveiled a 6mm-wide safety relay which, it claims, is the world’s narrowest and could result in space savings of up to 70%. The new PSRmini relays are small enough to be integrated directly in devices such as motor starters and are claimed to deliver a similar performance to larger safety relays.
Pepperl+Fuchs has unveiled a handheld device designed to simplify the commissioning and troubleshooting of fieldbus installations. The FieldConnex diagnostic device (FDH-1) has been designed to be easy to use without needing expert fieldbus knowledge, and can check a Profibus PA or Foundation Fieldbus H1 segment at the press of a button.
ABB has announced a range of low-voltage motors designed specifically to comply with the latest version of the UK water industry’s Wimes (Water Industry Mechanical and Electrical Specification) standard. Wimes 3.03 issue 6, created by The Pump Centre and 17 UK water companies, was issued in October 2014 and defines the mechanical and electrical requirements for equipment used in the industry.
Autodesk has announced the availability of a new version of its flagship CAD (computer-aided design) application, AutoCad. The 2016 edition includes scores of new functions, claimed to accelerate 2D and 3D design, documentation and collaboration, while “enriching the on-screen experience” when creating almost any shape.
The US encoder manufacturer, TR Electronic, has announced a new generation of programmable incremental rotary encoders that allow users to adjust and display absolute position, RPM, over-and under-speed, and count direction. TR calls the I__58:2 series encoders “intelligent” and says that they can do everything that an absolute rotary encoder can do.
Rockwell Automation has announced a family of space-saving graphic terminals, which, it says, will cut boot-up times as well as improving touchscreen responsiveness. The Allen-Bradley PanelView 800 terminals, available in 4, 7 and 10-inch sizes, are powered by 800MHz processors and offer up to 256MB of flash and dynamic memory.
Mitsubishi Electric has released new generations of two of its key controls ranges – Melsec iQ-R programmable automation controllers (PACs) and iQ-F compact PLCs. While they address different segments of the machine control, process control and automation markets, they share the same programming environment with other iQ models and are said to offer an improved user experience.
The Californian robot-maker Precise Automation is launching what it describes as “the first full family of intrinsically safe benchtop collaborative robots”. The robots – which include Scara, six-axis articulated and Cartesian types – have been designed from scratch to work safely with humans, without needing costly, bulky and awkward safety barriers.
The Swedish industrial communications specialist HMS Industrial Networks has announced a plug-in card that that can connect a PC to any industrial Ethernet network. The IXXAT INpact is a PCIe card that support numerous industrial Ethernet standards using a uniform protocol and a card-spanning API (application programming interface).
At next month’s Hannover Fair, Siemens will be launching a pair of compact industrial controllers with integrated I/O and displays, as well as built-in measuring, metering and positioning functions. The Simatic S7-1511C, with 32 digital I/O ports, is just 85mm wide and offers a 60ns bit performance, while the S7-1512C, with 64 digital I/O, is 110mm wide with a 48ns bit performance.
US-headquartered Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) has announced a centralised control system that monitors, controls and protects low-voltage motor installations. The motorMax system offers a low-cost alternative to replacing existing motor control centres (MCCs), while allowing users to keep up with modern safety requirements. It also eliminates the need for PLCs, thus simplifying motor management.
The German drives specialist Stober has developed a two-speed gear gearbox that, it says, will improve the energy efficiency of machine tools. The PS box, which is available in two sizes (PS25 and PS30), was developed especially for use in the main spindle drives of machine tools. It offers a loss-optimised direct-drive mode (with a ratio of i=1) that delivers high speeds suitable for fine machining.