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MEMS-based force sensor is ‘world’s smallest’

The Japanese sensor-maker Alps Electric has developed what it claims is the world’s smallest force sensor, with potential applications for position control in industrial equipment and robots. The HSFPAR sensor uses MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) technology to achieve its tiny size (2 × 1.6 × 0.66mm).

Nanopositioning drive controls up to ten axes

Aerotech has announced a high-performance nanopositioning piezo drive which, it claims, will allow coordinated motion between up to ten axes of piezo stages and servo axes at much higher rates than other controllers or drives.

End-to-end engineering suite is based on Codesys 3

Wago has announced an integrated engineering tool that supports the entire automation development process, from software design through to machine operation. The e!Cockpit tool, based on the Codesys 3 platform, is said to allow automation tasks to be implemented and run more quickly and cost-effectively.

IIoT-optimised control systems come in three formats

National Instruments (NI) has announced a new generation of embedded control systems in three formats, based on its open, flexible LabView RIO (reconfigurable I/O) architecture. It says that the controllers, which are optimised for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), will help users to build smart industrial systems and machines faster.

Hydraulic clamp and brake has a failsafe action

The German couplings specialist KTR has developed a passive clamping system that can clamp both axial forces and torque. In emergencies, it is even able to act as a brake.

Linear encoder delivers absolute and incremental outputs

MTS Sensors has developed a linear encoder with two output channels – an incremental interface and a synchronous serial interface (SSI) – for position and velocity control of linear and other motors. The Temposonics A-Series Duo encoder can be used to implement measurement systems requiring absolute position feedback, while also producing an incremental encoder signal for monitoring the motor position. The ability to capture absolute position data means that recalibration is not needed.

Dual-axis EtherCat servodrives challenge linear drives

ACS Motion Control has announced a dual-axis EtherCat drive that, it claims, provide a level of performance that was previously only achievable using linear drives, but without the drawbacks of such linear drives. The NPMPM PWM (pulse width modulation) drives are said to be significantly smaller, more efficient, better protected and cheaper, as well as producing less heat.

Alarm system will cut downtime and boost safety

Unitronics has added an alarm management system to its UniStream all-in-one controller, which combines the functions of a PLC and an HMI. Designed to comply with the ISA 18.2 guidelines for implementing, operating and managing alarm systems, the alarm system is supported by a new version of Unitronics’ application development software, UniLogic.

Multi-function power analyser is ‘world’s most accurate’

Yokogawa has announced a power analyser that it claims is the world’s most stable and accurate. The WT3000E analyser – an enhancement of the earlier WT3000 – has a 45–65Hz accuracy of 0.01% of reading, plus 0.03% of range, based on RMS values rather than the waveform peak values used by some manufacturers.

EtherCat motion system allows easy migration from PLCs

Taiwan-based Adlink Technology has announced an EtherCat-based motion control system consisting of a palm-sized master controller, and a modular I/O and motion control system. The combination offers low-cost deterministic control of automated processes and is said to be easy to develop.

Long-range inductive sensors ‘will revolutionise sector’

The German sensor-maker wenglor sensoric has announced a range of inductive sensors which, it claims, will revolutionise the sector. The sensors, which have switching distances up to three times longer than usual, can be mounted alongside each other without causing interference.

IR safety camera offers an alternative to light curtains

Sick has developed an infra-red (IR) camera that, it says, offers a convenient and reliable Type 3 alternative to safety guard light curtains in production and warehouse environments. The PL d compliant V300 camera has a 20mm resolution and can protect areas up to 1.5 x 1.5m – or larger, if several of the cameras are synchronised.

Non-sparking coupling is Atex-certified

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.

Mobile HMI can make changes to out-of-view applications

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.

Machine vision pattern technology avoids trade-offs

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.