Drives and Controls Magazine
Home
Menu
Pulsed blowing can halve compressed air consumption

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.

Motor protection relays help OEMs to cut costs

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.

‘World’s first’ wireless temperature sensor harvests heat 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.

Kit will help to develop drives and motor controls

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.

VSDs use same instructions as servodrives

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.

App-based shaft alignment system is ‘quick and easy’ to use

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.

Module controls braking forces for gentle deceleration

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.

Multi-role magnetic encoders challenge optical devices

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.

Smartphone apps help to install and maintain VSDs

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).

Integrated stepper motors connect directly to each other

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.

Successor is on the way for a VSD stalwart

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.

Box converts standard switches to wireless operation

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.

Softstarter is ‘first’ with pump-cleaning functions

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.

Bespoke drives are ‘first’ with 3-level harmonics technology

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

Quad-core machine controller is ‘industry’s fastest’

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.