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Motor and inverter tester works under dynamic conditions

HBM has developed a system for measuring the performance and efficiency of electric motors and inverters that, it claims, is the only one that can record both electrical and mechanical parameters under dynamic conditions.

Controller’s architecture ‘breaks barriers’

National Instruments has announced an industrial controller for advanced applications in harsh environments. The four-slot CompactRIO performance controller is supported by the latest (2014) version of NI’s LabView software and by its Linux Real-Time OS (operating system), allowing engineers to use a single environment to develop a system while taking advantage of the enhanced hardware performance.

3D camera helps robots to pick items from bins

Sick has released a 3D camera with a wide field of view, designed to help pick large stationary objects in robotic applications. The ScanningRuler combines 3D and 2D measurements and allows fast, accurate picking of machined parts piled randomly in bins or baskets, without needing to move either the camera or the container.

Dry-running sliding material ‘has the lowest friction’

US-based Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products has developed a dry-running sliding material which, it claims, has the lowest coefficient of friction (COF) available. The company developed the Tivar HPV material to minimise backsliding issues in production environments with high speeds, temperatures and loads, or where aggressive cleaning agents are present.

Nano-PLCs offer remote control via 3G networks

The French automation manufacturer Crouzet has announced a range of nano-PLCs that includes models designed to connect to the Internet via 2G, 3G or Ethernet. The em4 PLCs, which can be controlled remotely, are the same size as Crouzet’s Millenium 3 logic controllers, but have twice the memory capacity and cycle times that are up to five times faster.

Customisable cyber-security system needs no downtime

Belden has announced a new generation of cyber-security systems for industrial control systems which, it says, offer a “unique” level of flexibility and customisation and will allow network managers to upgrade live systems easily, with minimal configuration and no downtime.

Cell-based medium-voltage drives offer design flexibility

Siemens has announced a series of medium-voltage drives in which low-voltage cells are linked together to build the MV power output. This allows the Sinamics Perfect Harmony GH150 drives to be scaled for output voltages from 4–7.2kV and output ratings up to 13.3MVA.

Three-channel encoders are ‘the world’s smallest’

Avago Technologies claims to have developed the world’s smallest three-channel reflective optical encoders, for use in miniature, low-power motion control systems. The AEDR-87xx devices are aimed at applications such as stepper motors, actuators, piezoelectric drives and portable medical appliances.

Plug-and-play torque amplifier needs no programming

The data acquisition and measurement specialist HBM has announced an industrial measurement amplifier that it claims is the only one available that allows users to take accurate, position-based torque measurements that can be used directly by industrial control systems and dynamometers.

Appliance distributes automation systems to mobile devices

The Californian automation manufacturer Opto 22 has announced a new version of its groov Box industrial appliance that hosts mobile operator interfaces for almost any automation system. Users simply connect their automation system to the Box, and then connect authorised mobile devices, via either a Web browser or an app interface. The mobile devices can then interact with the automation system in a secure and predefined manner.

App-based shaft alignment system ‘costs half as much’

SKF has announced a shaft alignment tool that it claims is the first to use inductive proximity sensors, rather than traditional lasers, dial gauges or line-of-sight techniques. The TKSA 11 system is designed to be used with an app running on a smartphone or tablet, thus eliminating the need for a dedicated display and cutting the instrument’s cost to about half that of competing systems.

Power analyser is first to measure values simultaneously

A German company that specialises in power-measuring instruments claims to have developed the first power analyser that can measure narrowband, full-spectrum and harmonics values simultaneously.

Five-in-one instrument works with iPads or PCs

National Instruments has announced an all-in-one instrument that combines a mixed-signal oscilloscope, function generator, digital multimeter, programmable DC power supply and digital I/O. Users interact with the VirtualBench device via software applications running on a PC or iPad.

New wireless standard promises ‘near wired’ reliability

Belden claims to be offering the first industrial wireless application of a new industry standard that allows wireless systems to overcome network failures without disrupting data transmissions. It says that the Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) technology will allow wireless technologies to be used reliably for mission-critical industrial applications where distances or environments make wired installations expensive or challenging.

Wireless vibration analyser links to a smartphone

SKF has announced an entry-level vibration analysis tool designed to be used with an Android tablet or smartphone to assess problems with rotating machinery. The portable, compact and lightweight Wireless MicroVibe offers basic vibration data collection and analysis functions, including root cause analysis and small-scale route-based data collection.