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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.

Linear guides offer ‘the world's highest load rating’

The Japanese bearing-maker NSK has developed a range of linear guides that, it claims, have the world’s highest load ratings and will last twice as long as conventional guides. It has achieved this by developing a novel ball groove shape that optimises the contact surface pressure distribution, resulting in a significant improvement in operating lives.

Bluetooth rotary torque sensor handles heavy vibrations

US-based SensorData Technologies claims to have developed the only transducer to offer reliable Bluetooth-based wireless sensing of rotary torque in high-vibration environments, where conventional torque transducers often suffer from premature wear and failure. The BT4000 flange drive sensor can measure torque levels up to 8kNm at speeds of up to 7,000 rpm, and provide analogue voltage, digital or frequency signal outputs.

Wireless access point supports up to 19 IP addresses

Rockwell Automation has announced a wireless access point (WAP) with a work group bridge that allows users to connect up to 19 IP addresses simultaneously – thus helping to cut design times when integrating machines and equipment into industrial control networks. The Stratix 5100 WAP is said to make it easier for manufacturers to access critical production data, and is suitable for remote and difficult-to-reach areas.

Modular conveyor cuts material flow planning times

Interroll, the Swiss internal logistics specialist, has unveiled a modular conveyor platform that it describes as “the most important product introduction” in its 55-year history. The platform can be tailored to suit customer requirements and allows material flow systems to be planned more quickly and easily.

Wireless machine condition sensors create mesh networks

SKF has announced a wireless machine condition-sensor network that gathers vibration and temperature data for condition monitoring and machinery diagnostics. The battery-operated sensors communicate with each other, and with a wireless gateway, to create mesh networks. They are said to be ideal for monitoring rotating machinery spread across large plants, in awkward locations, or where traditional WiFi communications will not work.

Faster open-loop current sensors work up to 250A

The Swiss current and voltage sensing specialist LEM has announced a series of current transducers capable of measuring up to 250A. The HO sensors offer a choice of panel, busbar or PCB mounting, integrating the conductor or using an aperture measuring 15 x 8mm.

Colour touchscreen PLC targets SIs and OEMs

Unitronics, the Israeli specialist in integrated PLCs and HMIs, has developed a device aimed at system integrators and OEMs that need PLC control, but would usually choose simple text displays, rather than colour HMIs, due to limited budgets.