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Micro-PLC can handle small standalone machines

Rockwell Automation has announced a micro-PLC for small standalone machines and remote automation projects, such as stretch wrappers and compressors. The 20-point Allen-Bradley Micro820 PLC has embedded Ethernet and serial ports, a micro-SD memory slot, a 5kHz PWM (pulse-width modulation) output, analogue and four thermistor inputs, and recipe management functions.

Magnetic encoders deliver 0.08-degree accuracies

Pepperl+Fuchs is claiming a breakthrough in rotary encoder technology with a range of magnetic absolute rotary encoders that deliver accuracies of up to 0.08 degrees with single-turn resolutions of up to 16 bits, and multi-turn resolutions of up to 39 bits. With a sampling time of less than 80µs, they also offer dynamics that “push the boundaries of what has previously been possible,” according to P+F.

EtherCat-based motion controller handles up to 32 axes

The UK-based controls manufacturer Trio Motion Technology has announced an EtherCat-based motion controller that can handle up to 32 axes of servo or stepper drives, and 1,024 I/O. The MC4N-ECAT Motion Coordinator supports an expandable library of EtherCat digital drives and I/O modules, and can be mounted alongside compact EtherCat servodrives. A plug-and-play design detects and configures systems automatically.

Digital PC-HMI link stretches to 100m

B&R has developed a new version of its Smart Display Link technology that allows HMIs to be located up to 100m away from their PCs. This is the third generation of the technology, which supported PC-HMI separations of up to 40m when it was launched in 2004.

Rack combines eight-axis motion control with an IPC

A British company has come up with an all-in-one motion control system which integrates an industrial PC, a touchscreen HMI, an eight-axis motion controller with servo or stepping motor drivers, and a 90–240V power supply, all in 19” rack. MotionLink claims that the Servostep PC is the first integrated system of its type.

Rockwell releases its first machine-mounting controller

Rockwell Automation has announced its first machine-mounting safety controller, promising that it will simplify system architectures and save panel space. The Allen-Bradley Armor GuardLogix PAC (programmable automation controller) is a multi-use controller in a hardened package that can be installed directly onto a machine.

Dual-role instrument can test motors and drives

New ways of testing motors and drives could emerge following the launch of an instrument that combines power analysis with oscilloscope-style time-based measurement. Its developer, Yokogawa, describes the PX8000 as “the world’s first precision power scope”.

Plug-in modules add extra outputs to power supplies

The Japanese automation manufacturer Idec claims to have produced the first industrial power supply that offers a series of optional DC-DC converter modules to provide multiple voltage outputs from a single PSU. The 21mm-wide modules clip onto the side of the PS6R switching power supply to provide a choice of DC voltages, including ±5V, +12V and ±15V.

AC systems drives are based on standardised modules

The Finnish drives-maker Vacon has announced a range of AC system drives that will allow systems integrators to offer their customers in heavy industries a variety of standardised drive modules.

Industrial security router protects against cyber-attacks

Belden has announced a device that it describes as “the Swiss Army knife of security routers”. The Hirschmann Eagle One router is designed to protect industrial systems against network incidents and cyber-attacks, thus improving security, reliability and performance.

Drive safety monitor can cut machine downtime

The German sensor manufacturer Sick has announced a safety device designed to monitor machine movements rather than simply initiating shutdowns, thus reducing unnecessary downtime. The FX3-MOC Drive Monitor – part of Sick’s Flexi Soft modular safety control system – can monitor multiple axes.

Expanded drives family adds new capabilities

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, ABB announced several extensions to its ACS880 family of industrial drives including: higher power ranges for cabinet-built versions; high-power single-drive module packages; increased protection (IP55) for wall-mounted single drives; and the capability to control synchronous reluctance (SynRM) motors.

Comms system simplifies motor starter installations

Eaton has developed a multi-function electronic motor starter which offers integrated control via its SmartWire-DT communication and connection technology. It says that the combination will make it easier and faster to connect starters to automation environments, as well as minimising wiring.

Integrated smart motor is ‘one of the smallest’

The German motor-maker Faulhaber has collaborated with the Swiss motion controls specialist Technosoft to produce one of the world’s smallest smart motors for speed and position control. The motor-drive uses EtherCat communications and supports the CAN–over–EtherCat protocol.

CPUs link Simatic and EtherCat worlds

Vipa, the German controls company owned by Yaskawa, has developed a pair of EtherCat master controllers which also have built-in Profibus masters, thus allowing them to link the Siemens Simatic world to EtherCat networks and technologies.