Trinamic Motion Control, the German developer of motion control technologies, has developed what it claims to be the world’s lowest-cost single-axis motion control chip. The TMC4210 motion controller IC, which costs just over $2 in quantities of 1,000, performs real-time position and velocity stepper motor calculations, simplifying the design of software to implement motor control on host microcontrollers.
Omron has announced a compact vision system which, it claims, is the fastest of its type, resulting in shorter machine cycle times combined with precise operation, even in difficult operating conditions, such as poor lighting, and out-of-focus, rotated or overlapping target objects.
Mitsubishi Electric has released a compact PLC with embedded Ethernet facilities, two analogue inputs (0-10V DC or 4-20mA) and an analogue output (0-10V DC or 4-20mA). It says that these facilities will open up the Melsec FX3GE CPU to a wider range of applications than other models in the FX3G family.
The Californian controls company, Specialty Motions Inc (SMI), has developed a motion controller that provides variable speed control, direction control, and oscillating and jog-able motion, using standard 12V or 24V brushed DC motors. The D-Con controller is designed to be an low-cost and easy means of achieving such motion without needing to learn programming languages, or using expensive motors, complex drives, PLCs or computer controls.
The Israeli motion controls manufacturer ACS Motion Control has developed a combined control module and EtherCat master which, it claims delivers “ultimate servo performance, the shortest move and settle times possible, minimal jitter, and outstanding smoothness”.
National Instruments has announced a new CompactRIO controller that is four times faster than the previous generation. The cRIO-9068 has been redesigned completely, but is still compatible with the CompactRIO system's reconfigurable I/O and with NI’s LabView software.
The German controls and automation manufacturer Schleicher Electronic has developed a hand-held operating device that it claims is the first to control machines with the convenience of a smartphone. It predicts that the device will revolutionise the operation of handling systems, industrial robots and machine tools.
US-based Mechatronics Systems has developed a family of brushless AC motors with integrated drive electronics that, it says, offer variable speed operation with servo-like performance. It claims that the 191mm-long 2.2kW version is the smallest package of its type on the market.
Phoenix Contact has developed a range of high-current terminals that make it easy to connect and wire rigid or flexible ferruled conductors up to 95mm˛ without needing tools.
Aerotech has announced a range of two-axis linear motor stages that, it says, offer good geometric and dynamic performance in low-profile packages. The Planar DL stages are optimised for high dynamics and stiffness and can achieve velocities to 1m/s, accelerations to 1.5g, straightness to ±0.4µm, and flatness to ±1µm.
ABB has announced a range of high-power motors designed to accelerate high-inertia loads, such as axial fans. With standard motors, the long start times of such loads can lead to overheating. The new motors have been designed to withstand the increased temperature rise during start and stall conditions, and have stall times longer than their start times.
Mitsubishi Electric has released a motion controller that allows users to combine Mitsubishi’s servo motion systems with third-party control systems. The Q170MCPU-EIP controller allows users to create positioning applications within their existing programming environments and to use these with Mitsubishi servo platforms.
Dunkermotoren has announced a range of compact brushless DC servomotors with integrated control electronics and EtherCat connections. There are ten models with power ratings from 50–500W in square frames with sizes ranging from 45–75mm.
The Japanese automation manufacturer Idec has announced a new family of low-I/O-count controllers including a version with a colour touchscreen. There are five models in the FT1A SmartAxis series, offering from 12–48 I/O.
A German power semiconductor specialist, GvA Leistungselektronik, has developed a modular, scalable inverter system that allows components to be combined flexibly to achieve the required rating and performance.