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Servodrive strips out STO to cut costs

The German drives-maker Metronix – owned by the US-based Apex Tool group – is offering a low-cost servodrive which strips out the usual Safe Torque Off (STO) function to cut costs.

Sensor is ‘first’ to combine object and colour detection

The German sensor manufacturer SensoPart claims to have produced the first vision sensor that combines object and colour detection in one device. It says that Visor Color sensor fills a gap between switching colour sensors and costly image-processing systems, and will open up new applications.

Relays offer enhanced resistance to inverter noise

Omron has developed a range of power supply monitoring relays designed to protect against problems such as motor burnouts and other malfunctions that can result from power supply issues.

Safety controllers integrate with standard I/O and motion

Omron in Japan has released more information about the NX range of safety controllers that integrate with its EtherCat-linked Sysmac modular automation platform which combines motion, standard I/O, and safety controls.

Kickstarter project funds automation card for $35 Raspberry PI computer

The US-based robotic controls specialist Roboteq is collaborating on a crowd-funded Kickstarter project aimed at creating an intelligent I/O card that will convert the $35/£28 Raspberry PI single-board computer into an embedded computer for robotics and general automation applications.

Rail-mounting Web I/O modules offer many options

Audon Electronics has announced a range of DIN-rail-mounting digital and analogue I/O modules with built-in Web servers. The ControlByWeb modules can be monitored and controlled via the Web or any other IP network, using a browser running on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Rotary piezomotor has built-in encoder

PiezoMotor, the Swedish developer of piezoelectric-powered motors and actuators, has developed a 17mm-diameter piezo motor with a built-in absolute encoder.

Ethernet switch solves the incompatible IP address problem

Rockwell Automation claims to have solved the problem of integrating machines into plant networks when an OEM's IP address assignments do not match those of the end-user network. This can be a challenge for machine-builders and end-users because the IP addresses are not usually known until the machine is being installed. This can add time and cost to the commissioning process, and delay production start-ups.

Inline helical planetary gears out-perform spur gears

Stober has announced a range of inline planetary gearboxes and geared motors with helical gearing which, it claims, are the first in their product and price categories. Compared to standard spur gear systems, the compact ServoFit PE gearboxes are said to deliver lower noise levels and smoother operation at a similar price.

Petrochemical drives offer PTC monitoring for Ex motors

At the recent Hannover Fair, Siemens announced a range of frequency converters targeting the chemical, oil and gas, and process industries. The Sinamics G180 converters, available with output ratings from 2.2–6,600kW and for voltages from 230–690V, incorporate industry-specific functions such as dV/dT and line filters, and Atex-certified PTC monitoring for Ex motors.

Low-cost redundant controls open up smaller applications

B&R Automation has come up with a low-cost way of offering redundant control using two of its standard X20 controllers working together – one providing active control, while the other runs in standby. This results in a redundant control system that is much cheaper than a dedicated system, allowing it to be used for smaller applications.

Automation suite spans PLCs, robots and motion controls

ABB has released an engineering development suite for industrial automation projects that, it says, will cut project development times by up to a third. The Automation Builder suite provides an integrated development environment for control and motion systems based on PLCs, safety PLCs, robots, motion controls and related automation components.

Multi-role motor starter cuts wiring by up to 60%

A new multifunctional motor starter from Eaton combines four functions – direct-on-line starting, reversing starting, motor protection and emergency stopping. The EMS electronic starter is said to cut wiring requirements compared to conventional switchgear assemblies by up to 60% and the number of hardware components by up to 70%.

Linear actuator design prevents rotation

Parker Hannifin has developed a new generation of compact linear actuators with an innovative design using four guide rods to prevent rotation and allow large lateral forces to be applied. The Origa ORD-E actuators can deliver stroke lengths up to 500mm and forces up to 2kN.

Wireless footswitch uses new comms technology

The German safety specialist steute has developed a two-channel wireless communications technology designed to be reliabie and to operate effectively in the same area as other wireless systems. The system, called sWave 2.4GHz-safe, is based on a pseudorandom frequency-hopping technology with the hopping pattern known only to the transmitter and receiver.