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ABB's drives family continues to expand

ABB is continuing to expand its ACS880 family of drives which made their debut in 2011. It unveiled several new developments unveiled at the recent Hannover Fair.

Phones and tablets become easy-to-configure and use HMIs

The Californian automation manufacturer Opto 22 has announced a new way to build and deploy simple, scalable operator interfaces based on computers and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Up to 64 integrated servodrives can be powered from one supply

At the recent Hannover Fair, Danfoss unveiled an integrated servodrive based on a permanent-magnet synchronous motor sharing an enclosure with the drive electronics. The VLT ISD 510 drives cover rated torques from 1.7–15Nm and are equipped with Ethernet-based EtherCat and Powerlink communications.

I/O system squeezes 20 channels into 12.5mm-wide modules

The Austrian automation company Sigmatek has developed a compact modular I/O system that fits up to 20 channels in a 12.5mm-wide module. The rail-mounting S-DIAS modules – which include safety versions ­– communicate using a real-time Ethernet system called Varan with a bus speed of 100Mbit/s. The I/O modules can be accessed within 1.12µs.

Next-generation light curtains ‘set new standards’

Sick has announced a new generation of safety light curtains that, it says, set new standards for efficiency, ease-of-installation and reliability. The deTec4 Core curtains have no blind zones, offering optimum positioning and protection against unsafe access, while allowing operations to continue efficiently.

HVAC drives incorporate a fire mode

Following the recent launch of its CFW500 variable-speed drive, WEG has announced a variant dedicated to HVAC pump and fan duties. The compact, easy-to-use CFW501 drives span the power range 0.18–7.5kW and there are plans to increase this to 22kW next year.

Encoder-free IP55 drives can be wall-mounted

SEW-Eurodrive has developed a decentralised frequency inverter for controlling the speeds of asynchronous and synchronous motors without an encoder. The IP55-protected Movitrac LTP-B drive can be wall-mounted, even in difficult ambient conditions.

Ex-rated IE4 motors are ‘world’s first’

At the recent Hannover Fair, Bauer Gear Motor launched what it claims is the world's first Ex-rated, IE4 super-premium efficiency geared motor. It adds that the S Series PMSMs (permanent magnet synchronous motors) are the world's most efficient motors for use in explosive atmospheres.

Hygienic cables and detectable energy chains ensure food safety

igus has launched a pair of products – anti-microbial cables and plastic energy chains containing easy-to-detect metal particles – designed to help food manufacturers to produce food that is safe for consumption.

Sinewave filter ‘solves inverter-driven motor issues’

The Canadian power quality specialist Mirus International has developed a technology that, it says, marks a substantial step in mitigating harmonic issues associated with inverter-driven motors. The Inversine AUSF (advanced universal sinewave filter) is designed to transform chopped-up PWM VFD output voltages into clean sinewaves with a THD (total harmonic distortion) of less than 3%.

Ethernet cable links IPCs to HMIs up to 100m away

At the recent Hannover Fair, Beckhoff announced a technology that allows an operator panel to be located up to 100m away from an industrial PC (IPC) and linked to it via standard Ethernet Cat 7 cable, thus cutting cabling and installation costs. The single-cable CP-Link 4 technology can carry DVI video signals, USB 2.0 serial communications and a 24V power supply, allowing the remote displays to be passive.

Tubular linear motors are ‘first’ with integrated controls

Dunkermotoren has developed what it claims is the first tubular linear motor with an integrated amplifier and controller, thus reducing and simplifying wiring. The efficient, low-maintenance ST11 motors are said to be faster than stepper motors with ballscrews and more precise than belt-drive systems.

3D profiler promises micron-level accuracy

Cognex has developed a 3D laser profiling system that provides readings in real units of measurement with micron-level accuracy, making 3D applications easier to understand and deploy. The system can perform inspections that would be too difficult for traditional two-dimensional machine vision systems.

Robots bend over backwards to reach new locations

Mitsubishi Electric has announced a new generation of vertical and horizontal robots, up to three of which can be controlled directly from modules mounted in an iQ PLC rack. The new Melfa F series includes six-axis vertical robots, claimed to have a larger working envelope than others of their type, and horizontal Scara-type machines, claimed to be the fastest in their class.

Sensor displays are programmable

Baumer has developed a programmable display for sensors and instruments that indicates relevant data quickly, and has a colour-coded background to show alarms and other states of alert. Initially, the IP67-protected devices are intended for use as temperature and pressure gauges, but they can also be used with other sensors with a 4–20mA output. Other versions are planned.