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Electrically activated e-stop buttons will save time and energy

The German safety expert Pilz has developed an electrically-operated emergency-stop pushbutton which, it says, can save time and energy, and allow machines to be returned to service more rapidly after a shutdown. The PITestop active device has a built-in light ring to indicate its status.

Manufacturers want to standardise push-pull M12 connectors

Molex, Phoenix Contact, Murrelektronik and Binder have agreed to work together to drive the standardisation of M12 push-pull connectors which interlock automatically when plugged in, avoiding the need for traditional screw connections. The interlock is based on Molex’s Brad Ultra-Lock technology, which is designed to bring the ease push-pull connections to IP67/68/69K sealed connections. It can be used without tools, simplifying mounting, especially in confined spaces.

Diagnostics tool shows all of the devices on a network

A Dutch specialist in Profibus and Profinet technologies has developed a diagnostics tool for Industrial Ethernet installations which can display all of the devices on a network and how they are connected, and provide an overview of the network’s health. Procentec says that its Atlas module will help to prevent unexpected and expensive downtime.

First hazardous area clamping enclosure is ‘97% faster’

Eaton has announced what it describes as “the first clamping enclosure for hazardous industrial environments”, and is hailing it as “a major safety enhancement” for explosion-proof enclosures.

Mechatronic drive targets materials applications

New from Lenze is a compact mechatronic drive that combines a motor with control electronics and software, and a gearbox that is integrated into the motor housing. The g350 drive is aimed, in particular, at materials-handling applications, where is it said to deliver high efficiencies.

EtherCat terminal system expands into hazardous areas

Beckhoff has expanded into process control applications with a series of EtherCat terminals with IS (intrinsically safe) I/Os that can connect directly to field devices in Zone 0, 1 and 2 hazardous areas. Using the company’s PC-based controllers, automation and process technologies can now be combined, and EtherCat benefits such as diagnostics applied in hazardous areas.

Modules plug gaps left by obsolete Rockwell controls

Two US companies have stepped in to offer substitutes for controls products that Rockwell Automation has made obsolete. Real Time Automation is offering a replacement for the Allen-Bradley 1761-NET-AIC communications interface, which Rockwell discontinued in January, while AMCI (Advanced Micro Controls Inc) has an alternative for the Allen-Bradley 1746-HSTP1 motion module for SLC500 PLCs, also made obsolete recently.

Open platform allows SIs to customise smart sensor apps

The German sensor-make Sick has announced an open software platform that allows systems integrators and OEMs to develop tailor-made applications based on the company's programmable devices, including smart vision systems and intelligent sensors. The AppSpace platform is supported by a multi-core processor, called the SIM4000 sensor integration machine, that can integrate multiple cameras and sensors together with powerful image processing.

IE4 servomotors deliver high torque and speeds

Rockwell Automation has announced a line of permanent magnet servomotors with efficiencies of at least IE4, designed to deliver high levels of continuous torque at high speeds for long periods of time, thus helping manufacturers to achieve high machine throughputs. The Allen‑Bradley Kinetix VPC motors are aimed at processes such as converting, printing and web-handling.

Compensation functions optimise winding applications

Siemens has developed functions for its Simotion motion controllers that, it says, will improve the speed, reliability and quality of the winding operations used in converting applications such as processing corrugated cardboard or web materials, and manufacturing battery electrodes.

Open-source-based platform links old controls to the IoT

Wind River, the Intel-owned specialist in IoT (Internet of Things) software, has announced a platform that will allow ageing control systems, not originally designed to support the IoT, to link into IoT networks.

Planar gantry is 30% faster than Cartesian handling systems

Festo has developed a dynamic gantry system that, it claims, is 30% faster than conventional Cartesian handling systems, with initial costs that are comparable. The EXCH planar surface gantry is aimed at high-speed assembly operations where small, light mass-produced items need to be positioned quickly and flexibly.

Easy-to-apply servodrive system uses 9mm-wide cable

At next month’s Hannover Fair, Siemens will unveil an easy-to-commission servodrive system which uses a single-cable connection between the drive and motor which is just 9mm in diameter. The new system, based on the company’s Sinamics S210 converters and new-developed Simotics S-1FK2 servomotors, covers ratings from 50–750W in five sizes.

Modular IPCs mark ‘a new era in customised computing’

GE Automation & Controls has announced a range of modular industrial PCs (IPCs) which, it says, usher in “a new era of customised computing platforms”. The new PCs, which will make their debut at the Embedded World exhibition in Germany later this month, allow a higher level of customisation to suit users’ needs. According to GE, they mark the end of the era of maximising standardisation in IPCs.

Modular drum-motors will cut costs and lead times

The Swiss conveyor drives specialist Interroll has announced a new generation of modular drum-motors aimed principally at conveyor belt applications. The motors, offering a choice of synchronous or asynchronous technologies, will be available first in 80mm-diameter formats and will then be rolled out across the rest of the company’s portfolio.