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Gearbox oil monitor will cut downtime and costs

Renold Gears has announced an oil-condition monitoring system that it claims is 60 times more sensitive to oil contamination than conventional dielectric sensors and provides an all-round view of gearbox oil performance

IO-Link master brings smart diagnostics to tough areas

Rockwell Automation has announced an IP67-rated IO-Link master that gives access to sensor diagnostics in harsh operating environments. It claims that the machine-mountable Allen-Bradley ArmorBlock will cut the time taken to resolve issues by up to 90%, as well as improving preventive maintenance and optimising system performance.

Soft-starts talk to smartphones, even when they are off

The Italian controls manufacturer Lovato Electric has developed a range of soft-starters that can be configured and interrogated wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet, even when they are not powered up. The ADXL series initially covers ratings from to 15–55kW, and will be expanded up to 160kW.

Vibratory bowls join the Industry 4.0 revolution

The German production equipment specialist Deprag has announced a new vibratory bowl feeder which, it claims, uses about 80% less energy then rival products and is “Industry 4.0-capable”.

High-spec optical encoders have built-in signal processing

The UK metrology specialist, Renishaw, has announced a family of compact, accurate digital incremental encoders with interpolation and digital signal processing built into their readheads, thus eliminating the need for external interfaces. The company says that the Vionic optical encoders deliver the highest performance that it has ever offered in an incremental encoder system.

Terminal blocks slash engineering time by ‘up to 75%’

Weidmüller has announced a new generation of terminal blocks that, it claims, will save space and cut engineering times by up to 75%. The Klippon Connect A-Series system, which includes both clamp and screw connection technologies, is also said to offer other attractions during the planning, installation and operating phases, such as error-free wiring and faster marking.

HVAC drive saves space and is easy to install

ABB has announced a VSD (variable-speed drive) dedicated to HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) applications, which can operate with any type of HVAC motor rated from 0.75–250kW, including induction, permanent magnet and synchronous reluctance (SynRM) types. The ACH580 drive, which incorporates and BACnet and Modbus communications, can be integrated with automation systems.

Non-contact monitor predicts when chains are going to fail

The German chain-maker iwis has developed a non-contact system for measuring the elongation of chains while they are running. The CCM (chain condition monitor) shows the wear status on an LED display in 0.5% increments, and can also export its readings to device such as PCs via a USB cable.

32-axis motion controller can be set up in ‘minutes’

Galil Motion Control has announced its first 32-axis motion controller. The DMC-52xx0 EtherCat master can control up to 32 drives and two I/O modules, and includes uncommitted I/O for easy integration with EtherCat applications.

IO-Link readout shows data, alarms and messages

Process values, alarms, warnings and QR codes from IO-Link installations can now be viewed on a dedicated display device developed by ifm electronic. The E30391 IO-Link display is connected to an IO-Link master like an actuator, and is controlled via PLC. No special software is needed to configure it.

24V protection system is 'the first of its type'

One of five short-listed products for this year’s Hermes technology award at the Hannover Fair was a single-channel circuit-breaker system from the German coiled products specialist, Block, which claims that is first solid-state over-current protection system for 24V DC control circuits. The breaker addresses channels automatically during switch-on, avoiding the need for time-consuming manual assigning – a particular advantage if a system stops or if components need to be replaced quickly.

Demo links industrial drives to the cloud via a 3G router

The Taiwanese automation manufacturer Delta Electronics launched a slew of new ranges at the Hannover Fair, including AC drives, Ethernet switches, machine vision systems, motion control platforms, industrial and panel PCs, HMIs, remote I/Os, smart sensors, linear stages, Scada software and robot controllers.

Smartphone app sets drive parameters remotely

Lenze’s compact i500 drives, which the company launched at the SPS IPC Drives show in Germany in late 2015, can now be accessed from a smartphone to perform diagnostics and parameter setting. At the recent Hannover Fair, Lenze also announced an extension of the drive's top power ratings from 45 to 75kW (with 110kW in the pipeline), as well as communications modules for EtherCat, Ethernet/IP and Profinet.

Profibus master interface for PCs is 'world's smallest'

Softing claims to have developed the world's smallest Profibus master interface for PCs. The matchbox-sized PBpro USB fits inside a Profibus connector housing. Its high-speed USB connection makes the interface suitable for tasks ranging from network configuration and device parameterisation, to plant maintenance and production data acquisition.

Proximity sensors have ‘world’s longest switching distances’

Turck claims to have achieved the world’s longest switching distances for proximity sensors ­– up to 50mm – with two devices that it launched at the recent Hannover Fair. The long switching distances mean that the sensors are less susceptible to damage.