Drives and Controls Magazine
Soft-starters with onboard PLCs adapt torque to the load

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, WEG unveiled a family of high-end soft-starters with built-in PLC functions that provide programmable control of induction motors. The soft-PLC allows the output torque to be adapted to the load, and start-up currents to be minimised.

Current monitor adapts to suit its application

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, Murrelektronik announced a modular current-monitoring system that can be adapted to suit an application. The Mico Pro system monitors control and load currents, identifies critical conditions, signals limit loads, and switches faulty channels off in a targeted way. A patented tripping process ensures that trips occur as late as possible, but as early as is necessary.

VSD enhanced by Ethernet port and Web server

Mitsubishi Electric used the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany to preview a new inverter with a built-in Web server and Ethernet TCP/IP connections. The FR-A800-E drive, which is based on the existing FR-A800, will provide enhanced functions for remote monitoring and parameter adjustment, as well as easier integration into networks. Mitsubishi says that single drive could control an entire machine or process, saving time and money for SIs and OEMs.

Triple servoamps cut space requirements by up to 90%

Schneider Electric has developed a drive system for servomotors that, it claims, could cut the need for space in control cabinets by up to 90% compared to conventional servo amplifiers, as well as reducing energy consumption by up to 40%. It unveiled the Lexium 62 ILD system at the recent SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Germany.

Camera grabs videos before and after incidents

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, Sick launched a camera that captures images and video sequences taken immediately before and after an event, to reveal the causes of plant malfunctions – such as safety barriers being ignored or items being removed from production lines. The camera can transmit event-controlled video sequences directly to the cloud, as well as storing them locally on an SD memory card.

Gateway links plants to the IoT, without any programming

New from Bosch Rexroth is a gateway that links new or existing plants to the Internet of Things (IoT) without affecting the automation logic. The Linux-based IoT gateway uses Java apps and open interfaces. Configuration is Web-based, and needs no programming.

Motion control software adds support for OPC-UA

Siemens has updated its Simotion motion control software, equipping it with object-oriented programming (OOP) and communications via OPC UA.

Next-generation motion engineering system is unveiled

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, SEW-Eurodrive unveiled the first elements in a next-generation modular motion engineering system that will encompass all elements from controls, software and inverters, to motors. The new Movi-C products will be programmed using a single engineering software package, called Movisuite, that combines planning, configuration and diagnostics functions and will be used to set up everything from single inverters to complete machines.

45mm-wide twin-axis servodrive is ‘world’s thinnest’

The German motion engineer Stober has developed what it claims is the world’s narrowest multi-axis servodrive. The modular, rack-based SI6 system includes double-axis modules (2 x 5A) that are 45mm wide, resulting in six-axis systems that are 18cm wide, and 20-axis systems that are less than 50cm wide, including power supplies. The drives have a position, speed and current cycle time of 62.5µs.

Energy-saving VSD targets fans, pumps and compressors

At last week’s SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Germany, ABB unveiled a new general-purpose variable-speed drive designed to optimise pump, fan and compressor operations, efficiently and simply. The compact ACS480 drive – which is available in ratings from 0.75–11kW, 380–480V – is said to offer users all of the functions they will need to control standard applications easily and intuitively.

Tiny industrial PC ‘will open up new applications’

The German automation manufacturer Beckhoff has developed a tiny industrial PC (IPC) that, it predicts, will open up new applications for IPCs, especially where there are cost or space limitations, or where expensive customised motherboards would have been needed before.

Automation platform brings entire lines under one controller

Yamaha has announced in Japan that it has developed a robotic automation platform that, it says, will allow automated production lines to be built quickly at low costs. The platform includes a wide range of components – including controllers, Scara robots, linear conveyor modules, single-axis robots and “smart” cameras – that together form a portfolio of 91 components and 202 variants that will go on sale on 1 December.

Motor breakers combine two forms of protection

The Italian controls manufacturer Lovato has announced a new generation of motor protection circuit-breakers spanning ratings from 0.1–100A. The SM breakers provide both short-circuit and thermal protection, reducing the need for thermal overload relays and fuses, and saving space and wiring time.

Gateway connects devices to CC-Link IE Field

The Swedish industrial communications specialist HMS Industrial Networks has extended its Anybus CompactCom 40-series family of communication interfaces with a new version that allows any automation device to communicate on the CC-Link IE Field network. HMS says it now offers both embedded and stand-alone gateway systems for all of CC-Link’s communication formats.

Wireless IoT gateway is ‘smallest and most flexible’

The Canadian wireless IoT specialist, Sierra Wireless, claims to have developed the world’s smallest, most flexible and rugged programmable cellular gateway. The FX30 gateway provides an integrated embedded platform that will connect any machine to any IoT application or cloud, enabling fast, scalable and global deployment of IoT systems.