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Sensors ‘can detect any object on a high-speed line’

The German sensor-maker Sick says it has achieved a step change in sensing performance and value with a range of distance sensing, proximity and object detection sensors that, it claims, can detect any object on a high-speed production line. The family of four PowerProx sensors, which are based on laser time-of-flight (ToF) technology, cover a distance range from 50mm to 3.8m and can replace most distance and proximity sensors in a production plant. The family includes what is claimed to be the world’s smallest ToF sensor.

Vibration sensor targets low-speed applications

The British vibration monitoring specialist, Sensonics, has developed a sensor specifically designed to monitor vibrations on slow-speed machinery ­– typically rotating at less than 300 rpm. It says that traditional piezoelectric-based velocity vibration sensors are susceptible to various forms of interference in low-frequency applications that can result in spurious readings and alarms.

Plug-and-play device ‘will open up 3D vision sensing’

Sick’s first 3D vision sensor, the TriSpector 1000, unveiled at the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, is now available. The self-contained, plug-and-play device performs real-time 3D quality inspection and is said to be easy to install and use.

Machine-mounting controller supports IoT programming

Rexroth has announced an IP65-protected control module that combines PLC and I/O functions and can be mounted directly onto a machine, avoiding the need for a protective cabinet. The IndraControl FM handles up to 36 digital and analogue I/O from devices such as sensors and actuators, as well as Modbus RTU for direct activation of frequency converters.

Modular servo-actuators are tailored to their application

The German precision drives specialist Wittenstein has developed what it claims is the first fully scalable servo-actuator platform. The flexible platform, called premo, made its debut at the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany. Wittenstein says that it “sets new benchmarks in terms of size and power density”.

Linear motor is ‘first with non-analogue magnetic encoder’

The Japanese precision motor manufacturer Nippon Pulse has collaborated with the German encoder-maker Siko to produce what they claim is the first linear motor to incorporate a non-analogue magnetic linear encoder. The scale-less SL083 motor is aimed at positioning applications that need the repeatability, reliability and robustness of a linear motor, with a resolution and repeat accuracy of up to 5µm.

'World's smallest' smart cameras avoid the need for PCs

Cognex has announced a family of compact, standalone vision systems that deliver data at PC-like speeds, without needing a PC. The In-Sight Micro 8000 cameras include the “world’s smallest” self-contained 5-Megapixel vision system.

PLCs implement motion functions directly in CPUs

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, Yaskawa, and its German controls subsidiary Vipa, unveiled a system that implements motion control functions directly in PLCs.

ABB makes its Scara robot debut

ABB has entered the competitive market for Scara (selective compliance articulated robot arm) robots for the first time with a family of three modular robots capable of handling loads up to 6kg and achieving reaches from 450–650mm.

Compact, new-generation VSDs are easy to set up and run

At the recent SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Germany, Yaskawa unveiled the first model in a new generation of frequency inverters, claiming that it is among the smallest on the market, as well as being easy to set up and operate. The GA77 drives, available in ratings up to 630kW, can be used to control asynchronous, permanent magnet, or synchronous reluctance motors, without needing auto-tuning.

Software upgrade turns VSD into a servo rival

Danfoss has added an optional software function to its VLT AutomationDrive FC 302 that, it says, will deliver the precise positioning and synchronisation of a servodrive –­ without the cost and complexity. An FC 202 equipped with the new Integrated Motion Controller (IMC) function can be used to control asynchronous or permanent magnet motors, with or without encoders.

Servomotor-gearboxes are ‘half the length’

Sumitomo (SHI) Cyclo Drive has collaborated with the Swedish motor manufacturer HDD Servo Motors to develop a compact, precision, hollow-shaft motor-gearbox that, they claim, is half the length of conventional rotary drives with comparable performance.

Cards bring multi-protocol Ethernet support to PCs

The Swedish industrial communications specilaist HMS Industrial Networks has developed a PC interface card that supports numerous industrial Ethernet standards, allowing users to connect PC-based slave applications to EtherCat, EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP, Profinet IRT/RT, Powerlink and standard TCP/IP.

Motor protection breaker is ‘smallest on the market’

The Brazilian motors and controls manufacturer WEG has launched a Class-10 motor protection circuit breaker which, it claims, is the smallest on the market. The MPW80 breaker is aimed at applications requiring high short-circuit switching capacities and compact dimensions.

Controllers aimed at IoT will simplify system designs

National Instruments (NI) has announced a family of industrial controllers designed to address the requirements of advanced Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The company says that the controllers will simplify systems, cut costs, and shrink footprints by integrating control functions, processing and various types of I/O – including vision and motion – into a single high-performance controller.