Drives and Controls Magazine
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.

Family of 600 control devices could cut panel sizes by 20%

Omron is introducing around 600 different control panel devices, in 18 different product categories, all built to a common design platform and incorporating a proprietary rapid wiring technology. It says that the components, which are all the same height, will reduce dead space in panels by up to 50% and cut panel sizes by up to 20%.

Modular robot control system allows users to mix-and-match

The Taiwanese automation manufacturer Nexcom has announced an open, modular robot control technology that allows users to mix-and-match components such as controllers, robots, and servodrives to suit their applications.

Micro-PLC with Web server packs the power of a PAC

Japan’s Idec Corporation has released a micro-PLC which, it claims, offers the power of a PAC (programmable automation controller) and supports up to 520 I/O. The FC6A MicroSmart controller can execute basic instructions in 0.042µs, has a 640kB program memory, incorporates 1,024 timers and 512 counters (including six high-speed timers capable of up to 100kHz), has a built-in Web server, and can handle large programs with complex control requirements such as PID, flow totalisation and recipes.

VSD-based hydraulic pack cuts energy use by up to 80%

Rexroth has developed a hydraulic power pack for machinery that integrates all of the hydraulic and electrical components, along with a variable-speed drive, to produce a compact system that can cut energy consumption by up to 80%. The plug-and-run CytroPac system also simplifies commissioning and maintenance.

‘First’ type 3 safety light grids will cut machine costs

The German safety specialist Pilz says it has developed the world’s first type 3 light grids, thus closing the “type gap” in the revised version of IEC 61496-1. The new PSENopt II grids offer level d (PL d) performance, avoiding the need to switch to type 4 grids to achieve PL d. They can be used to implement the performance level that precisely matches the safety requirement, without costly over-sizing.

‘Game-changing’ soft-starts act as complete control systems

At the recent Hannover Fair, the New Zealand soft-start specialist AuCom announced a  “game-changing” range that, it predicts, will challenge industry approaches to fixed-speed motor control. The EMX4i low-voltage soft-starts offer the option of plugging in application-specific cards.

Single-tool valve system is fast and easy to assemble

At the recent Hannover Fair, Aventics launched a modular pneumatic valve system designed to cut the number of components needed and to simplify assembly by using a single tool. The time-saving ES05 Essential Valve System is said to reduce the risk of faults and to offer a cost-effective, tailored way of meeting users’ needs.

Compact 20-axis controller promises big-system benefits

Rockwell Automation has announced a compact industrial controller for high-speed applications with up to 20 axes of motion which, it claims, has up to 20% more application capacity than its previous CompactLogix controllers. The new Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5380 controller offers the benefits of Rockwell’s high-performance Integrated Architecture portfolio in a small format.

Inductive system reads absolute linear positions to ±4µm

Rexroth has developed a robust linear measuring system that reads absolute positions inductively to an accuracy of ±4µm – similar to that of glass scales. The company is building the IMS-A system into its linear guides, thus avoiding the need for external measurement or air purge systems. It says that the system is immune to contamination, vibrations, shocks and magnetic interference and needs no buffer batteries in the event of a power failure.