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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.

High-speed VSDs are affected by new ‘dual-use’ legislation

Emerson has added two new models to its Control Techniques family of variable-speed drives, which have been designed specifically to operate at high speeds. The Unidrive HS30 and HS70 VSDs are capable of output frequencies of up to 3kHz, and are thus controlled products under new laws in the EU and US that cover the export of “dual-use” technologies that are normally used for civilian purposes but may have military applications, or could be used in equipment such as high-speed centrifuges used to produce weapons of mass destruction.

ABB’s most powerful robot is ‘25% faster than rivals’

ABB has announced a multi-purpose industrial robot capable of lifting the company’s heaviest-ever payload, adding that it is also 25% faster than its rivals and has a lower total cost of ownership. The IRB 8700 robot can handle payloads of up to 800kg (or 1,000kg with its wrist down) and has a reach of 3.5m. There is a second version available with a reach of 4.2m and a maximum payload capacity of 550kg (or 620kg with the wrist down). Both versions have an unusually high moment of inertia of 725kgm2.

New-generation drives are aimed at machine-builders

Schneider Electric announced a new generation of variable-speed drives aimed at machine-builders, at the SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Germany. The bookshelf-format Altivar 320 and the compact–format Altivar 340 support open-loop control with torque-sensitive operation, even at low speeds, as well as closed-loop control for applications requiring velocity-sensitive operation or precise positioning.

Phone-like icons allow drives to be set up in 3 minutes

ABB has unveiled two new drives at the SPS IPC Drives show in Germany which, it says, will allow machine-builders to improve the performance of their machines, while cutting the costs of integration and maintenance.

PWM servodrive is ‘industry’s most advanced’

The Israeli controls specilaist ACS Motion Control has developed a PWM (pulse width modulation) single/dual servodrive that it describes as “the industry’s most advanced”. The NPApm drive, which supports two ±10V sine-wave current commutation commands, can operate with any motion controller to address the most demanding motion applications with regards to move and settle times, standstill jitter, and velocity smoothness.

Servo family adds 200V converters and low-inertia motors

Siemens has expanded its servodrive portfolio by adding 200V converters and motors with lower shaft heights and moments of inertia. The 200V converters are up to 25% smaller than the existing 400V Sinamics V90 versions, thus saving cabinet space.

Wireless insulation tester and DMM can be used to test drives

Fluke has announced a handheld tool that combines the functions of a wireless digital insulation tester with those of a true-rms digital multimeter (DMM), and includes a low-pass filter, allowing accurate measurements to be made on motor drives.

Next-generation controllers will support the IoT

The Japanese automation manufacturer Hitachi has announced a new generation of industrial controllers, based on open standards, and optimised for use with the Internet of Things (IoT). In addition to four PLC-format controllers, there is also a pair of industrial PC-based systems aimed at high-end applications.

11.5mm-wide I/O slices are ‘the world’s thinnest’

GE Automation & Controls solutions has announced a modular I/O device based on 11.5mm-wide slices which, it claims, are the world’s thinnest. It adds that the RSTi-EP device has a smaller footprint than any other I/O device available today and will fit into the tightest spaces, while remaining easy to access and use.

Industrial controller delivers ‘45% more application capacity’

Rockwell Automation has announced a new member of its Allen-Bradley ControlLogix family of controllers which, it claims, provides up to 45% more application capacity than its previous controllers. The ControlLogix 5580 includes an embedded 1-gigabyte Ethernet port to support high-performance communications, I/O, and applications with up to 256 axes of motion.

App trio expands controls development environment

Rockwell Automation has added three new applications to its Studio 5000 development environment to help speed the development of automation systems. The applications bring more functions together into a single environment to help improve automation design productivity.

Rolled plain bearings are ‘biggest advance for 70 years’

The British bearing manufacturer Bowman International has announced a range of rolled bearings that it describes as the biggest advance in plain sliding bearings for more than 70 years. The BowMet bearings are said to offer higher load capacities and longer lives than comparable products, as well as providing good heat, speed and corrosion capabilities. They are manufactured from an alloy called ToughMet, developed in the US by Materion.

Rockwell claims that its IO-Link family is a first

Rockwell Automation has announced a new IO-Link master for its Allen-Bradley Point I/O system, as well as series of IO-Link-enabled sensors that, it says, go beyond detecting machine problems to enhancing machine productivity. It claims it is the only company to be offering controllers, an IO-Link master, and IO-Link sensors which, when used together, will simplify configuration, monitor machine health, and communicate data and diagnostics in real time using the IO-Link protocol.

Slip-resistant connection links encoders to motors

The motor manufacturer Kollmorgen claims to have come up with a new way of connecting motors to rotary encoders which, it says, will not slip, even when subjected to a 20-fold overload.