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Ferrite magnets replace rare-earths in EV motor

Yaskawa says it has developed an electric vehicle (EV) motor that avoids the need for neodymium magnets, using much cheaper and easier-to-obtain ferrite magnets instead. The development is intended to reduce the company’s dependence on rare-earth materials, such as neodymium and dysprosium, whose prices have fluctuated widely in recent years, with China dominating and controlling their supply.

Young robot-builders will be guided by 3D instructions

Autodesk, the company behind AutoCAD, has joined forces with Lego to provide 3D interactive building instructions for a new generation of Lego’s Mindstorms robot-assembly kits, due to be released later this year. 

3D simulations avoid the need for CNC trial cutting

Mitsubishi Electric has developed an ultra-high-resolution 3D technology for representing the shapes of machined surfaces for numerically controlled (NC) machine tools. The technology provides detailed representations of surfaces at resolutions down to 1µm, which machine operators can use to evaluate surface textures without needing to perform trial cutting. They can, for example, check for over- or under-processing marks and for scratches.

Swapping roles with humans can boost robot productivity

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have discovered that robots can operate more effectively if their training includes swapping roles with humans working alongside them.

Micro-PLC data is gathered via the cloud

The French controls manufacturer Crouzet has joined forces with the Swedish industrial communications specialist HMS Industrial Networks to allow users of its Millenium 3 Smart micro-PLC to access data from their equipment remotely via the Web.

Composite busbars are 35% cheaper and half the weight

Rittal is offering a composite busbar technology as a cheaper, lighter alternative to traditional copper busbars used in enclosures.

Network chips will come in three formats

Following its development of a new chip that allows industrial devices to communicate with almost any industrial network, HMS Industrial Networks has announced that it is to offer the technology in three formats.

First battery-powered ferry will be recharged during turn-arounds

The world’s first battery-powered car ferry is due to enter service in Norway in 2015, carrying up to 120 cars and 360 passengers across the Sognefjord.

Intelligent track technology replaces chains and simplifies machines

Rockwell Automation is collaborating with Jacobs Automation, a US pioneer in intelligent track technology, to integrate Jacobs’ iTrak system with Rockwell’s Integrated Architecture.