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Cloud-linked wireless nodes monitor rotating machines

Sulzer’s Finnish-based pump business has worked with Treon, a local specialist in wireless IoT hardware, to develop a wireless condition monitoring device for rotating machinery. The battery-operated Treon industrial node measures tri-axial vibrations and the surface temperatures of equipment such as pumps, motors and agitators. It is designed to operate as part of a wireless mesh network, making it easy and cost-effective to deploy on a large scale, or to retrofit to existing equipment.

Patented filters prevent bearing damage and cut EMI

A US company has developed and patented a series of EMI (electromagnetic interference) filters that, it claims, resolve many of the issues associated with PWM (pulse width modulation) drives – such as the high-frequency currents that can destroy motors’ bearings. California-based OnFilter says that in comparison with conventional reactors, which reduce these leakage currents by a factor of 2–3, its easy-to-install SF series dV/dt filters can reduce the currents by 50–100 times or more.

‘First’ AI-based diagnostics will cut downtime and boost productivity

Mitsubishi Electric claims to have developed the world's first diagnostic technology that uses machine learning to analyse sensor data, thus detecting machine abnormalities rapidly and accurately, and helping to improve productivity. The development is based on the company's Maisart  AI (artificial intelligence) technology.

Project aims to transmit IoT data on beams of light

A consortium of EU businesses and academia partners has embarked on a three-year project to develop a next-generation wireless communications technology that will transmit Internet of Things (IoT) data using light rather than radio waves.

Project develops methods for testing wireless comms

A multi-national group of researchers has developed a system for testing wireless industrial communications. They were aiming  to overcome the lack of standardised methods and test systems for measuring the reliability and performance of such systems. The three-year project, called ReICOvAir (Reliable Industrial Communication Over the Air), developed both software- and a hardware-based test beds for evaluating the reliability, latency and throughput of wireless communications systems.

Swiss robot-maker to use ‘revolutionary’ direct-drive tech

Genesis Robotics, the Canadian company behind the “revolutionary” LiveDrive high-torque, direct-drive motor technology, has signed a joint development agreement (JDA) with the Swiss robotics pioneer, Demaurex, to integrate its motors into Demaurex’s latest delta robots.

Ceiling-mounted LEDS guide AGVs around factories

A group of German organisations have shown that using beams of light to locate and guide autonomous vehicles, such as AGVs, is a practical, flexible and reliable technique. In a three-year collaborative research project, backed by the German Federal Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF), the researchers demonstrated that ceiling-mounted LED lights can be used to guide driverless transport vehicles reliably through production or storage areas.

Production transport system carries five times more load

Rockwell Automation has upgraded its MagneMover Lite production transport system, allowing it to move heavier products and support larger-scale applications. The system, which uses independent carts to move items along production lines, can now carry loads of up to 10kg ­­– five times more than before – and supports larger applications.

Future grippers will harness AI to operate autonomously

At the 2019 Hannover Fair, the gripper specialist Schunk announced that it is collaborating with the French artificial intelligence (AI) expert, AnotherBrain, to develop the world's first autonomous gripping system. The technology will allow handling operations to be performed without any manual programming.

Ferrari picks UK motors for 340km/h hybrid supercar

Ferrari has chosen the UK electric motor manufacturer Yasa to supply the motors for its first series production hybrid sportscar – the 340km/h SF90 Stradale. Each vehicle will contain three motors, with a combined capacity of 162kW, helping to propel the  four-wheel-drive vehicle to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds, and 200 km/h in 6.7s.

Deep learning allows smart sensors to adapt to their task

The German sensor-maker Sick is using deep learning techniques to create “intelligent” sensors that can perform automated detection, testing and classification of objects and features. At the Hannover Fair, it announced an application that uses deep learning to detect whether a sorting tray in a logistics hub is loaded with an object.

Virtual reality demo gives remote control of a robot via 5G

Visitors to Rittal’s stand at the 2019 Hannover Fair could take part in a demonstration in which they used virtual reality (VR) glasses and two VR controllers to control a two-arm industrial robot, connected to an edge-based 5G network. The task was to plug a large replica of a conductor connection terminal onto a rail, insert a cable into the terminal, and disconnect it again. There was immediate optical and acoustic feedback on whether or not they were successful in the task.

Machine learning tool helps OEMs to deliver ROIs in ‘months’

At the 2019 Hannover Fair, Weidmüller presented an automated machine learning (ML) tool for machinery and plant engineering that will allow OEMs to create and develop models without having to rely on data scientists or external specialists. This will ensure that their knowledge of processes and machinery stays inside the company.

Now you can talk to a machine to tell it when to start

Iconics, the software developer recently acquired by Mitsubishi, has developed a voice interface for machinery that allows users to perform tasks such as starting and stopping equipment, changing temperatures, adjusting setpoints, and viewing work orders, without looking away from what they’re doing or lifting a finger. The Genesis64 Voice Machine Interface (VMI) allows them to use natural spoken commands to boost productivity and improve operational efficiency.

Gearbox data standard supports digital twins

Schaeffler, SEW-Eurodrive and FVA (the German research association for power transmission engineering) have collaborated to draw up a standard modelling system and nomenclature for gearboxes. Called REXS (reusable engineering exchange standard), the format will replace manual data exchanges between CAE (computer-aided engineering) tools, and eliminate the need for repeated gearbox modelling processes. This will cut development times, and the format can also be used to generate digital twins that can be used to analyse gearbox operating data.