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Pocket-sized tool is ‘first’ for testing live fibre optics

Fluke has announced what it claims is the first handheld tool for performing live tests on fibre optics and identifying polarity issues and failed transceivers. The FiberLert tool detects invisible near-infrared (850-1625nm) wavelengths used in fibre-optic communications to troubleshoot cables, ports, polarity and transceiver issues.

Square-flange M12 connectors simplify sensor connections

Binder is offering two-piece M12 panel-mount circular connectors, with square-flange housings and multi-position, lockable A-coding, that simplify secure sensor/actuator connections in factory automation and robotics applications.

Scara robots combine motion control with machine automation

The UK motion controls developer Trio Motion Technology has launched a range of Scara robots that combine motion functions and machine automation in one package. The company says that the robots will cut development times and increase reliability for machine applications that require robotic integration.

Multi-turn inductive encoders are wear- and maintenance-free

Celera Motion has announced a multi-turn inductive angle encoder that performs precise, reliable absolute angle measurements over multiple revolutions, even in harsh environments. The non-contact Multiturn IncOder has no gears or bearings, making it wear- and maintenance-free. It does not need a battery backup and the number of turns is retained in non-volatile memory, even if power is lost.

Food-industry cable will survive 30 years in harsh conditions

The Japanese cable-maker OKI Electric Cable has developed a chemical-resistant cable for the food industry that, it says, has survived accelerated testing equivalent to 30 years of continuous operation with “almost no physical degradation”. The OH cable incorporates a special elastomer with a high resistance to the detergents and disinfectants used in cleaning, as well as the machine oils used in the drive components of food manufacturing equipment. It also resists the oils and fats generated during food processing.

Roller bearings 'will last ten times longer than rivals'

SKF has developed a seal for mounted tapered roller bearings that allows them to operate in contaminated environments for at least 600 hours – claimed to be 10 times longer than any rival product.

Linear actuator expands uses via on-board drive and I/O

The intelligent motion control specialist Columbus McKinnon has announced a linear actuator with an on-board variable-frequency drive (VFD) and I/O, allowing users to program movement patterns with variable speeds, and expanding its range of applications to include synchronising lifting tables, balancing loads on AGVs (automated guided vehicles), and timing critical steps in manufacturing processes.

Laser shaft alignment system ‘saves energy and cuts downtime’

Schaeffler has announced a tool for aligning rotating shafts which, it says, is particularly easy to use and results in precise shaft alignments. Unlike other laser-based alignment tools which need two laser beams to be aligned with each other, the new Laser-Equilign2 tool uses only one laser/sensor device and a reflector. The single laser is simply aligned with the reflector, making it easier to use, saving time and resulting in precise measurements.

Power quality analysers grab more than 500 parameters

Fluke has announced a series of three-phase power quality analysers that, it says, will eliminate the complexities of power quality (PQ) logging, troubleshooting and analysis by offering automatic measurements, easy set-ups, best-in-class specifications, and simple reporting.

Modular machine-tending cells can cut labour costs by 90%

ABB has launched a family of modular, robotic machine-tending cells for the metals industry that offer a variety of ways of loading and unloading machines, based on the size, shapes and number of workpieces being handled. It claims that the FlexLoader M cells will cut labour costs for machine-tending processes by up to 90%, with one operator able to handle up to 10 cells simultaneously. The automated system is also said to deliver machine utilisation of more than 97%, compared to 40-60% for manually operated machines.

IP20 and IP55 VSDs can control motors rated up to 250kW

The Welsh drives-maker Invertek Drives has launched a series of high-powered Size 8 variable-speed drives in two versions: with IP55/Nema 12 enclosures for direct mounting; and IP20 enclosures for control cabinet mounting. The drives, members of the company’s Optidrive P2 and Optidrive Eco families, can control motors rated up to 480A with power ratings up to 250kW. They replace the existing Size 8 models which were available only with IP20 protection for control cabinet mounting.

Industrial cameras are ‘smallest’ with C-mounts and housings

IDS (Imaging Development Systems) says that its latest machine vision cameras are the smallest available with housings and C-mounts. The uEye+ XCP cameras measure 29 x 29 x 17mm and have a closed zinc die-cast housing with a screwable USB Micro-B connector. They have “cost-optimised” electronics and are compatible with common lenses, making them suitable for price-sensitive applications.

Acoustic imager detects changes in sounds from plants

Fluke Process Instruments has announced its first acoustic imager – a device that can detect, locate and visualise air and gas leaks, or spot changes in sound signatures in processes and equipment in real-time, before they become costly problems. Using an array of sensors, the SV600 imager translates sounds into a visual representation, allowing users to locate and quantify problem areas quickly.

Low-cost kit allows anyone to monitor machine OEE levels

Turck Banner is offering a starter kit that will help factory managers to improve OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) levels at a price and simplicity that, it says, will allow anyone to reap the benefits. The Production Performance Monitoring (PPM) kit consists of a battery-powered wireless sensor, a controller and a three-month cloud connection. It is aimed at first-time users and includes everything needed to monitor a machine and receive warnings if its throughput falls.

Multi-carrier digital twins will speed machinery set-ups

Schneider Electric has announced a multi-carrier system for transporting, grouping and positioning products in industrial operations. It claims that the Lexium MC12 system will boost the performance and flexibility of automated machinery by up to 50%, cut installation and commissioning times by up to half, and reduce design times and time-to-market by up to 30%.