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Modular access control system can be retrofitted

The German machinery safety specialist Pilz has developed a flexible, modular access permission management system which can be integrated into existing control consoles and can use existing pushbuttons. The PITmode fusion system consists of a reader with integrated RFID technology, a Web server (the PITreader) and a safe evaluation module (SEU). It is aimed at machines which need to switch between different control sequences and operating modes.

Smartphone, watch and thermal camera are intrinsically safe

Pepperl+Fuchs has created a portfolio of intrinsically safe “smart” devices, including a phone, smartwatch and thermal video camera designed to operate safely in potentially explosive atmospheres. It describes the SmartEx 02 phone as “the most advanced intrinsically safe smartphone for Zone 1/21 and Div 1” operation, and the first to be certified to Google’s AER (Android Enterprise Recommended) validation for these areas. It has a 5-inch display, runs the Android 9 OS and has global Ex and approval certifications.

Software bridges gap between standard and custom gearboxes

At the 2019 Hannover Fair, SEW-Eurodrive unveiled a new generation of its X industrial gearboxes which it has optimised in terms of their hardware as well as calculation processes designed to meet specific customer demands. The Generation X.e boxes include helical and helical-bevel types spanning the torque range 6.8-475kNm.

164 safety light curtains form ‘world’s broadest portfolio’

Omron has announced a family of 164 new safety light curtains, with the claim that they form the industry's broadest portfolio. The F3SG-SR/PG curtains provide finger (10mm beam gap), hand (20mm), leg (40mm), and body protection (80mm), and cover protective heights from 160–2,480mm. They are IO-Link compatible, and can thus be linked into IoT systems on factory floors.

Ironless linear motors boost force-to-mass ratios by up to 45%

At the 2019 Hannover Fair, Schaeffler presented a series of ironless linear motors designed to reduce the mass of the primary part without compromising drive forces. The UPLplus motors are aimed, in particular, at applications where the maximum acceleration of linear drives has previously been limited by the relatively large proportion of the rotor mass to the total moving mass.

Parameterising app talks to drives via Bluetooth

Nord Drivesystems has developed an app for diagnosing, analysing, monitoring and parameterising its drives. The Nordcomm app works with a Bluetooth stick to speed up commissioning, simplify maintenance and remedy faults faster.

Backdrivable actuator offers ‘unrivalled’ speed and stiffness

Genesis Robotics, the Canadian company which unveiled a gearless, high-torque rotary actuator at the 2017 Hannover fair, was back at this year's show, previewing a new family of low-friction, back-drivable actuators which, it says, respond much faster than traditional actuators.

Siemens' automation portal migrates to the cloud

Siemens is making its TIA Portal engineering framework accessible via the cloud, providing fast, flexible, Web-based access to pre-installed environments via any type of hardware, at any place and any time, without needing any installation. It says that this capability will reduce the effort needed to test TIA Portal innovations, allowing the framework to adapt flexibly to a user’s hardware and way of working. There is no need to install the software on local hardware.

Cloud-based apps give real-time insights into IIoT equipment

At the 2019 Hannover Fair, Schneider Electric announced seven new cloud-based apps for industry, smart buildings, data centres and energy grids, as part of its EcoStruxure platform. The Advisor apps and services provide visibility for connected products, while delivering analytics to drive efficiency. They include:

App reads error messages from industrial controls

Bosch Rexroth has released an app that provides wireless access to the error memory of machines equipped with its control systems, allowing maintenance personnel to read error messages and service information, and to order spares.

Software integrates machine learning and drive programming

Beckhoff has integrated a real-time machine learning (ML) capability into its TwinCat 3 automation software. It says that the ML technology is powerful enough to handle advanced tasks such as motion control, and predicts that it will open up new possibilities and optimisation potential in areas such as predictive maintenance, anomaly detection, collaborative robotics, automated quality control, and machine optimisation.

Bookshelf inverters can be extended using plug-in modules

The German drives manufacturer Nord has announced a range of cabinet-mounting inverters whose functions can be extended using plug-in control, safety and option modules. The bookshelf-format Nordac Pro SK 500p inverters span ratings from 0.25–5.5kW and can be mounted side-by-side inside cabinets.

Laser distance sensor ‘represents a new generation’

The German sensor-maker SensoPart claims that a new laser-based triangulation sensor represents a new generation of distance sensors. The FT 55-RLAM sensor, available with operating ranges up to 1m, can detect surfaces from black to shiny. It is equipped with an analogue output, two switching outputs, an IO-Link interface and an optional RS-485 port.

Inverters offer a choice of three duty ratings

Omron has announced a new series of high-performance frequency inverters for induction and permanent magnet motors, that include an auto-tuning function said to maximise PM motor performance, leading to energy savings. In addition to the normal-duty (ND: 150% overload for 1 minute, or 200% for 3 seconds) and low-duty (LD: 120% for 1 minute, 150% for 3s) capabilities of the previous RX series, the new RX2 inverters add a very-low duty (VLD: 110% for 1 minute, 120% for 3s) rating, widening their range of applications.

AC microdrives promise up to 6% more energy saving

Yaskawa has introduced a series of AC microdrives which, it claims, can achieve energy savings that are up to 6% higher than other drives. The GA500 drives span ratings from 0.2–30kW, and can be used to control permanent magnet and synchronous reluctance motors, as well as induction machines, without needing comprehensive tuning.