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Free 3D CAD modelling software is given an upgrade

RS Components has released a new version of its free 3D CAD modelling tool, DesignSpark Mechanical. Version 4.0 – the first update for three years – offers new functions and a more intelligent design engine, as well as being faster. The additions and enhancements are based on feedback from users.

Safety PLC is ‘first’ with failsafe condition monitoring

ABB has developed what it claims is the world’s first safety PLC with integrated condition monitoring. It says the combination will enhance the functional safety of applications and reduce the need for manual inspections and maintenance.

Gateways open an easy path to IIoT via MQTT and OPC UA

HMS Industrial Networks has announced a pair of gateway families that support MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport) and OPC UA, enabling data to flow between equipment on any major industrial network, and IIoT applications.

‘First multi-colour camera’ adapts to product changes

Omron has announced what it calls the “world’s first multi-colour smart camera”. When a product design is changed or a new model introduced on a production line, users can simply change parameters on the FHV7 camera, rather than needing to fine-tune or replace the lighting.

Module adds safety functions to drive controller

The German drives specialist Stober has collaborated with the safety specialist Pilz to develop a safety module for its SD6 drive controller which allows safe drive monitoring of applications up to SIL 3 / PL e (Cat 4), in accordance with EN 61800-5-2 and EN ISO 13849-1. A worst-case response time of less than 10ms results in fast stopping, and minimises safety distances.

Novel cooling boosts power densities of air-cooled HV motors

Siemens has announced a range of compact, lightweight high-voltage motors which incorporate an innovative cooling system that combines fin and tube cooling, and is claimed to improve temperature distribution in the motor and boost power densities “significantly”. The Simotics HV C motors, which come in ratings up to 3.2MW, can be connected to Siemens’ new Sidrive IQ digital platform to allow cloud-based analyses of their condition.

New CT VSDs revive Commander name and green colour

Control Techniques has revived the Commander name and green colour for a new family of general-purpose variable-speed drives (VSDs) that will make their debut at the SPS IPC Drives show in Germany later this month. The easy-to-use Commander C200 and C300 drives will span ratings from 0.25–132kW and are claimed to have among the smallest footprints in their class, making them attractive to machine-builders and OEMs.

Cloud app boosts drive productivity and reliability

Siemens has announced a digital platform for evaluating and using data gathered from networked drive systems in ratings up to several megawatts. The cloud-based Sidrive IQ application is available for medium- and high-voltage motors and drives, and is claimed to open up an array of benefits, ranging from optimised maintenance and availability, to increases in productivity across the entire lifecycle.

Module allows safety and standard control on one network

Rockwell Automation has announced an optional module for its Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 755 and 755T AC drives that allows users to integrate safety and standard control systems on a single network using one controller. The Integrated Safety Functions Option Module offers safety functions based on IEC 61800-5-2 standards and can be used to monitor speed, direction and position on an EtherNet/IP network. Rockwell claims that it will cut hardware and installation costs, and boost productivity.

Entry-level motor management system supports Profinet

Siemens has announced an entry-level, Profinet-enabled motor management device which monitors, protects and controls constant-speed motors and incorporates predictive maintenance functions. The compact Simocode pro V PN GP system is said to provide easy, economical motor management, and is suitable for direct-on-line, reversing and star-delta (wye-delta) starters, as well as for controlling soft-starters.

OEM drive has ‘one of smallest footprints’ in its class

The Welsh drives-maker Invertek has developed a new variable-frequency drive (VFD) which it claims is one of the smallest in its class, allowing OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to save panel space and cut machine costs. Called the Coolvert, the drive was launched at the recent Chillventa exhibition in Germany, alongside a new CO2 condenser controller from the Danish company, Reftronix.

Low-cost condition monitor is ‘a game-changer’

The UK condition monitoring specialist AVT Reliability has launched a “game-changing” low-cost, high-speed online condition-based monitoring (CBM) system that provides real-time management of rotating equipment.

Laser scanner calculates the volume of materials on belts

The German sensor-maker Sick has adapted a laser-scanning technology originally developed to measure the volume and mass of bulk materials travelling on belts in locations such as quarries, to smaller-scale applications such as monitoring foodstuffs and other materials in factories.

Motor-drive analysers guide you through troubleshooting

Fluke has announced a pair of variable-speed drive (VSD) analysers designed to simplify the troubleshooting of complex motor-drive systems, and to save time. The portable Fluke MDA-510 and MDA-550 Motor Drive Analyzers incorporate graphical displays that guide users through the set-up procedure, while a report generator provides records of actions taken.

Direct-drive torque motors 'have half the cogging torque’

The CNC (computer numerical control) specialist NUM has launched a range of high-performance brushless torque motors which, it claims, display almost half of the cogging torque of rivals. The frameless, hollow-shaft TMX motors are said to be ideal for applications that need smooth, accurate rotation, especially at low speeds. Typical uses are expected to include direct-drive machine tools, rotary tables and radial positioning systems.