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Plug-and-play conveyor improves productivity

Interroll has launched a platform-based material-flow system that, it says, will boost the productivity of manufacturing processes “significantly”. The modular, plug-and-play LCP (light conveyor platform) system allows integrators to implement scalable belt conveyor sections quickly to satisfy the automated material-flow requirements of individual customers.

Micro-PLCs optimise smart machine design and programming

Rockwell Automation has announced a pair of micro-PLCs that, it claims, will allow machine-builders to design and program machines more efficiently. As well as releasing the Allen-Bradley Micro850 and Micro870 2080-Lx0E controllers, Rockwell has also updated its Connected Components Workbench software which, it says, will simplify the development of machines using the microcontrollers and cut development times by boosting upload data transfer rates by 23%, and download rates by 40%

Open-source OS is a low-cost alternative to Windows for IPCs

Beckhoff is offering a new operating system for some of its industrial PCs as a lower-cost alternative to full Microsoft Windows packages.

Multi-axis servodrive is ‘most competitive’ up to 750W

Trio Motion Technology used the recent Drives & Controls Show to launch a multi-axis servodrive designed to provide precision motion coordination for space-critical applications up to 750W. The DX5 servodrive is aimed at machine-builders who need multi-axis EtherCat control in a compact format with no gaps between the drives.

On-machine drives cut time and costs, and simplify set-ups

Rockwell Automation has released a series of machine-mounting AC variable-frequency drives designed for quick installation, simple commissioning and predictive maintenance. The Allen-Bradley Armor PowerFlex drives, available in standard or safety versions, replace multiple components for easier integration into automation systems.

First NFC microdrive can be programmed inside its box

At the recent Drives & Controls Show in Birmingham, UK, Nidec Control Techniques unveiled a microdrive that it believes is the first in the world to provide programming, commissioning, diagnostics and other functions using a built-in NFC (near-field communications) capability.

Large robots target EV production and other complex tasks

ABB has announced two new families of large industrial robots for complex manufacturing applications such as EV (electric vehicle) manufacturing, foundries, forging, rubber, plastics and metal fabrication. The IRB 5710 and 5720 robots are designed to boost productivity, performance and uptime by delivering enhanced speed, accuracy, flexibility, and a more robust design with integrated cabling.

IE5 synchronous reluctance motors promise lowest TCOs

The French motor manufacturer Nidec Leroy-Somer has developed a range of super-premium efficiency permanent magnet-assisted synchronous reluctance motors which, it says, combine the easy set-up of induction motors with the high performance of synchronous permanent magnet technologies, as well as offering “significant advances” in terms of their use with smart drives.

Raspberry Pi-based controller will have built-in touchscreen

An industrial computing specialist has announced a pair of controllers based on the low-cost Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4) platform, which is aimed at industrial applications. OnLogic says that one of the controllers will have built-in touchscreen to provide status updates and system control.

ProfiSafe module links safety sensors to controls via IO-Link

ifm electronic has announced a device that allows users to operate standard safety sensors and actuators via IO-Link. The AL200S module uses a special ProfiSafe telegram to provide “tunnelled” communication with a safety controller. This allows it to meet SIL3 and PLe safety requirements.

Single radar level sensor suits almost any application

The German level and pressure instrumentation specialist Vega has developed a radar-based level sensor that, it claims, can be used for almost any level-sensing application involving liquids or solids. Until now, choosing a radar-based level has been a laborious process, requiring application details such as temperature and pressure ranges, to be matched to a wide choice of radar frequencies, antenna designs, parts numbers and options. Up to 15 parameters needed to be specified.

Energy-saving VSDs will make their debut at Drives Show

The Brazilian drives and automation manufacturer WEG is launching a new generation of simple, space-saving, high-performance VSDs with advanced energy-saving, overload and safety functions. The CFW900 drives, which can be used with either induction or PM (permanent magnet) motors, will make their first large-scale public debut at the Drives & Controls Show in Birmingham, UK, in April.

Low-cost Scara robot brings automation to new sectors

Igus has added a Scara (selective compliance articulated robot arm) robot to its Low Cost Automation (LCA) family of robots and other devices that are designed to boost the productivity of tasks such as electronic assembly and laboratory work, while keeping costs down. The drylin Scara robot, priced upwards of £3,000, joins the existing delta, multi-axis and gantry linear robots in the LCA range, designed to perform basic high-speed, low-payload automated tasks.

New-generation VSDs support output frequencies to 599Hz

Fuji Electric has launched a VSD (variable-speed drive) with a maximum output frequency of up to 599Hz, supporting applications that need high-speed rotation and minimal speed and torque variations. The Frenic-Mega G2 drives have autotuning functions that allow them to be used with almost any type of induction or synchronous motor, using sensor-based or sensorless vector control.

Six-pulse VSD brings smart functions to more applications

Rockwell Automation has announced its first six-pulse drive to support its TotalForce technology, which combines high-performance motor control, advanced self-monitoring and a digital platform to deliver faster, more precise and more responsive AC drives. The technology has been incorporated in the new PowerFlex 755TS drives which, Rockwell claims, will help to cut unplanned downtime and to get motors running faster.