Drives and Controls Magazine
Siemens unveils first new generation of S7-1200 PLCs in 10 years

At the 2024 Hannover Messe, Siemens is launching the first new generation of its Simatic S7-1200 PLCs for ten years. The new models are designed to help bridge the worlds of OT (operational technology) and IT (information technology), with high communications performance and efficient data-processing, thus boosting output. By connecting the controllers to IT systems, it is also possible to use advanced data analysis in the cloud, for example.

Software will identify vulnerable production assets automatically

At this month’s Hannover Messe, Siemens will be previewing a new SaaS (software-as-a-service) designed to identify cybersecurity vulnerabilities rapidly in factories. The cloud-based Sinec Security Guard offers automated vulnerability mapping and security management optimised for operators in OT environments.

Expandable industrial controller is based on Raspberry Pi module

Sfera Labs, the Italian designer and manufacturer of embedded and edge computing systems, has announced an expandable industrial controller based on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4). The Strato Pi Max is a powerful industrial server module that can be customised and optimised for industrial and IoT applications.

Direct on line Nema motors have 20% lower losses

ABB has cut the losses in its proven Baldor-Reliance Nema induction motors by an average of 20% while maintaining the form, fit and function of these motors, which have a large installed base. The new SP4 motors comply with the Nema Super Premium efficiency requirements for standard AC induction motors operated DOL (direct on line), and can achieve higher efficiencies when paired with a variable-speed drive.

AI-driven robot ‘will redefine cost-effectiveness’

A German robot-maker, fruitcore robotics, has announced a new generation of digital robots which, it claims, will “redefine cost-effectiveness in industrial automation”. It adds that the AI-supported Horst1500 robots will have the lowest service life costs on the market. Thanks to AI-supported, intuitive operation, new tasks can be set up quickly and efficiently, even without expert knowledge.

Drivetrain portfolio combines real and digital worlds

At the Hannover Messe in April, Siemens will unveil a portfolio of software and hardware for designing and operating drivetrains efficiently and sustainably. It will allow users to combine the real and digital worlds of drive technologies to achieve efficiency and sustainability for entire drivetrains.

Drive is designed to maximise efficiency of PM motors

Control Techniques has announced a variable-speed drive designed to maximise the efficiency of sensorless permanent magnet (PM) motors, cutting their running costs while optimising system performance.

HVAC-R drives help OEMs to move to F-Gas compliance

Invertek Drives has launched two compact-frame HVAC-R drives aimed at OEMs who are having to move to R290 (propane) and R744 (CO2) refrigerants, as well as A2L and A3 types which support the F-Gas regulations. The new frame size 3 and 4 drives add higher current capabilities to the company's Optidrive Coolvert (HVAC-R) family, which is designed for use with brushless DC compressors, heat pumps and CDUs (condensing units), allowing HVAC-R OEMs to optimise their system performance in a compact space.

Software produces shopfloor KPIs to boost performance

Schneider Electric has launched a hardware-agnostic digital platform that collects and aggregates data across industrial operations to develop KPIs (key performance indicators) for short-interval management (SIM) meetings, where shopfloor teams review production cycles and identify issues and actions that need to be implemented.

‘First’ touchscreen swipe sensor works like a smartphone

The German sensor-maker Sick has unveiled what it claims in the world’s first photoelectric proximity sensor with a touchscreen display. The W10 sensor’s swipe-up touchscreen technology, combined with simple icons, makes set-up and teach-in “intuitive”, the comopny says.

Compact global drive redefines what ‘standard’ means

SEW-Eurodrive says it is redefining what “standard” means with a compact frequency inverter that can be used for applications from open-loop speed control and encoder-free torque control, to dynamic positioning. Its new Movitrac Advanced inverter offers a high degree of standardisation and is suitable for use in more than 50 countries.

3D cameras monitor the contents of containers

On its stand at the 2023 SPS exhibition, the safety specialist Schmersal was demonstrating several of its technologies including a recently launched 3D camera which uses time-of-flight (ToF) technology to measure infrared (850nm) light pulses reflected from objects being monitored. The AM-T100 camera creates a millimetre-accurate 3D image of the scene at high speed that is available as a point cloud. It can be used to determine the position and the dimensions of objects or detect fill levels of containers, for example.

Profinet safety controller works as expansion module

Phoenix Contact has a new Profisafe safety controller that operates as an expansion module for its AXC F 2152 or AXC F 3152 PLCnext controllers. The AXC F XT SPLC 3000 controller adds a safety PLC for Profinet networks to PLCnext. It can be used in applications up to SIL3 or PLe.

New-generation cycloidal gears deliver 30% more torque

Sumitomo Drive Technologies has released a new generation of its E Cyclo (ECY) precision cycloidal shaft gears with higher torque densities and modular plug-and-play connectors that fit any motor. It claims that the ECY 203 and ECY 205 gearboxes deliver at least 30% more rated torque, acceleration torque, and emergency stop torque, compared to previous models. The maximum drive speed is up to 8,500 rpm.

Quartet of motion controls includes 100µs per axis model

Elmo Motion Control, the Israeli controls manufacturer owned by Bosch Rexroth, unveiled several new ranges at the 2023 SPS exhibition in Germany including the first AC servodrive in its Platinum family to offer full functional safety. The Platinum Bassoon delivers up to 10A at 230V, and up to 3.25kW of continuous power. It can drive brushless, DC brushed and linear motors, or voice-coil devices.