Drives and Controls Magazine
Graphical software allows novices to program cobots

ABB has announced a graphical programming aid for its single-arm YuMi cobot (collaborative robot) that allows users with no prior knowledge of robot programming to create programs quickly without needing specialised training.

IIoT platform gathers data to help move to smart factories

Fanuc has announced an open-source IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) platform that can connect a wide range of Fanuc and third-party production technologies – including legacy models dating back to 2000. The aim of the Field (Fanuc Intelligent Edge Link and Drive) system is to provide fast, centralised access to all production data in a plant and to help users to move towards smart factories.

‘First smart camera with deep learning’ tackles complex tasks

Cognex has announced what it describes as the world’s first industrial smart camera to be powered by deep learning. The self-contained In-Sight D900 embedded vision system incorporates the company’s ViDi deep learning software and is aimed at complex in-line inspection applications such as optical character recognition, assembly verification and defect detection.

IE5 synchronous reluctance motors can halve losses

ABB has announced that its SynRM synchronous reluctance motors now comply with the IEC’s new IE5 ultra-premium energy efficiency class, with energy losses that are up to 50% lower than those of IE2 induction machines. ABB introduced the SynRM technology in 2011 and applications have demonstrated energy savings of up to 25%.

Modules cut energy used by any make of drive by up to 40%

A German company, Michael Koch, has developed a series of active energy management devices for VSDs (variable-speed drives) that, it claims, can cut energy use by up to 40% when used with drives of any make. The devices, which are connected to the drive’s DC link, store excess electrical energy, largely independently of the grid.

Three-finger gripper grasps hard-to-handle objects

The Danish manufacturer of robotic end-effectors, OnRobot, has developed a three-finger electric gripper that, it says, will simplify previously difficult-to-automate precision handling of cylindrical parts, and will accept a wide range of object sizes. The compact 3FG15 gripper has a 15kg payload, a maximum stroke length of 150mm, and can handle parts from 20–150mm. It provides a strong grip for both form-fit (internal) or friction-fit (external) applications.

Flexible rotary encoder adapts to the application

The German sensor-maker Siko has developed an absolute magnetic encoder comprising a sensor and rule that can be adapted to suit the position and shape of an application. The MSAC200 flexCoder is aimed at rotary applications that cannot be implemented using off-the-shelf components, and which need high resolution and precision, and the ability to adapt to users’ designs. Examples include motor feedback, automated handling and assembly, and robotic systems.

Compact IP65/67 IPC can be installed directly on machines

The German automation manufacturer Beckhoff has announced an ultra-compact multi-core industrial PC with IP65/67 protection that can be installed directly on machines or other equipment. When used as a control computer, the C7015 edge device also reduces the need for control cabinet space, and simplifies machine designs as well as later system expansions.

Wireless mesh sensors monitor rotating machines

SKF has announced a compact vibration and temperature sensor that monitors the condition of rotating parts on heavy industrial machinery automatically. It says that the SKF Enlight Collect IMx-1 sensor will allow users to cut both unplanned downtime and maintenance costs. They will also be able to collect data more frequently – over hours and days, instead of weeks and months – from locations that were previously inaccessible, using fewer technicians.

Cloud-connected logic module will be ‘a paradigm shifter’

Siemens has announced a “paradigm-shifting” new version of its Logo! logic module that connects directly to the cloud, opening up a wide range of new control and monitoring possibilities – such as energy management and predictive maintenance – and simplifying networking. The new version (8.3) is due to be launched at the Hannover Fair (recently postponed until July) and is planned to be available in late 2020.

Dual-output proximity sensor saves time

Japan’s Azbil Corporation – previously known as Yamatake – has developed an adjustable proximity sensor with two outputs that allows operators to configure and check settings remotely from a computer, thus saving the time usually needed to set up multiple sensors.

Encoders are first to support CIP Safety over EtherNet/IP

Rockwell Automation has developed what it claims are the first encoders to support the CIP Safety over EtherNet/IP protocol for safety applications up to SIL 3 / PLe. The Allen-Bradley 843ES absolute encoders are aimed at safety applications that need speed, direction or position-monitoring functions.

‘Revolutionary’ edge automation platform adapts to its use

The US communications, monitoring and controls manufacturer, Red Lion, has announced a “revolutionary” edge automation platform that, it says, brings a new degree of versatility to edge computing, while its simple point-and-click operation will boost productivity and efficiency.

Integrated EtherCat servodrives can be mounted on machines

The German controls manufacturer Beckhoff has announced an integrated machine-mounting servodrive for implementing automation outside of control cabinets. The AMI812x servodrive combines a servomotor, output stage and fieldbus connection in a space-saving design that is available in ratings up to 400W.

Gateway marries IO-Link with controls to gather device data

The German sensor-maker Sick has unveiled an IO-Link gateway with an on-board Web server that can collect, combine, evaluate and transmit signals from IO-Link devices from any manufacturer. The SIG200 Profinet Sensor Integration Gateway is the first in a family of intelligent Industry 4.0 gateways designed to work both as IO-Link masters and as small, distributed control systems.