Drives and Controls Magazine
Industrial cameras are ‘smallest’ with C-mounts and housings

IDS (Imaging Development Systems) says that its latest machine vision cameras are the smallest available with housings and C-mounts. The uEye+ XCP cameras measure 29 x 29 x 17mm and have a closed zinc die-cast housing with a screwable USB Micro-B connector. They have “cost-optimised” electronics and are compatible with common lenses, making them suitable for price-sensitive applications.

Acoustic imager detects changes in sounds from plants

Fluke Process Instruments has announced its first acoustic imager – a device that can detect, locate and visualise air and gas leaks, or spot changes in sound signatures in processes and equipment in real-time, before they become costly problems. Using an array of sensors, the SV600 imager translates sounds into a visual representation, allowing users to locate and quantify problem areas quickly.

Low-cost kit allows anyone to monitor machine OEE levels

Turck Banner is offering a starter kit that will help factory managers to improve OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) levels at a price and simplicity that, it says, will allow anyone to reap the benefits. The Production Performance Monitoring (PPM) kit consists of a battery-powered wireless sensor, a controller and a three-month cloud connection. It is aimed at first-time users and includes everything needed to monitor a machine and receive warnings if its throughput falls.

Multi-carrier digital twins will speed machinery set-ups

Schneider Electric has announced a multi-carrier system for transporting, grouping and positioning products in industrial operations. It claims that the Lexium MC12 system will boost the performance and flexibility of automated machinery by up to 50%, cut installation and commissioning times by up to half, and reduce design times and time-to-market by up to 30%.

I/O module is first based on Raspberry Pi RP2040 chip

The Italian automation developer Sfera Labs has announced the first industrial product based on the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller chip, which was released earlier this year. The Iono RP is a compact programmable I/O module said to combine the ease of use of the Raspberry Pi, with a choice of digital and analogue input and output interfaces. The result is a rugged, safe, reliable and easy-to-connect module in a compact DIN-rail case that can be installed in cabinets or integrated into automation systems.

Long-life plastic bearings avoid risks of explosions

Igus has developed a maintenance-free plastic material for food industry plain bearing applications, that is designed to withstand friction and high temperatures, and to dissipate electrostatic charges, thus reducing the risk of explosions and shocks to operators. In laboratory tests, bearings made from the new iglidur AX500 tribopolymer material, rotating on stainless-steel shafts, exhibited up to three times less wear and tear than bearings based on the earlier A500 material.

Coupling tackles misalignments and dampens vibrations

KTR has launched a shaft coupling which, in addition to transmitting power, compensates for misalignments and dampens torsional vibrations. The torsionally flexible Rolflex coupling is available in two designs (N and SH Split) and seven sizes with torque ratings from 65–790Nm. Another five sizes will be added by the middle of 2022, extending the range up to 5kNm.

Tough fibre cable with no metal armour can handle forklift weight

Belden has developed an optical fibre cable that avoids the need for metal armouring, and is up to 90% lighter and 70% smaller in diameter than metal armoured cable, and up to 50% smaller in diameter than non-armoured cable. The OptiTuff Mini Fiber cable is also said to be more flexible and easier to install than metal armoured cable and can survive a four-tonne forklift being driven over it.

Automated CNC door-opener solves ‘unsolvable’ challenge

A Danish start-up claims to have solved a “previously unsolvable” challenge by developing the world’s first completely automated door-opening system for CNC machine tools, thus removing the last barrier to the automated feeding of components into machines. The company, Made4CNC, says that its system can be fitted to any CNC machine tool in less than an hour.

MV drive accepts 13.8kV primary in ‘half the space’

Rockwell Automation has announced a medium-voltage drive which, it claims, delivers industry-leading performance in about half the space. The PowerFlex 6000T drive accepts primary voltages up to 13.8kV in a width of 2,310–3,010mm. It is aimed at new and retrofit applications in IEC markets, especially where space is at a premium.

1,350kg-capacity AMRs are first to offer IP52 protection

Danish-based Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), which claims to be the global market leader in autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), has launched a pair of AMRs which are its most powerful to date and can be used to transport pallets and other heavy loads around manufacturing facilities, warehouses and logistics centres. The 600kg-capacity MiR600 and the 1,350kg-capacity MiR1350 robots are said to be the first AMRs with an IP52 ingress protection rating, which means they can tolerate dust and water drops.

Tools boost efficiency of automation and electrical design

Siemens Digital Industries Software has released a pair of software packages for designing automation systems and industrial electrical equipment. It says that the NX Automation Designer and NX Industrial Electrical Design tools can help manufacturers of production systems to manage design complexity, cut development lifecycles and increase the quality of their designs.

Emulation software tests controls before they are deployed

Rockwell Automation has released emulation software for its ControlLogix 5580 family of controllers which allows engineers to test control code in a virtual environment before deploying the hardware. It says that the FactoryTalk Logix Echo controller software will save time and costs for machine designers, optimise machine performance, and reduce time-to-market.

Battery-free vibration sensors can check all machines in a plant

Fluke Reliability has announced a battery-free wireless system for monitoring machine vibrations, that can help to identify potential faults before breakdowns occur. The “set-and-forget” Fluke 3562 Screening Vibration Sensor system can connect up to 1,000 sensors to a single gateway and can operate continuously, even in hard-to-reach places.

Live machine safety dashboard promises improved uptime

The German-sensor maker Sick has announced a safety monitoring service that generates live visualisations of one or more machines, allowing users to monitor the status of their safety processes in real time. The Safety Machine Analytics software can help to investigate the causes of stoppages and eliminate them, as well as providing longer-term analyses to help improve maintenance and productivity.