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AC microdrives promise up to 6% more energy saving

Yaskawa has introduced a series of AC microdrives which, it claims, can achieve energy savings that are up to 6% higher than other drives. The GA500 drives span ratings from 0.2–30kW, and can be used to control permanent magnet and synchronous reluctance motors, as well as induction machines, without needing comprehensive tuning.

Control and load management combo slashes OEM costs

At the recent Hannover Fair, Schneider Electric announced a cloud-linked controller and digital load management combination which, it claims, will give OEM machine-builders an “unprecedented” ability to integrate IIoT (the Industrial Internet of Things) rapidly into new and existing machines. When used together, the Modicon M262 logic and motion controller and the TeSys multifunctional load management system are said to slash commissioning and servicing times by about half.

3D laser sensor handles reflective and diffuse surfaces

The Canadian 3D scanning specialist LMI Technologies has developed a laser line profile sensor which, it claims, is unique in its ability to scan both reflective (specular) and diffuse surfaces simultaneously. For example, the Gocator 2512 sensor can generate a precise 3D scan of a mobile phone’s cover glass in a surrounding metal or plastic frame, inspecting critical parameters such as flushness, gap and offset.

Industrial Ethernet network and cable tester is ‘the first’

Ideal Networks has launched what it claims is the first purpose-built, handheld network tester for commissioning, maintaining and troubleshooting Profinet and standard Ethernet IP networks, using either copper of fibre optics. The rugged NaviTek IE troubleshooter simplifies testing of both cabling and networks that use the Profinet protocol. Ideal says that, previously, a laptop with specialist software has been needed to identify and test network nodes and for configuration.

Tiny plug-in servodrive is ‘the world’s smallest’

The Spanish motion control specialist Ingenia claims to have produced the world’s smallest plug-in servodrive module. Its Earth drive has a footprint of 29 x 19mm and is aimed at applications such as robotics end-effectors, cutting tools, drills and medical devices.

Liquid-cooled, 690V and crane drives debut at Hannover

At the Hannover Fair in April, Mitsubishi Electric will be showing extensions to its portfolio of frequency converters, including 690V models in ratings up to 630kW, a liquid-cooled series for use in harsh operating conditions, and high-performance drives dedicated to crane and winding applications.

Servodrives target protective extra-low-voltage applications

Siemens is launching a new servodrive system for extra-low-voltage (ELV) safety applications, which comprises a PDC (Profidrive Control) servo converter used in conjunction with compatible motors and connecting cables. The Simatic Micro-Drive is designed for use with DC and EC (electronically commutated) motors from 24–48V and is suitable for applications such as precision positioning, AGVs (automatic guided vehicle systems), and shuttles used in storage and warehousing systems.

Flexible safety network boosts cobot and AGV productivity

The German sensor-maker Sick has developed an intelligent safety network for collaborative robots (cobots) and AGVs (automated guided vehicles) which, it says, will deliver flexibility and productivity. The Safe EFI-pro system combines safe sensor and control technologies with open Ethernet networking, supporting application-specific safety concepts for AGVs and cobots that also improve their performance.

48V conveyor drives could halve power supply needs

The Swiss conveyor drive specialist Interoll has announced a modular, plug-and-play conveyor platform that offers a choice of 24V or 48V DC operation, and includes motors rated up to 50W for driving heavy loads. At the heart of the DC Platform are the new EC5000 RollerDrives which power the zones of zero-pressure-accumulation conveyors individually.

Motion function cuts machine set-up times by up to 90%

Bosch Rexroth claims that a new drive-based motion control function can cut machine programming and commissioning times by up to 90%, compared to traditional PLCs. With the Sequential Motion Control (SMC) function, users can program single- and multi-axis applications in Rexroth’s IndraDrive drives without needing an external control system.

Controller-PC allows operators to see machine data

Rockwell Automation has announced an industrial controller that combines its Logix control engine with the Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Enterprise operating system, allowing users to view machine information at its source and make more informed operating decisions. The Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5480 controller can support applications with up to 150 axes of motion, making it ideal for large packaging and converting, printing and web applications that would benefit from a simplified architecture and smaller footprint. It also provides fast scan times and motion-loop updates to help improve machine throughput.

VSDs with motion controls simplify machine-building

ABB has added positioning control capabilities to its ACS880 variable-speed drives, avoiding the need for dedicated external motion controllers that require specific tools, user interfaces and programming languages. The same product family can now be used for positioning, speed or torque control across an entire production line. ABB says that embedding position control inside the drive will minimise machine engineering and installation work, remove the need for extra equipment, and cut the costs of training, tools and spare parts.

Drives are optimised for synchronous reluctance motors

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show, Siemens launched a new range of converters aimed mainly at pump and fan applications. With a power range of 0.75–630kW, the G120X drives can be used with any type of motor, but are optimised for use with Siemens’ synchronous reluctance motors.

Embedded controller can synchronise up to 192 axes

Rexroth has topped its MLC motion control system with an embedded controller that can handle up to 192 synchronised axes. By choosing the appropriate software package, users can decide whether they want the XM42 controller to synchronise 64, 128 or 192 axes.

Permanent magnet HVAC motors are 'most efficient’

WEG has developed a range of electronically commutated permanent magnet motors with IEC 80 aluminium housings, specifically for HVAC (heating, ventliation and air-conditioning) applications. The WECM motors achieve an IE5 efficiency rating, and packaged with an impeller, they comply with all current and future EU directives for HVAC.