Drives and Controls Magazine
Home
Menu
Pillow block bearing designs are inspired by nature

The German engineering plastics specialist igus says that design of a new range of pillow block bearings is based on the structure of trees. Flattened radii, like those found at a tree’s base, ensure maximum strength against mechanical stresses. According to the company, the lubrication- and maintenance-free plastic housings are a real alternative to cast-housing bearings.

Voice control comes to industrial applications

A German communications specialist has developed a technology that allows industrial processes to be controlled using spoken commands, in a similar way to consumer voice-activation technologies such as Alexa and Siri. Dresden-based Voice Inter Connect expects its vicControl embedded voice control system to be particularly useful in applications where work processes make control difficult, or gloves are needed.

Four-axis controller promises high performance

Trio Motion Technology has launched a high-performance controller for stepper or pulse and direction servodrives with motion control of four axes. The panel-mounting MC404-Z is primarily aimed at OEMs that need fast and accurate motion performance as well as cost-optimised machine builds. The controller enables I/O extension through CANbus and can also integrate directly with common PLC and HMI protocols via a built-in Ethernet port.

Sensor warns of fires in control panels before they occur

Schneider Electric has developed a sensor that continuously analyses gases and particles inside control panels and switchboards to give an early warning of overheating cables before a fire breaks out. The PowerLogic HeatTag sensor detects invisible, yet hazardous, transformations that occur in cable insulation – including PVC, XLPE and EPR types – typically at temperatures between 170°C and 200°C.

IoT-based lubrication monitor ends need for regular checks

Schaeffler has developed an automated lubrication system for rolling bearings that, it claims, eliminates the need for route-based checks. The company says that the Optime C1 system means that maintenance personnel will no longer have to spend time on scheduled inspection runs, or deal with complicated tables or software to plan relubrication routines. Instead they will be able to focus on targeted maintenance in response to automated notifications from the system.

Plug-and-play system simplifies condition monitoring

Sick has launched a simple plug-and-play system for condition monitoring and preventative maintenance of sensors, machines, processes and plants. Called the Monitoring Box, it can show live status or historical analyses, helping to improve operating efficiencies and make maintenance more effective.

Remote maintenance gateway cuts the need to travel to sites

Omron has announced a DIN-rail-mounting industrial gateway that can be installed in control panels to provide remote access for real-time servicing of industrial equipment without needing costly, time-consuming site visits.

Multi-role signalling light towers ‘will define the future’

The German signal tower manufacturer Werma has announced a new generation of towers that, it believes, will define the future of such systems. The whole cylindrical surface of the eSign towers is made up of multi-colour LEDs and can be programmed to perform a variety of roles including alarm signalling, access control, fill level displays, faults, stock information and building security alerts. Various signalling modes can be produced using multiple colours, brightness levels and lighting effects. The towers can also optionally produce acoustic warnings using 10 different tones.

Modular multidrive’s footprint is up to half the size of rivals

Inovance Technology Europe – the European arm of one of China’s largest drives manufacturers – has announced an AC multidrive system designed to meet the needs of European OEMs for flexible, scalable multidrives in a compact footprint. The modular MD800 system can supply up to eight drives from one rack with a single rectifier, sharing energy through a common DC bus. Innovance claims that its footprint is up to 50% smaller than traditional single-drive modules.

Pocket-sized tool is ‘first’ for testing live fibre optics

Fluke has announced what it claims is the first handheld tool for performing live tests on fibre optics and identifying polarity issues and failed transceivers. The FiberLert tool detects invisible near-infrared (850-1625nm) wavelengths used in fibre-optic communications to troubleshoot cables, ports, polarity and transceiver issues.

Square-flange M12 connectors simplify sensor connections

Binder is offering two-piece M12 panel-mount circular connectors, with square-flange housings and multi-position, lockable A-coding, that simplify secure sensor/actuator connections in factory automation and robotics applications.

Scara robots combine motion control with machine automation

The UK motion controls developer Trio Motion Technology has launched a range of Scara robots that combine motion functions and machine automation in one package. The company says that the robots will cut development times and increase reliability for machine applications that require robotic integration.

Multi-turn inductive encoders are wear- and maintenance-free

Celera Motion has announced a multi-turn inductive angle encoder that performs precise, reliable absolute angle measurements over multiple revolutions, even in harsh environments. The non-contact Multiturn IncOder has no gears or bearings, making it wear- and maintenance-free. It does not need a battery backup and the number of turns is retained in non-volatile memory, even if power is lost.

Food-industry cable will survive 30 years in harsh conditions

The Japanese cable-maker OKI Electric Cable has developed a chemical-resistant cable for the food industry that, it says, has survived accelerated testing equivalent to 30 years of continuous operation with “almost no physical degradation”. The OH cable incorporates a special elastomer with a high resistance to the detergents and disinfectants used in cleaning, as well as the machine oils used in the drive components of food manufacturing equipment. It also resists the oils and fats generated during food processing.

Roller bearings 'will last ten times longer than rivals'

SKF has developed a seal for mounted tapered roller bearings that allows them to operate in contaminated environments for at least 600 hours – claimed to be 10 times longer than any rival product.