Drives and Controls Magazine
Wireless access point bolts onto machines to give remote comms

The Swedish industrial communications specialist HMS Industrial Networks has announced a wireless access point that is designed to be mounted on a machine or cabinet like a bolt to provide wireless access via a WLAN, or Bluetooth or Bluetooth Low Energy. The IP67-protected Anybus Wireless Bolt can be used to configure a machine remotely, to replace cables, or to connect the system to a cloud service.

‘Ultimate’ power supply is cyber-secure and is ‘built to last’

The Californian controls manufacturer Bedrock Automation has developed an industrial power supply which, it asserts, sets new standards for onboard intelligence, durability and cyber-security. Starting with a blank sheet of paper, Bedrock’s engineers designed the SPS.500 to be “the ultimate power supply”.

One-tool system cuts RJ-45 termination times by up to 60%

Belden has developed a “game-changing” RJ-45 connection system that, it claims, will cut termination times by up to 60%. The REVConnect system uses the same termination core for either a plug or a socket, and is suitable for all Category 5e, Category 6 and Category 6A RJ-45 connections. A single tool performs every step of the termination process, including cable preparation.

Bandless V-belts are the first to be 'service-free'

The belt-maker Gates claims to have developed the first bandless V-belt that needs no servicing or maintenance. Its new Quad-Power 4 belt does not need to be “run in” or re-tensioned within 48 hours of being installed, resulting in fewer production standstills and lower maintenance costs, especially for difficult-to-reach belt drives.

Development offers secure remote access to industrial networks

The industrial communications specialist Belden and the Danish software developer Secomea have joined forces to offer a simple, secure way to provide remote network access, programming and diagnostics. They are offering a combined hardware and software package that will help users to take advantage the increased connection of devices made possible by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Yaskawa unveils its first collaborative robot outside Japan

The robot-maker Yaskawa has unveiled its first collaborative robot to be sold outside of Japan. The Motoman HC10 can handle loads up to 10kg and has a reach of 1.2m.

High-speed surface inspector challenges line-scan cameras

Mitsubishi Electric has announced a compact, easy-to-install alternative to line-scan cameras for inspecting defects on flat surfaces. Called the line-scan bar, it offers high-quality, distortion-free images up to the edges of materials moving at speeds of up to 1,000m per minute, or even faster.

Gearbox oil monitor will cut downtime and costs

Renold Gears has announced an oil-condition monitoring system that it claims is 60 times more sensitive to oil contamination than conventional dielectric sensors and provides an all-round view of gearbox oil performance

IO-Link master brings smart diagnostics to tough areas

Rockwell Automation has announced an IP67-rated IO-Link master that gives access to sensor diagnostics in harsh operating environments. It claims that the machine-mountable Allen-Bradley ArmorBlock will cut the time taken to resolve issues by up to 90%, as well as improving preventive maintenance and optimising system performance.

Soft-starts talk to smartphones, even when they are off

The Italian controls manufacturer Lovato Electric has developed a range of soft-starters that can be configured and interrogated wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet, even when they are not powered up. The ADXL series initially covers ratings from to 15–55kW, and will be expanded up to 160kW.

Vibratory bowls join the Industry 4.0 revolution

The German production equipment specialist Deprag has announced a new vibratory bowl feeder which, it claims, uses about 80% less energy then rival products and is “Industry 4.0-capable”.

High-spec optical encoders have built-in signal processing

The UK metrology specialist, Renishaw, has announced a family of compact, accurate digital incremental encoders with interpolation and digital signal processing built into their readheads, thus eliminating the need for external interfaces. The company says that the Vionic optical encoders deliver the highest performance that it has ever offered in an incremental encoder system.

Terminal blocks slash engineering time by ‘up to 75%’

Weidmüller has announced a new generation of terminal blocks that, it claims, will save space and cut engineering times by up to 75%. The Klippon Connect A-Series system, which includes both clamp and screw connection technologies, is also said to offer other attractions during the planning, installation and operating phases, such as error-free wiring and faster marking.

HVAC drive saves space and is easy to install

ABB has announced a VSD (variable-speed drive) dedicated to HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) applications, which can operate with any type of HVAC motor rated from 0.75–250kW, including induction, permanent magnet and synchronous reluctance (SynRM) types. The ACH580 drive, which incorporates and BACnet and Modbus communications, can be integrated with automation systems.

Non-contact monitor predicts when chains are going to fail

The German chain-maker iwis has developed a non-contact system for measuring the elongation of chains while they are running. The CCM (chain condition monitor) shows the wear status on an LED display in 0.5% increments, and can also export its readings to device such as PCs via a USB cable.