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‘First’ NFC encoder avoids the need for set-up cables

The German encoder-maker Wachnendorff has developed what it claims is the world’s first incremental encoder that can be configured wirelessly from a smartphone using NFC (Near-Field Communications). It does away with the usual need for adapter cables and parameterisation boxes when setting pulses counts to customise an encoder for an application. The encoders will also be easier to modify at a later date.

Managed SPE switches are the first of their type

Phoenix Contact has released its first managed Ethernet switches that can connect sensors and terminal devices to SPE (Single Pair Ethernet) interfaces. The FL Switch 2303-8SP1 switches support SPE on eight ports with the 10 Base-T1L standard, which supports transmission distances of up to 1km.

Multi-axis servo inverter boosts cycle rates by “up to 20%”

Lenze has announced a multi-axis servo inverter which, it says, will allow users to increase the cycle rates of their machines by up to 20%. It adds that the i750 cabinet inverter is suitable for almost any dynamic multi-axis application.

Seven-member cobot family cuts cycle times by 25%

Dobot, the Chinese collaborative robot manufacturer which claims to be the country’s biggest exporter of industrial robots, has announced a family of seven cobots with payload capacities from 3-20kg and working radii from 620–1,700mm. The CRA cobots incorporate high-performance harmonic drive reducers and electromagnetic brakes, as well as updated software and a redesigned user interface.

Network portal offers ‘new approach to Ethernet comms’

Parker Hannifin has announced the arrival in Europe of a new approach to Ethernet communications that, it says, reformulates and transforms machine I/O architecture. It claims that the modular PCH Network Portal, which supports Ethernet protocols and IO-Link communications, will cut machine costs, start-up times and downtime

Precision servodrive targets demanding applications

Siemens has launched a dynamic servodrive system consisting of a precision drive, powerful servomotors and easy-to-use cables. The Sinamics S200 system is aimed at applications that need precise speed and torque control, such as electronic production machinery, and winding and unwinding machines in battery manufacturing and cell assembly.

Multi-PC control expands floating transport system

Beckhoff Automation has issued a software update for its XPlanar levitating product transport system which allows it to be controlled by multiple computers, thus supporting many more movers operating over a much larger area. Beckhoff says that potential expansions are “infinite”.

On-machine I/O blocks with IO-Link will raise productivity

Rockwell Automation has released a family of distributed I/O blocks with built-in IO-Link functions that, it says, will help manufacturers to improve productivity at a low cost. The Allen‑Bradley ArmorBlock 5000 I/O blocks are designed for use on machines, enabling quicker installation, commissioning and troubleshooting, and reducing downtime.

Simulation software uses digital twins to optimise drives

Siemens has announced simulation software that can be used to engineer and commission variable-speed drives, based on digital twins. The Sinamics DriveSim Advanced software allows users to simulate, commission and optimise Sinamics drive systems virtually before building them in the real world. Siemens says it will increase the efficiency and productivity of drive systems and machinery.

Network tester helps to deploy IIoT and performs TSN testing

Keysight Technologies has announced a compact network tester for engineers deploying IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and automotive networks. The Novus mini tester combines traffic generation and protocol testing in one device, allowing users to test the performance and conformance of industrial networks. Keysight says that it has the smallest footprint in the industry, an “outstanding” cost per port, and ultra-quiet, fan-less operation.

Drives use film caps to cut harmonic distortion to 35%

The Taiwanese automation manufacturer Delta Electronics has launched a range of open-loop, variable-torque drives for fan, pump and compressor applications at the 2023 Hannover Messe. The VP3000 drives have been designed to make machinery more efficient and to reduce harmonic distortion in a wide range of fluid applications.

‘Ground-breaking’ encoders handle extreme conditions

Celera Motion has announced a range of “ground-breaking” absolute inductive encoders that deliver “next-level” accuracy angle measurements in demanding conditions – dusty, dirty and wet environments, or where high shocks and vibrations are present – that would not be suitable for conventional optical encoders. The Field Calibration IncOders are aimed at motion control applications and position feedback in robotics.

Drives cut harmonics by 97% without needing chokes

Siemens has announced a high-performance frequency converter equipped with a “clean power technology” that cuts harmonics by up to 97% without needing line harmonic chokes or DC link chokes. The Sinamics G220 converter is also the first Sinamics drive to be part of Siemens’ Xcelerator digital transformation platform. It is making its debut at the 2023 Hannover Fair.

Users access cloud-based HMI platform via Web browsers

Rockwell Automation has announced a new addition to its visualisation portfolio – a cloud-enabled HMI (human-machine interface) platform that allows users to design, test and deploy applications from Web browsers anywhere, at any time. The FactoryTalk Optix platform is said to deliver new levels of collaboration, scalability and interoperability, and will help users to improve their processes, efficiency and deliverables.

Gateway gives access to 80% of OT data that is usually lost

Siemens has come up with a technology that makes unused industrial field data accessible to IT systems, helping manufacturers to operate more efficiently. Currently only about 20% of shopfloor data is used, according to Siemens. In many production plants, it adds, there’s hidden potential for optimisation at the field level – for example, in automating machines and systems.