Drives and Controls Magazine
Smartphone app tells you how to fix drives faults

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show, ABB announced a series of enhancements for its ACS880 industrial drives, including a smartphone app that reads a QR code that is generated on the drive’s display in the event of a fault. The Drivebase app (available for Android and iOS mobile devices) accesses ABB’s service site which delivers information about the error and possible remedies, without the operator having to consult a manual.

Mechanical specialist expands into motor-drives

The Italian mechanical power transmission specialist Motovario has entered a new market with the launch of an integrated motor-inverter that it has spent more than two years developing. One reason for launching the new range, called Drivon, is that sales of one of the company’s traditional products – mechanical variators – have been declining, with most now being sold as replacements rather than for new installations.

Graphic terminals allow remote monitoring of plants

Rockwell Automation has announced a new range of graphic terminals that allow data from anywhere in a plant to be monitored using tablets, smartphones or other mobile devices. The Allen‑Bradley PanelView Plus 7 Standard terminals also offer machine-builders new options in terms of size, functions and connections.

Servodrives tackle vibrations and ripple

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, Yaskawa unveiled a new generation of servomotors and drives with improved performance, a wider speed loop bandwidth (3.1kHz), and enhanced vibration suppression and force ripple compensation compared to their predecessors. The Sigma-7 motors are 20% shorter than the previous Sigma-5 models – which they can replace directly – and provide 16 times better resolution, thanks to the inclusion of 24-bit encoders.

Rugged drive can be mounted on or near motors

WEG has developed a rugged decentralised drive, designed to be mounted on a motor’s terminal box, or nearby. The IP66-protected MW500 inverter (based on WEG’s CFW500 VSD) is said to simplify commissioning, installation and start-ups, and to cut cabling and cabinet costs.

Automation suite helps to program multi-axis projects

The German drives specialist Stober has unveiled a software tool for programming multi-axis applications using its MC6 motion controller. The AS6 Automation Control Suite is based on the Codesys 3.5 system and incorporates motion control and PLC functions. It supports the IEC 61131-3 programming languages and includes a robot command set.

General-purpose drives reach their third generation

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, the Welsh drives-maker Invertek unveiled the third generation of its general-purpose Optidrive family of drives. Available in four frame sizes covering ratings from 0.37–22kW, the Optidrive E3 can control IE2, IE3 and IE4 permanent magnet and synchronous reluctance motors.

Advanced PLC targets demanding applications

At the recent SPS IPC Drives in Germany, ABB announced a high-performance, multi-processor version of its AC500 PLC, aimed at demanding machinery and motion automation, control and communication tasks. The AC500 PM595 Machinery Controller incorporates a 1.3GHz processor with four 32-bit RISC processors, an embedded double-precision floating-point processor, 16MB of user program memory, and an array of communications interfaces.

Flexible servodrives can be used ‘in almost any application’

ABB has announced a three-phase AC servodrive platform that can be used – without needing any extra hardware – in almost any application, from centralised control to intelligent stand-alone motion systems. The flexible MotiFlex e180 drives are suitable for high-power and continuous machinery and motion control applications using a variety of communications and motor feedback technologies.

Automation platform integrates motion with an industrial PC

Bosch Rexroth has combined a PLC-based motion logic system with a Windows PC, allowing machine-builders to run PC software on the same platform as real-time motion control. It says that the new IndraMotion MLC controller will open up new applications by integrating Web-based technologies, high-level languages, Ethernet-based communications and Windows applications.

Multi-axis PAC has built-in APIs for advanced controls

Delta Electronics has announced a PAC (programmable automation controller) with integrated motion control functions, which supports EtherCat and DMCNET communications. The MH-1 Series PAC has built-in application-specific APIs which are said to make it easier to implement CNC, robot and IEC 61131 controls.

Reporting software alerts users via their smart watches

Schneider Electric has released a new version of its Wonderware SmartGlance mobile reporting software with new functions that include support for wearable technologies, such as smart watches. The 2014 R2 version of the software is claimed to make it easier for users to monitor, visualise and analyse real-time plant and industrial process data via mobile devices.

Servodrive integrates safety via Ethernet/IP

Rockwell Automation has announced a servodrive that uses the Ethernet/IP network for machine safety functions. The Allen-Bradley Kinetix 5500 with integrated safety is based on the company's Kinetix 5500 servodrive and offers the same high-speed coordination for demanding motion applications.

Smart camera in a vision sensor format ‘sets new standard’

Datalogic has announced a smart camera which, it claims, sets a new standard in machine vision by providing advanced smart camera functions in an embedded vision sensor form factor. The modular P-Series camera uses interchangeable embedded lenses and illuminators that can be mounted and replaced in the field.

Disconnect switch simplifies designs for global panel-builders

Rockwell Automation has announced a universal visible-blade disconnect switch that will help panel-builders to meet global standards, including UL, CSA, CE and CCC. Initially, the Allen-Bradley Bulletin 1494U disconnect switch is available in 30A, 60A and 100A ratings, and will be extended up to 600A next year.