Drives and Controls Magazine
Wireless machine condition sensors create mesh networks

SKF has announced a wireless machine condition-sensor network that gathers vibration and temperature data for condition monitoring and machinery diagnostics. The battery-operated sensors communicate with each other, and with a wireless gateway, to create mesh networks. They are said to be ideal for monitoring rotating machinery spread across large plants, in awkward locations, or where traditional WiFi communications will not work.

Faster open-loop current sensors work up to 250A

The Swiss current and voltage sensing specialist LEM has announced a series of current transducers capable of measuring up to 250A. The HO sensors offer a choice of panel, busbar or PCB mounting, integrating the conductor or using an aperture measuring 15 x 8mm.

Colour touchscreen PLC targets SIs and OEMs

Unitronics, the Israeli specialist in integrated PLCs and HMIs, has developed a device aimed at system integrators and OEMs that need PLC control, but would usually choose simple text displays, rather than colour HMIs, due to limited budgets.

Thumb-sized 4kW servodrive ‘sets power density record’

UPDATED: Elmo Motion Control, the Israeli motion control specialist, claims to have set a new record for servodrive power densities with a tiny drive that produces more than 4kW from a package that weighs just 18g (or 22g with an EtherCat option) and occupies a volume of 8.7cm3.

Any field sensor or actuator can now link to SmartWire-DT

At the recent Hanover Fair, Eaton announced an enhancement to its SmartWire-DT technology that will allow any sensor or actuator to be linked into the system via IP67-protected M12 connectors designed to be used outside cabinets.

New-generation LV motors come in IE2 and IE3 versions

At the recent Hannover Fair, ABB launched a new generation of general-performance cast-iron LV motors in IE2 and IE3 efficiency versions. The company says it has enhanced the motors’ electrical and mechanical designs, and optimised their use of materials.

IPC and software combo gathers and analyses plant data

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced a combined industrial PC (IPC) and software appliance that uses the Industrial Internet to connect machines and turn raw plant data into actionable information. The rugged Proficy Historian IPC collects real-time production and process information and supports numerous data collection tags in a package small enough to install alongside machine controls in harsh environments.

Modular overload relay eases installation and maintenance

Rockwell Automation has developed a modular electronic overload relay incorporating a patented current-measurement technology that makes it one of the smallest on the market, while offering a wide 10:1 FLA (full-load amperage) range – thus simplifying selection and reducing inventories.

Stainless-steel IE4 geared motor is 'the world's first'

At the recent Hannover Fair, Bauer Gear Motor unveiled what it claims is the world's first modular, stainless-steel, IE4-efficiency geared motor. The new machine, based on Bauer’s permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) and aseptic drive technologies, is said to combine the benefits of both and is suitable for use in hygiene-critical applications where frequent washdowns and the presence of people could damage specialist coatings.

Efficient drives are designed to be easy to set up and use

At the recent Hannover Fair, ABB announced a general-purpose drive designed to be simple to specify, commission, operate and maintain. The wall-mounting ACS580 drive is said to be “virtually plug-in-ready” and can be set up “in minutes”. It can be used to control pumps, fans, conveyors, mixers and other variable and basic constant-torque applications.

Multi-touch HMIs are ‘first with gesture controls’

Mitsubishi Electric has announced a new generation of HMIs which, it claims, are the first in the industrial sector to offer gesture controls. The GOT2000 series HMIs are around 20% cheaper than the previous GOT1000 generation, and have identical dimensions, making upgrades easy. Project data from the GOT1000 HMIs can be transferred to the new devices.

Flexible relay simplifies safety for up to five zones

Rockwell Automation claims that its latest safety relay will allow machine-builders to implement safety functions easily, while improving productivity. The Allen-Bradley Guardmaster 440C CR30, which complies with PLe and SIL 3, is aimed at applications requiring four to nine safety circuits and control of up to five zones.

22mm brushless motor ‘delivers 50% more power’

Dunkermotoren, the German manufacturer of small motors, has developed a 22mm-diameter brushless DC motor which, it claims, produces up to 50% more power than similar-sized brushless motors. The three-phase, axial-flux motor weighs only 63 grams and is claimed to deliver “exceptional” power to size and weight ratios.

'First service-oriented drive cuts downtime by 20%'

Schneider Electric used the recent Drives & Controls Show in the UK to preview a new generation of variable-speed drives which it describes as its “first service-oriented, intelligent drives family”. The Altivar Process drives have been developed for manufacturing and process industry applications and are designed to help factory owners, plant managers and engineers to manage their processes better, and to ensure that they are performing as efficiently as possible.

Light grid can detect and sort parts to a resolution of 0.01mm

At the 2014 Hannover Fair, Balluff unveiled a light grid system that can detect objects with a resolution of 0.01mm and can be used to compare and sort items based on tiny differences in size. The BLA grid can also be used to perform presence and height checks on objects up to 50mm wide, over a range of up to 2m.