Drives and Controls Magazine
Electric motors challenge diesel for fracking pumps

The American motor manufacturer Ward Leonard has developed a line of powerful AC induction motors designed to replace the diesel engines conventionally used to power fracking (hydraulic fracturing) pumps. The rugged 2,000–6,000hp (1.5–4.5MW) motors are designed for continuous-duty operation and for use with medium-voltage VFDs (variable frequency drives).

Compact control system combines relay and logic functions

Phoenix Contact has announced a programmable logic relay system that combines relay technology and logic functions in a single compact package. The modular PLC logic system is designed to provide control and switching functions for small automation tasks.

Technology can configure PLCs and machines remotely

The Swedish communications specialist HMS Industrial Networks has announced a technology that provides instant, secure communications with remote equipment, such as PLCs and machines. The Netbiter Remote Access system allows users to use their usual PLC configuration software – such as Rockwell RSLogix or Siemens TIA Portal – as if they were connected to the machine on site.

‘Groundbreaking’ HV motors make a Hannover debut

At this week’s Hannover Fair, ABB has launched a new generation of “groundbreaking” high-voltage, rib-cooled motors that combine compact dimensions, high power densities, high reliability and easy maintenance.

Quick-mount photo sensors can be installed in 10s

The German sensor-maker Sick has announced a family of photoelectric sensors that use a screwless mounting system that allows them to be installed or replaced in 10 seconds. The tough G10 sensors are available in adjustment-free versions that save further installation time and eliminate the risk of unintentional changes to the sensor settings.

Programmable panel meter combines digits and graphs

Trumeter Technologies has developed a low-cost, multi-format programmable panel meter which, it claims, is easiest to use and read on the market. The Advanced Panel Meter (APM) can display information in both digital and bargraph formats, giving an immediate visual indication of the measured parameter.

Smartphone-sized LV drive supports Sercos III communications

The Israeli motion control specialist Servotronix has launched a compact, high-power servodrive with a Sercos III interface, that is aimed at 15–48V DC bus servo motion applications. The LVD Sercos III drive can be used with small low-voltage brushless, stepper or brushed DC motors.

4:3 displays can be converted into Panel PCs

The Austrian automation manufacturer B&R has announced a second generation of displays in a 4:3 format with single-touch operation. Because the Automation Panels are part of B&R's modular system platform, they can be combined with a CPU module to create a panel PC with scalable performance up to Intel Core i7 levels.

Mini-gantry brings precision positioning to desktops

Festo has launched a compact H-shaped gantry, which it describes as “the world’s first production, off-the-shelf handling gantry to feature kinematic technology”. The EXCM Mini H Handler uses two static motors that act directly on the load via a single recirculating tooth belt, thus making it much more efficient than traditional Cartesian positioning systems in which one motor must transport the weight of another.

Software optimises single- or multi-pump systems

The Brazilian motors and controls manufacturer WEG has produced a software package that optimises the operation of pumping systems to make them run more efficiently. The Pump Genius software is designed to cut the operating and maintenance costs of single pumps, or up to six pumps operating in parallel, while increasing process accuracy and protection.

Motors are optimised for use with frequency converters

At next month’s Hannover Fair, Siemens will be launching a family of motors designed specifically for use with frequency converters.

Off-the-shelf linear system will ‘revolutionise’ designs

HepcoMotion, the UK specialist in linear motion systems, has developed a family of off-the-shelf stainless-steel linear and rotary guide systems that, it predicts, will “revolutionise” the design of motion systems for vacuum and extreme-temperature environments.

Tiny incremental encoders ‘avoid compromises’

Renishaw has developed a non-contact optical linear and rotary incremental encoder technology that, it claims, uniquely combines miniaturisation with leading-edge dirt immunity, signal stability and reliability. The design of the Atom encoder is said to avoid the compromises traditionally associated with miniature encoders.

Liquid-cooled converters cut energy and running costs

For the first time, Siemens is offering liquid-cooled active interface modules (AIMs) for its Sinamics S120 low-voltage converters. The modules cover the voltage range 500–690V, and have a 1.7MW power rating.

Shaft-mounted pinions are easy to install

Stober has introduced a range of shaft-mounted pinions for rack applications with a mounting system that is said to allow simple engagement and setting of the pinion location.