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Engineering platform will be easier to use and more efficient

At the recent online version of the Hannover Fair, Eplan previewed its forthcoming Eplan Platform 2022, due to launch soon on a subscription basis. A new user interface with ribbon technology and a dark mode is claimed to improve ease of use, while a new 2D graphic module and central device management optimise performance.

Camera with onboard deep learning tackles difficult apps

Sick has launched its first machine vision camera with a pre-installed deep learning app, making it easy to create custom inspections of complex or irregular-shaped goods, packaging and assemblies, especially those that have previously defied automation.

Condition-monitoring system ‘boosts plant performance by 10%’

At the 2021 Hannover Fair, Siemens has announced a smart condition-monitoring system that uses machine learning to detect and prevent machinery problems at an early stage, thus cutting maintenance costs and downtime, and boosting plant performance by up to 10%.

Motor starters are 40% smaller and up to 90% more reliable

At this year’s virtual Hannover Fair, Schneider Electric has unveiled a new generation of its TeSys Giga motor starters which, it claims, are 40% smaller, up to 90% more reliable, and include many built-in diagnostics functions. The modular starters, which are protected by 56 patents, are said to reduce engineering time and complexity, cut maintenance costs and downtime, and to result in a simpler, safer customer experience.

Clampmeters are ‘first’ to measure with no contacts or leads

Fluke has announced a pair of AC/DC clampmeters that reduce the risk of electrical shock when making voltage measurements on live conductors by being the “first” clampmeters that can make accurate non-contact voltage measurements without test leads.

‘World’s smallest’ servodrives weigh just 18g

Celera Motion has announced a series of miniature servodrives that, it claims, are the world’s “smallest and most powerful” with “the highest power density in the smallest profile possible”. The Ingenia Capitan drives weigh just 18g and are 10.3mm high. They can provide 10A of continuous current, operating from 8–60V DC supplies.

Codesys PC handles PLC functions and up to 64 motion axes

The Taiwanese automation supplier Delta Electronics has announced a Codesys-based multi-core industrial PC that can control up to 64 motion axes via an embedded EtherCat interface. The AX-8 series PC allows PLC, motion control and Windows OS functions to operate simultaneously without affecting each other’s performance.

Dual-role cobot combines high-speed operation with safety

The Italian robot-maker Comau has announced a collaborative robot (cobot) that can switch automatically from running at industrial robot speeds (up to 6 m/s), to safe collaborative operation when a human enters its working area. When the operator leaves, the six-axis Racer-5 cobot switches back to full speed. The cobot has a 5kg payload capacity, a reach of 809mm and a repeatability of 0.03mm.

Raspberry Pi computer targets industrial tasks

OnLogic, the industrial computer manufacturer that specialises in IoT edge applications, has announced a computer based on the low-cost Raspberry Pi platform that is aimed at industrial and IoT applications. The tiny device (measuring 102.5 x 129 x 38mm) will use a Rasperry Pi Compute Module 4 mounted on an industrial-grade carrier board, and will incorporate a variety of I/O. It will allow the popular Arm-based computing platform to be deployed in factories, warehouses and IoT applications, and is expected to become commercially available later this year.

Hygienic IE5+ gear-motor ‘has highest efficiency available’

The German motors and drives manufacturer Nord Drivesystems has announced a family of high-efficiency motors, inverters and gear-motors designed to be used individually or in combination to achieve high levels of efficiency, especially in demanding applications such as hygienic installations in the intralogistics, food and pharmaceutical sectors. The family includes an IE5+ gear-motor claimed to have the highest efficiency in its power class.

Electric vacuum gripper is ‘the world’s most powerful’

The Danish robotic end-effector developer OnRobot has announced what it claims is the world’s most-powerful electric vacuum gripper. The VGP20 gripper can lift 20kg loads and can handle applications that have traditionally relied on powerful pneumatic grippers, without needing complex compressed air installations to operate. It is claimed to cut operating and maintenance costs by up to 90% compared to pneumatic systems.

15kg-capacity Scara robots are ‘first’ with on-board health indicators

Omron has announced a new generation of Scara robots which, it says, are the first with an on-board “health” indicator that allows users to take appropriate remedial action depending on the colour being displayed. The i4H robots can handle payloads up to 15kg and are suitable for applications such as machine loading and unloading, palletising and pick-and-place, especially in mass customisation applications where high mixes of products are needed at low volumes.

Dedicated HVAC drive is ‘amongst the smallest in its class’

The Welsh drives-maker Nidec Control Techniques has added a dedicated HVAC drive to its Specialist family of industry-specific drives. The high-efficiency (up to 98%) H300 drive is optimised for fan and compressor control.

Digital servodrive can be controlled by a smart motor

Moog Animatics has announced a digital servodrive that can be controlled by the company’s SmartMotors via a network that is using its Combitronic communication protocol. The single-axis DS2020 drive can act as a follower device, allowing it to work in SmartMotor-based machines and applications, and allowing users to make their machines simpler and smaller.

TSN servodrives can predict machine maintenance

Mitsubishi Electric in Europe has unveiled a new generation of servodrives which support the CC-Link IE TSN (time-sensitive networking) technology which offers 1Gbps transmission speeds, and ensures synchronisation across all connected devices – including safety devices, which can be connected on the same network as standard control products such as variable speed drives, HMIs and I/Os.