Drives and Controls Magazine
Servodrives simplify machine design and optimise performance

Rockwell Automation has announced a family of servodrives designed to simplify machine design and optimise performance throughout a machine’s lifecycle. The Allen-Bradley Kinetix 5300 drives are aimed at global machine-builders looking to boost performance and adopt a single environment – Rockwell’s Studio 5000 – for control and motion programming of all of their drives. They will able to re-use code from other Kinetix drives, and to streamline the design and commissioning process.

All-in-one distributed drive system targets conveyors

Siemens has announced a compact integrated drive system aimed at horizontal conveyor applications. The Sinamics G115D system combines a motor, frequency converter and gearbox, and is available in either wall-mounting (0.37–7.5kW) or motor-mounting (0.37–4kW) versions.

Raspberry Pi-based computer built into a keyboard costs $70

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced an all-in-one personal computer based on its low-cost Raspberry Pi 4 board-based computing platform which it launched last year. The new Raspberry Pi 400 computer, which is built into a keyboard, costs $70 and needs only a power supply, monitor cable, and possibly a mouse, to operate.

Dedicated pump drive includes energy-saving functions

Control Techniques has announced an easy-to-install dedicated pump drive with built-in functions designed to achieve optimum pumping performance out-of-the-box. The F600 drive forms part of CT’s new Specialist range of industry-specific drives, and spans the power range from 1.1kW to 2.8MW.

Machine safety system is ‘the fastest and smallest’

Bosch Rexroth has announced a machine safety control technology which, it claims, is the fastest and smallest on the market. The scalable ctrlX Safety system can be used in variety of ways, from drive-integrated SafeMotion in Rexroth’s ctrlX drives, to the complete safety controls. The company predicts that it will “set new standards for safe automation”.

Edge gateway will cut data preparation work by up to 70%

Rockwell Automation has announced the first element in its edge strategy – a gateway designed to simplify and accelerate the convergence between IT and OT (information and operational technology). It says that the FactoryTalk Edge Gateway’s “unique” data management capabilities will reduce analytics data preparation efforts by up to 70%, while providing higher quality OT data.

Actuator ‘combines best of hydraulic and electromechanical’

Moog Industrial Group has announced a linear actuator technology that, it says, combines the best of electrohydraulic (EH) and electromechanical (EM) systems. The Modular Electrohydrostatic Actuation System (Modular EAS) system delivers high forces and force densities in a compact, quiet format that uses up to 90% less oil than standard EH systems, resulting in environmental benefits and lower operating costs.

New-generation servodrives control up to three axes

The Austrian automation manufacturer Sigmatek has announced a new generation of compact multi-axis servodrives said to combine good performance with flexibility. The modular Dias MDD 2000 drives are available in one-, two- and three-axis versions in two frame sizes and power classes. They incorporate many safety functions as standard.

CT’s biggest-ever drive is ‘the lightest on the market’

Control Techniques has launched is biggest-ever drive – a 500kW frame 12 design that it claims is the lightest high-powered drive of its kind, and can be replaced by a single engineer in less than 30 minutes using pre-engineered accessories. The drive can be fitted with CT’s Unidrive M70X or Powerdrive F300 control module and can be installed in a standard cubicle which accommodates both module and accessories. Alternatively, the frame is available pre-assembled in its own industry-standard cabinet, as part of CT’s DFS Series.

Frequency inverters can monitor the condition of motors

Bonfiglioli has launched a range of frequency inverters that, it says, will provide the ultimate combination of flexibility, modularity and connectivity. The AxiaVert inverters come in four sizes, initially spanning power ratings from 0.25–15kW, with more powerful versions up to 400kW to follow. Adriano Chinello, marketing director for Bonfiglioli’s motion business, says that the new drives represent “a quantum leap for smartness”.

Motion control system synchronises up to 40 axes

Emerson has announced a family of servo motion control products that offer integrated automation for high-performance applications. The PACmotion portfolio includes a motion controller that plugs into a PACSystems RX3i PLC backplane for precise, high-speed performance that delivers synchronised motion of up to 40 coordinated axes, and allows users to scale up their motion systems without sacrificing performance.

Fork sensor is first to combine optical and ultrasonic sensing

The German sensor-maker Leuze electronic says it has developed the world's first combined fork sensor, which combines the advantages of light-based and ultrasonic sensors, and is aimed at the labelling machine applications in the packaging industry. The GSX214 sensor can detect a wide variety of labels reliably, quickly, and precisely, regardless of their material or surface characteristics. Leuze says this will increase machine throughput and avoid downtime.

Gear-motors work with drives to deliver maintenance services

The Italian drives manufacturer Bonfiglioli has announced a modular geared motor platform that, it predicts, will set new benchmarks for reliability and efficiency. The first product based on the Evox platform is a range of helical in-line gear-motors incorporating new high-efficiency (IE3 / Nema Premium) asynchronous motors. They have been designed to operate with a new family of inverters from Bonfiglioli that will act as edge computers to provide sensorless condition monitoring and predictive maintenance functions for the gear-motors.

Raspberry Pi is at the heart of open, all-in-one controller

An Italian IIoT specialist, Sfera Labs, has developed an all-in-one industrial controller that is based on a Raspberry Pi single-board computer and combines the functions of a PLC, industrial server and power management system. Sfera describes the Iono Pi Max as being “disruptive and competitive – offering all of the features of a proprietary and more expensive industrial PLC, but at a much lower price point”.

Cloud-based laser system can align almost any machine

Prüftechnik, a division of Fluke Reliability, has announced a laser alignment system that, it says, exceeds the capabilities of conventional tools, delivering better speed and accuracy. The ShaftAlign Touch system supports adaptive alignment and cloud access to help cut maintenance costs and downtime.