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25 February, 2024

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UK start-up says it can boost drive efficiencies

21 December, 2023

A UK power semiconductor developer is one of two winners of a competition organised by ABB to find start-up companies that are pushing the boundaries of drives and motors technologies. Cambridge-based Quantum Power Transformation (QPT) is developing a power semiconductor technology based on gallium nitride (GaN) that, it believes, could deliver substantial energy and size savings compared to other technologies in variable-speed drives and other applications.


‘Paradigm-shifting’ in-wheel drive could revamp EV designs

29 November, 2023

The Korean automotive giants Kia and Hyundai have announced an in-wheel drive technology that they predict will revolutionise the design of future transport systems. The Universal Wheel Drive System – or Uni Wheel – moves reduction gears inside a vehicle’s wheel hub, and locates a compact motor close to the wheel, reducing the length of the drive shafts and freeing up space within the vehicle.


Solid-state breakers could open up novel DC applications

27 November, 2023

The use of DC (direct current) in industry promises new ways to simplify the integration of renewable energy and battery technologies, and to increase energy efficiencies.


IO-Link safety system is ‘the first’ to operate at the field level

27 November, 2023

Pilz claims to be offering the first safe field-level communication system based on the IO-Link communications system. Its new IO-Link Safety (IOLS) system comprises a master, field devices and accessories. The package is said to make it easier to integrate IO-Link Safety technology into plant and machinery, and to exploit the benefits of the non-proprietary IO-Link system for functional safety.


‘First’ reducer with built-in sensors adds IoT to mechanical kit

24 November, 2023

Nidec Drive Technology has developed a precision reducer for robots and machine tools, with built-in torque, temperature and angle sensors. The Smart₋-Flexwave device can detect the reducer’s output torque, its internal temperature and input axis angle while taking up no more space than a conventional reducer without sensors.


AI app identifies machines and suggests parts

22 November, 2023

Plastics specialist igus has developed an app that uses AI to identify machinery and to suggest lubrication-free components that could be used in it. The user simply takes a photo of an application and its surroundings on a mobile device, and the igusGo app identifies the equipment and searches through 10,000s of options to suggest which of igus’ products could have applications in the machine. It also suggests where there is potential to improve the machine’s technology and save money.


Tech creates bridge from motor switches to digital world

18 November, 2023

At the recent SPS show in Germany, ABB demonstrated a technology that offers a simple way to digitise AF contactors and motor starters and provide information about their loads. The Novolink system can be integrated easily with existing wiring and contactors, which can continue to be used. The system can be retrofitted at any time.


AI camera chip allows overlays in live video streams

13 November, 2023

The German machine vision specialist IDS has collaborated with Ambarella, a developer of consumer visual AI products, to produce a new class of intelligent industrial camera that acts as an edge device and generates AI overlays in live video streams.


Novel high-efficiency motor ‘will shake up the industry’

09 November, 2023

The Brazilian motor-maker WEG has invented a hybrid motor technology that, it says, combines the best technical characteristics of permanent magnet (PM) and synchronous reluctance (SynRM) motors, and will provide higher efficiencies at all speeds than induction motors. WEG predicts that the W23 Sync+ technology, which will be available in IE5 and IE6 efficiencies, “will shake up the industry”.


Siemens develops AI manufacturing tool with Microsoft

13 November, 2023

Microsoft and Siemens have jointly developed an AI-powered assistant – called Siemens Industrial Copilot – aimed at improving human-machine collaboration in manufacturing. They are also integrating Siemens’ Teamcenter PLM (product lifecycle management) software with Microsoft Teams to simplify virtual collaboration between design engineers and others, thus helping to pave the way to the industrial metaverse.


Robots insert mining explosives for the first time

30 October, 2023

ABB has completed testing of the first automated robotic charging technology for underground mines, in partnership with the Swedish mine operators Boliden and LKAB. The aim is to make mines safer by automating one of few manual processes left in mining – charging blasting holes with explosives.


Motor sensor is low-cost rival to magnetic and optical encoders

26 October, 2023

The Japanese semiconductor specialist Renesas has developed an inductive motor position sensing technology to rival the costly magnetic and optical encoders commonly used in motor control applications. The company claims that its high-speed inductive position sensor (IPS) technology is accurate, robust, reliable and cost-effective.


UK-developed elevator drive ‘will change the industry’

25 October, 2023

The Welsh drives-maker, Invertek has developed a product that, it believes, will redefine elevator motor controls. It describes its new Optidrive Elevator Core variable-speed drive – unveiled at the recent Interlift 2023 trade show in Germany – as “a breakthrough in elevator motor control technology, providing unprecedented size, functionality, and power”.


Private industrial 5G network gives automation flexibility

28 September, 2023

Siemens has launched a private 5G wireless infrastructure that will allow industrial companies to build their own 5G networks to support automation applications. 5G offers many potential advantages to industrial users including the flexibility to change factory layouts without having to move data cables, low latencies, fast data speeds and high data security.


IE5 motors for hazardous areas are a ‘world first’

12 September, 2023

ABB has launched what it claims is the world’s first IE5-efficiency motor designed for use explosive environments. It says that the hazardous areas version of its IE5 SynRM (synchronous reluctance motor) will cut energy losses by up to 40% compared to the IE3 motors that are commonly used in hazardous area applications.


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