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15 June, 2024

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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.

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.

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”.

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.

Compact, magnet-free motor uses inductive transmission

04 September, 2023

The German automotive technology supplier ZF has developed an electric motor which needs no magnets but is claimed to deliver a similar performance to permanent-magnet synchronous machines. Unlike other magnet-free concepts, such as separately excited synchronous motors (SESMs), ZF’s I2SM (In-Rotor Inductive-Excited Synchronous Motor) transmits the energy to produce its magnetic field via an inductive exciter in the rotor shaft. It says this makes the motor “uniquely compact with maximum power and torque density”.

UK dual-arm robot is sensitive enough to handle a crisp

29 August, 2023

UK researchers have developed a dual-arm robot system that is so sensitive that it can safely handle fragile items such as individual potato crisps. The AI-guided bi-touch system, devised by scientists at the University of Bristol, is claimed to display a tactile sensitivity approaching that of humans. The researchers believe it could revolutionise delicate applications such as picking and handling fruit, and could help to create a sense of touch in artificial limbs.

Stepping on a graphene mat could power sensors

07 August, 2023

Scottish researchers have produced a pressure-sensitive mat containing a graphene-based material that generates power when humans walk on it. They suggest that the low-cost, energy-efficient technology could be used to power sensors, to monitor building occupancy, or to reduce energy use by, for example, controlling temperatures as people or enter or leave a room.

PCB-stator pump motor is much lighter and more efficient

28 July, 2023

A US company that has developed a technology that uses PCBs (printed circuit boards) to create electric motor stators, has joined forces with a pump-maker to apply the technology to a “next generation” 3hp (2.2kW) pump motor that, they claim, is much more efficient, lighter and shorter than existing motors.

3D-printed motor delivers more torque than expected

20 July, 2023

Researchers from the University of Sheffield in the UK, working with colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US, have developed an electric motor using 3D printing technology that they believe could lead to more powerful motors that use less material.

UK-developed 28kg motor delivers 650kW and 398Nm

14 July, 2023

A British electric drive developer – Milton-Keynes-based Helix – has produced an electric motor that weighs only 28kg, yet is capable of delivering 650kW of continuous power and 398Nm of continuous torque. The 261mm-long and 206mm-diameter motor has a maximum speed of 25,000 rpm.

Sensorless motor control is ‘as good as using an encoder’

12 July, 2023

Germany’s KEB Automation has developed and patented a sensorless method for controlling motors that, it claims, is “in no way inferior to operation with an encoder”. The field-oriented vector method can control permanent magnet synchronous, IPM (internal permanent magnet) and synchronous reluctance motors over their entire speed range, with less susceptibility to faults, reduced wiring effort and lower costs than encoder-based systems.

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