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3 February, 2023

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Configurable safety controller looks like a safety relay

30 January, 2023

At the recent SPS show in Germany, Pilz unveiled a configurable safety controller that is just 22.5mm wide, yet can monitor up to four safety functions – including e-stops, safety gates, light curtains and two-hand controls. The PNOZ m C0 controller implements safety requirements up to PL e or SIL CL 3, and can allow small machines to achieve high productivity. It provides eight safe inputs and four safe semiconductor outputs.


Circular movers give levitating transport system a novel spin

26 January, 2023

Bosch Rexroth is latest contender to join the burgeoning market for levitating transport systems for production lines. Unlike most other systems, which use rectangular “movers” to carry items while floating above electromagnetic tiles, Rexroth’s ctrlX Flow6D system uses circular movers that can rotate and tilt as they move. The movers can also supply power and communications wirelessly to items such as sensors and actuators that they are carrying, and can travel up vertical walls or even suspended below overhead work surfaces.


3D safety system protects workers in tough environments

22 December, 2022

Sick has launched a “next-generation” 3D radar safety system that provides access protection for workers in a wide range of hazardous industrial environments, including robot cells. The safeRS3 system provides a 5m protective field with a 100° opening angle, and offers up to four protective fields. It is said to be ideal for heavy industrial or harsh outdoor environments, which may challenge conventional optical detection systems.

The system protects personnel in stationary applications to PLd or SIL2, in line with ISO 13849-1 and IEC 62061. As a category 3 device, it can be used in robotic applications in accordance with ISO 10218-2.


Inverter-only IE5 motors will maximise energy savings

22 December, 2022

At the recent SPS show in Germany, SEW-Eurodrive launched a family of IE5-efficiency synchronous reluctance motors which need an inverter to operate. When combined with efficient gearboxes and intelligent frequency inverters, the DR2C motors are said to result in energy-saving drive systems that cut losses in a wide range of applications.


Cobots with onboard AI and vision ‘redefine robotics’

22 December, 2022

The Taiwanese cobot (collaborative robot) developer Techman Robot has announced a new series that integrates precision robot arms with AI engines and smart vision systems. It says that the TM AI cobots will accelerate the transition to Industry 4.0.


16-core ultra-compact IPCs set new benchmarks

21 December, 2022

At the recent SPS show, Beckhoff unveiled the latest member of its family of ultra-compact industrial PCs. The C6040 IPC is based on 12th-generation Intel Core processors with up to 16 cores, resulting in “unprecedented power density” and opening up a new world of application possibilities, according to the company.


Compact machinery drives handle motors up to 22kW

08 December, 2022

At the recent SPS show in Germany, ABB extended its family of machinery drives with a range of compact, easy-to-use VSDs for controlling induction and permanent magnet motors up to 22kW. The ACS180 drives can control conveyors, pumps, fans, mixers and compressors, in a variety of sectors including food and beverage, textiles, material-handling and commercial applications.


Enhanced controllers cut machine-building times and costs

29 November, 2022

Rockwell Automation says that machine-builders can cut engineering time and costs using enhanced versions of two of its controllers which add Class 1 implicit messaging capabilities with support for up to eight EtherNet/IP devices. The enhanced capabilities will allow users to develop and deploy automation projects faster, potentially reducing time-to-market.


IE5 reluctance motors add liquid-cooled and hazardous area types

21 November, 2022

ABB has expanded its SynRM family of synchronous reluctance motors with two new models – one with liquid cooling, the other for hazardous areas – both boasting IE5 efficiency levels. ABB says the motors have up to 40% lower energy losses than IE3 motors and 20% lower losses than IE4 motors.


Servodrives give machine-builders more flexibility

21 November, 2022

At the recent SPS show, Trio Motion Technology launched a high-performance single-axis servodrive offering machine-builders increased design flexibility in a “cost-optimal” package. The DX3 drive is available in EtherCat and conventional control versions, with power ratings to 7.5kW, and in 200V and 400V versions.


Software guides technicians through cabinet assembly

21 November, 2022

Eplan has announced an app that guides technicians step-by-step through the installation of components into cabinets, showing them where each component should be installed. Supported by 3D visualisation, the Eplan Smart Mounting software can even show inexperienced technicians where to place components.


Vision hardware complements software in single platform

21 November, 2022

At the recent SPS exhibition in Germany, Beckhoff unveiled a portfolio of machine vision hardware to complement the company’s TwinCat Vision software which has been available since 2017.


UK-developed soft-starters can be set up in under 60 seconds

21 November, 2022

At the SPS show in Germany, the Devon-based soft-starter developer Motortronics UK unveiled a low-voltage digital soft-starter with a duty range of up to 600V, 1,250A. The VMX-Synergy Plus starter includes 45 preconfigured parameters settings to suit a variety of applications, and can be set up and commissioned in less than 60 seconds. The device “tunes itself” to the load.


AI-based app optimises energy use of drive systems

21 November, 2022

At the recent SPS show in Germany, Siemens unveiled an enhanced version of its Analyze MyDrives Edge app with an AI-based function that calculates the energy consumption of an entire drive system without needing extra sensors or measuring devices. The app shows how efficiently a drive is running, what its energy consumption and operating costs are, as well as its carbon footprint. It can be used to optimise drive settings.


Vision sensors identify objects without experts

21 November, 2022

The German sensor-maker SensoPart has developed an image-processing system which, it says, can detect and differentiate items reliably without users needing to be machine vision experts. The Visor Object AI system implements an AI algorithm in the vision sensor, thus avoiding the need for network or cloud connections.


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