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13 June, 2024

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Automated piece-picker works with any cobot, bin or gripper

10 May, 2024

The Italian automation developer Comau has unveiled a piece-picking system which works with any cobot, bin or gripper to grasp and remove random-placed items from the bin, without needing information about their size, shape, colour or other characteristics. The AI-enabled Mi/Ra/OnePicker system uses a vision system to guide the gripper and determines the most effective way to empty a bin, saving time, energy and costs.

Large robots cut cycle times by 25% and energy use by 30%

07 May, 2024

ABB Robotics has added two new machines to its portfolio of large modular robots, which now spans 46 variants, capable of handling payloads from 70–620kg. The new IRB 7710 and IRB 7720 robots include 16 variants offering “class-leading” path accuracies of down to 0.6mm, and speeds of up to 1,600mm/s.

AI tool turns failure predictions into maintenance plans

03 May, 2024

Rockwell Automation has announced a generative AI software package that converts predictions of equipment failures into detailed, actionable work orders for maintenance teams. Called Fiix Prescriptive Maintenance, the tool is an add-on for Rockwell’s existing Fiix Asset Risk Predictor software, creating what it describes as “the first complete predictive and prescriptive maintenance solution to help manufacturers eliminate unplanned downtime”. The AI can be set up in as little as two weeks and then starts to predict asset failures days in advance.

Modules combine control and switching functions

02 May, 2024

At the 2024 Hannover Messe show, Phoenix Contact unveiled a modular device that combines the roles of controller and a switching device. The PLC logic modules can be easily and securely integrated into higher-level automation systems using a built-in RS-485 interface that allows easy integration into Modbus/RTU networks.

Smart motor control centre helps users to raise productivity

30 April, 2024

At the recent Hannover Messe, Rockwell Automation launched a low-voltage motor control centre (MCC) for IEC markets which integrates smart motor control devices to deliver real-time operational and diagnostic data. Rockwell says that the Flexline 3500 MCC will help users to unlock production data and increase uptime and productivity.

Over-moulded connectors resist contamination

01 May, 2024

Binder has equipped the straight versions of its 709 and 719 snap-in series connectors with a new over-moulding that supports single-handed mating and un-mating, and improves resistance to contamination. The connectors with snap-in locking are characterised by high retention forces for their size, but can still be mated and unmated quickly.

Delta enters cobot market with easy-to-use family of six

24 April, 2024

The Taiwanese automation supplier Delta, has entered the cobot (collaborative robot) market with a family of six six-axis cobots with payload capacities from 6–30kg, and reaches from 800–1,800mm. The D-Bot cobots, which made their debut at the Hannover Messe, are designed for rapid deployment, requiring no special programming skills to get them running. A plug-and-play capability makes it easy to set up movements and command executions.

Siemens unveils first new generation of S7-1200 PLCs in 10 years

16 April, 2024

At the 2024 Hannover Messe, Siemens is launching the first new generation of its Simatic S7-1200 PLCs for ten years. The new models are designed to help bridge the worlds of OT (operational technology) and IT (information technology), with high communications performance and efficient data-processing, thus boosting output. By connecting the controllers to IT systems, it is also possible to use advanced data analysis in the cloud, for example.

Software will identify vulnerable production assets automatically

09 April, 2024

At this month’s Hannover Messe, Siemens will be previewing a new SaaS (software-as-a-service) designed to identify cybersecurity vulnerabilities rapidly in factories. The cloud-based Sinec Security Guard offers automated vulnerability mapping and security management optimised for operators in OT environments.

Expandable industrial controller is based on Raspberry Pi module

03 April, 2024

Sfera Labs, the Italian designer and manufacturer of embedded and edge computing systems, has announced an expandable industrial controller based on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4). The Strato Pi Max is a powerful industrial server module that can be customised and optimised for industrial and IoT applications.

Direct on line Nema motors have 20% lower losses

02 April, 2024

ABB has cut the losses in its proven Baldor-Reliance Nema induction motors by an average of 20% while maintaining the form, fit and function of these motors, which have a large installed base. The new SP4 motors comply with the Nema Super Premium efficiency requirements for standard AC induction motors operated DOL (direct on line), and can achieve higher efficiencies when paired with a variable-speed drive.

AI-driven robot ‘will redefine cost-effectiveness’

28 March, 2024

A German robot-maker, fruitcore robotics, has announced a new generation of digital robots which, it claims, will “redefine cost-effectiveness in industrial automation”. It adds that the AI-supported Horst1500 robots will have the lowest service life costs on the market. Thanks to AI-supported, intuitive operation, new tasks can be set up quickly and efficiently, even without expert knowledge.

Drivetrain portfolio combines real and digital worlds

26 March, 2024

At the Hannover Messe in April, Siemens will unveil a portfolio of software and hardware for designing and operating drivetrains efficiently and sustainably. It will allow users to combine the real and digital worlds of drive technologies to achieve efficiency and sustainability for entire drivetrains.

Drive is designed to maximise efficiency of PM motors

12 March, 2024

Control Techniques has announced a variable-speed drive designed to maximise the efficiency of sensorless permanent magnet (PM) motors, cutting their running costs while optimising system performance.

HVAC-R drives help OEMs to move to F-Gas compliance

11 March, 2024

Invertek Drives has launched two compact-frame HVAC-R drives aimed at OEMs who are having to move to R290 (propane) and R744 (CO2) refrigerants, as well as A2L and A3 types which support the F-Gas regulations. The new frame size 3 and 4 drives add higher current capabilities to the company's Optidrive Coolvert (HVAC-R) family, which is designed for use with brushless DC compressors, heat pumps and CDUs (condensing units), allowing HVAC-R OEMs to optimise their system performance in a compact space.

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