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19 June, 2024

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Software produces shopfloor KPIs to boost performance

29 February, 2024

Schneider Electric has launched a hardware-agnostic digital platform that collects and aggregates data across industrial operations to develop KPIs (key performance indicators) for short-interval management (SIM) meetings, where shopfloor teams review production cycles and identify issues and actions that need to be implemented.

‘First’ touchscreen swipe sensor works like a smartphone

28 February, 2024

The German sensor-maker Sick has unveiled what it claims in the world’s first photoelectric proximity sensor with a touchscreen display. The W10 sensor’s swipe-up touchscreen technology, combined with simple icons, makes set-up and teach-in “intuitive”, the comopny says.

Compact global drive redefines what ‘standard’ means

27 February, 2024

SEW-Eurodrive says it is redefining what “standard” means with a compact frequency inverter that can be used for applications from open-loop speed control and encoder-free torque control, to dynamic positioning. Its new Movitrac Advanced inverter offers a high degree of standardisation and is suitable for use in more than 50 countries.

3D cameras monitor the contents of containers

27 February, 2024

On its stand at the 2023 SPS exhibition, the safety specialist Schmersal was demonstrating several of its technologies including a recently launched 3D camera which uses time-of-flight (ToF) technology to measure infrared (850nm) light pulses reflected from objects being monitored. The AM-T100 camera creates a millimetre-accurate 3D image of the scene at high speed that is available as a point cloud. It can be used to determine the position and the dimensions of objects or detect fill levels of containers, for example.

Profinet safety controller works as expansion module

27 February, 2024

Phoenix Contact has a new Profisafe safety controller that operates as an expansion module for its AXC F 2152 or AXC F 3152 PLCnext controllers. The AXC F XT SPLC 3000 controller adds a safety PLC for Profinet networks to PLCnext. It can be used in applications up to SIL3 or PLe.

New-generation cycloidal gears deliver 30% more torque

27 February, 2024

Sumitomo Drive Technologies has released a new generation of its E Cyclo (ECY) precision cycloidal shaft gears with higher torque densities and modular plug-and-play connectors that fit any motor. It claims that the ECY 203 and ECY 205 gearboxes deliver at least 30% more rated torque, acceleration torque, and emergency stop torque, compared to previous models. The maximum drive speed is up to 8,500 rpm.

Quartet of motion controls includes 100µs per axis model

27 February, 2024

Elmo Motion Control, the Israeli controls manufacturer owned by Bosch Rexroth, unveiled several new ranges at the 2023 SPS exhibition in Germany including the first AC servodrive in its Platinum family to offer full functional safety. The Platinum Bassoon delivers up to 10A at 230V, and up to 3.25kW of continuous power. It can drive brushless, DC brushed and linear motors, or voice-coil devices.

Drives-based automation system is ‘one of the fastest’

26 February, 2024

The German drives and automation supplier Baumüller says it is offering one of the fastest drive-integrated PLCs on the market with its new b maXX 6000 servodrives, which deliver field bus cycle times of up to 250µs. The b maXX PLC di drive-integrated controller can handle scalable control tasks up to high-performance synchronous multi-axis applications. It can replace central process loop controls because the PLC can also be used as EtherCat master for controlling other servo converters.

Automated goods receipt system delivers transparency

26 February, 2024

The German sensor specialist Sick has unveiled an all-in-one system for automated goods receipt. Using a digital platform to gather, process and prepare package-relevant data, it employs cutting-edge scanning technologies to manage shipments of any size. The system is scalable from manual to fully automated package recording, and can be integrated with handling and sorting systems.

Water-cooled servomotors triple standstill torque

26 February, 2024

At the 2023 SPS show in Germany,, Beckhoff announced several new motor developments. For example, there was a series of modular servomotors with integrated water cooling, resulting in extremely high power densities, and delivering rated powers of up to 40kW in the smallest installation space

Controllers share code, allowing OEMs to scale machines

26 February, 2024

A new small controller from Lenze (the c430) offers basic motion control for compact machines and uses the same code as other members of its latest generation of controllers (the c520 and c550), allowing machine-builders to switch between without sacrificing any code. This makes it possible for them to automate their machines in a much more targeted and efficient way and to scale up (or down) performance if necessary. Prefabricated software modules can reduce time-to-market.

Low-cost servodrives will create “a small revolution”

30 January, 2024

Aerotech has launched a series of slimline single- and multi-axis digital PWM servodrives for use with its Automation1 motion control platform, at a lower cost than its higher performance drives. The two-axis XA4 and the single-axis iXA4 drives are both cost less than €2,000. Both versions are available either as standalone motion controllers or as part of PC-based systems with I/O expansion options. A four-axis version will follow later this year, as well as I/O expansion and DC motor supply input for the entire series.

Next-gen air-core motor cuts weight and raises efficiency

23 January, 2024

The US motor-maker Infinitum has unveiled the next generation of its Aircore EC high-efficiency motor system with the claim that it is 20% lighter than the previous version, and is easier to install and service. The motor, which has a built-in variable-frequency drive, delivers system efficiencies upwards of 93%, as well as “class-leading” power and torque density in a low-footprint package.

Elevator drives eliminate the need for contactors

19 January, 2024

The Brazilian motors and drives manufacturer WEG has announced a new series of lift drives that, it says, “redefine elevator technology”. The ADL500 drives use a technology called EBC500 (Electronic Brake Control) that eliminates the need for contactors in what WEG calls a “zero contactors concept”.

Upgraded servodrives open up new applications

18 January, 2024

Siemens has upgraded the hardware and software of its Sinamics S210 servodrives, making them more suitable for applications with high dynamics – such as packaging and pick-and-place machines – with ratings from 50W-7kW. The new-generation drives have a second encoder interface, making it easier to control individual axes, and they can connect to direct-measuring systems to compensate for mechanical looseness and tolerances. This increases precision, says Siemens, opening up new applications.

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