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Machine Building & Automation
M12 outdoor cabling for CANopen and DeviceNet applications
Industrial PCs and PLCs : 23 April, 2014
Phoenix Contact has extended its portfolio of M12 connectors for outdoor use with cabling for CANopen and DeviceNet applications.
 
Unmanaged industrial Ethernet switches combine versatility, cost-effectiveness and ease of installation
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 15 April, 2014
Harting has introduced two new families of unmanaged Ethernet switches that are optimised for use in harsh industrial environments and offer a choice of compact designs for economy and ease of installation in a variety of applications.
 
Flexible relay simplifies safety implementation
Machinery Safety & Safety Systems : 15 April, 2014
Machine builders can easily implement required safety functions while improving productivity with the Allen-Bradley Guardmaster 440C-CR30 safety relay from Rockwell Automation.
 
Fibre-laser robot welder has 10kW power source on tap
Robotics & Automated Handling Systems : 28 March, 2014
A robot fibre-laser weld cell using what is believed to be the UK's largest commercially operated power source, 10kW, has been installed at Graham Engineering Limited (GEL) in Nelson, Lancashire. The System has been integrated by Cyber-Weld - a strategic partner of Fanuc for welding applications - using a Fanuc six axes robot at its heart. The fibre laser weld cell has increased production capacity and provided important additional capabilities.
 
Railway-approved high temperature Cat 7 Ethernet cable delivers increased data rate
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 28 March, 2014
Belden has introduced the Belden RailTuff BE43802, a Cat 7 Ethernet data cable designed specifically for the passenger railway market. The new RailTuff cable has a transmission performance of 10Gbps, allowing the integration of multiple on-board applications, effectively making cable installations future proof.
 
Tool chain to develop automotive systems using coaxial cables
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 28 March, 2014
K2L GmbH (KG) announces its complete MOST150 coax (cPHY) tool chain, which consists of several elements that together provide everything needed to develop a MOST150-based automotive system or device using coaxial cables. This includes application development, whole-system safeguarding, testing, simulation, deep-system analysis, verification, and stress scenarios.
 
Ethernet connectivity links Powerlink industrial devices
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 22 March, 2014
Powerlink is an industrial Ethernet network originating from the Austrian automation company B+R. It is now receiving recognition from many manufacturers of automation products and systems around the world. The HMS Industrial Networks Anybus CompactCom 40-series products allow Ethernet Powerlink connectivity for industrial devices.
 
Security holes identified in SCADA product
Plant-Based IT Security : 21 March, 2014
IT security data and analytics company Rapid7 has identified and disclosed a number of vulnerabilities in the Windows-based industrial production control system CENTUM CS 3000 R3 sold by Yokogawa Electric, originally released in 1998. Over 7600 of those systems for plant operation and monitoring have been sold worldwide, including power plants, chemical and petrochemical plants in Europe, the USA and Asia.
 
Turbine pitch control increases wind farm safety
Machine Controls : 15 March, 2014
At the European Wind Energy Association Event, EWEA 2014, in Barcelona, 10-13 March, Moog is to present important developments in wind energy control systems to ensure safe operation of wind turbines in adverse conditions.
 
Wireless receiver with TCP/IP-interface can pass on signals from 40 sensors
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 15 March, 2014
As wireless technology spreads through industrial automation, possible connections to superordinate communication networks are also on the increase. One example of this is the TCP/IP receiver from Steute.
 
High quality linear guides available in a hurry
Framework Systems : 10 March, 2014
Obtaining quality linear guides can take many weeks – or even months. Rollon's Mono Rail Plus FAST Delivery Program allows linear guides to be received as quickly as 24 hours.
 
White paper aims to help process industries migrate towards EtherNet/IP
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 10 March, 2014
ODVA announces a new white paper, Optimization of Process Integration, which outlines a strategic vision for manufacturers looking to maintain cost-effective, sustainable production capacity in the process industries. The white paper is designed to help business and technical leaders in these industries define their future network architecture and plan for the efficient integration of their plant’s network infrastructure into existing business applications.
 
Precise position controllers for quarter turn process valve actuators
Positioning Systems, Indexers & X-Y Tables : 10 March, 2014
The CMSX position controller from Festo is designed for double-acting quarter turn actuators. A notable feature of this economic and reliable controller is the ability to provide a pre-definable safety position for the process valve.
 
Common CNC control platform provides higher speed, acceleration and accuracy
Robotics & Automated Handling Systems : 14 February, 2014
At Mach 2014, Fanuc UK will demonstrate higher speed, faster acceleration, increased accuracy and the resultant reduced cycle times offered through its latest generation of CNC controller, the 31 i-B5 control system. The Robodrill α-DiA series vertical machining centres will be used to illustrate operation cycle times and finish on real components.
 
Multi-protocol wireless adaptor enables wired field instruments or analytical sensors to be used as wireless devices
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 14 February, 2014
Yokogawa has developed a multi-protocol wireless adaptor that enables wired field instruments or analytical sensors to be used as ISA100 Wireless devices. The company will release models in May and July that support communications based on the HART and RS485 Modbus standards. To facilitate the introduction of field wireless systems in plants, Yokogawa plans to release additional models that will cover other standards.
 
Single and double pole foot switches - IPX7 with IPX8 on request
Machinery Safety & Safety Systems : 10 February, 2014
Two ranges of UL Approved/IEC 60601-1 general purpose single or double pole foot switches, with a comprehensive choice of standard and custom options has been launched by Herga Technology.
 
Guide for hazardous areas available as free download
Machinery Safety & Safety Systems : 10 February, 2014
The E2S Guide for Hazardous Areas has been put together with specifiers and hazardous area engineers in mind with matrix tables that enable fast cross-referencing of information between the main certification systems: ATEX, IECEx, North American and Canadian standards.
 
Class 5 SmartMotor CANopen Guide now available online
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 10 February, 2014
The new Class 5 SmartMotor CANOpen User's Guide is now available for download on the Moog Animatics website.
 
Fast, flexible medium size parts transfer for press automation
Robotics & Automated Handling Systems : 10 February, 2014
ABB's IRB 6660FX is claimed to increase the productivity of medium size tandem press lines by more than 25% compared with conventional six-axis robots.
 
Flowchart-based multi-platform machine vision software
Machine Vision Systems : 05 February, 2014
At ATX West (Anaheim, 11 to 13 Feb), Matrox Imaging will demonstrate the upcoming release 4 of Matrox Design Assistant (DA) flowchart-based multi-platform machine vision software that works not only with Matrox Iris GT smart cameras to run inspection projects, but also any PC with GigE Vision or USB3 Vision cameras.
 
Communications software aids implementation of vision-guided robotics
Robotics & Automated Handling Systems : 31 January, 2014
Matrox Imaging has announced new communication software that allows vision systems running Matrox Imaging software to directly interface, over an Ethernet link, with controllers from leading robot vendors including ABB and FANUC. The socket-based communication protocol was developed by Centre de Robotique et de Vision Industrielles (CRVI), an experienced Quebec technology transfer centre specialized in industrial robotics and vision applications.
 
8-Channel Ethernet modules provide reliable interface for analogue current or voltage inputs
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 31 January, 2014
Acromag is expanding its line of Ethernet I/O modules to include differential analogue input units for reliable measurements regardless of noisy signals or network traffic. The new XT1210 and XT1220 Ethernet I/O modules in the BusWorks XT Series provide an 8-channel interface for analogue voltage or current input signals and Ethernet/IP, Modbus/TCP, Profinet, or peer-to-peer communication.
 
An improved way to globally trade used automotive engines
Legislation, Regulations & Standards : 31 January, 2014
Supporting the provenance of used automotive engines is hard to do once they are out in the market, and if there is no traceability as to their use history this can adversely affect transactions and fair trade. Keeping this flow going is also a crucial part of the global business community’s reach towards sustainability. Lowering the degradation of products is another key consideration which allows effective products to continue being recycled.
 
Technology partnership to focus on Profinet IRT
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 27 January, 2014
Molex and Innovasic have announced a strategic cooperation focusing on Profinet technologies. Innovasic, located in Albuquerque, NM, provides silicon and software for industrial connectivity that greatly simplify the task of supporting sophisticated real time Industrial Ethernet. Molex and Innovasic have more than 20 years of expertise respectively in the development of industrial communication and ASICs. Both companies are actively involved with industrial trade organisations, such as Profibus/Profinet International (PI) and envisage that the cooperation will directly increase their capabilities.
 
Plant will convert 60 tons-per-day of landfill plastic into higher value energy products
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 27 January, 2014
Rockwell Automation has won a $15 million engineering, procurement, construction and management contract from Vadxx Energy LLC for its first commercial-scale, plastic waste-to-synthetic crude energy facility in Akron, Ohio.
 
Board-level, all-Gigabit switch for Industrial Ethernet
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 27 January, 2014
Red Lion Controls, a specialist in communication, monitoring and control for industrial automation and networking, has announced the ET-8MG-OEM board-level, all-Gigabit switch to its industrial Ethernet family. This fully managed series of switchesare available commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), allowing users to quickly add industrial-grade networking capabilities to their products.
 
Modules for distributed and local applications requiring high density of mixed I/O types
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 18 January, 2014
Red Lion has announced a new EtherTRAK-2 I/O module (E2-MIX20884-D) and enhanced firmware that is now available for our Sixnet series RTUs. The new Sixnet EtherTRAK-2 I/O module is ideal for both distributed and local I/O applications that require a high density of mixed I/O types.
 
Distributor for transparent and thin film electroluminescence displays
HMIs, Screens and Industrial Displays : 20 December, 2013
Review Display Systems (RDS) announces its appointment as distributor for Lumineq Displays – handling both transparent and thin film electroluminescent ranges.
 
Flashing signal lights for Ex zone 1/2 and 21/22
Machinery Safety & Safety Systems : 08 December, 2013
Robust flashing beacons from R Stahl's new FX15 series are suitable for rugged conditions in Ex zone 1/21 or 2/22 environments.
 
Wireless barcode readers with advanced optics and decode algorithms
Barcodes and barcode readers : 08 December, 2013
Microscan announces two new wireless handheld imagers. The HS-51 and HS-51X handhelds are ideal portable readers for almost any 1D/2D symbol, with a compact and durable design to withstand multiple drops from 6 feet. They combine advanced decode algorithms and dual field optics with user-friendly features and the convenience of Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
 
CANopen communications protocol enhances motion control capabilities
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 08 December, 2013
Exlar announces the release of the CANopen communication protocol for its Tritex II product line. This enhancement allows the Tritex II to become an integral part of your control architecture or machine control processes.
 
Phoenix Contact comments on Industry 4.0 at SPS IPC Drives
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 02 December, 2013
The term "Industry 4.0" is currently on everyone’s lips. It is a buzzword for the so-called fourth industrial revolution, which is characterised by the increasing digitalisation of the production environment and the product life-cycle. Roland Bent, Executive Vice PresidentPhoenix Contact, held a press conference at SPS IPC Drives to discuss the company's current thinking.
 
Gateway simplifies remote management of industrial equipment
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 24 November, 2013
HMS Industrial Networks introduces the Netbiter EC350 - a communication gateway which makes it easier to monitor and control industrial equipment remotely. The gateway comes with enhanced performance and connectivity making it ideal for remote management and configuration of power generators, cooling systems, UPSs, wind turbines or other industrial machinery.
 
Fast compact vision system based on quad-core processing (story updated)
Machine Vision Systems : 19 November, 2013
Targeted at applications in high-speed manufacturing machines, and able to be integrated with PLCs, motion controllers and robotic control systems, the new FH compact vision system from Omron has a high-speed image bus, four-core processing, a new and exceptionally efficient vision algorithm and fast EtherCAT communications. Users can achieve shorter machine cycle times, even in difficult operating conditions.
 
Three-fifths of industrial control industries have not deployed security configuration management, claim
Plant-Based IT Security : 19 November, 2013
Tripwire has announced the results of research comparing risk-based security management in the industrial sector to that of other industries.
 
Rockwell acquires US intelligent track motion control specialist
Machine Building & Systems Integration : 19 November, 2013
Rockwell Automation is to purchase Jacobs Automation, a specialist in intelligent track motion control technology. Jacobs Automation provides the iTRAK System motion control. This technology improves performance across a wide range of packaging, material handling and other applications.
 
Optically bonded capacitive touchscreen display reads in bright sunlight
Industrial PCs and PLCs : 19 November, 2013
Juniper Systems' newest rugged handheld computer, the Archer 2, has an extraordinarily bright, crisp IllumiView display. The Archer 2 is aimed at a wide variety of data collection purposes including geomatics, natural resources, public works, agriculture, industrial, and military markets.
 
Fourth Industrial Revolution - the safety implications
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 19 November, 2013
Originating in Germany, the concept of Industry 4.0 (aka the Fourth Industrial Revolution or the Internet of Things) has now caught the full attention of industry experts around the world. Individual workpieces will be playing an increasingly interactive role in their own production, forming an Internet-like intelligence structure distributed throughout machines, plants and supply chains. The road into this brave new industrial landscape has been paved by increasingly decentralised control and motion technology. This technology, however, relies heavily on failsafe communication systems able to manage huge volumes of data. How can B&R Automation's Powerlink and OpenSafety master this challenge? Today's consumer values individuality but is unwilling to pay the price for handcrafted goods. This paradox puts the pressure on manufacturers of plants and machinery to minimize the time and effort of changeovers between batches – ideally eliminating it altogether through automation.
 
Panasonic signals end of production of plasma display panels
HMIs, Screens and Industrial Displays : 10 November, 2013
Panasonic Corporation is to end the production of plasma display panels (PDP) in December 2013, and stop business operations at the Amagasaki P3 Factory (production currently stopped), the Amagasaki P5 Factory (production currently suspended), and the Amagasaki P4 Factory, which is currently operating, by the end of March 2014.
 
Communications platform updated to strengthen support of industry standards, improve interoperability
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 10 November, 2013
Kepware Technologies, a software development company focused on communications for automation, has released KEPServerEX version 5.13. The updated communications platform expands Kepware’s support of industry standards, and enables improved interoperability and communications across key industries.
 
Safety switches, interlocks and controls integrated into one customisable device
Machinery Safety & Safety Systems : 24 October, 2013
TGard is a new approach to controlling access to hazardous machinery and equipment. It is a compact, metal-bodied safety system that enables the configuration of various safety products including electrical safety gate switches (with or without guard locking), mechanical trapped key interlocks and electrical operator controls, either as separate devices or integrated into one device.
 
Wireless monitoring simplifies overhead crane maintenance
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 16 October, 2013
The KIA Motors plant in Slovakia, which produces the cee’d, KIA Venga and Sportage, has installed industrial wireless solutions at its automobile stamping and press operations to improve safety at the plant for employees. The purpose of the project was to communicate from the maintenance room to the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix Controllers. With ProSoft Technology wireless system, one 802.11n radio is on each of the five cranes, with a radio in the maintenance room.
 
The networking implications of Industry 4.0
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 16 October, 2013
John Browett, General Manager of the CLPA, discusses Industry 4.0, and the impact that the concept, and importantly the technologies that underpin it, will have on open industrial networks such as CC-Link.
 
Highly customisable master platform for EtherCAT, CANopen and Powerlink
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 16 October, 2013
The Ixxat Econ 100 is a universal ARM-based platform with a Linux operating system that comes as a standard version already with four Ethernet, two CAN and two USB ports. In addition to the interfaces of the base version, custom interfaces or enhancements (eg digital and analog IOs, DVI output) can be added quickly and easily via expansion slots and the integrated FPGA. This makes the IXXAT Econ 100 an attractive device to customise.
 
Field-deployable shielded Cat 6A cable - digital audio format on Ethernet
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 10 October, 2013
Belden has introduced a range of rugged high performance shielded Cat 6A cables for use in studios or in tactical field deployable audio/data installations. These exceptionally robust cables can be used in the harshest of environments, yet deliver reliable performance for maximum uptime.
 
Compact vertical translation stage offers 50 nanometre minimum incremental motion
Positioning Systems, Indexers & X-Y Tables : 10 October, 2013
Aerotech’s MPS-SV series lift stages provide high-performance elevation motion and are engineered for applications ranging from laboratory research to high-reliability production processes. They are offered in two sizes – the MPS50SV and MPS75SV. The multitude of adapter brackets and mounts permit easy assembly of multi-axis configurations using linear, rotary and lift MPS stages.
 
Siemens and KUKA to integrate robotics and machine tools to machine workpieces with robots
Machine Controls : 05 October, 2013
The Siemens Drive Technologies Division and KUKA Roboter have announced a comprehensive cooperation at EMO in Hanover. The central pillar of the cooperation is integration of KUKA robots and Siemens machine tool solutions (CNC) for loading machine tools.
 
Distributed control system (DCS) undergoes upgrades without halting operations
Industrial Networking and Control Systems : 18 September, 2013
Invensys has unveiled the latest version of its distributed control system (DCS) automation platform at its Foxboro and Triconex users’ conference in San Antonio, Texas, revealing Foxboro Evo’s software applications for process plant control covering operations, maintenance and safety.
 
Guide to decoding barcodes
Barcodes and barcode readers : 12 September, 2013
Cognes has published a paper explaining the different types of barcode, their application and how to read them.
 
Infra-red system prints on electronics without changeover
Printing on Components : 11 September, 2013
Heraeus Noblelight has developed an innovative infra-red module which can significantly increase productivity in the printing of electronic products by eliminating the need to change over the curing/drying/sintering module whenever the printing technique, printing ink or base material is changed.
 
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