SPS/IPC/Drives 2011 Show Report
Germany’s SPS/IPC/Drives automation show has once again shattered exhibitor and visitor attendance records. But the hectic activity masked uncertainty about what the future holds.
By the time the doors closed on the 2011 SPS/IPC/Drives show in Nuremberg, Germany, at the end of November, 56,321 people had visited the automation exhibition. This was a new record and represented an 8% increase on the previous year’s event, which attracted 52,028 visitors.
The number of exhibitors also hit a new record, with a total of 1,429 – more than 100 up on the previous year. Although the show is having some success in attracting exhibitors from outside Germany – increasing the number of non-German exhibitors from 315 in 2010, to 388 – the event is still dominated by domestic players.
The UK is still poorly represented, with just 19 exhibitors compared to 80 from Italy, 38 from Switzerland and 37 from China. The number of exhibitors from India more than doubled to 23.
The German automation industry had a good year in 2011, with many of the main players recording double-digit growth rates. The industry’s trade body, ZVEI, reports that sales of motors grew by 13% while the AC drives market shot ahead by 35%. The German automation business, as a whole, expanded by 18% to reach a total of more than €31bn.
But these impressive figures are tempered by an uncertainty about the future. Few German automation executives are prepared to predict what will happen in 2012 and beyond, although ZVEI is predicting a further 5% of growth during 2012.
Many German automation suppliers are still privately owned and continued to invest in r&d through the downturn. Some of the fruits of this investment were on display at SPS. Here we report on some of the new arrivals from German suppliers, and from further afield.
MOTORS AND DRIVES
Animatics, the Californian integrated motor specialist, now owned by Moog, was showing IP65-protected integrated servodrives in Nema 23 and 34 frame sizes, suitable for washdown applications.
Baumüller unveiled a new generation of its DSD permanently excited synchronous servomotors with improved speed and torque performance, and smaller dimensions. The DSD2 motors, in frame sizes 45–100, are aimed at dynamic applications involving speeds up to 6,000 rpm. Sizes 71–100 are available with water cooling, cutting noise levels and surface temperatures, and providing twice the power density of the uncooled versions.
Baumüller also launched a new generation of servodrives up to 5kW, to succeed its earlier b maXX 3400 family. The compact b maXX 3300 with integrated position control (above) incorporates safe torque-off functions and delivers high levels of dynamics and energy efficiency.
Beckhoff announced a range of IP67-protected (IP69K optional) stainless-steel servomotors for hygienic, harsh and corrosive environments, based on its new AM8000 family. The stainless-steel AM8800 machines come in three sizes, each with three lengths, delivering standstill torque levels from 1–8Nm. Like the AM8000, they use a single two-core cable for both feedback and power. Despite the relatively low thermal conductivity of stainless steel, power losses are minimised without needing extra cooling.
Following three years of r&d, Crouzet has launched a range of brushless DC servomotors with integrated control electronics. The 57 x 57mm motors (below) come in three sizes with ratings from 66–150W and efficiencies of 83%. The motors, which operate from 9–56V DC supplies, have built-in encoders and switched-mode power supplies and consume less than 1W when idle, compared to 2.5–5W for some rival products. The motors have six inputs and four outputs and can be supplied with planetary or right-angle gearboxes.
Crouzet also has a new generation of brushed DC motors with noise levels reduced dramatically, from 55dB(A) for the previous models, to 40dB(A). The range includes 42mm-diameter models in ratings from 15–53W and 63mm versions rated at 55 and 99W. New planetary gearboxes reduce noise levels of gear-motor combinations to 55dB(A).
Danfoss has teamed up with Rittal to offer liquid cooling for its VLT drives, based on Ritttal’s TS8 enclosures and using modules that provide up to 10kW of cooling. Danfoss has also announced a SIL3 safety module (MCB140/150) that separates safety and drive parameters, thus acting like an external security device while providing the space and cost savings of drive-based safety systems.
The German company Jena has announced a range of compact integrated servodrives based on 86mm-square motors. The Ecompact 34E Ecostep drives come in three versions with peak torque ratings up to 10Nm and nominal torque ratings from 2–3.5Nm at 500 rpm. They can be supplied with incremental or absolute encoders.
Another supplier of integrated motors, the Danish firm JVL, revealed a prototype Nema 43 version of its QuickStep integrated servomotor which, it claims will be the world’s shortest stepper with a built-in controller. A 146mm-long version will be able to deliver 10Nm, while a 257mm model will produce 25Nm. JVL also announced a downwards expansion of the QuickStep range with two new Nema 17 models delivering up to 0.8Nm of torque.
JVL’s MIS 34 stepper motor is now available with a wireless connection for remote control, configuring and monitoring. The company has also announced Profinet and PowerLink industrial Ethernet modules for its integrated servomotors from 50–3,000W. A Sercos III version is being developed.
Kollmorgen has introduced a range of brushless torque motors without housings aimed at space-restricted, high-performance applications. The KBM hollow-shaft, direct-drive motors (below) are said to be at least 10% more efficient than gearbox and belt-based alternatives. The modular motors, which attach to the load, come in 14 sizes and seven lengths, with more than 150 pre-assembled windings available covering continuous torque ratings up to 3,445Nm and peak torques up to 12,812Nm.
Kollmorgen has also developed its smallest servomotor – a “matchbox-sized” device that it claims is 30–50% smaller and 10–30% lighter than conventional synchronous servomotors, while consuming about 30% less energy than traditional asynchronous servomotors. The AKM1 motors, which have 40mm flanges, incorporate spring-actuated brakes and various feedback options, including single- or multi-turn absolute encoders, incremental encoders and resolvers. The multi-turn encoders measure the number of rotations as well as angles, allowing the rotor position to be determined without reference runs. The motors deliver up to 0.41Nm of static torque and operate at up to 8,000 rpm.
Lenze has added an axis bus to its 8400 TopLine inverter, as well as special function blocks for speed and angle synchronisation, allowing shafts to be synchronised electronically. In one possible topology, all of the drives in a network are connected to a master controller, with the axes exchanging data with each other. A second option, where the master supplies only a limited amount of data to the axes, can connect to a single axis bus master.
Lenze has also produced plug-in Profinet and EtherCat interfaces for its distributed 8400 motec inverters (above), allowing the simple, IP65-protected 0.37–3kW drives to be integrated into high-performance networks.
Mitsubishi has announced an EtherCat communications module for its Melservo MR-J3-A range of servodrives, to provide increased speed and performance for demanding motion control and other applications. The module can communicate with up to 100 servo axes “in milliseconds”.
Parker Hannifin has developed a kit version of its AC890PX high-power AC drive that allows panel-builders and systems integrators to incorporate the drives into the same enclosures as ancillary control components. The modular AC890PX-M can control induction or permanent magnet AC motors, as well as being used as an active front-end. It is suitable for both constant and variable torque applications and spans ratings from 110–400kW (expandable to 2MW by paralleling).
Parker was also showing a range of high-speed, direct-drive brushless servomotors in compact water-cooled frames. The permanent magnet MGV motors are aimed principally at component simulation testing at speeds of up to 45,000 rpm. The motors, rated up to 230kW, avoid the need for gearing while their low inertia allows rapid acceleration and deceleration.
Bosch Rexroth was demonstrating an integrated motor-drive that can control up to ten axes without needing a supervisory controller. The IndraDrive Mi (below) performs PLC and motion tasks independently and incorporates a multi-Ethernet interface that supports all established real-time Ethernet protocols. It also offers onboard safety and, by allowing users to pre-assemble modules without control cabinets, is said to cut wiring by up to 85%.
Rexroth has also produced a new high-performance version of its Indradrive Cs compact drive that controls up to nine extra axes as well as external I/O modules via a Sercos master interface. The Advanced version offers integrated safety functions to SIL 3 and a multi-encoder interface.
Schneider Electric used the SPS show to preview an integrated servomotor and drive due for release later in 2012. The modular Lexium 32i, spanning ratings from 0.9–2.5kW, is designed to be mounted on a machine, thus saving cabinet space. It will support CANopen and EtherCat communications and will offer a choice of connection positions.
Also from Schneider, the Lexium 62 is a compact, low-cost controller for one or two servo axes, while the Lexium 52 is a servo amplifier with an integrated power supply for compact installations involving a few axes.
As always at SPS, SEW-Eurodrive had a slew of new products including an updated range of torque motors which deliver their full rated torque at a standstill. The 12-pole DRM motors (below) cover frame sizes 71–132 and deliver up to 10.8Nm of torque.
SEW also introduced a 15kW regenerative power supply with a “brake module” function that allows it to be used instead of a braking resistor. The Movidrive MDR module allows the inverter and regen supply to be dimensioned separately so that, for example, a 30kW inverter can be used with a 15kW supply. The module supports loads of up to 37kW for 50s.
Siemens is now offering its Sinamics DC Master drives in type-tested, ready-to-use cabinets that can be connected directly to AC supplies up to 950V. Basic versions cover the power range 6kW–2.5MW, while outputs up to 30MW and 12-pulse series and parallel connection versions can also be specified.
Siemens has completed the lower-performance range of its new Simotion D motion controls with three new closed-loop modules with more interfaces and a claimed doubling of PLC and motion control performance. The blocksize D410-2 single-axis model has twice as many I/O as its predecessor as well as extra Profibus and Ethernet interfaces. The booksize D425-2 and D435-2 are suitable for up to 128 axes and have built-in Profinet IO interfaces.
Yaskawa announced a new family of compact, efficient medium-voltage drives with almost sinusoidal outputs, making them suitable for modernising existing installations. The MV1000 inverters will be available in 3, 2.4, 4.16, 6 or 11kV versions, with outputs from 200kVA–12MVA. Integrated phase-shift transformers minimise harmonic effects.
Yaskawa also unveiled a multi-axis servo system said to deliver precise positioning and dynamic performance while saving costs, energy and space. The Sigma-5 SD system is available in single- or twin-axis versions with outputs from 1.5–18.5kW, suitable for servo or spindle motors. To maximise efficiency, braking energy is fed back into the power supply. The Ethernet-based Mechatrolink-III bus system supports fast data transfer between the drives and machine controls, supporting dynamic positioning tasks.
ABB has produced an “extreme condition” version of its AC500 controls family with a wider operating temperature range (–30 to +70°C), improved vibration resistance and EMC performance, and the ability to work up to 4km above sea level. Most AC500 modules are available in AC500-XC versions (below) which can be mounted in simple cabinets without needing special seals, cooling or shock absorbers, thus cutting installation costs.
ABB has also added a high-performance CPU and two Profinet interface modules to the AC500 family. The PM592-ETH CPU is about 1,000 times faster in floating-point calculations than ABB’s smallest CPU, and incorporates a 4GB flash disk, a Web server and optional network interfaces. The new Profinet modules serve as Profinet IO RT slaves with built-in gateways to CANopen and serial interfaces.
Beckhoff is converting its industrial and embedded PCs to Intel’s second-generation Core i3, i5 and i7 multi-core processors (codenamed Sandy Bridge), which offer more computing power and improved on-board graphics. It says that the multi-core technology is ideal for machine automation, allowing motion control, CNC, measurement and robotic functions to be performed simultaneously.
Beckhoff has also announced a second generation of its rail-mounting CX2000 embedded PC family (shown below). The new multi-core processors deliver a level of performance that previously required cabinet-mounted industrial PCs. An internal bus, based on PCI Express, supports 5 “gigatransfers’ per second and allows various interfaces to be connected, including 1Gbit Ethernet, up to eight serial interfaces, and four USB 2.0 ports.
A third arrival on the Beckhoff stand was a range of couplers for its EtherCat terminal system that incorporate digital I/O. The EK18xx HD (high-density) terminals have 16 connection points – four used for the supply voltage, and up to 12 for I/O in various combinations. The couplers save space and costs especially for applications with few I/O.
The Swedish HMI specialist Beijer Electronics has completed its iX Panel range, which now includes touchscreens from 4–21 inches. There are nine models, offering a choice of processing power and operating systems. The range includes widescreen versions with 30% larger viewing areas.
Festo claims that its new CECC compact controller is the first to offer an IO-Link master and CoDeSys V3 programming. Aimed at small electric and pneumatic automation applications with limited I/O, the controller incorporates a CANopen master which can be used to actuate drives and valve terminals as well as interfacing with other functions. The four-channel IO-Link master supports remote I/O parameterisation and diagnostics down to the I/O connection point.
Gefran was showing a compact machine controller called the GCube Fit that combines control, monitoring and communications functions in a modular system that incorporates a colour touchscreen display. The IEC 61131-3 compatible controller offers functions such as PID control, alarm management and PWM, and supports CANopen, Modbus TCP, RS-485 and USB communications.
The Korean automation manufacturer LSIS announced a range of all-in-one micro-PLCs based on “next-generation technology”. The XGB PLCs are said to offer “maximum performance at minimum cost”. There are several versions, with the highest performance models providing 83ns/step processing speeds and supporting up to 384 I/O ports via up to ten expansion modules. The simplest “economic” models support up to 38 I/O points.
Mitsubishi Electric has announced an alternative to industrial PCs and embedded controllers – a CPU that uses the C programming language and mounts on Q series hardware. Mitsubishi says that the Melsec C controller (above) overcomes some of the drawbacks of existing technologies such as short product lifecycles, the need for specialised drivers, and the use of failure-prone components such as fans and hard drives. The module uses the Wind River VXWorks real-time operating system and includes various communications ports and a display for debugging and diagnostics.
Mitsubishi has also released a 5.7-inch touchscreen HMI in colour and monochrome versions, both offering 320 x 240 pixel resolution. The GT14 HMI has RS-232 and RS-422/485 ports, a front-facing USB port, an SD card slot, a 2,000-point memory, and an optional Ethernet connection.
Phoenix Contact has added five new models to its 100 Series of mini-controllers. The devices, which support Modbus/TCP, have SD card slots for up to 2GB of memory, making them suitable for datalogging.
Phoenix has also extended its Axioline real-time I/O system which it launched in 2010. The new arrivals include 34mm-wide modules and a Sercos III connector that offers a cycle time of 31.25ms across multiple I/O stations. More connectors for Profibus and other Ethernet protocols are on the way.
Pilz announced a new generation of operator terminals (below) offering enhanced performance and larger memories. The PMI 509 and 515 terminals are designed to be used for diagnostics and visualisation with Pilz’s control and safe bus systems.
Rexroth says that its new IndraControl S20 real-time I/O system, which uses the Sercos bus, will allow users to implement higher dynamics in shorter cycle times. The system can update 256 I/O in 6µs and 1,024 I/O in 13µs. With each I/O module having an update time of 1µs, rapid updating is possible, even using the maximum of 63 modules per bus coupler.
Rockwell Automation’s new Allen-Bradley ControlLogix 5570 series of programmable automation controllers (PACs) offer enhanced motion, safety and information capabilities. For motion applications, they provide high-speed axis and trajectory planning and can synchronise complex systems. Each controller (shown below) can support more than 100 axes and integrates via Ethernet/IP and Sercos interfaces. Rockwell is also launching a PAC (ControlLogix 5573XT) for use in humid and corrosive environments and in temperatures from –25 to +70°C.
In addition, Rockwell has extended its PlantPAx process automation system to integrate rotating systems such as fans and pumps and to provide diagnostic information on devices such as drives, motor control centres and instrumentation. The system can monitor conditions such as motor currents, and vibration and torque signatures via Ethernet/IP.
Schneider Electric announced a 5.7-inch operator terminal with an Ethernet interface (as well as two USB ports and a serial port), which can act as a gateway for exchanging data via Ethernet. The Magelis STU 855 HMI mounts in a 22.5mm hole, avoiding the need to use tools.
SEW-Eurodrive launched a motion and logic controller for centralised control of high-end motion applications. The Movi-PLC power can be used as a master module for the company’s Moviaxis modular servodrive system or as a compact controller with its Movidrive B inverters. The controller, based on an Intel Core2Duo processor, can process up to 64 axes in 1ms.
Siemens was showing several additions to its controls portfolio, including a new generation of its Simatic ET 200 distributed I/O family which saves space, simplifies wiring and improves device and module identification. The IP20-protected ET 200SP family (below) supports up to 64 80mm-deep modules, thus processing up to 64 x 16 signals in 1m of cabinet space. The modules have two Profinet interfaces and an internal data rate of 100Mbit/s.
Siemens has also upgraded its fault-tolerant Simatic S7-400 controllers and added a new CPU. All models now have more memory, extra functions and a Profinet interface with a two-port switch.
There are also two new compact switch modules with Ethernet interfaces for Siemens’ Logo! logic control family. The CSM unmanaged switches can either connect two logic modules to each other, or connect devices such as HMIs and programmers. One of the modules is for 110/230V AC operation; the other for 12/24V DC.
Yaskawa was showing its MP3200iec machine controller which can synchronise complex systems of up to 62 servodrives, communicating with them via the Mechatrolink III Ethernet bus, which offers transfer rates of up to 100 Mb/s. The IEC 61131-3 compliant controller provides autotuning and supports the PLCopen standard.
ELECTRICAL AND SAFETY
ABB has added a voltage measurement module to its UMC100-FBP motor controller (below), to provide functions such as measuring active and apparent power, voltage, energy and power factor. The VI15x module can also detect harmonic disturbances and faults in the supply voltage, even when the motor is stationary. There are separate versions for earthed and non-earthed networks.
Balluff has developed an IO-Link actuator hub for safe shutdown applications to SIL2. The BNI IOL-252/256 hub allows standard and safety I/Os to be mapped together. The I/O block is divided into two galvanically isolated segments, allowing two separate safety circuits to be implemented on one module. This simplifies installation and reduces the number of components needed. Special cables and boxes are not needed to carry signals – a simple three-conductor cable does the job.
Eaton used the SPS show to launch a withdrawable LV motor control and power distribution centre for applications up to 4kA. The compact, flexible Xpert CX system incorporates a patented mechanical test position mechanism that allows control circuits to be tested with both the incoming and outgoing power terminals disconnected.
Also new from Eaton are withdrawable compartments for its xEnergy power distribution system for installations up to 5kA. The XW compartments complete the system and allow it to be used as a motor and power control centre, using power outgoer circuit-breakers rated up to 630A, as well as motor starters and controllers up to 250kW.
Finally, Eaton has added a motor-protection circuit-breaker for motor currents up to 65A to its PKE family. The PKE 65 offers wide-ranging protection and low heat dissipation.
Euchner unveiled a compact safety monitor that makes it affordable to use AS-i for smaller installations. The 22.5mm-wide Safety Basic Monitor (SBM) incorporates four safe inputs (or up to eight standard inputs), two safe outputs, and AS-i master, monitoring and network decoupling functions. It can be used to set up a complete AS-i system and to provide a smooth transition between standard wiring and an AS-i bus.
Kübler launched a modular safety system for monitoring speed and/or position according to EN 61800-5-2. The Safety MS modules (above) can be configured to act as simple overspeed relays or complete safety controls and can be programmed to process inputs from various safety devices. The system is programmed graphically. There are four models for speed and/or position monitoring of one or two axes. Optional communications modules support CANopen, Profibus, Profinet and EtherCat.
The Lapp Group has developed an energy chain cable that can replace seven standard servomotor cables, and is said to operate faster and more efficiently than previous chain cables. The Ölflex Servo FD 796 CP cable can accelerate at up to 50m/s2, and move at up to 5m/s over distances up to 3m. Lapp claims that the cable can reduce proportional run-up and braking times by up to 96%.
Leuze electronic was demonstrating a programmable, modular safety controller that can be expanded to handle 140 safety modules or 44 drive components. The 67.5mm-wide MSI 200 controller (below) can be used with equipment such as light curtains, e-stops, two-hand controls and interlocks. The safety circuits are configured by dragging-and-dropping PLCopen-certified function blocks in dedicated software.
Patlite was demonstrating a signal tower with a smooth polycarbonate outer cover that prevents moisture or dust adhering to it. The IP66-protected LS7 tower uses a patented prismatic lens so that the cover does not affect the discernability of the different signal colours, even over long distances. A built-in buzzer can deliver an alarm signal up to 85dB – said to be louder than any production machine.
Pepperl+Fuchs was demonstrating a modular speed monitor that fulfils safety requirements up to SIL3 / PL e without needing a safe PLC or safety relays. The simplest version consists of a safety controller, speed monitor module and safe sin/cos encoder. The monitor has four safe inputs and can handle up to 40 axes. It can be used to retrofit existing plants with safety functions.
Also new from P+F is a range of light grids with slim-profile (20 x 30mm) housings and controls integrated into the receiver module. The LGS grids cover heights up to 3.2m and are available with various resolutions from 8–100mm. Three separate switching outputs are available for height and tension checks.
Rockwell Automation has extended its GuardLogix safety controller range with two new models that provide safety functions up to SIL3 / Pl e. The GuardLogix 5572S and 5573S support a new analogue input module called Point Guard that provides automation and safety functions for the Point I/O system. The SIL 3 module can measure variables such as temperature, pressure and flow.
Rittal has developed a combined fan-and-filter technology for EMC enclosures which avoids the need to use special wire gratings to provide shielding. Metallised surfaces on the filter housings and mats provide EMC protection to level 2 of EN61587-3:2006.
Rittal has also adapted a liquid cooling technology originally developed for IT applications, for industrial uses in its TS8 enclosure system. The 10kW LCP (liquid cooling package) technology takes warm air from the top of an enclosure, passes it through a bayable air/water heat exchanger, and feeds the cooled air to the bottom of the enclosure. The heat exchanger can be mounted between two enclosures or at the end of an enclosure suite.
Schmersal has developed a range of compact (28 x 33mm) type 4 safety light curtains which offer functions – such as floating blanking, and fixed blanking with movable edge regions – that are often available only as optional extras. The SLC/SLG440 curtains are configured via a built-in display (shown below). Stockholding is reduced by including functions such as contactor control and beam coding as standard.
A new module from Sick monitors rotational speeds and safe stopping of drives. The MOC3SA module, which meets SIL3 / Pl e safety levels, can be used to operate drives at safely reduced speeds or for the speed-dependant release of door latches. A software tool suggests the best operating mode.
WEG was demonstrating a new range of medium-voltage soft-starts for motor voltages up to 6.9kV and motor currents up to 360A. The SSW7000 soft-starts use a vector-based “flexible torque control” technology that allows the torque control to be selected according to the type of load applied to the motor.
Wieland Electric announced a 22.5mm-wide safety relay which, it claims, offers functions that previously needed larger, more costly devices. The SNO 40483KM relay can be used for most safety applications from monitoring e-stops and light curtains, to pressure mats and coded switches. It also provides automatic or manual restarts of safety functions and synchronous time monitoring of 0.5 or 1.5s for two-channel applications.
Wieland also launched a pair of compact safety switches that combine position monitoring and guard locking functions. The SMS series, which monitors the position of moving guards, has separate actuators and uses coding to protect against bypassing the switch. The SIN series is aimed at guard locking of safety doors, hoods or gates.
MECHANICAL AND LINEAR
Animatics was demonstrating a preconfigured “table-top robot” – a ballscrew-driven Cartesian system consisting of two or three axes powered by the company’s SmartMotors connected via an RS-232 serial daisychain. The TTR system offers up to 8,000 preset positions and 32kb of memory per axis.
New from Festo is a “pitch slide” module (below) designed for applications where several small parts need to be repositioned simultaneously and the spacing between them needs to be changed during the process. The pneumatically or electrically powered scissor mechanism avoids the need for machine-builders to develop their own mechanisms, while the ability to handle several parts simultaneously saves time and costs. The module, integrated into a 3D gantry, also compensates for different height levels and spacing distances.
The Swiss linear motor specialist LinMot was showing several recent developments including a new motor family claimed to offer nearly twice the performance of its standard linear motors of the same size. The P02-23Sx80F-HP motors deliver 50% more peak force and 70% more continuous force, as well as being 20% faster. The improved performance has been achieved by using more powerful magnets, improving the motor windings, and optimising the magnetic circuits and heat transfer.
Other new arrivals on the LinMot stand included: the P10-70 family of linear motors that can deliver forces up to 2.5kN; a range of IP69K-protected linear motors with stainless-steel casings and integrated servo controls, that are suitable for use in the food and pharmaceutical industries; and a series of servo controls for supply voltages up to 480V AC that can be used to control rotary servomotors as well as linear motors, and offer a choice of five industrial Ethernet protocols.
New from Origa is a range of electromechanical linear actuators that provide a choice of screw, toothed belt or linear motor drives. The HMR actuators offer many options including a choice between plain bearing or recirculating ball-bearing guides. They have adopted the yellow livery of Origa’s parent, Parker Hannifin.
SENSORS AND MEASUREMENT
Balluff has developed an inductive positioning system that uses an absolute measuring principle to monitor clamping distances with a resolution down to 14µm. The non-contact, wear-free BIP system can detect steel targets over a linear travel distance of up to 103mm. Measured values can be output over IO-Link or as analogue signals (0–10V or 4–20mA).
Balluff also added diffuse and through-beam models to its BOS 50K series of photoelectric sensors. The diffuse sensor has a 2m range. A retro-reflective version with an 18m range is also available. The through-beam version allows a distance of 60m between the emitter and receiver.
Baumer has developed an IP66-protected, redundant, optical incremental encoder for use in tough environments. The HOG 86 hollow-shaft encoder (below) has a special anti-corrosion coating and its electronics are encapsulated in a separate compartment. The bearings are protected against inductive shaft currents.
Baumer was also offering a range of vision sensors with resolutions up to two megapixels and onboard flash controllers, avoiding the need for external flash controls. The VeriSens XC sensors offer a choice of lenses, while built-in FTP functions simplify the storage of images on external media.
A new dual-role sensor from ifm electronic monitors moisture and temperature levels in lubricants and hydraulic fluids, thus guarding against potential damage. The sensor uses a capacitive element to measure relative humidity in the range 0–100%, as well as measuring temperatures from –20 to +100°C. It has two 4–20mA analogue outputs.
Also new from ifm is a range of magnetic sensors in robust metal housings that offer protection against most media. The sensors can be installed quickly behind stainless steel covers.
Kübler claims to have combined functional safety and Atex approval in an encoder for the first time. The Sendix SIL3 absolute encoders have flameproof enclosures approved for zones 1, 2, 21 and 22. The shock- and vibration-resistant IP67-protected encoders offer resolutions of up to 17 bits (for single-turn versions) and 29 bits (multi-turn). The 70mm-diamter encoders are 145mm deep.
Kübler is now equipping its Sendix absolute encoders with Biss-S (bidirectional serial synchronous) interfaces that are about 100 times faster than standard field buses. The real-time interfaces allow automatic start-ups.
Kübler has also developed a technique for mounting absolute single-turn encoders on gearless direct-drive systems. The encoder is equipped with a tapered shaft said to ensure an accurate coupling to the direct drive and is secured using a screw.
Leuze electronic has developed a sensor that simultaneously measures an object’s height, width and position. The LES 36 line edge sensor projects a linear laser beam and senses the reflections. Measurement values are output in millimetres via Ethernet, Profibus or an analogue interface. The sensor has a 800mm deep and 600mm wide range.
Leuze was also demonstrating a family of diffuse sensors with background suppression for difficult applications, including glossy surfaces. The HRT sensors have a range of 50mm–1m. There are focussed light-spot versions for shiny, textured, inclined or uneven surfaces, and large light-spot versions that ignore small holes and gaps while providing precise edge detection.
Micro-Epsilon has introduced two miniature infrared cameras with a resolution of 382 x 288 pixels – four times better than standard infrared cameras – allowing smaller temperature changes and objects (down to just 0.8mm2) to be detected. The IP67-protected ThermoImager 400 and 450 cameras come in four versions covering the temperature range –20 to +1,500°C. An image frequency of 80Hz allows fast-moving processes to be monitored in real time.
Micro-Epsilon has also extended its portfolio of compact draw-wire sensors with GRP housings, offering a low-cost alternative to aluminium models. The WireSensor MK-88 devices provide wire lengths from 2.3–5m and a choice of analogue or digital outputs.
Pepperl+Fuchs has developed a laser light scanner for: measuring edges, gaps or volumes; correcting paths; and verifying tolerances. The LineRunner 300 (LR300) projects a laser line onto an object, which is detected by a camera, allowing height and width information to be determined by triangulation. The scanner is said to handle problematic colours and contrasts.
Another development from P+F is a new generation of miniature ultrasonic sensors that can detect objects with millimetre precision, even if they are transparent or reflective. The F77 sensors come in three versions – background suppression, retro-reflective and through-beam.
Sick was demonstrating a sensor for tracking packaging production without using conventional optical markings. Instead the ML20 markless sensor (below) recognises patterns it has been taught, making it more flexible and saving time when changing labels and formats. The sensor, which can be used to control cutting edges, can detect patterns at speeds of up to 7m/s.
Also for packaging applications, Sick has developed a photoelectric proximity sensor which can sense traditionally difficult targets such as foil-wrapped six-packs of bottles and shiny metal surfaces. The WTB27-3 MultiPac sensor uses two separate receivers and can be mounted up to 500mm above a conveyor.
Finally, Sick was also showing a range of miniature stainless-steel photoelectric sensors for food, beverage and pharmaceutical applications. The IP69K-protected W8 Inox sensors include through-beam, retro-reflective, and background suppression devices.
Siemens announced a modular condition monitoring system designed to monitor and analyse vibrations, rotational speeds and temperatures from equipment such as motors, pumps and fans. The Siplus CMS2000 system can identify potential problems before they occur. Integral diagnostics software evaluates the signals and performs frequency-based analyses of the data, as well as identifying trends.
The German safe switchgear specialist .steute was showing a new range of position switches for use in extreme environments. The ES/EM 98 switches have metal enclosures and offer IP 66, 67 or 69K protection. The is a choice of actuators and switching inserts, including a pressure-resistant variant with three contacts, designed as a snap-action contact with a positive break NC contact. The range also includes wireless versions that avoid the need for cables and batteries. Atex versions are planned.
The CC-Link Partners Association (CLPA) has released three starter kits that make it easier to develop devices for the network. Kit 1 is an evaluation kit that teaches the basics and benefits of CC-Link and includes an embedded network adapter that makes a field device compatible with the network. Kit 2 includes network Asics and can be used to develop products that handle digital I/O. Kit 3 opens up the full capabilities of CC-Link, using a more sophisticated Asic to handle word and bit data.
CLPA has also initiated a programme, supported by 14 of its European members, to help EU suppliers to penetrate the Chinese manufacturing market. It will offer two key forms of assistance: helping to get CC-Link products ready for the Chinese market by providing development kits and advice; and assisting with promotion including free advertising in Chinese automation journals and Web sites, road shows, fairs and webinars.
Comsoft announced a device that provides a Profibus proxy for Profinet IO, simplifying the integration of existing Profibus networks into the Profinet IO architecture. The rail-mounting FNL Proxy PN/PB acts as a Profibus DP master and includes four Profinet IO RT interfaces and an RS-232 service interface. Its Profibus DP interface supports baud rates from 9.6kb/s–12Mb/s.
HMS Industrial Networks was promoting its products’ capabilities for energy management applications in automation systems. It has already introduced Profienergy-compliant Anybus embedded communication modules and plans to support further energy management profiles when they become stable and widely accepted.
The Lapp Group presented a device that connects Profibus devices with Sub-D connectors to Profibus cables, simply by plugging in a pre-assembled M12 cable and tightening it. Lapp says that its Epic Data M12 Profibus connector reduces assembly times to around 30s, compared to up to ten minutes needed previously.
Leuze electronic is offering a gateway that makes it easier to integrate its optical distance sensors into Ethernet, Profibus and Profinet networks. The MA 200i gateway connects sensors with RS-232 interfaces via an interface cable with an M12 connection, thus avoiding complicated and error-prone cabling.
Lütze has developed an ultra-flexible Cat 6 Ethernet cable for use in energy chains. The Superflex cable (above) is designed to withstand one million bending cycles at speeds of up to 4m/s and pulling forces of up to 100N. The 7.8mm-diameter cable can handle an acceleration of 4m/s2 and travel distances of 10m. Its sheath is made of flame-resistant PUR materials.
Molex has introduced a range of Ethernet I/O modules for connecting controllers rapidly to I/O devices in harsh environments where liquids or vibrations may be present. The Brad HarshIO connectors use a QuickConnect technology and can be started and operated in less than 500ms. They support safety automation architectures using separate supplies to power the inputs and outputs.
Siemens has developed a package of co-ordinated components for wireless communications complying with the IEEE 802.11n WLAN standard, at data rates up to 450Mb/s. The Scalance IWLAN (industrial wireless LAN) range (shown below) includes three types of access point, a client module, and a controller that allows central configuration and monitoring of up to 32 access points and client modules. Each wireless interface uses three antennae and Mimo (multiple input, multiple output) technology to achieve long ranges and reliable performance.
Siemens has also produced a range of industrial Ethernet switches in a 19-inch rack format for configuring large automation systems and connecting them to IT systems. The Scalance-X-500 switches are equipped with hot-swappable electrical and optical media modules. Up to 48 end devices and network components can be connected and operated at up to 1Gb/s.
Wago has expanded its Speedway modular IP67 automation system by adding a parameterisable serial interface module that can connect up to two RS-232/422/485 terminal devices and up to four other sensors or actuators. Another new arrival connects up to eight M12 sensors or actuators. Wago has also overhauled its Profinet-IO fieldbus coupler, which now offers the option of CoDeSys 3 programming, FDT/DTM parameterisation, and firmware updates via Ethernet/TCP.
Following beta testing with around 100 customers, Beckhoff has formally launched Twincat 3 – the latest version of its software for PC-based control. The new version is said to simplify engineering and to offer improved performance and new language options, such as C/C++ and Matlab/Simulink for real-time applications. The run-time version with multi-core support allows modules written in different languages to communicate and co-operate with each other.
B&R Automation has launched a new version of its Automation Studio software, promising many improvements. Version 4 allows projects to be split into manageable pieces that several developers can work on simultaneously. Hardware configuration is handled by arranging photorealistic images of components. An interface to Eplan Electric 8 synchronises ECAD projects with hardware configuration in Automation Designer. Similar interfaces to simulation programs can verify the results of development work or used to provide a starting point for system design.
B&R has also produced a software library for controlling winding processes. The library can cater for open-loop tension control using set torque values as well as closed-loop control using feedback or a dancer.
Copa-Data has announced a reporting package that displays vital information from production processes to reveal any potential for improving consumption and production. The zenon Analyzer software (below) uses both real-time and historical data to produce standard or user-defined reports. It can be used by itself or with Copa-Data’s zenon HMI/Scada system.
Lenze has developed a free software tool for setting, servicing and diagnosing its drives. The Easy Starter program can be configured purely for online diagnosis, reading parameters from one or more networked drives. A “virtual assistant” helps to connect the PC to the drives and customised screens are used to analyse the data. Alternatively, a write mode can be used to change individual parameters or whole sets, with several drives being updated simultaneously. The software – available from www.lenze.com/akb – can also upload complete applications.
Rittal has issued a new version of its Power Engineering software, which verifies switchgear designs in accordance with the new IEC 61439-1/2 standard. Version 6 allows suitable switching devices to be selected early in the design process and can verify designs at the push of a button.
SoMachine Motion from Schneider Electric (below) is a new tool for motion and drive design, program development, commissioning, data handling and diagnostics. It supports object-oriented programming based on CoDeSys V3. It is the first release of what will, in future, form the central element for a new approach to graphical structuring of machinery functions.
SEW-Eurodrive has released a new version of the MultiMotion program module for its Movitools MotionStudio engineering software. The module is used to develop co-ordinated motion sequences for multi-axis applications running on Movi-PLC motion and logic controllers. The new version includes a kinematics package, expanded cam functions, and library management.
Siemens has integrated the engineering of failsafe applications into its TIA Portal engineering framework. Step 7 Safety Advanced provides configuration and programming tools for creating safety-related programs. It uses the same project structure as Step 7 v11, making it easy to apply.
Siemens has also expanded its Simatic WinCC V7 visualisation software with an option that plans event notifications for different timeslots and escalation levels. Recipients are informed automatically by email or text messages about events such as faults or machine failures.
Finally, Softing announced a new version of its OPC Easy Connect Suite, offering extended functions for increased data exchange security and performance. Version 2.0 includes an “OPC tunnel” for barrier-free communications between multiple OPC clients and servers. A new configurator uses drag-and-drop functions.
The 2012 SPS/IPC/Drives will take place in Nuremberg from 27–29 November.