Hannover Fair: Daily innovation focus
This report focuses on wireless intelligent sensors, IP67 gigabit Ethernet switches, and a robotic controller.
In this daily report from Hannover Fair , we focus on developing projects and technologies of particular interest to the Control Engineering audience. This second report focuses on wireless intelligent sensors, IP67 gigabit Ethernet switches, and a robotic controller.
Wireless intelligent sensor for energy efficiency
Danfoss IXA Sensor Technologies has developed a new technology that enables the continuous monitoring of several core parameters required for climate control and energy consumption. The sensor measures temperature, humidity, CO2 and other gasses simultaneously. An enhanced awareness of environmental impact, lower emissions and increased energy efficiency are specified as potential results. The multiple-measurement approach reportedly combines innovative principles of measurement with the use of special nano-materials.
Gigabit Ethernet switches in IP67 housing
During Hannover Fair, Hirschmann Automation and Control reported the addition of a new IP67 switch with Gigabit ports to its Octopus series. The switch has eight twisted-pair ports (100 Base-TX) and two fiber-optic uplink ports (1,000 Base-FX) for an Ethernet link in humid and dusty environments.
According to Hirschmann, a high degree of reliability is achieved through fast redundancy processes using the Gigabit port and extensive management functions. The twisted-pair ports are designed as four-pin M12-D connectors and the fiber-optic uplinks are based on liquid crystal technology.
Enhanced controller with high process stability
The new E controller from Kawasaki Robotics does not use a Windows operating system as other Kawasaki controllers do, and it offers high virus security coupled with process stability and short start-up times. The integration of a USB interface in the robotics system facilitates data exchange while accuracy specified as plus/minus 0.05 mm is achieved through the use of 17-bit encoders. The 8 MB RAM allows programs to be stored with up to 80,000 job steps.
Embedded industrial PC
Two new embedded industrial PCs for rough industrial environments have been released--The Simatic IPC427C compact Microbox PC and the Simatic HMI IPC477C Panel PC--both feature the Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The HMI IPC477C comes with a human machine interface (HMI) panel designed for continuous 24-hour operation -- even in environments with high temperature, vibration, and shock. The space-saving, fanless devices are suitable for communication tasks, measuring, and open/closed-loop control as well as for operator control and visualization. Siemens claims that neither of the PCs requires maintenance and both work at ambient temperatures of 0 to 50 °C.
Safety gets the attention of suppliers, attendees
While energy efficiency has been the dominant theme at this year's Hannover Fair, safety is second on just about everyone's checklist. Systems are being designed to monitor safety at the machine level and to deliver safety controls to meet the needs of manufacturers looking to manage the single largest soft cost in their operation.
Companies such as Beckoff, Phoenix Contact and Turck have all positioned safety as a major emphasis at this year's event. Yellow is a clearly identifiable color on the show floor, and it has been evident in product displays in several locations.
For example, safety-related tasks can be performed via PC using the Simatic WinAC RTX F. The controller meets the relevant safety requirements and applicable standards EN 954-1 up to Cat. 4, IEC 62061 up to SIL 3, and EN ISO 13849-1 up to PL e. As with the modular Simatic S7 controllers, Siemens Step 7 engineering software is supplemented by the Distributed Safety option package for safety-related applications.
Throwing things around on purpose
One of my more entertaining booth visits of the show was at Megger , which was showing off its new line of insulation and electrical fault ntest equipment. They have been designed for use in the field. "Rugged" is a word used throughout Megger's media presentations, and marketing services manager Nick Hilditch took great delight in tossing around a couple of pieces of their test equipment to show off its rugged nature.
Megger has released several new field devices, including the DLRO10HD low resistance ohmmeter, the Delta 3000 portable test set and the FRAX sweep frequency response analyzer.
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After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.