There was a time not too long ago when any discussion of pneumatic connections involved the air and power supplies. Yet today’s pneumatic systems increasingly have to make another type of connection–to industrial Ethernet. At last week’s Pack Expo show in Las Vegas, pneumatic suppliers showed off valve manifolds and related I/O systems that can bridge the gap between air and electricity. Not all of them are brand new, but these systems continue to evolve with the addition of new connectivity options. Ethernet IP support, in particular, has become important for pneumatics. “Ethernet IP is really hot right now,” says Dave Thomas, a senior applications engineer with Festo. Others suppliers agree. “Ethernet IP is growing quickly in big markets like packaging and automotive,” says Kjell Lyngstad, pneumatics manager for Bosch Rexroth. Click here for a look at three pneumatic systems with growing connectivity options.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
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