The drive toward Ethernet access on the factory floor gained momentum at the National Design Engineering Show this week, as Baldor Electric Co. (For Smith, AR) demonstrated a feature called Powerlink, which makes it possible for multi-axis controllers to send data over an Ethernet cable without so-called “data collisions.”
The giant motor maker showed a new version of its well-known NextMove controller that employs Powerlink, which allows stepper motors, servo drives and vector drives to send data in a deterministic fashion. The new product, rolled out earlier this year, is known as NextMove e100.
“Ethernet ordinarily does not have the capability of separating or delaying data from multi-axis systems,” noted John Mazurkiewicz, servo product marketing manager for Baldor. “NextMove e100 gives it that deterministic capability.”
By providing real-time Ethernet capabilities, the new controller gives automation engineers the ability set parameters, troubleshoot, and monitor drive operations on a factory floor, in a hotel, or in an office building on the other side of the world.
Baldor also said this week that it will add Powerlink capabilities to a new generation of AC, vector, and servo drives later this year.
More and more people are asking for remote capabilities,” said Pero Baljevic, a drive specialist for Baldor, “especially in the big plants.”
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
ABI Research, a firm based in the UK that specializes in analyzing global connectivity and other emerging technologies, estimates there will be 40.9 billion active wirelessly interconnected “things” by 2020. The driving force is the usual suspect: the Internet of Things.
Just in time for Earth Day, chemicals leader Bayer MaterialScience reported from the UTECH Europe 2015 polyurethane show on programs and applications using its materials to help reduce energy usage. The company also gave an update on its CO2-based PU as that eco-friendly material comes closer to production.
Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
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