Festo Type IPC FEC Standard PLC. This slimmed down PLC has more going for it than its compact size (156.8 x 105 x 35 mm, W, H, D) for smaller cabinets. Its front panel plug-in sensor/actuator wire connector (SAC) eliminates the need for terminal strips for those peripherals, saving space and installation time. In addition to providing connection of inputs, outputs, and the power supply, the SAC has a status indicating LED. The three-wire version of the connector has internally connected bridges for 0 and 24V dc, which allow for any sensor or actuator to feed directly into the connector. Set up is further speeded up by the FST Software PLC programming language that uses simple IF/THEN/OTHERWISE statements. And Palm Top-based teaching can be used for configuring the controller. (www.festo-usa.com) Enter 582
WIDE-SPECTRUM, MODULAR DRIVE
Bosch Rexroth IndraDrive M. Flexibility of this modular drive system is enhanced because of its wide output spectrum, from 1.5 to 120 kW. The system incorporates both servo drive and frequency converter technology on one platform, which includes open- and closed-loop control, notes Daniel Schiopu, Product Support Engineer. Thus the same drive package, interfaces, and power section can be used for machines with different requirements. The modular and scalable hardware design is combined with basic software packages for servo modes and available, standardized extension packs for function upgrades—which include axis-error correction, synchronization of axes, and industry-specific functionality via the drive-integrated PLC. Furthermore, IndraDrive M supports all standard control communication systems as well as analog and parallel interfaces. (www.boschrexroth-us.com) Enter 583
Omron Electronics CS1D Duplex PLC. Designed with redundancy for critical processes and systems, this controller can initiate its backup CPU within one program scan of detecting a primary CPU malfunction. "This is on the order of 1 ms, compared to 100-150 ms of previous controllers," notes John Giardina, market manager for automation. Engineers cut the time by running the duplex communication bus on the backplane along with a duplex module for synchronizing the two CPUs. Redundancy is also found in twin power supplies, both of which run at half load for long life. System software will also shut down communications and I/O cards if there is a malfunction, allowing these modules to be hot-swapped without shutdown. (www.info.omron.com) Enter 584
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.