GE Fanuc Automation's new VersaMax(TM) PLCs can control up to 256 I/Os in either standalone or distributed applications, or even act as a slave in a Genius(reg) or Profibus(TM) DP network. The controller addresses what the company sees as one of the fastest growing areas in industrial automation: micro PLCs. Compact and modular, the units use a rackless design mounting on a DIN rail to accommodate up to eight modules per CPU. In all, 25 modules are available covering the range with 15 discrete, nine analog, and one high-speed counter/PWM module. All share a common structure and are color coded for easy identification. Engineers can program VersaMax PLCs with the company's CIMPLICITY(reg) Control. GE Fanuc Automation, Product Code 4298.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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