By combining the best of programmable controllers with distributed control systems, the ProcessLogix(TM) system from Rockwell Automation's Allen-Bradley division is said to deliver the next generation control architecture for integrated sequential, motion, process, and drive-system applications. The system is a server-based, distributed control system. Based on the company's ControlLogix architecture, ProcessLogix blends software, hardware, and a global database into a single entity. Process-Logix system uses ControlNet to communicate between the core components. The physical cabling is based on the commonly available RG-6/U Quad-Shield cable and ControlNet taps, providing easy installation and immunity from EMI/RFI. Developers can use hundreds of standard displays such as alarms, trends, history, and reporting for fast set-up. The system also includes an object-oriented custom display builder with a library of commonly used plant equipment. Rockwell Automation, Allen-Bradley, Product Code 4299.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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