Sophisticated control functionality and advanced software tools are key parts of new product offerings and trends in variable frequency drives and inverters. One of the most important trends is the continuing move to Ethernet communications. Suppliers are utilizing Ethernet and compatibility with standard control protocols such as Ethernet/IP to integrate the drives with the machine's control network and as a solution for enabling internet and enterprise-wide connectivity options.
Manufacturers are emphasizing simple user interfaces which allow these drives to be configured and made operational in minutes, without the need for a laptop computer.
VARIABLE SPEED DRIVES
A family of frequency inverter drives for ac motors from Baldor offers a simple user interface that provides “out of the box” solutions for variable speed motor control applications. The drives are also available with a range of environmental protection, from a standard industrial housing to a dust- and splash-proof version (IP55 or NEMA 12) and even a full washdown duty (IP66 or NEMA 4X) variant.
The new VS1MX family of drives is designed for common applications such as fan and pump control, as well as in clean area processing zones in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Simple front panel mounted user interfaces allow any of the drives to be made operational in minutes.
The company says it anticipates high-definition video for home security and other uses will be the next mature technology integrated into the IoT domain, hence the introduction of its MatrixCam devkit.
Siemens and Georgia Institute of Technology are partnering to address limitations in the current additive manufacturing design-to-production chain in an applied research project as part of the federally backed America Makes program.
Most of the new 3D printers and 3D printing technologies in this crop are breaking some boundaries, whether it's build volume-per-dollar ratios, multimaterials printing techniques, or new materials types.
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