Monday, April 28, 2008

Software Provides A Single Development Environment

B And R Industrial Automation produces an integral software tool designed to cover all automation tasks By using a single tool, machine manufacturers no longer have to spend large amounts of money to implement interfaces between the controllers, drives and visualisation application. Innovative manufacturers generally invest heavily in developing, maintaining and updating application software.

To secure this investment over the long-term, characteristics like modularity, scalability and reusability of software modules and functions are becoming increasingly important. Software needs to be flexible when it comes to machine configurations and options. Connecting ERP systems, E-CAD tools and automation tools enables the creation of individual machine software based on automated processes. With Automation Studio, B and R Industrial Automation provides a single development environment for control, visualisation, motion control and communication tasks.

All standardised IEC editors, a completely integrated ANSI C compiler and debugger, graphic configuration for I/O points and axes and integrated configuration of machine visualisation systems accompany the customer from the programming and commissioning phases all the way to production and service. Many advanced functions for temperature control, drive technology and fieldbus communication are already included in the standard Automation Studio package.

Automation Studio users can now develop their automation projects faster, maintain them more reliably and the open software design provides a system that can be integrated seamlessly into existing processes. A network-wide real-time communication system is needed in addition to a software tool. With Powerlink, B and R Industrial Automation has offered Ethernet-based real-time communication for the last five years. This technology has now established itself on the market.

In the meantime, more than 40,000 series production machines have been set up and are being used in various industries. In addition to B and R Industrial Automation, many automation manufacturers are relying on this open technology. The scalability of the software is complemented by the modularity of the hardware.

IP20 and IP67 I/O offer a high level of flexibility and can be scaled using small slices or compact blocks and can be linked to the controller using fieldbus connections or direct coupling. Many options are available to customers for visualisation of machine processes, from compact power panels to high-performance industrial PCs with Soft PLC. Of course, it's possible to implement all standard display and operating variations using keypads and touch screens.

On request, visualisation system panels can be matched to a machine manufacturer's corporate design. The use of highly dynamic servo drives in combination with synchronous, induction, torque or linear motors creates the basis for innovative drive technology. Software functions for co-ordinated movements, CNC applications and robotics functions complete the motion package, allowing extremely efficient drive solutions.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Magnetic Encoders Boost Dragster Speed

Visitors to Renishaw's stand at Mach 2008 (hall 5, stand 5140) will be able to see Team Salakazi's KTM Super Twin nitromethane fuelled dragster which takes just 6.7 seconds to cover a 402m race track, achieving speeds of around 322km/h. Aided by Renishaw's rotary magnetic encoders that monitor crankshaft position and clutch speed, this 360kg 'rocket' generates 1417kW from just a 1995 cc engine.

Not many people would even consider sitting astride a snarling 1417kW engine travelling at over 300km per hour. But Jaska Salakazi from Finland has made a career of it, becoming the first person in the world to break the seven-second barrier over 402m on a Super Twin Top Fuel bike. Since 2000, the speed-obsessed six-man team at Salakazi Racing has continually designed, built and refined its KTM Super twin powered Dragster.

A recent modification is the addition of two RM22 compact high-speed rotary magnetic encoders, produced by Renishaw's partner company RLS. These measure clutch speed and monitor the position of the engine's crankshaft, helping to take the bike to extremely high speeds. Clutch slippage, traction and road conditions can all be precisely determined by comparing values from the encoders, providing the team's technicians with the vital data to pre-programme the bike and make final adjustments to the first stage counterweights before the race begins. Where milliseconds are crucial, the encoders enable the team to optimise clutch engagement and maximise speed and acceleration on the spot.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Inductive Switches Meet SIL2 And SIL3 Standards

IFM Electronic has released inductive sensors which meet SIL2 and SIL3 safety standards. The proximity sensors are available in in M12 (SIL2) or M18, M30 and cube styles (SIL3). Designed with two output signal switching devices built in, the new fail-safe series will work with conventional safety relays and safety PLCs.

No special demands such as shielding, twisted wires or separate laying are placed on the industrial standard M12 connection. The sensor is simply connected to existing evaluation units, safety controllers and safe bus systems using a common unscreened 4-core cable. The IFM electronic fail-safe inductive system continuously monitors coil damage and component health.

Any fault, at any time is instantly signalled. All failsafe inductive switches from IFM electronic are constructed with full redundant internal circuits, certified by the TUV Rhineland. They provide all the advantages of an inductive sensor: with no moving parts, an IP67 rating and a standard M12 connector.