In the quest to simplify control-system design, motion-control companies have been pressed to become one-stop shops for control components and systems. In that vein, Schneider Electric, North Andover, Mass. has released Unity, an integrated software and PLC-processor automation platform.
Today's power and motor-control systems need to be flexible and intelligent, especially when it comes to complying with the increasing trend of cutting power costs on the millions of motors used in consumer and industrial products. A new line of motor-control chips can help designers reach those goals.
Brushless dc servomotors from Servo Magnetics, Canoga Park, Calif. (www.servomag.com), come in 22 and 36-mm frame sizes. Motor lengths can be customized to meet specific requirements in X-Y positioning tables, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, high-speed servomechanisms, flow-control valves, and other industrial-process equipment.
The Profibus trade organization has announced a Profinet real-time extension for general automation applications. A second Profinet real-time extension is also under way for high-performance motion-control applications.
New orders for industrial robots jumped 28% through September 2003, according to figures released by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA). North American robotics suppliers received a total of 10,382 robots valued at $727.5 million through the first nine months of 2003, which is an increase of 28% in units and 15% in dollars over the same period in 2002.
Several new motion-control products from National Instruments, Austin (www.ni.com), promise to simplify motion-control system design. Chief among these is NI-Motion 6.0, driver software for distributed motion control based on Ethernet.
Siemens Energy and Automation, Atlanta, has formed Safety Integrated U.S.A. to bring the latest safety technology to the company's U.S. automation product lines including PLCs, sensors, industrial control products, motion control, and drives.