SPS/IPC/Drives 2000 offers something for everyone
Measurable statistics, such as number of visitors and exhibitors, display floor space, and a conference program that totaled over 100 lectures, all indicated continuing momentum for SPS/IPC/Drives Exhibition & Conference, held here on Nov. 28-30, 2000. (See details in "Up Front," CE, Jan.
Measurable statistics, such as number of visitors and exhibitors, display floor space, and a conference program that totaled over 100 lectures, all indicated continuing momentum for SPS/IPC/Drives Exhibition & Conference, held here on Nov. 28-30, 2000. (See details in "Up Front," CE , Jan. '01, p. 2.)
This annual, late-fall event for Electric Automation—Systems and Components—continues to attract "expert," knowledgeable visitors due to a well-focused show format. At the same time, SPS/IPC/Drives' range of coverage has widened, helped by the addition of the IT (information technology) sector in year 2000. This brings manufacturing execution systems, Ethernet, and Internet-related technologies, among others, within the show's scope. One subtler trend was more visibility for DeviceNet than in previous European exhibitions.
The next SPS/IPC/Drives event, together with IT & Automation, is slated for November 27-29, 2001.
Rockwell Automation (Haan, Germany; Milwaukee, Wis.) demonstrated a range of technologies, including its MicroLogix controller and I/O system line, networking products, industrial PCs, and a range of operator interface products. New PowerFlex ac drives up tp 30 kW were also shown.
Siemens ' (Nürnberg, Germany) exhibit focused on its Automation&Drives Group's technologies. Alongside motion control and drive products, human-machine interfaces, visualization software, network solutions, machine vision, and process control systems were evident.New from Siemens was Mobic Web pad (Mobile Industrial Communicator), an IP65 handheld tool with 8.4-in. display that streamlines data collection and visualization tasks of production and service personnel.
Beckhoff Industrie Elektronik (Verl, Germany) included numerous applications of its core product TwinCat, a PC-based software solution that performs traditional PLC, CNC, and motion control tasks. Beckhoff also makes industrial computers (iPCs), control panels, fieldbus components, and I/O systems.
ProCom 's (Aachen, Germany) launched CNC300compact, a motion and machine controller capable of coordinating up to eight axes simultaneously. Its MS-Windows NT based controller relies on a "time-optional strategy" for motion control, according to ProCom.
Several drive technologies were shown by Control Techniques (Newtown, Powys, U.K.; Eden Prairie, Minn.), such as M'Ax ac servos, Unidrive (universal ac drive), Commander SE ac drive (0.25-15 kW), and Mentor II digital dc drives.
Schneider Electric (Ratingen, Germany; North Andover, Mass.) showed the continuing expansion of its Transparent Factory approach. This included adding more Ethernet connections, and new I/O modules and PLC modules with web browser functionality. Ethernet capability is also part of Altivar 58, Schneider's latest VFD.
National Instruments (NI, Austin, Tex.; Munich, Germany) also stressed products with Internet connectivity, including an add-on module to its LabView 6i graphical software package.
Endress+Hauser (Weil am Rhein, Germany; Greenwood, Ind.) concentrated on instrumentation and sensor systems for process control.
ABB Automation Products (Mannheim, Germany) displayed process controllers (Advant, FieldController, etc.) with distributed and Internet capabilities, plus a variety of variable-frequency drives and motors, including explosion-proof motors.
Nyquist Industrial Control (Eindhoven, Netherlands) featured its NYCe3000, four-axis motion controller. Associated simulation and development tools allow users to design and test a machine application off-line then smoothly implement the control online. Shown for the first time was Nyquist KS3000 FireWire-Servo Drive connection module that combines capabilities of NYCe3000 controllers with ServoStar 600 digital servo amplifiers from Kollmorgen Seidel (Düsseldorf, Germany; Radford, Va.).
Servo Halbeck (Offenhausen, Germany), a technology developer in its own right, represented products of several U.S. companies, such as Advanced Motion Controls, (Camarillo, Calif.), Copley Controls (Westwood, Mass.), Galil Motion Control (Rocklin, Calif.), and Performance Motion Devices (Lexington, Mass.).
Frank J. Bartos, Executive Editor, email@example.com