One-cable technology (OCT) can support servomotors of all sizes, from low-wattage options connected to compact drives in an I/O terminal form factor up to large F7-flange motors that require large drives. Courtesy: Beckhoff Automation
Mechatronics April 10, 2019

Efficient motion system engineering reduces servomotor costs

Configuration using PC-based control software, EtherCAT networks, integrated drives, and one-cable technology (OCT) simplify motion control system design and reduce servomotor costs.

By Matt Prellwitz
At the recent Festo global media conference, Frank Melzer, director of product and technology management and member of the management board of Festo AG & Co. KG, suggested that industrial AI applications will become among the important digital transformation trends for manufacturing and Industrie 4.0. Courtesy: Control Engineering China, Festo
Mechatronics April 6, 2019

Digital innovations, AI advance Industrie 4.0

International: Industrial artificial intelligence (AI) technology applications are among the important trends in digital transformation for manufacturing and Industrie 4.0 advancements.

By Aileen Jin
Courtesy: Bob Vavra, CFE Media
Mechatronics April 3, 2019

Motion control, motor market experience record 2018 growth

The global motion control and motor market experienced record growth in 2018 with an 8 percent increase over 2017.

By Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA)
A drive that supports remote monitoring allows a vendor to monitor its performance. The vendor can notify of any faults, warnings or performance outside of a defined tolerance. Image shows the Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 6000 medium-voltage ac drives from Rockwell Automation, which allow for flexibility in a variety of applications, new and retrofit, variable torque, and constant torque. Courtesy: Intermountain Electronics
Mechatronics April 3, 2019

Low-priced medium-voltage drives can have long-term costs

Consider how reliability and performance impact total cost of ownership (TCO) when buying or specifying medium-voltage drives rather than focus only on the initial price point.

By Pat Lemmon
Through an iterative process of testing and verification supported by diagnostic tools and 3-D graphics, the model is refined continually as components are sized. Courtesy: B&R Automation
Mechatronics April 2, 2019

Plug and model simulation tools for automation software development suites

Simulation, modeling, and virtual commissioning are becoming easier to apply on different levels in automation. Interfaces to third-party simulation tools may be built into your software development suite already.

By John Kowal
IO-Link provides connectivity at the device and sensor level and allows even the smallest field devices and smart sensors to communicate their diagnostic data for analysis to understand functional and system status. Courtesy: Emerson Automation Solutions
Mechatronics April 2, 2019

IIoT-ready technologies improve machine controls

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies have the potential to improve user benefits through diagnostics, prognostics and predictive maintenance.

By Steven Fales
An Omron Adept robot is part of and interactive pick-n-place factory of the future demonstration at the 2019 Automate show in Chicago. It includes a personalized laser marking demo. Courtesy: Omron
Mechatronics March 31, 2019

Don’t ignore these automation trends

Think Again: No one wants to miss the next big thing. What if the next big thing in automation for your applications has been here all along, and you haven’t noticed?

By Mark T. Hoske
Researchers have developed computationally simple robots, called particles, that cluster and form a single “particle robot” that moves around, transports objects, and completes other tasks. The work hails from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Columbia University, and elsewhere. Courtesy: Felice Frankel, MIT
Mechatronics March 29, 2019

Particle robots designed to work as a cluster

Researchers from MIT, Columbia University, and other research institutes have developed robots that connect in large groups to move around, transport objects, and complete other tasks.

By Rob Matheson
Courtesy: Katie Spain, CFE Media
Mechatronics March 24, 2019

Automated test equipment attributes

What attributes are needed in automated test equipment (ATE)? What automation should be considered for ATE designs? See 10 questions to ask when applying automation.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Bob Vavra, CFE Media
Mechatronics March 19, 2019

Companies striving for energy efficiency with different methods

A report from IHS Markit indicates that the goal of reducing energy use and costs remains the same regardless of industry though the methods do differ.

By IHS Markit