Category Archives: Automation

ABB claims world record in energy efficiency for its synchronous motor


abb AMS 1400 Motor

ABB says it has set a new world record in energy efficiency with its synchronous motor – and says the technology could save companies half a million dollars over 20 years.

The company says it achieved “almost 100 per cent energy efficiency” with the motor.

Tests carried out on a 44 megawatt 6-pole synchronous ABB motor shortly before delivery showed an efficiency 0.25 percent greater than the 98.8 percent stipulated in the contract, resulting in the world record for electric motor efficiency. 

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Kollmorgen and VH Vertical Packaging realise new potential with a separate labeler

The art of reduction: the packaging machines from VH Vertical Packaging have a simple structure

By Jens Depping

A Dutch packaging machinery manufacturer has now developed a labeller as part of a retrofit with servo-drive technology based on 48 volts.

This is designed as an optional module for the company’s own vertical packaging machines on the one hand and as a functional enhancement for retrofitting older machines of well-known producers on the other.

The combination of the new 48 volt DC Servo Motor low voltage from Kollmorgen and a motion control solution from SigmaTek makes it possible for the labeling module to be integrated easily into new machines or for existing machinery to be retrofitted. 

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Mitsubishi improves visualisation on its human machine interface

The GT2107 Wide Series Human Machine Interface

The GT2107 Wide Series Human Machine Interface

Mitsubishi has updated its human machine interface and integrated what it says is improved visibility and performance. 

The company says the improvements to its GT2107 HMI were driven by “end user demand”.

Mitsubishi says the GT2107 is an interface that monitors and controls machine components with a graphical touchscreen that connects to equipment such as programmable logic controllers, variable frequency drives and servos.

The compact HMI features a 7-inch wide display with 800 x 480 resolution for clear image quality and is equipped with a remote connectivity option through a virtual network computing server.

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McDonald’s shares reach record high as it launches new wave of automation

Fast-food restaurant chain McDonald’s shares have reached record highs last week, gaining 26 per cent, as the company announced a new round of automation at 2,500 of its outlets in the US. 

The global icon of American enterprise says it will replace cashiers with digital ordering kiosks and introduce mobile ordering at a total of 14,000 locations across the US.

The extensive automation plan is part of the company’s “Experience of the Future”, according to a report on

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German robotics and automation market set for sales of $15 billion this year

vdma article

The German robotics and automation market is forecast to grow by 7 per cent this year compared with last year, with sales volume projected to reach a massive $15 billion. 

Germany is one of the world’s leading buyers of industrial robotics and automation systems, and purchased approximately $14 billion worth in 2016.

These are figures which German engineering association VDMA has suggested as a result of its research into the market. 

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Baumüller and Lemo to partner on building brand new bag machine

Lemo and Baumüller

Norbert Scholz, managing director of Baumüller (left), and Willi Fenninger, managing director and owner of Lemo, seal their partnership for the new film bag machine at Interpack 2017 in Düsseldorf, Germany

Baumüller, a drive and automation systems manufacturer, has received an order from Lemo Maschinenbau to design a cost-optimized, efficient and sustainable foil bag machine that also affords the manufacturer maximum flexibility and quick commissioning in the production process due to its modular structure.

Baumüller says its engineering specialists were able to meet Lemo’s requirement for modularity and a work cycle increase with the help of a new automation concept.

Among other things, a modern and streamlined drive and control architecture was used for this purpose. This means an integrated fieldbus system, minimum number of devices and a reduced control structure. 

Universal Robots and partners to demonstrate ‘next generation’ collaborative robot technology at ATX East


jacob-javits convention centre

Universal Robots is planning to showcase a range of new technologies and partnerships at ATX East, said to the largest annual design and manufacturing event on the US East Coast.

This year, the keynote speaker at the event will be Steve “Woz” Wozniak, co-founder of Apple and currently chief scientist at Primary Data.

Attendees at UBM’s ATX East in New York City, June 13-15, will be greeted by three collaborative robots from Universal Robots at the expo entrance. 

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Comau agrees deal with Brazilian integrator MVB Automation

comau brazil mvp deal

Comau has agreed a new partnership with MVB Automation in Brazil. Founded over 10 years ago, the company is a system integrator based in Camaçari, Bahia, with about 90 experts in the field of factory automation.

MVB serves a variety of customers in general industry with robotics solutions, automation controls, process simulation and tooling.

Comau says this partnership represents its strategy to develop its growing partner network in Latin America. 

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ATI Industrial Automation to hold technology fair in Michigan

ati industrial automation

ATI Industrial Automation will hold its Annual Technology Fair on August 10, 2017 at its Orion Township, Michigan facility.

The one-day educational event will focus on “Applications Advancing Automation”, providing attendees the opportunity to learn more about ATI’s products and hear from the industry-leading experts that use them every day.

The event will feature educational seminars hosted by ATI’s distinguished customers, as well as live robotic demonstrations of ATI’s tool changers, multi-axis force/torque sensors, robotic collision sensors and robotic deburring tools. 

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Delta presents its latest innovations in industrial automation at SPS IPC Drives Italia

delta electronics 1

Delta, a provider of power and thermal management solutions and industrial automation solutions, is showcasing its complete portfolio of next-generation industrial automation products and solutions at SPS IPC Drives Italia 2017.

The company says its solutions are designed to augment the productivity of manufacturing and industrial processes in a broad spectrum of applications.

These include the new compact modular mid-range PLC AS series, featuring slim and modular design with max. 1,024 I/O and remarkable program capacity of 128K steps for multi-axis control to support advance automation machinery, as well as the new ASDA-A3 servo system, boasting a high performance motor with 6,000rpm and a vibration suppression function to enhance the operation integrity of advanced machines. 

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Omron develops AI-equipped machine automation controller

omron image

Omron says it has developed a machine automation controller equipped with a machine learning artificial intelligence algorithms.

The company claims it is the first of its kind in the industry.

Omron says the AI-equipped controller achieves real-time integration between a programmable logic controller function, which controls production lines and equipment changing in microseconds on factory floors, and an AI processing function.

Using Omron’s extensive range of sensors to monitor the status of equipment and processes, the controller safely regulates them before an irregularity can occur by predicting unusual movements of machinery based on the causal model that the built-in AI has been made to learn. 

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ABB to acquire B&R

abb b&r

ABB is to acquire B&R, said to be the largest independent provider focused on product- and software-based, open-architecture solutions for machine and factory automation worldwide.

B&R, founded in 1979 by Erwin Bernecker and Josef Rainer, is headquartered in Eggelsberg, Austria, and employs more than 3,000 people, including about 1,000 R&D and application engineers.

It operates across 70 countries, generating sales of more than $600 million (2015/16) in the $20 billion machine and factory automation market segment. 

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ABB approves Chinese company Recon to bid for major automation projects


Recon Technology, which describes itself as an independent oilfield services provider operating primarily in China, has been authorised by ABB to participate in bidding for various projects in the future, including automation system products projects.

Recon says it anticipates cooperating with ABB in the future to provide integrated automation solutions, products and product quality assurance services for various projects beyond oil industry.

For any successful project bids, Recon expects it would provide on-site project commissioning and maintenance services. 

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Industrial automation technologies for 2017

electronics board

Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of obsolete equipment supplier EU Automation discusses a few key technologies that will shape industrial automation in the year ahead

Innovation is the driver of progress in industrial automation.

From the conception of the programmable logic controller in 1968 to the introduction of the collaborative robots we see in industry today, technological developments continuously shape the industrial automation landscape. 

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Obama warns of divisiveness of automation technology

obama farewell

US President Barack Obama making his farewell speech. Image: White House

In his farewell address to the nation, US President Barack Obama warned of the dangers of automation technology. 

Obama said: “The next wave of economic dislocations won’t come from overseas. It will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes a lot of good, middle-class jobs obsolete.”

The Obama administration has been looking the whole issue of robotics, automation and artificial intelligence, and consulting on the possible impact of those technologies on the US economy. 

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