IDEC Releases Line of Stepper Motion Control Products

AMCI by IDEC motion control products integrate closely with IDEC PLCs to provide a simple yet powerful way to control single- and multi-axis motion.

IDEC Corporation introduces a line of motion control stepper products in conjunction with Advanced Micro Controls Inc. (AMCI), an established developer of motion control systems. This AMCI by IDEC product line includes controllers, stepper motors, an integrated controller/drive, an integrated drive/stepper motor, and an integrated controller/drive/stepper motor. When combined with an IDEC FC6A PLC and its embedded motion control macro instructions, these products allow users to quickly and simply implement single- and multi-axis motion control in a wide range of industries and applications.

2017 05 11 091629Many industrial applications require motion control, but users are often frustrated by the complexity and high cost of implementation, particularly with servo systems. IDEC and AMCI have partnered to address this issue by offering a simple yet highly capable stepper motion control system. Macro instructions embedded in the PLC WindLDR programming software can be configured with drag and drop commands to perform control of up to 12 axes.

The integrated controller/drive and drive/stepper motor units save space and money, and simplify installation, by combining multiple components into a single unit. The integrated controller/drive/stepper motor units offer the ultimate in space saving, cost effectiveness and system simplification.

All AMCI by IDEC products provide users with AMCI’s expertise in motion control combined with IDEC’s service, support and extensive distribution network. Motion control macro instructions embedded in IDEC’s FC6A PLC reduce design and programming time, allowing quick implementation in a wide variety of applications. Because all the components and the software modules are provided by IDEC and AMCI in close partnership, users are assured of correct operation right out of the box, with no need to perform integration among the components.

As compared to more complex servo motion control systems, steppers are a simpler technology, and require no tuning or adjustment. They also have excellent torque at low speeds, don’t require position feedback, and have very low maintenance requirements. These characteristics make them a great fit in a variety of industries including medical/pharmaceutical, printing, packaging, material handling and semiconductor.

Linear applications within these and other industries include conveyers, rail positioning, pushing applications/part eject, X-Y tables and filling stations. Rotary applications within these and other industries include indexing tables, material feed, cut-to-length, labelers and winding.

AMCI by IDEC’s iANF2E (2-axis) controllers can accept encoder feedback to provide stall detection and move verification. Each controller includes six discrete inputs for move conditioning and other functions, and four discrete outputs to indicate status and provide diagnostics. Each controller has a full complement of motion profiles, which can be selected by an IDEC MicroSmart FC6A PLC connected to the controller via an Ethernet-based Modbus TCP communications link. Up to six controllers can be connected to the PLC to control up to 12 axes of motion.

AMCI by IDEC’s iSM2340 NEMA 23 stepper motor comes in standard frame sizes with output torque of 130 or 240 oz-in.

AMCI by IDEC’s iANG1E integrated controller/drive unit can control one to six axes of motion, and it combines all the features of AMCI’s 1-axis controller and a 4.0A stepper drive into a single unit.

AMCI by IDEC’s iSMD23 integrated drive/stepper motor unit provides up to 240 oz-in of torque, and can be paired with the iANF2E to provide a complete solution. The unit can also be controlled by the PLC.

AMCI by IDEC’s iSMD23E integrated controller/drive/stepper motor unit provides all-in-one motion control with all the features of AMCI’s 1-axis controller, drive and stepper motor. No heat sinks are required due to its thermally efficient design. The integrated unit can operate over a wide range of input power, from 24-48Vdc.

IDEC offers free tech support for this entire line of line of motion control products, with no service or support contract required. For complete specifications or additional information, please contact IDEC Corporation at 800-262-IDEC (4332), or visit us online at


Sandvik invites collaborative invention with launch of its Open Innovation portal

With needs growing exponentially along with population, Sandvik believes it’s vital to find smarter, safer ways forward. With the launch of its new Open Innovation portal Sandvik seeks to collaborate with like-minded innovators to deliver the next generation of products and solutions that will make a true difference.

Open Innovation portal image 1 LRSandvik’s Open Innovation portal invites individual inventors, small businesses and listed companies to propose innovative solutions to specific challenges.

“We’ve lived and breathed materials technology for 150 years – seen a lot of game changers and gathered the highest knowledge in our field. And perhaps the most important thing we’ve learned is that we can’t do it alone,” says Pasi Kangas, Vice President and Head of R&D at Sandvik Materials Technology.

“When we collaborate with other fields, other experts, the possibilities grow exponentially. Imagine what more we can solve by coupling new materials technology with advances in digitalization and big data, for example. Together, we can make a much bigger difference.”

Sandvik’s Open Innovation portal invites individual inventors, small businesses and listed companies to propose innovative solutions to a number of specific challenges. The company also encourages its own employees to use the portal for releasing creativity and utilizing their collective knowledge on customer’s applications and products.

The portal features innovation challenges for which individuals or groups can submit ideas and have the opportunity to discuss, develop and implement them together with Sandvik’s scientists and product developers.

Open Innovation portal image 2LR2With its new Open Innovation portal, Sandvik seeks to collaborate with like-minded innovators to grow the possibilities in the next generation of products and solutions.

The company believes that current challenges include three key areas which are Smart & Digital – sensor technology, big data capture and integrated system solutions, Unique Product Identifier – turning stainless steel or alloy products into data collectors, information carriers and knowledge providers that can be integrated into information systems. In addition, Cryogenic Drawing – finding applications that need the extra strength available from a revolutionary, patented drawing process for wire products made from titanium or austenitic stainless steels like ASTM 316.

Pasi Kangas added: “We are optimistic that open innovation will lead to new products and technologies that aren’t otherwise possible. Great ideas really can come from anyone, anywhere. We want to find them and give them every opportunity to make it real – to make a bigger difference – for all our sakes as we look to shape a more sustainable future.”

To visit Sandvik’s Open Innovation portal go to:

Sandvik Materials Technology is a world-leading developer and manufacturer of products in advanced stainless steels and special alloys for the most demanding environments, as well as products and systems for industrial heating.


ABB AbilityTM Smart Sensor now available for the European market

Based on smart sensing technology, ABB’s pioneering condition monitoring solution is set to convert millions of low voltage (LV) motors into intelligent, connected machines. It is now available in Europe, and will soon be released in the US.

ABB Ability Smart Sensor is a remote condition monitoring solution that enables users to check the status of their LV motors from a smartphone or dedicated web portal. The compact sensor of the size of a smartphone can be attached to motors of many manufacturers to pick up operating and performance data. The data are transmitted to the cloud and processed to produce useful information on motor health and performance. This information is supplied to the user in an easy-to-understand format. The solution enables predictive analytics that can boost uptime while reducing energy consumption.

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“We are extremely proud to announce that the ABB Ability Smart Sensor is now entering the European market, and will soon be available in the US. It has been successfully trialed with many of our customers around the world. This solution is truly a quantum leap for millions of LV motors”, said Otto Preiss, Managing Director of ABB's Motors and Generators business unit. “It enables plant operators to do effective maintenance planning for their motors, assess the efficiency of their operation and prevent costly downtime. We are confident that this solution will not only transform maintenance approaches but also create added operational value for our customers.”

“Our pilot testers reported very positive results with the smart sensors”, said Jonas Spoorendonk, Global Product Manager of ABB Ability Smart Sensor. “In a typical example, a sensor at a chemical plant in Germany indicated that a pump motor was running in overload every time it started. The problem turned out to be the incorrect operation of a valve. This was causing high pressure in the system and a great deal of stress on the pump and seals – a situation that the plant’s regular maintenance had no way to detect. In many other cases sensors have provided early warnings of bearing problems, enabling motors to be replaced well before they failed.”

It is estimated that predictive maintenance based on data from the solution can help to reduce downtime by up to 70 percent, extend motor lifetime by as much as 30 percent and cut energy consumption by up to 10 percent. The sensor units can be factory fitted on new motors or retrofitted on installed motors within minutes. They are available for both ABB and non-ABB motors.

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The sensors in the first release are CE certified and compatible with safe-area induction motors for direct on-line S1 duty, ABB IEC sizes 160-450 and ABB NEMA sizes 140-449. Quick installation of the sensor unit is made easy as no additional wiring or machining is required. Initial monitoring functionality will cover bearing health, vibration, surface temperature, speed, supply frequency, and number of starts. Later releases will expand the range of functionality, and energy consumption monitoring is expected to be added during Q3 2017. A firmware update will be provided to bring this function to already installed sensor units. The first systems will utilize a smartphone app to transfer data. A gateway unit for automated data uploading will become available later in 2017.

The smart sensor condition monitoring solution is part of ABB Ability, which brings together all of ABB's digital solutions and services, each built from a unique combination of sector knowledge, technology leadership and digital expertise. The smart sensor solution and ABB Ability will be highlighted on ABB’s stand at this year’s Hannover Messe in Hall 11, A35.

About ABB

In 2016, ABB Germany generated sales of EUR 3.28 billion with 10,540 employees. ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees.


AMETEK Land to exhibit at Electric Power Research Institute CEM program, Dallas

AMETEK Land, one of the world leaders in combustion and environmental monitoring instrumentation, will exhibit at the 26th annual Utility Continuous Emissions Monitoring User Group Meeting, hosted by the Electric Power Research Institute’s Continuous Emissions Monitoring Program and Luminant, May 10-11, 2017 in Dallas at Stand 409.

The meeting brings together industry experts in continuous emissions monitoring (CEM) equipment to share solutions to common operating problems and explore new monitoring technologies. Utility engineers and environmental managers responsible for gathering and reporting emissions data, as well as those responsible for the overall maintenance of the CEM systems attend.

AMETEK Land will demonstrate its opacity and particulate matter (PM) monitors, and environmental, asset protection and process improvement systems, which include a range of high-accuracy analyzers, that measure opacity and PM and detect carbon monoxide, sulfuric acid, and multiple gases, along with its portable and fixed non-contact thermometers, line scanners, and thermal imagers.

Model 4500 MkIII 002

“This is an important conference for AMETEK Land as the industrial markets in the United States appear to be gaining strength under new administrative policies, which could improve the outlook for continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) and system upgrades,” notes Dennis Delmastro, Global Industry Manager – Power for AMETEK Land. “The need for effective process control and environmental monitoring only grows stronger as markets recognize how accurate and reliable monitoring can ensure compliance and help protect valuable assets in a plant.”

At the meeting, AMETEK Land will showcase its Model 4500 MkIII opacity and 4650 PM monitors, which have set the industry standards for compliance opacity and dust concentration monitoring. With its patented technologies, the 4500 MkIII monitor achieves the highest available specification for the principal performance parameters as defined by the internationally-recognized ASTM Standard D 6216-12, while the 4650 PM monitor, with its forward scatter design, complies with US Environmental Protection Agency’s Performance Specification-11 (PS-11).

All AMETEK Land systems on display at EPRI CEM have industrial applications in the power sector for improving process control, quality assurance and control and decrease life-cycle costs.

About AMETEK Land

AMETEK Land ( is a business unit of AMETEK, Inc. a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices.  Land designs and manufactures a wide range of instruments for industrial non-contact temperature measurement, combustion efficiency and environmental monitoring.

For additional information, contact AMETEK Land, Stubley Lane, Dronfield, UK, S18 1DJ, tel +44 (0)1246 417691, fax +44 (0)1246 410585, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., website


Valmet introduces new and improved customer training offering - Valmet Learning Services

Valmet launches a renewed customer training offering for its customers - Valmet Learning Services - to help improve the reliability and performance of its customers' processes. The new offering is complementing the company's new services approach - Shared Journey Forward - introduced in 2016.

Valmet Learning Services offers organization-wide training solutions tailored to the customers' needs. The offering includes customized and standard courses, on-site, off-site, or via the Valmet Online Learning Portal. Furthermore, Valmet Training Simulators allow customers to safely practice hands-on procedures and scenarios to strengthen safe behavior and be prepared for troubleshooting and the handling of operational upsets.   

"Today, the combined forces of globalization and digitalization are challenging companies to develop and continuously expand their expertise, and achieving business targets is not only about optimizing equipment and systems. We are launching Valmet Learning Services to better support our customers in training their employees so that they can stay competitive in today's challenging business environment. This is a concrete step toward our vision: to become the global champion in serving our customers," says Jukka Tiitinen, Business Line President, Services, Valmet.

2017 04 26 090727Valmet Online Learning provides 24/7 access to courses and training resources from computers, tablets, or mobile phones

Valmet Learning Services helps customers design their learning paths to progress in their chosen area of interest. Reaching a higher knowledge level not only represents an important achievement for the employees themselves, but can have an impact on KPIs like reliability, productivity, and product quality.

To make sure Valmet's customers get the most out of their training investment, Valmet Learning Services uses a four-step approach: identify individual skills gaps, design a program based on the customers' learning targets, deliver training using modern tools and methods, and secure the outcome through evaluation and assessment.

 "We are committed to moving our customers' performance forward. Reducing risks, improving productivity, and increasing profitability all start with the employees. Confident and skilled personnel ensure safe, stable, and efficient start-ups and operations with minimized environmental risks. We help our customers maximize their potential by training their employees," says Emmeli Olén, Director, Valmet Learning Services.

Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of process technologies, automation, and services for the pulp, paper, and energy industries. We aim to become the global champion in serving our customers.

Valmet's strong technology offering includes pulp mills, tissue, board and paper production lines, as well as power plants for bioenergy production. Our advanced services and automation solutions improve the reliability and performance of our customers' processes and enhance the effective utilization of raw materials and energy.

Valmet's net sales in 2016 were approximately EUR 2.9 billion. Our 12,000 professionals around the world work closely with our customers and are committed to moving our customers' performance forward - every day. Valmet's head office is in Espoo, Finland, and its shares are listed on the NASDAQ Helsinki.