I am currently in Houston attending Automation Fair by Rockwell Automation. This post-pandemic opening is down from the usual Fairs, but 4,000 customers is huge compared to many conferences, then including the virtual segment, there are more than 16.000 registered. This shows the power of including people who cannot normally travel. There will be much more about this trip later.

Meanwhile, I’m catching up on press releases I have received in the past month. It has been really busy for a long time. The pandemic has not slowed innovation. Here are release about MQTT from Real Time Automation and news from Festo

1. MQTT Industrial Protocol Gateways

Real Time Automation releases the MQTT protocol on its 460 industrial gateway line. MQTT is a flexible protocol that connects IT and OT systems by moving data across the factory floor and into cloud applications.
 
With an MQTT protocol gateway, it is easy to move industrial device data to cloud applications like AWS IoT Core, IT or enterprise systems. The 460 MQTT gateway is the tool that makes the communication with cloud applications accessible. From there, manufacturers can configure their industrial device data to schedule predictive maintenance, monitor system health, as well as measure and analyze OEE.
 
Like with all RTA gateways, the MQTT family of gateways are extremely customizable, allowing manufacturers to pick:
• Single tags
• User-Defined Tags (for Allen-Bradley PLCs)
• Data Space Blocks (for Siemens PLCs)
• Other data using any one of the many protocol drivers in the RTA protocol suite

“With a 460 MQTT gateway, it has the same easy, browser-based configuration as our other 460 gateways. Plus, you’ll get our standard five-year warranty and access to our industry-leading support team. It’s a no-brainer for people looking to get factory floor data into the cloud,” states John S. Rinaldi, founder and CEO of Real Time Automation.

2. Festo Shows Electrical as well as Pneumatic products

Festo showcased its Ethernet-based CPX-AP-I decentralized I/O at the Assemble Expo. Festo is well known for pneumatics, but this module allows OEMs, integrators, and end users to network up to 500 I/O modules on a single bus node and mix and match both electrics and pneumatics on the same I/O network. A free online configuration tool speeds design while plug-and-play performance reduces wiring and shortens installation time.

CPX-AP-I comes standard with IO-Link functionality facilitating cloud-based predictive analytics. This I/O system features machine mountable IP65/IP67 rated modules, which eliminates the time, expense, and footprint of control panels in a host of applications. A maximum distance of 50 meters between modules makes CPX-AP-I ideal for large scale systems.

Festo also features the Simplified Motion Series (SMS) of electric actuators. This new series combines the simplicity and cost effectiveness of pneumatics with the benefits of low energy consumption and precision positioning of electrics. SMS actuators now also deliver infinitely variable three-position motion for an economical all-in-one servo-motion solution. The SMS series includes ball screw, toothed belt, mini slide, electric cylinder, piston rod, and rotary actuator styles for an extensive range of applications. Setup for two or three positions is simple, allowing for fast startup and nimble changeover.

Festo electric axes can be specified for third party motors, which gives customers the freedom to choose the best actuator/motor combinations for their project. Axes can be ordered as easy to assemble kits or as ready to install subassemblies.

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