Smart Power for Smart Machines

Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD



As we enter the final quarter of the year, it looks as if we are finally getting past the worst of the Covid pandemic. There are even some events beginning to take place. I haven’t been to any myself so far, but the people I have been speaking to that have attended were fairly upbeat. Exhibitions and conferences really are the centre-pieces of the industry that allow knowledge to be shared and the latest and greatest products to be shown off. I think my first show might be SPS (formerly SPS IPC Drives) in Nuremberg in November if I can possibly make it. Bavaria opened up for exhibitions at the beginning of August this year. Whether I go or not will depend on the restrictions that Germany has imposed for travellers from the UK. The show is to be held in a hybrid format, allowing the people who can’t travel to ‘attend’. Hopefully things continue to improve, as I’d rather be at there talking to people face to face. If I can’t be there in person, I will be attending the conference’s virtual seminars for content for our TechTalk newsletters and also the virtual press conferences to bring you the latest news and product launches.

SPS is not specifically intended for the power industry, being more of an automation show. However, over the last few years, more and more power companies have been taking an interest, or they were until the pandemic hit. Driving motors is big business, and with the EU bringing in legislation forcing drives to become more efficient, power companies see the opportunity to promote themselves and gain more business. The automation industry is also one that has seen the benefit of the Internet of Things (IoT) and has been quick to adopt its techniques and methodology. The IoT will allow those manufacturers to become more agile in their production, cut defects and allow more accurate planning of preventative maintenance. Higher efficiency and getting rid of waste are key to sustainability and the circular economy, which those manufacturers also prize for both economical and environmental reasons.    

The IoT is also the subject of this month’s Special Report. We will feature a variety of articles on the subject, including one from XP Power on the benefits of digital power in IoT applications. In the article, the company’s Technical Director, Gary Bocock, discusses how digital power can give tighter control over power delivery specifications such as ramp up time. That tight control, along with the IoT’s inherent connectivity, come into their own in smart factory applications where the process hardware is interconnected to maximise production capacity and efficiency on-the-fly. As well as adjustments, the IoT’s data capture and processing capabilities allow faults to be tracked and failures predicted in plenty of time to schedule maintenance.

As well as the Special Report, inside you will find a variety of general power articles and news and comment. I hope you enjoy!

Best Regards,

Ally Winning

European Editor, PSD