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Modular Systems Are the Way Forward for Motion & Motor Control

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TJ McDermott
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Putting the electronics in harm's way
TJ McDermott   8/26/2013 1:47:08 PM
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Drive-on-motor has been tried several times, and is making a resurgence again.  Depending on how the drive and motor are integrated, failure of one can be twice as costly as when the drive and motor are more traditionally separated.

Putting the drive out in a production environment invites this sort of failure.  The production environment may be extremely hot, or extremely dirty, or extremely wet.  Any of these may lead to that more costly failure.

Finally, there's the amount of space needed for the drive when piggy-backed to the motor.  Many times the space inside a machine is sufficient for the motor only (and sometimes, not even then).

 

Charles Murray
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Re: Putting the electronics in harm's way
Charles Murray   8/26/2013 7:16:18 PM
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I agree, TJ. I would guess that packaging has a lot to do with this trend.

TJ McDermott
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Re: Putting the electronics in harm's way
TJ McDermott   8/26/2013 10:50:29 PM
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Charles, if you're talking about packaging machinery, at the least on a food packaging floor, I would never touch these.

Palletizers, cartoners, maybe.  But not applications that would expose them to wash-down, water, etc.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Putting the electronics in harm's way
Elizabeth M   8/27/2013 7:25:42 AM
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That's an interesting perspective, TJ, I suppose you are right. Is there a solution to protecting the drives?

btwolfe
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Re: Putting the electronics in harm's way
btwolfe   8/27/2013 8:50:15 AM
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Protecting the drive electronics is no harder than protecting the motors. Properly designed motor controls can withstand the same harsh enviroments as the motors they control, perhaps even more so given that the electronics can be fully sealed since they have no moving parts. I would argue that the modular motor/control set is easier to replace since it has fewer connections with only power and comm, whereas a separate controller must also route sensor wiring. I have been designing and using modular motor control electronics for years and am always pleased with how clean the connectivity is in the final product.

apresher
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Integrated Motor Drives
apresher   8/29/2013 5:56:58 PM
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Several suppliers do offer IP67 rated motor-drives, which is often the level of protection used in packaging.  Obviously the specifics of the application are vital but many of these units are finding their way into packaging capitalizing on their ability to provide distributed control.

apresher
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Integrated Motor Drives
apresher   8/29/2013 5:58:30 PM
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Elizabeth, Here is link to article I worked on earlier this year on this same topic. Interesting technology. 

Elizabeth M
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Re: Integrated Motor Drives
Elizabeth M   9/3/2013 4:09:31 AM
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Thanks for the link, Al. I will take a look at that article.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Putting the electronics in harm's way
Elizabeth M   9/3/2013 4:46:16 AM
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Thanks for this real-world perspective, btwolfe. I think this will be important given the trend of motor and motion control in the automation environment.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Putting the electronics in harm's way
Cabe Atwell   10/23/2013 6:18:46 PM
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Modular devices and systems are a trend that's going to continue to grow.

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