New drive platforms are focused on lowering costs, providing more compact hardware solutions and new configuration options that offer flexibility and ways to implement advanced motion control. By leveraging processing technology in ASICs, FPGAs and DSPs, drives are more powerful than ever before and suppliers are expanding their capabilities.
No longer viewed as just “dumb amplifiers,” drives are increasingly being used as position controllers and intelligent building blocks for distributed control systems. Configurable options are making it easy to flexibly control I/O, select modes of operation and specify types of feedback. Many new drive platforms also are providing the ability to drive a wide range of different motor types including brushless rotary or linear motors, dc brush type and voice coil motors using a single drive package. New software tools are aimed at simplifying drive operation and programming libraries are available to help assist with application development.
VERSAMOTION AC SERVO MOTORS AND AMPLIFIERS
New VersaMotion ac servo motors and amplifiers from GE Fanuc Automation provide cost effective motion controllers that can be combined with the VersaMax Micro for low-end position control applications. The drives can also be used as a stand-alone single-axis position controller for simple indexing or electronic gear follower applications.
VersaMotion features power ratings from 100 to 3 kW and a continuous torque range from 0.3 to 19.1 Nm (2.7 to 169 inch-lb). It provides motor speed ratings up to 5,000 rmp for most models. The range of torque and motor power ensures users can get exactly what they need for their application, optimizing performance, size and cost.
As a stand-alone simple position indexer using up to eight stored positions that are selected and triggered using discrete inputs or the serial communication interface. Desired positions can be configured/changed using a teach function or over the serial communication interface. Simple electronic gearing (pulse follower) using a configurable fixed gear ratio is also supported.
NEW CONFIGURABLE DRIVE PLATFORM
The new DigiFlex® motion control servo drive platform from Advanced Motion Controls is configurable and can drive permanent magnet brushed or brushless motors, voice coil actuators and closed-loop ac induction motors. Distributed networks, centralized analog or digital control schemes, feedback from incremental, absolute and sine/cosine encoders or resolvers allow OEM machine builders to choose whatever drive package they need. Completely flexible I/O and event control assignments allows integrators to configure drives without having to reconfigure their system.
Nearly all features are available whether the power requirements are for 100W continuous, or less at 24V dc, or more than 40 kW peak at 480V ac. Solutions are configured using the same DriveWareTM software package.
DPC and DZC CANopen network servo drives are already being used for as a distributed control solution for medical imaging machines, military and law enforcement robots, baggage scanning equipment, chiropractic devices and electric utility vehicles.
XENUS R10 DRIVES FOR HARSH ENVIRONMENTS
Copley has extended the Xenus offline servo drive's temperature, humidity, vibration and shock ranges to meet military COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) requirements, including Mil Standard #810. The Series R10 drive can be used to control rotary and linear motors/actuators in military and extreme industrial applications.
The drives operate stand-alone or networked and respond to step-and-direction commands for upgrading from stepper motors to high torque servomotors. Operating modes include indexing, point-to-point, PVT, PT, position, velocity and torque control, as well as electronic camming and gearing. Drives are compatible with CANopen, RS422 and RS 485, operate on single or three-phase 85 to 264V supplies and deliver up to 3 kW drive power.
Motion software libraries and COM objects simplify system development. The development of low-level software to control a CANopen network of intelligent drives is eliminated. All network housekeeping is achieved using commands linked into the user's Visual Basic, LabVIEW or C++ application program.