The drive toward Ethernet access on the factory floor gained momentum at the National Design Engineering Show this week, as Baldor Electric Co. (For Smith, AR) demonstrated a feature called Powerlink, which makes it possible for multi-axis controllers to send data over an Ethernet cable without so-called “data collisions.”
The giant motor maker showed a new version of its well-known NextMove controller that employs Powerlink, which allows stepper motors, servo drives and vector drives to send data in a deterministic fashion. The new product, rolled out earlier this year, is known as NextMove e100.
“Ethernet ordinarily does not have the capability of separating or delaying data from multi-axis systems,” noted John Mazurkiewicz, servo product marketing manager for Baldor. “NextMove e100 gives it that deterministic capability.”
By providing real-time Ethernet capabilities, the new controller gives automation engineers the ability set parameters, troubleshoot, and monitor drive operations on a factory floor, in a hotel, or in an office building on the other side of the world.
Baldor also said this week that it will add Powerlink capabilities to a new generation of AC, vector, and servo drives later this year.
More and more people are asking for remote capabilities,” said Pero Baljevic, a drive specialist for Baldor, “especially in the big plants.”
In an age of globalization and rapid changes through scientific progress, two of our societies' (and economies') main concerns are to satisfy the needs and wishes of the individual and to save precious resources. Cloud computing caters to both of these.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.