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.”