The move to integrate drives and controls into the motor package started with small stepper motors a number of years ago. Since then it's been picking up steam, moving into servos, and now it's taking another step into larger motors with higher torque and speed capabilities. The same benefits that more highly integrated products offer are still available to the user, but the number of options is growing. The higher level of integration eliminates field interfaces and lowers installed cost. Additional cost is eliminated by the reduction of wiring. Field buses are providing system interfaces that are both compact and inexpensive. Space is saved, reducing the total automation footprint on the factory floor. In a competitive market driven by customer benefits, we should expect this trend to continue and vendors expect the size range of available motor-drives will continue to expand as well.
MICROSTEPPING MOTORS WITH INTEGRAL ELECTRONICS
Intelligent Motion Systems has upgraded and expanded its line of micro-stepping motors with integral electronics. The new MDrivePlus line of motors extends from frame-size 17 through 42, and ranges in holding torque from 75 to 2,294 oz-in. The MDrivePlus' advanced integrated motion technology is delivered using the patented M3000 motion control system-on-a-chip from IMS sister company, System Semiconductor. The new processor improves motor performance, increases functionality, expands communications options and makes possible a wider range of frame size offerings. Drive voltage ranges have expanded to include +12 to 75V dc and 120 and 240V ac. The ability to interface using standard industrial circular connectors and cord sets is now available. MDrivePlus products provide an integrated motor-electronics solution for a range of brushless motor applications. The goal is to reduce system cost, design and assembly time for applications in packaging, robotics, medical instruments, assembly, semiconductor manufacturing, engraving, inspection and pick-and-place.
DRIVE, MOTION AND LOGIC CONTROL MOUNTS ON MOTOR
The IndraDrive Mi from Bosch Rexroth is a complete drive, motion and logic control that mounts directly on the motor. A new electronic control uses the motor casing surface as the heat sink and reduces the total build space required compared to traditional servo drives. The IndraDrive® Mi units use the first in a planned series of power electronics modules, and covers three motor sizes with holding torques from 2 to 10 Nm and maximum torques from 8 to 34 Nm. The servo/control system attaches to the long axis of the motor, adding only a small amount to the cross sectional profile. A single cable carries both power and SERCOS communications. When several systems are connected in series, each additional axis is daisy-chained to the preceding axis with pre-fabricated connectors. The unit also reduces wiring costs and air conditioning requirements of the control cabinet.
ASEPTIC SERVO MOTOR AND INTEGRAL DRIVE
ELAU has developed an integral servo motor/drive for use in sterile environments. The PacDrive Aseptic SCL-055 features an aseptic, acid and leach-resistant stainless steel housing. The unit's easy-to-clean, smooth surface is designed to prevent contaminant, bacteria and germ formation. The IP 67 rated aseptic motor/drive is ideal for sensitive production areas in the manufacturing, filling, capping and labeling of beverages, food, chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Its V2A stainless steel cladding can be cleaned thoroughly and is resistant to commonly used chemicals and cleansers. A reinforced bearing design handles high lateral loads for direct connection to belt drives. Water bottler Adelholzener Alpenquellen GmbH is already using the new model for capping applications. The new aseptic servo motor/drive represents proven technology in a new cladding, providing the ability to implement servo capabilities on rotating carousels in applications requiring aseptic packaging.
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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.