Festo Introduces New Safety-Enhanced Servo Drive

Festo has enhanced its servo drive line with the new CMMP-AS..M3 drive that offers new safety features integrated directly into the product, as well as two Internet connectivity options. The CMMP-AS..M3 includes modular functional and dynamical safety options and includes support for ProfiNet RT and EtherNET/IP, key features that make the drive not only safer but also more reliable, according to the company.

Festo made safety a key feature of the product because the issue of machine safety continues to plague users and administrators of industrial equipment, Jurgen Kuhnle, a product manager for electric drives at Festo, said in a press release. "While the subject of machine safety is no longer new, it will continue to play a key role in machine and plant construction," he said.

Typically engineers retrofit safety into a drive system, making ad-hoc changes such as taking any safety switching device and wiring the STO function, or replacing a servo motor with a motor with a brake. "Many machine manufacturers think that this is enough," Kuhnle said. However, he said this does not take a number of machine errors into account, such as a cracked toothed belt that could cause the slide unit and load to fall, causing serious injury.

That's why Festo has integrated a safety-related electric axis EGC with dual-channel displacement encoder and clamping unit into the CMMP-AS..M3 drive. If a motor encoder (first channel) and a linear displacement encoder (second channel) (EGC-M) detect an error in the system, such as a cracked tooth belt, then the unit EGC-HPN can initiate a safety-related reaction, such as emergency braking.

For features not integrated into the system, the new drive also is backed up by Festo's safety PLC, which is the certified safety system CMGA. This support means that safety command devices such as emergency stop switches, protective door switches, light curtains, and laser scanners can be connected to the system.

These safety features -- in combination with ProfiNet RT and EtherNET/IP support -- make the drive safer, more reliable, and more able to quickly troubleshoot by using its Internet connectivity for diagnostics. It also features higher dynamic and shorter cycle times for positioning jobs and trouble-free service to due SD-memory card, according to the company.

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