Modular Automation for OEMs

Oct. 12, 2023
SEW Eurodrive showcases its StarterSet automation packages for machine builders that include controllers, HMIs, power supplies, I/O, servo drives and motors, and software.

SEW Eurodrive is known for its motor and drive products, but the company also supplies modular, scalable machine automation packages that include key automation components such as controllers, software, I/O and HMIs. At Pack Expo 2023, Arne Valentin, machine automation technology manager at SEW Eurodrive, explained the company’s range of automation technologies for machine building based around its StarterSet packages that can be used to develop several machine types.

At the event, SEW Eurodrive showcased how its StarterSet can be used to build a vertical form-fill-seal (FFS) packaging machine. Here, SEW’s 624 or 626 StarterSet can be used to automate the machine. The StarterSets include SEW’s Movi-C controller compatible with Profinet and EtherCAT; a 10-in. HMI with capacitive touchscreen; MoviDrive MDP modular 10kW power supply module with braking resistor and line filter; MoviDrive MDS switched mode power supply for 24 V ac/dc; MoviDrive MDD double axis module for two servo axes, each with 4A nominal current; CMP50M servomotor; PxG single stage planetary servo gear unit; a Movi-C DDI seven-meter motor cable; and a Movi-PLC I/O bus coupler.

SEW Eurodive focused on three key aspects provided by its technologies: OEE (overall equipment effectiveness), safety and reusable software with add-on functionalities.

Valentin explained that SEW’s automation technologies can help improve OEE through the integration of power and energy on the FFS machine which also addresses operator safety aspects. “By using capacitor modules in the control cabinet, if power gets shut down, the machine tools are not damaged and paper used in the FFS is not ripped,” Valentin said.

The FFS machine on display also featured SEW’s safe speed control operation. “When we open the doors on the machine, it goes into safe speed mode while keeping all the motion consistent,” explained Valentin. “So the whole machine slows down in a coordinated fashion without losing any control. A key part of our power and energy solutions is the capability to control the capacitors so we can charge or discharge them manually and control the charging levels as well.”

In the demonstration at Pack Expo, power to the vertical FFS machine’s control cabinet was cut, but with the charged capacitors in the control cabinet, the machine continued running with everything being powered from the capacitor modules. “This gives the user time to bring the machine into a safe state,” said Valentin.

On the software side, Valentin highlighted one of the add-on capabilities for reducing oscillations in a drivetrain for applications involving movement of liquids. SEW Eurodrive’s anti-slosh add-on to its software reduces oscillations in positioning control so that there is very little movement in the liquids being transported.

Valentin added that this anti-sloshing capability can help speed up the movement of liquids in an automated system. “In the field, we've realized an increase of cycle times of 30% plus,” he said. SEW’s software does this without the use of sensors for feedback. “We are just measuring two parameters in the duration of one oscillation period along with the height of the sloshing motion. With that, the software basically optimizes itself.”

The video below features Arne Valentin explaining the capabilities of SEW Eurodrive StarterSets and the company's anti-slosh software.

About the Author

David Greenfield, editor in chief | Editor in Chief

David Greenfield joined Automation World in June 2011. Bringing a wealth of industry knowledge and media experience to his position, David’s contributions can be found in AW’s print and online editions and custom projects. Earlier in his career, David was Editorial Director of Design News at UBM Electronics, and prior to joining UBM, he was Editorial Director of Control Engineering at Reed Business Information, where he also worked on Manufacturing Business Technology as Publisher. 

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