Integrated Motion Technologies

A trio of new servo drive products highlight the integration of multiple motion control components to provide more compact size, higher power, and ease of installation.

Installation of a new device can be a demanding task following the often arduous process of choosing the product that best fits your production operations. But, with more products coming to market touting a simpler installation process, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Take, for example, the TSM14POE StepServo from Applied Motion Products, which combines motor, encoder, drive, and controller into a single integrated motor package with Power over Ethernet (PoE), allowing it to be installed in tighter locations. Similarly, there is the Kinetix 5100 servo drive from Rockwell Automation, which bundles the drive, motor, and cable into a smaller package. And then there is the Melservo MR-J4 amplifier series from Mitsubishi Electric Automation, which offers a plug-and-play concept and multi-network interface that makes it easier for international manufacturers to install. The amplifier’s built-in positioning function also allows positioning systems to be configured without a positioning module to simplify system cost and bill of material. 

Though simplified installation is an important part of deciding which product to choose, performance and efficiency remain critical factors. And these new products don’t skimp in these areas either. For example, the TSM14POE is said to offer greater torque and higher acceleration rate than conventional open-loop step motor systems, while the Kinetix 5100 offers a large power range of 50W to 2kW at 120 to 230V and 3 to 15kW at 230V.

These three new automation products, by offering their capabilities in a single package, not only simplify the design of the products as whole, but ease aspects of installation while delivering high performance.

Following are more highlights of these devices:

·     By combining a motor, encoder, drive, and controller in a single integrated motor package, the TSM14POE StepServo is said to eliminate the need to connect motor power and feedback cables to an external motor controller. The integrated motor receives its power and Ethernet communications over a single cable for greater design modularity and installation simplicity. The motor uses Applied Motion Products’ StepServo closed-loop stepper technology, which is the factor the company notes as providing higher torque and greater efficiency when compared to conventional, open-loop step motor systems. Other highlights of the device include its compact size and integrated control electronics that allow motor mounting almost anywhere. It also reportedly delivers better efficiency, decreased motor heating, and less audible noise than traditional, open-loop step motor systems.

·      The Kinetix 5100 servo drive can run without a controller to meet a variety of application requirements. For example, the drive has multiple control modes to support a wide range of high-speed, low-power motion control applications. It can be used with a Micro800 controller, a Logix controller or even by itself, allowing OEMs to choose how the product best functions in their applications. Bundling the drive, motor, and cable together creates more competitive system pricing. With built-in safe torque off, users can remove motor torque without removing power from an entire machine, allowing a machine to restart faster after it has reached a safe state.

·      The Melservo MR-J4 amplifier series incorporates a multi-network interface called “Servo Open Network” that works with CC-Link IE Field, Profinet, EtherCAT, and EtherNet/IP. Mitsubishi Electric Automation says this multi-network interface makes it simpler for equipment manufacturers to offer their products globally and helps make OEM support available globally. The amplifiers’ plug-and-play concept reportedly makes network protocol selection user-friendly, and a quick start guide is available for each of the networks, as are sample projects and function blocks supplemented by flexible connection options. The servo systems cover the power range from 0.05 to 22 kW and are highly compact, occupying less than 50% of the volume of comparable products. The amplifiers are also supported by a large selection of motors with high power densities, offering flexibility in design and efficiency with a minimum footprint.