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Integration And Interoperability Key Words At Pack Expo 2006

From demonstrations of interoperability to release of  integrated motion components, getting things to work together in order to enhance packaging machines was the theme of the recent Pack Expo at  Chicago’s McCormick Place. Here’s a round-up of some of what visitors saw at the Oct. 29-Nov. 2 event.

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The booth of the OMAC (open modular architecture control) Packaging Workgroup was “packed” with several demonstrations of interoperable machine components. The Profinet/Profidrive demonstration featured products by Danfoss, Lenze, SEW and Siemens. In another networking demo, AMK, Baumueller, Bosch Rexroth, Lust DriveTronics, Rockwell Automation and Yaskawa demonstrated the interoperability afforded by SERCOS III.

Another networking demonstration, this time EtherCAT, featured AMK, Baumueller, Beckhoff Automation and SEW. The fourth networking demo featured Ethernet
Powerlink with B&R Automation, Baldor, Lenze and Parker. Wago and Yaskawa demonstrated the benefits of implementing the state model PackML version 3 in yet another demo. The last demonstration featured motion with a filler/capper machine with Elau’s motion capability using PackML and Pneumatic Scale Corp.’s machinery.

B&R Automation showed hard real-time communication between multiple controllers using Ethernet Powerlink. Controller-to-controller communication cycle times were down to 200 microseconds and a jitter of 1 microsecond enabling machine builders and end-users to tightly integrate complete lines consisting of multiple machines with different controllers with determinism.

Bosch Rexroth showed the controller-based motion logic platform, IndraMotion MLC, that provides real-time motion
control for up to 16 axes per controller for applications such as cartoners and form/fill/seal machines. Up to 64 controllers can be networked.

Motion and logic control

Part of the integration trend, Rexroth showed IndraDrive, a complete drive, motion control and logic control mounted directly on the motor. The company states that this reduces total build space by over 50 percent compared to traditional methods.

Siemens Energy & Automation introduced the Sinamics S120 AC drive for single axis applications. The integrated modular drive system separates the power and controller sections to increase flexibility for future changes.

Parker Automation announced the release of a resolver feedback option in its successful Aries family of low-cost, all-digital servo drives. The addition of resolver feedback increases the versatility of the Aries drive platform. Now, users can choose the versatile Aries drive for use with resolver feedback in addition to smart encoders, quadrature encoders and Heidenhain EnDat absolute encoders.

Phoenix Contact joined the Mechatrolink motion networking association and introduced a bus coupler that allows seamless connection of Inline Modular I/O to the Mechatrolink Motion Field Network.

Yaskawa Electric announced two companion products; the MP2200 machine controller and MotionWorks version 6, the latest generation of programming software. MP2000 machine controllers synchronize sequence control and motion control in one tightly integrated platform. MotionWorks version 6 allows programing in a combination of three style languages specified by the International Electrotechnical Commission IEC 61131-3 standard—ladder logic, structured text and function blocks—and includes an instruction pallet providing over 150 commands, which incorporate tag-based data.

Rockwell Automation touted its integrated architecture offering specifically geared to packaging machinery original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that includes Kinematics Robot Control, linear motor technology, a Boolean I/O module and a small controller—the CompactLogix L43 integrated motion controller that controls up to four axes of motion.

Rockwell Automation also introduced its OEM Accelerator program that provides engineering services and tools to help life sciences machine builders and process equipment providers reduce their development costs and time to market. The OEM Accelerator program simplifies the incorporation of ISA-88 design methodologies, predefines equipment capabilities and parameters for manufacturing execution systems (MES), and helps equipment seamlessly integrate with overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) software.

Schneider Electric featured its Altivar 71 variable frequency drive, which contains dual microprocessors and motor control algorithms for torque performance and speed regulation.

Intelligent Motion Systems unveiled an integrated stepper motor/drive combination that promises lower cost for many packaging applications.

SEW Eurodrive also showed an advanced integrated motor/drive product plus a solution that delivers power wirelessly.

The PLCopen organization, evangelist of IEC 61131, has added several specifications to its motion control specifications, and showed how OMAC Packaging Workgroup’s PackAL motion-specified functions can be created from a set of IEC 61131-3 function blocks—further showing the interoperability of standards.

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