Control Engineering Motors, Drives, & Motion Control eNewsletter for April 2003




Galil's 2003 Motion Control Catalog is Available Now
Galil's Motion Control Catalog has been completely revised for 2003. The new catalog provides specifications and pricing for Galil's full line of motion controllers. A selection guide makes it easy to choose from single or multi-axis, bus-based or stand-alone, and box-level or card-level controllers. Formats include PCI, ISA, PC/104, VME, cPCI, USB, RS232 and Ethernet. The 96-page catalog also describes controller accessories including amplifiers, I/O expansion modules and software tools such as WSDK for servo tuning. The catalog contains programming examples for various modes of motion such as point-to-point positioning, jogging, linear and circular interpolation, contouring and electronic gearing. Order your free 2003 catalog at 800-377-6329 or Click Here



More Ethernet connections for motor/motion controls

As many as nine drives can be hooked to ABB's intelligent Ethernet module. It measures 4 x 3 x 1.5 in. (h x d x w).

Ethernet continues to connect with motor and motion control and related technologies to monitor, configure, and more.

A new Ethernet module from ABB allows motor drive system alerts to be sent directly to operator personnel, much like any other e-mail. Called NETA-01, the intelligent Ethernet module connects any ABB drive equipped with a fiber-optic link and standard Web browser to the Internet.

NETA-01 becomes a key tool for remote users in petrochemical, water/wastewater, oil and gas, and pumping applications, for example. It is suited as well to mission-critical manufacturing plants. 'The alert, regarding any critical drive functions, arrives to any point where you monitor your e-mail,'' says Steve Weingarth, application engineering manager for ABB Inc., Automation Technologies, Drives, Motors & Machines (New Berlin, WI).

Alternatively, operators can use the module to quickly check the performance of any selected drive or motor. Remote monitoring, configuration, diagnostics, and control (when needed) are done through a PC with an Internet connection. This link also can provide process-related information from the drive, such as load level, run time, energy consumption, and I/O data.

Depending on drive type, the Ethernet module mounts inside or outside the drive, connected via optic cables. NETA-01 comes with an embedded server and all software needed for user interface, communication, and data storage. The module supports the usual HTTP, IP, TCP, SMTP, BOOTP, UDP, Telnet, FTP, and Modbus/TCP protocols.

For more information, visit the ABB website .

In related news, Galil Motion Control (Rocklin, CA) recently announced that it has tested and approved an Ethernet-enabled graphics operator interface terminal (OIT) designed by QSI Corp . (Salt Lake City, UT), for use with Galil's Ethernet motion controllers.

Ease of use is said to be high on the list of features for the operator terminal named Qterm-G124. It comes from Qlarity Foundry screen-builder software, which includes an objects library jointly developed by QSI and Galil. Users reportedly can build intelligent applications quickly by placing library objects on screen and ''changing their properties and events associated with them [to suit specific needs],'' according to Lisa Wade, vice president of marketing for Galil.

Qterm-G124 operates from 10-26 V dc. It has 320 x 240 pixel, color-graphic LCD touchscreen; EIA-232 serial port; 10Base-T Ethernet connection; 1 Mb flash/16 Mb RAM; and NEMA 4, CE-certified housing, among other features. Qterm-G124 sells for $879 (single quantity) and is available directly from QSI.

Servo drive is super-compact, economical

Harmonica reportedly brings the cost of a servo motion axis into the $700 range.

What kind of servo drive capabilities do you expect from a diminutive 150-g (5.3 oz) package? Here is a glimpse at one of the highly capable miniature servo products coming to market.

Elmo Motion Control (Petach Tikva, Israel; Windsor, CT) has recently launched Harmonica digital servo drive, offering 750 W (1 hp) output for the control of either brush dc or brushless motors. The servo drive also incorporates various commutation methods-sinusoidal and trapezoidal vector control, trapezoidal six-step, and dc-high-efficiency power switching, and distributed networking via CANopen DS-301 protocol.

Basic configuration for Harmonica is a trimmerless velocity servo amplifier. Four models are available: standard and advanced versions, each with either RS-232 or CANopen communication option. Velocity, current, and commutation function adjustments are made through a PC, using RS-232 or CANopen. The drive runs on 12-180 V dc input, while a 24-V dc power supply serves dual duty as an auxiliary and backup power source. Particularly for servo positioning systems, ''power backup'' is an essential safety feature. Software-based tuning can be done manually or automatically.

Research firm names the best motor drive vendors of the year

Industrial automation market research firm IMS Research (Wellingborough, U.K.; Austin, TX) has named SEW Eurodrive the ''European Motor Drive Vendor of the Year.'' The award is based on results of a Europe-wide survey on requirements of motor-drive users, and their views on how well suppliers meet their needs. Award presentation took place during a ceremony at the recently concluded Hannover Industrial Fair in Germany.

IMS Research's survey, which included more than 250 interviews, queried drive users about the performance of their suppliers for price, delivery times, reliability, product ease of use, and other factors. SEW Eurodrive, headquartered in Bruchsal, Germany, garnered the highest overall rating. It also ranked best for product ease of use and technical support. (The company's U.S. operations are in Lyman, SC).

Omron placed second overall-and ranked number one for delivery-closely followed by Mitsubishi Electric, earning top marks for product reliability and leading-edge technology. Mitsubishi's close third place retained the same ranking it received last year in this annual event.

The survey further indicated that product reliability was the most important factor when users select a motor drives supplier. Competitive pricing also was deemed to be of significant importance.

Market trends: Energy savings push low-power ac drives to 4.7% annual growth

Not a stunning figure in booming times, but an expected 4.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years comes as a breath of fresh air for the low-power ac drives market.

A just-released market study, ''Low Power AC Drive Worldwide Outlook,'' by ARC Advisory Group (Dedham, MA), makes that specific prediction. The study says this market sector was worth $4.115 billion in 2002 and is forecasted to exceed $5.175 billion in 2007.''Rising energy rates, difficult economic conditions, and increasing concern for environmental distress due to power generation, have increased the importance of using energy saving ac drives,'' explains Amitava Bhattacharjee, researchdirector at ARC and principal author of the market study.

Among findings in ARC's study are the following:

  • Drive manufacturers with established international markets and alliances with international suppliers fared better in the economic downturn than producers that depended heavily on just domestic drive markets.

  • Energy-intensive markets outside the manufacturing sector will see the greatest growth in low-power ac drives.

  • Smaller ac drives-in the so-called ''micro'' and ''low-end'' categories up to 40 kW (approx. 55 hp)-will be the market growth leaders because their payback period is forecast to ''break below the three-year threshold.''

  • Cost of energy has a major market influence regionally. Europe and Japan represent a major proportion of the worldwide market due to high cost of energy and strong OEM demand. Asia and especially China has a fast growing market for ac drives.

Click here for further information on this market study .

''Outer-rotor'' brushless dc motor offers advantages

Servo Magnetics' low-profile, outer-rotor brushless dc motor boasts speeds greater than 20,000 rpm.

Just think of the design and mounting possibilities with a new compact high-speed brushless dc motor that features an outer rotor. The outside rotor design provides the mass for higher inertia, resulting in very stable speeds that are ideal for blowers, polygon scanners, and other opto-/electro-mechanical applications.

The motor is optimized for low cogging torque, says the manufacturer, Servo Magnetics Inc . (Canoga Park, CA), and delivers over 3 oz-in. continuous torque. This is a high torque value relative to the compact 1.5 x 1.2 in. motor size. Other benefits of the motor are exceptionally low acoustical noise and low vibration even at high speeds, because the rotor cup receives balancing in two planes. Various electrical and mechanical options are available, including windings for specific power requirements and custom-mounting configurations.

April Control Engineering in print

The Web's hot, but don't miss the variety of items in your specialty in each in-print issue of CE.

In April News, Industry View takes a look at the market for servo and step motors combined with positioning electronics in one package. A market report from IMS Research puts this specialty sector at around 2% of the overall market, but predicts rapid growth.

Click here to read the item .

My cover story, ''Direct-Drive Linear Motion Lives!,'' examines another technology that's beginning to flex its muscles thanks to material advancements, various design refinements and, not least, to lower production costs. Market views, details on material improvements and cost reduction, applications, and product examples are included.

Click here to read the article .

In April's Products & Software section, Advanced Micro Systems (Nashua, NH) introduces its DR-38M intelligent microstep driver that includes features found in high-cost controllers.

Click here to read about the product .

Baldor Electric Co. (Fort Smith AR) highlights OptiGen adjustable-speed generator that automatically matches output power to various loads and is half the size of fixed-speed units.

Click here to read more .

Bosch Rexroth's (Hoffman Estates, IL) VisualMotion system illustrates a product combining intelligent motion control and logic control in one unit. VisualMotion software synchronizes up to 32 controllers.

Click here to read more .

Duplomatic DXJ3 servo proportional valve from Universal Hydraulics International (Twinsburg, OH) offers position and velocity control with 12 ms maximum response time.

Click here to read more .

Companies in motion

Announced earlier in April, Parker Hannifin Corp . (Cleveland, OH) has purchased MTS Automation (New Ulm, MN), a division of MTS Systems Corp. The acquisition will become part of Parker's Compumotor division (Rohnert Park, CA), which in turn is a unit within Parker's Automation Group. MTS Automation, founded as Custom Servo Motors in 1991, manufactures brushless motors, analog/digital amplifiers, digital servo controllers, and linear motors. It has annual revenues around $25 million. Parker Automation markets products for motion-control, robotic and electromechanical applications.

Motion Tech Trends (Inglewood, CA), a market research and technical consultancy firm serving the electric motor and motion control industries, celebrated its 20th anniversary in March 2003. Motion Tech Trends (MTT) provides wide-ranging services to clients from competitive analyses and product/marketing research to strategic planning and technical trends and evaluations. ''Moving into its third decade, MTT has created , a subscriber-based Web site, bringing MTT information products and services to a worldwide audience in a more timely and cost-effective manner,'' says George Gulalo, MTT's president. ''Soon to be launched on will be expert systems designed to help purchasers make more informed decisions on utilizing electric motion components.''

After 10 years of OEM relationships for motion-control products, Yaskawa Electric Corp . and Omron have formed a joint venture company that will focus on sales, technical support, and customer service in Europe. The new company, Omron Yaskawa Control BV (Hoofddorp, Netherlands), will supply inverters, servo drives, and other standard motion-control products from Yaskawa, plus related products from Omron, such as motion modules for PLCs, under the common Omron Yaskawa brand name. The joint venture was effective as of April 1.

Animatics Corp . (Santa Clara, CA) and Minarik Corp . (Glendale, CA) have recently formed an ''automation alliance'' for marketing, distribution, manufacturing, and product development using the ''patent and trade secrets of Animatics.'' The deal reportedly is worth $20 million, and prototype products are said to be in the testing stage.

A strong proponent of integrated motion control, Animatics looks to expand this market segment through improved local support for motion control applications with the addition of 18 Minarik offices. Minarik is a recognized manufacturer and distributor in the motion control and automation industries.

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