In motion at SPS/IPC/Drives 2004

Motors, drives, and motion control are at the heart of industrial automation as was demonstrated at the SPS/IPC/Drives Exhibition and Conference in Nuremberg, Germany (Nov. 22-25, 2004).


Planning for next year's show is already underway, with show dates announced.

Motors, drives, and motion control are at the heart of industrial automation as was demonstrated at the SPS/IPC/Drives Exhibition and Conference in Nuremberg, Germany (Nov. 22-25, 2004). This successful electric automation show continued its steady growth, again establishing new marks for number of visitors (31,800), exhibitors (1,032), and display space (65,000 sq m, which translates to over 694,000 sq ft). Highlights from ABB , Bosch Rexroth , Control Techniques , Copley Controls , Elmo Motion Control , Endress+Hauser , GE Fanuc , Nyquist Industrial Control , Schneider Electric , and Siemens follow, along with links to company Web sites for more information.

Exhibits by ABB ranged over motor control and protection technologies (for example, explosion-proof ATEX capability), and safety integrity level (SIL) methods that address risk evaluation in safety-related equipment per IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 safety standards. Also, amid a variety of variable-frequency drives (VFDs) was first showing of ACS800-11, a four-quadrant, regenerative drive that covers a 7.5-110 kW power range and features an IGBT bridge active front-end, instead of the typical passive diode rectifier. The drive also has an LCL filter to reduce high-frequency motor harmonics, said Dipl.-Ing. Lutz Witte, drive product manager at ABB Automation Products in Germany.

Bosch Rexroth or size in applications with high performance demands. These motors find application in spindle and servo drives of machine and metal-forming tools as well as in printing, paper processing, and packaging machinery. Air-cooled models of both motor types are also available. ( Click here to read coverage of other Bosch Rexroth technologies at SPS/IPC/Drives appeared in the Dec. 2004 Information Control Monthly E-Newsletter.)

Control Techniques likewise showed a wide range of motor, drive, and motion control products, among them, recently introduced Commander SK digital drive with a 0.25-4 kW output range. New at this show was an Ethernet and Modbus TCP/IP communication module applicable to Unidrive SP and Commander SK.

For more about SK drive, click here

U.S. company, Copley Controls showed its miniature board-level products for controlling stepper and servo motor systems generally under 1.5 kW. CANopen networking and Java-based software components that help users simplify motion sequencing are featured in these modules intended for electronics manufacturing, lab automation, and semiconductor fab, says Janusz Kobel, Copley director of business development. Elmo Motion Control displayed its compact servo controllers and digital drives named after musical Instruments (harmonica, cornet, tuba, etc.). Even software tools and libraries (composer, interlude) have symphonic overtones. As an example, Elmo

GE Fanuc servo family of servo amplifiers, motion controllers, and servo motors (shown) is targeting general-motion applications.

GE Fanuc ate machine automation and motion control projects. New PACSystems DSM324i motion controller is a key member of the PACSystems family. Currently, PAC-Motion is PLC-based, however, distributed architecture and PC versions are coming, according to Marcel van Helten, GE Fanuc marketing manager.

For more on DSM324i controller, click here



Offerings from Nyquist Industrial Control included its new NYCe4000 motion control system with integrated drive technology for up to 10 axes for servo and stepper motors in one package. Click here to read more on this subject from Control Engineering .


For its motion control products, Nyquist has standardized on FireWire (IEEE 1394) communication standard with 400 Mbit/s data speed, preferring it over other alternatives. Ing. Jan van Gerwen, CTO of Nyquist, is an outspoken proponent of FireWire. He cited FireWire Control Techniques , Danaher Motion/Kollmorgen , and Maxon Motor . Schneider Electric s wide-ranging booth exhibits ranged from drives, motion controllers, and motor starters to safety systems and peripherals with embedded Web servers. Also displayed was Telemecanique Unity automation architecture intended to integrate the companyrs were also featured. CANopen was highlighted for networking of drives, servo controllers, operator panels, etc. (Additional Schneider Electric coverage is available in Dec. 2004 Information Control Monthly E-Newsletter .)

Simotion D is the drive-based version of Siemens

Siemens ), with expanded electronic camming and oscilloscope functions recently added. In drives, Sinamics is becoming Siemens¡¯ prime product line, with a power range now extending up to 1,200 kW (1,600 hp). Sinamics is part of a trend for modular machines that includes common engineering tools for "sizer" and "starter" functions of system commissioning.


A demonstration of Profinet V3 also drew attention in Siemens¡¯ stand. This next phase of Profinet for factory automation involves enhanced isosynchronous real-time (IRT) technology that promises to enable much larger networks and number of nodes. Profinet V3 relies on a new ASIC for which Siemens is the main supplier. Part of the demo was a traffic-monitoring feature showing effects of data transfer load changes on the network. Capability to handle 70 motion axes in 500 microseconds was shown. Still being finalized, Profinet V3 uses the IRT (or clock-cycle synchronous) messaging cycle in a way that allows sending non-RT telegrams via TCP/IP if time remains in the RT cycle, says Dipl.-Ing. G¨¹nter Baumann, Siemens marketing service manager.

Process automation and related technologies were not absent from SPS/IPC/Drives. Endress+Hauser focused on Web-enabled asset management as it relates to optimizing devices and components in a production plant, along with their condition monitoring. Customer services include user access to E+H databases for help with spare parts purchasing, selection, and calibration of measuring instruments, reducing failure risk in these devices, and aid in system startup, explained J

SPS/IPC/Drives 2004 also demonstrated further technology trends, such as more direct-drive motion systems, integrated motors and controls, and interconnectivity among all automation system components. More about these developments will be covered later in Control Engineering .

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