Technology trends, developments at SPS/IPC/Drives 2005


Motors, drives, and motion control were part of the success of the focused electric automation show SPS/IPC/Drives Exhibition and Conference (Nuremberg, Germany, Nov. 22-24), showing continued growth of its exhibiting companies (up 12.6%), display area (up 12.1%), and attendees (up 8.7%) compared to 2004. Beyond statistics, this annual event offers valuable perspective on trends and developments affecting motion control and related technologies. Even more choices for integrated motor and control packages, plus direct-drive linear/rotary motion systems, liquid cooling for motors and drives, and distributed control architectures—including safety systems—were evident.

Liquid cooling for electric drives and motors is a technology presently more prevalent on the European scene than in North America. Examples at the show included liquid-cooled synchronous and induction drives from Servax (a division of Swiss company Landert Motoren) and liquid-cooled motors from Baumüller (induction and torque motor types) and Italian company Oemer Motori Elettrici (three-phase ac servo motors).


In direct-drive motion, the motor is connected to its driven load without intervening ball screws, pulleys, gearboxes, timing belts, or other components. Numerous manufacturers displayed direct-drive motion technology either in the form of low-speed rotary motors or high-speed linear motors. SEW-Eurodrive ’s SL Series synchronous linear motor with thrust force ratings in the 280-6,000 N (63-1,350 lbf) range was an example in the latter category. Baumüller highlighted rotary (DST product line) as well as linear (Servo L) direct-drive motors. Servax also offered direct-drive torque motors, in particular for application in injection-molding machines.


A number of companies also promoted decentralized (distributed) control architectures. Examplesinclude Lenze AG ’s L-Force concept and SEW-Eurodrive’s Movifit system that combines decentralized installation technology with drive and communication functions. Distributed architecture plays well into the integration of motors with control electronics, among other benefits. Motor and controller combinations

Motors, Drives, Motion Control

Integrated electronics adds little to the overall size of Bosch Rexroth’s IndraDrive Mi product.

Integrated motor and controller packages—especially closed-loop systems—appeared in larger numbers than in previous years. A new product announcement in this sector was IndraDrive Mi from Bosch Rexroth , which combines a servo motor with control electronics in a package said to require 50% less total installation space than a traditional servo drive with separate motor and controls. Arrangement of the electronics atop the motor is unusual. It allows the casing to serve as the system’s cooling means.


IndraDrive Mi also offers considerable cost reduction potential. It reportedly saves on wiring costs with only one cable needed to supply power and control signals using SERCOS interface. The design allows adding multiple drives to a system as required, without having to modify the controls. Wiring costs can be further reduced if multiple units are linked in series.


“Early results from field trials carried out by various machine manufacturers indicate that IndraDrive Mi can provide total performance and functionality when used continuously and in harsh production conditions,” according to Bosch Rexroth.


While already in use by selected customers, IndraDrive Mi’s general market launch is scheduled to start in mid-2006, notes Steffen Winkler, head of drives management at Bosch Rexroth.


Initial product sizes are based on the company’s IndraDyn S servo motor line (models 040, 060, and 070), with maximuim torques up to 70 Nm. Additional models will extend the range of IndraDrive Mi at the top and bottom ends—along with enhanced interface and Ethernet communication features. Schneider Electric ’s Berger Lahr brand of intelligent, integrated motor and controller product (IclA) was highlighted in three motor versions: stepper (IclA IFS); ac servo (IclA IFA); and synchronous, three-phase electronically commutated motor (IclA IFE). Originally short for “integrated closed-loop actuator”—IclA—combines a motor, positioning control, power electronics, and feedback into a compact unit.


Torque ranges are 0.45-6 Nm (no gear box) for IFS; 0.27-0.46 Nm for IFA; and 3.1-11 Nm with spur gearbox (0.17 Nm with no gearbox) for IFE. Profibus DP, CANopen, and RS-485 communication interfaces are offered on the three IclA versions, along with IclAeasy software tool for set up and configuration.


Among other motor-controller combination units on exhibit at SPS/IPC/Drives 2005 were:


Product name

Web address



GFC AntriebsSysteme

Integrated motor

Heidolph Elektro GmbH

HeiDrive EC-Compact

Integrated motor drive

IMS Europe

MDrive Motor+Electronics

JVL Industri Elektronik

MAC motor, also

QuickStep motor with

Integrated driver

Lenze AG

Servo drive 930 Fluxxtorque

In two versions: 24 V dc and

240 V ac (50 Hz)

Logic GmbH

Decentralized servo system

Series IM-2000/-4000/-5000

For previous coverage of SPS/IPC/Drives 2005 in Control Engineering , see

Daily News for Nov. 22, 2005

, an embedded controls’ view in Dec. 2005 Information Control Monthly E-Newsletter , a motion-control perspective in Dec. 2005 Discrete Control Monthly E-Newsletter , views of


, and

SERCOS III products

. Also search on SPS atop .


The next SPS/IPC/Drives show is scheduled for Nov. 28-30, 2006, in Nuremberg.

Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering

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