Advancing motion control applications with the right drives, technology
Industrial automation today is dependent on performing key tasks accurately and effectively and engineers should know what to seek out in industrial automation devices to deliver high-quality motion applications.
- Learn what the factory of the future needs for effective operation.
- Learn what role time-sensitive networking (TSN) can play in the factory of the future.
- Understand how TSN can bring information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) devices together.
Motion control insights
- Smart factories are dependent on producing accurate insights quickly and information traveling at high speeds to the right people.
- Time-sensitive networking (TSN) can help motion control and automation technology users with reliable high-performance networks without causing slowdowns.
- Advanced technology can not only help companies get the right information, but they also can help manufacturers avoid issues before they happen.
The smart factory of the future is built on advanced autonomous systems that perform key tasks with extreme accuracy at high speed. To realize these capabilities, the industrial automation components being used, including state-of-the-art motion controllers, need to be able to effectively share data. Selecting devices that incorporate network technologies capable of sharing large volumes of data at high speed is essential for machine builders and system integrators committed to delivering value-adding machines to industry players.
Time-sensitive networking (TSN) can deliver the high-speed requirements machine builders and system integrators need to have reliable high-performance networks.
Machine builders and system integrators are facing a growing demand for autonomous setups that leverage rotatory equipment or linear actuators to interact with the surrounding environment and perform key tasks. These solutions typically need to offer speed, high encoder resolutions and low tolerances while combining complex, multi-axis systems, where all parts run in sync with extreme repeatability.
Driving advanced data sharing for demanding manufacturing cycle times
To accommodate increasingly demanding cycle times while offering exacting performance and maximum uptime, engineers should look for drives and controls that use a network technology that ensures determinism. The recent advances in TSN technology enables all nodes in a network to be synchronized with high accuracy and can schedule and prioritize traffic.
Deterministic performance needs to be guaranteed even when large volumes of control data are shared. This makes the network’s available bandwidth another important parameter to include in the evaluation. 100 Mbit/s is a good starting point, but 1 Gbit/s is optimal for a manufacturing facility.
Furthermore, when it comes to sharing data, maximum interconnectivity is beneficial to generate and share valuable insights with other machine components as well as across the entire plant and enterprise. Drives need to be able to communicate with all relevant motion components within a system.
The ability for machine developers and system integrator to leverage the automation products best suited to meet project specifications without having to consider interoperability issues represents a key asset during development. This can be achieved by using drives that are compatible with multi-vendor open protocols.
Devices that can communicate to other elements of an organization across the operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) domains can enable the transition toward smarter machines, shop floors and fully-fledged smart factories. A network technology that enables convergence also can help to facilitate the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) to further improve predictive control and maintenance, driving profitability. Besides, this capability can simplify network architectures and reduce wiring and maintenance, lowering costs.
Ensuring optimal performance for motion applications
When looking at the mechanical performance of drives in motion applications, minimizing vibrations is fundamental to delivering efficient operations and quality end products. In addition to improving the service life of the equipment, vibration or resonance suppression reduces settling times and can support faster cycle times while improving overall performance. The most advanced servo amplifiers are can detect vibrations and suppress them. By selecting devices with these features, engineers can deliver robust and accurate setups.
Finally, to create advanced, value-adding solutions, it is important to identify highly efficient components that can minimize the energy requirements of the resulting machine. This is essential to lowering costs and the environmental footprint of industrial operations.
[subhead] Leveraging the right technologies for motion control applications
Some of today’s advanced drive technologies can address the complex communication and performance requirements mentioned above. Machine builders and systems integrators should look for devices that ensure enhanced motion control performance.
With TSN and large bandwidth, drives can provide precise communication cycle times and synchronization with axes. This means motion control can perform at the optimum level for manufacturing.
TSN ensures servos can connect with many devices from the OT and IT level. The inclusion of simple network management protocol (SNMP), asset monitoring and management from IT applications allows data to be accessed from these drives.
The benefits are energy efficient vibration suppression capabilities with predictive maintenance functionality. Mechanical component deterioration can be identified long before service requirements arise. Uptime is optimized and maintenance can be scheduled and potential issues are avoided.
Tom Burke is global strategic advisor at the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) Americas, a CFE Media and Technology content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, web content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keywords: motion control, time-sensitive networking
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How can TSN help motion control applications in your factory of the future?