Engineers’ Choice 2006 – Motors

By Control Engineering Staff February 27, 2007

Engineers Choice Competition
New Products for 2006: Motors, Drives, and Motion Control

Control Engineering — February 15, 2007
The annual Control Engineering Engineers Choice Awards highlight significant new products from the previous year as selected by readers of Control Engineering print publications and electronic newsletters. The following new products are nominees for that competition. To be eligible, a new product must have been introduced to the U.S. marketplace and available for purchase between December 1, 2005 and December 31, 2006. All descriptions have been provided by product vendors, and Control Engineering makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the claims.

The Control Engineering Engineers Choice Awards honor the products from this list that survey respondents chose as the most exceptional or noteworthy based on technological advancement (innovation), service to the industry (usefulness) and/or market impact (would buy it tomorrow if I could). Results are announced in the April 2006 issue of Control Engineering .


MotiFlex e100
MotiFlex e100 drives (part of the e100 Ethernet control platform), provides flexibility with minimal variants and system parts, to provide a cost effective solution from 1 to many axes.
A scalable system integrating real-time ETHERNET Powerlink (EPL), with built-in EPL-CANopen gateway providing a low cost IO expansion system (DS401 CANopen manager function) via any drive.
CiA DS402 Positioning Drive capabilities are standard, offering a simple positioning system without a dedicated motion controller, for example via TCP/IP traditional Ethernet.
Universal motor control (simply software selected), i.e. rotary / linear brushless servo, AC Vector and DC servo motors.
Single or multi-axis machine controllers can be plugged directly into one or more drives, which can then assume control of the drives Ethernet interface to control additional drives, providing a compact scalable intelligent drives solution.
Supported fieldbus systems include Devicenet, Profibus, EthernetIP, ProfinetIO and ModbusTCP via plug-in options.
Wide operating supply of 180-528VAC, combined with a DC sharing scheme that eliminates additional power supplies and capacitor banks, offering energy efficiency at a reduced system cost.
A universal encoder interface supports major encoder types including ENDat2.2 and SSI. Secondary feedback can be added via option cards to eliminate mechanical errors, or as line-shaft encoders.
Compliant with RoHS directive.

IndraMotion MLD
The First Open Drive Worldwide
IndraMotion MLD merges drive functions, motion control and processing logic into a modern, open automation platform for modular machine concepts. The drive-integrated motion and logic eliminates the need for higher-level controls.
Open Standards
Standardized programming languages and the integrated IndraWorks engineering framework simplify project planning, programming, operation and diagnostics. You can thereby integrate your valuable know-how directly in the drive to secure your market advantage. The standardized building blocks from the PLCopen function library give you access to a large number of motion functions.
Innovative Building Blocks for Every Application
function libraries
user libraries
technology packages
user programs

IndraDrive Mi
The new IndraDrive Mi combines top power density with total functionality and is fully compatible with the IndraDrive family.
As with IndraDrives, these servo drives have over 100 technology functions, including the intergrated Motion Logic system conforming to IEC 61131-3. This opens up a whole new range of possibilities fir decentralized automation.
In addition, The Rexroth IndraDrive Mi significantly reduces wiring cost. A single cable carrys both power and SERCOS communications. When several IndraDrive Mi systems are connected in series, the wiring costs are reduced even further. All connections, as well as the IndraDrive Mi itself, is rated to protection class IP65. The Rexroth IndraDrive Mi: Cost and space reduction without sacrifice.

VLT Micro Drive

ION Digital Drive
The ION Digital Drive provides highly advanced motion control functionality, network connectivity and power amplification in a fully enclosed, compact and rugged form factor. ION provides very high power density and performs profile generation, servo compensation, stall detection, field oriented control, digital torque control and many other highly advanced motion control features.
To construct a complete low-cost multi-axis controller, one network-connected ION Drive is used per axis. This highly integrated approach eliminates the wiring complexity and cost of dedicated motion control cards connecting to separate amplifiers. ION provides profile generation, servo compensation, stall detection, and field oriented control. It supports distributed control in an asynchronous serial network (RS485) version or a CANBus network version. Multiple ION modules (up to 127) can be connected on a single network. ION provides an output capability of up to 15 amps peak, and 500 W at 56 volts. Other features include hardware performance trace, on-the-fly profile changes, and PLC style inputs and outputs.
This simplified approach lowers cost and eliminates the need for motion cards, additional amplifiers, connectors and wiring.

Allen-Bradley Kinetix 7000 Servo Drive
With continuous output power of 22 to 150 kilowatts, this new high-power servo drive seamlessly integrates with Allen-Bradley Logix controllers, servo motors and actuators to bring unmatched flexibility to machine design and unprecedented efficiency to the manufacturing floor. The Kinetix 7000 servo drives go beyond supporting synchronous permanent magnet motors, with asynchronous induction motor support as well. This gives customers a cost-effective alternative for motion control applications where higher power is needed. In addition, the new TUV-certified Kinetix safe-off capability integrated in these drives can increase productivity by providing manufacturers and machine builders maximum machine availability. Maintenance tasks that previously required power down conditions can now be accomplished without removing power from the entire machine. As a result, customers enjoy faster machine restart and shorter machine downtime. The Kinetix 7000 servo drives are based on two high-quality foundations that have already been well-received in the marketplace– the Kinetix 6000 drives and the PowerFlex power structure. With the same I/O connections, wiring, fault code displays, and SERCOS interface communication, the Kinetix 6000 and 7000 servo drives provide customers with maximum commonality across machines and power ranges. This allows for easy configuration and deployment, leading to lower design, engineering and maintenance costs.

Allen-Bradley Kinetix 6000 Safety Servo Drive
The new TUV-certified Allen-Bradley Kinetix 6000 Safety servo drive with GuardMotion from Rockwell Automation incorporates a safe-off functionality that allows users to restart machines faster and reduce downtime in the event of unplanned maintenance. The safe-off feature that eliminates torque at the motor to shut down the machine, but keeps the power supply on, allowing maintenance staff to perform tasks such as cleaning the machine, removing a jam or changing a tool. It also enables them to restart the machine up to 20 percent faster than if they had to recharge the power connection, helping to boost machine availability. The feature is an addition to the proven high-performance Allen-Bradley Kinetix 6000 servo drives introduced by Rockwell Automation in 2002. The Kinetix 6000 drive is part of Rockwell Automation Kinetix Integrated Motion, featuring seamless integration of Allen-Bradley Logix controllers, servo drives, servo motors and actuators. As the motion control component of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture, Kinetix brings unmatched flexibility to machine design and unprecedented efficiency to the manufacturing floor.

Motion control

Stainless Steel Servo Gearheads
These new gearheads provide a higher torque handling capacity and lower backlash rating compared to Baldor’s standard servo rated gearheads, and include some very unique features:min maximum over the life of the product.· includes an integrated self-locating pinion – makes assembly to the motor quick and easy – the entire process takes less than two minutes. Or if desired on stock units, mod express can mount the gearhead onto the servomotor for $110 list (allow 2 days).
Also attached is a mini-CD containing detailed information on this new family, which includes planetary (MSS-series) and right angle (MRS-series) gears. Info includes:

MPI 3.04 with SynqNet HotReplace
SynqNet HotReplace is a new feature of Danaher Motion’s Motion Programming Interface MPI 3.04 software. Engineers use SynqNet HotReplace™ to increase machinery throughput by servicing machinery modules offline without process interruption. Motors, drives and I/O modules can be removed and reinstalled to the live network individually or in groups for off-line service or upgrades.

DMC-40×0 Accelera Motion Controller
The DMC-40×0 motion controller is a member of the new Accelera Series, Galil’s 5th generation of motion controllers. These controllers use a RISC-based processor and provide 10x the speed of prior generation controllers. High-speed capability includes command processing times less than 40 microseconds per command and servo loop updates as fast as 32kHz. In addition to high speed, the DMC-40×0 handles any mode of motion and provides many advanced features including expanded program memory with multitasking, plenty of optically isolated I/O, and. uncommitted analog inputs. The controller is available with internal, multi-axis drives for steppers and servos which saves space, cost and wiring. Or, the controller can be easily connected to external drives of any power range. The DMC-40×0 controller and drive package is compact, measuring only 8.1” x 7.25” x 1.72” for the 4-axis model. The controller is available in 1- through 8-axis models and provides Ethernet 10/100Base-T and RS232 communications. The DMC-40×0 has significant impact as it offers OEMs a motion controller solution that enhances performance allowing more tasks to be executed in a shorter amount of time, increasing throughput. Compact packaging and internal drives save space, cost and wiring. Like all Galil controllers, the DMC-40×0 is easy-to-program as it uses Galil’s popular English-like command language and supporting software tools.

Model 940 PositionServo
Technological Development: Unlike most servo products, the Model 940 combines many different technological advances into one standard product; 1) standard TCP/IP protocol, drives can talk with each other and any other standard Ethernet device, 2) EPM- a removable memory module, can be moved from drive to drive, that stores the drives programs, 3) Multiple Motor Technologies, the Model 940 can run both synchronous brushless servo and Asynchronous inverter motors, and 4) Auto-tuning, multiple motor vendors data files are available in the Model 940, so you just “select and go”. Market Impact: The market is heading in the direction of mechanical engineers being responsible for designing and programming electro-mechanical machines. The free MotionView software that is included is quoted as being extremely “simple” and designed with the Mechanical Engineer in mind. Now, the mechanical engineer can program complicated motion profiles without being a programmer. Service to the Industry: All of these features and sophisticated motion features are available on the standard drive that goes up to 18A continuous and can take up to 480VAC. The engineer, engineering manager, and purchasing department will all agree that this drive is not only the highest performing and most flexible, but also the best value.

PV Series Gearhead
The PV series gearhead is unique because it incorporates full complement needle bearings along with taper roller bearings to provide the highest radial load capacity and torque transmission compared to comparable competitive gearheads It also comes in a wide range of dimensional output face crossovers to drop into competitive gearheads including NEMA (English) dimensioned output faces and metric drop-in faces. The PV gearhead is easily serviced in the field due to grease filled lubricant making it lubricated for life. It also incorporates a simple input for easy mounting and easy interchange to any servo or stepper motor.

750 Series Stepper Module
Unlike traditional stand-alone stepper motor controls (SMC) systems, which typically offer a fixed amount of general purpose I/O (no more than 8 pts.) and limited or no connectivity for fieldbus networks, the 750 Series SMC modules are integrated directly into the I/O node with:
ompatibility with existing 750 Series network adapters and PLCs for EtherNet/IP, Modbus/TCP, DeviceNet, CANopen, and Profibus. Allowing SMC integration with common industrial network protocols.
Further advancements include;
1) Compact 12 mm wide housing– smallest in the industry.2) Quick implementation of common stepper functions utilizing a library of IEC 61131 function blocks. 3) Adjustable acceleration profiles: constant, linear, or sin2.4) Support of common stepper operating modes: single positioning, referencing, jog mode/inching operation,and profile sequencing.5) Addition operation modes: pulse width modulation, frequency generator, pulse chain, single-shot, incremental encoder output, etc.
All this…. And a list price of only $262.50 per module.
Technology advancementSmaller package, increased stepper functions, integrated into the I/O node, connectivity to industrial networks.
Market ImpactElimination of stand-alone SMCs. Greater flexibility.
Service to the industryIntegration of one platform for PLC and stepper control. Simplifies trouble shooting and reduces training needs (no need for keeping up 2 systems).


MR-J3 Series AC-Servo Systems
The Mitsubishi MR-J3 Series Servos are available in a variety of interface methods and can be used in position, speed, or torque control for both rotary and linear servo motors. A high-resolution encoder of 262,144p/rev with absolute feedback capability is mounted as standard, and helps to provide smooth and stable motion even at low speeds. Servo motor sizes are reduced by 20% compared to previous models, and servo amplifiers are 40% smaller than previous models. Side-by-side amplifier mounting is possible, so that users can reduce the panel size by about 40%. Maximum speeds of the servo motors have been increased to 6000rpm for low-inertia models without sacrificing torque output. Rotary servo motors are available in capacities that range from 50W up to 110KW, input voltage ratings of 110V, 220V, and 480V, and include a wide range of inertia and speed ratings. Linear servo motors are also available with core and core-less types with a maximum speed of 2m/sec and continuous force ratings from 60N~960N. The MR-J3 servo systems are available with a high-speed fiber optic network (SSCNET III) that can be used with Mitsubishi high-performance motion control systems– ideal for complex, multi-axis, coordinated motion applications. With real time auto tuning, users can automatically adjust the servo gains according to the type of the machine characteristics. The industry’s first “Advanced Vibration Suppression Control” function easily eliminates vibrations created by the mechanical system. Machine resonance suppression filters automatically eliminate vibrations caused by mechanical resonance frequencies. “Robust Disturbance Compensation Function” eliminates uneven speeds between synchronized axes resulting from mechanical disturbance. The MR-J3 Servo system has been designed to meet the market needs with the most technically advanced features to serve the industry.

PROmech Series
The true award-winning features of the PROmech Series are the design of the product and the market impact it will have. The market is greatly affected, as designers and OEMs who traditionally built a do-it-yourself positioner now have the opportunity to purchase an off-the-shelf solution, including motor and positioner, for less than $800 per axis — a mark that has traditionally been untouchable among linear actuator manufacturers. The footprint of the LP28 is a 28 mm wide profile, creating a miniature positioning element for medical and life science analytical instruments. The 11 or 17 frame stepper motor is mounted to the screw with a unique coupling procedure optimizing overall length. (See product specifications below.) The value of the PROmech has even been captured in a total value calculator, which will soon be available from Parker at

Portescap h3
Faced with intense competition from servo motor systems, continued refinements and advances in step motor systems allow them to hold an advantage in many applications by virtue of performance improvements, ease of use and cost effectiveness. That is true of Portescap’s new h3 family that not only helps keep such systems relevant, but even makes them a preferred technology in applications such as electronic assembly, linear stages and medical analyzers.
The h3 series offers several upgrades when compared with standard hybrid step motors. The aluminum housing provides superior heat dissipation to create higher output torque during operation, and stator-enhanced magnets deliver up to 40% more torque in the same footprint as standard hybrid step motors. Neodymium iron boron magnets offer optimized torque density, while the bearing retainer and o-ring help reduce motor noise. Larger bearings enable the motor to effectively handle higher side and radial loads.
In an effort to counter the disadvantages found in typical step motor systems, these hybrid step motor innovations also provide quieter operation with less resonance across the entire speed range. This new technology enables customers to reduce their package size and lighten the weight of their end product allowing more flexibility in terms of product design.

New NEMA Motors
New NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) Motors from Siemens reach the highest efficiency levels in the marketplace for industrial standard motors. Offered in aluminum and cast iron frame configurations, these motors include high efficiency and industry-leading NEMA Premium
Siemens’ offering of the highest NEMA Premium efficiencies leads the industry at a point where electric motor efficiencies are becoming more and more important to industrial users. Because more than 95% of an electric motor life cycle cost revolves around energy consumption, substantially improving energy efficiency will have a significant impact on energy savings.
There is great potential for New NEMA Motors from Siemens in the rapidly growing market of NEMA Premium efficient motors. Shipment data from NEMA shows that in 2001 and 2002, the total of net units shipped increased approximately 30%. In 2002 and 2003, there was a 14% increase over previous years. The data also suggests a growing demand for premium efficiency motors (NEMA announcement Nov. 2004).

MPN– Rockwell N-Series Replacement Motors
Due to the recent obsolescence of the Rockwell N-Series motors, many customers were left with no direct motor replacement for their equipment. Using the recommended replacement from Rockwell requires the customers to use a different motor, which requires changes to the mounting flanges, couplings, gearheads, and cabling. The MPN– Rockwell N-Series replacement motor from Parker Hannifin is a direct replacement for the N-Series motors. The front flange, shaft, cable connectors, and motor back-emf (Ke) are identical to that of the Rockwell N-Series motors. The Parker MPN also has superior performance characteristics which allow more torque per amp and more torque per frame size than the comparable-frame Rockwell N-Series motors. This means you use less current for the given application yet achieve higher performance – higher throughput. Parker even goes so far as to have the motor configuration files available for download into the Ultra family of drives, making the conversion even easier.
If you want minimal effort when having to replace the obsolete Rockwell N-Series motors, use the MPN– the Parker N-Series replacement motors.