Ethernet-based servo drive for machine automation
ABB has launched a feature-rich servomotor drive range, the Microflex e150, for the fast-growing Ethernet-based machine automation market. The drives are compatible with numerous industrial Ethernet protocols, and offer a universal encoder interfacing capability, local motion control programming, and integrated functional safety capability. This breadth of features offers an enormously flexible platform for realising new machinery designs and is expected to appeal to OEM machine builders.
The MicroFlex e150 drives have a wealth of capability. Real-time operation with EtherCAT, and compatibility with EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP and TCP/IP protocols provide a ‘universal’ drive platform that can be employed in many different ways to suit different customers and applications – from networked systems hosted by PLCs or other devices, to motion control systems with distributed intelligence.
The drives are intelligent and feature a powerful embedded programming capability that is compatible with ABB’s motion control language Mint. This feature allows the drives to be used standalone for a vast array of single-axis or distributed intelligence motion control applications, from performing simple moves to complex motion tasks such as flying shears or cam motion profiles. Built-in I/O – including fast latch inputs for registration applications – comes as standard to support such application configurations.
The drives also offer a flexible ‘universal’ encoder interfacing capability that provides exceptional versatility of use. The drives may be connected to dual encoders – one incremental encoder, and one serial base encoder such as EnDat 2.2, SSI or BiSS. This allows dual feedback configurations – with separate velocity and position feedback – to be used to eliminate mechanical inaccuracies in precision applications such as CNC machinery. It also simplifies integration into configurations where an axis is following a master axis or centralised ‘line shaft’ such as packaging machines.
The drives also have support for the Safe Torque Off or STO functional safety, in accordance with IEC 61800-5-2, and designed to meet SIL 3 and performance level e (PLe) standards. This helps machine builders to incorporate high-integrity safety into machinery designs by disabling the drive’s output so that it cannot generate torque in the motor.
The drives can also be used i machine automation applications such as metal cutting machinery (plasma/waterjet), grinding or glue laying, as well as a variety of common packaging automation such as form/fill/seal. Two high speed registration inputs and multi-tasking programmability – also mean that the drives are ideal for speed-intensive applications such as labelling.
ABB can also supply the drives with the AC500 PLC, a scalable PLC platform for automation applications. This PLC can communicate using an extensive range of standard fieldbuses including Ethernet based protocols such as EtherCAT.
– Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com