How to integrate smarter motion controls into machine designs
Integrating smarter motion controls add flexibility, safety and efficiency, as shown Festo Pack Expo Las Vegas 2023 booth.
- Understand how redesigning machines can add flexibility, precision and reliability.
- Learn how adding a linear axis can extend the reach of a collaborative robot with little extra system integration.
- Explore how a new proportional pneumatic pressure regulator adds precision to pneumatic controls.
Motion control, integration insights
- Redesigning machines can add flexibility, precision and reliability.
- Adding a linear axis can extend the reach of a collaborative robot with little extra system integration when the robot software can accommodate.
- A new proportional pneumatic pressure regulator adds precision to pneumatic controls.
Automation education, motion control flexibility, motion control safety, collaborative robot mobility and advanced pneumatic controls were among topics discussed at the Festo Corp. Pack Expo Las Vegas 2023 booth.
Festo Didactic provides learning and training in modular pods of hardware and software, to help teach about automation, including motion control, collaborative robots, pneumatics, simulation, troubleshooting and other areas, explained Brad Schulz, industry segment manager, end of line packaging, and Troy A. Manley, sales director-food and packaging, North America, both with Festo Corp.
Machine redesign add flexibility, precision, reliability
Codi Manufacturing, a machine builder for cans and bottling packaging for distribution, demonstrated efficiencies created when redesigning a machine that had used pneumatics with electronic motion controls, a programmable logic controller, drives, distributed input/output connections and modern human-machine interface, explained Shane Loer, craft brewery specialist, food and packaging. Mike Hoffman, Codi Manufacturing engineering manager, noted that the design changes increased automation cost for the machine about 25%, however the resulting design increased throughput and accuracy, decreased design complexity, enabled easier switchover to different height cans with an anticipated decrease in machine maintenance. See photos. Codi products and services include fillers, conveying systems, canning line design and training.
Extending the reach of existing robots
Another demonstration showed how to add an axis of motion to a robot, extending its reach and usefulness by mounting the robot on a horizontal slide powered with a motor, according to Alejandro Lopex, B.Eng, project leader, Festo Corp. The extra axis of motion is integrated into the Universal Robots controller, so an additional controller and communications systems are not needed. See photos. For more on extra axis integration with Universal Robots in a welding application, see a Control Engineering video.
In a cooperative demonstration with Sick, area sensors create a safe zone around a robot, so the robot slows when people near and stops when people get too close.
A cooperative effort with Rittal showed how pre-integration of servo and motion controls in a cabinet with cables can be designed for applications as needed.
IO-Link, a sensor network, can be used to lower communications costs to sensors, actuators and other devices then communicate needed information into higher-level networks and controls.
New proportional pneumatic pressure regulator
Proportional pressure controls can expand accuracy of pneumatics and decrease related wear and maintenance. Among products displayed was Festo VPPI, a high dynamic, direct-actuated pneumatic pressure regulator (photo). It is said to have a long service life, a TFT display that can be turned in 90-degree steps for flexible mounting, pressure control from vacuum to 12 bar (maximum 13 bar), with maximum flow rate of 1,100 liter/minute and repetition accuracy of <0.5% full scale (FS).
Also see more about “Five advances in motion control, communications, design to ease automation use.”
Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, firstname.lastname@example.org.
KEYWORDS: Motion control, robotics
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