IMTS 2004 in motion

The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, Sept. 8-15 paraded myriad technologies and solutions, among which motion control was prominent.

By Control Engineering Staff September 23, 2004

The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, Sept. 8-15 paraded myriad technologies and solutions, among which motion control was prominent. Here is a sampling from Bosch Rexroth, GE Fanuc Automation, Mitsubishi Electric, and Siemens, with links to the respective manufacturers’ Web sites provided below.

Distributed control architecture enables Bosch Rexroth’s MTX system to close position, velocity, and torque loops at individual drives.

Among offerings from Bosch Rexroth Electric Drives and Controls division was IndraMotion MTX high-performance computer numerical control (CNC) system—available in either PC control or PLC-based architecture. It was shown in a 5-station, 7 process machining and assembly application. MTX system handles up to 64 motion axes, with 12 electric servo axes controlled from one card. SERCOS communication interface links the system’s electric, pneumatic, and hydraulic intelligence. Hydraulic control with SERCOS is a specialty of the company.


Also see September 8 Control Engineering Daily News for more about IndraMotion MTX


New Series 0 i -Model C CNCs work with GE Fanuc’s á i s andâ i s Series ac servo motors and á i andâ i Series ac spindle motors. (Series 0 i Mate-Model C operates with ”â” Series servo and spindle motors only.)

GE Fanuc Automation anchored the Emerging Technology Center at IMTS. Amid numerous technologies on display, motors, drives and motion control received prominent coverage. Paul Webster, GE Fanuc drive systems product manager, pointed out recent technology trends, for example, rising usage of large diameter direct-drive rotary synchronous servo motors (with a large number of poles) to provide smooth, high torque for machining systems. Webster also mentioned the growing popularity of cartridge-type ac spindle motors that provide high power and speed for machining. Usually of induction type, these spindle motors come as ready-to-drop-in units—compete with bearing lubrication system.

Among CNC offerings, GE Fanuc introduced next-generation Series 0 controllers for three and four-axis (depending on the CNC model) machining centers, milling machines, lathes, and grinders, as well as high-end Series 31 i i i i Mitsubishi Electric Automation included a wide range drives, motion controllers, and servo motors specific to computer numeric controls (CNCs). Typically, Mitsubishi CNCs feature servo capability up to 20 hp (15 kW) with incremental or absolute encoders up to 1 million pulses per revolution supplying closed-loop feedback. Spindle axis power ranges up to 75 hp. Other features of these CNC systems include simultaneous control of multiple axes, synchronization between axes, custom machining functions, Ethernet connectivity, and servo autotuning. Some CNC models offer 64-bit RISC processor and dual CNC/PLC processors.

Siemens Sinumerik 840D CNC system offers a wide range of specialized functions for 5-axis machining—such as milling, drilling, turning, grinding, and handling technologies—often involved in aerospace applications.

Siemens Energy & Automation presented a theme of ‘Productivity in Motion’ as it focused on three application areas of job-shop (tool and die), aerospace, and automotive. Its Sinumerik 810D CNC system is suited for the first area, while higher-speed 840D CNC with a capacity of up to 240 axes handles the other application areas, according to Rajas Sukthankar, marketing and business development manager for Siemens E&A Machine Tool Business.

Sinumerik 840D incorporates advanced functions like special machine kinematics, five-axis transformation, orientation interpolation, high-performance 3-D tool correction, manual five-axis functions, and Profinet and Ethernet architectures. Sophisticated software complements the CNC system with such features as checking for machine repeatability over time and tool-length compensation. Sukthankar also mentions that 840D offers an unusual combination of process and motion control among its capabilities. One example of CNC system ‘process’ control is ability to monitor the power usage of its laser-machining operations.

Other related products shown at Siemens’ booth were motor spindle units with 60,000-rpm speed capability in cartridge form, ready to drop into a CNC machine.

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering,