Get the latest updates on the Coronavirus impact on engineers.Click Here

Motion, motor controls becoming “system-wide”

Integrated technology that is "system-wide" was a common theme echoing through the exhibits of many diverse companies during NMW.Baldor Electric (Fort Smith, Ark.) displayed solutions from software to 800-hp vector drives. Its brand new technology—direct drive linear motion via its acquisition of Northern Magnetics Inc.

By Staff May 1, 1998

Integrated technology that is “system-wide” was a common theme echoing through the exhibits of many diverse companies during NMW.

Baldor Electric (Fort Smith, Ark.) displayed solutions from software to 800-hp vector drives. Its brand new technology—direct drive linear motion via its acquisition of Northern Magnetics Inc. (Santa Clarita, Calif.) was evident. Another recent acquisition, a linear stepper system operated under guidance of Mint Motion Language, was also demonstrated.

Besides its crowd-drawing dance group, Cutler-Hammer/Eaton (Cleveland, O.) stressed a gamut of products, including DeviceNet MCC and an industrial micro PC (with a NetPoint front end) for smaller, simpler applications. DeviceNet MCC is reportedly the industry’s first DeviceNet-compatible motor control center [See a related feature article, ‘Motor Starting and Protection Moves Close to the Process,” in this issue, p. 104]. Much slimmer cabinet sizes are among its benefits. C-H’s new partnerships for motion control— Delta Tau Data Systems , Motion Engineering , and Whedco —were also shown.

Mitsubishi Electric Automation (MEA, Vernon Hills, Ill.) emphasized integration among its many product sectors: CNCs, robotics, PLCs, motion control, motor drives, operator interfaces, and software. MEA considers software to be the key enabling technology for PLCs. Other software sectors exhibited were servo setup and tuning, and component sizing for motion control.

Rockwell Automation (Milwaukee, Wis.) also displayed a broad range of technologies. Product highlights included Reliance Electric ‘s (Euclid, O.) SP200, a low-cost ac microdrive for machine builders and similar users.

SP200 incorporates 50 of the most commonly used operating parameters for controlling 0.5-2 hp motors, including a choice of inputs—230/460 V (three-phase) or 115/230 V (one-phase). Control variations are single-channel analog input, preset speed (up to eight), and dual-channel analog. Another development was the increased rating of the GV3000 drive, up to 200 hp, air-cooled.

Siemens Energy & Automation (Alpharetta, Ga.) showed technologies from PC-based control and motors/drives to a new vision inspection system, called Videomat IV. This modular system optically identifies and inspects up to 72,000 parts per hour via its 32-bit image computer. Videomat IV works standalone or in the PLC rack, accommodating six monochrome or two RGB color cameras of various brands.

New from MagneTek (New Berlin, Wis.) was MicroTrac 3, an embedded PC (soft logic board) added atop the main control board of its GPD 515 adjustable-frequency drive. MicroTrac 3 adds control and networking capabilities. It uses Microsoft Windows for program and application development, and is IEC 1131-3 compliant.