SERCOS-based cartoner improves flexibility & customer response


By Control Engineering Staff July 1, 1997

pared to its previous packaging operations, the company has installed an electronically controlled multiaxis cartoner with SERCOS-compliant controls. With this ‘shaftless’ cartoner, CPR now has the flexibility to quickly adapt cartoning configurations to keep pace with frequently changing promotional packaging and customer demand.

ts required with previous machine designs and the associated hard wiring. The reason for this dramatic savings in time: SERCOS’s ability to transmit 32-bit data between controls and intelligent drives over a noise-immune fiber-optic cable.

ed, two servos for carton trailing and leading lugs, two drives for minor dust flaps, two axes for major flaps, one for an infeed conveyor, and lastly, one for product insertion.

. In distributed architectures that primarily employ multiaxis motion control, a bus protocol that supports high-speed, synchronous transmission of dig-ital data between controls and intelligent drives is essential for proper operation of all the system’s components.

od seasonings for single- or multi-pack cartoning. To pack a double load of product into each carton, the machine operator simply enters new param-eters to direct the loading arm to push the first stack deep into the carton, then load a second stack with a shorter stroke. The pitch of the infeed isjust as easily adjusted to match carton size.

gluing system that attaches the flaps so the cartons can be shipped.

Without the use of the SERCOS fiber-optic cable, operators would have to spend much longer changing the hard-wired configurations whenever packaging needs changed.

ing of all operating data, diagnostic messages to speed troubleshooting, and greater cartoning speed.

Speedy future for SERCOS

Elgin, Ill.–SERCOS N.A.–the U.S.-based users association of SERCOS for digital motion control–has announced an initiative to increase the speed of this protocol, also known as IEC 1491. The initiative aims at creating a de facto standard that will extend SERCOS’ speed from 4 to 10 Mb/sec in the near term (6-12 months) and to 100 Mb/sec in the 1998-2000 time frame.

adequate for most applications today because of the way SERCOS is implemented,’ says Richard Siegel, director of marketing at Motion Engineering (Santa Barbara, Calif.). ‘Unlike typical setup in motion control systems, SERCOS closes the position loop within the drive, not back to the controller.’ This is not widely understood by potential users, says Mr. Siegel.

hinks it needs. At the same time, ‘it will serve as a growth path for the future, allowing for larger and more complex network applications,’ Mr. Siegel adds.

trial environments. To accomplish this and provide sufficiently low costs, a 100Mb technology will be identified which is capable of shipping 10-50 million units a year.

SERCOS: An overview

S ERCOS stands for SE rial R eal-time CO mmunications S ystem. It’s an open controller-to-intelligent digital drive interface specification (IEC 1491) designed for high-speed serial communication of standardized closed-loop data in real time over a noise immune, fiber-optic cable.

on control in a distributed architecture requires a bus protocol that supports high-speed synchronous transmission of digital data to perform electronic gearing, cam profiling, registration control, and interpolation functions; functions for which SERCOS was specifically designed.

dled by a fiber-optic cable, which not only handles the synchronization of all elements connected, but saves the user cost by reducing the number of electrical terminations.

the American National Standards Institution (ANSI, New York), by requesting IEC 1491, ‘system Interface.’


Servo Amplifier Becomes SERCOS Compatible

Radford, Va.– Servostar is a line of servo amplifiers that has recently been made compatible with the SERCOS digital interface. The key benefit of the Servostar SERCOS line is its ability to exchange more data between the controller and the amplifier. Offered with current ratings from 3 to 55 amps, feedback options include resolver and encoder with Hall effect sensors. Five power ratings from 0.65 to 22.5 kWatts are matched to the amplifier series. KOLLMORGEN MOTION TECHNOLOGIES

SERCOS Controllerfor PC-104 Bus

Santa Barbara, Calif.– The DSP-104-SERCOS motion controller combines all of the benefits of the SERCOS interface with the durability and compact size of the PC-104 bus interface. This unit offers immunity to high levels of radio-frequency interference, higher levels of error checking, and easy installa-tion and trouble-shooting. The on-board DSP performs calculation-intensive motion functions while offloading the functions not needed in real time onto the host. This feature has been created to divide labor efficiently which frees the host from real-time requirements and enables fast host-to-DSP communication. MOTION ENGINEERING INC.

Motion-control Software with SERCOS Tool

Rockford, Ill.– AML version 1.2 is said to be the first motion control solution based entirely on software and standard PC hardware, operating systems, and network cards. The software is used to control servo drives and motors over a SERCOS (standard IEC 1491) fiber-optic network. This version of the software includes SERCOScope, a tool for graphically displaying data that are gathered over a SERCOS network. PACIFIC SCIENTIFIC

SERCOS Interface Digital Servo Drive

Hoffman Estates, Ill.– The Ecodrive is a digital servo drive specifically designed to be used with the SERCOS interface. This drive will integrate motion control functions, amplifier, power supply, and axis I/O functions. DSP technology performs the drive related control tasks previously handled by discrete circuitry. Motor holding brake power and logic are controlled internally, eliminating wiring and I/O overhead from the PLC. INDRAMAT