AFTER DECLINING IN 2001 and 2002, the total North American general motion control (GMC) market began to recover in 2003, and has continued on that path through to the present day. According to analysts at ARC Advisory, the market will experience healthy growth during the next five-year period due to an improved economy and increased capital investments in many industries.
The manufacturing realities of virtually every industrial machine builder’s customers have become far more challenging as customers demand more-rapid startup capabilities, more product flexibility, faster throughput and increased quality requirements at every stage of the production process.
ARC reports that the manufacturing shift to lower-cost Asian countries has pushed North American suppliers to balance investment and resources in order to pursue opportunities in those countries. “The GMC market is becoming vibrant with new battles brewing on networks, increased standard programming language options and varied architectures,” says the ARC report.
Automation suppliers to motion control specifiers and users have to try to differentiate themselves in unique ways and offer increasingly higher value propositions to users and machine builders. To this end, the study recommends various strategies that you’ll begin to see in the products and solutions they tout. Those strategies, according to ARC, include integrating an advanced safe-motion technology to preserve productivity; offering direct drive torque motors to reduce lifecycle cost; offering mechatronic solutions to penetrate users across many industries; including integrated motor drive package in a portfolio to increase value; and more inclusion of PLCopen Function Blocks.
As you’ll see in products that follow, the move to these strategies is well underway.
Motion Control Products and Solutions
CDS-3310 controller and drive system provides control of a single brush or brushless servo motor. It combines a programmable motion controller and 500-W drive in a single package that eliminates external wiring. The system includes PID compensation with notch filter and velocity/acceleration feedforward, non-volatile program memory with multitasking, uncommitted digital and analog I/O, and advanced modes of motion. Galil Motion Control; 916/626-0101; www.gailil.com
C6340 and C6350 compact control cabinets have three free PCI slots for additional applications. The industrial PCs are designed for applications where PC control in a compact cabinet is required. The two models feature a slot motherboard for Intel Celeron or Pentium III processors. Three PCI slots on the five-slot passive backplane can be used for extra fieldbus cards where several fieldbus systems are needed in parallel. Beckhoff Automation; 952/890-0000; www.beckhoffautomation.com
Closed-Loop Tuning Is a Wiz
RMC100 multiaxis motion controller for closed-loop motion includes software that guides a step-by-step process to import axis data. The tuner uses this information to build mathematical system models and determines which model best fits the real system. The user can determine optimal machine performance by comparing the axis motion resulting from various slider bar settings with software graphics tools. Delta Computer Systems; 360/254-8688; www.deltacompsys.com
Servo Drive Needs Less Space
Mini servo drive operates from 450-700 W. Connection with identical software functions is compatible and provides the same technological capabilities. Integration in a CNC environment also is possible, from simple point-to-point positioning to coordinated movements. Braking resistor, line filter, restart inhibit and motor holding brake control are integrated. B&R Industrial Automation; 770/772-0400; www.br-automation.com
BLMA120 material handling actuator integrates linear motor technology into an industrially hardened actuator with strokes up to 6.3 m for feed to length, pick-place, press feed and other applications that require high accelerations, high speeds, instant settling, and precise positioning over long travels. The modular design also allows multiaxis mounting compatibility HPLA belt-driven actuators. Parker Hannifin; 800/245-6903; www.parker.com
Expand the Base
C-Series sensor’s modular architecture is built on a base core sensor to which additional application-specific features can be added. When more robust environmental protection is required, the modular design allows addition of standardized IP67-rated sensor housing. The sensor has a 0-5 VDC or PWM output available and can be powered with a standard 5-V power supply. MTS Sensors; 919/677-0100; www.mtssensors.com
Linear Catalog Has a Ball
The 220-page catalog offers a selection of ball screws and belt-driven linear actuators. Belt-driven actuators have stroke lengths to 5,000 mm, with a maximum speed of 10 m/sec. Ball screw-driven linear actuators have stroke lengths to 2,0000 mm with a maximum speed of 1.2 m/sec. Multiaxis system components and accessories include x-y axis tables, cantilever-type handling gantries, linear gantries, and planar surface gantries. Festo; 800/99-FESTO; www.festo.com/us