Tools that make motion control software easier to use have opened up opportunities for users who have been hesitant to make the leap from mechanical to electronic motion control.
Flexibility in design and engineering of todays machine applications is becoming standard procedure, says Robert Muehlfellner, director of automation technology at B&R Industrial Automation. Often a basic machine can be customized with add-ons to create the ideal solution for a specific production requirement. This flexibility also increases the demands of the control system and the application software running on it especially when it comes to motion as more mechanical components are replaced with electronic motion control.
He also poses a question about configuration flexibility. What about users who are waiting to add a machine option with several servo axes or substituting a servo motor with a stepper to be more cost efficient on a lower performance machine variant? A single software application that allows configuration of such applications on demand eliminates the need for custom software development tools for every job. A generic motion control software that is not tied to particular hardware and can be used as needed provides maximum flexibility and keeps another important fact in mindmotion control software engineering has to be as simple as possible without sacrificing flexibility and functionality along the way.
John Protchard, global product marketing manger, and Matheus Bulho, product marketing, Rockwell Automation, feel one big challenge in machine design is the often unclear relationship between the selection of mechanical components and its effect on the overall system performance.
In addition to helping select and size motion control systems, motion analysis software also can provide performance optimization and simulation. With this kind of analysis, engineers can more effectively investigate machine losses and select the best mechanical design, along with the optimum controls and software, to maximize machine performance. An optimal selection of mechanical components lets machine builders eliminate unnecessary over-design of servo drives and motors reducing overall control system costs and minimizing the risks of having to change specific parts of the machine during the test phase of the design cycle to meet desired performance. These changes can be significantly more costly than changes done at the computer during the mechanical and control system component selection and optimization process.
Minimizing over-design is key in many areas, they add. In addition to savings delivered to the machine builder during the system component selection and optimization phase of the machine design, motion analysis software helps end users reduce overall machine maintenance costs. The solution lies in the software that uses load orientation, move profile and duty cycle data to calculate an industry standard life estimate for bearings and flex cables. This saves costs by minimizing over-designs and reduces failures in the field by scheduling routine maintenance when required. For example, motion software can even be used to pre-calculate lubricant intervals based on the number of cycles, speed and acceleration.
House of Flying Shears
Supporting SERCOS III
Real-Time Motion Control
Quickly Develop Motion
Make a PAC
Can You Hear Me Now?
Communicates With Devices
Troubleshoot and Maintain
Simpler Is Better
Intuitive Configuration Software
Embedded Development Tool
TraceX host-based embedded development tool lets embedded developers visualize and understand the behavior of their real-time systems. Developers can see interrupts and context switches. Identification and study of these events pinpoints enables developers to resolve programming problems by finding unexpected behavior and investigating further.
Express Logic; 858/613-6640;
ClearSCADA 2007 data collection, storage, retrieval and display platform includes RealFLO electronic flow measurement support, IEC60870-5-101/104 protocols,, SVG graphic import and international language localization. It includes context-sensitive Help (F1), X-Y plots, improved query processing, alarm handling, trending and security.
Control Microsystems; 613/591-3878;
Improve Equipment Downtime
Equipment Performance Module (EPM) 2.0 software tracks and analyzes equipment, line or plant downtime and overall equipment effectiveness. It combines ArchestrA industrial service-oriented architecture with InTouch 10.0 HMI and System Platform 3.0 software to correlate equipment metrics such as downtime or OEE, with broader MES functions including formula management, product traceability and statistical process control.
Wonderware, a business unit of Invensys; 949/727-3200;
Predictive Maintenance Tool
Intune+ predictive maintenance tool combines control monitoring with diagnostic, tuning and reporting to help users achieve continuous improvement goals. An Event Server notifies key personnel via e-mail the instant degrading performance is detected, before alarm conditions are reached. The software also provides web-based reporting.
TOP Server Device Integration software has serial and Ethernet connectivity to more than 100 device types with integrations to Wonderwares InTouch 10 and System Platform 3 to ease development and device connectivity. It connects applications using SuiteLink or OPC interfaces and configuration features maximize the types of devices users can connect to Wonderware products.
Software Toolbox; 888/665-3678;