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Selecting the Optimum Motion Control Solution for the Application
The machine with the optimum motion control will help the end user improve the bottom line through labor reduction, higher throughput, and faster return on investment. Motion control that is easy to use and set up, straightforward to troubleshoot, and backed by a quality support team adds to the advantages of the physical solution.
The successful machine builder develops products that offer superior price, performance, reliability, and the ability for their customers to lower direct labor costs. The machine builder's reputation for quality and support also influences a buyer's decision, as does the total cost of ownership. /p>
The majority of machine builders today incorporate into their machines off-the-shelf control components such as PLCs, HMI, and I/O. These components and systems offer the best price/performance ratio in the industry's history. The same price/performance advantages apply to motion control technology for both pneumatic and electric powered motion. Motion control is far more complex, however, compared to discrete control. Selecting the correct motion control component or system for the application is not simply a matter of counting I/O and sizing the controller to match. The choice involves mechanics, the physics of speed and acceleration, and the electronics of precision control.
Each motion control application is a mix of considerations. For example, the back and forth repetitive motion of a cutting knife requires a far simpler and less expensive solution than the complex multi-axis movement of delicate silicon wafers. In terms of motion control, machine builders can use air pressure - pneumatics - or electrical energy to drive the motion of mechanical actuators. One machine may be based on pneumatic motion, electric motion, or a combination of both. The electricallypowered motion control market is growing faster than that of pneumatics because the price/performance ratio of electrically driven motion control has improved dramatically. The human perception that electronics can meet every need also plays a role.
Even with the bias toward electric powered motion control, it is important to understand that both pneumatic and electric powered mechanical motion offer a sweet spot in terms of applications. Pneumatic and electric powered motion control forms an application continuum from lower to higher cost and from lower to higher precision. Knowing where, when, and why to apply one form over the other gives the MACHINE BUILDER, and ultimately the end user, the greatest potential for optimum productivity and lowest total cost of ownership.
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