Servo motor/drives aid machine motion

This Product Exclusive for CONTROL DESIGN introduces a line of digital AC brushless servo systems that can be operated in combination with one of three standard servo drives.

THE MIGRATION AWAY from line shafts and other mechanical power-takeoffs for machine motion applications is embraced in nearly every industrial machine OEM market segment these days. The demand for easy and frequent product changeovers on highly versatile machines is a constant drumbeat request from customers. 

This means servo motors and drives rapidly are gaining popularity as the preferred technology path away from mechanicals. Quick availability and ease of use are a basic expectation for servo motors and drives nowadays, much the way it has become for small and mid-level PLCs.

That was the catalyst for AutomationDirect to introduce its SureServo family of digital AC brushless servo systems. The line includes eight standard servo motors, in both brake and non-brake models, that can be operated in combination with one of three standard servo drives.

The SureServo AC systems range in size from 100 W to 3 kW continuous power, provide 0.08-26.4 ft-lbs. of peak torque, and can be controlled in position, velocity or torque mode. Configuration and diagnostics of the servo drives is accomplished using either the built-in keypad/display or PC-based SureServo Pro software.

“Notable among key features of the SureServo are the ease of use and precise positioning it affords,” says Tom Matyas, AutomationDirect product manager, drives, motors & motion. “These systems are controlled easily from any motion controller or PLC via step-and-direction, step-up/step-down, and quadrature commands, or by using the on-board indexer.” 

The indexer can command the system in all modes of operation. “The built-in indexer is a highlight of the amplifier, and contributes to cost reduction in the system as a whole,” adds Matyas. “The cost and support of a motion controller is eliminated. Electronic gearing can be used to scale the incoming pulse frequency, allowing its pulses to command the exact extent of movement required for a specific application.” Presets are selectable with switch inputs or modified via a Modbus RS-232, 422, or 485 serial interface. The Modbus link also can supply data about system performance and status back to the controller.

In addition to a manual tuning mode, says Matyas, all SureServo systems offer two adaptive, auto-tuning modes that tune the system while it operates, allowing the drive to adapt to load conditions with little or no initial setup.

“Using eight programmable inputs and five programmable outputs, real-time connectivity with any control system is assured,” claims Matyas. “Velocity and torque can be controlled with a ±10 V analog input signal or with the onboard indexer, and two configurable analog outputs are available for monitoring purposes.”

The SureServo brushless motors include a 2,500-line incremental encoder with line drive output, resulting in 10,000 pulses per revolution as the standard resolution inside the drive. Low-inertia models range incrementally from 100 W to 1 kW with speeds to 5,000 rpm, and medium-inertia models from 1-3 kW with speeds to 3,000 rpm. Motors have metric square mounting flanges and keyless drive shafts that support clamp-on-style coupling.

Motors for these servo systems start at $319; drives start at $479. The required motor feedback and power cables are available in 10, 20, 30 and 60-ft. lengths. “Price and same day shipping are key features here,” states Matyas. “We provide product parity with the industry for a lower price and possible next-day delivery. Using a 400 W low inertia system for a pricing example, the drive, non-brake motor and 10-ft. motor cables can be purchased for $996.” 

Accessories include a ZIPlink kit for drives to facilitate easy connection of external controller and I/O, regeneration resistors, and more.

“This is a very versatile design that lends itself to broad and universal applications,” concludes Matyas. “It’s a general industrial servo system with on board indexer not strictly geared for any one type of machine. We believe it will be very useful for industrial machine builders with motion applications.”

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