ABB has enhanced its ranges of servomotor drives for the
Ethernet-based motion control systems market with variants that it claims can
substantially increase the speed of machinery and automation systems while also
reducing bill-of-materials costs.
By redesigning the drives’ power stage, the latest iteration
of ABB’s MicroFlex e100 and e150 servo motor drives can now deliver peak
current levels that are three times the continuous rated current, and sustain
that peak output for up to three seconds. This provides the torque to
substantially increase the speed of moves and machine cycle times.
In some cases, ABB expects that the generous three-second
overcurrent capability will allow motion system builders to use a smaller size
of drive – reducing system building costs dramatically, and potentially the
footprint of systems as well.
The new design increases the drives’ level of overcurrent
capability from 200% to 300%. This can be particularly relevant for system
builders employing new generations of high performance servo motors with
neodymium magnets, as these tend to offer a peak current capability that is at
least three times the continuous rated current level.
The three-second overcurrent capability of the drives may
then be exploited to increase the acceleration of movements. As many common
types of automation and machinery have a lot of repetitive movements coupled
with dwell periods, this can have a dramatic impact on overall cycle time and
throughput. These types of operational modes can be found in many applications
such as feeding materials, parts handling, assembly, filling, packaging,
labelling, sampling and robotics.
“This torque enhancement greatly increases the
application potential of feature-rich servo motor drives that are already noted
for their ability to satisfy automation applications without requiring
additional hardware or options,” said David Greensmith of ABB.
“The multi-protocol Ethernet capability and local
intelligence mean that the applications potential is truly versatile. The new
higher torque mode now provides an excellent match for the capability of the
latest generations of high performance permanent magnet servo motors.”