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Modular servo drive is `first with embedded EtherNet/IP`

15 April, 2010

Rockwell Automation claims to have developed the first high-performance, modular servo drive that uses embedded EtherNet/IP technology for integrated motion control. It says that that the Allen-Bradley Kinetix 6500 drive will reduce the need for dedicated motion networks and will allow drives, I/O, smart actuators and other EtherNet/IP-connected devices to be supported on a common network.

When used with an Allen-Bradley ControlLogix programmable automation controller (PAC), the new drive will make machine designs more flexible, improve system performance and cut system costs, according to Rockwell.

The drive, which supports position, speed and torque loops, incorporates CIP Motion – an extension of the ODVA’s Common Industrial Protocol (CIP). CIP Motion offers deterministic, real-time, closed-loop motion control, and complies with Ethernet standards such as IEEE 802.3 and TCP/IP. ODVA’s CIP Sync technology – which provides precise clock synchronisation in compliance with IEEE-1588 – allows multiple axes can be co-ordinated for precise, synchronised motion control.

The drive also offers safety features, such as safe stop, zero speed monitoring, safe direction monitoring and safe maximum acceleration monitoring.

The safe-speed technology allows operators and maintenance workers to perform tasks such as cleaning safely while machinery is still running, saving time and improving machine availability. The ability to access the machine to remove jams without an emergency shutdown will also cut scrap, extend machine life, and limit the energy needed to power a machine back to full operating speed.

The servo drive’s modular structure will support future machine enhancements, such as increased power ranges. Using interchangeable control modules, axes can be converted easily to new network or safety functions, making it easier to adapt machines to suit market trends or technologies, while cutting upgrade costs by up to 50%.

Rockwell asserts that EtherNet/IP is the world’s leading industrial Ethernet topology, with more than 850 product lines available from 250 suppliers, and more than two million nodes sold.

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