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Power cables carry comms for daisy-chained drives

16 May, 2011

New from SEW-Eurodrive is a decentralised field controller for modular materials-handling systems. The Movifit FDC (field device controller) uses a “single-line network installation” (SNI) technology to daisy-chain the company`s Movigear drives, replacing the usual 400V supply system and communication bus. Communications are modulated onto the power cable, cutting cabling and startup times.

The CANbus-based SBus system combines the controller with compatible Movigear mechatronics drives and provides diagnostic functions. It is said to deliver fast reaction times and supports functions such as electronics cams. Up to ten devices can be attached to the SNI with more via the SBus, allowing the FDC to control 16 drives.

The FDC is available in a parametrisable version with preconfigured materials-handling applications, or in an IEC 61131-programmble version for customer-specific applications. Application software runs on the controller which also stores data. The FDC supports a variety of fieldbuses as well Profinet IO, Modbus TCP and Ethernet/IP. Axes are connected via a system bus.

Three preconfigured application modules – speed control, bus positioning and rapid/creep speed positioning – cover most potential uses. Individual axes are selected and configured using the software and the only settings needed on the drives are DIP switches. Parameters can be stored on SD memory cards and loaded into another drive. Using graphical diagnostics, a drive system can be tested without needing a higher-level controller.

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