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Servodrives promise up to 25% faster acceleration

08 June, 2012

The German drives-maker Metronix has launched a range of servodrives which, it claims, offer a peak current capability up to twice that of many rivals, allowing machine-builders to boost acceleration times dramatically. The Ethernet-compatible ARS 2000 FS drives offer over-current capabilities of four times their continuous output rating, compared to the 2–2.5 times ratings of many other drives. They can sustain the over-currents for about 0.5s.

In tests comparing the new drives with others offering a two times over-current capability, using various loads on rotary and linear servomotor axes, Metronix says that they cut travel times by 17–25%.

Depending on the application and the motion profiles used, faster acceleration can reduce machine cycle times significantly, the company adds. With point-to-point moves, for example, the new drives can shorten the time taken to accelerate to full speed when using motion profiles such as trapezoids or S-curves. Metronix asserts that the drives can boost productivity by 5–7% in continuous applications such as pick-and-place, parts handling and assembly, labelling and packaging.

The faster acceleration results from an uprated IGBT power stage which uses power factor correction to boost the internal DC bus voltage and allows the motor to reach higher top speeds. The additional cost is said to be minimal.

Metronix developed the capability to provide a closer match between drives and servomotors. Many motors offer over-current ratios of four or more – much higher than a typical drive`s over-current ratio of around two. The new drives allow machine-builders to exploit their servomotors’ full continuous and peak torque capabilities.

Metronix predicts that, in some applications, users will also be able to choose smaller servodrives, cutting their costs, because the drives are usually the most expensive part of the motion control system.

“This capability provides automation builders with a means of reducing machine cycle times for faster payback, and potentially reducing bill-of-materials costs as well,” says Metronix product manager, Frank Essmann. “Some simple calculations at the start of a machine design project are all that`s needed to evaluate the potential improvements that can be gained.”

The panel-mounting drives offer a choice of six single- and three-phase continuous output power ratings from 0.5–6kVA, in two sizes with widths of 59 or 69mm. They offer universal encoder interfaces and include Ethernet, USB and the CAN fieldbus interfaces as standard.

An optional motion control module can control up to four interpolated axes, turning the ARS 2000 FS into an economic intelligent drive. The multi-axis module can cut the costs of many motion control applications, such as product synchronisation, registration, labelling, cutting and wrapping. Complex applications involving three axes of control, plus a feed or handling axis, are possible.

Metronix is part of the US-based Apex Tool Group, which has more than 7,600 employees in more than 30 countries. Metronix` design and manufacturing facility is located in Braunschweig, Germany.

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