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Single-cable servo systems cut costs by up to 60%

17 December, 2012

Rockwell Automation has announced ranges of matched servodrives and servomotors that are linked by a single cable, cutting cabling costs by up to 60%. The systems are said to save space and energy, as well as simplifying design and maintenance.

The Allen-Bradley Kinetix 5500 servodrives (above) provide integrated motion control on EtherNet/IP, eliminating the need for a dedicated motion network and avoiding the need to create gateways to send information to or from networks. They are also the first Kinetix drives with an external common AC/DC bus connection that allows the same platform to be used for either single- or multi-axis systems. The drives span ratings from 0.6–15kW in three frame sizes.

The drives can control either servo or induction motors, and are claimed to offer “best-in-class" power density, cutting the drive size and cabinet space required by up to half, compared to the previous K6500 model. They are also said to simplify maintenance by minimising the need to fuse or use contactors. An ability to share power across several drives can be used to balance power use, and to cut energy consumption.

The matching VP-Series low-inertia servomotors use a new winding technology and offer a choice of eight windings, allowing users to match them closely to the application and the drive. In many cases, this will allow smaller drives and cables than usual to be specified.

The single-cable connection, carrying both power and feedback, is based the Hiperface DSL encoder technology. It simplifies application design and limits points-of-failure, for improved reliability and easier maintenance. The drive-motor system does not need discrete power rails and machines can be scaled up as needed. The matched motors and drives are claimed to use half the energy of comparable systems, while providing 125µs loop closures.

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