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Motion control joins Siemens' engineering framework

12 March, 2013

Hot on the heels of adding drives programming to its TIA Portal integrated engineering environment, Siemens is expanding the system further to support motion control functions. At the forthcoming Hannover Fair, it will be demonstrating how its Simotion motion control components can be designed, configured and commissioned via TIA Portal.

The development merges hardware and network configuration into one editor, thus allowing intuitive, graphical configuration and diagnostics of configured and networked components. In the device view, the Simotion CPU is displayed graphically with all of its interfaces and properties. Any parameter can be selected and modified. In the network view, further components such as the HMIs or drives can be connected to the CPU. The configuration of Profinet networks is claimed to be equally intuitive.

One example of the ease of using TIA Portal for configuring installations is that simply dragging a tag from an on-screen controller project tree to an HMI icon will generate a connection between them automatically.

Siemens realises that not all Simotion customers will want to move to TIA Portal immediately, so it will continue to support configuration using its Simotion Scout tool. This allows users to configure frames and integrate technology objects and drive objects, as well as configuring automatic communications for distributed synchronous operation – between two controllers, for example. Users will be able to decide at the time of installation whether to run the tool within Simatic Manager or TIA Portal. Side-by-side installation will also be possible, as will migrating projects to TIA.

Siemens has also upgraded the performance of Profinet within Simotion. By reducing the bus cycle time to a minimum of 31.25µs, extremely fast motion control applications can be implemented, increasing productivity and maintaining product quality. The short processing cycle provides reserves for high-performance machines, especially in the packaging and tobacco industries.

The shorter bus cycle was developed specifically for motion control applications that need fast terminal-to-terminal responses, and is based on the Profinet 2.3 specification. This has defined mechanisms that make communication with Profinet even faster.

One of these mechanisms is “fast forwarding”, which reduces the throughput time in the switches to 1.2µs, and increases the communication speed in line structures. A “dynamic frame packaging” mechanism combines, in one telegram, the I/O data of several devices connected in line, reducing the communications overhead. All nodes use the bandwidth optimally by dynamically adapting the telegram. A third mechanism, called “fragmentation”, enables the cycle time to be reduced without restricting standard communications.

In a demonstration at Hannover, Siemens will show how a golf ball flying through the air at about 10m/s can be detected and caught by a device powered by two linear drives. A trace diagnostic function integrated in Simotion can be used to visualise the response time. An external PC can access this data via the same bus that acquires the sensor signal and controls the linear drives.

A further Simotion development on show at Hannover will be a series of compact terminal modules (above) that allow fast, precise I/Os to be connected to motion controls via high-speed Profinet IO with Isochronous Real Time (IRT). The 75mm-wide TMC1080 PN and TMC1180 PN modules offer high channel densities with 80 channels for specific digital inputs and outputs. The digital I/O with low signal delays are combined in groups of eight and the functions of each I/O channel can be parameterised selectively. The modules are connected as I/O devices on Profinet and can be used in a distributed configuration. They differ in their connection methods: the TMC1080 PN is wired directly via front terminals, while the TMC1180 PN is offset via ribbon cable plug-in connectors. 




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