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Modular servo-actuators are tailored to their application

20 January, 2016

The German precision drives specialist Wittenstein has developed what it claims is the first fully scalable servo-actuator platform. The flexible platform, called premo, made its debut at the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany. Wittenstein says that it “sets new benchmarks in terms of size and power density”.

A special construction kit is used to configure the bespoke motor-gearheads to suit customers’ applications. The actuators can be fitted with options such as a choice of encoders and gearheads with various outputs.

Wittenstein claims that the space-saving actuators will deliver “double the usual power density” as well as optimised energy efficiency. The motors operate with an efficiency of 92%, while the scalable planetary gearheads offer efficiencies of up to 97%. Moments of inertia are minimised by avoiding the need for shaft couplings, while the use of a 750V DC link voltage can double the power density, helping to achieve dynamic movements.

A high holding torque reduces emergency stopping distances and is said to improve reliability if, for example, the actuator is installed in a vertical axis, or the lining of a holding brake is corroded.

The use of digital single-cable technology both to supply power and to transfer data between the motor and its controller, saves time and halves the amount of wiring needed, as well as reducing the moving mass in mobile applications such as robots. The actuators’ short body lengths also simplify installation in confined areas such as robotic arms and machine tools.

Wittenstein's premo servo-actuators are initially available in a choice of three versions

The actuators incorporate digital encoders that support EnDat2.2, Drive-Cliq and Hiperface DSL, and satisfy safety requirements for applications up to SIL 2.

Initially, the actuators will be available in three versions: base line (which includes a resolver); advanced line (with an output flange and a single-turn Hiperface absolute encoder); and high line (which offers a variety of extra options).

Later this year, Wittenstein plans to release industry-specific versions. A washdown version in a corrosion-resistant housing with no sharp angles or edges, will target applications in the food processing, filling and packaging industries. There will also be a version for AGVs (automated guided vehicles), in the form of a flat plug-and-play drive designed to be built into the driven wheels. Other special versions will target applications such as robotics, handling systems, machine tools and packaging machines.

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