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Mitsubishi reveals ‘first’ 102 products to support CC-Link TSN

07 March, 2019

Mitsubishi Electric has announced the release of 102 factory automation products that will be the first to support the next-generation CC-Link IE TSN industrial network that was announced at the end of 2018. The products – which include PLCs, servo amplifiers, robots, HMIs, inverters and CNCs – will start to reach the market in May 2019. They will include 65 new-generation servodrives and seven motion controllers.

CC-Link IE TSN is designed to ensure real-time control communications even when integrated with IT systems and mixed with other open networks. It will allow machine controls to be integrated with IT communications on the same Ethernet cable, and to provide deterministic messaging for real-time control. It will also allow systems to be configured flexibly using standard Ethernet devices.

Mitsubishi says that the high-speed (up to 1Gbps) precision communications will improve machine performance and contribute to productivity and quality improvement.

With a link scan time of 31.25μs (sending master station data to local stations and receiving local station data at the same time), CC-Link IE TSN is 16 times faster than existing motion networks, such as CC-Link IE Field, reducing cycle times “drastically” for improved productivity.

It also offers precision synchronous control (with variations in communication times of less than ±1μs when a maximum of 254 stations are connected), without communication delays, even in large-scale installations. It is suitable for data analysis in cloud and edge computing applications. CC-Link-IE TSN will support high-speed synchronous communications between vision sensors and other connected devices to boost machine performance.

Mitsubishi will be offering an enhanced version of its Melsoft GX Works3 engineering tool to manage connected CC-Link IE TSN devices, including third-party products.. It will display the status of entire networks graphically, simplifying network and fault device diagnostics and helping to reduce downtime due to errors. The tool supports PLCopen’s motion control function blocks.

The bulk of the new CC-Link IE TSN supporting products will be a new generation of servodrive systems, including 23 models of the general-purpose Melservo J5 AC servodrives, 46 compatible HK rotary servomotors, and eight versions of the iQ-R series motion controls. Mitsubishi says they will offer “industry-leading” performance, such as servo amplifiers with 3.5kHz frequency responses that will help to reduce cycle times, and servomotors equipped with high-resolution encoders (67,108,864 pulses/rev) that will reduce torque fluctuations for accurate and stable positioning. The number of axes that one controller can handle has been raised from 64 to 256 axes.

CC-Link IE TSN will allow machine controls to be integrated with IT communications on the same Ethernet cable, and to provide deterministic messaging for real-time control

Mitsubsihi is hoping to sell 500,000 of its new-generation servo products this year. The Melservo J5 servodrives will support features of the previous J4 series, which was released in 2012, such as one-touch tuning and three-axis controls. They will offer energy saving via a DC common bus system that can connect several servo amps and an optional converter. Energy regenerated during deceleration will be available to drive other motors.

The new servodrives will incorporate an AI (artificial intelligence) technology to perform predictive maintenance diagnostics of connected mechanical components, such as belts, ballscrews and gears. It will also monitor trends in machine status, including amplifiers connected to motion controls, and send this data to higher-level systems.

The new HK servomotors will connect to both 200V and 400V servo amps. Lower-capacity servomotors can be connected to higher-capacity servo amps to achieve higher speeds and torque. The servomotors will be equipped with “the industry's smallest” battery-less absolute encoder, developed by Mitsubishi and powered by a “unique” self-power-generating structure. To save time and space during installation, the servomotors’ power and encoder connections are combined in a single cable and connector.

The new CC-Link IE TSN supporting products also include Freqrol-A800 inverters in two voltage ratings: 200V (covering ratings from 0.4–90kW); and 400V (0.4–500kW). There is also an optional 1Gbps communications plug-in module for Mitsubishi’s A800/F800 inverters.

Mitsubishi's CC-Link IE TSN portfolio includes the new Melservo J5 servodrives (left) and the Melsc iQ-R motion controls (right)

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