25 Jul 2024


Servodrive controller is ‘first with IO-Link connection’

Festo has announced what it claims is the world’s first servodrive to be controlled via the IO-Link communication system. The low-cost CMMO-LK controller can be connected to any IO-Link master or Modbus TCP Ethernet port, making system integration simple across many applications. The built-in IO-Link connection (made via a cage-clamp connector) also makes it easy to replace the controller because as all of its parameters are stored in the IO-Link master. The controller was shown at the recent Motek handling show in Germany.

“We’ve taken our popular ServoLite controller, improved the performance and reduced the size, cost and power consumption to produce the CMMO-LK controller,” says Nigel Dawson, Festo’s electric drives product manager in the UK.

The open- or closed-loop position controller is designed mainly for use with a new range of actuators in Festo’s Optimised Motion Series, including electric cylinders, rotary drives and linear belt drives.

“The use of electrically-operated actuators is not new,” comments Dawson. “Festo has had belt-drive, ballscrew, leadscrew and linear motor versions of our pneumatic axis for many years. But often, driven by servomotors, these solutions are only commercially viable for the most arduous demands on accuracy and loads.” The new low-cost drive makes servo control more viable for these applications.

An integrated encoder function ensures true servo functionality with no step losses.

The 24V, 5A drive comes with a file to ensure simple set-up, allowing machine-builders to “plug-and-play” almost instantly. It also has a built-in Web server, allowing users to parameterise it from any Web browser running on any computer. They do not need to buy or download specialist software to commission the controller.

The system connects automatically to a cloud-based parameter server to ensure it has the latest parameters for the motor, axis and controller, so that tuning is optimised.

The drive can be connected easily to any fieldbus system via Festo’s CPX automation platform. Other time- and cost-saving functions include safe torque-off, integrated inputs for referencing, and Ethernet diagnostics.

Festo’s servodrive is one of many products supporting IO-Link that the company demonstrated at the Motek show. According to Dawson, using IO-Link can avoid the need for “complex and costly” fieldbus systems.

The new drive is also available in a non-IO-Link version (called CMMO-ST-C5-1-DIOP) which offers PNP I/O control.