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Ethernet motion control

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article image Based on the Ethernet Powerlink protocol.

AUSTRALIAN Baldor has released a solution for Ethernet-controlled motion that supports advances in the efficiency and ease of control system building without forcing OEMs to completely re-engineer their automation architectures.

Baldor's Ethernet-compatible motion controller and servo motor drives are based on the real time and deterministic Ethernet Powerlink protocol. They also connect with cost-effective CANopen devices such as I/O and HMIs and with conventional analogue motion axes.

Baldor is implementing Ethernet Powerlink in such a way that users can implement hybrid systems with a mix of digital and analogue drives if they wish. They can continue to exploit low-cost technologies such as CANopen for cost-sensitive parts of the machine control system. This gives OEMs the freedom to migrate system architectures as and when the economics make sense.

Baldor has released Ethernet Powerlink compatible components including servo drives and motion controllers. A single-axis servo drive is purpose-designed for the Ethernet environment, and is based on a lean hardware core that minimises cost for the networked control environment. It provides a dual-port Ethernet interface to support easy daisy chaining of drives. There is also a CANopen interface to provide a low-cost means of adding remote I/O or other components into the machine control system. This is supported by the decision of the Ethernet Powerlink group to use CANopen device profiles.

The new system is accompanied by a project software tool that allows designers to create and manage machine control schemes, referencing all associated system design documents, specifications, reports and application programs. This tool provides network views of the system, allows users to group sets of components into application-structured views. It also provides the programming environment and commissioning tools for all connected devices.

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