Wednesday 23 January 2013

Cost-effective motion control with its optimised motion series

Festo has launched a new compact electric cylinder (EPCO) and controller (CMMO), which form part of its optimised motion series positioning system. This offers all the advantages of full servo motion, but at a fraction of the cost, enabling machine builders and end users to improve motion control and profit margins, as well as make significant cost savings on integration.

Traditionally, electrically operated actuators in many automation applications provide excellent positioning. However, as they are driven by servo motors, they are typically only commercially viable for the most arduous demands on accuracy and load.

CMMO is a new compact controller specially designed for the new range of actuators, and is based on Festo’s popular servo light controller, but with improved performance, reduced size, cost and power consumption. It includes features such as safe torque off, integrated inputs for referencing and Ethernet diagnostics, to help users save time and money.

Commissioning is easy as there is no need to buy or download specialist software. The CMMO controller carries its own web server, allowing users to parameterise it with any web browser on any type of computer. The system can also connect to Festo’s cloud parameter server automatically to ensure it has the latest parameters for motor, axis and controller. As a result, the tuning is optimised for the application.

The EPCO cylinder combines the advantages of pneumatic drives with those of electric drives: it is as simple as a pneumatic cylinder, but with the precision and speed of an electric drive. The ball screw actuators come in three sizes (16, 25 and 40), a variety of pitches and stroke lengths, and can achieve speeds of up to 500 mm/s. The motor is integrated, which not only saves cost, but reduces the overall length of the assembly, allowing access to applications with small footprints.

The electric cylinder benefits from lifetime lubrication, an IP40 rating, and the piston rod is protected against rotating, meaning it is robust and reliable over a long service life. It includes cushioning to absorb energy and noise in the final positions, and with smooth surfaces it is easy to clean.

It can be mounted in various ways, to best suit user requirements, including ground, flange and trunnion mounting. It can also be assembled directly on to the machine frame or cabinet with flat back or spine mounting, or with DIN rail.

“At Festo we are dedicated to making motion simple and affordable,” says Nigel Dawson, product manager at Festo. “With the new compact electric drive and controller, complex positioning using closed loop motion is now cost-effective for many automation applications. The system is quick to select and easy to connect and commission.”

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