Diary and Events
Manchester Central Convention Complex(M2 3GX)
04/04/2017 - 05/04/2017
Industry 4.0, the 4th industrial revolution, smart manufacturing, digital factories…these are (more)
Arena MK, Milton Keynes(MK1 1ST)
The new Machine Vision Conference & Exhibition gives you insight into the latest developments in (more)
iTrak transport solution from Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation’s iTRAK is a modular, scalable motion control system that provides independent control of multiple magnetically propelled movers on a track. The simple configuration and patented pitch-less technology solves different motion and speed needs. It enables production/handling systems and assembly lines to be readily designed with the aid of a number of accurately positioned carriages.
Several carriages, consisting of a frame and a linear permanent magnet motor, can move individually along straight or curved rails. The iTRAK can be used, for example, on packaging lines, in the medical industry (filling lines for IV bags), but also on assembly lines for machine construction. The combination of iTRAK technology with the Rockwell Automation integrated Architecture (programmable with Studio 5000 Logix Designer) lays the foundation for a new standard in dynamic linear transport solutions.
In contrast to ‘rigid’ solutions using chains, V-belts and spindle drives, iTRAK provides a universal platform that is able to carry out any pattern of movement within wide margins. The movement of each carriage can be programmed individually, bringing great flexibility. Switching to other products and/or another production sequence will present no problem whatsoever, since the iTRAK system is suitable for a wide range of applications in a diversity of production environments and industries. Apart from its flexibility, iTRAK can operate at speeds of up to 7 m/s, at a positioning accuracy (stops) of 0.05 mm. Accelerations of up to 10 g enable fast starts from a standing position, which makes it an extremely dynamic linear transport system, designed with energy-efficient linear motors using powerful magnets and advanced digital control.
Both horizontal and vertical transport lines can be assembled using iTRAK rail sections that are available in straight and curved (90°) versions in standard lengths of 400 mm. What’s more, the rail sections come with three different motor frame sizes (50, 100 and 150 mm) for various outputs.
Carriages are available in a standard versions and with customisation for specific applications. Customers can also design their own carriages if they chose to. Power and control modules are included with the iTRAK system and are designed for global voltage inputs.programming is carried out using the Rockwell Automation Studio 5000 Logix Designer, whilst communications are enabled by EtherNet/IP.
In 2013, Rockwell Automation initiated legal proceedings against Beckhoff over alleged infringements of patents, with Rockwell Automation offering a similar system called iTRAK. A year later, the legal dispute was settled, with Rockwell Automation granting Beckhoff a licence to use more than a dozen of its linear motor patents, and permission to sell the XTS worldwide apart from the US. Under the terms of the licence, Beckhoff will be delayed entry into the US market until June 2019, although integrators who use the XTS on their machines will be able to sell those machines into the United States.
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