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Drives help to shorten time for machine commissioning

Drives help to shorten time for machine commissioning

The experts at Lenze outline drives-based technologies that show how different machines can be up and running in 3, 5 or 7 minutes.

Modern drive technology is innovative, space-saving and energy-efficient. But it can offer much more that can help machine builders to achieve much shorter commissioning times.

Consider, for example, needing just three minutes for a simple roller conveyor with adjustable speed, five minutes for a more complex, variable speed belt conveyor and just seven minutes for a multi-axis robot application. The significance of these figures is not the exact number of minutes but in the promise of a different way of developing and implementing drive solutions. 

Efficient engineering means not wasting time on simple materials-handling applications because the products are complex or because of overall poor usability. It also means not having to employ expensively trained specialist personnel to commission machinery.

You have three minutes

In the case of horizontal materials handling conveyors, drive design always involves a balancing act between comparatively low running torques during operation and the high torques when the system is started. The classic way to go about this is to design the motors for the maximum power needed, in this case for the breakaway torque. The concept of ‘more is better’ leads to a solution that works but wastes a great deal of energy – in some cases up to 60% more. 

A solution to this is the smart motor and gearbox combination, such as the Lenze Smart Motor coupled wit a g500 gearbox, providing an easy and intelligent alternative to the conventional mains motor with starter. The speed of the motor is now easy to set by means of a Lenze smartphone app with NFC (near field communications) data transfer to the motor. Lenze has demonstrated at exhibitions worldwide that the Smart Motor mechatronic drive can be programmed in less than 3 minutes.

You have five minutes

A great feature of the best modern drives is their ease of use and universal application, as well as being compact and high performance, with a perfect example being the Lenze i500 series. The ease of use pays great dividends during commissioning when the inverter is being parameterised. With Lenze drives this can be done with the help of either the ‘Engineer’ software tool and a PC or a new Lenze smart phone app. 

Another option is WLAN, a plug-in module, offering time savings especially when control cabinets are put in places with difficult access and where connecting a cable between the inverter and a laptop proves to be difficult. The result is that the system’s availability will increase. Instead of having to go to the trouble of getting to where the drives are physically located, the WLAN module can be used to establish a mobile connection to the drive settings. This allows new ways of communication, resulting in record-low times for commissioning as well as during servicing.

You have seven minutes

As machine builders look to develop more sophisticated machines to boost their competitive advantage, features such as innovation, flexibility and performance have to come hand in hand faster development times.

Lenze supports this with its FAST application software toolbox. Thanks to the use of standardised and modular software, ready-made motion functions such as winding, registration and positioning can be very easily integrated into the machine control system. They can be reused with minimal effort for subsequent machines. 

The FAST technology modules all use the same standardised interfaces which can be easily combined in a number of ways. Software programmers have more time for development and testing of their special machine functions, while this opportunity to ‘concentrate on the essentials’ gives the company an advantage over its competitors. 

But does this also apply to apparently complex robotics applications? Commissioning a pick and place application in just seven minutes – is that possible? It is – with the complete, ready-to-use FAST robotics solutions. These are powerful pick and place modules with a fully-fledged robotics core, into which everything that the design engineer needs for fast, productive and flexible handling technology has already been integrated. 

They make it very easy to integrate robot kinematics into the overall automation and motion control system. Pick and place movements can thus be easily executed by means of parameterisation and without any detailed knowledge of robotics. This massively reduces engineering time and effort for the ma-chine builder.

Drive technology is critical in machine building because it is responsible for controlling motion. In future, it will be even more important to make the parameterisation of motion as easy as possible. In the course of Industry 4.0, modern machines have to deliver flexible and customised outputs. To ensure that the level of complexity for designers and end-users is kept under control, Lenze has created these new methods to set up and control machine drives.

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