Baldor Smart Drives Suit Single-Axis Automation

Baldor Electric has launched a range of smart drives, offering economic and space-saving solutions for many common single-axis automation requirements. The drives also feature an Ethernet interface compatible with the deterministic Ethernet-compatible motion-control standard, Powerlink. The Mint Lite programming capability is now being fitted without charge on all of Baldor's Microflex e100 and Motiflex e100 single- and three-phase drive ranges. These drives are available in a choice of power ratings up to 33.5A.

The versatile drives may be used to control rotary and linear servo motors, linear motors and closed-loop vector motors, and in V/Hz control modes. The embedded Mint Lite capability supports a range of basic motion-programming requirements, including performing relative and absolute moves, S-ramp profiles, jog and homing movements, changing target positions on the fly, registration moves and reacting to real-time trigger events. The programming facility allows standalone drives to provide solutions for many common automation and machinery tasks, such as cutting or feeding to length, indexing axes, simple pick-and-place motion, and machine adjustments such as changing guides or backstops to reconfigure machinery for new batches.

More flexible PLC interfacing is an additional application for the drives. The ability to program Baldor's drives means that the standard drive profile may be adapted. The drives' TCP/IP-compatible Ethernet interface also makes it simple to link into Ethernet factory networks for changing product recipes and reporting production metrics. All of Baldor's Microflex e100 and Motiflex e100 drives come with built-in I/O as standard - including fast latch inputs for registration applications - plus CANopen manager capability to support distributed I/O expansion and HMI interfacing.

Motiflex e100 drives offer card slots for further local I/O expansion and fieldbus connectivity. The fieldbus modules extend connectivity options to external PLCs, supporting interfaces such as Ethernet/IP, Profinet-IO, Profibus and Devicenet. This configuration versatility allows drives to be configured cost effectively to provide single-box solutions for automation applications. If used in a Powerlink system, the local intelligence adds versatile system-building capabilities. Critical events can be acted on directly, eliminating the impact of network and controller scan time latencies.

A smart drive can also use local intelligence to offload a centralised Powerlink network controller. Development and configuration tools for the drives are included in Baldor's development environment, Mint Workbench, which is provided without charge to users. The smart drives complement Baldor's existing Powerlink network control possibilities: the Nextmove e100 traditional central controller for varying numbers of motion axes and the Mint Machine Module plug-in controller for drives, which can control two or five axes. The plug-in control card provides access to the full capabilities of the Mint language and is capable of being programmed to perform sophisticated motion functions, such as gearing and cams.


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