Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 36

Robotics & Automation
Servo Motion Improves Robot Operations
Servo motion control delivers powerful, fast, and precise movement onboard robots and for
associated equipment.
Emerson, Charlottesville, Virginia
S
ervos are the go-to technology for
robotics and servo systems play an
important role in operating the supporting
equipment around robots for
loading and unloading parts and products.
The term " motion control " for
industrial automation equipment is
usually applied to the use of electrical
servo motors, drives, and controllers
for operating various axes of robot
motion. However, servo systems are also
fundamental for monitoring, computing,
and controlling activities of conveyors,
grippers, and other handling
equipment.
Servo motors convert electrical power
into precisely controlled motion. These
motors are operated by a drive that is
commanded by a controller. Each of
these functions can be performed with an
individual device (Figure 1) or are sometimes
combined. Designers must determine
the application requirements for:
* Velocity and accel/decel
* Accuracy of positioning and speed
* Number of related axes
* Force
* Duty cycle
* Higher-level automation and integration
Users have a few choices for automation.
They can use a dedicated servo
controller with built-in industrial protocols
like EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, or
others. Another option is a programmable
logic controller (PLC) that supports
specific motion control instructions. For
applications with complex integration
requirements and/or many degrees of
motion, using a motion-capable PLC can
provide the best communication and
overall coordination.
Many users find that choosing servo
hardware from a single vendor provides
the lowest risk and highest performance.
This approach provides a scalable set of
options to address any application (Fig -
ure 2).
A common application for servo
motion incorporates box-forming ma -
chines, along with product container
infeed conveyors that supply a robot and
36
Cov
Figure 1. Servo systems include motors, drives, and controllers.
Figure 2. Emerson's PACMotion family uses controllers installed in the PLC backplane to provide tight
integration. It can reliably scale up to as many as 40 axes without performance degradation.
more conveyors and packaging equipment
downstream of a robot. Each of
these elements must be highly coordinated
with the others to supply the
boxes and products to the robot at the
right speed so the cases can be filled and
then discharged.
Designers can take advantage of
advanced motion capabilities to perform
smooth product handling and to
speed positioning while avoiding product
tumbling or slipping. For producwww.techbriefs.com
ToC
tion
lines that handle different product
sizes, some servo systems offer
changeable camming profiles, allowing
the system to quickly perform
changeovers for multiple product
sizes. Some of these capabilities are
only available in full-featured servo
product lines. Finally, the most capable
servo systems provide enhanced
analytics and diagnostic information
to help users optimize operation and
maximize uptime.
Tech Briefs, July 2021
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021

Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov2
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