Performance Demands of Motion Control Applications

Performance Demands of Motion Control Applications

The following looks at the latest motion control products and technologies from Rockwell Automation, Power Jack Motion, B&R Automation and Beckhoff. For more on the latest power transmission engineering news visit our daily product updates at: (

Rockwell Automation

Contractors Simplify Motor Control and Improve Energy Efficiency

Global machine and equipment builders designing panels for global markets need to select the right components to meet numerous international standards as well as address changing energy-efficiency guidelines. To address these needs, Rockwell Automation has released the Allen-Bradley Bulletin 300 NEMA contactors and Bulletin 100-E IEC contactors to help machine builders design smaller, more energy-efficient panels.

Traditionally, contactors have been used to switch electrical loads in numerous applications, such as motors, fans and pumps. However, large size contactors are increasingly used in applications to isolate or bypass these loads and for switching of resistive loads. To accommodate this change, new lines of contactors feature a universal coil, which offers operators more flexibility with controlling multiple voltages.

“Typically, with contactors, you need to specify what voltage you want to control with,” said Tom Peterson, global product marketing manager, NEMA Contactors, Rockwell Automation. “With the new lines, the contactors can be controlled with 40 to 50 different voltages ranging from 24 to 500 volts, with only four different coil options.”

Previous options were available in multiple voltages and often required an AC or DC coil to control applications. With the introduction of the universal coil, operators can more easily control voltage on multiple applications with fewer parts.

“These coils are also much more energy efficient,” said Peterson. “With the new device, operators can operate the same applications with a smaller power supply.”

In addition to the universal coil, the new contactors are significantly smaller than previous product lines. The Bulletin 100-E IEC contactors have a 25 percent smaller footprint while the Bulletin 300 NEMA contactors are 45 percent smaller than previous product lines.

“The new contactors are smaller in size than previous lines,” said Tony Hart, global product marketing manager, IEC Contactors, Rockwell Automation. “A more compact contactor allows for a smaller panel and a smaller enclosure.”

The new contactors replace the Allen-Bradley Bulletin 100-D IEC and Bulletin 500 NEMA Size 6-8 contactors. While the previous line featured contactors for applications above 100 amps, the new contactors are designed for applications from 115-860 amps, the new contactors are designed for applications from 116 to 2650 amps. (

B&R Automation

Offers Numerous New Software Functions for Process Control System

B&R has published a new major release of its APROL process control system. APROL R 4.2 contains numerous new software functions, including improved cloud communication via OPC UA and MQTT. It also offers a modern new “Dark style” interface design option.

APROL R 4.2 includes additional SSL/TLS communication options, as well as numerous new functions for optimizing the efficiency of plants and processes. These include asset performance monitoring, new condition monitoring features, an extensive business intelligence solution and optimized alarm management. B&R has also expanded its advanced process control solution with new features such as a PID tuning block based on the finite frequency method.

Plant status at a glance

The new “Dark style” design gives the operator station a clean, modern interface and makes operation easier and more intuitive. It is now also possible to view the overall state of a process in a convenient radar chart. Key process variables are displayed in a pattern that makes the plant operator’s job considerably easier.

Redundancy at every level

The full range of redundancy options are now integrated as standard APROL features. This makes high-availability systems an attractive option, even for smaller applications. APROL supports redundancy at every level. Operator bus, process bus, runtime server and controllers can all be laid out redundantly using standard components. No expensive special hardware is required. (

Power Jack Motion

Offers Fundamentals of Motion Control System

The growing popularity of motion controlled devices has created some truly unique opportunities for young motion control enthusiasts. So if you are passionate about creating machines and systems that automate mechanical tasks and get things done easier and faster, you could use some clarification on what motion control components are, how they work and how you can use them in creative ways to reduce human effort and increase efficiency.

The right motion control architecture is central to the efficacy of your project. To achieve precision motor control, a number of critical factors need to be considered, such as choosing the right motion control components and their right placement.

The amplifier, also called the drive, is responsible for taking commands from the controller to generate the necessary drive and move the motor. The motor is the part that actually turns electrical energy to mechanical energy, in turn producing the required torque to perform the desired movement. From the ball screws and bearings to the sensors and actuators, every single component must be carefully chosen and implemented to achieve the best performance.

Once you’ve figured that out, there’s an arsenal of other motion control components to implement effectively. There are mechanical parts that perform the desired action, position sensors and feedback devices that sense the motor position and communicate the resultant action to the motion controller.

The link to the infographic below will help get a clear and insightful understanding of the fundamentals of a motion control system, and give you a well-rounded understanding of motion control components.

Beckhoff Automation

Introduces Products that Maximize Efficiency in a Compact Design

Beckhoff has introduced products to the market that offer maximum performance in a compact design. Take for example the new ultra-compact IPCs, which combine maximum performance with an extremely small form factor, thus saving valuable installation space in control cabinets or on the machine. Here are some highlights:

The AMP8000 distributed Servo Drive system integrates the servo drive directly into the servomotor, breaking new ground for modular machine design. By relocating the power electronics directly to the machine, the space requirements within the control cabinet are reduced to a single coupling module that can supply multiple servo drives with just one cable via a distribution module.

The new C6030, a compact and flexible IPC, combines the ultra-compact design of the C6015 with maximized computing power and up to 3.6 GHz per core. This makes it the ideal all-in-one controller for machine control.

In the new EL922x EtherCAT Terminal series, Beckhoff has directly integrated electronic overcurrent protection into the highly compact EtherCAT I/O system to safeguard 24 V DC system components. In comparison with currently available protection devices, costs and space requirements in control cabinets can therefore be reduced. (


Categories: Editors Choice

About Author

Matthew Jaster

Matthew Jaster, Senior Editor, has a B.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago and has 15+ years of writing and editing experience in automotive, manufacturing, engineering, law and arts and entertainment.

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