Smart Ethernet Drives Add Flexibility to Advanced Motion Control System Building

The latest generation of smart drives from Baldor Electric Company offers economic and space-saving solutions for many common single-axis...
March 29, 2010—

The latest generation of smart drives from Baldor Electric Company offers economic and space-saving solutions for many common single-axis automation requirements. They feature an Ethernet interface compatible with Powerlink, the deterministic Ethernet-compatible motion control standard.

Mint Lite, the new programming capability, can be fitted free of charge on all Baldor MicroFlex e100 and MotiFlex e100 single- and three-phase drive ranges. The drives come in a range of power ratings up to 33.5 A, with higher ratings planned for the near future. Applications for the drives include controlling rotary and linear servo motors, linear motors, closed-loop vector motors and in V/Hz control modes.

A range of basic motion programming requirements are supported by the embedded Mint Lite, 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 enables standalone drives to provide solutions for common automation and machinery tasks, such as cutting or feeding to length, indexing axes, simple pick and place motion and machine adjustments like changing guides or backstops to reconfigure machinery for new batches. These capabilities are requirements in various manufacturing and processing sectors, including food and beverage, packaging, pharmaceutical, electrical and electronic equipment, printing and wood/metalworking.

The drives allow more flexibility in PLC interfacing. Since Baldor's drives are programmable, the standard drive profile can be adapted, which can simplify the communications process or optimize drive behavior for specific applications. The TCP/IP-compatible Ethernet interface makes it simple to link into Ethernet factory networks to change product recipes, report production metrics or other uses.

Baldor's MicroFlex e100 and MotiFlex e100 drives come standard with built-in I/O-including fast latch inputs for registration applications- as well CANopen manager capability for supporting distributed I/O expansion and HMI interfacing. The MotiFlex e100 drives feature card slots for more 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. These features allow the drives to be configured cost effectively for single-box solutions in automation applications.

The local intelligence provides flexible system building capabilities when used in a Powerlink system. Critical events can be acted on directly, which does away with the impact of network and controller scan time latencies, while quicker response of critical axes can be translated directly into higher throughput. Baldor fits Mint Lite programming capability as standard, providing a more economical solution for machine builders who configure systems with high numbers of motion axes.

Baldor's development environment, Mint WorkBench, includes development and configuration tools for the drives at no additional cost.

These smart drives complement Baldor's existing Powerlink network control possibilities, which include a traditional central controller available for varying numbers of motion axes and a plug-in controller for drives called Mint Machine Module that control either two or five axes. The plug-in control card provides full access to the capabilities of the Mint language, and it can be programmed to perform highly sophisticated motion functions, like gearing and cams.

View more production information at

Baldor Electric Company
PO Box 2400
Fort Smith, AR 72901
(479) 646-4711
(479) 648-5792