A new chapter in automation


Boundaries between controller-based and drive-based automation are disappearing

Monday, March 09, 2020

Uxbridge, MA, March 2019 - Lenze opened a new chapter in automation late in 2019. With its new i950 Servo inverter, the automation specialist removes the boundaries between controller-based automation and drive-based automation. The customer can have a central automation topology, a decentralized one, or an intelligent mixture of the two. From the viewpoint of software engineering, it will be irrelevant whether a servo inverter is integrated into the machine topology as a simple actuator, as a parameterized axis, or as a freely programmable axis.
 
Because of its origins, Lenze has always supported two different automation concepts. Traditionally, Lenze supports drive-based automation with a decentralized intelligence that is distributed in the drive technology. Then there is controller-based automation, which is based on a centralized intelligence in the PLC. The requirements of the specific project always decide which of the two concepts will be used. But the two automation concepts are increasingly being mixed as a consequence of the modularization of machines and systems: it makes sense to control certain parts of the production system with a centralized intelligence while other machine modules can be seen as cyber physical systems (CPS) because of their specification and are equipped with their own distributed intelligence.
 
It is therefore crucially important to have a truly uniform scalability throughout the automation system in order to make a specific automation solution future-proof.
 
With its new i950 Servo Inverter, Lenze has succeeded in integrating the platform of the controller-based automation into the controller. This means that the machine manufacturer can use the standardized technology modules of the FAST Application Software Toolbox with the i950, just as he can use them with the controllers in the Lenze portfolio. And he can adapt these technology modules to meet his individual needs, or he can use his own software if it is programmed in IEC61131-3. This gives machine manufacturers decisive advantages in the time to market because it saves valuable development time.
 
“The i950 servo inverter is a match for any operational scenario thanks to its three different modes of operation,” according to Daniel Repp, automation product manager at Lenze Americas. “It can be freely programmed or serve as an actuating drive under a CiA402 motion control, but the most common mode of operation will no doubt be with the use of Lenze’s integrated FAST technology applications.”
 
With FAST, Lenze’s modular software system, preconfigured and tested technology applications can be used immediately with the i950 and adapted to the respective machine task via parameterization. These technology modules represent a broad range of functions that the OEM no longer has to program himself – instead, to be able to use the functions he just has to set the parameters.
 
Also as mentioned previously, flexibility and freedom of integration are part of our philosophy. Therefore the i950 can easily be integrated and operated under a higher-level controller. This architecture is supported by a custom-developed CiA technology application for interface with CiA402 motion control.
 
And lastly, the i950 can be freely programmed. The basis for this programming is the customer’s software. Previously developed software modules can be re-used or FAST technology modules known to the control units can also be used here.
 
About Lenze
Lenze is a global manufacturer of electrical and mechanical drives, motion control and automation technology. As a global specialist in Motion Centric Automation, we offer our customers products, drive solutions, complete automation systems, engineering services and tools from a single source. We are a leading provider of automation solutions to industries including: consumer packaged goods, converting and printing, automotive, material handling and logistics, robotics, and commercial pumps/fans. With a global network of engineers, sales representatives, and manufacturing facilities, Lenze is well-positioned to meet the motion control needs of customers worldwide. Lenze Americas, the American subsidiary of Lenze SE of Germany, is headquartered in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. Corporate global headquarters are in Hamelin, Germany.
 
Contact
Susan Duval
508-278-9100 ext. 7544
 
 
Lenze Americas

Deb Kling, Director of Commercial Marketing
800-217-9100

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