Electrical switching & drive systems & components


Software simplifies drive design and commissioning

1st Quarter 2009 Electrical switching & drive systems & components

Designing a positioning drive system from scratch and successfully commissioning it is an involved and time-consuming process which poses challenges for many engineers.

Industrial applications increasingly require drive solutions offering high speed and accuracy
Industrial applications increasingly require drive solutions offering high speed and accuracy

Appropriate drive technologies and components must be selected from toothed belt drives, spindle drives, servo motors, stepper motors, ball bearing guides and plain-bearing guides. Components need to be sized correctly and their mechanical interfaces need to be compatible.

Once the system has been successfully assembled it must be programmed or configured, documented, and safely and speedily commissioned.

Positioning Drives software

To simplify the selection of the best possible solution and associated components, mechatronics specialist, Festo, has developed the Positioning Drives software program that reliably and conveniently calculates the optimum electric drive system for an application.

The program quickly and accurately calculates the characteristic load values for the selected drive in just four work steps. Users input the application parameters such as mass, stroke, precision and required cycle times, edit the positioning cycles and select the required solution package. The software then outputs the detailed results such as motion profiles, characteristic load values, system and product data and a parts list. Users can use these details for their orders and machine documentation.

Commissioning software

Once the design has been completed and the components are mounted – both in the field and in the selected test arrangement – the commissioning work step is carried out. This can be a real problem in many automation units, particularly with a mixture of components. For Festo electric drives, however, there is the user-friendly Festo Configuration Tool (FCT) software solution. This provides a simple, integrated solution for commissioning electric drives, including documentation and archiving. As the drive functionality is implemented through the function chain from the controller to the motor to the axis, this software systematically synchronises these components, including automatic transfer of all physical characteristics of the electric drive.

For more information contact Joanne Dix, Festo, +27 (0)11 971 5560, [email protected], www.festo.com



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