INTERVIEW WITH ENGINEER MASSIMO REDAELLI, Direct Drives & Products Development Manager, Servotecnica SPA

Dicembre 2014

The first question: Technology trends

What are the technology trends making the most substantial improvements to motion control solutions? In particular, do such motion control solutions today show a more dynamic development?

Distributed Electronics: in a word this sums up the main trend that we are experiencing in the field of industrial automation. With this in mind, motion control systems are also adapting, entrusting the "sorting" of the movement commands to faster and, above all, more deterministic field buses, in order to synchronise the trajectories in interpolated systems. The common denominator between these buses is the physical medium of communication, the Ethernet, what changes is the protocol, different depending on who offers it. Among the various solutions on the market, EtherCAT is certainly the most widespread since it is a standard protocol, open to devices of different manufacturers. The decentralisation of electronics has also facilitated the development of compact drives, suitable for positioning on the machine or, even, to be integrated within the electric actuator/motor.

Second question: innovation and investment

Innovations on the motion control front can make a difference in the performance of systems and machines. Do you feel that manufacturing and process control companies are paying attention to the issue of motion control or do they have other investment priorities at this moment in time?

Every company aims to improve its performance, increasing line productivity and reducing the costs of development and production. The new EtherCAT motion control systems, with distributed architecture, play a critical role in this, making the machine configuration modular and flexible, as well as reducing the wiring. The ability to connect electric actuators like simple automation peripherals facilitates their use for the benefit of even greater energy efficiency (another element of great relevance in the industrial sector).

Third question: Proposals to market

What are your motion control proposals and which elements, both technological and commercial, do you think differentiate you from competitors?

If we think of the peripherals of an automatic machine as elements of an orchestra, the motion controller would certainly be the Director or, if you will, the Conductor. G-MAS (Gold Master) is in fact the Servotecnica proposal in this area. Its open architecture allows us to employ, in composing our "orchestra", the best elements offered on the market: from brushless motors with integrated electronics - Pegasus line - by LS Mecapion, to hybrid stepper actuators, always with integrated electronics, by Schneider Electric Motion USA; from Faulhaber micro motors, also with integrated electronics, to the same Elmo drives, unique in both compactness and power density. All these devices can be managed by our G-MAS across EtherCAT or CANopen networks.

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Lingua: IT - EN