There’s a lot of excitement at the Automate 2017 show here in Chicago. The event has more than 400 exhibitors this year, and some 20,000 attendees have made the trek to Chicago for it. We’ve been tooling around to see some of the latest motion control, linear designs, and robotics for automation on display. Here are some highlights of motion-related technologies garnering the most buzz.
PLCs and more from Delta Products
A quick visit with Delta Products’ Industrial Automation team and you’ll see a lot of industrial-automation technologies — motion and programmable logic controllers (PLCs), ac motor drives in the form of VFDs, servo motion systems, HMIs, Ethernet modules, and other components for communication and sensing. If the below Periscope video does not display, view the download of Bill Faber’s explanation on YouTube.com.
— Lisa Eitel (@DW_LisaEitel) April 3, 2017
- Technology: Motion controls including PLCs
- Manufacturer: Delta Products
- Automate 2017 Booth: N1662
More specifically, Delta Products is showing:
AS300 Series Compact Modular PLC — New to North America at Automate, this PLC boosts efficiency and streamline operations for jobs in material handling, food and beverage, packaging, and automated assembly.
Robotic Cell Workstation – This hands-on demo demonstrates Delta’s application-based solution for dynamically tracked, IIoT-enabled pattern control.
MS300 IP40 & Rugged Conduit Box – This VFD uses rugged metal conduit boxes for on-conveyor mounting and drive vent covers to achieve IP40 NEMA1 protection against falling objects.
EtherCAT-enabled soft PLC from KINGSTAR for less hardware
In other news for PLCs, software company KINGSTAR is showing its plug-and-play software platform that integrates EtherCAT, motion control, machine vision, and a real-time operating system (RTOS). The soft PLC is a UX-driven PC-Based PLC for C++ programmers and non-developers alike.
KINGSTAR’s aim is to reach out to users of hardware PLCs from motion suppliers such as Mitsubishi, KEYENCE and TwinCAT who want to implement EtherCAT. The company is offering live demos of software-based EtherCAT-enabled PLCs work for motion control and machine vision … and even outperform traditional hardware in some cases.
- Technology: Soft PLCs
- Manufacturer: KINGSTAR
- Automate 2017 Booth: 349
I’m hoping to see the company’s Jerry Leitz present Advances in Motion Control Technology on Wednesday, so tweet to me if you’re headed that way as well.Headed to see Jerry Leitz of @KINGSTARmotion present Advances in Motion Control Technology — @DesignWorld @AutomateShow #Automate2017 Click To Tweet
— Lisa Eitel (@DW_LisaEitel) April 3, 2017
Recirculating pallet conveyor from mk North America
In a visit at Booth 863 at Automate 2017, I got the chance to see (among other things) an accumulating pallet from mk North America in action. As explained by Kate Nadeau, this SPU-2040 essentially uses a flat chain belt to recirculate pallets around a circuit. The pallets travel along the conveyor topside (to carry workpieces along) and then (once the workpieces are removed) ’round to the conveyor underside. This setup eliminates secondary conveying level as well as loading and unloading of pallets:
- Technology: Conveyors — including aluminum varieties and VersaMove pallet-handling conveyors
- Manufacturer: mk North America
- Automate 2017 Booth: 863
— Lisa Eitel (@DW_LisaEitel) April 4, 2017
Gearhead technologies on display — Positioning accuracy top objective
DieQua offers myriad mechanical rotary motion gearhead technologies … and the entire scope of the supplier’s technologies are on display at Automate 2017.
Two specific product lines will have significant focus. Owing to the exhibition’s spotlight on robotics and machine tool automation, DieQua will have a major presentation of the Spinea cycloidal gear unit. With a revolutionary internal design, this true zero backlash unit provides the ultimate in precise rotary motion positioning accuracy.
- Technology: Gearheads and other gear products
- Manufacturer: DieQua
- Automate 2017 Booth: 2255
The cycloidal gear unit also has extremely high torque density (to get more work out of a smaller design), high torsional rigidity for low hysteresis, and high tilting-moment capacity for better load support. The design footprint is smaller than other cycloidal alternatives, according to company sources — and the aim is to compete against flex-spline designs.
The second product line DieQua has at Automate 2017 is its Sesame planetary gearhead. Planetary gearheads work in servomotor-driven applications to deliver mechanical advantage and allowing optimization of motor size and control.
Application engineers are at the booth discuss customer requirements.Headed to see @DieQua @AutomateShow #Automate2017 Click To Tweet
— Elisabeth Eitel (@EitelonDesign) April 3, 2017