VERNON HILLS, Ill.–Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. introduced its Q172D and Q173D motion controllers for its leading-edge iQ Automation™ platform at PACK EXPO International 2008. These new controllers are engineered for simple to complex motion control applications including packaging, material handling, printing, semiconductor fabrication, solar panel movement, automotive manufacturing and all non-metal cutting applications.
Source: Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc.
“The Mitsubishi Electric iQ Automation platform combines all aspects of control — PLC, motion, CNC, HMI, robotic, communications and more — in a compact rack-based configuration,” said Sunny Ainapure, Mitsubishi Electric Automation servo and motion product manager. “The iQ Automation platform addresses the needs of OEMs and system integrators for flexibility, ease of use, enhanced control, reusable design, safety and faster time to market.”
The Q172D is an 8-axis motion controller and the Q173D is a 32-axis motion controller expandable up to 96 axes. These controllers offer high-performance positioning, speed, synchronous phase and torque control. The units provide on-the-fly mode switching and registration through electronic cam and gearing. Q172D and Q173D are ideal for such packaging applications as feed-to-length, roll feeding, bag making, press feed, flying cut-off, random in-feed, form-fill-seal, linear slide, linear motors and indexing conveyors and rotary tables.
The Q172D and Q173D motion controllers connect to Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s MR-J3B servo over SSCNET III, Mitsubishi Electric’s proprietary serial servo control network, which has an installation base of more than 1.5 million axes – one of the largest motion networks in the world. The MR-J3 servo offers OEMs compact design, side-by-side mounting for reduced panel space and the ability to operate rotary and linear motors, and fully closed loop systems. Quick release connectors reduce wiring and setup time. Amplifiers are plug-and-play and all operating parameters are instantly downloaded at power up. Servo axis tuning is quick and easy as is in-plant replacement of servo drives.
The iQ Automation platform’s high-speed, high-accuracy machine control is achieved through the simultaneous processing of sequence programs and motion programs by multiple CPUs and through a high-speed communication bus. The motion control’s CPU cycle time is 0.44 msec, two times faster than previous models. Most of the sequential functional chart motion commands are executed four times faster than previous models. With the new iQ Series programmable controller system bus, the high volume of data exchange — 32K words between multiple CPUs —is about four times faster than previous models.
Programming tools allow users to program in real or virtual mode. The Mitsubishi Electric Mechanical Support Language represents complex motion and mechanical relationships in a graphical manner. This means users can program complex motion on screen using a mouse. The virtual environment allows simple and complex motion programs using a series of mechanical icons to visually represent gear ratios, transmissions, line-shafts, cam profiles and more. The result is that a significant amount of traditional mechanical control can be replaced by servo control, so machine size and cost is reduced and programming is simplified.
Sequential function chart programming is straightforward and easy to learn, allowing for quick programming, as well as visual identification or diagnosis of motion and sequential event processing. This block-by-block format is further simplified with clear distinctions of motion, arithmetic and sequence commands. Detailed descriptions and notation capabilities allow for an easy-to-follow program and cam profiles can be created using advanced software tools or using predefined standard profiles. Additionally, free-form cam profiles can be created using spline interpolation. Once the profiles are created, these motion controllers have the capability to store multiple profiles and change those profiles on the fly. This eliminates the typical downtime associated with mechanical cams.
In terms of programming software, MT Developer, MR-Configurator, GX-Developer 2, GT Works 2 and GT Designer may be used with the new motion controllers. This allows programming motion profiles by using a sequential function chart format, which is the same as the company’s Q170M stand-alone motion controller and the MR-MQ100 single axis/1.5 axis motion controller. This standard programming environment ensures faster set up and ease of programming. The new Q172D/Q173D is CE, UL, and cUL approved as well as RoHS compliant.